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winter caching


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Learning to cache in the snow is difficult at best. You have the right general strategy right in trying to think like a hider. Problem is that just 1 square foot of ground covered with hard pack snow and ice could easily be shielding the cache.


In general, look for anything that is out-of-place. Not quite right. Look at the area from different angles, keeping an eye out for unusual shadows or gleams of metal. Remember to think vertical - not all caches are on the ground.


Watch for unusual piles of rocks, leaves, sticks, grass, pine needles, moss etc.... Get familar with containers used for caches. Don't be afraid to look twice at the same spot.


Some have used metal detectors to find the snowbound ones but be cautious as many parks ban them.

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To find caches under the snow you need patience, luck and experience. Unfortunately you're lacking in the experience category so you're going to need much more of the other two.


Here are some hints. Think of the kinds of places that you've found caches in other seasons and check those. Also consider the hiding style of the cache owner. Many owners tend to prefer certain kinds of places, so concentrate on those.


Look for clues above the snow. That single large tree in a stand of saplings - check arounds its base. That lengthy lump in the snow that conceals a down tree - check along its sides, paying particular attention to the well around the roots and spots where large branches split off. That lone boulder - feel around the bottom.

That large tree stump - it may be hollow, so check it out.


Also review the cache logs and look for caches that previously had been found in the snow. Some caches will be nearly impossible, while others can easily be found in the snow and those will show finds during the winter.

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Welcome to caching. I carry a small child sized plastic shovel with me. Read logs to obtain information about placement, clues, look for geobeacons. Also pay attention to the container size. I have a tendancy to avoid micros in the winter, along with fence lines. Learned to be observant of snow piles, fresh snow. Most importantly wear warm clothes. Dress in layers, have water proof/resistant boots, and a pair of snow protectors that go over boots upto knees to help keep pants dry.

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Look for regular sized caches that have been found recently. The more finds the better.


Try difficulty 1 or 1.5?


Review the logs to see how easy, or difficult, it was to find.


It's much harder in the snow. I was caching with my wife recently and couldn't find the cache. There were a number of smaller trees on the ground, trunks about 12" in diameter. She started kicking her boot under the logs. She uncovered an ammo box that barely fit in a gap under the log. It was hidden behind snow covered bark. I couldn't believe that it fit there! I didn't even look there!


If all else fails, follow the footprints!

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...If all else fails, follow the footprints!


That's what I was going to say. I found one that had been already found that day. The foot prints lead right to it. It was one of the easiest I've found.


I've also looked for one that I was the first to look for in a while. It was under about 2 feet of snow. I looked for about 10 minutes but didn't think I would find it. I didn't.

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Yes, footprints!! I found a cache in a somewhat remote city park. Found it - no problems. Then two or three days later, another cacher found it. In his log he said that the only footprints in the whole park were from the previous cacher!

Wouldn't that make the cache vulnerable to muggles? In high traffic areas, I suggest you cover your tracks or take a cleared path nearer to the cache.

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I am beginning to learn that doing this for the first time in the winter sucks.

I have tried 3 caches in 3 days and now have 3 DNF's. It can be quite disheartining. nothing like digging in the snow on your hands and knees for 40 mins for nothing. I'm not going to give up tho because now it's personal :laughing:

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