FAD 2017

9 11 2017

A Mega event just an hours drive away from home is not something you can miss! Together with Madchicken and Ironhawk67 I drove down to Uppsala on Saturday morning and found a free parking spot close to Studenternas. We had only one thing on our agenda and that was to visit FAD and find the lab caches. Everything else would be a bonus. It may seem strange but this is the first Mega event that any of us had been to and in my case I have been geocaching for more than fourteen years. Not having visited a Mega event meant that I had not found any lab caches either. That gave us a feeling of great expectations!

FAD isn’t just a Mega event either. FAD means Fumble After Dark and is an event that started many years ago in the west of Sweden and has grown in popularity and status with time. It has also had different venues. As the name suggests we were to expect night caches of various types and we weren’t disappointed. We passed the event location on our way to the car park just as the doors were opening and there were just a few people standing in line to go in. By the time we had parked the car and walked back the queue had grown in length so we decided to dive right into the day’s lab caches. The starting point was just a few meters from the entrance to the hall.

Queueing for entry to FAD

There were ten lab caches that could be found here. Finding them involved watching videos then answering various questions at chosen places. A bit like a multicache but without known coordinates. As each cache was solved the key unlocked the next in the series. Three of the caches had a TB code as the answer and were loggable as TB’s

After the lab caches we returned to the event hall. checked in and spent some time wandering around, visiting the well stocked tables of geo merchandise as well finding the lab cache Cubes and grabbing a “fika”.

Lots of geogoodies were on sale

A really good organisation for handling TB’s

We decided to try the nearby Wherigo Pelle Svanslös which was great fun and took us to new places. Well actually, I had been to the same spots previously but now saw them in a different light. Much more interesting

Pelle Svanslös behind the window

As we had no agenda for the day we didn’t feel any pressure to rush around just to get find numbers. Somewhere along the route I mentioned that we had the opportunity to try to get as many different cache types as possible in the day. A quick count told us that we could find a Mega event, Trad, Multi, Myst, Earthcache, Virtual, Letterbox Hybrid on top of the Whereigo bringing us to eight different types. It was agreed that we would try for this. We had already found a Trad on our way around the Lab cache trail Uppsala Slott in addition to two of the new Virtuals, Uppsala Slott

ds8300 blocking the view of the cathedral

Uppsala cathedral where there is an earthcache

and Gustavianum – Virtual Reward

Is the globe that small?

as well as the earthcache Minerals In The Cathedral

What we now needed were a Myst, Multi and Letterbox Hybrid. As Madchicken and I were looking for Multis and Letterbox hybrids Ironhawk67 calmly announced he had just solved a nearby myst. Yes! As the final coords for Lättare än Gormare were a fair distance away we decided that as it was lunchtime that we would drive over to the cache then eat nearby before finding suitable multis and letterboxes. We found a convenient pizzeria in Flogsta. It was then I remembered that I had scouted out letterbox caches earlier on in the week and that there was an easily accessible one not too far away. As darkness started to fall we arrived at Vernisage where we duly left our artisitc creations in the logbook.

Part of the Vernisage

Once that was done we headed back to Studenternas och parked the car in more or less the same place we had picked it up an hour or so ealier. The multi we decided to look for was an obvious choice as it started at FAD headquarters. Svandammhallarna lead us on a short hike but as the time was nearly 5 pm and we wanted to get our coordinates for the night lab caches we broke off and returned to the hall until 6 pm.

Loading the GPS was a painless process even if it wasn’t really relevant for the lab caches. It did make it very easy to know exactly where to go. I tried to download the info to my iPhone but as I don’t often use it for geocaching I am not familiar with the process. Luckily my friends had it covered. We finished off the multi then headed down to Stadsträdgården for the first five of the lab caches.

The caches were all reasonably close to the event HQ, but after the event they will be moved to other areas and be converted into multicaches. Anyway, this was our playground for the evening.

The FAD 2017 playground

The lab caches for the evening can be found here.

Again the name Pelle Svanslös turned up and was the theme for the caches. They weren’t really night caches but child and wheelchair friendly. When we started on the next series, Carl von Linné, which were located around Uppsala castle one night cache turned up but it was first when we reached the forest some way beyond the hospital that the real night caches appeared. The lab caches in both the Niklas Zennströn and the Anders Celsius series were really creative and in a couple of cases quite difficult. Nontheless we were able to unlock the finals, which were bird boxes locked with a code lock. The code came from solving the five related lab caches.

We decided that we didn’t need to do the final series, Maria Strömme and the reflex trail. We had walked nearly 25 km during the day and had a lot of fun so we headed back for home around 11 pm. The day netted us eight different types of caches including a Mega and 15 lab caches. One takeaway, was inspiration to want to copy some of the ideas that had been used in creating the caches. Let’s see what it will result in!


December DOTY results

29 12 2011

This has been a really strange month. No snow except for a couple of days and temperatures mostly above freezing. The big weather event was the storm “Dagmar” and boy am I glad I wasn’t out in the forests those days. I feel that it’s been a long month as I had the goal of finding caches on eighteen empty dates and didn’t think I would make it when the snow started falling. Caching in the dark is something that I have not done before I got my new torch but with that I don’t find it to be a real problem any longer, providing I can stay relatively close to roads and not go disappearing off into deep forest.

Looking back at my DOTY matrix I can see that I managed to find caches on all dates! Yippee!

December DOTY now complete!

Making a quick count shows me that I found twenty seven caches, nine more than needed to fill the empty calendar dates. I also managed to pass a couple of milestones. The most notable one was reaching 2600 finds in total follwed by getting 500 finds this year. Even though “it’s not about the numbers” I enjoy making my own challenges and trying to meet them.

Lets see that 2012 brings in the way of new geocaching challenges. I think a geocaching “black belt” is a good stretch. 🙂

Night caching

12 12 2011

Until the 11-11-11 event in Uppsala I have been a daylight cacher, giving up as dusk falls. On a couple of occasions, most notably when searching through an underground cold war bunker to find the cache Försvaret I have searched using a headlight and torch. At that time I had a pocket size Gerber LED torch that I considered to be part of my geocaching “essentials” and had it wih me on nearly all of my caching trips. It was really useful for illuminating all those nooks and crannies that caches get poked into. However, for night caching or wandering round underground it wasn’t much use.

Actually, thinking about the cache Försvaret reminds me that the reason for my latest “gadget” purchase was the realisation that my existing light sources where not the best and it could be dangerous or even fatal getting stuck underground with no lighting.

My latest torch is a no-name LED torch powered with 2 CR-123 batteries and having a 5W single LED. I guess it’s made in China. Looking at the LED more closely it can be seen that it is in fact a 4 x 4 array of LED’s. The focus of the beam is adjustable from a wide beam that is useful for general lighting and most useful for close work, to a spot light beam that has an estimated range of 40 meters.

The disadvantage with any torch is that it occupies a hand. When geocaching the other one usually holds a GPS so when the ground is slippery balancing isn’t quite as easy as when wearing a headlight. I found that taking photos and holding the torch at the same time left a lot to be desired as well. You can see what I mean from the photos below.

Night caching 1

Night caching 2

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