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You Decide Who Wins the Global GIFF Audience Award

Last summer, 16 films about anything and everything geocaching were selected to premier at the Geocaching International Film Festival 2014. These films have been making the rounds at select Mega-Events around the world, and now it’s finally time for them to make their ultimate international debut: on your computer screen.

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That’s right! If you have an hour to spare, you can watch all sixteen finalists right now. That’s about as long as it takes to do a 5-stage Multi-Cache in a park. After you’ve watched the videos, vote for the one you think should be recognized above the rest. Then share the post with your friends and family. Here’s how:

1. Visit this page

2. Watch the 16 GIFF finalists

3. Vote for the winner of the Global Audience Award

 

We’re not kidding…it’s that easy.

The winner of the GIFF Global Audience Award will be mailed a prize package from Geocaching HQ, and will receive a specially awarded badge for their profile page. Want to learn more about the making of these films? Check out our interviews with the filmmakers: https://www.geocaching.com/blog/

GIFF

Voting for the Global GIFF Audience Award will close Sunday, February 22nd at 9pm PST.

Interviews With Geocaching Filmmakers – Part 1

We’ll begin this week with some exciting news: for the first time, all 16 geocaching films from the 2014 Geocaching International Film Festival are available to watch at the click of a button. (Hear that? It’s the sound of 2 million of geocachers cheering).

They’ve made their rounds at select mega events around the world, but now it’s your turn to pop the popcorn, fluff the couch pillows, and soak in the awesomeness of these 16 films. And hey, why not invite your closest geocaching friends over for a viewing party while you’re at it?

Watch the full films and decide which should receive the Global GIFF Audience Award here: http://bit.ly/1vFapUU

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Whet your appetite for adventure with these exclusive behind-the-scenes interviews with the geocachers who captured the essence of geocaching and shared it with all.

C9 H13 NO3 (Adrenaline)

A film by Peter! | Portugal

“C9 H13 NO3 is the molecule formula for adrenaline, and this film is all about that. Ready for a real geocaching adventure?”

 

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Who or what inspired this film?
I was inspired and challenged by me, and only by me. I’m an adrenaline junkie, and I use all the excuses that I can get just to go to a radical geocache. I have some training with ropes, and some other sports, so it’s easy to me to grab my material, a couple of friends and go out to film it.

How did you assemble the team (directors, actors, crew, etc.)?
This is almost a one man show. One GoPro (or two or three sometimes), some ropes, bikes, helmets and other gear, one GPS equiped with the best caches, and let’s go. I already have some training and professional works in the audiovisuals area, and with my training with ropes, good friends and a lot of adrenaline, I produced this movie.

Did you have any funny/interesting/challenging behind-the-scenes moments?
In one of the scenes that you can see in the film, I have a little accident with my GoPro, when diving into a lake… my GoPro jumps off my head during the dive, and hits me in the nose. The result…a small cut, with lots of blood, but nothing serious. 2 minutes later, I was already inside the cave logging the cache.

If you could condense this film down to a basic message to all geocachers, what would it be?
Try to reach a geocache in a different way and experience some adrenaline so you can have a different day of geocaching.

What recommendations do you have for new geocaching filmmakers?
Safety comes first. Always. Don’t try to do some of these adventures without the proper knowledge and with the right gear. If you don’t know how to edit a movie, use YouTube. You have lot’s of tutorials for free online. What you show to the viewers is more important that the edit itself. Great shots don’t need a great editing. Just try it.

What are you excited about for GIFF 2015?
The possibility to show more footage that I have, with lots of great caches. 

 

La Busqueda (The Search)

A film by nitesco | Puerto Rico

“A novel editor is fired from his job and launched into the unknown world of unemployment. Soon after, he is told about Geocaching and decides to try it out as a way to get out of the house and try new things. What he finds changes his life forever.”

 

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Who or what inspired this film?
It was a mixture of personal experiences and a fictional idea I had in my mind.

How did you assemble the team (directors, actors, crew, etc.)?
The team was pretty easy to assemble, since it consisted only of me. I wrote the film, worked to keep the camera as in-focus as possible, framed the picture and then tried my best to act it out. Then, I sat down and edited into a 4 minute film.

Did you have any funny/interesting/challenging behind-the-scenes moments?
If you can call trying to keep a frame in-focus under a 100 degree Puerto Rican sun without a monitor or LCD viewfinder challenging, then I would put that in here. 😉

If you could condense this film down to a basic message to all geocachers, what would it be?
Go out, try new things, discover.

What recommendations do you have for new geocaching filmmakers?
If you have an idea then do not let anything stop you. In this day and age, even cellphones can record good footage for a film.

What are you excited about for GIFF 2015?
I am excited to see the films that are going to be submitted and the crazy adventures that people go on with their films!

 

Geocaching in Canada

A film by TheBarnSwallows | Canada

“In such a large country, there are so many places to visit, so many beautiful places to see, and of course many great geocaches to find.”

 

004 Canada still

Who or what inspired this film?
(No answer given)

How did you assemble the team (directors, actors, crew, etc.)?
With the film being a compilation of adventures, most of the stars of the film are the great geocachers located in the Greater Toronto Area, and the GHMGC (Golden Horseshoe Monthly Geocaching Club). Each month the GHMGC group will get together and explore a new area full of exciting caches. We have a great time socializing, hiking, eating home baked treats, and finding lots of geocaches.

Did you have any funny/interesting/challenging behind-the-scenes moments?
The most memorable footage to go through while choosing what to include in the film was the snow section. Some of our winter hikes were in very deep snow, so there was a lot of slipping, tripping, and falling.

If you could condense this film down to a basic message to all geocachers, what would it be?
Choose your own adventure, there are lots of different ways to enjoy the great outdoors.

What recommendations do you have for new geocaching filmmakers?
Have fun! I did not expect to be a finalist while putting this film together, I made it for my enjoyment and to share with my friends and family to show what I get up to out there in the woods all the time.

What are you excited about for GIFF 2015?
I am excited to see what other geocachers can come up with to share their own adventures.

 

The Ubercache

A film by Duck Muscle | USA

“Found footage from a disposable video camera hidden in a five gallon paint bucket in Central Park.”

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Who or what inspired this film?
The abundance of micros and nanos throughout New York.

How did you assemble the team (directors, actors, crew, etc.)?
Just me and a slew of Ubercache video logs.

Did you have any funny/interesting/challenging behind-the-scenes moments?
The Ubercache was confiscated by the Central Park staff, so I thought the video camera in the cache was lost forever. However, they let me remove the cache rather than trashing it, so I got the camera back.

If you could condense this film down to a basic message to all geocachers, what would it be?
Geocachers are a family willing to share their fun with others.

What recommendations do you have for new geocaching filmmakers?
Always experiment. You never know what’ll come of it.

What are you excited about for GIFF 2015?
More films!

How to Geocache in Thailand

A film by RazMcCaz | USA

When a Geocache search goes awry, filmmakers Dacia Saenz and Sara McCaslin stop at nothing to recover the cache.

 

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Who or what inspired this film?
Dacia was teaching me (Sara) how to geocache for the first time during a trip to Thailand. We thought it would make for a quick shot during our larger film project. Little did we know it’d turn into a comedy of errors.

How did you assemble the team (directors, actors, crew, etc.)?
Dacia and I were on a filmmaking trip to Thailand for another project called The Cost of Gender. See it here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iLGKsgLPiXc

Did you have any funny/interesting/challenging behind-the-scenes moments?
Our short is really all about failing and trying again at getting a seemingly “easy” cache. The guys who help us at the end are motorcycle taxi drivers who had been watching us with amusement and just came over to help, which is a lovely thing about Thai culture. It was certainly a “stealth” fail.

If you could condense this film down to a basic message to all geocachers, what would it be?
Never give up!!

What recommendations do you have for new geocaching filmmakers?
Ask yourself, what’s the story you’re trying to tell? Every well-made film has focused story, conflict, resolution and great characters.

What are you excited about for GIFF 2015?
We’re excited to hone our craft now that we’ve seen so many other amazing Geocaching filmmakers’ work!

That’s it for now, folks. Stay tuned for our next round of interviews with geocaching filmmakers on February 18th, 2015, where we’ll get a look at arguably the funniest geocaching videos around.

Think your geocaching film has what it takes to have geocaching audiences cheering in approval? Visit the GIFF 2015  and find out how to enter!

Meet Me at the Mega-Event in Berlin, Bring an Extra Coat

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Amy (left) with a geocacher at the Berlin Mega-Event

 

Berlin in November is cold. Very cold. However, my trip last month to Germany for Mega-Berlin was more heart warming than I could have ever imagined.

The weekend full of events began Friday night with a Meet & Greet (GC4YYYX). The venue for the weekend’s activities was a lost place named Motowerk, a former factory of breakthrough electrical engines and elevators that opened in 1914. During world War II, the British government became aware of the factory and, in a raid on Berlin, dropped 24 bombs on the company grounds. Miraculously, the production hall and all of the company’s employees were unharmed.

After the war, the building was turned over to the Russians and used as a publicly owned business manufacturing condensers in the GDR. After the German reunification the factory became a location for events and, ultimately, the setting for Berlin’s largest Mega-Event to date, Mega-Berlin.

The Meet & Greet event had 1500 geocachers in attendance who enjoyed exchanging geocaching stories in between sets from the Polkaholix, a German, polk/punk band.

 

After a fun filled night, I returned to Motowerk bright and early the following day for the big event (GC4YYYY). The event hall was busy with geocachers, vendors, and activities around every corner. After checking out all of the vendors and walking through the children paradise and seeing all of the creative and fun activities there were for the kids, I headed out to find some of the nearby geocaches with a few geocachers I had just met.

If I didn’t mention this before, it was cold (really cold) but that wasn’t going to stop us—there was a variety of geocaches in the area to be found.

Returning to the event, I stopped by the event map and realized that there were geocachers from all over the world in attendance. This was truly a global event.

The best part of the event for me was hearing the stories from geocachers and seeing how the Berlin geocaching community came together to produce this event.

The next morning I returned again to the event hall for the Secret Santa Breakfast (GC4YYYZ). I sat down for breakfast with a few Swedes that I met at the event, Team-Prince and Palmarna. We had a great breakfast discussing geocaching events and experiences. The organizers of the event had arranged a gift exchange for the event. You drop off a gift, get a ticket, and return later to pick up your gift. My gift was a stocking full of all kinds of geocaching goodies and some candy!

Overall, I had a great time in Berlin and met some fabulous people while I was at the event. I cannot thank the geocachers I came across and the Orga Team for all of the hospitality they showed me during my visit.

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Top 6 Geocaching Resolutions

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by: Danielle Navarre

 

A new year begins the promise of new possibilities…

2015 presents the potential for lifelong memories and a long list of resolutions that we all cross our fingers we keep. Whether it be to spend more time with our families or shed that extra five pounds, we all make resolutions for the better.

But for all the good intentions, only a tiny fraction of people keep their resolutions. However, one should never underestimate a geocacher and their iron will to reach any and everything they set their minds to. Since its early days, goals have been a big part of geocaching. From reaching your next 100 finds to going on a year-long streak, geocachers live and breath for their next challenge. This makes geocachers some of the best resolution keepers around, which is why Geocaching HQ has created the Top 6 Geocaching Resolutions as a conversation starter.

Ring in 2015 by challenging your geocaching skills and making way for new year of geocaches.

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  • 2) Find a new geocache type. Did you know that are 20 (yes 20) geocache types? If your stats are overflowing with Traditionals and Puzzle caches, try branching out by finding a Letterbox Hybrid or Wherigo cache.

 

  • 3) Take a Hike. Take your geocaching to new distances by challenging yourself to hike a mile while geocaching. If that sounds like a cake walk, go for five or more!

 

  • 4) By Land, by sea, by air. There is more than one way to travel while geocaching. While many geocaches are only a short drive or hike away, others require a little farther trek. Try kayaking to a geocache hidden on a tiny island in the middle of a lake or rock climbing to one stowed at a cliff’s peak. Snowshoe to find a cache on a peaceful mountainside or scuba dive to one on the tropical ocean floor.

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  • 5) Take a trip. Geocaches are everywhere…and I mean everywhere. With over 2.5 million geocaches in 184 countries the question that should be asked is “where aren’t they?” Take a geocaching vacation to somewhere new whether that be to a town you’ve never visited or to a country on your bucket list. Better yet hit the road and follow a geo power trail!

 

  • 6) Find the oldest geocache in your state. Take a walk down memory lane and make a historic visit to where it all began in your area. Better yet make a pilgrimage to the original geocache stash and see where the magic all began.

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Now, put it out there for the world to see – share your geocaching New Year’s resolution below in comments!

Find the Right Geocaching Party for You

Word on the street is, Mega-Events are the best thing since sliced bread

 

These geocaching parties of 500+ people offer more than a meet-and-greet of other geocachers—though that’s bound to happen too. Mega-Events are more like a celebration of all facets of the hobby we love. Often centered around a theme (ahem, *Pirates*), Mega-Events happen all over the world and are a must for every geocacher. Find one near you.

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Were you there? Can you find yourself? GeoWoodstock XII.
Living in or visiting Germany? You'll never be short on awesome events.
Living in or visiting Germany? You’ll never be short on awesome events.

Not sure if Mega-Events are your thing?

 

Geocaching HQ’er Chris (Rock Chalk) discusses his experiences at four Mega-Events this past year, and you can be sure that no two Mega-Events are alike.
 By Chris Ronan

I’ve had the good fortune (and the necessary vacation time) to attend four Mega-Events in 2014. I’ve found Mega-Events to be much like any geocaching event in that they reflect the personality and geocaching style of the host community. However, they’re larger than typical events, as an event must have 500+ attendees to achieve Mega-Event status.

At this time last year, I had no idea what a Mega-Event was about, or whether I’d enjoy attending. Perhaps my experiences might be useful as you peruse the list of upcoming Mega-Events around the world.

 

S*W*A*G’s Yuma Mega #11
Held in Yuma, AZ, this was my first Mega-Event. I lived in Kansas at the time, so this was a wonderful mid-winter break from Midwestern winter. It was my first experience with Lab Caches, which took me on a great tour through the area. There’s a great variety of caching around Yuma—from power trails such as the Arizona Star Geo-Art and the S*W*A*G Geo-Art to higher-terrain hiking and climbing caches.

Logbook at the S.W.A.G. Yuma Mega event.
Logbook at the S.W.A.G. Yuma Mega-Event.

 

MOGA 2014
Unlike the Yuma Mega-Event, MOGA is held in a different place each year. The 2014 version took place in Athens, OH in late March. The perfect time for a road trip from Kansas! MOGA was where I experienced my first and only geocaching competition. The organizers took a different approach to Lab Caches, but they were just as enjoyable as what I’d seen in Yuma. The area offered a wonderful variety of geocaches. MOGA 2015 will be held in Jackson, MO, less than two hours from St. Louis.

A map-style logbook at the MOGA Mega-Event.
A map-style logbook at the MOGA Mega-Event.

Geowoodstock XII
Geowoodstock XII was held just 30 minutes from St. Louis, in the historic river town of St. Charles, MO. The immediate area is more urban than Yuma or Athens, which meant yet another different style of caching. Fittingly, the Lab Caches focused on the area’s amazing history. Speaking of history, GeoWoodstock XIII is to be held in Boonsboro, MD. I could talk for days about all the great caching in that area, but definitely don’t miss the Wherigo at Antietam National Battlefield. It’s one of my favorite caches ever!

If you're lucky, you might see Signal at a Mega event.
If you’re lucky, you might see Signal at a Mega-Event.

3IEE
Shortly after joining the staff of Geocaching HQ, I took a weekend to enjoy my first international Mega-Event in Duncan, British Columbia. 3IEE was a complete departure from my previous three Mega-Events, as it focused on EarthCaches. I’m no geology genius, but I walked away feeling like even I might be able to construct an enjoyable EarthCache, thanks to the many educational opportunities at the event. The Lab Caches introduced me to the beautiful Cowichan Valley. And, of course, I nabbed my first Canada caches, which were very cool!

At the International EarthCache Mega-Event!
At the International EarthCache Mega-Event!

I’ve had the chance to meet geocachers from around the world and enjoy very different geocaching experiences in some neat places. In fact, I’ve already booked another vacation to sunny Arizona for S*W*A*G Yuma Mega Event #12 on February 8, 2015. See you there!