Battling mud, ghouls and demons at the UK Halloween Mega Event 2014…
We’d been looking forward to this Geocaching Mega Event for quite some time. I’d seen a few photo’s from previous events and knew that due to its successes it was expanding year on year and so when the time came it didn’t take too long to persuade the troops to come and give it a go with us! 2014 would be our year! 🙂
The event was held in Wakerley Great Wood, after a last minute change of venue from Fineshade Wood across the road, and I think the team did a fantastic job rearranging everything for everyone, so hats off to them! 🙂
We’d have liked to have made it for the whole event but work commitments and difficulties organising sleeping arrangements meant that we could only attend for the main day, the Saturday, which meant that we could do the night caches that we’d heard so much about!
Part of what makes Geocaching so much fun is the enthusiasm of other Geoacher’s and so meeting up with a lot of likeminded people for a day in the woods always leads to a good time and this event was no exception!
Our Geocaching team…
Joining us for the day, intermittently, were Swizzletop, ginger007, platypus142 and Box Teddies. We would have been with them for more of the day but I’d had to wait for my costume to dry before adding some final touches to it in the morning and so we didn’t manage to get out the house until 10am! 🙁
We eventually landed in the car park at around 12.45 and started the main ‘day caches‘ at around 1am, once we’d got our heads around the map that is! We couldn’t seem to load any of the caches onto our phones, despite there being a seemingly decent internet connection available on site. So after a few minutes of trying we decided to just give up and use a combination of the live map on the c:geo app and follow my leader to find the caches. It was a method that thankfully proved to be quite effective. 🙂
We were glad to be wearing wellies as some stages of the walk were very muddy, but looking back we might have faired better with walking boots and gaiters as we hadn’t realised quite how spread out the caches were going to be! I managed to sprain my hip quite early on, but it wasn’t anything too serious so I was able to keep going, albeit slightly more uncomfortably than I would have liked!
After managing to get hold of my brother (half of Swizzletop) on the phone he told us that the rest of the gang had taken a slight detour from the main caches to have a look around the small village of Laxton and so we walked in that direction picking up caches along the way in the hope of catching up with them eventually.
Cache containers and favourites…
I was impressed with the variety of cache containers and it’s clear that the HH&CC team had put a lot of thought (and no doubt cash) into them. We also enjoyed the names for the caches, which obviously related to all things spooky. ‘Eye Scream Sundae‘ and ‘Pharaoh ’nuff‘ were probably our favourites by name!
We awarded our favourite points to ‘Toot and come in.‘, ‘I want my Mummy!‘ and ‘Deady Bears Picnic‘ though as we thought these had the best containers. It was so hard to pick when they were all fantastic though!
Eventually we finally found the gang at ‘juju‘ but we were going in opposite directions so had to catch up with them all again later on!!
The trail wasn’t in a circular route to avoid everyone walking in the same direction around the caches which made it a little more interesting although there was a lot of to-ing and fro-ing going on between certain areas.
Just before we bumped into the gang we’d taken the wrong route out of the woods and ended up on someone’s private land, luckily he took it all in good ‘spooky’ spirits and pointed us in the right direction and we were soon back in the woods!
That was our only real slip up of the day though but we were sad not to make it around all of the caches. There just wasn’t enough time by the time we got there to do everything and having spent a week making my costume I wanted to get into my robes!
Unfortunately by the time we got back to the tent I was too late for the costume competition but there were some really fantastic ones out there so I doubt I’d have stood a chance but it would’ve been nice to be able to get into the tent to have a look at some of the others. I’m glad I bumped into ‘Geo Paul‘ and ‘Mr Matto‘ and saw their costumes though and I think they were my favourites of the evening, except for the two zombies we’d seen walking around earlier in the day…maybe they weren’t even Geocachers because I never saw them again…who knows…oh and also these two!
The night caches were great fun but in the rush to get ready for the costume competition, that we missed, I forgot to pick up the spare batteries for our phones and so we were running out of battery life to get around them all.
In fact when we were at our furthest point we only had my brother’s GPS still going and even that wasn’t playing ball! In the end we had to give up having only found eight of them!
It was with heavy hearts that we had to make our way back but it might’ve ended up being a little dangerous carrying on without any way of getting back as we’d already found ourselves lost a couple of times! It’s quite disorientating caching at night at the best of times but we were all fairly tired from the day’s shenanigans and I think we were all happy to leave on the best one of the day which was ‘MEGA HERTZ‘
Overall we had a great day despite our technology letting us down a bit. I’m sure, had we been there all day then we would’ve got around all of the caches, and one thing we’ll do for next time is take our gaiters and walking boots instead of wellies. We estimated that we’d walked around 10 miles, which included the trips to the car, and walking that distance in wellies is never much fun. I wished we’d had a bit more time to log some of the TB’s but I feel as though we fitted in as much as we could in the time that we had.
I’d definitely recommend this event if you want something a little different and like meeting like-minded people. I’d also suggest getting there as early as possible and if you can make it for the whole event then definitely do, we were disappointed not to be there for the CITO the following day but I’m assured there was a good turn out which is nice. 🙂
MrBizkitz and I would like to extend our thanks to the people who put so much time into organising this great event. Everyone we spoke to had a fantastic time and it wouldn’t have happened without your hard work and dedication to the cause so THANK YOU!
Did you attend this year’s Geocaching Halloween Mega Event? What were your favourite Geocaches of the day? Let me know in the comments below!
Until next year folks…
To see what we got up to last Halloween check out the ‘How to survive a Horror Hike…‘ post!