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Nightcaching at Sweden’s largest Mega-Event

Annika on December 10, 2013, 9:17 pm

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Andrea, representing Geocaching HQ. Photo: Marcus Bengtsson

Editor’s note: Geocaching HQ staff are joining geocachers at Mega-Events around the world to celebrate and share the adventure of geocaching. Andrea Hofer attended Swedens oldest and largest annual Geocaching event – FUMBLE AFTER DARK 2013. This is Andrea’s account of her trip.

After attending Florida Finders Fest, I hopped on a plane and made my way to Fumble after Dark in Sweden, getting a chance to see two different communities back to back! Sweden in November feels much like Seattle in November – short, drizzly days and long, chilly nights. That’s why Fumble after Dark is so great: 900 participants come together to embrace the long nights and make them into an opportunity for amazing geocaching!

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Photo courtesy of Marcus Bengtsson

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The event was in Sodertalje, a one-hour drive from Stockholm. After my 22 hour travel from Florida, I gratefully settled in at the adorably Ikea-esque Scandic hotel. A few fun facts about driving in Sweden:

  • You have to keep your Headlights turned on 24/7 by law.
  • Traffic lights briefly turn orange after red to warn that green is coming.
  • In a Peugeot, “A” means “drive” and when you brake, the motor goes completely silent.

The Fumble After Dark event ran from 10 AM to midnight. Noon to 5 was reserved for presentations, which included puzzle cache tips, a fascinating presentation on “lost places” (especially Detroit), and cache hiding tips from the Swedish Reviewers. I gave a presentation focusing on what the Geocaching HQ Community Team does and our plans for 2014. I also learned that the majority of the attendees are on Facebook and completed the entire #31in31 August challenge!

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Swedish reviewers presenting. Photo: Marcus Bengtsson

Next it was time to load up the night caches’ GPS coordinates (including the 10 lab caches) and head out into the woods for 3-4 hours of spooky excitement celebrating All Souls’ Day.

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Setting out. Photo: Marcus Bengtsson

 

The only light is the one you bring. Photo: Marcus Bengtsson

The only light is the one you bring. Photo: Marcus Bengtsson

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A knot-based puzzle off-trail in a forest.

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Climbing to get the find code for one of the Lab caches. Photo: Marcus Bengtsson

It was utterly dark, chilly, off-trail in a forest, muddy, hilly, scary, and exciting, and I was glad to have been invited to tag along with the Swedish Reviewers. Much of the cache terrain was higher than one would see at a similar event in the U.S. and the geocaches were all clever, especially the haunted kindergarten lab cache:

Many thanks to organizer Fredrik Wellener and all the geocachers who helped create this very special experience.

Click here to see more pictures from Fumble After Dark.

 Have you ever gone nightcaching? Share your best experiences with us in the comments below!

  • Chris-Mouse

    If you’re ever in the Toronto, Canada area with an evening free, make a point of dropping by any of the BFL Boot Camp caches. These were all placed for the annual BFL Boot Camp event that’s just finished the eighth year, and we’re already working on BFL9. Over the years, we’ve used reflectors, glow-In-the-dark paint, UV paint, fiber optics, infra-red light, lasers… The list goes on. We have a lot of fun setting things up every year, and judging by the logs and the favorite points, there are a lot of people having a great time finding them all.


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