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Night Caching?


gerper
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I've seen a few caches that are specifically stated they should be done at night and have done a couple of them myself. However, I'm courious as to how many of you cache specifically at night and why? Seems to me that it would be a bit unsafe, especially if you are in the woods or out in the "boonies". Still, being that daylight hours are short (especially during the work week), night caching might not be a bad idea.

Who caches at night, why, and have you encountered any kooks or spooks?

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Night caches offers another variety to the game/sport. Most night caches I know of don't take to the boonies or deep into the woods (if they did I would go myself), but rather to parking lots or somewhere relatively easy to access. One of the beauties of a sport in its infancy (like geocaching) is to see how the contributors shape and mold the game. This is one further way and although it doesn't appeal to all--it certainly appeals to some. Just check out the logs. Personally I like added challenge of nightfall, so long as its safe!!

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Night caching adds a special challenge to this sport. We have done several night caches by ourselves, and are amazed at the completely different feelings. I would not recommend it to everyone, and am selective as to what caches I attempt at night. We have been to geocaching picnics and have done organized night caches in a group. In fact at the INGEO picnic this fall we did a night multi cache where the continers were "guarded" by plastic snakes, spiders,bats, and owls. If this had been a day cache it would have been corny, but at night it added a special dimmension.

We even invited a fellow geocaching couple to our home one night, and did a night cache around our neighborhood. A couple of weeks later the couple returned the favor, and we did one in their neighborhood.

All in all it is great fun. We have purchased headlamps so that our hands can be free to use the GPS, and compass, but any good flashlight will do.

 

Hope you have many great Adventures caching

 

Gary and Mary

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I've done quite a few caches at night recently and I enjoy the increased difficulty where you may be working by flashlight and working with tunnel vision as opposed to seeing the whole picture.

 

While I've had to wait for geomuggles to leave the area or run into other geocachers during daylight searches, I've yet to run into much of anyone during a night search.

 

It also provides the opportunity to take some impressive pictures, such as this one from the "Snoring Cache" at night:

 

0c180606-b547-4e6e-b161-a236be7f4dbe.jpg

 

The one drawback is what you CAN'T see. A few days later, I went to a cache in the same area as the Snoring Cache. I had planned on searching the GC Lakers Gecocache after finding the Snoring Cache, but the failing flashlight led me to forgo the search that night. Returning for a daylight search, I found this about 40 feet from the GC Lakers Geocache:

 

f52e2a2b-8116-4396-8b0b-f18ad0a42cef.jpg

 

Would have been awfully easy to watch the GPS screen and literally walk right into this six foot deep pit.

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I haven't done an official night cache yet, but I think that about a quarter of my finds are after dark. The reason is simple: I enjoy caching too much to just call it a day, and especially in the winter, when darkness falls early, I am just not ready to stop yet. It's mostly unplanned, and my flashlight collection has expanded considerably, until I understood the pattern and started taking a flashlight with me even when I plan it to be a daytime hunt.

 

I agree with all the comments about the fun of night-caching. The one thing I notice, though, is that whiile the fun is the hike and not the find, I have almost stopped hiking to places when there is no cache involved, which in practical terms means I will miss out on the beautiy of a place not just for the caching hike, but often for a long time. In this light (funpun intended), I am actually grateful for a couple of nocturnal DNFs, which allowed me to enjoy a place twice :-) :(:D

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My first night cache didn't start out as a night cache at all. I am just to stubborn (stupid) to know when to quit.

 

Ended up bush wacking 500m through seriously thick bush, failing GPSr batteries, no flashlight.

 

Check out my log here

 

Some pics!

 

Me at the cache - enhanced version

 

fbfabb5e-fb65-45ef-8202-dcd579014414.jpg

 

Un-enhanced version

 

77bbf33b-4309-490a-97b0-108428f4c1f2.jpg

 

Can you see me? :(

 

Needless to say, a mini-mag is in my kit at all times now... just in case.

 

Scott

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I had such a great time doing my first night cache, that I have layed out a nice multi-leg night route that is currently pending approval by the parks ddepartment.

 

I won't be exclusively night caching. (How could I. Mine will be the second one within 300-400 miles) but I will try any I run into.

 

Hopefully, when I find another night cache, I can do a nearby day cache before it gets dark, then do a night cache on the way out. that would make a nice trip.

Edited by DustyJacket
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I love night time caching as my job sometimes keeps me from daylight. Although the last night time cache I got a little spooked...

No problems getting and finding the cache but after hiking 2 miles through difficult terrain and worried about my headlamp dying I turned it off. The moonlight was bright and I treaded down the trail; luckily my ears were good and I heard the rattler right away. Flipped my lights on and that snake was curled up right in front of me....:( wheh close call. So picking up the speed a little bit and realizing hey this isn't such a good idea it's 1am in the morning and I'm out in the middle of the boondocks by mself (a slender built woman). Was just about to the bottom of the trail when I heard a lot of rustling in the bushes. First it was behind me then it was in front of me then to the side; now I'm scared thinking someone is stalking me and is about to jump me. So I started to back up against the tree and held onto my walking stick ready......HERE IT COMES....It's a deer :P:D

Now I did learn from my lesson....I never go at night alone anymore. Pretty funny.

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I have two night caches and enjoy night-caching. I go alone. I have never run into anyone.

 

Since driving to and from caches is FAR more hazardous than walking in the woods, I wonder where the concern for safety comes from?

 

If you check out my profile, in the 'most adventurous' links there's a great log of my FTF at night for 5 miles!

 

Obviously you want to be prepared, backup navigation tool and backup flashlight. I bushwack a lot and without the sun to orient oneself you want to be able to put that compass to use if need be.

 

Enjoy,

 

Randy

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I've done a lot of night caching lately and have come to prefer it over day caching, but then I've always been a night-owl. When I was a skier I also used to prefer night skiing over daytime skiing. Up here, north of the 49th, I would have to give up caching during the week if I didn't go night caching. I like the added challenge and creeping around in the dark is a bit of a rush. I actually find white plastic containers to be easier to find at night, when hit with a BFL, than during the daytime.

 

I've added an LED/Xenon headlamp and a 6-volt rechargable 1,000,000 candlepower BFL to my caching arsenal.

 

The other night was my first experience night caching while it was snowing heavily. I can hardly wait until it snows again...

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I was going to pick up a headlamp from MEC to aid in Night Caches.

 

Anyone else use those?

Headlamp: Yes!

 

I love mine!

 

I am intrigued by this lamp. And wish someone would test it out for me and let me know how it works. Thanks.

 

I just bought my older kids Petzl Zipka's for their stockings.

 

They both love to go out night caching... and my son has hinted at my getting him a headlamp instead of, well, you know, that 'boomerang I just asked you to buy for me... well, I could get it some other time' (Implying he would rather have the headlamp, but he wouldn't come right out and ask for it - it was a sweet mother-son 'I want to go night caching with you' kind of a moment.)

 

I didn't bother with something MO' brighter for them since they don't actually LOOK for the cache or clues or glowing dots in the dark (the xenon bulb kicks booty for when you need to do more than see the trail in front of you). They just want to be OUT in the dark doing whatever when I'm out in the dark doing whatever.

 

So, now you've got your GPSr coming. Then a headlamp. What's next?

 

-=-

michelle

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Headlamp: Yes!

 

I love mine!

 

I am intrigued by this lamp. And wish someone would test it out for me and let me know how it works. Thanks.

 

I just bought my older kids Petzl Zipka's for their stockings.

 

They both love to go out night caching... and my son has hinted at my getting him a headlamp instead of, well, you know, that 'boomerang I just asked you to buy for me... well, I could get it some other time' (Implying he would rather have the headlamp, but he wouldn't come right out and ask for it - it was a sweet mother-son 'I want to go night caching with you' kind of a moment.)

 

I didn't bother with something MO' brighter for them since they don't actually LOOK for the cache or clues or glowing dots in the dark (the xenon bulb kicks booty for when you need to do more than see the trail in front of you). They just want to be OUT in the dark doing whatever when I'm out in the dark doing whatever.

 

So, now you've got your GPSr coming. Then a headlamp. What's next?

 

-=-

michelle

Next is to get out and start to accumulate some finds!

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Any of you night cachers have a recommendation on what is good / not good for headlamps? I'm mostly looking for something to get me out of the woods when I max out daylight, but might try some nocturnal caching at some point.

 

DOH! Don't know why I didn't see thosealready existing answers before I hit "Submit"... Disregard this as a scroll-bar challenged user's error :(

Edited by cgh
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I didn't bother with something MO' brighter for them since they don't actually LOOK for the cache or clues or glowing dots in the dark (the xenon bulb kicks booty for when you need to do more than see the trail in front of you). They just want to be OUT in the dark doing whatever when I'm out in the dark doing whatever.

I use a headlamp too, AND one or two maglights. One with a strong focussed beam, the other more diffuse for general illumination (Good for reading texts on gravestones, etc. My kids like that). Not that I bought anything specific: all my lights are grocery store cheapos, but when you have half a dozen, you find out the relative merits of each of them :-)

 

The kids mostly use the lights just to create shadows, shine into each others eyes, to feel safe in spooky places, and just to be out when it "feels" after bed time.

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total kick man!!!! Everything looks different at night. Yeah I've done this solo at times, but prefer to do it with others. Been on a few nighters that took a big group several minutes to find the box. I imagine in the daytime we would have made short work of it!

 

A bunch of us are thinking of ganging up for some of Criminal's legendary night caches down south. First of the year or so I think.

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:( we just made our first find at night; looks like most of the ones here at the beginning will be at night due to the amount of daylight this time of year, and the fact that my girlfriend works until 8 in the evening. They do make the hunt more interesting, however. I have a dual halogen vistalight setup for my mountain bike i may make into a dual-purpose system. the more toys the better!
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:( we just made our first find at night; looks like most of the ones here at the beginning will be at night due to the amount of daylight this time of year, and the fact that my girlfriend works until 8 in the evening. They do make the hunt more interesting, however. I have a dual halogen vistalight setup for my mountain bike i may make into a dual-purpose system. the more toys the better!

MarinerBC would call those: BFLs! Big F***ing Lights

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Any of you night cachers have a recommendation on what is good / not good for headlamps?  I'm mostly looking for something to get me out of the woods when I max out daylight, but might try some nocturnal caching at some point.

I really like the LED lights because they're not so bright that they totally wreck your night vision. The added bonus is the incredibly long burn time on a set of batteries. A high intensity bulb is a must when you're closing in on the cache. Of course, they eat batteries. I recently replaced by old incandescent headlamp with one that has both LED's and a Xenon bulb, but if I had to choose only one I would go for the LED's and use a brighter handheld flashlight when I needed it.

 

After shopping around for headlamps, I made a decision not to consider any lights that used AAA batteries. They're too expensive and their burn times are too low. The slight extra weight and size of the battery pack did not seem like a good tradeoff for the extra operating expense.

 

Speaking of handheld lights, a BFL is really nice to have. Mine is 1,000,000 candlepower and gets about 20 minutes burn on the 6v rechargable battery. I compared it on a recent hunt with someone's 500,000 candlepower light, which got about 35-40 minutes burn time and I would recommend going for the longer burn time. The difference in light output was only slightly noticable, especially at close range. Shop around, they come in a wide range of prices for seemingly the same thing. All the ones I've seen come with both a 110V charger and a 12V car-ligher charger.

 

Gorak

Edited by Gorak
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Speaking of handheld lights, a BFL is really nice to have. Mine is 1,000,000 candlepower and gets about 20 minutes burn on the 6v rechargable battery. I compared it on a recent hunt with someone's 500,000 candlepower light, which got about 35-40 minutes burn time and I would recommend going for the longer burn time.

How much of a weight difference between the two? I must admit I'm eyeing the smaller lights (1m instead of 3.5 or 5) just because of those I've hefted, the 1m is subsantially lighter. It is an issue for me - I'm just not that big of a person, and the less weight I have to pack around, the better!

 

{shopping, shopping for a low-profile backpack w/o a water bladder!}

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I walk in the dark using starlight and moonlight.

Please don't take this the wrong way, but if you did that around here you risk walking off the side of a cliff or sliding down into a ravine. ;) Stars and moonlight are a rare commodity around here during the winter months and the terrain is anything but flat.

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And that is how I "fell" out of Ranger school when I was young. I guess that I can't learn.... ;)

 

Of course, nowadays I only do that when there is strong starlight and at least 1/3 of a moon, and I move slooooowly......I also have to use a hiking staff because of my right foot/ankle/leg in any but super flat terrain. Therefore I do a lot of poking on the ground with the staff if I cache at night.

 

I just don't want geomuggles to see the light and call the Sheriff. I was thinking of getting a NV monocular scope to check the terrain every 10 minutes or so.

 

(And, I've only been out a half-dozen times at night, recently.)

Edited by DustyJacket
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And that is how I "fell" out of Ranger school when I was young. I guess that I can't learn.... ;)

 

(Of course, nowadays I only do that when there is strong starlight and at least 1/3 of a moon, and I move slooooowly......

 

(I just don't want geomuggles to see the light and call the Sheriff. I wa thinking of getting a NV monocular scope to check the terrain every 10 minutes or so.)

 

(And, I've only been out a half-dozen times at night, recently.)

Hah!

 

I postpone 'turning on the lights' until it is absolutely necessary, and use the headlight only after reachign the coords and looking for the cache, and for writing the logs.

 

Fear of geomuggles was actually a cause of a recent DNF, which was hidden in a park next to the County Sheriff's office, which was officially closed after dusk to boot. So I stayed on the large trails and didn't see the smaller trail, until I went back some weeks later :-)

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I have wandered around aimlessly in the dark too. Did one just a week or two ago. I find that safety glasses worn while in the woods will save you from a scratched cornea. :D Though I am new to geocaching, I have extensive experence doing the night time navagation both above and below treeline. Things that go bump in the night are looking at the gps instead of where they are walking. :ph34r:

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It's funny, but I feel a LOT safer hunting a cache at night that's in a remote area, vs some local park. Most of the municipal parks around here officially close at sunset, so just walking there is inviting trouble. Parking can be a problem too, as vigilant neighbors may call the authorities to check out "this strange car" parked near their home. I recently hiked 5 miles up and down Bear Mountain in CT to find a cache - no crowds, a few deer, assorted unseen wildlife, but no problems. I left a detailed description of my route with my wife, along with the time I'd be returning, so if anything DID go wrong I wouldn't be out there long. As far as the danger factor is concerned - sitting at home vegetating in front of the TV is probably a bigger danger, healthwise, than taking a walk in the woods by headlamp. IMHO. :)

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I recently purchased the Energizer headlamp deal from Wally World for $14.99, and it's been great. I'd love a brighter beam, but for the intended purpose it does the job. I have my Inova X5 for use when I get up close to the cache, and use the headlamp to get me there. There's also the mini-Mag and the 3D Mag sitting in the truck, so illumination isn't an issue ultimately.

 

If I had the time to stay late a few hours, I'd take in some night hiking in/around Prescott when I head up to place my latest cache.

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We've never actually chosen to do night caches, as our kids are still a bit young. Two caches we've done have been at night however just because we've run out of daylight and are trying to squeeze in 'one more'.

One was a remote desert cache and we were able to watch a great sunset from the cache location.

The other was an urban park setting and one of the kids was asleep anyway, so one of us took the other one and set off. It wasn't a long hike, but we had to find it with only a key chain flashlight we'd found in another cache earlier that day.

While we did enjoy the night cache, we didn't get to see much of the park it was in.

We did get to enjoy near total solitude in an otherwise busy boat-launching, fishing sort of riverside park.

I think we'll try more night caches, but we'll have to remember to get a flashlight in the backpack. Had that little keychain light crapped out on us, we'd have been searching by the light of the GPSr screen.

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I just did my first find and I did it at night. The reason was I know this place well cause I fish and walk there some. So I decided to do it at night so as to help hide the clues given and make an easy one harder. My wife and I loved it.

 

I have bowhunted in the past and tracking my quarry after a hit has taken me into the woods after dark several times, thing look different and take longer in the dark.

 

I have had to hike fot two hours in the dark and wade the wynoochee river in the dark to get back from a hunt. I've spent the night in the DEEPwoods too. Zingerhead was right one needs to leave a detailed plan.

 

I would never trade my night experiences in the woods for any daytime ones and look forward to more geonightcaching!

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As we were unpacking from our Thanksgiving weekend trip, I happened to take a break and log on to the geocaching website, only to find out that a new cache had been placed in our community....the first new cache in a long time. It was dark, and cold, but we bundled up, and took Whizzer the geo dog and went on the hunt! We found it with the help of two flashlights. What a fun time we had. Perhaps we will do some more at night.....

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