Geocaching and Trigpointing

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Paperless caching guide

1 - 100      01/04/2006 - 06/08/2006
101 - 205  13/08/2006 - 25/02/2007
206 - 309  04/03/2007 - 07/05/2007

310 - 434  28/05/2007 - 05/08/2007
435 - 600  19/08/2007 - 23/12/2007

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Geocaching is a treasure hunt with a GPS.You find a log book in a sealed container hidden by other geocachers, while trigpointing consists of visiting Ordnance Survey pillars which are often located at hill summits. In both cases the real treasure is the discovery of beautiful countryside, near to you, or far away. It's just good, clean, harmless fun with plenty of exercise and we love it!

Find out more at GroundSpeak's web site and TrigpointingUK's site.

Our Geocaching Diary


7th April 2008

It's the start of Will's Easter Holidays and I've got the Mondays and Fridays off, so we spent the first Monday walking from Radstock to Frome, Somerset. The weather was mixed gith a few heavy hail showers, but otherwise pleasant sunshine. We parked at a reasonably central point (Conduit Hill) on a disused railway line which is now a cycles path and walked about 8 miles before heading off into the countryside to bad some more caches. Surprisingly for a cycle track there was only one micro, which was a cunning hide. One strange thing that happened was when we stopped at one cache the sun changed quickly to heavy hail. We then walked to the end of our walk and came back again. Two hours later we arrived at the same point, and after two hours of sunshine there was sudden hail again. Very strange.

Lime Kiln

We picked Pooh Sticks at Lower Coleford as our 700th cache, mainly because we live 3 miles from Coleford in Gloucestershire. What an unusual village. We felt like we were in a Cornwall fishing village. We picked up two very dull micros and a nice group of caches near Bedlam. We particularly liked Vallis Vale Limekilns as the terrain reminded us much of home, with streams, woods, rocks and of course, lime kilns.

It was great to just park up and leave the car for the day. I often do it when I'm on my own, but it's not so easy with a ten year old. I was really proud of the distance Will walked, as it was about 14 miles. He didn't complain once despite having a bit of a chaffing problem with some new trousers. Well done son!


27th March 2008

On my way to a meeting I had time to stop and grab a nano cache in Gloucester, then on the way back I walked a circuit of the Cheltenham Race Course to make another easy find in some lovely sunshine. Bring on the summer.

Last weekend I had placed a new cache at Spence Airfield called Plane English, so I released it this weekend. It's been three months since I last released a cache, though there were admittedly seven then.

I also bought a new smaller tent so that Will, Bob and I can get out more often for a short break this year. We got the Outwell Jersey M, which is a three man pop-up. It took about 5 minutes to set it up the first time, as opposed to about 45 minutes for our huge Outwell.

Cheltenham Race Course taken on TyTN II

Will between Hinchwick Valley 1 & 2

20th March 2008

Easter Friday and Will, Bob and I headed to the Cotswolds. The weather forecast wasn’t too good and as it started snowing and hailing on the way there I wondered what we were doing. We had two circular walks totaling 11 miles and taking in 18 caches plus one more we passed in the car. The first walk went off OK apart from not taking any spare batteries and then finding that the batteries in my camera were flat. At least I had the PPC camera as backup. We followed another cacher all the way, so never saw a single TB. The only searching we did was for a cache that turned out to have been archived. I wish would sort that out, but they take a ridiculous stance on offline databases. Within seconds of getting back to the car the heavens opened and a very heavy hail storm hit. By the time we’d eaten our lunch it had passed by and the sun was out again.


The second walk was similar, but we took a wrong path and had to climb a steep hill. At that point the hail hit again. This time it was flying horizontally. Will tried to walk backwards as it was so painful. We jumped a fence, crossed a field, descended into the valley and we were back on track. Memory Map on the PPC was certainly very useful, but I’ll carry on using the GPSMAP60 CSx as my main GPSr. Rain and PDA's do not go together at all.

The Flying Boots came round for social get together and to chat about organizing a camping event. It was originally Will's idea and he had a good idea for a cache series too. A great evening was had by all (almost counts as an event in it's own rights for round here). The event has been publish. The Wye Valley and Forest of Dean Camping Event take place in August 2008. Please don't be shy. If you fancy coming along you will be more than welcome, even if you don't own the equipment.

Through a cache toy

15th March 2008

This wasn’t really a caching weekend as we had three days in London showing Will the sights as a 10th birthday treat. We stayed in Paddington, so it was only right that we found Paddington Dare, a virtual cache in the station. It did take two attempts though. We all went to the station on Friday night after a lot of walking and were too tired to make the find. After a couple of days of failed quick attempts at micros while Cath was in shops Sunday came around. It was pouring with rain, but I couldn’t go home without making a find, so I got up early, grabbed an umbrella, and headed back to the station. After a quick find I went on to make another by the canal nearby. I walked down to Hyde Park and returned to my DNF mode. It was raining, I needed to get back soon, bit more important is the fact that I really can’t be bothered with urban micros.


I had been investigating the getting a PDA or Smartphone for a week or two. After looking at the Mio A701 and Mio A560 I decided that the HTC TyTN II was the best product currently on the market, so when I managed to bag a brand new one for £200 I jumped at the chance. As well as handling pretty much every form of communication including HSDPA I wanted it mainly for the SirfStar III GPSr, WM6, WiFi, slide out keyboard, microSDHC compatibility. I stuck and 8GB card in it and loaded it up with TomTom, Memory Map, cachemate and a bunch of mp3 and movies. I used this device for caching in London as it include a 3MP camera and phone. It’s a brilliant all-in-one device. I also bought a Navigo for Cath. A cool toy for £50, as it can be hacked to get at WM.

HTC TyTN II or V1615
Glasgow canal taken on my old Motorola L6 - good ridance

6th March 2008

I had an overnight business trip to Glasgow and due to a late flight home I had a fair amount of time to kill and spent it wandering about the Glasgow streets. A real mixed bag with two long multi's (one good, one bad) a TB Hotel by a refurbished canal warehouse and a micro outside a very muggle ridden house which was once occupied my Madeleine Smith, who was famous for killing her husband and then escaping punishment by an outdated “not proven” law.

Merchant City was may favourite, despite being a multi which didn't really require a GPSr for most of it. I was feeling a little groggy after a good night in town and an excellent curry (my first buffet) at Bombay Blues.


1st March 2008

The Crickhowell Walking Festival had been adorned with a caching event this year. The event was very unusual for a number of reasons, not least was that the organizer had never found a cache. It did highlight the problems of a novice organizing an event in that there were several simple errors made, not least was that the rules for winning prizes were changed after the event, which was very annoying as Will had made a considerable effort. Six new caches were placed around Crickhowell and Will and I were one of a handful of teams that managed to find them all on the day. The weather was excellent, if a little breezy, and we had a fab time meeting up with many other cachers along the way including Write and Mane, the T-girls, Eclectic Penguin, Mollyjak, BikerMel & Snarf. We met up with The Flying Boots in the pub at the end of the day and were joined by many of the above.

Will heading towards Sugar Loaf, with Pen Cerrig Calch behind
Bob by CRiC 5

CRiC 2 was quite eventful as we bumped into the T-Girls in the lane whilst looking for somewhere to park. The roads are so narrow here that we struggled to get off the road enough so that they could pass. We then found a place to park and had a nice walk up to the cache where we met the T-Girls again. It turned out that they'd left one of their number in the car as they couldn't find a parking place. We enjoyed a chat and the brilliant views and then headed back in our respective directions. We saw the farm dog again on our way back. He seemed friendly enough, though something told me not to trust him completely. After giving him a stroke he suddenly turned and bit me on the arm. I think it was more of a warning bite and my thick fleece protected me, so no harm done, though it was a bit of a shock.


24th February 2008

Today's task was four simple caches around Blaenavon and Abertillery, but that would have too easy. The weather wasn't great but I planned a 20 mile route starting at Keeper's Pond. We then walked past the steel works in Blaenavon and headed up the hillside at Big Pit, a museum to mining where you can go into a disused coal mine. We were only here recently to do the final stage of the Merlin's Cache series. I was annoyed to find that I hadn't loaded my planned route onto my GPSr. Some os the minor paths are almost impossible to follow here, so it meant I'd be messing around a bit more than usual. I'd started looking into getting a PDA to run Memory Map and wished I'd had it now. Fortunately the heather was short, otherwise I would have been really wet and after almost 2.5 hours I reached the first cache in a very abused area near Byrgwm trigpoint.

Blaenavon Iron Works
Sunny Skirrid on a miserable day

When the road comes so close to a trig in the hills, it seems invariably spoilt by fly tippers. It makes me mad.
We walked on to a very fun Cache Canyon, with a very steep an slippery descent. I then stood on a stone which slid me into a stream, with the water coming above my boots. Frog spawn was abundant in all the puddles. We found our way out of the canyon and headed up Mynydd Llanhilleth. What a great name. After the long walk back over Coety Mountain we picked up two caches by The Blorenges. Both had muggles standing by them. That may not sound odd to you, but I only met three people/groups all day long. Much of the walk was along the first half of Rock, Rock who's there?

So, 20 miles when I could have bagged the caches in 3 miles tops. Well, geocaching is just an excuse for a good walk - to me, anyway.


16th February 2008

I couldn't believe it's been a year since that balmy February day we spent caching in the Cotswold Water Park, so we decided it was high time to go and find some more caches there. Again the weather was brilliant for the time of year with a crisp frost and bright sunshine. After one initial micro we found eight caches all owned by the Lydford Locators. All of the caches were on the Thames Path. I'm trying to get over a bad chest infection, so the easy, flat walking was just what I needed. The day was broken into one circular walk and two linear walks. The circular walk involved the only hill of the day and was a challenge in my current state, though I would hardly have noticed it on any other day. We stopped for lunch in Cricklade and found an open chippy, which was a rare treat. Ahhhh, Pukka pies. Fantastic! Though they make the afternoons work that bit harder.

Thames Path - Water Eaton

I can't say that anything particularly interesting happened during the course of the day, but we had a great time doing some father / son bonding as usual. All of the caches were found without any real effort, and despite some pretty muddy patches the whole day was a breeze. Will walked 10.5 miles, so he was pretty tired by the end of the day. He still managed to trot round our The Two Bridges cache on Sunday, but maybe the enticement of a Coke at the Bush Inn helped. It was great to see this cache being found during the week as it's a fabulous walk. Several other of our caches got hit during the week too, though it's probably because it was half term in Wales and the improvement in the weather at last.
I bought a solar powered Casio Pro Trek watch with digital compass, barometer, thermometer, altimeter etc etc etc. I love the way the light comes on when you look at the dial. I guess I just like toys. Also my Petzl head torch died. Just as well it has a 3 year guarantee.


10th February 2008

Last weekend we were going to go caching, but at the last minute the urge to go walking overpowered that of caching, but this weekend after a Saturday at the Wyedean Rally normal service was resumed. We loved Write and Mane's Caerphilly Collection last year so decided to start their Merthyr Marathon series at last. Merthyr isn't really a place that I like, but we'd give it a go. The first two caches in the series took about 5 hours to complete, though we were hardly rushing. They took us to some interesting locations, but the bits in between weren't our thing and Bob spent a lot of time on the lead, which he really isn't used to. We liked the old buildings, the mosaics and the military memorial. The weather was superb all day despite starting at home in thick fog and a very heavy frost.

Unusual art in Merthyr
My boys on top of the crypt

MM3 was a real corker. We started at a beautiful graveyard and ended up at a vaulted crypt built into the top of a hill looking over the hills and valleys around us. I was a spectacular location and we were really pleased to make such a quick find amongst a huge pile of rocks. The crypt lies close to a quarry, so a close eye was kept on the boys as it's a long way down. The three caches (plus a quick one on the way from home) had taken most of the day and after a false start on no. 4 (and as it was a Sunday) we decided to leave Merthyr and look for one last cache before going home.


supposed to be jessops pond had intrigued me for a while. It was a challenge to see if we could find this obviously sneaky cache where so many others had failed. The cache location was less than inspiring, but we parked up and walked the few yards to the coords. A man was standing there working on a kids quad bike. He wasn't leaving anytime soon, so we casually started to look. This kind of situation has happened a lot recently and it's really awkward. The odd thing is that it keeps happening in the most unlikely spots. Anyway, we found the cache almost immediately. It was a bit sneaky, but not as much as I had imagined. Feeling like caching gods (until next weekend at least) we left for home and the Sunday evening preparation for school and work. Doh!

I can't believe I've got the blog up to date (it is 10/2/2008 today) as I had fallen badly behind. Now to get my walking site up to date. That's going to be a real challenge.

Inside the crypt
Can you find this house?

26th January 2008

Our trip to the Nailsea area was based around a 5/5 cache. This is the maximum difficulty and terrain rating available, but what you have to remember is that the cache setter also sets these ratings and this cache wasn't as difficult as we were expecting. Hold Your Nerve starts with some research in the local library. This was easy enough, but the staff inundated us with more information than we really wanted. We had to locate a house within 1/2 mile from it's picture in a book. We realised that this would be impossible by wandering the streets, so we asked and were well rewarded. After finding the house we had to wait until it was dark to finish the cache, so we went off to find some more. Bubble Bubble! was a nice cache at what you would expect to be a quiet location, but not today. We got to the cache site to find three people already there. They were tossing a can on a chain into the pond.


Our first thought was that this was part of the cache, then we realised that they were testing the waters properties. This pond continuously emits bubbles. A strange phenomena which has not been completely explained. Next two boys appeared with some sort of bird box. You have to remember that this is a pretty secluded spot in the woods. We sat on a tree trunk very near the first three people. They must have wondered what on earth we were doing invading their space. I read the hint. Surely not. I reached down to my side and retrieved the cache unnoticed with five muggles standing within yards of us. After a couple of nondescript micros we headed for What's that coming over the hill, is it a monster? and it's two sister caches. The caches are owned by The Great Redmondo, whom we have met, so that always makes it a bit more interesting. The first two caches are just a warm up for the third which has some pretty cunning micros. I can't give the game away, but the first was a real toughy.

Bubble Bubble!
Will dazled by my head torch next to the path / stream

We headed back to Hold Your Nerve and started walking up the flooded road and then onto the path that was more like a stream. Fire Tacks are reflective blocks which illuminate when a strong beam hits them in the dark. They are nailed to trees to guide you along a route. Some people are apparently scared of walking in woods in the dark, but if you follow our blogs you will know we are quite used to this, so had no problem. We did have to PAF (phone a friend) though as it appears the second cache is missing. After jumping a couple of fences, despite being marked as PRoW's on the map the climb was very hot as we had dressed for a cold night at it was very warm. The final cache was easy enough, but I think it really helps having a very powerful torch, as Will's cheaper head torch barely created a reaction in the fire tacks. We met a lovely pony on the way back and then it struck us. What on earth had finding that house got to do with anything??? The night stages were great fun though.


20th January 2008

We tend to save up a few local caches for weekends when the weather isn't that good. The only problem is that local tends to mean 15-20 miles away these days. Off we went to the land of The Blorenges to complete the Toxic Waste series. Although we'd found the first one just after it was placed a year ago we hadn't collected the code required. Imagine our surprise when we found the cache had moved several hundred metres and we had to make a new find! We were relieved to find that Down the Junction was somewhat easier than Up the Junction. We enjoyed the hide at King Harold's Hunting Lodge and picked up a trigpoint on the way home.

Bullrushes at Down the Junction
Will with a highly magnetic TB in his bag

The normal gang went out on Sunday to find the cache which had eluded us on the evening of New Years Eve. When I contacted The Flying Boots they said, "well you know the gate". What gate. We looked for 45 minutes and never saw a gate near the coordinates. The cache has been moved since then as it was in a fenced off area. We didn't even entertain the idea that it might be in there, especially as it was about 70 feet from the coords. Found it very simply this time and left a huge and highly magnetic travel bug. Will found it very amusing when the magnet got stuck on a metal gatepost. It took a bit of prizing off, I can tell you.


5th January 2008

Being on holiday still, Will and I decided to head to Cardiff for some Afternoon Ty for the day. This cache is based around St Fagans: National History Museum, an excellent outdoor collection of Welsh buildings and history. We didn't take Bob, so were a little disappointed to find out that dogs are welcome. This was primarily an interesting day out, but a great example of how geocaching can be woven in and instigate a rewarding trip. We found all bar the last of the twelve clues without too much difficulty and really enjoyed talking to the guides who were located by raging fires in each of the old buildings which had been disassembled from all over Wales and rebuilt brick by brick on the site. We worked out the final location only to find it was closed, so we paid a visit to the reception area and asked a likely looking person who offered to open the building for us.

One of many lovely farmhouses rebuilt in the museum
Will at St Fagans in a very dodgy hat

She then told us that the cache setter just happened to be visiting the museum today, so we got a description and set off to find Reality Minus 3. Were were lucky to find her quite easily and enjoyed having a chat in a warm cottage, as the weather was biting today. A great cache and a great day out. I can't recommend it highly enough.

On Saturday we headed off to the Chippenham area to find 11 caches, which included three multi's, a puzzle and an earthcache. The earthcache was funny as we met a lovely family of newbies at the site sifting though leaves. When they saw our GPSr they introduced themselves and remarked "We can't find the cache anywhere!". An earthcache doesn't have a physical cache, it takes you to some significant location in the natural world, in this case a maze of tunnels into Oolitic Limestone at Box Quarry.


31st December 2007

Christmas Eve was the day that we released our new BBC series of seven caches. The caches had all been placed whilst walking about 75 miles with around 2 miles of ascent in the Brecon Beacons over the last few weeks. Of course you don't need to walk anywhere near this distance to complete them though they're there so you can enjoy the scenery, not score easy points. Some of them I knew exactly where I was going to place the cache from previous walks, but on several I walked a mountain or two all day to make sure I was happy with the hide location. I'm pleased that they're all in great locations and I know a select few will really enjoy finding them, though they won't attract the numbers that a micro thrown by the side of a road will. This is the sort of caching I really enjoy.

Near BBC7 looking at Pen y Fan
Will near the swallet overlooking the Black Mountains

The Llangattock Cave Entrance Series has been around for a few months now and we'd fought the urge to complete it as there are so few caches in such a great area. We started off by walking the old tramway to Ogof Agen Allwedd. The weird thing today was that our favorite two caches were the two micros! This was one, though not because of the hide. The views and walk were great even though the freezing wind was brutal. Will was walking around with his hands on his cheeks and my new cheek protecting hat and gloves came in very useful. We had a very steep scramble to the next cache which was at a swallet. I now know this to mean the entrance where a stream passes underground. An excellent location and Will was a real mountain goat.
We had some heather bashing to do to find the next cache and then a couple of simple ones, though we ended up at the top of a cliff and had to redirect our route.


As it was hailing by this stage we went back to the car and moved to the other side of the mountain where we had solved the puzzle to locate The Hard Rock Café. This was a pretty tough puzzle, but the walk was remarkably short. The HRC is a large cave a 250m underground and a few km from the entrance. Check out the photo on the listings page. Finally we went to The Devil's Bridge for the other micro-cache. An unusually cleverly hidden micro and a crashing waterfall through the bridge made this an excellent cache. We'd driven right by this location near the Drum and Monkey on the Heads of the Valleys Road many times, but would never have come here if it were not for geocaching.

The Devil's Bridge
Out of focus night vision Bob

Every Christmas I get a new walking related toy. One year a GPSr, another year a Petzl head torch and this year it was a night vision monocular. When a cache came up on New Year's Eve and Will and I were having a quiet night in as the wife was working we jumped at the chance to get out and give it a test run. We spent ages looking in the Forest of Dean for a cache, but I think we assumed the coordinates were more accurate than they actually were and ended up having a DNF. Not to worry, we had a great time and it was much better that sitting in and watching fireworks on the TV. Bob loves running at night. I guess he always has his night vision on. All my head torch batteries were run down, so I ordered some Sanyo Eneloops. The hybrid rechargeable batteries don't loose their charge whilst sat on the shelf - or in a head torch. I've read some good reviews, so I intend to use them for back up. I'll keep you posted.

OK, so the camera pressed against the monocular doesn't give the best results by any means, but you get the gist.