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Night Caches...Do You Like Them


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What the difference between doing a regular cache at night, and night caches?

 

Are night caches designed specifically for only doing at night. In what ways are they different?

 

I have done a few regular caches at night.

 

There's several ways to leave clues that can only be seen at night. Reflectors and things that glow in the dark are just a few examples.

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Typically, a "night" cache is listed as a puzzle type. The posted coords bring you to the starting point of a trail of reflectors, which you follow to get to the cache. There are many variations to this theme.

This post got me wondering, when listing a night cache for approval do you have to list each fire tack as a WP or just the start and final locations?

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On mine, I list the suggested parking and the start of the "trail" as visible waypoints, and I list the end of the "trail" and the final cache location as invisible waypoints. My "Etch-O-Sketch" night cache has about 500 reflectors. I've created a POI list of each in GSAK, but that's just for my personal use. If I had to list the coords of each reflector, my "trail" would be much shorter. :)

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The Sacramento California area has a series of creature feature caches. At least one is a night time only cache. It is "Living dead". Cache GCQY27. This cache is a lot of fun and includes a bright surprise when you open the cache container. You probably follow the fire tack reflections 1/2 mile to get to the cache. The key is having a bright flashlight. An LED, weak or small flashlight will not work. A large bright flashlight is best.

 

Cache on.

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Typically, a "night" cache is listed as a puzzle type. The posted coords bring you to the starting point of a trail of reflectors, which you follow to get to the cache. There are many variations to this theme.

This post got me wondering, when listing a night cache for approval do you have to list each fire tack as a WP or just the start and final locations?

 

I did when I submitted one of my night caches. One of my caches has a reflector trail that passes within 350 feet of an existing cache. I was able to convince the approver that there was no possible way for someone following reflectors, to possibly veer 350 West of the trail, climb a hill, and find another cache, by accident. The final location was well away from the cache in question.

 

The key is to prove that your cache doesn't interfere with other caches, if they exist nearby.

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As a result of my night cache Control the Night being mentioned on this thread and some others, I've received numerous emails from cachers inquiring about how the flashing infrared receivers were built so that they could put out something similar.

 

The receivers are something I've built myself from a very simple circuit I discovered. The laser circuit at the final was created from a purchased electronic kit that I added to a laser scavenged from a cheap laser level. While they are electronically simple, they do require fabrication and soldering skills that a lot of people may not have.

 

Although I am fairly proud of my unique night cache, I'm not so proud that I need to keep it exclusive, except maybe in my own area. :( I've shared the circuit with some that appear electronically capable, but I'm wondering if there would be interest in purchasing ready made units? I'm not sure of the price yet, but it would likely be in the $10 per unit range, since some of the components aren't real cheap. The laser would probably be closer to $25.

 

PM or email me if you are interested. If there is some interest, I may be able to put something more definite together.

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We went with some friends we had only just introduced ourselves to at an event...they were a young couple who had never been night caching who had a baby free night, and we found a sitter for the youngest...the older two wanted to go too, they are 8 and 6...the other woman had a list of about 7 or 8 to do if we worked quickly all night long. I can still imagine the laughing as some of the locals were reading about our idea. We met at the first night cache...they were 30 minutes late. We start off...."Does anyone have any idea what a glint is?" "Nope, maybe it is that marking (a trail marker)" We searched for 45 minutes and it was not all the way dark yet either, just to make things a bit more difficult... just to try to figure out what glint was...then decided to try cache 2 on the list which was also a puzzle...we got to the coords for the head of the 'glint' trail and I thought for sure we were done once we arrived there. The whole rest of the group were off looking else where while I (runningout mom) stood in the coord spot and gave the flashlight a good work out. It was a miracle that I saw that tiny dang tack and sent mr runningout to go check it out before I climbed the hill myself...then we were off...following one sparkle after another. We did reach ground zero and searched for 30 minutes....then one of the others read the page again....NOT WINTER FRIENDLY....huh? There was about an inch or so of snow.....dang it! Mr Runningout says to no one in particular..."Did anyone actually read the cache pages before chosing these caches?" We finally decided to go back to cache #1 and try again....Now that we knew what a dang glint was! And we needed fresh batteries, cause the maglite was very dim indeed. After about 2 hours of following, losing and then finding and following with a whole lot of slipping on the sheets of ice in the area (east coast in Feb)we finally reached our goal. That was enough night caching for the runningout team that night!!! But it was a blast. Then Mr Runningout had a class near the second one so he picked it up after he was finished during the day. We never laughed so hard nor had so much fun and would love to do it again...even with all the slipping and falling and loosing the trail.

 

"Build it and they will come" But warn them to come with fresh batteries and a strong flashlight!!!! And a sense of humor!

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I just had someone try to do mine during the day. HAHA! its designed to defeat those attempts. They found the final, but didn't get all the wps needed to get into the final. /snicker. Its doable I'm sure, but very very hard.

I don't much care for folks doing a night cache during the day, thus the extra steps required to get into mine. Its alot of work setting a night cache up and why bother if folks are just going "cheat" and do it during the day.

 

To anyone planning on setting up a night cache, don't use white reflectors unless you want it found in the day. Use the Stealth Fire Tacks made by Wildtech. Get the discounted ones for a nice savings in cost. Try to set up on a trail system that has branching trails, and set your reflectors in a way thats hard to spot in the day. (side of tree opposite of trail, up high) Even better, slap a lock on the final and have the finders stop in different places for the combo. Worked for mine B)

 

First .. to stay on topic... Yes I like them. I own one and it gets great comments but not quite as many visitors as my other caches.

 

Yes certainly use the camo reflectors unless you want people doing it as a daylight cache. I set mine up in an area with several trails and put the reflectors a couple hundred feet beyond each junction so each possible trail at each junction needs to be checked out. It has not yet been done in daylight as far as I know. I usually know when people are doing it as they park within sight of my house. :(

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As a result of my night cache Control the Night being mentioned on this thread and some others, I've received numerous emails from cachers inquiring about how the flashing infrared receivers were built so that they could put out something similar.

 

The receivers are something I've built myself from a very simple circuit I discovered. The laser circuit at the final was created from a purchased electronic kit that I added to a laser scavenged from a cheap laser level. While they are electronically simple, they do require fabrication and soldering skills that a lot of people may not have.

 

Although I am fairly proud of my unique night cache, I'm not so proud that I need to keep it exclusive, except maybe in my own area. :) I've shared the circuit with some that appear electronically capable, but I'm wondering if there would be interest in purchasing ready made units? I'm not sure of the price yet, but it would likely be in the $10 per unit range, since some of the components aren't real cheap. The laser would probably be closer to $25.

 

PM or email me if you are interested. If there is some interest, I may be able to put something more definite together.

 

I have four of those circuits already made, but haven't rushed to place them yet, because my other night caches rarely get found more than once every three to six months. I'd hate to have replace batteries more often than the amount of cachers who will visit my cache. :laughing:

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Kit Fox

 

What is the possibility of recharging the units with a solar cell to extend the "rechargeable" battery life?

 

LeonW

 

If you can find me a 3 volt DC circuit, for recharging batteries, that is waterproof, i'll be glad to try it. :) I'm not a "circuit maker," so building one from scratch is beyond my ability. :laughing:

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Kit Fox

 

What is the possibility of recharging the units with a solar cell to extend the "rechargeable" battery life?

 

LeonW

 

If you can find me a 3 volt DC circuit, for recharging batteries, that is waterproof, i'll be glad to try it. :) I'm not a "circuit maker," so building one from scratch is beyond my ability. :laughing:

Google shows a lot of alternatives, this one looks like anyone (even I) can build it.

http://www.thesietch.org/projects/solarcharger/index.htm

 

Easy enough to use that basic plan and make it waterproof!

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Kit Fox

 

What is the possibility of recharging the units with a solar cell to extend the "rechargeable" battery life?

 

LeonW

 

If you can find me a 3 volt DC circuit, for recharging batteries, that is waterproof, i'll be glad to try it. :) I'm not a "circuit maker," so building one from scratch is beyond my ability. :)

Google shows a lot of alternatives, this one looks like anyone (even I) can build it.

http://www.thesietch.org/projects/solarcharger/index.htm

 

Easy enough to use that basic plan and make it waterproof!

 

While I haven't tried it myself, adding a solar cell to recharge the batteries would be fairly simple. The problem would be that they are large enough to draw attention to the IR receiver, which would make doing the cache during the day fairly easy. Solar cells need fairly direct sunlight, which means it would have to be pretty open where they are located. The way mine is set up, the coords take you to the area of the receiver, then the remote is used to activate it so you can find the coords that are posted for the next WP. Trust me, I would LOVE not to have to replace the batteries every few months. :) Especially since the current ones have to have the batteries soldered in. My new ones, fortunately, have battery holders to pop them in and out. :laughing:

 

Kit Fox was one of the early cachers I started talking with about this type of night cache and I'm looking forward to him getting his cache put out. Like every other cache, it's all about finding the right location. I'm fortunate to have a large greenbelt park directly behind my house to put mine in. Makes maintenance much easier. :laughing:

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While I haven't tried it myself, adding a solar cell to recharge the batteries would be fairly simple. The problem would be that they are large enough to draw attention to the IR receiver, which would make doing the cache during the day fairly easy. Solar cells need fairly direct sunlight, which means it would have to be pretty open where they are located. The way mine is set up, the coords take you to the area of the receiver, then the remote is used to activate it so you can find the coords that are posted for the next WP. Trust me, I would LOVE not to have to replace the batteries every few months. :laughing: Especially since the current ones have to have the batteries soldered in. My new ones, fortunately, have battery holders to pop them in and out. :)

 

Kit Fox was one of the early cachers I started talking with about this type of night cache and I'm looking forward to him getting his cache put out. Like every other cache, it's all about finding the right location. I'm fortunate to have a large greenbelt park directly behind my house to put mine in. Makes maintenance much easier. :laughing:

 

In my area, there is a shortage of thick, dense stands of trees. You have to drive 15 miles out of town, and enter the National Forest. This remoteness factor is a bit of a turn-off for the city-folk cachers that cache in my area. Finding areas with something other than bushes, and Joshua Trees is a challenge.

 

I'll keep you posted Team Noltex, when I get the Control Cache up and running.

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