Planning is what Max Welteken (myGe0cache) does for a living. He’s a delivery manager at a software development company in Europe. Max also gets bored doing things in what he calls a “normal or easy way.”
An idea that was neither boring nor easy struck Max recently. He wanted to log geocaches in ten countries in less and 24 hours.
Max says, “I saw the 10/24 attempt as a big project (which it was) where a lot of planning in advance was required. I spent almost a full week on fine planning the optimal route through all the 10 different countries.”
Once the team was set, Max finished his planning. He says, “I contacted all owners before we started to find out if there were any problems with the caches that might delay us on the trip. In the very beginning, we didn’t even know for sure if our goal was feasible at all, but after some iterations of planning with the Groundspeak beta map we came to the conclusion, that it´s possible to do the drive in approx. 16 hrs. PLUS the time we would need to find the caches.”
But Max wanted to ensure the cache run didn’t sacrifice beautiful scenery for the sake of speed. The group even planned to take three vacation days to ensure the optimal time to beat traffic on their epic journey.
Max says, “What was important for us from the beginning was that we didn’t want to spend all this time and money only to see some “drive by” caches on the highways but nice and even scenic places. That made planning even more complex because we reviewed every single cache before we built it into our travel-route.”
Contacting the cache owners paid off. Some cache owners met the team along the way. Cache owner Buck_DK actually helped launch the caching adventure a few hours before the caching run began. “The friendly owners of the first cache in Denmark invited us to meet them some hours before midnight. We had dinner.”
The team of three geocachers ended up logging more than 25 caches in ten countries (Denmark, Germany, Netherlands, Belgium, Luxemburg, France, Switzerland, Liechtenstein, Austria and Italy). However the trip did not take them 24 hours. They finished the cache run in just 21 hours. Max writes, “Looking back everything worked out perfect, during the almost 30hrs drive nonstop we only had 30min of traffic jam in the city center of Zürich.”
Max has four pieces advice for those considering challenging themselves. He says:
1) You’ll need, “Some crazy minds (like myself 😉 to even consider doing something like this in the first place”
2) “Plan everything once, twice and once again! Print out everything even if you take notebooks/phones/GPS with you.”
3) “Go with at least with three people on a trip like this, as you will have to drive NON-Stop for more than a day. You will have to be able to sleep in the car no matter how uncomfortable it is.”
4) “Take good friends with you, not just anybody you know. After some hours the enthusiasm changes into a bad mood when everyone is exhausted and tired. During these hours you need to be a team of friends that restores the motivation again so everyone is partying once you reach the final cache.”
Watch this video to see the team in action –
Finding Your First Geocache
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