With winter well under way here in the Northern Hemisphere, we’d like to share some cold weather geocaching tips with you.
Safety and What to Pack:
The first thing to think about is safety and what to pack. Before heading out, here’s a quick checklist:
- Be sure to tell someone where you are going: you can leave a note at home, email a friend, update your Facebook or Twitter with your intended caching target or area.
- Pack extra batteries as the cold will drain the ones you have even faster.
- Always carry water and food with you. That ’short hike’ (or drive) to the cache may turn out to be a lot longer than you planned. We often don’t drink enough fluids when out in the cold.
- Don’t forget extra water for your kids & canine caching companions.
- Check the forecast and watch the weather -it can change fast when you are geocaching! We like Wunderground.
- Know when the sun will set -it gets dark early in the northern latitudes.
- Pack a headlamp or flashlight. Better yet, pack two. And check the batteries.
- Bring a Rite in the Rain Pen, or Pencils, as regular pens often don’t work below freezing.
Finding Caches in Cold Weather:
OK, so you’re all set: gear is packed, GPS is fired up and you’re at the trail head … Now, off to finding caches!
- Mark your car’s coordinates.
- Know your limits, and those of your caching companions. That 10 minute hike can take over an hour in some winter conditions. It’s OK to DNF a cache and make it home alright.
- Do your best to ensure that all seals on the cache are tight and closed properly to avoid moisture from getting in.
- Be careful not to damage frozen containers as you may find some caches frozen shut. Don’t ruin the cache by hitting it against something hard in an attempt to open it. You could break the seal and ruin the fun for everyone.
- Don’t bring anything liquid to trade -it can freeze, burst and ruin the cache contents.
Cold Weather Cache Hiding Tips:
So you want to hide a cache in winter? Here are some tips.
- Keep in mind the changing of the seasons. That snowy white camo might look great in winter, but stick out in the spring and summer.
- Will the leaves turn and fall later, exposing your cache? Or grow back and mess up your camo?
- Don’t leave anything liquid in the cache.
- Use a water tight container.
- Be sure to leave pencils, not pens, in the cache.
- How will deep snow affect finding your cache? You might want to hide it above the expected snow level.
- Use appropriate attributes for your cache. You may even need to change these with the changing of the seasons.
This is by no means an exhaustive list for cold weather caching. What tips do you have to add?