Cachin’ The Night Away

I was heading to work Friday morning, listening to an episode of the PodCacher podcast as I drove. The hosts were talking about night caching and they gave me the itch to go. We cache after dark occasionally but it’s been a while so I texted Jenna to see if she was interested. As I suspected she wanted to go but we would have to wait until Saturday instead of Friday…huh? Wait till Saturday, what’s up with that?

OK, I was a little bit disappointed but it gave me some time to take a good look at the map of our area on the Geocaching.com website and pick out a few good caches to hunt. I didn’t want to go look for a bunch of parking lot lamp post skirt caches just to say we went. I tried to pick a dozen or so that would give us a good mix of container types and difficulty and terrain ratings. Being that we would be caching after dark I also had to keep safety in mind and pick places we wouldn’t be apprehensive about going at night. Once satisfied I downloaded the cache info to my GPS…yeah, GPS, caching old school (OK, we took the smart phones too).

Saturday evening finally rolled around. We grabbed our headlamps, phones, pens and the GPS, laced up our boots, bundled up and headed out into the night. Our first stop was for a quick ‘park and grab’, a lamp post skirt cache just to get us on the board for the night and to get our geo-mojo jump started…or so I thought.

Cachers

As it turned out our first cache wasn’t a lamp post cache at all. Once we got to the cache location we found there wasn’t a lamp post anywhere close. There was, however, another feature that I zeroed in on. Looking back, I shouldn’t have. I circled the feature, looking in all the nooks and crannies. Jenna had walked off and come back, and circled the feature a couple of times herself before she says “Found it.” I circled the feature several more times, trying to scan every inch before finally giving up and said “OK, give me a hint.” Jenna’s response: “It’s not there.” Me: “Wait, what? Whaddya mean it’s not there? You mean…oh crap!” After turning my attention elsewhere I had the container in hand in pretty short order. Unfortunately, this wouldn’t be the only time she pulled something like this during the night. She’s like that…

After finding the first cache we moved along from cache to cache fairly quickly and had a lot of fun. We ended up in the woods a few times …

Tube in a Tree

Signing

And we spent some time on the pavement. The cache sizes we found were mostly small and smaller…

Found It

We found some animal bones at a couple of the locations we visited…

Bones

And had a great view of one of the local car sales lots…

Car Lot

And saw a coyote in the headlights while driving between caches.
Around midnight we decided that we’d reached a good stopping point and that it was time to head back home. We ended up finding nine of the ten caches that we looked for and decided to save two others for another time.

So by now I know there is someone reading this that’s thinking “OK, so just why would you want to go caching at night? After all, it’s dark and it seems like it would be a lot harder and…its dark…and…aren’t you afraid?

OK, sure. Caching at night is a bit more difficult simply because it’s dark and we don’t see as well in the dark as we do during the day. To some this is a deterrent. To us, it adds to the challenge. Some of those 2 and 3 difficulty caches become 3s and 4s.

Another good reason to cache at night…there’s less people around. Many caches are intentionally placed in high-traffic areas to make them more challenging to find without being noticed. Hunting those caches late at night when there are fewer people around is much easier.

As for being afraid…well, no, not generally. As I mentioned earlier, when selecting caches to hunt at night, we try to make sure they’re in petty safe areas to begin with. We’re not going to go caching in a ‘bad’ section of town or near the edge of a cliff at night. ConnieLou likes us to come home alive and mostly in one piece.

So that’s it. Get Out…and try cachin’ in the dark!

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