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Cacheing In The Winter

Team Lightning
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It depends on where the cache is. If it is a drive by micro in a city park, no problem because there are many foot trails there already and yours won't be noticed. If it is a cache in a rural area or conservation area you can create a few blind trails that actually lead to nowhere, this can mislead someone for a few minutes, or you can search just prior to a snow storm. What I try to do is take the least expected or round about route, and try to move around as little as possible, pay attention to when the cache was placed and try to picture the surrounding area as it was then. where would the likely place be to put a cache. Hope this helps.

Also see the Canada forum, there is a current thread related to winter.

Edited by Team Cache-away
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I was windering how you are supposed to cache in the winter? It seems to me it would be incredibly easy, because the people before you would leave tracks. It would be hard to cause the cache is burryed by snow! please answer.

Could be either. A few inches of snow and tracks can make it easy, but many geocachers will leave false tracks around the area to throw off the next searchers. A few feet of snow can make many caches difficult, but not impossible. Sometimes you can see something above the snow at ground zero like a tree or rock outcrop that is a likely cache hiding spot. It could be hit or miss, but I've found caches looking for things like this.


And some caches are in places that are unaffected by snow, in trees, under rock overhangs, etc...


Snow presents different challenges but not impossible ones. But be prepared to get skunked a little more often than you would without snow.

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Yep, ditto for leavign false trails and the ability to often see likely hiding places despite snow cover. I just wanted to add that hunting a gc with a good snow cover is probably my favorite time. There is something so peaceful about snowshoe hiking that brings the solitude of nature extra close.


Of course, any activity in the winter demands a few extra precautions:

- hydration: tendency not to drink enough in cold, but you expend more energy in snow conditions

- thermal protection: Be sure to carry layers sufficient for the nightime minium not just the current temp for yoru day hike. If you become stranded and have to bivy for the night - the nighttime temp + windchill is your minimum reference



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Winter weather makes it hard to cache nude, so usually I'll wear boots. :)


and mittens :(


I go inside when my skin turns blue




oh wait, that's all the time :(


Seriously though, caching in the winter is no different than caching the rest of the year. You just wear more clothes. Sometimes you'll have to brush some snow aside (lots of snow in some areas), but your GPS will still get you within about 20 feet. Isn't that what counts?

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Be careful when hiking in the winter.

As when driving in the snow, when you're hiking in the snow go more slowly and carefully. Under that couple of inches of snow may be a sheet of ice. On slopes where your feet would normally dig in for traction the ground is frozen so you can't get the traction. In winter, more that ever, make sure someone knows where you are going if you cache alone.

And if you feel yourself falling, protect your GPSr! Your body will heal, eventually, but a smashed GPSr can't be fixed. :(

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I was windering how you are supposed to cache in the winter? It seems to me it would be incredibly easy, because the people before you would leave tracks.  It would be hard to cause the cache is burryed by snow! please answer.

Yes, Yes.


Bring a shovel. You may lose out on a find because you can't get the cache out, or open it without breaking it and so that vital log book is just beyond your reach...

Edited by Renegade Knight
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I think I like caching in the winter better than in the summer. There are no bugs, no poison ivy, and fewer muggles in many locations. There is no foliage to block the GPS signal. Yes, tracks in the snow can be spoilers, but just as often they are misleading.


Most important of all--caching gives you a reason to get out of the house and into the woods in the winter. Just be prepared--good footwear, eatra gloves or mittens, a walking stick, etc.

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I Pastored in Hasting, Mi. years ago, about 12 miles east of Gun Lake, SE of GRand Rapids mall maybe 40 minutes. Our winters there were mild, and you're not far, so I think I know your situation. You sometimes have several inches of snow, but mostly the ground does not stay covered all winter, but it does stay frozen. You're only going to have a month (total) at most when tracks are a real problem (most winters).


Bottom line is, yes, at times you want to avoid making tracks to your cache by making maintainance runs. It is not so likely that other cachers will be out there in the worst weather either. That's for the more remote caches. You may even have to check up on them the next day or two after someone logs your cache...if conditions are right. You may need to make confusing tracks - though a good cacher will do that for you. You can email the visiting cacher and ask about that.


What about that city park cache? Could be a lot tougher. I watch the logs closely and check up often. Honest to goodness, I don't have much trouble most of the time, and I don't think you will either.

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I was windering how you are supposed to cache in the winter?

:P Here in the Desert Southwest, (Yuma,Arizona) we just love winter caching. (Temps below the century mark) It makes some of the 40+ mile jeep runs a bit more enjoyable. Plus the snakes slow down / go to earth. Also the Snowbirds usually bring new caches with them, to hide. :P

Edited by Mzee & Associates
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Hey Alaskans, how do you do it?


We might be heading to Anchorage for a visit with my father-in-law for New Years weekend. I'd love to find one while I'm there but is it pointless to look? Will I have to wait until we visit again in the summer?

Certainly do look for some. Down in Anchorage it shouldn't be too hard to find some that are accessable. They have quite a few. They have pretty mild winters (compared to up here in Fairbanks) and not too much snow. They have a lot of ice so you have to be careful for that. I would try a few 1/1s and then move up, depending on the weather. I'm going down there next week and hope the roads aren't too bad. We're supposed to get more snow tonight. Have fun.

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I have done some successful caching in the winter, but when the snow is up past your knees it makes that last 100' an awful lot of work. It is also disheartening when you get there not to be able to find the cache because the clue says its under a fallen aspen tree and all you see is snow. You dig around, but the snow is over 3' deep and everything under there feels like it could be a fallen aspen. You don't have to worry about getting cold when you are working that hard though. :P

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Whole new game for snow country caching. Forget it when the snow is 3 foot deep or more, I won't dig that far. Tracks can be covered with an evenings fresh snow and make for a new adventure for the next seeker. Small caches in tree forks or fence posts are welcome. I suffer from cabin fever much of the winter so any excuse for an outing is good and there are still animals and birds around if you keep your eyes open. Plus less muggles. :D:P

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