How to find a 100 Geocaches in a day!

How we found 100 geocaches in a day on the ‘CCC’ series!

 

Firstly I should really say that we failed in our first attempt to find 100 geocaches in a day! 🙁

Our plan had been to complete the Chiltern 100 series and despite lots of forward planning our attempt went hideously wrong when the day we’d pencilled in turned out to be on the same day that the tail end of Hurricane Bertha was going to hit the UK.

Hurricane Bertha-flickrz

“Hurricane Bertha – 8.4.14” © 2014 Cayobo.

The Chiltern 100 debacle; battling the hurricane…

At 5 in the morning when we arrived in the Chiltern’s everything looked ok and we thought ‘meh, how bad can this storm be?’ …How wrong were we?!

About an hour into the walk we were being pelted by rain from all directions. Normally we wouldn’t be too fussed by a bit of rain but we’d agreed with the CO to do a maintenance run on some of the caches which meant that we were carrying a fair bit of paperwork relating to all of the caches that needed some TLC. It soon became apparent that keeping all of this paperwork dry was going to be nigh on impossible

Chiltern 100 prep!

Chiltern 100 prep!

By around 8.30 in the morning we were thoroughly drenched, our walking boots were soaked through and we were both starting to get blisters, with approximately 20 miles still to walk we opted to call it a day…

The Chiltern 100 had us well and truly beaten.

Finding caches in torrential rain and strong wind is difficult at the best of times but when you’re struggling to keep paperwork, a GPS, boots, new cache containers and logbooks dry, despite having waterproofs on, it inevitably becomes impossible….but we had a good time giving it a go! 🙂

One of the main reasons for giving up had been our high number of DNF’s early on, this was, of course, our fault but it probably wasn’t helped by the weather. Occasionally our GPS wouldn’t settle and we’d be hopelessly squelching around trying to find a cache but we’d, unfortunately, just be coming up empty handed each time. Knowing that to get through that amount of caches in a day we couldn’t spend long at each cache point and so we decided to just keep pushing on.

This meant that by the end of our first loop there was no way that we could complete the 100 caches in a day with the ones that we had loaded onto our phones. It seemed like such a shame to give up, especially as we’d intended to help the CO out by doing some maintenance on the caches. However, given the conditions on the day I think it ended up being the most sensible decision…as Theodore Roosevelt once said, “It is hard to fail, but it is worse never to have tried to succeed”. We definitely gave it a go and this first failed attempt made us even more determined to succeed on our second occasion on the #CCC trail in Dorset!

Our successful second attempt in Dorset…

CCC 100 smileys

CCC 100 smiley’s!

We had a holiday booked in Dorset with my Mum and Bro but we couldn’t access our lodge for the week until 4pm on the Saturday. It being September meant that this was one of our last windows of opportunity to find 100 in a day before the nights turned in and our chance left us for another year. MrBizkitz was keen on the idea and so we both scanned the map for somewhere in between Surrey and Dorset for our little ‘mzadventure’!

We didn’t want to be too far from either our leaving point or our destination and with about an hour in between both places we settled on the CCC circuit, starting at #01 CCC – Cranborne, which actually worked out to be exactly the right choice. 🙂

CCC Cranborne

CCC Cranborne

CCC stands for Cranborne Chase Circular and starts in, yup you guessed it, Cranborne. We were parked up and ready to go at 8am, the weather was auspiciously good which helped settle any doubts we had for the walk (our thoughts were still a little marred by our previous failed attempt) and we ended up finding all of the caches with ease. The hints were fantastic all the way through and the coords were spot on too. Not having to battle against the elements actually meant that it was a really pleasant walk, albeit a power walk. We managed to finish the CCC part of the 100 by 4pm which we thought was fairly good going for a 15 mile walk although that did include a cheeky swift one and a game of cards in the Sheaf of Arrows at the end too! 🙂

CCC cows

Gentle cows enjoying the lush grass…

We wanted to make sure that we’d definitely found 100 and so we ended up tagging a couple more from a nearby circuit on the end too and so by 5pm we were well and truly finished with 103 caches!

Tasty looking berries but not for human consumption...

Tasty looking berries but not for human consumption…

Our favourite from the CCC had to be the tree climb at #22 but they were all varied and interesting and managed to keep us entertained, which was exactly what we needed on the hill that we hit around 2pm!

CCC tree climb

Monkeying around…

It’s somewhat miraculous that a group of cacher’s can help to keep a circuit so large going and it was nice to hear some congratulatory reply’s from the CO’s when we wrote up our log of the event on the cache page! 🙂

My inevitable change of socks...

Finding somewhere for my inevitable change of socks…

I really recommend this circuit, we had a great day, the views were lovely and there were only a couple of roads to navigate, there’s also plenty of scope if you want to tackle this route in sections instead of doing it all in one go but, if you do I’ll leave you with a few of my tips for finding a 100 geocaches in a day…

Geodistance CCC trail...

Geodistance CCC trail…

Tips for finding 100 geocaches in a day…
  • Pick a day with good weather…if the weather is bad you’ll no doubt end up either giving up, or worse, not enjoying it! Remember caching is supposed to be fun, a break from the norm, a chance to appreciate your surroundings, not a stressful, painful or unpleasant experience!
  • Have extra caches loaded onto your device. Remember you might end up with DNF’s.
  • Plan it. Sounds simple but read all of the logs on your chosen caches. Are there a few missing? Have people struggled to find the caches? Write a list of the trickier ones with some extra hints from previous logs. This actually helped us on the Chiltern 100 series, less so on the CCC trail as the caches were quite easy finds and no one had had too many problems.
  • Take a spare pair of socks with you.
  • Take blister plasters with you and use them as soon as you feel a blister coming, it’s only going to get worse.
  • Take lots of water and snacks, they’ve gotta be good snacks too. None of that healthy nonsense!
  • Spare batteries…and don’t forget to fully charge everything you’ll need.
  • Spare pens and pre-signed logbooks.
  • Trust your cacher’s instinct and look for tell-tale cacher’s paths.
  • We opted to have one person signing the log book whilst the other went on ahead to start looking for the next cache. This can get tiring and a little lonely between two of you though so I’d only recommend this if you’re struggling for time.
  • And most importantly; Remember your sense of humour, you’re gonna need it!!

Good luck if you’ve decided that you’re going to attempt the 100 in a day, I hope that some of these tips can help you succeed on your mission! 🙂

Let me know if you’ve had any successes, or failures, in attempting to do this ‘gruelling challenge’…and if you have achieved finding your 100 whether there’s anything that you can add to the list of tips!!

Happy caching! 🙂

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