No, these aren’t a southern gentleman, a bubbly drink, and the answer to a 1st grade math problem. They’re geocaching statistics challenges!
Popular in the United States, the Jasmer asks geocachers to find one cache hidden in every month since geocaching began in May 2000. As of today, that means finding 172 caches. To give you a sense of the difficulty of this challenge, there are under 150 caches hidden in 2000 still enabled. Geocaching road trip, anyone?
The Fizzy Challenge will test your mental skills, then your physical skills, then both at the same time. The Fizzy Challenge will have you finding a cache for each combination of Difficulty/Terrain rating possible. It’s sometimes referred to as the “Well-Rounded Cacher” and the “81 Grid” because there are 81 possible combinations. If you want to really go above and beyond, you can fill our a Fizzy grid for each cache type. Know of any D5/T5 events?
It shouldn’t be too difficult to figure this challenge out: find one cache on every day of the year! That could mean a 365-day streak, or a careful plotting of geocaching expeditions over the course of many years. In case you’re wondering, the next Leap Day is February 29, 2016.
Not into any of these challenges? Don’t hesitate to think outside the grid. Here’s a challenge: take every one of your family members geocaching. Here’s another challenge: Pick up five pieces of trash each time you go caching. Experiment with the possibilities. Didn’t someone once say, “There’s nothing you can do that can’t be done”?
Editor’s note: Geocaching HQ staff are attending dozens of Mega-Events around the world, shaking hands, sharing stories of adventure, and of course, geocaching. Each person at Geocaching HQ brings their own unique talent to advancing the adventure. Some write code for the website, others design images for the apps, and some shoot videos explaining it all. Justin Dover or dova dov is part of the IT team at Geocaching HQ. This is his Mega-Event experience.
As someone with very little world traveling experience, I was somewhat intimidated when I discovered that I had been selected to attend GC4MEGA Big Äppel. My foreign language is limited to rusty high school spanish and innumerable programming languages that I’ve supported over the years. However, any discomfort I had was quickly put at ease when I started communicating with Robert Fitzsch, my contact and one of the passionate members of the Big Äppel Orga-Team. He reminded me that we all share the common language of geocaching.
Traveling with my wife Hailee, we arrived in Frankfurt on Thursday and had an opportunity to see the old town area known as Alt-Sachsenhausen. It’s a quaint outdoor setting with lots of bars and restaraunts. This would be the first of many times that we were asked if we had tried der Apfelwein (the apple wine). Consumed during all seasons, applewine is an acquired taste not appreciated by all. I found it palatable, but much prefered the local pilsners.
The event was scheduled over two days at Commerze Bank Arena with a conclusion event Sunday aboard The Applewine Express. The main venue was most notably remodeled to support the 2005 FIFA Confederations Cup and the 2006 FIFA World Cup.
Friday night hosted the GC4MEET Meet&Greet. As attendees got a lay of the land and greeted one another, they also had the opportunity to observe two influential geocachers share their craft. Enno Seifried, producer of a film roughly translated as “Stories Behind Forgotten Walls – The Lost Places”, hosted a viewing which detailed the abandoned locations in eastern Germany that host a treasure of extreme caches. Bernhard Hoeker, a comedian, actor and geocaching author, performed a book reading and signing.
The band Dangerous Comfort was scheduled to perform indoors in the VIP area during the event, however, a popular German hard rock band Böhse Onkelz (Evil Uncles) stole the attention with televised public viewing of their reunion concert in the center of the arena. The concert was taking place an hour south at a racetrack in Hockenheimring, but they sold so many tickets that some of the fans were diverted to Commerze Bank Arena for safety reasons. As a result, cachers were treated to a free suite-level show.
Saturday brought lots of activities, with the central geocaching goal of completing the event’s Lab Cache adventure. This incorporated the use of augmented reality, a code emitting wireless access point and deciphering a passphrase on a telephone booth nearby. The Labs series also incorporated published traditional and multi-cache hides to complete the Adventure. This experience was a wonderful example of how Labs provide the geocaching experience in a small area bending traditional rules and only available for a limited time.
When Hailee and I weren’t helping English speaking visitors at the welcome booth, we had an opportunity to walk around to visit with the vendors and presenters. We discovered some unique and clever geocache containers, but we were most impressed with the folks using laser technology to create duplicate low-cost trackables to share. There were also panel discussions and workshops on using GSAK, OpenStreetMaps and Wherigo–as well as a Q&A hosted by yours truly.
Once the event started nearing the end of the day, the excitement for geocaching began to shift toward pride of country. As fans began filing into the area wearing black, red and gold, it became quite clear that Germany was about to play Ghana in the World Cup and the venue was host to another public viewing. Over 30,000 fans came together to watch Germany on what was advertised as the largest canvas.
The event officially culminated on Sunday at the Frankfurt Main Train Station with GC4M3ET Big Äppel Bye Bye. It was a trolley tour around Frankfurt aboard the Applewine Express. We had an opportunity to take in the notable sites around the city while enjoying der Apfelwein one last time.
For our final experience of the visit, Robert and Annika of the Orga-Team arranged a tour of Castle Eppstein and dinner in the surrounding town.
This was a small event for 20 or so cachers entitled GC4M3GA Meet a Lackey. We had an incredible time touring the ruins, learning of the lineage and counting the steps all the way to the top of the tower. Dinner provided the best meal of our visit and a relaxed atmosphere to discuss common interests inside and outside of geocaching. It was a great chance to make new friends and we even learned a new game.
There’s something truly spectacular about our planet earth. This month, the 7 Souvenirs of August (and the Nature Lover Souvenir) encourages you to get in touch with the extraordinary world around you through EarthCaching.
EarthCaching is the magical combination of geocaching and geological discovery. The purpose of an EarthCache is to share information about a particular (and typically jaw-dropping) geological feature. EarthCaches do not contain physical containers like most geocaches. They do, however, carry a piece of geological history that can date back millions and millions of years.
For inspiration, here are 11 stunning EarthCaches around the world:
Imagine walking through a crowd of passionate adventurers and hearing “Travel Bug,” “First to Find” and even a proud, “I love geocaching, a lot, I mean, a lot.” That place exists and August is high time to explore your Mega-Event destiny. A Mega-Event is one of the ultimate gatherings for geocachers. Mega-Events bring together 500 or more geocachers in one location to celebrate our desire for exploration and discovery.
Hey, look at this bookmark list. That’s a list of Mega-Events around the world. Take your pick. You’ll even notice a world’s first. Project MUNICH2014 is the world’s first Giga-Event, an event with more than 5,000 geocachers.
If you’re stateside in August, visit Geocaching HQ in Seattle for the Geocaching Block Party. You’ll meet the team behind Geocaching. From the designers on the website, to the community team to our app developers, we’ll all be at the Geocaching Block Party hoping to meet you.
Events like the Geocaching Block Party and Project MUNICH2014 take place on August 16 for a reason: it’s International Geocaching Day. Whether you’re attending one of the many events that day or just out geocaching on August 16, you will earn a special souvenir for your geocaching profile. And you can remember joining the global geocaching community in a day of caching with this new International Geocaching Day Geocoin. Now, stop reading, and starting planning your Mega-Event adventure!
They’re on the move! The Diary of a Wimpy Kid Trackables are making their way into the hands of geocachers across North America. As the colorful Heffley Family themed tags move from geocache to geocache, you can keep an eye out for them and help the Heffleys find their lost luggage!
Greg, Rodrick, Manny, Mom, and Dad have hit the road, but they’ve lost a few things along the way. Can you help them find what they’re missing?
The Heffleys need your help finding 6,000 Wimpy Kid trackables hidden across North America. Each trackable features an item the Heffleys have lost. When you find a Wimpy Kid trackable, use the code to log it and then keep it moving by putting it in another geocache. Make sure you log it to see how far your trackable goes! When you place it in a geocache, others will have a chance to help the Heffleys, too!
When you find and move (or discover) a Diary of a Wimpy Kid Trackable, you’ll get a cool trackable icon to add to your list of trackables:
What adventures will the Heffleys get into on the road? Find out when Greg Heffley and his family hit the road in author-illustrator Jeff Kinney’s latest installment in the phenomenally bestselling Diary of a Wimpy Kid series. Diary of a Wimpy Kid: The Long Haul arrives in stores on November 4, 2014, and is available for preorder.
Want to make sure you’re the first to know about Wimpy Kid news, games, events, sweepstakes, and more? Sign up for the Wimpy Kid newsletter.
What is Geocaching?
Copyright © 2000-2010 Groundspeak, Inc. All Rights Reserved.
Designated trademarks and brands are the property of their respective owners.