stolen goat Friday adventure – Geocaching!

Everyone loves a Friday! You can feel the freedom of the weekend upon you! Here at stolen goat, we love Fridays more than most. It’s our group activity day, a day when all the team get out and adventure together!

So, what did the goats get up to?

We went Geocaching!

‘What is Geocaching?’ I hear you say. Well, to explain it as simply as possible, it’s a modern, more technical, social version of treasure hunt.
A game played by many all over the world using GPS-enabled devices. Participants discover or even create ‘Geocaches’ using a specific set of GPS coordinates. Once navigated to the specific area, then endeavor to find the Geocache (container) hidden at that location. Usually hidden within this container is a logbook in which you can sign and or a gift you may take. However, if you take this gift you must leave something of equal or greater value for the next person. Sounds pretty cool right?

There are millions of Geocaches all around the world and 10 of them just happened to be within a 1-mile radius of SG HQ. See how many there are near you! Get out and explore!

How can I start Geocaching?geocaching

Click here to visit the website, create an account and then enter a location (city, town, postcode) to find Geocaches nearby!

What do I need to go Geocaching?

The only essential requirements for Geocaching is a GPS device or a decent map –  in order to find your way to the cache.

What are the rules of Geocaching?

  1. If you take something from the geocache (or “cache”), leave something of equal or greater value.
  2. Write about your find in the cache logbook.
  3. Log your experience on the geocaching website here.

Are there different types of Geocaches?

Yes, there are over a dozen different Geocaches, different difficulty ratings and different variations of the game! Click here to find out more.

Back to our Friday adventure….. we finished and packed up the office around 1pm, had some lunch and got ready to go. Amongst all the excitement we believe we may have taken down the wrong coordinates……. Followed by Rob’s tubeless setup leaking…. this adventure wasn’t getting off to the best of starts. But, nevertheless, we mounted our bikes and followed Andy, who was navigating via his Garmin. It took us off-road straightaway and that’s where all the excitement began.

Slipping and sliding everywhere, through slushy sections and over fallen tree trunks, the beginning of the adventure got our hearts racing. We ventured deeper and deeper into the foresty area, with one thing lingering in all of our minds….. ‘will we find this cache?’

After riding for half an hour or so, we came to a halt….. my first thought – could we be here already?……… No……. it just happened to be that the GPS was taking us the wrong way for some reason. Andy chose this specific Geocache because he knew roughly where the location was, however, the Garmin was taking us the opposite direction. After a few typical ‘lad banter’ remarks towards Andy’s navigational skills and new coordinate plugged into the Garmin, we were underway, again.

Paul (bike swanky owner) and Tim were on cyclocross bikes, taking a fair beating on the off-road course. Fair play to them, their wheels were spinning in the mud and it was paramount they kept up speed to cut through swampy areas…. we almost had a few funny moments. I think an off-road vehicle is on the list of things to buy for them.
The mountain bikes on the other hand, sailed through, no problems at all. The Trek Remedy and the Transition were the perfect tools for the job, maybe even a bit overkill!

We’d been riding for a while and suddenly emerged out of the forest and into a vast open area, with a large pond to one side. A stunning location and all the comments on the Geocache website said how nice the location was…… so things were looking promising. You could see everyone beady-eyed and eager to find the cache first, it was getting a little competitive. Andy explained we were nearby but the GPS wasn’t showing the exact location because it didn’t like the coordinate….. but we were nearby and at the time, that was good enough.

A clue on the website suggested that the cache was near a Birch tree. All of a sudden we split up into pairs and set off to find the cache. The tracks were extremely muddy with overgrown bushes and branches laid across them. Parts of bush tangled in the wheels and gears made for a slow ride but we eventually worked our way across where we wanted to be. Andy was sure we were in the right place and I couldn’t disagree. I saw Birch trees, it was a nice location and the coordinates lead us here, so all the right signs were there. We dismounted and went on by foot. We searched and searched, around the Birch trees, up high, in bushes, shrubbery, everywhere……….no luck.

” Boys!!!! ”

We both looked up…. sparingly, just waiting for the others to say the dreaded words…… “we found it” ……. they didn’t – thankfully!
It was raining and the novelty of trying to find the cache was beginning to wear off. We’d been out searching for a while and apparently we were close but obviously not close enough. We re-grouped and as a last stint, Andy went off. He was somewhat certain he was getting closer – so we carried on following him.
We rode on and on, probably in the completely wrong direction back into the forest but we soon ended up at another open area. No Birch trees I might add, but still eager to discover, we let Andy carry on searching…

Minutes went past, we were all standing underneath a tree, out of the rain, discussing how determined Andy was to find the cache. The conversation swiftly moved onto which pub we should visit. Andy returned with a defeated look on his face, he knew we weren’t going to find the cache……..

We failed to find it, which was disheartening to all of us, especially Andy, with his last minute attempt to find it. But, tired, cold, wet and sudden darkness outside, we retreated to the pub.

Game over!

All in all, we had a great afternoon, full of adventure! It was good fun, with virtually no preparation (maybe where we went wrong) and it didn’t cost anything, so make sure you try it out. Even if you don’t do it on the bikes, get out on foot and bring the whole family!