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First There Was Munzee, Now There’s BIT Caching

It seems the crew at Opencaching.US have jumped on the QR code bandwagon and produced BIT Caching.

A BIT Cache (Bound ID Tag) simply refers to the fact it is a small laminated card.

So what’s the difference between a Munzee and a BIT Cache? Well, it seems that with BIT Caching you don’t need an Android smartphone or iPhone and there is no app to install. All you need is a GPS!

Finds are logged by visiting each listing page from your smartphone or computer browser. You can also scan the QR code to take you straight there. Each BIT Cache has a password printed on it that you use to record that find.

I wonder how many previous finders will get the “oh, do you still have the password for that one? I forgot to write it down” email?

The first two BIT Caches already appear to be out but might not be the easiest to track down – they are attached to the cars of opencachers DudleyGrunt and SparrowsGold!

Currently, BIT Caching is only available to players in the United States, Mexico and Canada but its creators suggest contacting your local OC site to get BIT Caching activated in your area.

I’m yet to formulate an opinion on the Munzee and BIT Cache crazes and will likely give them a bit more time. On one hand I really like the variation, the simpleness, and the accessibility of the games for people who are perhaps less attracted to the traditional geocache (or outdoors). But, on the other hand, I do have concerns about the saturation of caches and whether this ‘type’ of caching will be a fad that fades to a select group after a period of time (such as Waymarking).

* Will you be playing Munzee or BIT Caching? Tell us why in the comments below.

Hat tip: CraigRat

17 comments

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  1. Andrew

    I don’t like that they’ve ripped off the idea from the Munzee people just a month or so after they launched. Nothing stopping them, but out of self-respect they should have stopped themselves and put their energy toward coming up with something original.

    1. Mr.Yuck

      That’s a fair criticism, Andrew. I’m not a representative of Opencaching.us, but just a regular player who is a strong supporter of the website. The owner of the domain name (who is not a “leader” in any way under the Opencaching concept) came up with what he called a new cache idea in the forums, and a few suggestions were made. I’d say ultimately the idea was born out of the fact that Munzee is open only to owners of Iphones and Droids, and you have to have the Munzee App. What about Blackberry, Windows Phones, and Palm? They all make smartphones. (I’m a Palm user myself). I have not seen anything to indicate Munzee is working to make the App available for any of those platforms. OCUS, which is just about a year old, has come up with fresh new ideas, and invented the “Guestbook cache”.

  2. James Finger on Facebook

    All Im struggling to see how this is a new idea warranting its own website and implied copyright when all it is is a QR Code of a normal OCUS cache listing?! It is just a flat cache … and there are thousands of these everywhere… with a password instead of a log book. It doesnt change or add anything to the caching experienve except removing the container (which is good yes sometimes) as you have to log online like normal anyway.

  3. ErikaJean

    I have too many things on my to-do list to get started in this OR Munzee. I guess what I really mean is …. I’d rather be caching!

  4. René Lindberg Mikkelsen on Facebook

    I tried out this Munzee-thing.. the worst end of the scale – just qr-codes stuck on signs in the city.. so I gave it up after 2

  5. René Lindberg Mikkelsen on Facebook

    afrer 2 ‘captures’, but I do understand that the game gives the opportunity to hide the QR-codes in actual containers, but in urban environment and for ‘ADHD-cachers’, this might not be the case… Furthermore, it’s really easy to remote-log all these caches, so.. feh

    1. John Tate

      It’s not easy to remote-log munzees. Besides scanning the code, your phone has to be within so many feet of the munzee. Geocaching is the one that’s easy for people to fake. I could log on the site and randomly claim to find a thousand today and none of the cache owners are likely to ever challenge me by checking the logs.

  6. Michael D. Belanger on Facebook

    Great! One more thing I can’t participate in because I can’t afford a smartphone (or similar)!!

    1. Cumbyrocks

      You don’t need a smartphone for BIT Caching. You just need to get the password from the ‘cache’ and then go to the cache listing to log it.

  7. Michael D. Belanger on Facebook

    Peter – what if your ‘dumbphone’ (meaning mine) doesn’t have ‘Net access (that’s how ‘dumb’ – and old – mine is) – that means going all the way back home with the password, logging it in on the listing, then going all the way back out to the next listing, etc., etc., etc.

    1. Cumbyrocks

      Well, that would be a long and round about way of doing things Michael. Like geocaching you would go out, find a bunch (hopefully), then come home and log them all at the same time.

      1. John Tate

        I don’t know how it was in 2011 when you wrote your message but that simply doesn’t work today. You have to scan the code and be within a certain number of feet (it uses the GPS chip to determine this). Yes, this does require a phone but it also keeps the cheaters in check. With geocaching you can log countless finds that you never visited and the owners are highly unlikely to ever check the logs and challenge you. Cheating is much tougher with munzees. You’d have to spoof the coordinates and trick the software. Cheaters are generally too lazy to do that for every single find.

  8. Michael D. Belanger on Facebook

    Ah, as we used to say in the Navy, “Belay my last!”

  9. GSV

    dons Grumpy Ol’ Cacher hat

    A cache is a container of items. A geocache is a container with logbook and items. A waypoint is an object or location to find, no logbook, no items. With me so far?

    Munzees, BITs etc are continuation of the geologging trend started with micros and nanos. Caching as per it’s etymological roots involves the opportunity (not necessarily exercised) of trading items.

    I love the idea of smartphones/QR codes etc but please let’s keep the definitions clear. Squash and tennis are both great games, but the terms are not interchangeable. Nor should they be here.

    Now, time to get into this latest techno-spin!

    1. Cumbyrocks

      Sounds like you need to go and find yourself some caches! 😛

  10. Doc

    Please dont get me wrong, I love geocaching. I have put on or been part of over 260 events, the
    family has over 600 caches and we still cache about every day so the following is not
    bashing caching but just seeing it for how it is……

    Been a cacher for 12 years. After the first year of Munzee i am in love with the idea of no log book
    and the fact you have to scan it for points shows you really went to the waypoint. The idea that you
    get points as the owner is also fantastic. As a munzee placer you get rewarded for growing the game
    and and incentive for keeping up with your deployed munzees. It was brung up in Geocaching
    in 2003 that Owners get a point when someone finds a cache and the finder gets 2 points for
    the find.

    Geocaching has always been a slap in the face to those who have worked had to put out all those
    caches. WHat do I get for replacing my ammo can (For 10 to 15 bucks) when I don’t get rewarded for
    it. It’s cool to have a eunique cache placement in your name but with the power trails that have taken
    over they have gone on the wayside as no one really likes to spend two hours hiking for 1 find when
    they can do a power trail in that same time and get 30 plus finds and not break a sweat.

    I do agree what another poster wrote, Tennis and Squash when talking about Munzee and geocaching. When geocaching was in it’s prime and you where looking for tupperware in
    the woods and not a pill bottle under a light skirt, I think Geocaching was tennis. Today
    I think Munzee is the game of tennis and geocaching is more like Squash.

    Someone also wrote about you have to have a smart phone to play. Well, I go back pre
    geocaching 2000 where I used a 3 dollar compass to find and hide my letterboxes. I
    had to buy a GPS ($199) GPS in 2000 to do geocaching. In summer of 2013 you will
    only be able to buy smart phones as they upgrade the service. Your throw away trax phones
    will be smart phones. This will bring just that many more people to munzee. 87% of the
    U.S. has cell phones today while only 2.70 % own a hand held GPS.

  11. afriars

    I geocache and I also munzee. My young boys really enjoy munzee as the hides are much simpler in many cases. I think each has it place and both are enjoyable, but I am struggling to see what Bitcaching brings to the table that we donèt already have.

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