Yesterday we attended our very first Geocaching Mega event which took place in Salsey Forest, Northamptonshire. It was the annual Halloween Hides and Creepy Caches event and is classified as a mega event as more than 500 people were expected to attend. In the end the organisers reported that over 1000 geocachers actually came along on the day.
With Halloween as the theme the organisers had really gone to town releasing over 60 caches in total for the event with about 40 available at the beginning of the day and the remainder only coming online after dark for added spookiness. Practically every cache type was there including, letterbox hybrids, multis, traditionals, puzzles, virtual and even an earth cache.
We weren’t really sure what to expect as we had never attended one of these events before but it turned out to be a very enjoyable day. A very different caching experience for sure, whereas normally you are being very covert when trying to find geocaches, there was none of that here. The beauty of an event like this is that everyone is here to do the same thing and there is little need for furtiveness. The trees were full of people, young and old, many of them in fancy dress for added spookiness, searching for creepy caches.
The forest itself is a beautiful place and is certainly worthy of a visit in its own right. One of the most spectacular parts was a walkway that slowly rose through the trees until you reached a final viewing platform above the treetops allowing you to look out over the whole of the forest and across the countryside beyond. Despite the intrusion of over a thousand eager cachers the wildlife was still visible at times and Shar and Sam caught sight of a monkjack deer sprinting across the path from one treeline to another.
The cache containers themselves were excellent, they had gone all out to surprise and delight the seekers. Various fake body parts were discovered hiding log sheets and witches and bats and snakes all were found to be concealing the precious logs.
On the whole it was a great day. Muddy at times and we ended up walking quite a long way but it was certainly worth it. We logged 11 caches in the end and met a few people we knew from the Beds Bucks and Herts Facebook group. We logged our first letterbox hybrid cache and also our first ever Mega event cache. We were all thoroughly worn out at the end of the day but vowed that we would definitely go to future megas if they were laid on in the local(ish) vicinity.