The Gauntlet starts in:
The Gauntlet, in many ways, is the heart and soul of Florida Finders Fest. Every Finders Fest has had a Gauntlet and for many, it is their primary activity during the event. Here’s how it works…
We place a series of caches along a beautiful trail in the heart of the Ocala National Forest. Teams are taken to the starting point and abandoned… er, we mean, dropped off. From the starting point, teams will hike to the other end to be picked up. Maybe. Along the way they should find all the placed caches (which will be activated after the event). There is also a list of “Targets” to find to earn “Bonus Points”. These are scavenger hunt type items. Some are existing features and some will be planted just for the event. In addition, there are a number of special items placed at points along the trail. They are numbered. Each team draws a number unique to their team and locates and retrieves the special items bearing that number for additional Bonus points.
It’s golf style scoring – the lower the score the better. The amount of time it takes to complete The Gauntlet is your Base Score. To that Penalty Points will be added for any caches DNF’d. From that total, we subtract the Bonus Points. The lowest score wins!
Reigning Florida Finders Fest 11 Gauntlet Winners
It is HIGHLY recommended that you form teams of 6 adults. The trail has many spots where it is possible to take a wrong turn. If a team has to focus all its attention on staying on the trail they will likely miss a lot of targets. And vice versa. Therefore, there is an advantage to having a larger team allowing delegation of attention. However, due to logistical requirements, all team members must be able to fit in two Jeeps, which can each seat a driver, plus 3 adults, semi-comfortably for a short trip. We can probably squeeze in a few kids (literally) on top of them. In any case, the drivers will be comfortably seated.
Transportation to the starting point is provided by jeep. Please be kind to your drivers. They are taking time out of their day and money out of their pockets to pay for gas to transport participants of The Gauntlet. You only need to worry about getting to the event, which is easily accessible on paved roads.
There are a limited number of team slots available. So form full teams and sign up early. If you are looking for additional teammates, we suggest reaching out and posting on our Facebook Page.
What to Bring – Each team will need a GPS and a Digital Camera. Also, a clip board may be handy as there will be some reading and writing involved. Walking/poking sticks will be a big help. Water, bug spray, and snack are probably a good idea too.
There will be an “Oasis” stop along the way, sponsored by The Space Coast Geocaching Store. Water, fruit and snack bars will be served by our delightful and vivacious Oasis Hostess, but depending on your needs, you may want to bring more.
Trail Conditions – The trail is mostly firm and dry. There will be little if any bushwhacking involved.
Time/Distance – The total distance will be approximately 5 to 7 miles but that is still being finalized.
Weather – We are having regular discussions with TPTB (i.e. we are praying) for good weather, but we plan to go rain or shine. I mean, after all, we’ll be back at base camp warm and dry regardless. Besides, weather should be viewed as part of the adventure.
Starting Coordinates – They will be provided to teams as they start, beginning at 8AM at the event on the day of the event.
Prizes – We are assembling a selection of prizes for the top placing teams. There will likely be geocoins involved.