27 Jul 2012

Facebook vs Forums


It was a flying visit for us this year to Piratemania as we had some work booked in for the weekend. We awoke to glorious sunshine which made a change from all the bad weather we had been having. At least we knew the campers would have a better time.

We arrived on site to be greeted by a sea of tents, vans and flags. Most of our time spent there this time was with catching up with old friends. It was great to see The Imp, who we hadn't seen for far too long, plus a nice long chat with Mollyjak who was coping admirably with the registration. Tagged up and put on the red team, it was time to go for a wander.

The Red Team Wrist Band

Walking around the field we spotted a load of flying TB's. The event just gets bigger every year. We finished by having a long chat with Kathy in the UK Geocachers shop and passing on some more collie TB's which she kindly sells for us.

Unfortunately we weren't able to attend the Geolympix event down in Oxford the following day as we had three bookings on the day for work. From all reports though it was another great, well organised event.

Sunday night gave us time to finally book the campsite for the Mega up in Cumbria. We arrive the evening before the main event but there are plenty of side events going on in the days following to keep us occupied. The boys might be coming to join us as well for a few days so we are going to take the boats up as well and get on to some of the lakes.

Whilst we are up there it is International Geocaching Day 2012 so we will hopefully find a local event to go to then, if not we will be sure to grab a cache or two so that we get this years souvenir.

This Years Souvenir


Facebook has certainly changed communication in the last few years, and none more so that the caching community. Whilst there are still some busy forums out there, I can only speak of those that I am a member of, their Facebook equivalents are busier than ever. Some forums seem to be dying a death, with very few people posting on them, whilst Facebook membership continues an upward spiral. One Facebook group that I am a member of has just hit 400 members whilst our own GeM is heading swiftly to 200 members after only 9 months of running. It should certainly have reached that number by the time our first birthday event is held in October.

 Access is so much easier, with more people having the Facebook app on their phones so that posts can be answered immediately, it has certainly made things a lot more open for people to ask questions and get replies when they are out in the field. The groups are a lot more relaxed and friendly as well.

Unless we do a lot of caching in the next couple of weeks to tell you about the next blog won't be until the middle of next month when we get home from Cumbria.

Then there will be a report on the happenings up there and some info on forthcoming events.

In the meantime, keep an eye open for the next edition of the UK Cache Mag, which should be published in the next couple of weeks. I know that Adam has been working hard on getting it all ready to get to you. Talking of Facebook, the mag has a page https://www.facebook.com/ukcachemag

Also, if you haven't listened yet, have a listen to the very entertaining UK Podcache show which is always worth spending a bit of time listening to.

Until next time, happy caching.

14 Jul 2012

Wet Wet Wet

The recent rain has certainly put a dampener on caching for a lot of people. Thank goodness for drive bys a lot of people have said lately. We haven't done much ourselves over the last few weeks. However we have been putting together plans for a new camping event that is going to be held next year.

The Facebook page GeM, see the link above, grows, and gets new people joining all the time. It will be a year old in October and some members are already asking what we are going to do to mark the occasion. It's a closed group, but feel free to ask to join and you can be added as soon as possible. You don't have to be from the Midlands to be a member, we currently have a member from the US and one from Australia.

A new Dragonlady event for the area has just been published. Please feel free to come to that if you are around. All are welcome. http://coord.info/GC3Q89K

Next weekend sees Piratemania and Geolympix mega events take place. Both should be good, let's hope for good weather for both of them.

Sorry it's so brief this time. Just wanted to give everyone a quick update.

2 Jul 2012

Events, Events, Events

Three Events

It has been a week of events around here. It started last Tuesday when our good friends fly2live2fly organised an event over at Burton on Trent. We arrived to be taken to a room where the table was laid for a gathering more akin to a wedding reception than a group of cachers. With white linen tablecloth and napkins we were certainly in our element. The event was a little more distant that the usual Dragonlady events but it gave everyone a chance to meet up with some faces that we don’t normally see. With Kathy from UK Geocachers also there selling her caching goodies it was a good night out with a lot of friendly banter and, of course, caching talk.
Posher than usual

Once the weekend arrived we had the Nottingham weekend events, breakfast on Saturday and then the a picnic event on Sunday. As I have said before the breakfast events get bigger each time. On this occasion we had visitors from the North West, Sheffield and Lincoln as well as our more local cachers. A rather large teddy bear also made an appearance! A head count by the waitress at the end of the event confirmed that 62 breakfasts had been served which isn’t bad going for a morning event. Of those 34 actual logs came in as having attended breakfast, so a lot of cachers went the extra mile and brought family and friends along.

Pete and Tracey from the Podcache Show www.thepodcacheshow.blogspot.com interviewed a couple of attendees so listen out for those on the next episode.

Large Teddy, demands breakfast

Breakfast and chatting over it was time for people to depart and head out for a days caching, or shopping in Nottingham in some cases. The big teddy ended up travelling home with Keith and I.

Come Sunday it was time for the Picnic In The Park event. Keith and I opened the curtains to a bright blue sky and sunshine, it was only 6.00am though! Clouds did gather though as the morning went on so we took a gazebo with us and asked some friends to do the same. As things kicked off at midday there was some cloud but nothing too much to worry about. First to arrive was Stevo185 soon followed by an ever increasing group. Rain did start but it didn’t dampen the atmosphere at all and as everyone dodged the showers by sheltering under cover conversations again turned to caching around different parts of the country.
Rain didn't stop play

 Again we had visitors from all over as well as our local crew. Another appearance by the Teddy who was then passed on to attend another event. Rob and Ian, who cache as Two Anchors, arrived with more caching goodies to sell. Have a look at Rob’s website, lots of interesting cache containers can be found there.  http://www.cache4u.co.uk/ The website is just having an update, so if you can’t get on when you look, bookmark it and go back later.
A group photograph was then on the cards behind the Podcache show banner and then people went off on their separate ways to find more caches. As the afternoon drew to a close the remaining few of us decided to go for an FTF on a cache that had been published the day before.

Group Photo
We knew that the retrieval of the container wasn’t going to be the most straightforward, but we had fun getting it. High Frequency http://coord.info/GC3P3DH as the new cache was called, stated that the cache was done at your own risk and safety equipment was required.

High Frequency ~ MFB Tracker

As the group of us arrived at GZ we could see exactly where the cache was and then the retrieval began. With a plan of action in place the container was actually in our hands quicker than we though. I will leave you to read the logs though.

We don’t have any more events in the pipeline until the end of August when the Summer’s End camp runs, ending with another breakfast event.  Summer’s End is progressing nicely http://coord.info/GC3NC0R with  a new series of caches being placed for it by some of the locals, Paneke and Goose S, whom we are grateful to.

The next lot of events that we are going to be attending are coming thick and fast with:~ 

The North West Mega http://coord.info/GC2X1TM
Then our camping and breakfast events and finally for now
Hyke Around Hykeham http://coord.info/GC3NT2H  

Summer is a great time for the number and variety of outdoor events on offer and a great way of meeting up with cachers from other areas where you can swap ideas and stories.

Finally GeM, the caching group here in the midlands, are just beginning to formulate a plan for a camping event next year which will hopefully see campers attending from different parts of the country as well. That’s in the very early stages of planning but has been an idea that has been mooted on various Facebook pages for a while. More news on that when we know.

Have a good week………and keep smiling, whatever the weather J