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Desert caching advice


CherryPi
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Hi guys

 

We are relatively new to caching (been going a couple of months or so). We live in the UK but visit Las Vegas 3 times a year. While out at Easter we ventured into the desert near Primm and Jean for a few caches and loved it, unfortunately we didn't have the vehicle to copy with much more.

 

We are back in about 6 weeks for our yearly 4 week visit and would love to do some more desert caches. We plan to get a 4x4 so that shouldn't be a an issue but can you advise us of things we need to be aware of?

 

We are not planning real high desert or 12 hours stints. We are aware the heat in the summer months so realise we need to carry lots of water and we'll be looking for trails we can mainly do in a vehicle as we are not experienced hikers.

 

However what we need to know about really are things like creatures to be aware of, extra caching equipment like gloves, long trousers etc and weather advice (should we be looking early morning because of the heat, do we need to be extra aware as summer usually brings storms to the area).

 

Any advice would be really appreciated to keep us safe! Any recommended trails would be good too :)

 

Thanks in advance.

 

Claire

(Cherrypi)

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Definitely bring some sort or walking stick / probing stick. As desert caching slows down it's not unusual for natural inhabitants (spiders scorpions lizards snakes) to create homes in geopiles. Use a stick or pole prior to reaching into piles or crevices.

 

Great start posting here in the forums. See if you can't schedule a run and get some of the local cachers to come out and help you along.

 

Weather: know what the weather will do before you leave. If there are forecast-ed storms don't go. The Desert flash floods very easily with a major downpour.

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Yes, a hiking stick to poke at stuff in front of you. Generally, anything that will harm you will hear you well before you get close and scurry off before you see it. Sometimes however, they do get caught by surprise.

 

Remember that everything in the desert bites, pokes, pricks, or stings. I think Rattlesnakes, steep cliffs and green jeeps are about the only things that might scare you real bad. Everything else is mostly inconvenient.

 

It's still a fun place to hang out.

 

When will you be around?

 

Note: English by Heritage - Family moved to the US when the Luftwaffe blew the roof off my father's family home.

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Poking stick a must then :laughing:

 

We'll be flying out for the last week in July, first 3 weeks in August to coincide with the school holidays (I'm a teacher).

 

Looking forward to coming back and hitting some of the trails. Like they idea of things being more scared of us though don't really want to have to test that theory!!!

 

Claire

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Poking stick a must then :laughing:

 

We'll be flying out for the last week in July, first 3 weeks in August to coincide with the school holidays (I'm a teacher).

 

Looking forward to coming back and hitting some of the trails. Like they idea of things being more scared of us though don't really want to have to test that theory!!!

 

Claire

OK - try to stop in on NevadaGeocaching.com and say hello. There are a lot of local geocachers that work weird days/shifts and could be available to take you on a tour.

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I cache mostly in the desert and found, like others, that a stick is very helpful. I'd also recommend you carry a small pocket comb in your first aid kit (you'll be carrying a first aid kit, won't you?). Jumping Cholla cactus are very difficult to remove. The comb helps get a grip. Of course, pliers work too.

 

I'd also recommend you carry "The Ten Essentials" with you in the car. If you are unfamiliar with the list, a Google search will be helpful. Carry extra water, both for you AND the vehicle.

 

Rattlesnake encounters are rare, especially in the heat of the day, but be careful while poking around in the rocks, where they could be hiding. Contrary to popular belief, rattlesnake do not always rattle before striking. Leave the tarantulas alone. They are harmless, but can inflict a very painful bite.

 

As far as clothing, there are several camps as to which is best. I prefer to hike in shorts and a cotton tee shirt. The cotton shirt hold your sweat and helps to keep you cool. Other like synthetic clothes, and I do use them on occasion, but find that in high heat I stay cooler in loose fitting cotton. Long pants can be helpful if you find yourself in vegetation.

 

Enjoy yourself. The desert is a wonderful place. Just don't tell other people! :-)

 

Jim/W9JIM

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