Geocaching A&E

A current topic of conversation in my local geocaching Facebook group, Geocaching in Kent, is all about geocaching injuries.

Scrape from a brick wall

Scrape from a brick wall

Mizmazmoz asked “After a very brambly cache hunt today myself and friend were chatting about injuries from doing outdoor sports…..so the question is what is your worst caching related injury and has anyone ended up in a&e from geocaching?”

On our Facebook group there is a file called “The Accident Book” which has a few entries and photographs of some of the scrapes we get into just to claim a lovely smilie on our maps. It would seem that some of us (myself included) don’t always remember the advice that “no cache is worth dying over!”

The question has sparked quite a bit of interest with answers like;

Nasty Graze

Nasty Graze

SS Fangbangers – “I did climb half way up an old fallen tree, following the GPS and the branch gave way underneath me. Twisted my ankle but thats it lol”  

Kalle’s Crew – “I’m currently nursing a bruised coccyx from sliding a bit quick down a very steep slope and meeting tree roots”

Borrowed Wine – “I fell of the wing wall of a bridge once, pulled all of the muscles in my arm and shoulder and had some wicked grazes, that hurt. My brother standing there laughing didn’t help much.”

And of course there is always the cuts, bruises and grazes that seem to appear out of nowhere after a days caching in some fairly overgrown wood somewhere in the county.

Last summer Winter-Smith shared a story with us about this very topic. He had been on a walking holiday with friends in The Lake District. It wasn’t specifically a geocaching holiday as some the friends were ramblers rather than geocachers, but that didn’t stop Winter-Smith from convincing the group to find a few plastic tubs along the way. During a day’s hiking one of the group slipped and subsequently fractured her leg. Miles from any road and half way up a mountain, Winter-Smith knew he would need to call mountain rescue as they couldn’t move her. He had this to say, “We didn’t admit to being cachers, claiming to be walkers instead, but I did use my GPS unit to pass grids to the mountain rescue team and helicopter.” Embarrassed to admit to being a geocacher??

Wave goodbye to Mountain Rescue

Wave goodbye to Mountain Rescue

So what’s your caching injury stories? Have you been shipped off to an emergency room? I haven’t yet, but I do have several pairs of jeans that now have large holes in the knees and on the back of the upper legs from jumping over brick walls or tripping on trailing ivy across footpaths.

Please share them with us.

In response to this post over on Google+ I have the following story to share, I laughed so hard my eyes watered. I did apologise for my insensitivity.

Dougbromac had this to say; “I would imagine that this topic will get a lot of traction.

My most recent was just day before yesterday. I had to scale a cliff and my reward a a foot-long cut down the front of my right leg. I had a hot date with the peroxide bottle that night. Good thing I clot fast.

My worst was up Aiea Loop when it started to rain as I was taking an unnecessarily hard approach to a cache down a steep hill. (I’m prone to that.)

The earth turned to slime in the downpour and there I went downhill, like in the movie “Romancing the Stone” going down the mud flume. The only thing that stopped my slide was hitting a strawberry guava tree. Caught me in the ribs and knocked the wind out of me and was surprised on inspection I didn’t have a broken rib. I just laid there as I waited for the incapacitating pain to subside, the rain pelting down, slowly rinsing the mud off my face as I stared up into the treetops.

I didn’t finish the hike. Once I could even move again, I limped and drug myself back to the car and stripped down in the parking lot and stuffed my completely muddy and saturated clothes in a plastic trash bag and drove home barefoot in my underwear. I would have needed a firehose to knock all the mud off.

Later on at home I had to take my clothes and boots to a car wash and power spray the mud out of them.

And to add insult to the injuries, I didn’t get a single cache! This happened before my first find for that hike!

Lesson learned. It’s not like in the movies. The rocks and trees and far harder than they appear and you fall much faster than you’d think.”

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Categories: Geo Stories | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , | 6 Comments

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6 thoughts on “Geocaching A&E

  1. blogbiscuit

    Like any cacher I tend to get thorns, grazes, nettle stings, even banged my head on a very hard branch once (thankfully had my baseball cap on so didn’t cut my head) but i didn’t half have a bit of a bad head for a while. I haven’t done anything drastic but I would like to say I wouldn’t be embarrassed at saying i was geocaching, even if i was in the middle of a field and say fell awkward or down a hole with one leg and couldnt move I would tell them what i was doing, thankfully that has not happened and i wont approach certain terrain without a knowledgeable person or at least company on a “just incase” basis, I certainly wouldnt even go to snowdon or ben nevis on my own for example.

    • Hi blogbiscuit

      Thanks for sharing 🙂 I think anyone trying to tackle a mountain on their own would be very silly.

      I have a history of falling over thin air and fracturing/dislocating/spraining my ankles, but thankfully & touch wood, this hasn’t happened while geocaching. Maybe I am slightly more cautious with foot placement when on uneven ground.

      • blogbiscuit

        Yes I can trip over my feet and fresh air too thats why I like company on the likes of places like the Roaches, although its not that high I wouldn’t do it on my own, got a cache to get up there ive not got yet 😉 6 feeder caches (4 trads and 2 multis) to get before you can do it.

        I do support the air ambulance (hope i never need it) yet I have seen it in action with working temporarily at university of north staffs hospital.

        ps. hope your geo dog is pretty settled now

      • Misty is setting in incredibly well. She loves the geo walks.

      • blogbiscuit

        I need a geo pup i really do, small with lots of energy I think 🙂 I would borrow the neighbours but said dog is far too old now the length of walks i tend to go on would give her a coronary i think

      • blogbiscuit

        Sounds Like you are as bad as me then, I have my fun lol you only have to read my blog for that one.

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