Part 1: T-Minus 6 Months
So you’ve been Geocaching for a while and you think you are just insane enough to try for “100 caches in 24 hours!”, “As many as we can get before we pass out” or “300 finds or abandoning my car mates in a ditch, whichever comes first”. Caching can be stressful. So can a crush event, where you and your (optional) team race to collect as many smilies as possible.
In Part 0 we established the Crush event as something you should not treat lightly, as a neophyte or an inveterate couch potato rising for the first time in decades to meet with perfect strangers. You’re too stupid to be sold on common sense. Good. Now let’s get to the planning of this thing (beer and pizza parties are going to start coming fast and furious now)…
1.) Yes, I did say 6 months
Once you’ve done a couple of these things with a regular group of friends you might just need 6 days, but for now I’m going on the assumption that you really don’t have a clue. Why else would you read my worthless screed? 🙂 In this case plan on 6 months from the time you first suggest this-
Wouldn’t it be a great idea if we all piled in a car together for 12 hours and ran around town like animals looking for scraps of paper to sign?!
…until you finally get to this-
For the love of all that is holy get out of my car you demon spawn!
At least it takes some time so you do have runway to medicate and prepare before takeoff. You really do need 6 months. 2 months to get the word out, 2 months to see who is serious and 2 months to get the details all figured out. This is absolutely true if you’re traveling a distance, plan on an overnight stay or just don’t have much in the way of motivation. If you’re a super organized you will still need a couple of months to arrange travel, so don’t go mocking me just yet.
We just finished an event proposed by Fuster75 over 6 months ago. If he had proposed it 2 months ago I would have laughed at him (and prayed his aim with a rifle wasn’t that good).
2.) Everything Depends on the Attendance Count and Timing
The game you play and the home rules you abide will depend entirely on how many people are playing simultaneously, and when. Get this detail worked out first. A last minute joiner won’t kill your mojo but a carload will. You can start thinking about the breakdown of transportation, lodging, other planning steps, etc. as soon as you have a clear idea on overall numbers. Once you have the numbers you can…
3.) Decide on a Final Location
If your friends are anything like my “friends” Lotrat or Dougandsuzy this piece is going to take a while. Let it. If you’ve got a spot all picked out, marvelous. Otherwise, you really need to do your homework. Using Google Earth with the KML plugin to scan the continent for “rich” Geocaching territory would not be my first choice, either. The terrain, cache difficulty, types, travel method (bike, car, foot, or combo), duration and so forth will all derive from your team’s makeup, so have everyone do a little thinking and get together for pizza and beer/Dr. Pepper to argue it out. You might want to ask for a frequent diner’s card at your local pizza/beer joint. You’re gonna need it.
Run a few pocket queries to get an idea about your options. If you’ve got 2 or 3 locations in mind, read a batch of logs from the areas and try to get a sense for the local community you are about to invade. A San Jose Geocacher might be right at home in San Diego or Palm Springs, but the local character in, say, Portland might be a culture shock. Remember what I said about that whole “when” thing? Keep that in mind. I wouldn’t want to plan an event for Western New York in January or Palm Desert in August. You might, but then Geocachers haven’t been known for their common sense.
DO THIS. I cannot stress enough how much these little planning details will pay off in the end.
4.) Find Your Fearless Leader
I am sorry to inform you, but it’s probably you. Once you’ve managed to get past the groupthink stages it is time to buckle down and have someone take over planning the Crush event from here on out. You’re probably 2 months into this thing and all you have is a location pinned to within 100 miles and a rough order of magnitude on attendance. Someone needs to own the business of planning out your moves, communicating to the group and documenting the plan.
If your group is big- say over 6 or 8 people, you will need some help in this department. Folks- you’re planning a party. The problem is, it’s a party that doesn’t stand still for more than 6 minutes at a time. You need a Captain Kirk, a Spock and a McCoy for big groups (and a Hatfield for dangerous territory). If you can do all that because you’re retired and just live to run the show, knock yourself out. But know this:
NOBODY WANTS TO RUN THE SHOW
Sorry, I should have mentioned that in Step 0. Sucks to be you. Just make sure the group is fully behind whoever takes on this task and ASK FOR SOME HELP.
5.) Take a Deep Breath: It Gets Fun From Here!
The tough bits are just about done. Who, where and when are the big argument starters. Everything else is details and I have tools to help you with those details. Take a few days to collect yourself and dive right in.
Stay tuned for Part 2, wherein more pizza and beer is consumed.