Have you ever thought about doing a 365 streak, but saw it as too intimidating? You hear nightmarish tales of people well into a streak, driving many miles to get a cache EVERYDAY. Are these stories keeping you from even considering a streak? I have a way to help you decide if becoming “The Streak” is for you. You may find it is easily within your reach.

Start with your “Magic Circle.” Mine is a 10 mile radius from your home coordinates. Yours may vary, but it is a good place to start.

Step 1: Let’s get a base line number.

Pull a PQ or GSAK query of 10 mile or less. I use GSAK. We want to determine our first variable – How many unfound caches are available in the “Magic Circle.”

  • 10 mile and less radius<<Search/Filter/General Tab/ Distance drop down/ Less than or equal to>>
  • Unfound <<Search/Filter/General Tab/uncheck found>>
  • Remove unwanted cache types. For me, I don’t what to count events* or unlikely options (i.e. GPS Maze) <<Search/Filter/Other Tab/ Click – All>> Then check only Traditional, Multi, Letterbox, Virtual, and Earthcache. If you KNOW you will not be finding any of a specific type exclude it here. You may notice I’m not pulling Mystery.
  • Click Go! This is going to give you a list of caches in your “Magic Circle” and the first number to get our Streak Math started.

*Some streak challenges require a physical challenge each day.

You can also use a pocket query to get this “Magic Circle.” Start a new PQ.

  • Days to Generate Section – Pick the day you would like to run it. This is a personal preference
  • Caches Total Section – Change the total caches to 1,000.
  • Any type Section – I choose Traditional, Virtual. Earthcache, Multi, Letterbox, Webcam
  • Any Container Section – Use default option of “any container”
  • That Section – “I haven’t found”
  • Within Section –  Leave at “default”
  • From Origin Section – My Home Location
  • Within a Radius of Section – 10 mi
  • Submit

It is a good idea to save this as a bookmark list and as an offline list in your favorite geocaching app.

In our example, I’m going to say we have 300 caches in this filter.

Streak Math so Far:

365 caches needed

– 300 “Magic Circle” total

65 caches to be accounted for.

Step 2: Check for Mystery Caches that you have solved.

After all, a solved Mystery is just a traditional.

In GSAK, run a filter for caches in the 10 mile radius that have corrected cords. There is a 1/2 step you should do here. As an odd undocumented feature, I have noticed that GSAK will import Mystery caches that have corrected coords, but not update the corrected coordinates.

Run this filter:

  • 10 mile and less radius<<Search/Filter/General Tab/ Distance drop down/ Less than or equal to>>
  • Unfound <<Search/Filter/General Tab/uncheck found>>
  • Remove unwanted cache types.
  • <<Search/Filter/Other Tab/ Click – All>> Then check only “Mystery”
  • Click Go! Then update these items. <<Click the drop down menu Geocaching.com Access/
  • Click Refresh cache data/ click all records in filter/OK>>

This will update the corrected coords. Don’t skip this step.

Now run a filter for cache with corrected coordinates.

Run this filter:

  • 10 mile and less radius<<Search/Filter/General Tab/ Distance drop down/ Less than or equal to>>
  • Unfound <<Search/Filter/General Tab/uncheck found>>
  • Select Corrected Coordinated.<<Search/Filter/Other Tab/ Corrected Coordinates / Uncheck No >
  • Click Go!

If your using pocket queries for this filter, you will have to run a PQ with Mystery type only and then hand sift the caches with corrected coordinates in to a bookmark list. I also recommend saving this list as an offline list to your favorite Gecaching App.

This is going to return caches that you have solved, making them “go get ‘em” caches (because you just need to go get ‘em!). For our example, we have 12 Mystery caches already solved.

Streak Math so Far:

365 caches needed

– 300 “Magic Circle” total

65 caches to be accounted for.

– 12 solved Mystery caches

53 caches to be accounted for. It is getting better!

Step 3: Find how many challenge caches you have qualified for.  

I’m a paying member of Project-GC, so I go there to see the Challenge Checker Map. Even using that tool, there is not an easy way to get a total.

<<Project-GC.com/Tools dropdown/ Challenge Checker/May of Challenge Caches tab (Center of screen)>>

Here I use just the county I live it. This is imperfect, as I mentioned before. I don’t qualify for any challenges in my home county. You may also live near a county line. In that case, you may want to run a second filter to check that county too.

Streak Math so Far:

365 caches needed

– 300 “Magic Circle” total

65 cachesto be accounted for.

– 12 solved Mystery caches

53 caches to be accounted for. No movement on this.

Step 4: Determine your number of leeway days.

Now we know we need to find 53 caches outside of our “Magic Circle,” aka 10 mile radius of home. A little more math will help with that. We know that there are 52 weeks in a year. Each week has 1 weekend consisting of 2 days.

52 weeks x 2 days = 104 days with extra leeway to possibly travel farther.

104 10+ Mile Caches – Leeway days

– 53 10 mile plus days

51 EXTRA weekend days. This means we have PLENTY of days to get “away” for those outside our “Magic Circle” Caches. A nice cushion.

Looking for more cushion days you may have? They are all over your calendar. It is just a matter of taking a hard look.

Are you going on vacation? How long with that be? Five days? Seven Days? Two Weeks? Will this be a staycation where it will be easy to drive to a farther cache? Will there be an away vacation where it will be easy to cache outside of the “Magic Circle?”

Subtract those days from the 53 days you need. (Pro Tip: depending on your travel schedule you may need to make a plan for the first and last days, as they can be travel-packed and may need to be on the home side of the trip. Lucky for me, my airport is outside of my “Magic Circle.” My fingers are crossed for you too.)

Are you going on a work trip? I already know you have been looking at the map to see if caches are near your hotel. Subtract these days if you will be more than 10 miles from home.

Attending at Mega event? This is the Mother Lode of caches away from home. Make all the finds you can and subtract those days from your 365!!

Holidays? Do you travel to family events for Easter, 4th of July, or Christmas? You can look at highway rest stops or a fast food stop with a park n grab. Who needs a bio-break? You’re really just thinking of your family when you stop for these caches.

Have kids that travel for their sports? It doesn’t even have to be far to help you knock off some of those 53 days. Where I live, townships are set up on 5 mile square boundaries. So baseball and basketball away games often are out of the “Magic Circle.” Feel free to stop for a post-game ice cream and cache. You’re supporting your kid right?

Club activities? We are Girl Scouts at my house. Often we travel out of my county north to Cleveland (40ish miles). We attended an event at John Carroll University. I never go there. I absolutely stopped for a cache in that neighborhood. On another occasion, all Girl Scouts who early registered were invited to an event at the Cleveland Metro Parks Zoo. There is a cache IN THE ZOO. Boom!  We did that. Don’t hesitate to do come club activities.

Geocaching at the zoo!

Step 5: Any cache will do.

Need more help? If the examples I have provided leave you nervous about getting all those dates covered, you have an ace in the hole. One that you can’t pull numbers on, at least in the same way we have so far. Up to this point, the assumption is you would be making a physical find each day, as some streak challenges require that. Not all do. Just a find. That means you can in fill with EVENTS. So pull out your calendar, start marking your will attends.  Memfis Mafia gives some great advise on this. He planned a Monday coffee event, that fit his schedule, EVERY week. Let’s do that math.

52 Weeks x 1 Event = 52 covered days!

Streak Math so Far:

365 caches needed

– 300 “Magic Circle” total

65 caches to be accounted for.

– 12 solved Mystery caches

53 caches to be accounted for. No movement on this.

– 52 events

1 cache to be accounted for. Seems doable.

Still not convinced? Host a puzzle solvers help night. What? Why? It’s simple. Get some people together that are interested in solving puzzles (and maybe some that are good at it!). Working together to get final coords is a great way to have more findable caches in your “Magic Circle.” I pulled some numbers. I have 14 Mysteries unsolved in my “Magic Circle.” That is TWO WEEKS of close finds. That is a lot. It would leave me only (53-14=39) 39 days of 10+ mile caches. It will also make you the hero of locals who struggle with Mystery caches. In every dark corner of event it is sometime said that there *might* be a black market trading of mystery solutions….but you didn’t hear that from me. Very often these are so popular they become a monthly reoccurring event. Sometimes cachers even rotate hosting.

Last but not least, share with your community. Tell other cachers that you’re streaking and would appreciate it if they placed some fun, quick (and easy) caches. Chances are other cachers will be happy to make the finds too.

Have you completed a geocaching streak? What advice would you give to geo-streak-wanna-bes?

April Holly Smith (aka AHollyS) has been a registered member of Geocaching.com since 09/08/2001,  finding her first geocache until December 2007. She is currently on an epic quest to earn her Geocaching Doctoral (GC5CRR3). [It’s huge have a look.] She is currently a stay-at-home mom. In addition, she enjoys volunteering with Girl Scouts, and as Geocaching Coordinator for Stan Hywet Hall and Garden in Akron, Ohio. April can be contacted on Instagram @AprilHollySmith.

The Geocache Talk blog wants your geocaching-related stories and insights. Please contact me, Angie (aka @GeoJangie and blogger on www.GeocachingJangie.com), to write a guest blog post or if you have any recommendations for subjects or authors. I can be reached via my email: JangieGoWest@gmail.com or through InstagramTwitter, or Facebook.

Enter your email address below to receive each new Geocache Talk blog post directly into your inbox!

Categories: Blog Posts