OpenCaching Poll Results

Ten days ago, It’s Not About The Numbers repeated the OpenCaching.com poll we ran almost exactly 12 months ago – but with a few extra questions. Now it’s time to announce our latest results!

It’s worth noting that we gave the original poll more time to run due to the Christmas period and there was more interest in the issue back then, so there was a slightly higher response rate. OpenCaching.com also has a small but loyal group of users and it is likely these fans make up a good number of our respondents.  This will no doubt impact our results.

I’ll also add the disclaimer that this survey was not run by professional pollsters, so we already know the results should not be taken as geo-fact. However, they are an interesting snapshot of opinions and therefore still have a level of validity – or so I like to claim. 😉

1. Have you signed up to OpenCaching.com?

Fifty-one per cent signed up to secure their caching handle or take a look around, compared to 70 per cent in our first poll. At first glance, it might seem like fewer people have signed up, however 28 per cent have simply joined up, compared to 15 per cent originally. So the difference in the total number of registrations is nominal (approximately 6 per centage points) but the significant change is the number of players using OpenCaching.com.

So the question from this is did we have more OX users in this latest poll or are more people using OX? To obtain any meaning, you sometimes have to ignore the undefined variables and just accept the numbers (not that it’s all about them). So more people have simply signed up to OX than originally indicated.

2. Now you’re a member of OpenCaching.com, you have …

Double the number of respondents have indicated they have quit GC.com for OX. So the result goes from 2 per cent to 4 per cent. This might seem like OX has gained some ground here, until you notice that the number of people who decided OX was not for them has risen from 65 per cent to 72 per cent. And there’s also a drop in the number of people who say they have retained accounts at both OX and GC from 29 per cent to 19 per cent.

What this says to me is that while more people in Question No 1 indicated they had simply signed up, they are not actually using OpenCaching.

Cecil the Evil Geocaching Monkey

3. Perhaps the most important question … Signal or Opie?

Signal romped away with this one again, just has he did last time, with 46 per cent of the vote, though he did get 59 per cent in the original poll. And Opie has gained some good ground, going from only 4 per cent last time to 11 per cent now. There has also been a rise in the number of people who think both mascots are lame, from 20 per cent up to 26 per cent.

This leaves me wondering whether Signal and Opie are just a little too PC. Maybe what the people want is a mascot more like Cecil the Evil Geocaching Monkey?

4. As a user of OpenCaching.com, I am …

Continuing to sit back and see if any caches are published in the area, according to 79 per cent of you. This is up quite dramatically from 61 per cent in the original poll. There is also a small rise in the number of people listing exclusive OX caches, up from 6 per cent to 11 per cent. Nearly 2 per cent have listed those caches that the pesky GC reviewers declined.

5. How do you feel about OpenCaching.com not having reviewers?

The numbers again show that there is a general unhappiness with OX not having reviewers (in the GC sense). Nearly 70 per cent showed their disapproval, though this is a drop of 10 points from the original poll. Just over 10 per cent are happy, which is similar to the 8 per cent last time. The rest of you simply don’t care.

I wondered last time whether the peer review system would allay the fears of those who said they were unhappy. Despite the 10-point drop, I’d suggest that the peer review system hasn’t allayed those fears.

6. Has the Garmin/OpenCaching.com saga made you re-evaluate what make of GPSr you use?

Given that Garmin make some of the best GPS units I did think in the original poll that the 48 per cent who said they wouldn’t buy Garmin next time wouldn’t be able to stay the course. And they haven’t. Only 23 per cent now claim that they won’t be buying Garmin next time, which is a large drop. But this is still a large number who are significantly dissatisfied with Garmin to look elsewhere. And don’t forget another 11 per cent are yet to decide which way they’ll go, so potentially that is 34 per cent.

Questions 7, 8 and 9 in the poll were new questions we added as OX had now operated for 12 months and there was extra information we wanted to know. A few have suggested that those questions were a little loaded … and they may very well might have been – kjwx wrote them! But in writing this results post I’ve looked at them and don’t consider them any more loaded than the other questions, which I will acknowledge are not perfect nor are they intended to be.

7. Have you ever found an opencache?

Approximately 6 per cent have found an exclusive OX cache. This number was a little higher than I expected given the apparent scarcity of OX caches and it made me wonder whether a rise in the number of OX loyal cachers was a factor. But, as we did above, we will ignore that and point out quite a number of people have found an exclusive OX cache. Another 17 per cent have found an OX cache but only because it was cross-listed from GC.com.

8. Have you ever placed an opencache?

Just over 12 per cent are spreading the OX seed far and wide. I take from this that it’s not just the OX loyal placing OX caches but also a small number of the dual OX/GC users. However, the rest just aren’t bothering or think the logbook would be wet if the cache was open.

9. What is the No 1 improvement you want to see to OpenCaching.com?

What is the No 1 item on every opencacher’s wishlist? You guessed it, 35 per cent want less GC cross-listings and more OX exclusive caches. Another 19 per cent want actual reviewers, 18 per cent want the damn site to just work every once and a while, and 9 per cent want that Signal the Frog fella brought back.

Just over 19 per cent ticked the poll’s Other option and the overwhelming comment here was that they wanted OX to end and for Garmin to work with GC again. I also felt an affinity with the respondent who wrote: “Fewer red-necks lurking in the forums. Keep them on a leash or ban them, OX.”


Not much has changed in the last 12 months really. There seems to have been a little softening toward OX and Garmin, and this was to be expected once people got over the initial drama. But I would be surprised if the results were any different 12 months from now and I do question whether OX cachers are more motivated to participate in the poll than GC cachers, who have largely moved on.

1 comment

  1. pete

    “35% want less GC cross listings and more OX exclusive caches. ”

    The only reason I’d join OX would be if there were a significant amount of unique caches there. However, with cache saturation as it stands, I’d hate to think how adding unique caches onto the same game space would really benefit anyone.

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