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Reaching into a dark hole

Spider Woman
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Several of the caches I've found recently have involved reaching into a dark place and feeling around for the cache.


Now, I'm as daring and adventurous as the next guy, but I wonder about snakes, skunks, spiders, badgers...the kinds of wild life that love dark holes.


I don't normally wear gloves or carry a stick, but both seem like a good idea. What do people do to protect themselves?

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I picked up an 3.5" inspection mirror that extends to about 30". It's compact when collapsed. Works good when searching for a micro or clues when you're being observed from a distance. It's much less obvious than crawling around on hands and knees!


It's also good for searching high hidey holes! You don't have to actually climb that tree to look in the knot hole.



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I am a little more careful about reaching into the dark hideys since I sliced my thumb open on some unknown (thankfully not, say, a rabid fanged creature) but still haven't come up with an ideal prod for curving around a rock when there's only a small opening. I have very small hands, which I do find advantagous at times!


Currently I carry a stick - either brought with me from the truck, or picked up nearby. I tend to find a lot of caches by poking them. Those ammo cans do make a lovely sound!


If the hole is larger, but not big enough to get a body into, I've been known to pull out my digital camera to take pictures of the contents. Try explaining THOSE photos. :)


I'm going to be buying myself a trekking pole or two here soon. They're quickly moving up to the top of my 'geocaching must-have' list!





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Thanks for all the great ideas. I like the extendable dental-type mirror idea. I wonder if there are any available with a light attached. That would be very handy. If not, I could probably attach a little flashlight to one. I will definitelly keep gloves and a walking stick handy, too. I've come across rabbits, coyotes, snakes, and lots of huge spiders when I've been out and about, but so far, haven't touched any of them.


However, when I was a farm girl, I once touched a rat when I was reaching into a dark nest box. ;)

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I recently learned the "don't stick your hand into dark places" lesson. Stuck my hand in to get the cache, pulled out the cache, and a nice black widow on my hand. ;)


Appears I am not alone, as a review of the cache posting has a similar instance at the same cache 11 days later by someone else. AHhhhhhhhh, I HATE spiders. ;)


Will always wear gloves in the future.

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I have the fear of greeting a snake in some of those dark holes and in rock walls.


So I carry along a set of heavy duty gardening gloves, my walking stick and a full size maglite. All of which are excellent at checking out a hole without risking your hands ;)

Edited by mtnmunch
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I never really considered what might possibly exist in these dark places until last year when my wandering fingers encountered a living creature with what felt like a scaly exterior. I immediately withdrew my hand. Luckily whatever I encountered did not leave me with a souvenir. Happily the cache was not in that hole. I now use my walking stick to do my poking around.



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After scooting into an awkward semi-upsidedown position to look inside a upright hollowed tree, I saw something looking back :P

Not that I don't already carry enough crap in my backback, but I added a inexpensive (me cheap!) women's compact type mirror that when closed protects itself. It also comes in handy to shine sunlight into dark spots without having to pull out the flashlight, or check out your makeup fellas.

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This here is exactly what bratty siblings are for. You just bring one along, and when they aren't looking you shove their arm in the hole. Or play the "i betcha you won't stick your hand in there will ya" game. LOL!! :)

One of our caching buddies brings along his son, who's not bratty, but is quite brave to go in places we wouldn't think of endangering ourselves in. We call him our C.R.U.--Cache Retrieval Unit. He made that up himself. :)

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You don't need a light mounted on the mirror, simply shine the light from your eyes at the mirror and the light'll reflect into the hole!


Now what I really need is a stick with a camera mounting screw on the end.


Another option: monopods were the original instrument for such a purpose...


Personally, I'd use my hand and fingers over an expensive hiking stick, I heal!





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I carry a wlking stick, a mini mag light, an inspection mirror and a long pair of medical forceps. Poke first, then look with the mirror and flashlight. If you see somthing, go after it with the forcepts. This way, you scare off the bigger critters with the walking stick before you get your face near the hole. You then can inspect using the mirror and flashlight from what should be a safe position. The forcepts are stainless steel and so far there is nothing I have met that can damage me while biting on them. I pass on caches located in places large enough to be bear dens. :)

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