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Too Cold to Cache


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So I was making a doughnut run today and contemplating grabbing a cache in a nearby park before our gaming group shows up. Butbetween my apartment and the car I could swear I felt my fingertips crystalizing. So I hop in the car (which was reluctant to start) and glance at the thermometer. It told me it was a balmy 9 degrees. So much for my caching trip. I've got a mad case of cabin fever and I have a feeling that once temperatures break 40 I'm gonna go on a little bit of a nutzo trip. For now, I'm looking for ways to fill my time. Reading books, playing video games, farting around on the internet; how do you fill these cold, cold days?

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We cache throughout the winter, but when the temps get as low as they are right now (well below zero), we will choose to keep warm. We have lots of other interests that we enjoy, ones that get ignored when we're in our caching frenzies. Knitting, quilting, reading, cooking real food!, paper arts for me. Still too cold to go birding. Trekkin' spends more time with his banjo and reading first person accounts of the time period he re-enacts. The house is a bit cleaner, too. :anibad: I have solved quite a few puzzles for caches we can hunt when it warms up a bit, too.

 

Snaps of bad weather are a blessing in some ways, because we feel like they remind us to have balance in all things.

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I don't mind caching in the cold. When it gets to something a little more forbidding (say -15 or very windy), I'll opt out as it doesn't take long in those temps to freeze skin. Snow, however, can grind me to a halt. Usually digging up even one cache buried in the snow puts me in a mood to go do something else.

Edited by Bassanio
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Trekkin' spends more time with his banjo and reading first person accounts of the time period he re-enacts.

 

Snaps of bad weather are a blessing in some ways, because we feel like they remind us to have balance in all things.

 

We're having a Mississippi winter this year! Twobelow :anibad:

Trekkin, what time period do you reenact? I used to do American Civil War.

Winter is a great time to work on camo cache containers, making a walking stick, solving puzzles, creating puzzles. Reading is a great way to pass time and if you're inclined to writing, put down some of your caching adventures on paper( so to speak) it's a great way to capture those memories.

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Something less than -10°F is what slows us down. Actually, much like an insect, we get slower at less critical temps, but still go out and grab a few. The last couple of weeks in SD (visiting) let us grab some -- had to work around the 3-day blizzard.

 

A few years back, we re-discovered wool and have fallen back in love with nature's "miracle insulator". When going out, we don't shoot for grabbing too many, 4 - 5 is fine. Beats rotting in the house, worrying about the temps. Once back home (in week or so) then we have to content with snow measured in feet instead of inches, up until late April or May, even. :DB):anibad::D

 

Off-hand, I would say wind is the more limiting factor. Cold is not the big problem, wind is the killer! :P

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So I was making a doughnut run today and contemplating grabbing a cache in a nearby park before our gaming group shows up. But between my apartment and the car I could swear I felt my fingertips crystalizing...

You will make a doughnut run when it's too cold to cache? :P Me too! I love someone who has their priorities in order! :D

:anibad: It's only a few feet from my door to my car, and another few from the car to my favorite bakery. If the cache was a park and grab instead of a hike and search I might have gone for it, but I've cleared out all the P&Gs in my town and the neighboring ones. I'll take hot coffee and doughnuts over frozen fingers any time. Last winter was very mild and I've misplaced my nice gloves, or I could probably be persuaded to go anyway. Of course I couls always knit myself a nice pair of wool flip-mittens soI could free my fingers for logbook signing.

Edited by Butterfly Fox
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Trekkin, what time period do you reenact? I used to do American Civil War.

 

Both of us are 1750s Great Lakes F & I. Trekkin' takes it a step beyond and does these historical treks out into the wilderness with other crazies. He was part of a 357 river mile expedition on the upper Mississippi River in real birchbark several years ago. And back in the day, he was known to camp out in weather far worse than this!

 

He says he no longer has to prove himself, he's slept in a snow shelter in 70 below windchills! LOL

 

You Civil War guys are way more disciplined than us. My theory has always been that the Civil War re-enactors have only a couple generations back to gather their personas, and thus stick to them better than we generally do. There is a group in our area that represents Wis Company B, many of whose descendants live in the town we live and its surrounding coulees here today.

 

Back OT, we used to be more "hardcore" about going out to cache in the nastiest of weather, but we've been striving to bring back some balance, and the potential for frostbite is a good incentive. Been there, done that, don't need to do it again. Wind is indeed the issue, not the temps. We do appreciate the lack of bugs, though, and agree that hot summer is way nastier than this.

 

Wool is one of the gifts of re-enacting involvement, actually. Of course the synthetics aren't "period correct," so discovering the beauty of wool came with that game. Not only does it insulate wonderfully, but it doesn't hold moisture close to the skin. I have bought several pairs of Smart Wool hiking socks, both winter and summer weight and those things are worth every penny they cost me.

Edited by Trekkin' and birdin'
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If the cache was a park and grab instead of a hike and search I might have gone for it, but I've cleared out all the P&Gs in my town and the neighboring ones. I'll take hot coffee and doughnuts over frozen fingers any time. Last winter was very mild and I've misplaced my nice gloves, or I could probably be persuaded to go anyway. Of course I couls always knit myself a nice pair of wool flip-mittens soI could free my fingers for logbook signing.

Okay. So we drove thirty miles yesterday to do fifteen caches on a power trail. And today, it's even colder! 19º with a wind chill near zero. :anibad:

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Trekkin, what time period do you reenact? I used to do American Civil War.

 

Both of us are 1750s Great Lakes F & I. Trekkin' takes it a step beyond and does these historical treks out into the wilderness with other crazies. He was part of a 357 river mile expedition on the upper Mississippi River in real birchbark several years ago. And back in the day, he was known to camp out in weather far worse than this!

 

He says he no longer has to prove himself, he's slept in a snow shelter in 70 below windchills! LOL

You Civil War guys are way more disciplined than us. My theory has always been that the Civil War re-enactors have only a couple generations back to gather their personas, and thus stick to them better than we generally do. There is a group in our area that represents Wis Company B, many of whose descendants live in the town we live and its surrounding coulees here today.

 

Back OT, we used to be more "hardcore" about going out to cache in the nastiest of weather, but we've been striving to bring back some balance, and the potential for frostbite is a good incentive. Been there, done that, don't need to do it again. Wind is indeed the issue, not the temps. We do appreciate the lack of bugs, though, and agree that hot summer is way nastier than this.

 

Wool is one of the gifts of re-enacting involvement, actually. Of course the synthetics aren't "period correct," so discovering the beauty of wool came with that game. Not only does it insulate wonderfully, but it doesn't hold moisture close to the skin. I have bought several pairs of Smart Wool hiking socks, both winter and summer weight and those things are worth every penny they cost me.

Don't forget the joys of wearing several layers of wool on hundred degree days while charging into enemy breastworks, which is far less uncomfortable than people imagine. :anibad:

I'm quite impressed with the expedition, and it is a great test of ourselves to endure what our forefathers did, in the same manner they did.

back OT, we seek more micro's in the winter, more park and grabs, something you can find and get back to the car before it cools off too much.

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Yesterday, 15 degrees, steady winds of 35, some gust upwards of 50 mph. And yes Harry Dolphin and Andy Bear we did note your absence, we were expecting you. There is no such thing as lousy weather, there is only lousy clothing. The man who recommends SmartWool Socks really knows what he is talking about, I wear them for hiking year round.

 

5448fb4e-2d23-4e72-8b79-7a8204e610df.jpg

Edited by Packanack
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Trekkin, what time period do you reenact? I used to do American Civil War.

I'm quite impressed with the expedition, and it is a great test of ourselves to endure what our forefathers did, in the same manner they did.

back OT, we seek more micro's in the winter, more park and grabs, something you can find and get back to the car before it cools off too much.

Reenactors get to pick and choose the parts they want to reenact! I have the diary my fourth-generation grandfather wrote about his experiences in the War of Northern Aggression wherein he writes about, among other travails, getting hit with a mini ball in Mississippi, having his leg amputated in a barn and having to walk back to Selma AL on a tree branch for a crutch. Don't think many reenactors want to reenact that kind of reality!

 

It's clear, still and 21 at the moment in Birmingham, headed for a high of 40... absolutely perfect weather for geocaching! I will take this all year long over the heat! :anibad:

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It told me it was a balmy 9 degrees. So much for my caching trip. I've got a mad case of cabin fever and I have a feeling that once temperatures break 40............................

 

Around here, cold weather is the best time to go caching. No mosquitoes or ticks, and the snakes are all asleep.

 

Last night it got down to 19 F, and four of us made a 30 mile trip to pick up six new caches in a nearby town. Scoring six FTFs by flashlight, in 19 degree weather, was more fun than doing it at noon in 35 degree weather. Besides, when it's really cold like that, the night sky out in the country is really clear and filled with bright stars. Orion was particularly brilliant last night.

 

Get out the wool socks, the gloves, and the balaclava, and hit the trail.

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The man who recommends SmartWool Socks really knows what he is talking about, I wear them for hiking year round.

 

Actually, it's the girl half of the team who's sold on Smart Wool!

 

And Alabama Rambler speaks the truth, no one re-enacting needs to sacrifice much more than time. Although Trekkin' once lost a filling biting off his next load during a skirmish re-enactment. No field dentistry available, made for a long weekend, but unlike your ancestors, he knew it would be fixed soon. Not so with those in true battle. How fortunate you have those journals to study, Trekkin' looks for that kind of thing for his own period of history.

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Trekkin, what time period do you reenact? I used to do American Civil War.

I'm quite impressed with the expedition, and it is a great test of ourselves to endure what our forefathers did, in the same manner they did.

back OT, we seek more micro's in the winter, more park and grabs, something you can find and get back to the car before it cools off too much.

Reenactors get to pick and choose the parts they want to reenact! I have the diary my fourth-generation grandfather wrote about his experiences in the War of Northern Aggression wherein he writes about, among other travails, getting hit with a mini ball in Mississippi, having his leg amputated in a barn and having to walk back to Selma AL on a tree branch for a crutch. Don't think many reenactors want to reenact that kind of reality!

 

It's clear, still and 21 at the moment in Birmingham, headed for a high of 40... absolutely perfect weather for geocaching! I will take this all year long over the heat! :anibad:

I do have to agree with that! I know looking forward to air conditioning on the trip home made things a bit easier to bear. Maybe quiz would have been a better word choice :P and we always put safety over authenticity.

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It's funny how our regions color our view of what's "really cold." 19 F is balmy around here this time of year, actually perfect for cross country skiing or snowshoeing into remote areas for caches. That's what we'd be doing right now if it were that warm! LOL Instead, I'm parked here, since it's 5 below with a windchill of 16 below. Heck, if there were no winds, we'd be out....we went dogsledding in that kind of weather once.

 

I do admit, we're more likely to do the infamous "number runs" in the cold weather months than when it's warmer out.

Edited by Trekkin' and birdin'
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I live in a funny area for weather. We're a hop skip and a jump from St Louis, if you've ever heard about St Louis Weather. It's not unusual to get above 100 in the summer or below zero in the winter. We've been spoiled the past few years with a mild winter, and this past summer was just plain.... cool. I have a saying about dressing for the weather "You can always put more clothes on, but you can only take off so much before you get arrested." As soon as I dig my gloves out of the black hole that is my bedroom I'll probably start caching again. UNtil then, reading, knitting, and naps will fill my days

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ZORRO and I have been watching movies, playing FPS games on out PC's and wishing it would get above 39 degrees. We've had wonderful sun the past few days, but it's too cold for him to get out. I spent some time plotting our next outing, and dreaming of places to hide. I love my new hobby, I just wish I could spend more time doing it.

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Meh... last night 5 of us went out on a 15+ cache run in -25 ºC (-13 ºF) which was about -34 ºC (-29.2 ºF) with the wind chill. Needless to say we spent as little time at each cache as possible and made sure we had coffee but with the right winter wear and taking turns we managed to struggle through it.

 

EDIT: I should say that blowing snow on a cold day like this makes it impossible but wind is definitely the bigger factor than the temperature.

Edited by missionMode
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I didn't start caching until a month ago so my only experience is winter caching. So far I don't have a problem with it; in fact, in some ways i can see how it is more enjoyable: No ticks/bugs, less people, less brush, and no rain. Geocaching is actually quickly turning into my cabin fever/winter activity. I don't know how much I'll do during the summer because I'll be hiking and traveling, and I doubt I'll bring my gps along for those trips.

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Now if I could just see one of those Ivory-Billed Woodpeckers.........

 

Man oh man, I was chosen to be on one of the Cornell search teams a couple years back and all set to head to Arkansas, but some family things made me decide to send my regrets so someone else could take my spot. One of those Big Life Regrets. I knew the chances of spotting THE bird were slim to none, but the chance to explore that habitat in detail with other birders would have been priceless. I probably could have added Red-Cockaded Woodpecker if nothing else.

 

Sigh. I figure when my kids are truly grown up mentally, not just chronologically, they'll realize what they've done and pay for a trip to the Galapagos.

 

NOT!!!

Edited by Trekkin' and birdin'
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This whole thing wrt bad weather and cold temperatures is highly personal.

 

For example when someone like me says that when the temperature drops below 45deg. it is too cold to go geocaching, then it is too cold to go geocaching. That others might choose to go out geocachging when it is 5deg below zero is not relevant to me. It is just plain too cold to go out geocaching.

 

That it might be possible to wear enough cold weather clothing and 'gear' to make such an outing desirable for others, is also not relevant to me. It is just too cold to go out geocaching.

 

Of course if others want to go out geocaching in such weather, fine. Want to go out geocaching in a pouring rain storm in central Florida in mid-July...be my guest. I'll wait for it to stop raining and then I might go swimming or even geocaching. A round of golf? Yeah, maybe that too. But not when it is -5deg or +10 either.

 

Start that round of golf in Phoenix, Az.at 1100 in mid-July? No. Go out geocaching at that time/place, no. That right there is supreme weather for bowling or a movie.

Edited by Team Cotati
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I don't know how much I'll do during the summer because I'll be hiking and traveling, and I doubt I'll bring my gps along for those trips.

 

Are you kidding?? You know how many caches you could be passing by while on those hikes! If I was traveling my GPSr would be the first thing I packed. I may not go find many but a few is better than non.

 

Traveling and caching go great together especially if your driving. Makes for great "get out and stretch your legs stops." It may take longer the get there but I always feel better after a long day of driving.

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I don't know how much I'll do during the summer because I'll be hiking and traveling, and I doubt I'll bring my gps along for those trips.

 

Are you kidding?? You know how many caches you could be passing by while on those hikes! If I was traveling my GPSr would be the first thing I packed. I may not go find many but a few is better than non.

 

Traveling and caching go great together especially if your driving. Makes for great "get out and stretch your legs stops." It may take longer the get there but I always feel better after a long day of driving.

 

The Team is with you on that. Ever since we have been able to do those cache along a route things...WOWsers have our long road trips become much more interesting and adventuresome. CAR, it's the best. :):D:P

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Now if I could just see one of those Ivory-Billed Woodpeckers.........

 

Man oh man, I was chosen to be on one of the Cornell search teams a couple years back and all set to head to Arkansas, but some family things made me decide to send my regrets so someone else could take my spot. One of those Big Life Regrets. I knew the chances of spotting THE bird were slim to none, but the chance to explore that habitat in detail with other birders would have been priceless. I probably could have added Red-Cockaded Woodpecker if nothing else.

 

 

If you ever find your way to Ithaca, let me know. I know a few people that work at the lab of ornithology at Cornell (I work at Cornell). There is also an excellent multi cache and a few others on the grounds (Sapsucker Woods) where the Lab of Ornithology is located.

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Trekkin, what time period do you reenact? I used to do American Civil War.

 

Both of us are 1750s Great Lakes F & I. Trekkin' takes it a step beyond and does these historical treks out into the wilderness with other crazies. He was part of a 357 river mile expedition on the upper Mississippi River in real birchbark several years ago. And back in the day, he was known to camp out in weather far worse than this!

 

He says he no longer has to prove himself, he's slept in a snow shelter in 70 below windchills! LOL

 

You Civil War guys are way more disciplined than us. My theory has always been that the Civil War re-enactors have only a couple generations back to gather their personas, and thus stick to them better than we generally do. There is a group in our area that represents Wis Company B, many of whose descendants live in the town we live and its surrounding coulees here today.

 

Back OT, we used to be more "hardcore" about going out to cache in the nastiest of weather, but we've been striving to bring back some balance, and the potential for frostbite is a good incentive. Been there, done that, don't need to do it again. Wind is indeed the issue, not the temps. We do appreciate the lack of bugs, though, and agree that hot summer is way nastier than this.

 

Wool is one of the gifts of re-enacting involvement, actually. Of course the synthetics aren't "period correct," so discovering the beauty of wool came with that game. Not only does it insulate wonderfully, but it doesn't hold moisture close to the skin. I have bought several pairs of Smart Wool hiking socks, both winter and summer weight and those things are worth every penny they cost me.

Hey, Birdin'! Staying warm, I hope. I'll bet you snickered with me about that "9 degrees" comment. We WISH!!

 

Re: Wool... you bet! Last winter I bought a set of SmartWool long johns. This year I sprung for the SmartWool long sleeved top. I absolutely LOVE them (wearing the top right now, actually). Crazy expensive, but if you take care of them, they should last years.

 

The thing about geocaching (at least around here) that sets it apart, clothing-wise, from most other winter activities, is that you're outdoors getting covered with snow, then you're in the car with the heater running, then you're back out in the cold and snow. You need to stay dry when and where you can, and where you can't (from sweat), you need to stay warm even when damp.

 

The one piece of winter gear that I haven't gotten right yet is a good pair of gloves that will keep me warm and stand up to clawing my way through crusted snow.

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Yesterday, 15 degrees, steady winds of 35, some gust upwards of 50 mph. And yes Harry Dolphin and Andy Bear we did note your absence, we were expecting you. There is no such thing as lousy weather, there is only lousy clothing. The man who recommends SmartWool Socks really knows what he is talking about, I wear them for hiking year round.

 

5448fb4e-2d23-4e72-8b79-7a8204e610df.jpg

 

I saw your logs on some of my caches. An event in that brutal weather that turns out that many people is something. NJ geocachers are real troupers! I wish I could have joined you guys.

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Sure do know how you guys feel it was cold here also

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It just made it to 70 here today :):P:D:D:huh::huh::huh::DB):D:D:D:D:D

 

Sorry to hear that. It must be be sad living in a place where you don't experience real seasonal changes. You're a better man than I am because I could never live in a place like that.

Edited by briansnat
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The one piece of winter gear that I haven't gotten right yet is a good pair of gloves that will keep me warm and stand up to clawing my way through crusted snow.

 

two words: glove liners.

 

i have several pairs of gauntlet-length ski gloves with rubberized palms and idiot loops. rubberized palms because more expensive leather will get shredded pawing through ice. gauntlet-length with drawstring to keep the snow out. idiot loops so that i don't have to think all the time where i put my gloves.

 

and good polypro glove liners which both keep the hands warmer inside the glove an take the edge off when i take the glove off to sign the log.

 

i think i got all my gloves at Expensive Mountain Sports, probably their house brand.

 

here's a tip: their glove of the year usually only meets my specs every third year or so, so when they come around i buy three or four pairs and stockpile them.

 

i do not wear the same gloves skiing as geocaching. my ski gloves are puffier, warmer, and have leather palms. i wear them ONLY while skiing and only with liners.

 

liners protect the glove and extend its life. the more skin oils get in your glove, the less warm it becomes. same with your sleeping bag. wear socks.

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The one piece of winter gear that I haven't gotten right yet is a good pair of gloves that will keep me warm and stand up to clawing my way through crusted snow.

 

two words: glove liners.

 

 

Actually it's one word. Mittens. I have some very high tech, warm gloves but on the coldest days they simply don't cut it, even with liners. Mittens are what you need when it is bitterly cold. Glove liners under the mittens are a good idea. If you need to take them off for a few moments, the liners will keep your hands from freezing instantly and provide a little dexterity if you need your fingers.

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The one piece of winter gear that I haven't gotten right yet is a good pair of gloves that will keep me warm and stand up to clawing my way through crusted snow.

two words: glove liners.

i have several pairs of gauntlet-length ski gloves with rubberized palms and idiot loops. rubberized palms because more expensive leather will get shredded pawing through ice. gauntlet-length with drawstring to keep the snow out. idiot loops so that i don't have to think all the time where i put my gloves.

and good polypro glove liners which both keep the hands warmer inside the glove an take the edge off when i take the glove off to sign the log.

i think i got all my gloves at Expensive Mountain Sports, probably their house brand.

here's a tip: their glove of the year usually only meets my specs every third year or so, so when they come around i buy three or four pairs and stockpile them.

i do not wear the same gloves skiing as geocaching. my ski gloves are puffier, warmer, and have leather palms. i wear them ONLY while skiing and only with liners.

liners protect the glove and extend its life. the more skin oils get in your glove, the less warm it becomes. same with your sleeping bag. wear socks.

Thanks for the tips, flask. We don't have Expensive Mountain Sports here, but we do have Really Expensive, Inc. That should work.
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Cached all New Year's weekend long. Once it gets below zero, I stop counting. Just add another layer! The snow makes it a little harder. Spent a good twenty minutes a piece on finding two ammo cans. Of course, following someone else's footprints evens that out.
That reminds me of a good piece of advice I heard last winter. When see footprints in the snow as you are heading to a cache, don't follow the footprints that lead to the cache... follow those footprints that lead from the cache!
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