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A New Record!


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DamhuisClan Posted Today, 12:31 AM





What time did you start and finish?

And in which area?


And that after caching in all the areas so far.


Hi Guys.


Thank you. This all took place in Bloemfontein yesterday and are all caches of louwtjievdw placed after our visit to Bloem in November last year. We had a great day caching with perfect weather and mild temperatures.

Our first cache Tempe L/H was found at 06h20 and we ended our day on (appropriately named) Rus n bietjie at 19h15 - 13 hours of caching. We also had two DNF's and as you all know a lot of time is spent looking for missing caches.


This is our new record for a day's caching. These caches are placed in such a way that it is possible to achieve this figure - some are easy and some are a bit more challenging, with a good few koppies to climb!

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I was thinking it would be there. I managed in one day to do 40. That included a trip of some 600km to get there. Plus 3 caches on the way. I still worked for 2 hours in Bloemfontein before going to book into my hotel (I was too early for that) So I did a few caches and returned to the hotel leter on. Had lunch and then started some serious cache hunting. I was cornered three times by people staying at GZ, holding me up for some time and also accidentally broke one of Oom Loutjies caches... which had me having to do some fancy footwork to get it sorted. Also a big chunk of time lost. So yes a very possible feat to attain in Bloemfontein these days. I went on the next day to do a few more but that was only a few as i had a long trip to Welkom then back home to do... which was another 800km or so.


Well done to iPajero.... you guys set quite a standard to look up to... I think Besem also managed a high ratio of finds in Bloemfontein... so anyone who wants number... Bloem is the place to go. And knowing how Oom Loutjie hides them caches... it may frustrate a whole lot of people... Have fun....

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What are the caches in Bloem like? It looks like louwtjievdw is very creative in his hides, how about the locations? Are they worth the effort?


Well, it IS Bloemfontein, so... :yikes:


The caches are almost all micros, but there isn't a single "usual" micro - they're all pretty creative and if you're not used to his hides yet, they can be pretty difficult as well. The locations are rather arbitrary in general, though - lots of front-yard and road-side caches - and the coordinates are sometimes rather off, but the novelty of the cache containers made up for it in my opinion, even if it meant a few DNFs and moist logs. Stopping by for a cuppa with Oom Louwtjie is also highly recommended. I probably won't make a trip from CT to Bloem *just* for caching, but if you're coming this way anyway, extending your holiday by a day to do some caching in Bloem will definitely be worth it. There are enough koppie-caches with nice views and workouts to keep you busy.


I managed 54 on a day there (including the koppie-caches), and I wasn't even chasing numbers.

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Thanks Besem. Sounds like it wont be everyone's cup of tea, but a least he has put effort into it to make it interesting.


Until you actually do them. You for get location and think ingenuity. He is indeed a very creative person. His hides can frustrate the best cacher out there at times. As I mentioned earlier I managed 40 in a day. this included quite a few frustrating ones and also the pace at which I was doing them after a morning trip of 600km just to get there, as well as two hours work till 10:30 a booking in at the hotel... attempt and lunch and another booking in at the hotel. It was a mad dash in the afternoon to do around 30 caches. Some easy others really hard... But short of giving up on 2 or 3 I had no DNF's... In fact the whole of February saw me doing 148 caches with not one DNF. Bloem caches are not easy by any means but with some persistence and sometimes lateral thinking many cachers should find them... they are fun and well planned... Micro's are not my cup of tea but Oom Louwtjie makes these ones worthwhile...

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Late Breaking News


Team Phantom Break iPajeros record


As part of a midnight run to Bloemfontein, Team Phantom (coming out of Lesotho) smashed the All SA Caches in a Day record clocking up a heft 111 - most of these in Bloemfontein.


Confirmation will be forthcoming once all logging is complete!!!


Well done to Dakardrix, Elsies and Green Jam - Go Phantoms Go!


Now tell us your story - for the benefit of those who missed the event!


A sub-category ALL Bloemfontein record might have been taken by Cape Town caching stars Trevorh7000 and Paddawan.


It remains to be seen if any of these teams has beaten the All Louwtjie record set up by Ipajero (64)


Watch this space



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Still a bit speechless, tired and overwhelmed by the weekend... :lol:


I will try and tell more later, but just to summarise - no funnies, just good old hard work and route planning (before and during) by 3 guys - 2 who met each other for the first time on Friday evening - who got on extremely well, had LOADS of fun and worked like a super-charged engine. We cached like normal, only difference we wrote some stickers while on the road (in hindsight little gain, but it does help and you 'feel faster') and no trade took place. We just worked on speed, efficiency and good old vasbyt!


We took video footage and some pics (way less than I wanted to, but you're just so busy that you forget to take out the camera for a few hours at a time) and the track logs got so full it started overwriting some, so trying to get all the stats sorted. Fortunately Elsies and GreenJaM kept track on paper separately and we could check and double-check the final figure.


And also attempt to do a full day's work today - gonna be a challenge!


But basically we started in Kroonstad at 00:00 while dodging the cop cars and party goers - Kroonstad is a different place at night! Found 7, left at about 01:20. Hit Welkom and traveled a LOT! Circle to circle to circle, I honestly didn't know where we were half of the time. Having my Oregon stuck on the windscreen with a Nuvi 500 next to it and backseat comments from the Nuvi 200 owner :P - half of the time the routing was different on these devices and we learnt that shouting LEFT and RIGHT entering a circle have different interpretations.... hehe


We found 30-odd in Welkom and left for Bloem via Theunissen just before sunrise. Oops, got stuck in queues with the roadworks, eventually turned around and found a way to the N1. Think it cost us about an hour or so, but we approached Bloem sometime after 8, narrowly missing an MP car doing a U-turn on the highway... mmm :sad: Same car reported to us yesterday by a property owner whose gate was broken - we had to make big apologies on behalf of the geocaching community... :laughing:


Anyway, oom Louwtjie's caches blew us away! Was so impressed. We tackled koppies, campuses, gravel roads (with low profile rims) - was scolded by an angry farmer (poor Elsies stood there with an Energade looking up at a tree - the oke shouted 'wat maak jy met drank op privaat eiendom?!' - the guy proceeded to phone the owner to come and round us up, fortunately the owner was aware and all ended well), hitting fast numbers sometimes and having long delays at other points. But we reached 64 just after 12, 100 by around 5 and decided that's it when we hit 110 at 7pm. Even had time to go and shower and the event was obviously 111, a number we thought had a nice ring to it... :yikes:


On Saturday we had to skip 13 of the easier caches due to Elsies having done them. Most of these were picked up on Sunday plus a few more on the way home.


TeamPhantom, what an honour to ride with you gentlemen, I'll do it again any day! :)

Edited by dakardrix
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I just counted:


Kroonstad 7

Hennenman 1

Welkom 26

Theunissen 1

Bloemfontein 76


Louwtjie caches 69


Didn't count, but I think we had about 15-20 DNF's


Really nice to meet the distant cachers paddawan, iNokia, trev and of course the Free State crowd - like veer-ini-hoed who drove us dizzy with her Welkom caches! ;)

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It probably sounds pretentious to say that 'it's not about the numbers', so I won't... 'It's all about the numbers!!'. Not the number of smiley's but the number of smiles shared. Not the number of good cache hides found, but rather the number of good times shared. It's about the number of miles we've hiked together, the number of times we've been soaked by rain while searching for an elusive FTF. The number of new friends we've met. These are the numbers that matter.


We set out to do a marathon cache hunt. There was a goal in mind. What transpired far exceeds the simple tally of logbooks signed (or should I say, more accurately, labels affixed).


Further to the post from dakardrix, some additional stats:


Caches attempted: 121

Caches Found: 111

DNF's 10


Stats by cache owner

69 louwtjievdw (70 Including event)

25 Veer-ini-hoed

7 Team_Olo

3 Dan404 (Including event)

2 Team Zero Cool

1 iPajero

1 Benn

1 Faantjie et al

1 Tugela Klip

1 Kobus Scholtz


76 Bloemfontein caches (i.e. within 20KM from Bloem Spruit cache = pretty much centre of Bloem I think)


Without the great hides, there can be no memorable finds.


I would like to encourage everyone that has the inclination to do something out of the ordinary to go for it. If it happens to be a chase for a high number of cache finds in a day, I'll happily share our learnings (as simple as they were...). The achievement is more about the journey than the result.


Huge thanks for dakardrix and Elsies for including me in this amazing experience.

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Jip, we spoke about this. Obviously we could only tackle the challenge as per SA conditions. Fortunately we have not reached the stage where there are too many drive-by's and power trails available in SA, so we still felt like we were doing real caching and we can't really compare numbers to the Americans.


To get certain of the number aimed for and cater for DNF's (also taking into consideration that your searching skills might be hampered after so many hours without sleep) we knew we had to start outside of Bloem, so that added a lot of travel. Also remember, all of us woke up on Friday morning normal time, had a day's work, then immediately traveled to Kroonstad where we had a meal and some last-minute planning (adding the newly published caches to the route) and thus started at midnight without any sleep since the morning.


So apologies if we looked dozy and weren't always as friendly as we wanted to be at the evening's event - we were awake for about 40 hours by then! :laughing::(

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I ran the following pass Drix for his input before publishing - I do not want to blow on a horn that I do not own. He is happy with what was stated.


Well done to all with the good finds and personal records. I sat down and I analysed the route that was followed to get to the new record of 111 caches. It appears like an impossible record. However, it can be broken if you do good planning, have two GPS’s - one with the route and one on off-road. Keep snacks and drinks with you. This team set the pace and they laid the foundation for some more magic in this area. I am sure there will be another event and another attempt to set a new record.


For those interested in breaking this record the following is done to assist you and to motivate you. The average terrain rating for the record of 111 was at 1.6 and the average difficulty was at 1.82. It was easy to track the actual route as there is record of the caches in sequence. I ran a macro to get all 111 finds; from there I ran another macro to update the listing. I then appended the find number to the front of the cache name. From here an export was done to Mapsource and the route, planning and effort that went into this trip started to appear. I included a photo of the tracking and if you need a track log then I will forward it to you. Also very interesting is that you can use a macro with Google maps to optimize your route with this record. I only used the fastest possible way to the cache and it could differ from their actual route but it is a good start. There is also a very good macro that will analyse the cache density in this area and it could serve as a method to fine tune your main focus area of searching.


So what did this calculate to? They started to cache at 00h00 and completed the cache route at 19h00. This specific route calculates to a travelling distance of about 503 km. At the normal legal speed limits, with a little bit of grace time, the travelling time calculated to 9 hours 57 minutes 50 seconds. This leave about 597 minutes for cache finds out of 1140 minutes available time. This then calculate to 5.3 minutes actual time per cache which is quite reasonable. The actual average is less because of a couple of DNf’s they had.


Basically here we a 50/50 ratio. About 50% of the time was used for travelling and 50% was used for cache finds. The real percentage for finding the caches was 52% but leave this at 50% to set worst case scenario. If we now assume the same ratio for a 24 hour cycle then 12 hours is available for caches and 12 hours

are needed for travelling. There are many caches in Bloemfontein and you should be able to improve this ratio with careful planning. Your find per cache should also improve as the caches are quite close to each other. But stay at an average of 6 minutes per cache and you should be ok. Anything less than that and you are building a reserve. So how many caches can be found in 12 hours at 6 minute per cache based on the record that was set? This calculates to a future record total of 120 caches. Because of the cache density you could even experience a total of about 140 caches if you really move and I do mean move. I assume that Oom Louwtjie is not finished with his cache hide spree so more can appear soon.


A record of 111 can thus be broken but the impossible is only in the head and you have to beat that first. A while ago 64 cache finds was set by an experienced cacher team and it sounded like an impossible task. But now a record of 111 was set and the bar was lifted to beyond believe. But it is in the maths – it can be beaten and a higher record can be set. It is not going to be easy – you have to break the barrier first and you have to get an “I can” attitude as demonstrated by this team. The higher the record the tougher it is going to get passes the mental block. But you are what you think you are - you have to beat your own attitude and you have to get your mind correct. To support this you will need a positive team that have the will. You will need one specific person with his eye on the clock and a precise plan of action.


Again, well done. We will see Bloem again - I hope.




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So this was done as a team... and during the night as well. How many in the team? Great going.... but!!!! I managed to do 40 in a day. That included a 6 hour drive to Bloem, 3 caches along the way. Working from 8 till around 9:30 going to the hotel. Spending about a hour there getting to find out what had happened to my booking and then been told I can come back later as they cannot book me in. Did a few caches and went for lunch, went back to the hotel and booked in and had a shower and change of clothing and then went on to cache till around 7pm with 2 FTF's to end off with, at three of the caches I was approached by the home owners and spent around a hour chatting to them, 6 of the caches involved hiking in the Naval hill and various other areas which also took time, no set planning was done. I went and followed the ping on my GPS, There were caches and there were more caches and even more... I just kept heading for what seemed to be the nearest on the GPS, which is not always the case when I went looking for them, it was a hectic afternoon of caching after which I went to watch Avatar at the cinema instead of doing night caches... Now if I had been there earlier.... mmm who knows... Maybe I should consider a trip down with a sleep over the night before....


But on a lighter note... congrats to the guys who took part... 111 is a nice number to chase, and trust me... I will look at this one seriously and like Oom Loutjie... I have a bicycle... it might just be a better way to do the caches.... who knows....

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Thanks for all the good words! A high-level view of the sequence is available on a trackable page (thanks for the coin dakardrix!).


The real record is the number of great caches available in our country - I have no doubt that this particular number will be exceeded (how long can one stand on one leg anyway!!?), in all probability in this location (although a number of other places show promise too!! Hint hint). The fact that a record can be achieved finding caches of high quality is significant and greatly appreciated.


Good hunting (and keep up the quality hides)!!

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