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Nightcaching at Sweden’s largest Mega-Event

[This blog post was originally posted on the Geocaching.com blog on December 10, 2013

 

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 Sweden’s oldest and largest annual Geocaching event – FUMBLE AFTER DARK 2013. This is Andrea’s account of her trip.

Andrea, representing Geocaching HQ. Photo: Marcus Bengtsson

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!

Photo courtesy of Marcus Bengtsson

 

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!

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.

Setting out. Photo: Marcus Bengtsson

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

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

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!

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