Once of the nice things we’ve discovered about using geocaching in our project is the feedback: when someone finds a cache, they write the date and their name on a paper log inside the cache, and they can also post a digital log to the cache’s listing, via their geocaching app.
Most of our six caches have been in place for a week already, since we needed to be sure the listings would all be approved in time (both Opencaching.com and Geocaching.com rely on volunteers to check and approve all new caches – thank you!). As soon as each cache was approved and appeared on the site, keen local geocachers were out there hunting for them – sometimes within an hour or so of the cache being made public. And as they found – or did not find – each cache, they entered logs and we received email notifications. It has been hugely satisfying to get this instant feedback – especially as many have cottoned on (pun intended!) to the fact that it’s a story series. Many have also complimented the design of the containers.
It was also very helpful for us to learn that one of the caches was too well hidden; its log contains several “DNF” (did not find) entries, and the cachers responses to each other’s difficulties. You’ll be pleased to know we’ve moved that cache and now it is finable. We were also a bit out with the coordinates for a couple of caches, and have updated those thanks to information provided through the logs.
Even before it was officially open, the story trail is clearly a hit with geocachers. The challenge ahead is to get the geocachers interested in the other parts of this multifaceted project, and to encourage non-geocachers, or rather new geocachers, to leave a digital log as well as sign the paper – and go on to find other caches if their curiosity is piqued. Cross-fertilisation between Manchester’s literary and geocaching communities may be about to take place!
View the map of where the caches and Zappar codes are.