Author Topic: What is a "Powertrail"?  (Read 6482 times)

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bluelamb03

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What is a "Powertrail"?
« on: September 02, 2010, 14:07:24 »
Can someone tell me what is the definition of a 'powertrail'?

With the 'CHL' series of caches by Guydes along Aylmer's bikepath the National Capital Region experienced our first 'powertrail', and now there is his new series on the Cycloparc PPJ, 125 caches along a 92 km rail-to-trails bikepath. The Petit Train du Sud series takes you to Carleton Place through thirty-some caches and the G.E.O. will be co-ordinating a series of caches along Prescott-Russell-Glengarry's 72 km long railtrail for release next spring. Most of us are also familiar with other Quebec railtrail 'powertrails', the Petit Train du Nord or the Danville to Victoriaville trail, and so on. I've also had the pleasure to ride the 'Puzzle Street' powertrail that begins with PS01: Welcome to Puzzle Street! by islander1988 (GCX00M), http://coord.info/GCX00M, 51 caches, all Puzzles.

We've all heard of 3-Bearss and Cavecats and their endurance trek on the E.T. Highway....

Would it surprise you to hear that some people disapprove of powertrails? To the point of advocating that they should be banned?
http://gsfn.us/t/16uc9

I've read through the arguments and the one thing I can't find is a definition of 'powertrail'.

Is it 10 caches placed along a road or trail by a cacher? Or is it 20?
Is 100 caches OK if they're placed by different cachers? What if they're released over a period of months, not all at once? What if some are puzzles and multi-caches?
What if they must be found on foot or bike vice being car caches?

The geoPure are upset by someone setting off and finding 100 caches in a day. That's not 'traditional geocaching' seems to be their argument. I'm not sure what traditional geocaching is quite frankly. A lamp post cache in a Walmart parking lot?

Love 'em or hate 'em the powertrails are out there, but I wonder if anyone can agree what is a powertrail?

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model12

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Re: What is a "Powertrail"?
« Reply #1 on: September 02, 2010, 15:30:20 »
There ARE no powertrails. Only people's opinions.

Just because there are several hundred caches along a bike trail doesn't mean that they are any less 'worthy' of being there.

In fact, their very existence fits right in with Jeremy's and Groundspeak's publicly stated goals of getting people out and exercising.
http://blog.geocaching.com/2010/05/geocachings-lost-found-video-premiere-the-founders-2/

You can hike them. Bike them. Snowshoe them. Ski them. Rollerblade them. Horseback ride them. Even CANOE them. If you are the type who likes long hikes in the woods, lovely scenery and a social activity that you can share with friends then 'powertrails' are for you.

If not, then who are you to deny other cachers of their fun by advocating against them...?

Steve

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GreyingJay

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Re: What is a "Powertrail"?
« Reply #2 on: September 02, 2010, 15:37:14 »
That's an interesting point.  "Power trails" take on a whole new meaning because the whole becomes greater than the sum of the parts.

A lamp post micro or AMIAT is lame. Everyone agrees on that, right?

How about 100 lamp post micros or AMIATs evenly spaced along a stretch of road or trail?

On the one hand, you could say that if one was lame, 100 of them is that much more so.  On the other hand, as Steve said, now you have a reason to get out there and actually get some substantial exercise.  There's hardly any exercise involved in finding one micro, but 100 of them -- now you've got a bike trip, road trip, ski trip, or a day hike.  Now you've got a reason to call up some friends and say "hey, let's make a day of this".

Perhaps the conclusion is that the cache itself is not what counts, but the experience you have in finding it.  If it's fun, then it deserves to exist.


bluelamb03

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Re: What is a "Powertrail"?
« Reply #3 on: September 02, 2010, 18:01:34 »
I like the responses so far, they agree with my sentiments, but knowing Model12 and GreyingJay as I do I'm not surprised.

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RDLtrekker

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Re: What is a "Powertrail"?
« Reply #4 on: September 02, 2010, 19:52:51 »
One of the many reasons I enjoy this game is that you make it what you want (within the official guidelines of Groundspeak, of course). What I mean is that there is room for part-time, full-time, any-time... purists, adventurists, realists, dreamers, thrill seekers, park and grabbers... the young in age and the young at heart. For some, it's about the container, others the hide and for most, it's all about the journey of the find. It appeals to the nerd, jock, plain Jane, everday people... the sunday driver, the loaner and the socializer, powertrail seeker, etc...

That being said, I think that if a person wants to call it a powertrail, then the definition would fit what it means to them - if it's more that one and it's on some kind of trail... bingo, if you wish, POWERTRAIL BABY!!!  ;)

Reality check, billion dollar technology to find plastic containers in the woods!!! ;D
Just one more... :) !


cron

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Re: What is a "Powertrail"?
« Reply #5 on: September 02, 2010, 20:54:40 »
Isn't it a useless debate? A cache is a cache, no matter where it is located. If you don't like a cache type, a cache owner or anything else, just don't find these caches.

There are a few problems with "powertrails", but we have to live with them (maintenance comes to mind first).

The powertrails had been banned a few months ago, but then Groundspeak realised it was impossible to define it (there were too many ways to "cheat" and create a powertrail no matter what). Eventually, everything becomes a powertrail anyway. They then suggested to geocachers to not place too many caches along the same trail, but they wouldn't impose a ban anymore.

So, what's a powertrail? There can't be a definition, because every geocacher adding a cache on a trail or a street contributes to having more caches in the same area.

If powertrails and mega-numbers are your thing, then go for it!

missbug

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Re: What is a "Powertrail"?
« Reply #6 on: September 03, 2010, 07:27:05 »
i would probably not have gone for a 50km bike ride on my day off if it weren't for the CHL series!

great exercise, fun, and company  :)

scubadiver

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Re: What is a "Powertrail"?
« Reply #7 on: September 03, 2010, 11:30:00 »
Quote
great exercise, fun, and company

I totally agree with missbug. This is what it's all about to me. Caching trails by bike, hike, ski, snowshoe or whatever is a terrific way to enjoy the outdoors, have some fun, get some exercise and meet new people.

cron

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Re: What is a "Powertrail"?
« Reply #8 on: September 03, 2010, 14:22:14 »
I agree about the exercice and the fun, but if that's the only thing you see in a lot of caches along a trail, then you're egocentric.

It does create some damage to the overall activity. Most people will find the caches and wash their hands (the "who cares, found it" attitude). Although the caches disappear from your screen because you already found them, they're still physically located there. The cache owner(s) may decide that it's too complicated to maintain them and will just let them rot and decay until they're archived and forgotten (but still in nature).

That is what the muggles are seeing. Geogarbage (with the geocaching.com logo!). This is what could trigger by-laws against installing caches in certains places/parks/towns.

I understand it can also happen with any cache and any cache owner, but a "powertrail" is generally put up by the same person. If that person decides to quit the activity, you know what happens. The more caches on the powertrail, the more chances the problem will be bigger.

Again, powertrails exists only in theory, so you can't put guidelines around them. You have to educate the users (but it's hard to do in this competitive world). Groundspeak tried and didn't succeed.

5davee

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Re: What is a "Powertrail"?
« Reply #9 on: September 03, 2010, 17:19:39 »
great exercise, fun, and company  :)

That's what it's all about

Sakidoo

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Re: What is a "Powertrail"?
« Reply #10 on: September 28, 2010, 08:54:59 »
An interesting comment.   Also interesting on who got FTF on the PPJ caches, wouldn't you agree?   ;D (meant in a nice way of course)
Isn't it a useless debate? A cache is a cache, no matter where it is located. If you don't like a cache type, a cache owner or anything else, just don't find these caches.

There are a few problems with "powertrails", but we have to live with them (maintenance comes to mind first).

The powertrails had been banned a few months ago, but then Groundspeak realised it was impossible to define it (there were too many ways to "cheat" and create a powertrail no matter what). Eventually, everything becomes a powertrail anyway. They then suggested to geocachers to not place too many caches along the same trail, but they wouldn't impose a ban anymore.

So, what's a powertrail? There can't be a definition, because every geocacher adding a cache on a trail or a street contributes to having more caches in the same area.

If powertrails and mega-numbers are your thing, then go for it!

cron

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Re: What is a "Powertrail"?
« Reply #11 on: September 28, 2010, 20:14:36 »
An interesting comment.   Also interesting on who got FTF on the PPJ caches, wouldn't you agree?   ;D (meant in a nice way of course)
If powertrails and mega-numbers are your thing, then go for it!

Absolutely! The sole reason we went for this serie was the opportunity to bag so many FTFs in one outing. I had a chance to do this and I took it. My kids would kill me if I would offer to bike 50km and stop every 500 meters for a micro cache! We definitely had some fun.

3-Bearss

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Re: What is a "Powertrail"?
« Reply #12 on: September 30, 2010, 11:11:06 »
Hmm ... over 1 million caches to choose from. Seems pretty simple, do the ones you like, don't do the other ones  ;)
Does it get any easier than that? We still have not run out of Geocaches to find  :o

embererebus

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Re: What is a "Powertrail"?
« Reply #13 on: July 30, 2011, 23:41:13 »
When I started this game I saw the power trails and thought they were lame. They seemed to be created by uninspired cachers for lazy cachers.
Now that I've found more than 100 over a few years I feel it would be great to find another 100 in a week. I think this is a healthy desire. I also see hundreds of beautiful stumps along my regular paths and imagine stuffing them all with caches. I don't. I do think I'll hit a powertrail soon to beef up my numbers and caching moral. I notice that I save certain caches for certain times of year: I like park and grabs in the winter, long hikes to maybe find a single difficult cache in the fall when I'm foraging and fully engaged with the mycology of the place. Now in the hot dry part of the summer I want to be outside but there is not so much growing for me to hunt for so I want to be taken to some where beautiful that will keep me entertained. I'm glad that the power trails exist and that I have not grabbed them yet. I think racking up tons of caches in one day balances out all the multis, but wish the power trails around here were not just boring strait lines along old railway lines.

bluelamb03

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Re: What is a "Powertrail"?
« Reply #14 on: December 27, 2012, 12:45:17 »
Without shared stories we are strangers.
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