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Caching in the snow


gh patriot
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  • Read the cache pages to get an idea of what you are looking for and whether it is hidden above the snow.
  • Use a hiking stick to poke around. The hollow thud of a buried ammo can is recognizable.
  • Caches that have been recently found may still be findable.
  • Move to the south. Its not as big of a problem here.

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Two words:

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Metal Detector :laughing:

 

Just dont get caught carrying it in a NY state park...

Check local park regulations before using one. Even carrying one where you're not supposed to can get you in trouble.

 

In my opinion, using one would make things MUCH too easy. I've only had acouple of caches I had to return to several times because they were below ground level, thus covered by snow completely.

 

I would check the logs...If its been found recently, then its probably findable in the winter.

Or, how aboot even trying to email the owner, and ask them if they think its findable under "X" amount of snow...They should best know the recent local weather conditions, and whether they think it would be findable or not.

 

And, if you're not sure you can find it, put it on a bookmark list, or something, and save it for spring.

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Finding caches in snow takes experience, perseverance and luck. You don't have a lot of experience, so you will need a lot of the latter two.

 

First, you may need to read the hint earlier than usual. It may have some key info. Look for visual clues above the snow. Perhaps a single larger tree at ground zero among other, smaller trees. Check around the base of the larger tree.

 

Look for the tell tale sign of boulders or down trees under the snow. If its a down tree, feel along the sides, paying close attention to places where the branches split, or at the well around the roots if there is one. Feel the undersides of any boulders.

 

A ski or trekking pole comes in handy for poking around in the snow. Also check the logs to see if there were finds in the snow, that may give you an indication as to whether it's doable.

 

Just remember that your find percentage will go down, probably a lot. But you can still have a blast geocaching in the snow.

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Let someone else guide your way. Do a pocket query for caches found in the last few days. Then you can probaby spot the feet tracks from the previous cachers. :) At the very least, it'll give you ideas on where to look, instead of tearing through fresh snow on each one.

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I've only been caching for a month and I was wondering if anyone had any hints or tricks to cache successfully in the snow (other than bring a shovel).

If it's an area with a lot of snow, beware of tree wells. Years ago my dog slipped into one and I had a heck of a time getting him out - and endangered myself in doing so.

 

Hopefully you're joking about the shovel. I'm quick to give up on a snowy search if continuing might mean accidentally tearing up vegetation, the ground, or whatever else is under the snow. Aside from the obvious environmental issue, there is the issue of preserving the integrity of the cache. You can re-bury a cache in snow, but if you've destroyed the obscuring vegetation then it will be in plain site once the snow melts.

 

All of that said, with the proper expectations (generally low), snow caching can be a blast. (So can letterboxing in the snow. However, we tried one yesterday that required finding a feature on the ground. With 8 inches of snow, that was a non-starter.)

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Briansnat's on the money. He'd do just fine up here in Anchorage's current 4' of snow...

 

So, a special airfare came open and I jumped at the chance to visit the Seattle area with the wife and daughter last weekend... thought I'd cache a bit 'snow-free' while they shopped... didn't count on the snow and ice storm that swept the area last Friday... and the joke was on me! Ended up crawling the waterfront for benchmarks in the little bit of time I had - that area had warmed up enough (with its western exposure) to be snow-free. Moral of the story - heading south doesn't always do the trick - it's just a game of location.

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I've only been caching for a month and I was wondering if anyone had any hints or tricks to cache successfully in the snow (other than bring a shovel).

 

Come to Traverse City, Michigan on Saturday, January 27th. The Winter Convergence VI, the longest running caching meet and greet in the world. Over a hundred attendees and a couple dozen caches within a few miles, all in the woods, the way caching is supposed to be! We'll "learn ya how da cache eh!"

 

http://www.geocaching.com/seek/cache_detai...9f-1a880e488d83

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I did snow caching for the first time, recently. I was surprised to find that the technique wasn't very different. It just meant that every place I wanted to look required pawing at the snow. General shapes of boulders and other likely hiding places were still apparent. The only problem is that in re-hiding the cache it's very difficult to tell if the cache will still be hidden when the snow is melted, and tracks in the snow give away my visit.

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If it's an area with a lot of snow, beware of tree wells. Years ago my dog slipped into one and I had a heck of a time getting him out - and endangered myself in doing so.
It's too bad you don't carry a shovel with you. You could have had him out in a jiffy! :lol:
Hopefully you're joking about the shovel. I'm quick to give up on a snowy search if continuing might mean accidentally tearing up vegetation, the ground, or whatever else is under the snow. Aside from the obvious environmental issue, there is the issue of preserving the integrity of the cache. You can re-bury a cache in snow, but if you've destroyed the obscuring vegetation then it will be in plain site once the snow melts.
While it is certainly true that I don't own any snowbound caches, I did grow up in an area that received a ton of snow (western NY). I would think that if an area has so much snow that it requires a shovel to find the cache, then the ground is frozen. As such, I think that it would be relatively easy to judge where the snow ends and the ground begins. Also, based on my experience shoveling snow, I doubt any serious damage to the ground or vegetation will be suffered. Come spring, the vegetation is going to grow, again. As far as obscuring debris is concerned, I suspect that any owners of snow bound caches would realize that come springtime, they will need to do a maintainence visit to verify that the cache weathered the season and remains properly hidden. Edited by sbell111
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I have one cache that is normally only available from mid July through September each year. A snowmobiling cacher once estimated about 12 feet of snow over it in January of 2005. It is located in the Snowy Mountain Range of Southeast Wyoming - At about 10,800 foot elevation.

 

Didn't stop at least 2 brave souls from attempting it in mid-winter. Both DNF. I check each summer and it is sufely tucked where I left it. In mid-august - wildflowers surround the area - quite a sight!.

Edited by StarBrand
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Hopefully you're joking about the shovel. I'm quick to give up on a snowy search if continuing might mean accidentally tearing up vegetation, the ground, or whatever else is under the snow. Aside from the obvious environmental issue, there is the issue of preserving the integrity of the cache. You can re-bury a cache in snow, but if you've destroyed the obscuring vegetation then it will be in plain site once the snow melts.
While it is certainly true that I don't own any snowbound caches, I did grow up in an area that received a ton of snow (western NY). I would think that if an area has so much snow that it requires a shovel to find the cache, then the ground is frozen. As such, I think that it would be relatively easy to judge where the snow ends and the ground begins. Also, based on my experience shoveling snow, I doubt any serious damage to the ground or vegetation will be suffered. Come spring, the vegetation is going to grow, again. As far as obscuring debris is concerned, I suspect that any owners of snow bound caches would realize that come springtime, they will need to do a maintainence visit to verify that the cache weathered the season and remains properly hidden.

It just depends on the area. What you say may be true of where you grew up. NONE of it is true where I am, in the Western Washington lowlands and foothills. Here, the snow comes and goes; the ground isn't necessarily frozen and in fact usually is not. Around here the typical obscuring vegetation would be ripped to shreds by a shovel or even just reckless digging by hand. Around here the caches aren't designed as "snow bound caches." For example, I went caching (and letterboxing) in about 9 inches of snow a couple of days ago. The one cache I found was well under the snow, hidden under fern fronds, all of which were also completely under the snow. Those are easily damaged and if they were, once the snow melted (in a few days) the cache would be completely exposed. One of the letterboxes I found was similarly hidden under ferns. I think it's better to be cautious and call off a search than to have a "find it no matter what attitude."

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Snow is not the problem. It's the cold. I just got back from being out in 20C. But I found one:) Whatis the coldest anyone has cached in ? :ph34r:

 

Um... 20C = 68F, in other words, room temperature. Were you trying to say it was cold? Did you mean 20F?

 

I found a cache on Tuesday when it was a high of 18F or so, but it was just an urban cache near work. But my fingers were quite cold by the time I signed the log and put it back!

 

I prefer hiking in the winter than the summer - no bugs, not all hot and sweaty, really pretty, less crowded, and a snow covered trail is easer to hike than roots and rocks.

 

Cathy

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[yep that's what I was trying to say......My brain must have temporarily froze :blink:

 

Yepquote name='vermontcathy' date='Jan 19 2007, 10:13 AM' post='2671269]

Snow is not the problem. It's the cold. I just got back from being out in 20C. But I found one:) Whatis the coldest anyone has cached in ? :laughing:

 

Um... 20C = 68F, in other words, room temperature. Were you trying to say it was cold? Did you mean 20F?

 

I found a cache on Tuesday when it was a high of 18F or so, but it was just an urban cache near work. But my fingers were quite cold by the time I signed the log and put it back!

 

I prefer hiking in the winter than the summer - no bugs, not all hot and sweaty, really pretty, less crowded, and a snow covered trail is easer to hike than roots and rocks.

 

Cathy

Edited by Danuw
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