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What Do You Do At Midnight


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I'm not against night caching, but I do know a lot of parks do have posted hours, varying between "1/2 hour before sunrise to 1/2 hour after sunset" to 10 or 11 pm, and I try to obey the rules as much as possible. I'm sure there are parks around that do allow overnight stays, but I haven't really run across them in my area.

 

That being said there's still hope if you choose a park that posts the latest open hours, say 11pm, especially after Daylight savings in the winter months. There are a couple night caches around here that exploit that.

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It could be a real neat idea, but it can also provide a lot of logistical headaches. First off it will be anything but muggle resistant if someone happens to walk by - and they will walk by. Then you have the issue of providing power. On top of all that you will need measures to decrease the chance of vandalism and stealing of components that might be useful for other purposes. And all that sounds like a maintenence nightmare.

 

One idea is for the lightsource to be provided by the cacher. If there is any way you can narrow down a precise location for a cacher to stand and point a light in the proper area you might be able to have a mirror set up that points to the cache. This could prove to be very complex to do but at least it removes a lot of chance encounters muggles might have accidentily setting the cache off.

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What do I do at midnight? Quite frequently I'm either searching for a cache, or else picking the next cache on the list to go for.

I used to avoid night caching and always stopped at sunset. That stopped after I was on a 24 hour caching marathon last year. I found that caching during the night was not much harder than during the day, and there are far fewer muggles around.

In the winter months, I usually don't get home from work until after sunset, and weekends aren't always available, so I go caching after work in the dark.

Over the course of the last year, I think I've spent as much time caching at night as I have during the daytime.

 

There are a couple of rules that I always follow when night caching:

First of all, NEVER go alone. In the city, the less friendly muggle population is about. In the country, if you get in trouble, it's going to be a long time before any help arrives. At night I'm always caching with at least one other person, and usually two or three.

Second, make sure you have more than one source of light. There's nothing scarier than getting a couple of miles down a terrain 3 trail, only to discover that you no longer have a source of light. I use an LED headlight for hiking on the trails, and pocket flashlight as a backup and as an extra light while searching. If I'm going after a well hidden cache, or one that's in dense undergrowth, I'll often bring along a BFL on a shoulder strap as well.

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I've only done one dedicated night cache (the kind that involves following fire tacks) and that was with a group. Other than that, one of my friends and I have gone looking for a few caches long after dark, but only because an FTF was at stake. :unsure:

 

I've had 2 ideas for night caches, and I might as well share them since it'll be a LONG time before I have the $$$ and free time to make them happen.

One would involve following the traditional reflective tacks, but then the final cache site would be marked by an owl decoy in a tree, complete with glowing orange LED lights for eyes. The guts from a solar walkway lamp could make that happen. I'd call it the Great Horned Cache.

 

The other idea would involve making a trail of solar powered boxes with blinking LEDs, except the kind that are found in TV remotes. You can't see them... but your digital camera or camcorder can! Possible name: For Your Eyes Only.

 

Hey WH, interested in trying any of these out?

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This one was the first night cache I've ever done. I had so much fun at it, that I decided to create my own night cache, with a twist.

The Etch-O-Sketch Night Cache

I read the description for your "Etch-O-Sketch" cache and I have to admit the concept is awesome. I actually thought about using the track feature for part of a cache puzzle, but it has already been done, and incorporated into a night cache :unsure: .

 

Great Work!

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Joe and I just did the Stinson Run Owl Walk in Pennsylvania last week. We were attempting to make it a FTF, but failed by juuust a sliver. Check out the cache owner, Ed Scott, he is the crazy dude who caches without a GPS. :mad:

It was a GREAT cache hunt. It was dark, yes, and the correct trails were marked with little reflector arrow things that you would never see during the day. If we went 100m down a trail and didn't see reflectors, we were on the wrong path and had to turn back. It was extremely fun, and I recommend this to anyone. The sounds of night were amazing. This guy deserves a big round of applause for this amazing cache hunt.

*clap* *clap* *clap* *clap* *clap* :lol:

 

We then did this cache at night, but it was not designed to ne a night cache. It was cool just the same, and we got out unscathed. Again, the sounds of the night gave it a whole twist that we would have missed during a daytime hunt.

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In the winter months, I usually don't get home from work until after sunset, and weekends aren't always available, so I go caching after work in the dark.

Over the course of the last year, I think I've spent as much time caching at night as I have during the daytime.

 

Second, make sure you have more than one source of light.

Been there, got that T-Shirt.

 

Also be careful to bring that flashlight even when setting out in late afternoon. I've had a couple of those caches that have resulted in a very 'nervous' walk along now dark trails solo simply because the sun went down on my way back.

 

As I live in the same area as Chris-Mouse I'll have to agree with him -- caching from November to April is more or less wiped out for me if I'm not willing to toss on the LED headlight (handy as it is the least likely to burn out), a couple flashlights and a BFL in the pack. Mind you I don't have that snow-melting monstrosity of a BFL that he carries. Last time he turned that thing on I swear I could see an outline of my skeleton on that tree behind me.

 

Night caching has also offered up other cool advantages -- bugs are less busy at night than they are at noon it seems and if you're caching near a city you can get some spectacular night views. I'm looking forward to Friday night's caching session which will include the Perseid meteor shower (won't see things like that caching at noon, unless you're up in the high arctic).

 

One does have to be careful though, never ever go alone - safety in numbers. Twisting your ankle on a tree root can have a disastrous effect even in the day when you find yourself seveal km from the car. I also tend to get the eebie jeebies about every sound I hear in the woods when I'm out there alone....

 

I'm pretty sure at least half of my cache finds were found without the aid of sunlight. Moonlight maybe but not sunlight.

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what would be a good night cache? have you been to a night cache that you liked? is night cacheing fun to you? have you ever got spooked night cacheing? :mad:

As long as it's legal, I prefer doing urban micros late at night. Not as many muggles around to bug ya, so you've got more freedom to hunt like you want to. Cops are a little more suspicious at night though. Haven't done any night-only caches yet, but will be hitting one soon that uses reflectors on trees to guide cachers along. I do a lot of caching at night though, since usually that's when the kids are asleep and I can escape the house without feeling guilty. Besides, if you don't find the cache, you can always use the darkness as an excuse. :lol:

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