Seeing as we only started geocaching in 2013, a review of the year is in effect a potted history of all our caching adventures to date. Rather than recount stories that have already been told elsewhere in this blog I thought it might be better to try and select some highlights from the year.
Because we only started caching last year, we have racked up quite a few “firsts” and milestones in 2013. Our first ever find was a 35mm film pot just round the corner from where we live in Watford and we managed to lay our hands on it on June 6th. That was a traditional cache and throughout the year we would go on to find Multi, Earth, letterbox and Puzzle caches as well. In addition we attended both our first geocaching event in August and then a mega, The Halloween Hides and Creepy Caches event, in October. We achieved the 1, 10, 50, 100, 200 and 300 find milestones and came within a gnat’s wing of hitting the 400 cache milestone ending the year, as we did, with a find count of 397.
This was one of the first series that we attempted and it took us a couple of visits to finally finish it but it was well worth it. A fascinating walk around North Bushey and parts of Watford with caches placed carefully and thoughtfully along the way. With the cache descriptions full of fascinating information about the area and how it used to be years ago we felt really captivated by this adventure and were sad when we came to the end of the series.
The British Library Multi
We are lucky enough to live close enough to London to visit all it has to offer at the same time as being just a stone’s throw away from rolling countryside. On the recommendation of a number of people we headed into the big smoke in October to attempt the multi cache located in the British Library. It was a real pleasure to explore the building in order to collect the required information and I would certainly pass on the recommendations of others as a must-do cache in London. The numerous favourite points it has are well earned and the final hiding place is a stroke of genius ensuring that this is one enormous cache that will never get muggled. Blog article… The British Library Multi
Stubbings Wood – Tring
Our favourite backdrop for caching is definitely the woods and the Stubbings Wood series we did in Tring this year was one of our favourite ones. A lovely walk through interesting woods with caches well thought out and very well maintained and to cap it all off an Ammo can as the bonus. I would thoroughly recommend this series.Blog article… Stubbings Wood – Do bogeys smell of fish?
Visiting this extremely picturesque location in Buckinghamshire was a definite caching highlight of the year for so many reasons. In one swoop we picked up a multi cache and earth cache as well as a good number of traditionals most of which were fabulous regular sized containers. To go along with the fantastic views of the surrounding countryside, this location is home to the oldest geocache in England which we were delighted to discover was an ammo can, the first one we had ever found. All things considered this made for one of our most enjoyable family caching days of the year. Blog Article… Geocaching History on Coombe Hill
Halloween Hides and Creepy Caches Mega event
This was our first experience of geocaching with other people on a large scale. Tromping through the forest with close to 1000 other cachers was a lot of fun and an entirely different experience than we are used to. No need to be covert or furtive when everyone else in the vicinity is doing the same thing as you. We got to meet more new people whilst doing this event and got a glimpse at the scale of the community that we have gotten ourselves involved with. The creativity of the caches was exceptional and despite quite a bit of mud it was a fantastic day.Blog Article… Halloween Hides and Creepy Caches
RFC1149 – Up a tree
This year we have challenged ourselves in lots of ways. We have crossed streams where before we would not have dared, we have hacked through chest high nettles, scrambled up 45 degree slopes and climbed trees, all in the name of geocaching. One of these challenges in particular stands out as a highlight of the year for a couple of reasons. RFC1149 is, for starters, quite a tricky little puzzle cache that I finally took pleasure in solving but doubted whether I would get the chance to sign the log as it involved a rather difficult tree climb. Not only did I get the chance to log this cache as found, but I was the one that climbed the tree whilst our new caching friends, Smokeypugs, looked on with a mixture of astonishment and concern. It’s no “North face of the Eiger” and would not rank as an extreme cache but these things are all relative, and considering my blindness, I am pretty dam proud of that retrieve.Blog article… Smokey and the Tree
Hiding our first caches
From the very first time I heard about geocaching, my mind had already started to grind away considering what I would do if I were to hide my own cache. With quite a lot of planning and loads of help from the family I realised my goal of placing a small series of geocaches this year. I have learnt so much through the process of hiding them and have been very pleased with the feedback from the community. The excitement on placing caches was very intense and you feel quite euphoric when you receive notification that it has been found. We are already planning further hides for 2014.See Blog articles about our caches
We have made mistakes this year as geocachers. Some were silly and had little or no consequences and one or two left us feeling scared, frustrated and a little foolish at how ill prepared we were at times. We have learned a lot throughout the year about being organised and taking precautions when out caching. It is essential to carry lots of water, to make a note of where you leave the car, to have spare batteries or a means of charging your phone out in the field, to carry lots of pens and bite and sting cream… and many other things too. These are just a few of the valuable lessons we have learnt and have vowed to bear in mind for future adventures.Blog entry… Learning Lessons in Bovingdon
Making New Friends
Geocaching as brought along with it the opportunities to make new friends this year. As well as bumping into the occasional geocacher whilst out and about including meeting Bones1, who is one of the most prolific and well known geocaches in the area, in our first month. We have also made lots of new friends, too many to list, through the Beds, Bucks and Herts Facebook group and got to meet many of them at an event we attended in Harpenden during August. Through BBH and also because they were first to find on 5 out of 6 of our own caches we have made some new friends in Geoff and Melissa and their loveable pug dog Smokey and look forward to sharing more caching adventures with team Smokeypugs in 2014 .Blog article… meeting other geocachers & Blog article… Smokey and the Tree