The Halloween MEGA 2013


After the huge success of the “Halloween Hides and Creepy Caches” event going MEGA last year, the organisers arranged arranged yet another spooky Halloween MEGA event for this year. I headed to Salcey Forest with Andy750x to meet up with many of our caching friends for a day of Creepy caching!

After registering with “The Fuzzy Bears” at the main centre we were able to grab the list of cache hides for the event. We teamed up with mel-ray, stones2005 and Helennbrian. Thankfully Mr. Stones2005 had brought his laptop along so were were able to quickly download the caches rather than manually type in all of the waypoints!

Welcome to the Halloween Mega!

Welcome to the Halloween Mega!

Read the rest of this entry »

A true caching adventure in The Lake District


For the Bank holiday weekend myself and Andy750x decided to head up to The Lake District and have a bit of an adventure concentrating on some quality caching with caves, boating, and wild swimming on the agenda! I’d left booking the campsite a bit late and everything central was fully booked apart from one campsite, Sykeside. It turned out to be an excellent choice however as the facilities were brilliant and it’s definitely a campsite we would recommend for anyone planning on heading out that way.

Treasure Island

We arrived extremely early and after pitching the tent headed off for a little explore around some local caches which I’d ear marked. I thought it’d be best to start as we meant to go on with a true adventure and a cache called Treasure Island which was just north of the campsite and a very rare terrain/difficulty rating: 1d/5t. The cache is hidden on a little island on Ullswater. Now, you COULD get a boat and paddle to the island. Or you could swim to it. Those who read my blog entry about our adventure kayaking on the River Nene know that me and water don’t go together! I was so annoyed at myself that at my age I still couldn’t swim that towards the end of last year I took some group swimming lessons and actually learned. I followed that with some practice and was soon confident. I’d measured the distance to “Treasure Island” from the shore as being about 200ft and reckoned I would make it. It was a 1.5 mile walk to the shore opposite the island which was beautiful and very scenic, however our route down the bank to it included navigating some ferns, gorse bushes, and brambles, but we got there in the end.

Looking down on treasure island (The island closest)

Looking down on treasure island (The island closest)

Read the rest of this entry »

UK MEGA Event 2013 (West Midlands)


After unpegging the tents we headed off on Monday 29th July slightly east from PirateMania to prepare for the UK MEGA. We were staying for the whole week with most of the Team Essex crew who also attended PirateMania so that we could attend all of the side events as well as the main event.

Monday

As we couldn’t pitch up on the campsite until 4pm we all headed off to the first side event, Let’s Go Fly a Kite at Burton Dassett Hills Country Park. The country park is a very popular destination for kite flyers and there were many geocachers up on the hills having a go. I had bought a £2 rubbish kite to fly for the occasion and after SirCache1 kindly got it up in the air for me (On the first go as well!) I was able to fit in well with the rest of the attendees!

Lots of cachers and kite flyers

Lots of cachers and kite flyers

Read the rest of this entry »

MEGA PirateMania 2013!!!


And so it was time again for the PirateMania MEGA event in the UK. This time around it was based in Stratford-Upon-Avon on Saturday 27th July 2013 which was just a short distance from the location of the annual UK MEGA event being held the following weekend. PirateMania is all about having fun, dressing up, having a drink and having a laugh. There are some geocaches thrown in for good measure too! ;) I arrived on the Friday afternoon with our Team Essex shipmates: Andy750x, Infinson, Fincache, Sircache1, Tot66, PeCeH, Kris&Co, Yorkie63, MummaD, Natlie92, HollynCharlie, Helennbrian, Doggywalker and Stones2005. We were also joined by BigBadJohn1402 the following morning making a group of 31 of us! We set up camp in a large area making a circle so as to have a communal area in the middle for the kids and adults to play! :-)

The main Piratemania campsite

The main Piratemania campsite

Read the rest of this entry »

10 things you didn’t know about Geocaching.com


Ok, Ok, so you probably do know some of these things but I thought it was a good title for the blog. ;) I thought I’d put an entry together about all of the cool little things I’ve learned after using the site for a good few years. Hopefully someone will learn something from this…

1. You can add dynamically updating stats to your geocaching.com profile

Thanks to Groundspeak giving access to the Live API to developers we now have project-gc. This site allows you to get up to date statistics about geocaches as well as your Geocaching statistics. In the past you would have to use GSAK to manually generate your stats and copy and paste the html code to your profile page on a regular basis to keep up to date. Thanks to Project-GC we can now just paste the code in once and it will automatically update itself!!!

To do this, visit the Profile stats page of the site and click ‘Create dynamic image HTML code‘. You will be instantly given the link to add your stats to your profile. Simply paste it in and you’re up to date! :)

Part of the profile stats that will appear on your Geocaching profile page

Part of the profile stats that will appear on your Geocaching profile page

Read the rest of this entry »

Garmin Oregon 600 Review


Garmin have recently released their Oregon 6xx series of GPS. In the range are the 600, 600t, 650, and 650t. The ‘t’ models include “Full European Recreational mapping 1:100K”. The 650 units include a rechargeable NiMH battery pack (this can be purchased separately for the 600 for under £20), an 8MP geotagging camera, a torch, and a larger storage capacity. The devices are currently retailing at between £370 and £500, depending on the model and whether you add 50k OS maps to your purchase. I took a look at an Oregon 600 with 50k OS maps to see if it was a worthwhile upgrade…

First impressions

The Garmin Oregon 600t

The Garmin Oregon 600t

My first impression of the device was that the screen seemed smaller than the Oregon 450 that I’ve used. In fact the screen size is the same (3″ / 240 x 400 pixels). Whereas previous Oregons have the protective raised plastic around the edge of the screen the new version is completely flat with the glass of the screen extending to the edges. This does make the device appear to look more modern and phone-like, however means that the screen isn’t as protected around the edges and gives the illusion that the screen is smaller than it is. It also seems a bit of a waste as it’d be more desirable if the screen filled this vacant space. The glass used on the screen is however “chemically enhanced” meaning that it should be more scratch resistant and durable and therefore doesn’t need that added ridge. Check out this YouTube video where they throw it on concrete and hit it with a hammer and it still doesn’t break!!!

Read the rest of this entry »

A few nice caches in Derbyshire/Nottinghamshire


After our trip to Yorkshire for the week we spent a couple of days around Nottinghamshire/Derbyshire. Our caching friends had always raved about the Alphabet Soup series and the favourite points all over the caches speak for themselves! So on the way back from Yorkshire we stopped off to do the series.

On the way down the M1 we couldn’t help but notice a massive old house and wondered what it was. A quick look on the GPS revealed Sutton Scarsdale Hall, a ruined 18th century manor which was free to visit (Thanks to finding ‘The ruin of me’ (GC28657) cache on the GPS so we reprogrammed the Satnav and headed there first.

The room layout in Scarsdale Hall

The room layout in Scarsdale Hall

Read the rest of this entry »

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 517 other followers