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Night Caching


Robosaurus
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I have found several night caches and they are good crazy fun.

 

Apart from having a good torch, it is best to go as a large group of five plus; so that you have many eyes watching out for the elusive glow of a fire tack and a large party helps to keep off the boojums !

 

I have found a night cache in a party of just three but we were very experienced cachers with thousands of finds between us.

 

Good luck and enjoy.

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My main caches are done at night with a group for people 3-5 including myself. We all have really good flash lights. Also we don't really go out into the woods when night caching, we stay in the town and off streets. We have a blast doing it at night. Also try not to look to suspicious to other people. I know that can be hard some times.

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Hello everyone! I'm relatively new to geocaching, and although I'm picking up skills pretty quickly, I have absolutely no luck finding any caches at night. Any tips on going night caching for the inexperienced?

BE QUIET!!! no, really... be quiet. Being in the woods at night can be quite an experience. Use your flashlight only occasionally so that your eyes adjust to the darkness. You.ll be surprised how many caches you can find just by using your caching instincts and noticing shadow outlines.

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Just keep going, it'll get easier. The vast majority of our finds have been at night. In fact, when we cache during the day for anything more difficult than a park n' grab, I always feel a bit odd and out of sorts.

 

I'd also strongly recommend night caching during winter. Since we just started this year in February, this was our first summer caching. We've definitely had better luck in the colder months.

 

Winter night caching is easier due to the lack of heavy foliage cover. This makes it easier to spot caches and lessens the chance for GPS issues in heavily forested areas. Plus, if your lucky enough to have snow on the ground, you'll find it generally brighter.

 

I totally agree with the other posts about having a good flashlight. We use Maglite XL50's. They're super bright, waterproof, and cast a white (not blue) light. Plus, they're inexpensive compared to comparable output lights (SureFire, Fenix, etc) and work great with rechargeables.

Edited by ZaphodAndTrillian
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Instead of a torch, I use a good flashlight. :rolleyes: Preferably a headlamp so I can have both hands free. I use the red light mostly so it doesn't mess with my night vision. Also a stick to probe with, take it from me you don't want to stick your fingers in something you can't see into until you've probed it.

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I've done one, and it's a blast... though if I do another, I'll be taking more than just me and my kid out. I did have a phone, and there were houses and roads near by, but I realizied once i was in the woods, if I fell and knocked myself out or something like that... so going forward.. at least one other person that can reliably use a phone and gps to tell your location. A back up flashlight was in our pack too.

 

I'm curious how one finds the spots to SET UP a night cache. Any place that looks good around here has dusk to dawn restrictions. Anyone has any hints / guidance on how to find a place to set one up (especially in Pennsylvania) let me know... lol

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Use your flashlight only occasionally so that your eyes adjust to the darkness. You.ll be surprised how many caches you can find just by using your caching instincts and noticing shadow outlines.

 

how exactly do you see the firetacks or any reflective tape used in night caches without a flashlight? :blink:

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Get started with day, or evening, caching while its still light out and let it pass into night caching. This way you get the geo-sense gears all greased and warmed up and you are already in the mindset of where to look, even if there's a light deficiency. Not to mention the confidence boost of finding some before things get harder at night.

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Maybe the OP was asking about actual "night caches", the ones that have "bright tacks" or "fireflies" or something of that sort that you can only see at night with a light. These are fun and sometimes tricky to find even if you can see the tacks. Here in TX where we live you never know when you will find a scorpion, a black widow, a skunk, a cactus or a rattlesnake, so be careful where you put your hands and fingers. Probe first! To me the best light is a head lamp so your hands can be free to probe and hunt. Don't buy a cheapie, you will just be sorry. Get a good one to start with. I like the ones you can switch from white light to red light to help my night vision.

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As others have indicated, "night caching" has sort of become a term of art, different from just going geocaching at night.

 

"Night caches" are designed to be done with flashlights in the dark, usually involving reflectors (sometimes involving light sensors or laser pointers). I use a Petzl headlamp that has a nice spotlight effect, it's been pretty good for most night caches I've done with it. I also have a larger, brighter hand-held spotlight I've used for night caches that are set up over greater distances, like this one.

 

I'm not a big fan of geocaching at night unless it's actually a night cache, as it's very easy to get tunnel vision, it's not as easy to spot contrasts that would make a hide more obvious in the daytime, and, let's face it, unless you're the only person around, waving a flashlight around tends to draw attention. So unless it's built as a night cache and has reflectors and such, I tend to save it for sunup.

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I'm not a big fan of geocaching at night unless it's actually a night cache, as it's very easy to get tunnel vision, it's not as easy to spot contrasts that would make a hide more obvious in the daytime, and, let's face it, unless you're the only person around, waving a flashlight around tends to draw attention. So unless it's built as a night cache and has reflectors and such, I tend to save it for sunup.

OTOH, not dismissing your opinion, sometimes caching during daylight is hard, and heading out after dark for an hour or so is possible. Thus, one ends up looking for regular caches at night.

 

To my surprise -- a friend was doing this long before I was -- it's not particularly harder in the general case at least for urban caches. Yes, some will be impossible that would be easy during the day, but it also works the other way around: some "high muggle locations" are a breeze to search at night.

 

Then there are caches that some vindictive local cachers hide that have to be discovered by logic and feeling in possible locations: they're not visible in daylight or at night. For those, you're often less suspicious if you get to GZ, turn your torch (er, flashlight for the USAians) off, and start hunting.

 

Where a torch or flashlight is required, it's helpful to have a good one; I've recently bought one with multiple levels of brightness, runs off four AA rechargeable batteries, and is very nice. OTOH for the last cache I grabbed at night (to keep my continuous days with finds rolling) I went "back to basics" (it was a 1/1.5 cache!) and used just my old Geko 201 and the torch/flashlight kept in the cigarette lighter of my car.

 

Bottom line, for me, is that if you want to cache at night, go for it. Obviously use sense: if a park is closed, not a great idea to go in. Setting dogs barking is a bigger deal at midnight than midday. All terrain issues (slippery slopes, low branches, unsure footing, ...) are all harder at night; use care. But then there are caches that I'd hesitate to approach after rain during the day and would prefer to wait for a dry spell: it's all common sense, really.

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Hi! Hubby and I are brand spankin' new to geocaching ... just started last weekend. Found 7 so far! We're hooked! B)

 

I was glad to find this topic about night caching. Because of our work schedule, we're only able to do this at night and very early in the morning (pre-dawn). We immediately noticed the benefits of searching empty parking lots at night. However, searching in wooded or residential areas wasn't so easy, at least not without lighting up the area like a stage and potentially making people think we're up to something suspicious.

 

Is there a way to search for local caches that are night owl friendly? Light poles are fun, but admittedly they get a little redundant! :lol:

 

Thanks so much. We've been reading everything on the site, and are even considering hiding some caches of our own (eventually). :D

Edited by RobertAndLisa
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Is there a way to search for local caches that are night owl friendly?
Premium members can use pocket queries to search for caches based on attributes. For more information about pocket queries, see:

http://www.markwell.us/pq.htm

 

Basic members can still see the attributes for caches, but they can't search for caches based on the attributes.

 

These attributes may be interesting to you:

 

available-yes.gif Available at All Times

 

night-yes.gif Recommended at Night

 

nightcache-yes.gifNight Cache

 

More are listed here:

http://www.geocaching.com/about/icons.aspx

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Hi! Hubby and I are brand spankin' new to geocaching ... just started last weekend. Found 7 so far! We're hooked! B)

 

I was glad to find this topic about night caching. Because of our work schedule, we're only able to do this at night and very early in the morning (pre-dawn). We immediately noticed the benefits of searching empty parking lots at night. However, searching in wooded or residential areas wasn't so easy, at least not without lighting up the area like a stage and potentially making people think we're up to something suspicious.

 

Is there a way to search for local caches that are night owl friendly? Light poles are fun, but admittedly they get a little redundant! :lol:

 

Thanks so much. We've been reading everything on the site, and are even considering hiding some caches of our own (eventually). :D

 

There are three attributes you could make pocket queries for (one query per attribute) that might help for Geocaching at night:

Available at all times (24/7 icon)

Recommended at Night (moon and stars icon)

Night Cache (moon and cache container)

 

The last would probably be caches designed specifically to be done at night and not during the day. (As opposed to caches that may be better done at night but can be done during the day.)

 

And remember, cemeteries may have a dawn to dusk law in your state/country, so you probably want to avoid those at night. (In one area I know of, that would eliminate a lot of caches from night caching, since many of the caches in the area were at cemeteries.

 

Edit: Pocket queries obviously would require a premium membership. :)

Edited by EdrickV
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Hi! Hubby and I are brand spankin' new to geocaching ... just started last weekend. Found 7 so far! We're hooked! B)

 

Congratulations.

 

I was glad to find this topic about night caching. Because of our work schedule, we're only able to do this at night and very early in the morning (pre-dawn). We immediately noticed the benefits of searching empty parking lots at night. However, searching in wooded or residential areas wasn't so easy, at least not without lighting up the area like a stage and potentially making people think we're up to something suspicious.

 

Been there, done that. I try to minimise the issues by staying away from caches that are adjacent to residential areas, but did manage to set off the most appalling number of dogs recently -- a path in a park turned out to run along the back fence of a number of houses, and you can guess what happened next. Hurt my ears, I tell you. (I took a circuitous route back to my car!)

 

My caching torch was selected in part because it has multiple brightness levels; at its lowest level it's pretty low. That means I don't have to light up the world every time I turn it on, and as you find more caches you'll get a better "geosense" for where they'll be, and won't have to light up so many potential hiding spots.

 

Someone mentioned carrying a backup: that sounds like a good idea. My torch is pretty robust (and has been drop tested once -- I drop everything I take caching sooner or later). A friend who like you has work hours that encourage caching at night takes along a headlamp as a second torch, mostly he says for ease of use in signing the log. I think I'll start doing that too; from memory my headlamp has a low-brightness red light feature. Probably useless for searching for a cache, but should be enough a lot of times to navigate more discreetly to GZ, perhaps hand carried to get it lower.

 

Oh -- and even at night, you'll still get muggled. Just don't get mugged!

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I only just started geocaching less than two weeks ago, and out of my 15 finds, five of them have been at night. Despite that fact, none of them have been actual "night caches", I just haven't bothered figuring out if there are any in my area yet. I think caching at night (for caches that are meant to be found during the day) is a great way to sharpen my geosenses.

 

I will be the first to admit that those senses are still in their infancy, but they're getting better with each new find. I don't live in an area with a lot of dangerous snakes or spiders, so I don't really worry about "getting down and dirty" trying to find caches at night. I will say that I did go out and purposely buy two Maglite LED flashlights recently so I have no worries about being able to see around me when hunting.

 

Caching at night is great fun, and because of the extra precautions that must be taken, I find I'm thinking more about finding each cache I've planned to locate. Just the last time I went out, I was planning on it being just an hour or so, until I got too cold or the light rain bothered me too much. After failing to find a few and locating two caches, four hours had passed and I was soaking wet!

 

Night caching rocks.

But...so does daytime caching.

 

Geocaching is awesome in general!

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Use your flashlight only occasionally so that your eyes adjust to the darkness. You.ll be surprised how many caches you can find just by using your caching instincts and noticing shadow outlines.

 

how exactly do you see the firetacks or any reflective tape used in night caches without a flashlight? :blink:

 

Any bright idea will show you the way! :antenna:

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The first time I ever went on a hunt was at night. It was right after a HUGE snowstorm in the south that dropped 10 inches on us. And the first cache we hunted was in a cemetery. There were 4 adults and 2 kids. We had an amazing time and we were all hooked. We didn't find the loot, because of all the snow, but it was still fun.

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I really enjoy caching at night. As previously stated, you need to have a very good head lamp. I enjoy it because it significantly reduces muggles. I have found that some caches are easier to find at night (like bush or tree caches). The light from the lamp illuminates them or reflects off the camo paints etc. I will run a special query for caches with a difficulty rating of 3 or less. You need to use common sense, I pass on any caches at night that are in residential neighborhoods, near banks, behind businesses or other places that someone using a flashlight might draw significant unwanted attention. I also pay attention to what I am wearing. I avoid wearing a hooded sweatshirt etc. or other clothes that make me look like I am trying to avoid detection or common to burglars. So leave your knit ski masks at home. I prefer not to have a gun pointed at me.

Edited by Russ!
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