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Jackass Geocaching!


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Well, I'ld like to take full honours for the very first (unintentional) attempt at Jackass Geocaching. Please, sit back and allow me to make a mockery of myself by describing this afternoons/evenings bafoonery. Johnny Knoxville will be proud of me.


This afternoon seemed like such a premium time to go searching for Navigulls' What is on the Menu? cache. So off I went, dressed in T shirt and jeans and hiking boots, with a backpack full of about 2L of water and drinks, GPSr, Cellphone, and something to put in the cache. Pretty decently prepared for a 3 1/2 hour return trip right?


I went in this afternoon at about 1/4 to 4, and expected to be out by 6.30 at the latest (I tend to walk fast when I'm alone). It's now, like midngiht, as I write this. Luckily I "prepared", and bought a torch on the way there just in case it began to get dusky while I was coming back. Oh boy, I had no idea. Had a great drive down Anawheta (sp?) Road in my little bomb, bit of a Sega Rally. Passed some teenybopper who'd taken a corner too fast and thrown his Skyline down a bank and was standing there looking lost talking on the cellphone, and no he didn't require help, I asked. (Moral: be careful down the road, especially if you're not a legendary driver like me icon_smile.gif<!--graemlin::)-->)


So in I go with all the WP's in the cache loaded on the GPSr (phew). First I park the car at the place described, go down the hill to the beach, walk along the beach, and find the spot to go inland. Time, about 4.15. So far so good, no problems as long as I keep up a pace and beat dusk. I drag my *** up the hill, suffering 10 coronaries along the way (gee and I thought I was fit?!) and find the track heading towards the stream. Cool, again, no problems.


Start heading along the track with the cutty grass and after falling down a couple of potholes I get to the stream with a muddy butt. No problems, I think at this point it was probably... 4.45? I find the pink/white/yellow tags on the trees and start heading upstream. Got into a few problems keeping on the right track, and lost the tags, but kept to the stream and eventually made it to the waterfalls.


By this time, it's what, 5.20, and I notice that it's slowly but surely starting to get dark. Oh dear. So I started scrabbling around for the cache, used the clue, couldn't find it.


5.35 I decided when I started having to use the torch to scrabble around the bases of trees, that this was probably worth aborting. So I turn around and start heading back. What happened next was a bit of a blur but I'll try and timeline it..


5:40 - Lost all notion of anything resembling a track, thoroughfare, tags on trees. Begin to think that this was a very bad idea. Check cellphone. No coverage. Argh. But it's still light enough to see, so I'll keep going. Stupid sun!


5.56, NFI where I am apart from close to the stream, begin bushbashing and trying to find tags on trees using stupid Chinese made torch that only seemed to work when I had my finger firmly pressed on the switch.


6.25pm. It's completely dark. Uncle Steve is relyingo n crappy torch and getting just a little bit worried and beginning to prepare himself emotionally for the realism of spending the night under the stars.


6.35pm. While bushbashing, fell down about 8ft into stream. Ow. Bugger, now I'm wet. GPS still goes. Cellphone still goes (no coverage). Chinese torch still goes. Legs still go. Scramble out of stream and lie in a bush for a few minutes to collect thoughts and drink, then begin to get claustrophobic because I was stuck in a really nasty area of dense bush. Pointlessly yell for help a few times.


6.45 - Begin bushbashing again. Find small clearing, possibly part of 'track'? Walk for a while then turn a corner and, whoops, blocked by bush. Check GPS again and realise I've been going the wrong way, was down to about 270m before falling into the stream, now 330m. Turn around and get back to roughly where I started after I fell in the stream. Crossed stream downstream a bit and carried on through a clearing for 20m or so before having to bush bash again.


7pm - fell into stream again while bush bashing. No GPS coverage. NFI if I'm going in the right direction.


7.30pm - After getting pretty desperate I come across a tag tied to a tree. Still don't know if I'm going the right way but atempt to navigate my way back to the path by following tags. Cross the stream a couple more times, fall IN the stream a couple more times, get lost a couple of more times, begin to get really, reall exhausted. Get a stick up my nose while bush bashing and have the extra delight of blood pouring out all over my shirt.


8pm: GPS coverage! WP for end of track only 90m away. Bush bash my heart out and fall in the stream again. Hope begins to flood my veins again though, now only 60m.


8.25 - Only 20m away, but can't find the track leading up the hill. The jackass theme song begins playing through my mind and I start questioning my sanity.. But then I find it. Up I go like a drunken schoolgirl following the quite defined path back to civilisation. The pain of cutty grass slicing my skin to shreds was bliss.


8.40 - after falling over, like, 20 times, down potholes and slipping over, Uncle Steve gets to 2nd WP, where you're supposed to turn left. Uncle Steve proceeds to turn right (obviously the opposite on the way back!) but doesn't seem to turn right far enough and ends up bush bashing after 35m. Then I fall down a hill which, with my energy levels, I just can't get back up and backtrack. Now hopelessly lost, once again and end up at the bottom of a steep valley in regenerating forest. No cutty grass, no grass, nothing but trees trees and more trees.


8.42 - Beginning to wonder if I should start believing in God. Begin bushbashing til I'm 130m away from the next WP where you head inland off the beach. Bushbash another 50m and end up collapsing in a delicate mixture of cutty grass and some other stuff, but I notice that the ground is turning to sand now and I can definitly hear the ocean. Or is that just a hallucination? Drink the rest of my drink just to be sure.


9.05 - After nearly falling asleep I decide that last 80m is worth a shot and that I really didn't want to spend the night shaving my skin off in the cutty grass. Mustering up my 2nd to last notion of strength I bush bash through and make it to the grassy part, downhill and ....


9.15 - collapse again, now on the beach. Sand never felt so good. Nyargh, no trees. No grass, no cutty grass. Oh yeah. Again the Jackass theme roars through my head andI get up heading towards the entrance to the beach from the carpark.


9.25 - Another step to civilisation, I find the nasty uphill track heading back to the carpark and sigh relief.


9.30 - Can barely walk. dadgum steep hill. Have another coronary. Muster up and use last strength 10 times over.


9.50 - Find the car still there, unstolen and unscathed. Collapse on bonnet and smile.


So there you have it. The moral of this story... DONT be a Jackass and keep in mind that the sun sets a lot quicker and sooner now daylight savings is over. If you're planning on going on a Geocache that takes even a semi long to get to, take plenty of drink and even snacks, a cellphone, and maybe a torch and a compass. (If I had cellphone coverage it wouldn't have been Jackass Geocaching but Search and Rescue Geocaching icon_smile.gif<!--graemlin::)-->) Tell someone where you're going (I forgot, whoops) and if you can, take someone with you, (I didn't, whoops), there's always something nice about having someone else there to lie in the bush with.


And another thing, I involuntarily found that it's easier to bush bash on your hands and knees than standing!

I can only but dream of the smart comments this thread is going to generate..


Steve Knoxville


*** Edited to activate links using UBB code as new forums don't work with HTML ***

Edited by da_snoop
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Geez Steve! I feel bad reading this. I feel for you.


This was my first cache and I was full of fine thoughts on what a beautiful scenic place and how I should encourage people to venture out and enjoy the bush and scenery here. Now I am thinking,

What have I done!


I had debated whether to include the intermediate waypoints but at least it seems they helped.


Your warnings on telling someone on where you heading etc are spot on.


My sympathathies re the cuts and bruises. I am just glad you survived "relatively" unscathed.



Should I addd warning re the lack of cellphone coverage?


Should I change the difficulty ratings?



Navigull ~;~

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Hey no sweat Navigull, you seemed to describe the area and the cache well, there doesn't seem to be anything wrong with your cache description. But a warning about cellphone coverage would be helpful, although I've been on many a cache where there's no coverage!!


The area is very scenic, I agree, but its an entirely different story at night! I just can't get over how many times I walked straight into the stream without realising it!


The only reason it happened was my lack of judgement re sunset..and to think most GPSs have a function that tells you when sunset is. Sheesh! Had there been light, I would have made my way out a lot easier !! So no, don't feel bad...


Me too, I'm glad I got out last night - I mean, if I had to I would have tried to sleep out there but ugh, I had wet clothes on which made it a little cold.


BaldEd...epic alright! icon_smile.gif If there's any directors out there ... I am happy to sign over rights icon_smile.gif It kinda reminds me of that movie about the Erebus disaster where all the survivors eat the dead people icon_smile.gif

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Been there, done that (more than once), although not quite as epic. Even with 20W of halogen I still got lost. I've upgraded to 50 now, taking that whenever it looks like getting dark and I've always got the maglite in the bag, next to the cellphone.

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THG - you wouldn't have SEEN me fall in the stream, it was pitch black! duh icon_smile.gif ... you offered? when?! besides.. you would have just been a liability ... the team can only go as slow as the slowest person :-)


Ray - yeah, why not, wouldn't mind going up there again particularly with someone who knows where they're going icon_smile.gif I'll email you my phone number.

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Ohhh, I just gotta try this cache out now.


Steve, I'm sorry you had to endure that, but I'm pleased you survived ok and have learnt from it. Telling someone is of course the number one rule.


Personally, for trips like that I usually have a first aid kit, compass, Heaps (and I mean heaps) of batteries, water, food, wet weather gear & a warm layer, GPS (of course), Machette, Fold up saw, Pruning shears, Tikka (a device that gives usable light for over 100 hours on a set of batteries), Scorpion (1 hour of 3 D cell maglite brightness from a torch the size of a minimag), Orange smoke flare (for day rescues), Strobe light (for night rescues), appropriate maps, Dual band handportable transceiver (I'm a Ham, much better coverage than a cellphone), A roll of trail marking tape (another lifesaver, stops you going in circles, and searchers can follow it), foil blanket, spare batteries for the Tikka & Scorpion, digital camera etc etc etc.


Two valuable items are a bottle which filters out cryptosporidium and giardia from the water so as long as you have a fresh water source you are ok (puddles even) it was a godsend at North Cape a couple of years ago (about $45), and a stack of chocolate (pure energy almost).


Mind you it's always in the silliest of places I've come unstuck. Usually cause I've decided on the spur of the moment to do something I'm not prepared for. But at least now I always tell someone, on one occasion I left the details on my cellular secretary, the result, coming out half an hour late and driving down the road and back into coverage to numerous messages from friends and family who were concerned and one from a friendly police officer asking me to give him a call when I got out otherwise they would be going looking for me in a few hours.


I'm not going into too many details as to my foo pah's but there's been a couple of good ones. Anyone who's done the 101 cache will be familiar with the Wairongomai Valley, lets just say I got a stretcher ride out of there one day, after a darn cold and wet night, and I'm a lucky boy the hypothermia didn't get me and someone going in really early thought my little bomb car was stolen and reported it to the police at the time not later. It was a turning point in my preparation. As you get older you realise you aren't invincible as most teenagers seem to think they are these days.




Water tastes best when refrigerated and flavoured with fermented barley and hops icon_smile.gif

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Ohhh, I just gotta try this cache out now.


I went there yesterday; my visit is in the logs. I'd recommend it. It's not a easy cache to get to, but that's part of the fun.


The rough part of the trip is on a (near flat) terrace high above the beach with a tiny creek running through it. It's fairly scrubby (you'll get scratched), and it's easy to fall into the ditch like creek. The track is seldom used and not well marked.


OTH, the track follows the creek all the way to the cache (which is an obvious geographical feature), and it's a straight line travel from the last waypoint of about 600 metres.


Mind you if a few more cachers go through, we have a four lane highway through the scrub.

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Don't forget the sherper team to carry all that stuff...


Actually, you'd be surprised how little room that takes, and most of it isn't heavy.


Mind you if a few more cachers go through, we have a four lane highway through the scrub.


Possibility of two more visitors to it next weekend (Sun), all going well. Steve, are you interested in giving it another go?

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Reminds me of once when I got bushed in the Kaimanawa's.(Well before GPS came on the scene). Has a strangly familier ring to it.

When one get's into a situation like this, the hardest thing to do is to STOP.Sit or lie down, let the heart slow down and wait for the brain to catch up.Then think your way through.


Sounds like you had a scary experience and a good warning to others who take our outdoors too lightly. Things can change quickly.

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I attempted this cache yesterday... I got out there reasonably early, around 2:45 and as it turned out there was a least an hour of good daylight left when I finally emerged, but it was very much in the back of my mind all the time. I'd left behind an ETA and a list of waypoints, was armed with a torch, foil blanket, water, energy bars and extra clothing. I was *still* not prepared for the mental effects of solo hiking on tracks less well-travelled in less than 100% bright sunshine. "Elevated concern levels" would be a good term for it :unsure: Due to which I cut short the hunt for the cache and left empty handed. Reading the other posts: I'm going to upgrade the lighting and acquire a compass before the next assault.


On the plus side - I can thank geocaching for giving me one of most utterly elemental and exhilirating experiences yet. And the interesting sensation of coming back down the gully onto a completely deserted beach, to find that the sole set of footprints on the entire beach were the ones I'd left earlier.

Edited by banaari
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