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The End Of The Caching Season?

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well, i tell you what... it's coming to be the end of the summer, which means (for me at least) that its now time for all work, no play, no geocaching. i, as well as a few many other cachers, have to return to school or college and melt our brains out over how two plus two can be equal to five. caching families will be ruined, as the husband and wife return to work at separate places and make an attempt to be there "on time" once again...


and then the worst part comes...




please, say it isnt true! i'm fairly new to geocaching, so i dont know what happens in the offseason, but tell me... is there an offseason? do people make special wintertime caches? is it possible to wintercache? or will we have to sit in hibernation for more than three months?

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There is no offseason here (NJ). In fact activity seems to increase in the fall and stays pretty steady through the winter. Geocaching in the winter has lots of advantages. No bugs, excellent reception, the heat and humidity are gone and island and swamp caches are suddenly easily accessable when the ground and lakes freeze.


Snow can make things harder, but not impossible. In fact, sometimes footprints can lead you right to the cache.


Caching scenes from last winter












Edited by briansnat
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We started caching in winter, and really enjoyed being out on the trails without being eaten alive... Also a lot of the plant life goes dormant or dies off and it's easier moving around "off trail" if necessary. I did note that that would be something to think about if we were to hide a cache in summer, expecting it to remain hidden all year...


I, for one, will take colder weather and lots of layers over heat/humidity any day! You just have to be prepared. Living where we do, we've been prepared all our lives...




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I started in February and did seven in the cold. We had a wet, sloppy March and I didn't do any at all that month. I don't mind cold, snow, even slipping around on ice, but when it's wet and cold, I'm not up for it.


Hm. Maybe I just need better rain gear.


I'm delighted to say, by the way, that the bug season appears to be over. My first stop yesterday was a wildlife sanctuary in a marsh (after a heavy rain), and I didn't see a single mosquito.

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Think of it as expanding horizons - now you can cache with snowshoes or cross country skis. And tromping through the snow (that is, if you aren't in one of these places with balmy year-round weather) for a cache can be a lot of fun. My son still talks about one I took him on that had us climbing a hill with a couple of feet of fresh snow on the ground.

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Even a rest stop cache can become a challenge in the winter. I agree with the prior poster about using skis.




Camping also takes on a whole new meaning when it's done in the winter.




And if you get tired of skiing or snowshoeing, there's always the option of using 4WD to get near the cache!




You are then rewarded with cool views like this one, that are obscured by tree cover at other times of the year.




(The last two photos are from Quest Master's most excellent Oaks Point Cache. I will not embarrass anyone by saying where the rest stop photos come from.)

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Or you could be lucky like us and live in the Northwest where caching is great year round. We started in March and have not had weather as a factor in when we can and can't cache. Just that silly thing called work seems to get in the way, whether it is summer or winter. For us, if it is too cold in the mountains, we can just hop over and do coastal caching. We have left a lot of the coastal areas for this winter and look forward to a little rain and fog. For our coast, it seems to be about 60 whether it is winter or summer so we are very lucky here.

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I'm looking forward to cooler weather. It's so dang hot here in Texas that it don't want to even go outside, much less geocache. We rarely get snow, so Fall and Winter are optimal cache seasons. No bugs and the vegetation dies off making it easier to search. It's pretty easier down here to put your hand on a snake while poking around. That's why I usually use a stick.

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Here in Utah we still probably have a good two and a half to three months till we get a lot of valley snow (if we get a lot (stupid drought)). Even so, I started geocaching last winter, so I don't think it'll stop me, though I probably won't be able to hit many, if any, caches on the trails. We'll just have to wait and see.

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Here in Arkansas, the best season for caching is coming up. It's normally too hot to cache in the summertime, so that's when activity drops off. However, this summer has been unusually cool. Also, the tree cover in the summertime makes it a pain. Also, between get-togethers, family vacations, weddings, etc. it seems like the summer is always too busy. It won't be long before I have free weekends again. To me, the Geocaching season is just starting!



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please, say it isnt true! i'm fairly new to geocaching, so i dont know what happens in the offseason, but tell me... is there an offseason? do people make special wintertime caches? is it possible to wintercache? or will we have to sit in hibernation for more than three months?


Three months? Sheesh, I wish, more like seven up here. The local saying goes, "Yeah, we have all four seasons in the Yukon: June, July, August and Winter." :blink:


Actually, it isn't so bad. I'm really looking forward to this winter, as there are 4-5 caches up here that need boats in the summer. I don't have one, but I do have cross country skis. Those ones are actually better finds in the winter.


I'm also going to try to hide one or two on good skiing/snowmobiling trails that are specifically aimed at winter caching. One of my favorite local ski trails is basically inaccessible in the winter due to swamp ground, so I'm thinking it would be a great spot for a winter cache.


If I can do it up here, all you southerners can do it down there. :blink:




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Three months? Sheesh, I wish, more like seven up here. The local saying goes, "Yeah, we have all four seasons in the Yukon: June, July, August and Winter." <_<



I lived in Texas for ten years (Houston and Dallas), and we had a saying too:


Winter usually falls on a Thursday, Spring on the subsequent Saturday and Sunday. Then the 90's kick in for the duration.


I love the climate in Indiana. The extremes never last more than 3 weeks or so, and though we do see snow often, it generally doesn't saty around long enough to make me hate snow.


No one has mentioned my favorite thing about snow caching: No muggles! the parks are blissfully empty! Just be sure someone knows where you're going and when to expect you back. If you fall off the edge of a ravine, there's no one to hear you scream. (Yes, Indiana has ravines.)

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Most of the cachers in Minnesota enjoy the fall and winter season better. I for one am looking forward to it. I got started in geocaching in January, and truely miss the winter months. No bugs, no folliage to mess with your reception, not too many muggles enjoy parks in the winter, not as much sweating, and a cup of coffee or hot chocolate is much more enjoyable. And a big thing for me is it's great training for our local Winter Carnival Medallion Hunt (10,000 dollar prize to the person that finds it).

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BRING ON THE SNOW!!!! I'm getting a metal detector and going for "ammo can" caches :unsure:


Plus, like others said, no bugs, ticks, leaves to interfere with reception.....5 star terrain (boat required) caches turn into nice little walks across the ice.....oh yeah, and I can hike farther without sweating through my shirt <_<

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We get almost no snow here in TN, and I'll echo several other posts in stating that winter caching is more pleasant due to no bugs, no leaves, and less underbrush, but best of all fewer people in parks and on trails. Ironically, I find that I have more time to cache (just about every weekend) when I'm away at college than I do l when living at home. Plus there's the fact that my parents still worry about me when I set out for a day of caching at 4 AM from their place, and I'd rather just be able to come and go from my own apartment as I please without anyone wondering where I'm going and when I'll return ( I guess you could say I'm enjoying the freedom now since I know I'll give it up when I get married someday... <_< )

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Three months? Sheesh, I wish, more like seven up here. The local saying goes, "Yeah, we have all four seasons in the Yukon: June, July, August and Winter." :unsure:

hm...strange... we have almost winter, winter, post-winter, and construction. <_<


come to think of it, i could think of a few good caches for in the wintertime... there's one christmas tree place by my house that would host a nice micro, or a multi...


yeah... this might work afterall!

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Winter is my FAVORITE time to cache. It's not a blast furnace, and there's more time to do night caches.


Fewer muggles because they are busy doing homework, especially on weeknights.


Did I mention again, no incredibly hot blast furnace heat, no worry about vehicle problems or running out of water, not too many muggles to encounter on the trails, leaves sort of go away so there's better GPS reception, and when the foliage turns brown some caches become more easily spotted.


It doesn't get cold enough in the Permian Basin of West Texas and New Mexico to get any real snow cover - it melts a few hours or days later.


My first ever cache was February 2, 2003. Temperature was 80 deg F for the afternoon high.

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i believe the wintertime no-caching season lasts precisely from when you leave your new year's eve party to when you wake up new year's day. if you want to cut down on the down season, skip the party.


heck, i LEARNED to cache with a shovel and ice pick, so learning to work around leaves was the big challenge for me.


all that changes is the wardrobe. uh, and if i have to be totally honest, i'll have to admit that it's a little more slow going. same number of hours on the trail, fewer finds. what used to be a nice easy quick ride is now a three hour snowshoe.


but you get the added satisfaction of being able to get much, much stupider in the woods, which is an attraction for us.

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Sorry, caching season doesn't start for a month or so yet...


In winter it's easier to bushwack with less undergrowth, you don't need deet, sat reception is clearer, snow makes footsteps more secure as it compresses/levels out the ground, no tick checking required (until March), there aren't as many geomuggles, temperature control is easier, fewer competing weekend activites, no spiderwebs in the face, temps below freezing mean no wet containers...


I actually slow down in the summer.




(About 8 months of great geocaching is ahead of us!)






PS: The all presumes hiders include a "winter-accessible" note in the cache description like I do.

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As for the time whilst in college thing, take time out from the frat parties and drinking binges and go find a cache. :ph34r:

:unsure: I don't know how many times I've come back late at night after a long day of caching and had to work my way through the groups of partiers to get back to my room. My favorite one was a 24-hour Nashville caching run last year- when I left at 2 AM, the late night party scene was in full swing. Came back 24 hours later, and was greeted by the same people still partying away. Seemed as if they had been there the whole time I was gone (which, frankly, wouldn't surprise me...) I guess cachers aren't the only people who don't let the winter months slow them down. <_<

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Down here in southeast Texas summer is the worst time to cache. It's brutally hot and humid, although sometimes at night it gets down below 80. Don't count on it, though. Decent weather starts in late September, maybe October, and the only problem with winter is when it gets really wet. Snow is never a problem, and as others have pointed out, it's easier when the leaves go away, if they do. A pear tree in my back yard bloomed all last winter, and only lost the leaves temporarily.

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I'm gearing up to really get caching in the fall. It is just too hot here in SC in the summer. Plus, when it cools off I won't have to really be concerned with snakes!! Saw 2 over the weekend while caching and found a copperhead skin. So bring on the cooler weather.

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