7 Tips For Night Caching
Did you realize that you can geocache 24-hours a day? Yep, unlike mountain biking which is TOTALLY limited to daylight, or hiking or kayaking which are NORMALLY limited to daylight, geocaching can be done in the middle of the night!
Here are 7 things to consider if you’re hunting a geocache after the sun goes down:
1. Make sure you’re allowed to go for it after dark!
Even though you CAN geocache after nightfall, there are some caches where you’re not allowed. Some parks don’t allow access after dark so be sure to read all posted signs. I don’t recommend snooping around in some urban areas after dark either unless you want to explain geocaching to Officer McFriendly. Most cemeteries prohibit caching after dark as well.
2. Read the cache description really well.
Darkness adds a whole other factor to geocaching so be sure to read the description carefully before you set out. You’ll want to know in advance about container size, if there are thorns, cactus, or poison ivy around, etc.
3. Bring the correct gear.
Like any cache, you’ll want to bring your gloves, writing utensil, GPS, and geosense. But, be sure you also bring a flashlight or headlamp and plenty of extra batteries! I recommend having BOTH a flashlight and a headlamp; the flashlight for peering under rocks and bushes, the headlamp because it keeps your hands free while you’re walking.
4. Tell somebody where you’ll be.
Let a trusted friend or family know that you’ll be geocaching at night and what time to expect you back. If your GPS fails and you get lost, if you twist an ankle, or just otherwise have a mishap, you’ll want to know that somebody is waiting for you to get home safely. Don’t forget! EatStayPlay.com has links to nearby caches accessible from our attraction pages!7 tips for #geocaching after dark. Click To Tweet
5. Dress appropriately.
Even more than warm clothing, good shoes or boots, and bug spray, be sure to wear reflective clothing. Nothing is creepier than seeing a man-sized SOMETHING poking around in the dark. By wearing something reflective you’ll look more like you’re supposed to be there and less like some scary prowler.
6. Carry ID.
One of my fellow geocachers, hollora, sent me an email suggesting that I remind you to remember to carry your id. She says: “Make sure if you’re trekking you are carrying ID with you. Many women, particularly, never have a wallet in their pack. Vital information should be carried as you never know when cell phone service may not be available.” Good point, hallora! You should always carry ID but in night caching, it’s really important so if you’re stopped by Officer McFriendly or even a cautious person in the backcountry, you have an ID on you.
7. Write up a GREAT log post on geocaching.com when you get home.
Okay, this one is more of a suggestion than a requirement! Cache-Chaos, who found some of the geocaches I’d placed on a middle of the night run. This is what he wrote about one of my favorite caches: The Groaning Gate:
FTF #3 so far for the early morning! 4:05am. The gate groan takes on a whole new perspective in the dark, a little bit creepy!!! I recently saw a mama bear and her two cubs very near this cache, so of course that was on my mind while walking in the dark. Made quick work of it and was on my way T: $1 coin L:75cents SL.
Readers Weigh In:
- Do you ever geocache at night?
- What’s your favorite part of night caching?
- Have you ever encountered something, while caching at night, that freaked you out?
Tweets that mention 7 Tips For Night Caching -- Topsy.com
July 13, 2010 @ 10:27 pm
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July 16, 2010 @ 7:43 pm
I dont usually cx at night.Its hard to see details.When I do its usually because I’m there passing thru and its my only chance.
July 17, 2010 @ 5:18 am
Oh yes we have made day caches into night and my little lambs loved it. We even spotted a baby deer sleeping in the woods on one of our transformed geos. My little girls always ask if we can transform a day one into night so at least one cache during our trip they require the adventure of the night. Our family calls these caches the transformers!
July 17, 2010 @ 8:27 am
My first Night Cache I loved it. I started my own based on that first one. If you follow the logs I wrote about that cache you will notice the do’s and don’ts of Night Caching.
The Cache name is “THE BLACK HOLE” and you can view the log by going to the Geocaching web sit an then going to “GCYGNO”. My logs are on April 21 and 22, 2009 under RogerAg
July 17, 2010 @ 6:14 pm
Roger — Thanks for the tips! I’ll be sure to check it out.
July 17, 2010 @ 6:15 pm
Christy — That’s so cool! I guess that means that your girls aren’t afraid of the dark!
July 17, 2010 @ 6:15 pm
Bonsairad — I understand what you mean. The Queen Mother doesn’t have the best night vision so she doesn’t do a lot of night activities.
July 17, 2010 @ 9:33 pm
I have to add one more rule to your list:
If Local Police show up while you’re night caching (as in the daytime), BE FRIENDLY! and do not hide what you’re doing from them.
I’ve given enough local “Nocturnal Caching Seminars” that one officer said “Oh, you’re one of THOSE people…” and the other officer actually made the find before I did that night!
Our local Geocaching group had night cache runs after our summer picnic and Halloween party every year (GC1YZXW). Nothing like walking through the woods and finding a casket-cache!
July 18, 2010 @ 9:08 pm
KEWAH — That is excellent advice ANY TIME you run into local law enforcement! The one time I was approached when I can caching, the officer was actually more interested in if I had heard gunshots than geocaching. But being nice is always a good rule of thumb. Thanks for the tip!
August 13, 2010 @ 3:52 pm
My first nighttime cache was “Carpe Noctum” (GC211B4); I happened to be attending a local SCA (Society for Creative Anachronism) event in that area and thought I’d try for it the 2nd night of the event – imagine someone dressed in Medieval-style clothing (“garb”) and carrying a GPSr!
My most recent was “Pirates Night Treasure” (GC2CQTF); haven’t found (or tried) “BOO – The Night Cache” (GC2B59Z) yet, but I will in a few weeks.
September 23, 2010 @ 4:32 pm
I recommend adding safety goggles to your list of night caching tools. I wear contact lenses and so do not have anything covering my eyes when caching. Some caches require an insane amount of crawling around in bushes or evergreen thickets. You know the sort, where you’re looking for a micro or a nano in a grove of trees and your GPSr starts giving readings that indicate that it believes itself to be en route to Chile…. Yeah, those sorts of situations seem to always result in my eye nearly getting poked out.
Both my husband (who *does* wear glasses and still got poked) and I have taken to slapping on a pair of safety glasses before going into the woods in the dark. It really has made a huge difference in how secure we feel in looking thoroughly. Not to mention that it makes you look that much weirder when you eventually crawl out of the forest and onto the trail and alarm some poor elderly muggles who were out for a late-night stroll….
September 24, 2010 @ 8:59 pm
That is a FANTASTIC idea, Vicky! It’s important to think about those “other” items that can be in our caching toolkit. You’re not the only person who has recommended safety goggles; even just for regular caching.