A summary of our experience at the 2014 UK Kent Mega Event…
Way back in November we were out geocaching somewhere in Surrey and inside one of the geocaches that day we came across a little card inscribed with the words ‘Kent Mega Event 2014’. On the back of the card was a link to the website and as soon as we returned home I typed in the website address and started getting excited. 🙂
Having family over in Kent who are also keen Geocacher’s helped in our decision to attend the event, and after a couple of emails between some of my other Geocaching relatives up in Ipswich and also my Mum and bro up in Mansfield we started formulating a plan to attend the whole event from Friday 2nd to Monday 5th May.
We considered the option of camping at the event itself, located at the lovely Hop Farm, but we were offered camping space in my Aunt’s back garden over near Staplehurst which was about a thirty minute drive to Hop Farm, which sounded a little more appealing, and so by the Friday afternoon we had everything packed and ready to go…
Friday at the Kent Mega Event 2014…
Arriving on the Friday meant we had time to attend the first Geocaching event of the weekend, the ‘welcome drinks’…Mum and bro had made it down early enough to tag along and my Mum, newly armed with her Geocaching handle (which I set up for her a few days before), was excited to see what was going to happen over the weekend. The pub for the meet was rammed with Geocacher’s and reminded me of being back in the Guides on an International camp, with people from all over the world in attendance. Many of which we would bump into a fair few times throughout the course of the weekend.
It was really great meeting so many like-minded people and everyone was in really good spirits, swapping stories, taking photos and of course signing the log book!
There was a lot of information to take in about what was going to be happening over the course of the event, but it was the posters about the series of ‘lab caches’ that caught our eyes first…
Lab caches are an experimental cache type set up by Geocaching HQ, more on that later, but the idea is that once you’ve found one there will be a code hidden on, or near it, which you will need to put into the lab cache website to claim it as a find.
After looking at the coordinates on the posters I’d worked out that the series of lab caches were all bunched quite closely together which meant that they, hopefully, wouldn’t take too long to find. However there was one lab cache hidden at the Welcome Drinks event on the Kent Mega welcome board which contained everyone who was attending the Mega Event’s handle…! Not an easy task looking for a code on a double sided board full of unusual names!
After a fruitless search with many other Geocacher’s we decided instead to look for our own Geocaching names, my brother managed to find all of them very quickly despite the fact that I was sure I’d looked all over for them!
We met and chatted to a few of the other cacher’s whilst we were studying the board and eventually word spread that the code wasn’t a set of numbers, which we’d all initially thought, but a word…armed with the new information it didn’t take too long to find it and despite having a very slow internet connection I eventually managed to log our first lab cache find!
As we were about to leave the event, we couldn’t help but notice that the pub car park was full of Geocacher’s cars, with their own trackable’s and specialised number plates, it took quite a while to head back our own car as I was busy jotting down all of the numbers to log them as ‘discovered’ when we got home. Here’s just one example below. I’ve obscured the number plate and trackable numbers for obvious reasons!
Finally we got back to our cars and Mum led the way to my Aunt’s through the wilderness of Kent’s lovely countryside!
We arrived in good time and as it was still light out MrBizkitz and I set about putting up the tent which thankfully didn’t take too long as we’re seasoned pro’s 😉 We’d also bought some ale’s with us as a thank you present for my Aunt and Uncle for putting us up…or putting up with us whichever way you look at it 😉 They were quite an apt choice having just come back from our Geocaching trip along the Hog’s Back series…and so we settled in for the night in the company of my family before our first full day at the Mega Event.
Head to page 2 for Saturday!