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Caching at night


mvb0002

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Hello out there,

 

I still consider myself a newbie with less than 100 finds.

 

With that being said I have never gone caching at nighttime.

 

I normally go caching after work and on weekends but now with the time change it is dark by 5 or 6pm.

 

The question I have is should I go night caching and if yes what are some do's and dont's and what type

of equipment or accessories should I bring?

 

Some of my biggest concerns are:

 

-having the cops called out or spot me at a cache site.

 

-Is it too inefficient to cache at night even with a reliable light source or does it make it easier to find caches?

 

-Is it better to go alone or with a cache buddy?

 

-will my wife really think I've gone over the deep end?

 

any and all responses and suggestions welcomed :)

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I cache at night quite often. My first night caching experience was on a group hiking trip that was lots of fun and that's what really got me going on night caching. There were several caches on that hike that were specially designed for the darkness (lights and glowing things).

 

Here are some things I have learned:

 

~Caching at night increases most difficulty ratings by at least one star

~Caches in bushes are dadgum near impossible in the dark (especially micros)

~If you haven't been approached by the cops yet, caching at night is a guaranteed way to do it

~My LED mag light is awesome for finding caches

~Carefully consider the neighborhoods where you cache. The darkness brings out the weirdos

 

I've hiked on trails at night, cached in the middle of the desert at night and searched most kinds of urban caches at night. I've been stopped by the cops at least 4-5 times. I've had my GPS stolen while caching in a bad neighborhood at night. I've almost been bitten by a rattlesnake at night.

 

So bottom line, caching at night can be a fun and enjoyable way to experience caching, for others it can be rather frustrating or even dangerous. Its all about what you make it.

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It is easier to attract attention when caching at night. I carry along a copy of a brochure and a little folding card that to hand to folks who've never heard of caching.

 

I think it's just "different" hunting caches in the dark. Not easier, not harder, just different. Of course, I sometimes use a flashlight to hunt caches in broad daylight, so that may explain a few things. I'm not very fast at night, but I enjoy it.

 

I do tend to be more cautious about where I cache after dark. I don't cache alone after dark. Ever. If nothing else, there are just fewer people around if I would happen to get hurt, especially in colder weather.

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Hey,

 

I do a lot of caching while hiking at night so cops aren't a concern for me. I have done night city caching too though.

 

My most recent finds were in the dark on a moderate trail with a few class 2 rock scrambling spots. I made it to the summit about 30-40 min before sunset - rested and made my way back to my car in the dark. Having a good headlamp doesn't make you feel like you have to rush back to beat sunset.

 

The most important thing when night caching is a headlamp, in my opinion. A flashlight works too, but the best part about a headlamp is being hands free - comes in handy! It might take a bit to get use to, and you will look goofy, but not when you're hands free and everyone else is stumbling their way back in the dark. Depending on what kind of night caching you're doing, I'll recommend two.

 

1. Petzl TacTikka. Amazing, relatively cheap headlamp that I've abused for over a year, and it's still going strong! Nice and bright and very durable. Takes 3 AAA batteries and has a great battery life. It has a nifty red filter that you can flip up so you dont blind people when they walk by. It's gotten me through a lot of rough situations. Perfect for night caching in the city. It's great on fire roads and provides more than enough light to guide your way back to your car. http://www.altrec.com/petzl/tactikka-plus-headlamp

 

2.Mammut Tx1 Just got this thing and used it last night. Heavy duty light - this thing is a torch! Takes 3 AA batteries. Hopefully it turns out to be as durable as the above light. A little more expensive. For a LED, it's probably the brightest in it's class. Overkill for night caching in the city. http://www.altrec.com/mammut/tx1-headlamp

 

Either way, highly recommend both.

 

Jaebird82

 

Hello out there,

 

I still consider myself a newbie with less than 100 finds.

 

With that being said I have never gone caching at nighttime.

 

I normally go caching after work and on weekends but now with the time change it is dark by 5 or 6pm.

 

The question I have is should I go night caching and if yes what are some do's and dont's and what type

of equipment or accessories should I bring?

 

Some of my biggest concerns are:

 

-having the cops called out or spot me at a cache site.

 

-Is it too inefficient to cache at night even with a reliable light source or does it make it easier to find caches?

 

-Is it better to go alone or with a cache buddy?

 

-will my wife really think I've gone over the deep end?

 

any and all responses and suggestions welcomed :)

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It might sound silly, but caching at night cuts down on what you can see! No, really! I can't tell you how many times I've been after a cache in a wooded area at night and by following my GPS, I would be fighting my way through brush and limbs and thorns, when if I had been there during the daylight hours, I could've seen the pathway that leads into the woods not 10 yards from where I went off-road. Darkness doesn't allow you to survey the surrounding area to see if maybe there is a better path to take (sometimes even paved walkways). You just come to where the GPS tells you to turn and you turn in...unless you have prior knowledge of the park/woods. Of course, once you find the cache and start to head out, the area surrounding the woods is brighter and so it's easy to see the path that you should've taken in the first place.

 

~Caches in bushes are dadgum near impossible in the dark (especially micros)

 

Amen to that. Especially pine trees. All the shadows really play heck on your eyes when you're looking for a film canister stashed in a tree. If it's not at least a small sized container and I realize it's in a stand of pine trees, I prefer to turn around and walk away and go seek out the next cache. The times I have ignored that reasoning are the times I've pawed through every pine tree withing a 50 foot circle and came up with nothing.

 

As for the police angle, if you're not somewhere where you're not supposed to be, the cops won't do more than ask you what you're doing there and running your name through the computer to see if you have any outstanding warrants. Honesty is the best policy, so just tell them you're geocaching. Cops want to catch criminals and ne'er do wells, not geocachers who are abiding by the law.

 

Most of all, have fun with it. Caching at night has its own challenges and its own rewards but as long as you are enjoying it, it's worth the time.

 

Bruce

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I cache at night but tend not to bother with urban caches in the dark, it just attracts attention. Caching in the forests at night is great, but take a few things into consideration.

 

Tell someone where you are going.

Take someone with you.

Take 2 torches, in case one dies.

You won't be able to navigate by sight so much so mark waypoints such as trail junctions and were you leave your car.

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I've cached at night multiple times, but always with a group. It was a blast. We were stopped once by the State police who thought we were a bunch of high school kids on our way to a kegger. One look at us told him we were much to old for that.

 

My caching partner carries a 1,000,000 candle power light which kind of eliminates any darkness in the area. It does make spotting those reflective tacks a bit difficult though.

 

:unsure:

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There's urban night caching and then there's rural night caching. In the urban areas you have less muggles to deal with - generally. I find I'm able to make more bold finds by parking right next to GZ with the car running such as next to a lamp skirt in an open parking lot. Many city/county parks have posted hours; so, you want to heed the hours lest you give the fuzz something to cite you for. As long as you are in a public place and you are not doing anything illegal, you should feel free to go about your business. If contact is made with the fuzz or a concerned citizen, simply explain you are participating in a scavenger hunt. You don't need to get into any more details unless pressed to do so. Most folks, including the fuzz, know what that is. I've had officers and the general public join in on the hunt when I tell them that.

 

Rural or any hike in the woods over, say, half a mile long is another beast altogether. Again, follow the posted hours, if any. At minimum, you should, take a backup flashlight and a hiking stick, and engage your tracks on your GPS. Recommended additional items include insect repellent, water, batteries, extra pens, a hiking buddy, mace (if hiking near bears or crazy people), a dog, gloves, medical kit, and/or proper attire (ie rain parka, hat, etc...). You should also always wear pants. I hike under a full moon whenever possible - you'd be surprised how well you see the trail without a flashlight (and outside tree cover).

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Night caching is fun and safe if done with common sense!

 

One thing I would like to point out is that not every cache is meant to be found at night, not all lands allow night time use! PLEASE oh please obey all land use rules! Most caches will advise if the cache is NOT to be attempted at night, but not all, so use common sense and respect your surroundings!

 

Cemeteries, many parks and such don't allow entry past certain hours, please remember that when heading out! And try to limit use of your flashlights around houses and such, just be respectful of your surroundings!!

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Hello out there,

 

I still consider myself a newbie with less than 100 finds.

 

With that being said I have never gone caching at nighttime.

 

I normally go caching after work and on weekends but now with the time change it is dark by 5 or 6pm.

 

The question I have is should I go night caching and if yes what are some do's and dont's and what type

of equipment or accessories should I bring?

 

Some of my biggest concerns are:

 

-having the cops called out or spot me at a cache site.

 

-Is it too inefficient to cache at night even with a reliable light source or does it make it easier to find caches?

 

-Is it better to go alone or with a cache buddy?

 

-will my wife really think I've gone over the deep end?

 

any and all responses and suggestions welcomed :)

 

I am an exclusive night cacher. I have tried caching during the daytime but there is a certain element that the darkness adds to caching that I just can't resist.

 

As far as cops go, there aren't very many caching adventures that my friends and I do that don't involve the cops getting called at least once on us, but they are usually very friendly towards us when they find out what we are doing.

 

The darkness can make caches harder to find but that just makes it more enjoyable, just make sure you have a good source of light and some extra batteries.

 

If you are doing your caching in the wilderness then you should always have a buddy with you for safety, if you're urban caching a buddy is always good for when the cops roll by to ask some questions. Better to have a couple weirdos than one creeepy person.

 

One great thing about night caching is that your chances of getting an FTF increase exponentially!

 

Enjoy your caching adventures! :P

 

TEAM NIGHTWATCH

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A lot of this is repeat, but...

 

I do a lot of caching at night, and the best advice is to just use common sense.

 

I prefer to cache at night because of less muggle traffic, and also just due to practicality, as I'm busy during the day. I stick to caches that aren't really rural...but not exactly urban either. If I get a chance, I'll go out in the day and scope the area out for a few minutes, and come up with a game plan as to where I need to park, and where I think it may be. Then, I can go back after dark and take as much time as I need to look for it.

 

I do go by myself, which actually is kind of not a wise thing to do. Because I do go alone, I don't go too far from my car, I don't go to cemeteries or parks that are closed at night (a given), and I always keep my cell phone in my hand. I also always tell someone where I'm going, and approximately when I'll be back. If I feel uncomfortable, or see someone approaching me, I'll usually head back to my car. And...I'll also stay away from "suspicious areas" hehe...I'm not going to poke around government buildings, bridges, and the like too late at night.

 

As far as special equipment, I have a pen that I bought at Walmart. Its a working ink pen, but it also has a super bright LED light AND red laser pointer on the end. That way I have less to carry.

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Love your post regarding your wife and the answer is YES!

I have been approached by police officers many times. I have had different reactions. Some smile and leave me alone, some have joined in the hunt, and one even kicked me out of the park. You are usually doing nothing wrong (unless you are in a park after it is closed) and there is nothing they can really do. In most cases they are just doing the job we pay them for and I for one a grateful.

In our area night caching is very common because the FTF competition is so fierce. A new post will last 15 to 20 minutes max and so if you want an FTF and the cache is posted at night, you had better RUN!

I found a cool flash light that has 4 modes. A low beam, high beam, and red beam and a green beam. This helps depending on the cache I have used all of them.

 

Good luck and carry a few doughnuts along in you geo-bag for Officer Friendly.

 

WB

Edited by wbtaylor
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I wont waste anyones time echoing all the good advice already given. However, we have found that caches we couldnt find in the daylight showed up much better at night. There are not many things in the woods that reflect light, but camo tape and many paints used on cache containers sure do. Even a shiny bison tube in a pine tree stands out like a christmas ornament at night.

Edited by WITrailRider
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As someone pointed out, caching at night makes it harder to see trail heads (thus missing them). This happens when you walk around with a flashlight.

 

The flashlight is narrowing your pupils, which is why this happens.

 

Therefore, it is best to walk to the cache with no lights (ambient light only). If it's too dark to do this, you shouldn't be out there.

 

Once you get to the target, the flashlight may be useful to spot shiny surfaces on the cache container, but once again, it'll mess with you night vision.

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I wont waste anyones time echoing all the good advice already given. However, we have found that caches we couldnt find in the daylight showed up much better at night. There are not many things in the woods that reflect light, but camo tape and many paints used on cache containers sure do. Even a shiny bison tube in a pine tree stands out like a christmas ornament at night.

 

I completely agree. I've found that searching for caches in bushes, trees, etc., can be easier at night. It seems that I find them much faster when my light is scoping them out in the bushes. Aslo - as the above poster pointed out - you often come across containers with camo tape, or some reflective material, which really helps narrow it down.

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As someone pointed out, caching at night makes it harder to see trail heads (thus missing them). This happens when you walk around with a flashlight.

 

The flashlight is narrowing your pupils, which is why this happens.

 

Therefore, it is best to walk to the cache with no lights (ambient light only). If it's too dark to do this, you shouldn't be out there.

 

Once you get to the target, the flashlight may be useful to spot shiny surfaces on the cache container, but once again, it'll mess with you night vision.

You can get red lens flashlights. They put off enough light to see without interfering so much with your night vision. They're also less likely to be seen by people at a distance who can't tell what you are doing but would notice a regular flashlight and telephone in a suspicious activity report.

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WELCOME TO GEOCACHING!!!!!!

 

I have a unique perspective; I'm a geocacher AND a cop.

 

Firstly, I love caching at night because the chances of getting muggled are significantly less than in the middle of the day. I always take an LED flashlight with me. Using a red lens on the flashlight will reduce the range at which the light can be seen by other people, and make it less contrasting against the darkness. If you are seen at night, however, you are far more likely to be considered 'suspicious' than if you were seen in the same area in the middle of the day. "Aye, there's the rub" as a brilliant man once said.

 

However, I'm also cognizant about not being somewhere I am not legally entitled to be. For instance, if a park says, "Closed at Sunset", that's it. Trespassing is trespassing.

 

If you are approached by the police, however, be 100% honest with them about what you are doing. As a cop, I can handle the truth. It's the lies that drive me nuts. Cops are also GREAT lie detectors. So, you don't have to worry about the police 'muggling' you, you just have to worry about them arresting you! It would be a great idea to print off some of the geocaching pamphlets that are out there, just in case.

 

Grigorii Rasputin

WWW.Glass-cockpit.org

http://grigoriirasputin.wordpress.com

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Hi there

 

I have just started cashing at night but most of it is done with my partner... and also now ...i have to deal with snow too... so we are learning how to do nightly snow caches......can be quite cold..

 

We have to read over alot of the areas we are going to see if the caches are winter friendly... as we are finding out not all of them are...... But hey.....Its so much fun...he cant stop me......LOL

 

hi; heres something to think about. Did you know that when in the dark if you direct your eyes just above what you are looking at in the dark there is a better chance of seeing it. try it. it works. I am Terry Boylan :shocked::anicute:

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Just did my first night cache. In fact, the owner called it Nocturnal. It was fun but our flashlights started dying when we got to about 200 ft away. Fearing we wouldn't be able to find the trail out (no full moon. Actually, almost no moon at all), we gave up and headed out. Came back the next day and go it.

 

Note to self: use a flashlight with better battery life and carry some spare batteries.

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My friend and I went caching at night. We had no trouble finding most of the caches. The one we couldn't find we also didn't find in the daytime.

 

Even the micro was easy.

 

The advantage was no one was around. Some were near or on private property and it was easier not to disturb the people. Also less traffic.

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Hello out there,

 

I still consider myself a newbie with less than 100 finds.

 

With that being said I have never gone caching at nighttime.

 

I normally go caching after work and on weekends but now with the time change it is dark by 5 or 6pm.

 

The question I have is should I go night caching and if yes what are some do's and dont's and what type

of equipment or accessories should I bring?

 

Some of my biggest concerns are:

 

-having the cops called out or spot me at a cache site.

 

-Is it too inefficient to cache at night even with a reliable light source or does it make it easier to find caches?

 

-Is it better to go alone or with a cache buddy?

 

-will my wife really think I've gone over the deep end?

 

any and all responses and suggestions welcomed :rolleyes:

 

Night caching is one of my favorite times to cache. Just take it as a cache by cache basis as far as where to go and where not to go.

The worse one I went on at night was a cache at a burned out church and graveyard. It's kind of hard to look for a cache while you're constantly moving the flashlight to the opening of the burned out church and the graveyard! :rolleyes::unsure::ph34r:

I think every horror move I've ever seen ran through my head on that cache! :)

I even have a concealed carry permit and STILL couldn't get back into the truck fast enough! :D :D

 

Seriously though, it's a good time to cache since there is less foot and auto traffic (usually) at night. But like I said; you just have to watch where you go and how you go about it.

Edited by wkmccall
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I guess I am, the top night cacher for Abuquerque New Mexico

I sleep days and work nights.

Caching at night has gotten me more FTF"s,since I can't compete with the power FTF'er's during the day.

Since I started,(2003) I have had only three run ins with LEO'S.

All have been positive encounters.

I carry with me a Hydrastorm (Predator) backpack sans the water bladder.

A petzl headlamp.

(red filter for night vision)

Good for 180 hours on 3 aaa's

http://www.rei.com/product/709063

A Surefire G2 Nitrolon flashlight

http://www.surefire.com/G2-Nitrolon

With a red filter.

Lens flips up when you want bright light.

http://www.surefire.com/FM35-Red-Filter

Pens,pencils,spare batteries,a swiss army knife w/ tweezers for those pesky nano's,and my cell phone.

I have my (PDA) HP Ipaq in an Otterbox.

http://www.otterbox.com/handheld-pda-cases/

Oh and a pound of common sense.

I use my gut feelings about an area before I venture forth.

I have had many daytime caching partners,but I wish I could find someone to cache with me at night.

That, however hasn't deterred me.

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