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Be A Muscle Mann

 

Geocacher Todd Elliott is challenging you to bulk up – not your muscles but your daily finds rate.

To celebrate his second geo-anniversary, the New Zealander (GC handle: TMANN421) recently placed GC2WZAD The Great Bulk Finding Challenge, a premium member-only mystery hide in his hometown of Waikanae.

In reality, it’s an easy find at the listed co-ordinates but FIRST you must log 30 or more caches daily for six days in a row – and on one of those dates, you must have located at least 40 hides.

Realistically, Elliott knows his goal won’t interest most geocachers.  “However, I wanted to put up a special challenge to mark my two-year anniversary of geocaching. I have worked hard with 3413 finds in my first year and now have an overall total of 5818 finds in two years (from 25/5/09 to 25/5/11).

“I would like to show that this challenge is quite achievable and I have personally done the required bulk finding on nine separate occasions.

“That’s 10 days in a row (you only need 6) – total 470 finds in 10 days or 47 finds on average per day.

“I usually spend at least 12 hours a day on the road geocaching, and try to log finds in the evening. I will often get 10 or more finds in the dark. The day I got 133 caches, I got over 70 of them before daylight by starting geocaching at around 3.30am.”

With my daily find rate at a pitiful 11, and Cumbyrocks doing slightly better on 22, I asked Elliott how we too could become caching heavyweights.

He says the following five points are crucial:

 

  • LOCATION – Your chosen area must have enough available and achievable caches or provide enough caches within a reasonable driving distance. The first day of my challenge example – listed above – was April 30th. I got 35 finds that day and drove 725km from Kapiti (north of Wellington), finishing not far from Pukekohe. The last 10 finds were in the dark and I left Kapiti at 4.00am, so it was a long day.

 

  • PLANNING – You need to set goals and organise your equipment. I like to spend several nights before a trip checking and sorting caches, deciding which multi-caches I will do, setting limits on walking distances, and finding interesting caches I especially want to get.

 

  • VEHICLE – It needs to be reliable and well stocked with supplies. I have a bed, DVD player, TV, good lighting, extra power supplies – to provide 12 volts or 230 volts when parked up for things such as battery charges (camera and GPS), computer power supply, and for my TV and DVD player to give a bit of relaxation time while planning the next day and logging my finds.

 

  • DETERMINATION – This is the most important aspect. You have to do whatever it takes to achieve your goal, regardless of bad weather, poor health or a run of DNFs. Spending days in a row with at least 12 of every 24 hours searching for geocaches requires real dedication. My longest bulk-find trip was 21 days in a row – on 20 days of which I logged more than 30 finds and often over 40. The only day I failed to find 30 caches – due to consistent heavy rain – I still managed 28.

 

  • EQUIPMENT – A good GPS, with good maps, is vital. Ditto: Good torches for early morning starts or night caching; and a mobile internet connection – I feel it is important to log as you go to keep things accurate, as well as to get notifications of new/changed geocaches and maintain some contact with the outside world!

 

OTHER TIPS

  • Start early, finish late.

 

  • Keep plenty of food and drink on hand for consumption as you travel between caches.

 

  • Shop after dark, use daylight for geocaching.

 

  • Keep a notebook to record each find as well as comments that will refresh your memory when it comes to logging online.

 

  • Set up a notification for the area in which you plan to geocache, thereby alerting you to disabled or archived hides. Also set it to show newly published caches.

 

  • Always expect DNFs (probably between two and six a day).

 

  • Mix it up, each day do a few multi-caches and some walks to make your outings more interesting.

 

  • Don’t forget to enjoy the find, the search and the area you’re in – otherwise, why are you doing this?

“Now it’s up to you … it can be done easily enough, just make the time and get out there and do it!”

* Wellington geocachers take note: Elliott has two more challenge caches ready to be published, which he describes as “interesting and different from any other challenge listed anywhere!” You have been warned.

8 comments

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  1. robnzh

    I am a bit concerned about some of the challenges that have come out. Obviously Mr Mann is well equipped and has the time and money to do this stuff. But some of the challenges are probably tempting people to spend more time caching than they should (well all of us probably do anyway lol) but for example the one which requires you to find a cache every day of the year may encourage people to neglect other priorities including family.
    There is the risk with the one under discussion here that some people less well organised and set up than Mr Mann may take risks to get those extra caches in a day such as ending up in the bush etc after dark when not properly prepared to do so just to knock off the last cache(s).

    1. Cumbyrocks

      I’m also slightly concerned at some of the challenge caches that have come out but mostly because I have no chance of completing them and I hate to leave caches unfound!

      As Todd rightly points out this type of caching is not for everyone. That is in the same way that extreme caching (where you have to cave crawl or abseil to get a cache, is not for everyone. I’d even go so far as to suggest there are distinctly urban cachers and bush cachers who rarely venture into the others domain because it’s not their cup of tea. Ultimately it’s personal choice as to how much time and how people cache – just because a challenge is there doesn’t mean you have to do it. My mother used to constantly tell kjwx and I “if someone told you to jump off a bridge would you?”. The same applies here.

      As for the potential risks in any caching outing I firmly subscribe to the ‘personal responsibility’ belief. If there are significant and foreseeable dangers in attempting a cache then there should certainly be warnings (such as weather can change rapidly in mountainous regions warnings). However, we can’t go about warning for all possible dangers as the list would be endless and cachers common-sense and…here it is again…personal responsibility has to come into somewhere.

  2. philip

    when is to much – this seems a bit over the top – i like a good hunt but wow so commited it like a drug ( do you work and is there a payed job as a trained cacher

    1. Cumbyrocks

      You can never have too much! And hands off – that first job as a paid cacher will be my precious… 😀

      1. kjwx

        You’re kidding yourself, Cumbyrocks … As I’m the eldest that job’s mine.

        1. Cumbyrocks

          I’m sorry kjwx, but age does NOT come before beauty in this case. And as the future world record holder for caching finds with a three year old in one day I feel I am more qualified for the role!

  3. Hubert

    I like to cache too but this is extreme, I simply haven’t that much time. Wow, 133 caches in a single day, are they piled up over there? I do about 10 traditionals & Multi’s a week but I just started geocaching, so I mainly hunt in my neighbourhood. When I have found all of them I have to travel more and take on the more difficult ones then my numbers are gonna drop down for sure. That doesn’t matter, I have limited time to cache so I spend my time well., doing what I like, hunt for caches!

  4. Aranea

    WOW….High 5 to you!
    Good on you!

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