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EmzyJanezy

... retrieve a cache from the nettles?

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The TB Hotel I would like to drop my trackables off at is reportedly thickly covered by stinging nettles.

Any advice on how best to do this?

Should I just literally go clothes head to toe in thick clothes including gloves?  

Or should I bring a long stick to thrash the nettles about with (seems harsh)?

Or is there a better way?

Dumb question, probably, but there may be a special technique I'm missing!

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Better not to machete down the vegetation. :)

Either long sleeves, gloves, etc., or go at it bare-skinned and pay the consequences. Or skip it. I'm not sure what other options there are. I've never heard of any special techniques.

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Clothing layers help a lot. Long sleeves and pants. If other cachers have visited recently, then you might find that the nettles have already been 'moved' out of the way of the cache (aka, a "geotrail" has been created).

Sometimes, I will use a hiking stick to brush the nettles aside. Not enough to break them, but enough to keep them out of my way as I pass through.

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I used to laugh at the method a friend from Texas had: wear a sturdy leather jacket then walk backwards towards the cache.  It worked for him!

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Gloves, long sleeves, a sense of adventure.  :)

Could be worse.  I remember a cache hidden under a spiny bush.  The wind was howling through (>100km/h probably, I was leaning 20 degrees into it), and the thorns were waving back and forth in a rather menacing way.  Reach in if you dare.  :lol:

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I would recommend long pants and a long sleeve shirt just in case, but nettles can be knocked over with a long stick, and then you can walk over the top of them.    If you are stung by one, you can put milk of magnesia, hydrocortisone cream, or antihistamine cream to relieve the pain and itchiness.  As a home remedy, my Mom used to use baking soda mixed with a bit of water to make a salve.

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I read somewhere that rubbing the underside of fern leaves onto the sting area helps to relieve the itching. I've tried it a few times, as there are usually a lot of ferns in the same area as the nettles, and it seems to help. Or it might just be a placebo effect.

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I've found that long pants aren't necessarily enough, if they're thin. Whether it's the sting that gets through or the acid, I've felt the effects with thin outdoorsy pants. Loose jeans, or anything a bit thicker and not skin tight would be recommended.

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9 hours ago, Viajero Perdido said:

Gloves, long sleeves, a sense of adventure.  :)

Could be worse.  I remember a cache hidden under a spiny bush.  The wind was howling through (>100km/h probably, I was leaning 20 degrees into it), and the thorns were waving back and forth in a rather menacing way.  Reach in if you dare.  :lol:

And all for tupperware :lol:

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Are nettles even in leaf this time of year?  There is very little green around here (Western Pennsylvania.)

 

Joe

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Joe_L makes a great point. Some 'hazards' are not present in certain seasons.  If there are reports of nettles in recent logs, then you'll want to be more prepared. But it might be that nettles are currently not a problem.

Same seasonal and climatic considerations for other terrains. For example, some spots are muddy in wet weather, but easy to walk to when dry. There are some locations that require a boat/kayak to reach in certain seasons, but can be walked to in other seasons. Reading recent logs can be valuable in determining current conditions, unless recent cachers just log 'TFTC' or 'Got it'.

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How sure are you that the cache is in the nettles? I once explored a thicket of thorns because that was where the arrow was pointing. But after exploring a bit, I found the cache at the base of a tree just outside the thicket of thorns. Just sayin'...

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3 minutes ago, niraD said:

How sure are you that the cache is in the nettles? I once explored a thicket of thorns because that was where the arrow was pointing. But after exploring a bit, I found the cache at the base of a tree just outside the thicket of thorns. Just sayin'...

Of course! Haha.

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On 4/14/2018 at 10:26 PM, noncentric said:

I read somewhere that rubbing the underside of fern leaves onto the sting area helps to relieve the itching. I've tried it a few times, as there are usually a lot of ferns in the same area as the nettles, and it seems to help. Or it might just be a placebo effect.

In England the phase often heard is “Nettle in, Dock out.”  The sting in Stinging Nettle is caused by formic acid (same as in ants).  Curled Dock (Rumex Crispus) usually grows in the same area as the nettles.  Just crush and rub the Curled Dock leaves on the affected area for quick relief.

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On ‎4‎/‎14‎/‎2018 at 4:30 PM, EmzyJanezy said:

The TB Hotel I would like to drop my trackables off at is reportedly thickly covered by stinging nettles.

Any advice on how best to do this?

Should I just literally go clothes head to toe in thick clothes including gloves?  

Or should I bring a long stick to thrash the nettles about with (seems harsh)?

Or is there a better way?

Dumb question, probably, but there may be a special technique I'm missing!

Stinging Nettles are a very aggressive and invasive weed and probably should be removed anyway.    Most states have a department of conservation website.  There you can usually find a way to report invasive plants.   Depending on exactly where the nettles are they may even remove them for you.   

If your dead set on putting your TB in that cache and your sure it's buried in the Nettles,  than cover up as much of your skin as you can.  

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I would put on as much clothing as possible to cover your skin (including gloves). A stick may be helpful to push the nettles out of the way.

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10 hours ago, 321geocache said:

I would put on as much clothing as possible to cover your skin (including gloves). A stick may be helpful to push the nettles out of the way.

I grit my teeth and go.  It only stings for a few minutes ...... if you don't scratch.

Poison ivy on the other hand, I take along a friend for that :rolleyes:

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I would put the TB in another cache.

Technically there is no such thing as a TB hotel. It’s a cache name only. So any cache that will accommodate the TB’s size and that gets found reasonably often would be fine. I would worry that a cache in nettles or PI could have a lower find rate. And it sucks when a TB sits in a cache for a long time.

Personally I don’t understand placing a cache in briars, PI, nettles, blackberry, etc. (unless there are ways to get around the stuff to retrieve). Why inflict discomfort on a fellow cacher? That’s just me. I have trekked after a cache only to find a vast ocean of PI. DNF. Smiley not worth it.

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Many of us are not affected by Poison Ivy, Poison Oak or Sumac, but those thorns or stinging nettles are a problem for almost everybody. That's just one of the many things that cachers have to decide when they get to GZ. How do I get to the cache, or DO I even bother.

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On 4/19/2018 at 9:40 PM, PlantAKiss said:

Personally I don’t understand placing a cache in briars, PI, nettles, blackberry, etc. (unless there are ways to get around the stuff to retrieve). Why inflict discomfort on a fellow cacher? That’s just me. I have trekked after a cache only to find a vast ocean of PI. DNF. Smiley not worth it.

Very often, the area was fine when the cache was placed but the vegetation grew in later.  You'd be surprised how quickly that can happen. I had a cache placement once that was just off a mowed grass trail and one year later required walking through chest-high vegetation.

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On 4/21/2018 at 8:43 AM, JohnCNA said:
On 4/19/2018 at 10:40 PM, PlantAKiss said:

Personally I don’t understand placing a cache in briars, PI, nettles, blackberry, etc. (unless there are ways to get around the stuff to retrieve). Why inflict discomfort on a fellow cacher? That’s just me. I have trekked after a cache only to find a vast ocean of PI. DNF. Smiley not worth it.

Very often, the area was fine when the cache was placed but the vegetation grew in later.  You'd be surprised how quickly that can happen. I had a cache placement once that was just off a mowed grass trail and one year later required walking through chest-high vegetation.

Yup.  For that reason, if I find a cache close to nettles or poison ivy, I try to say so in the log to give the cache owner and other finders a heads up that those types of plants are intruding.  Often enough, the CO wasn't aware, either because of gradual encroachment, or simply because the cache was hidden in winter and the CO didn't realize that the hairy vine on the tree nearby was poison, not English, ivy.

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On 4/17/2018 at 9:12 AM, badlands said:

I grit my teeth and go.  It only stings for a few minutes ...... if you don't scratch.

Poison ivy on the other hand, I take along a friend for that :rolleyes:

Most people experience pain for 2 to 12 hours when injected with the cocktail of neurotransmitters (histamine, acetylcholine and serotonin) from the trichomes of Urtica dioica, scratching or no scratching. If I have appropriate tools, I will remove this weed without compunction. Otherwise, boots with long pants tucked in, long sleeve shirt with jacket over that and heavy work gloves with long cuffs (I am one of the 12 hour sufferers) 

Edited by Michaelcycle

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I recall searching for caches canalside in UK. The nettles were chest high and I was wearing long pants and Tshirt. If anyone was watching they would have had a good laugh at the old codger making like a ballerina with arms overhead. Although I'm not allergic to stings, animal or vegetable, if I got stung by nettles in the morning I would still be feeling the tingling sensation that night.

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5 hours ago, hzoi said:

Yup.  For that reason, if I find a cache close to nettles or poison ivy, I try to say so in the log to give the cache owner and other finders a heads up that those types of plants are intruding.  Often enough, the CO wasn't aware, either because of gradual encroachment, or simply because the cache was hidden in winter and the CO didn't realize that the hairy vine on the tree nearby was poison, not English, ivy.

I once knew an infamous CO who was notified that several of his recently placed caches were in waist deep PI.  When told of this at an event, he laughed, said "well I am not allergic to it so I never even noticed... and no I won't move them".  I actually started looking specifically for PI in areas where he hid tough caches because it was more than likely hidden in between the vine and the tree.  It was a successful and risky endeavor for me many times.

Saw a different CO archive a cache after it was noted 1 time that there were fire ants making a home at his cache.

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2 hours ago, BulldogBlitz said:

I once knew an infamous CO who was notified that several of his recently placed caches were in waist deep PI.  When told of this at an event, he laughed, said "well I am not allergic to it so I never even noticed... and no I won't move them".

Sounds like a real humanitarian.  :laughing:

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I did a cache several years ago that was in the middle of an overgrown thicket between 2 streams of rushing water. I scouted it in all 4 seasons over the course of a year and a half. I'm not saying how I ended up scoring the find, but one could easily see that I had been there when I was done. :D

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