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Cold-weather caching...


marikun
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Checked the weather report and we're going to have a sweltering 30°F high on Saturday. :laughing: Regardless, I think I'm going to go out for a few caches. What are your experiences with cold-weather caching? What precautions should be taken? Besides a heavy jacket, gloves, etc. I don't think I'll be needing mosquito spray. :laughing:

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Actually the toughest aspect of cold weather caching is heat. You go out of your house in the morning and it is way too cold. So you plod back into the house and piile on more layers. As soon as you hit the trail you get overheated and then have to start peeling layers off. Nothing is more irritating to me than having to carry clothing that I am not wearing.

 

Snow presents another difficulty. Basically is is "poke and hope" once you get to ground zero.

 

Even with all the extra issues, cold weather caching is great! Nothing beats coming home wet, cold and tired and sitting down next to a warm fire or taking nice hot shower after a long day in the cold. :laughing:

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Getting the cache container open in the cold is sometimes challenging - you don't want to take your gloves off, but you can't get it open with your gloves on!

Also, the pens in the caches don't write so well when the ink gets frozen! Luckily, somebody invented the pencil to solve this problem (I think I heard it was the USSR space program...).

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Poly--clothes that are made with fabric containing the letters POLY, layer lightly not heavy.

Smartwool Socks, Down vest, windshell and daypack to take off and on.

 

Remember -Cotton Kills

No Jeans. No sneakers, no hoodie sweatshirts

For about a total of 75 dollars, you can outfit yourself down to about 15 degrees, excepting shoes, by being selective at Hanes Outlet or Kohls. That includes a hat, gloves, shirts and pants,windshells are commonly available for about 12 dollars. You don't need to be wearing things that say Northface or Patagonia or even Columbia or LL Bean. Leave that stuff for the Manhattanites. :laughing:

Edited by Packanack
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This dad loves the cold weather, it’s invigorating, the eleven year old, not so much. She was more gun-ho a few years ago. We even went on a three-mile hunt in a snowstorm, had a blast. I agree with previous posts about no bugs, no heat, no canopy, dressing for early morning then being too hot later, no mud. I will add that frozen lakes (not now and make sure they’re really frozen when the time comes) make for some great shortcuts and beelines. We’ve done some multis and some numbers runs where they’ve really come in handy. One word of warning about cold weather caching, It gets dark really early this time of year (December 10 is the earliest sunset of the year). Be prepared for this. Lost in the woods after dark is one thing, lost after dark in the cold can be life threatening.

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Poly--clothes that are made with fabric containing the letters POLY, layer lightly not heavy.

Smartwool Socks, Down vest, windshell and daypack to take off and on.

 

Remember -Cotton Kills

No Jeans. No sneakers, no hoodie sweatshirts

For about a total of 75 dollars, you can outfit yourself down to about 15 degrees, excepting shoes, by being selective at Hanes Outlet or Kohls. That includes a hat, gloves, shirts and pants,windshells are commonly available for about 12 dollars. You don't need to be wearing things that say Northface or Patagonia or even Columbia or LL Bean. Leave that stuff for the Manhattanites. :blink:

 

Well said! I recently bought a new really warm sweatshirt from Kohls (good enough that it functions as a winter jacket!) for about 30$. The local gas station operator had the same sweatshirt and when I asked him about it he also got it from Kohls. Now you know the stuff those poor chaps are wearing must be really friggin warm :sad:

 

Fleece and Poly are you friend - stay clear from cotton as it kills. Really baggy pants with lots of pockets are the best - lots of places to stash GPS, pens, snacks, travel bugs, etc. The baggy pants also have lots of air which is the best insulator and more easily deflect mountain laurel and other small trees/bushes when bushwhacking. Also less likely to have yourself ripped apart by thorns!

 

Other than that make sure you are wearing a really good fleece hat and socks. Dont rely on any jacket hoodies as they dont hug your head well and limit your visibility and hearing. Pack extra socks as walking with wet socks is not fun. Generally most heat is lost through your head or feet.

 

Pack lots of snacks - you dont want to sit in one place too long eating as you may freeze. Also, regular snacks help keep up your metabolism and your internal warmness :huh:

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:sad:-->

QUOTE(brian b @ Nov 21 2008, 01:27 PM) 3721803[/snapback]

Watch out for ticks. Even in the cold weather, those buggers will find a way to find you.

 

You sound like someone who speaks from experience. :blink:

 

Layers are the way to go and if there is a chance of rain, bring your rain gear. If you have the room in your pack, bring the rain gear anyway, you can always use it as a wind shell.

 

Bring some food and water along too. Anything that gives you an energy boost can make your day in the field more fun. Peanut butter and jelly sandwiches are a favorite of mine.

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And no snakes! They hibernate in the winter, at leastthey do here in western PA. Wearing layers is a must in winter. A couple years ago, we had a group together so I could find my 100th cache in February. It was in the low 20's F. when we left the house and got warmer as the day went on. Sweatshirts under our winter coats came off, though hats and gloves were still needed. One of the problems of caching in the winter is avoiding getting snow in the cache container, though it may be easier to find by following the footprints in the snow. But that doesn't always work if the previous finder had difficulty finding the cache. :laughing:

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:laughing:-->

QUOTE(brian b @ Nov 22 2008, 05:24 PM) 3723129[/snapback]
Bring some food and water along too. Anything that gives you an energy boost can make your day in the field more fun. Peanut butter and jelly sandwiches are a favorite of mine.

 

You sound like someone who speaks from experience!!!!

 

Anything that helps add a few more :laughing: s into a day is a good thing in my books!

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The cold? I'm more about a cup of tea, a blanket and a movie. Maybe a nice bowl of soup. :D

 

Don't forget gloves, you can put your hands in your pockets while hiking but you need to take them out to sign the logs! One day in particular last year, I could feel my fingers freezing through while scribbling my name in the logs, even with gloves on. I'm really not a fan of winter.

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The cold? I'm more about a cup of tea, a blanket and a movie. Maybe a nice bowl of soup. :)

 

Don't forget gloves, you can put your hands in your pockets while hiking but you need to take them out to sign the logs! One day in particular last year, I could feel my fingers freezing through while scribbling my name in the logs, even with gloves on. I'm really not a fan of winter.

I hear you. The wind is the worst on cold days. Good thing you like to hide caches in nice sheltered areas, like the Meadowlands trails at De Korte Park. Meanie. :D

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Two words - no cotton.

 

Actually, one more word - layers.

 

To elaborate on the last, multiple thin layers of clothing are far better than one heavy overcoat. Layers are actually warmer as they trap insulating air. More importantly, you can remove or add layers as needed and reduce sweating, which can make you colder. Oh, and go back to the first two words, make sure all layers are not cotton.

Edited by briansnat
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The cold? I'm more about a cup of tea, a blanket and a movie. Maybe a nice bowl of soup. :D

 

Don't forget gloves, you can put your hands in your pockets while hiking but you need to take them out to sign the logs! One day in particular last year, I could feel my fingers freezing through while scribbling my name in the logs, even with gloves on. I'm really not a fan of winter.

I hear you. The wind is the worst on cold days. Good thing you like to hide caches in nice sheltered areas, like the Meadowlands trails at De Korte Park. Meanie. :D

 

:D It was a lovely day when I hid them!

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Checked the weather report and we're going to have a sweltering 30°F high on Saturday. :D Regardless, I think I'm going to go out for a few caches. What are your experiences with cold-weather caching? What precautions should be taken? Besides a heavy jacket, gloves, etc. I don't think I'll be needing mosquito spray. :D

 

It's the best time of year to cache when it's cold with a little snow

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Hardest part for me has been the gloves and still trying to operate my GPSr and Palm properly. Today was my first real cold day of caching, and it was a pain to have to constantly keep putting on and taking off the gloves. Also realized that my Palm doesn't work too well in the cold. The mapping was all off, and it just wasn't working very well. Other than than, didn't have to worry about ticks when trudging through waist high grass. :D

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I just started caching this month...so all i know is cold and damp here in PA. I have spent alot of time in the outdoors hunting, fishing, working, skiing, etc. The best combo of clothing I have found is Poly based long undies and a pair of military fatigue pants with a regular tee shirt and a fleece up top. I block the wind with either an unlined rain coat or a hooded lightweight jacket. The boots, as long as the feet stay dry all is well--to keep them warm try the walmart variety nylon blend socks they usually sell in sporting goods. Hat and gloves are the critical components, as said in an earlier post. It may not look glam...but i always stay warm and dry.

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No cotton and layers are what works for me. I also hunt, so Ive found that "Underarmor" makes nice thin, but very warm base layers to keep warm. A good hat (I wear a "Mad Bomber" hat and man is it warm on those 10 degree days!) , gloves and good boots are also a must! I also make sure I have plenty of "energy food" with me to keep going. The cold will zap the life out of you if you let it.

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I usually take a walking stick to help look for chuckholes and tree roots, or if I'm going into an area with lots of "critters," my cane (the one I got through a martial arts weapons distributor...there's a surprise built inside.) Nobody mentioned bear spray, which I also carry during the summer.

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