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Winter caching
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Buzzygirl
Past MnGCA Board


Joined: 06 Apr 2004

Posts: 499

PostPosted: Sat Oct 09, 2004 5:15 pm    Post subject: Winter caching Reply with quote

Just wondering... how many of you enjoy winter caching? Or do you basically hibernate when the snow starts to fly? Do you prefer winter caching compared to the other seasons? What are the good/bad points of caching in the winter (besides the obvious ones, such as "no bugs" or "really cold")?

Being that I just started doing this last April, I have yet to do any winter caching, but I think it would be fun. There is something soothing about being in the snowy woods.
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sui generis
Past MnGCA Board


Joined: 17 Apr 2004

Posts: 608

PostPosted: Sat Oct 09, 2004 5:46 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I personally love winter caching. I do my hibernating in the summer months when its hot, buggy and overgrown.
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Moe the Sleaze
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Joined: 10 Jan 2003

Posts: 1149

PostPosted: Sat Oct 09, 2004 5:55 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Ditto!
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Buzzygirl
Past MnGCA Board


Joined: 06 Apr 2004

Posts: 499

PostPosted: Sat Oct 09, 2004 6:08 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Oh, I just thought of another question. How do GPSrs function in the cold? Is there any point of temperature at which they begin to act strange or malfunction, or is that not an issue?
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Arcticabn
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Joined: 30 Nov 2003

Posts: 1846

PostPosted: Sat Oct 09, 2004 6:19 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Year round for me. I've been slacking off for the last 2 months because of work, family and a long honey do list.

As far as GPS in the winter. The electronics will function just as well in the winter as the summer. The batteries tend to die quicker. The bigest problem you might run into is that the LCD screen will either fade out, look slugish or just now work because the cold effects the crystals in the display.
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Pear Head
Past MnGCA President


Joined: 04 Apr 2004

Posts: 5711

PostPosted: Sat Oct 09, 2004 7:21 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Buzzygirl wrote:
Oh, I just thought of another question. How do GPSrs function in the cold? Is there any point of temperature at which they begin to act strange or malfunction, or is that not an issue?


I've owned three Garmin products and all have worked well in the winter. As Arcticabn mentioned, batteries go a lot faster and the displays don't work quite as well. I've never had one that wasn't usable although sometimes I'll have to adjust the contrast a little and the display is always sluggish to change.

I enjoy winter caching but don't do a whole lot of it at all. This year I want to try and place some caches that are winter friendly (or more likely winter-only). The problem I have is that I don't like to dig in three feet of snow for a cache - it's too hard to find one that is hidden inside of a birch tube that way. The key is to know which ones are good to search for.
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King Boreas
Geocacher


Joined: 16 Dec 2002

Posts: 2443

PostPosted: Sat Oct 09, 2004 7:45 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
The key is to know which ones are good to search for.


Heh
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Marsha and Silent Bob
Past MnGCA President


Joined: 02 Sep 2003

Posts: 6261

PostPosted: Sat Oct 09, 2004 7:47 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

While I enjoy winter caching more than dead-of-summer caching there are downsides (ie digging through snow), see here: http://gallery.lazylightning.org/gc-20040208/pic3

This cache was buried under 12" of snow that was icy. I ruined two pairs of gloves digging through snow to find caches.
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Pear Head
Past MnGCA President


Joined: 04 Apr 2004

Posts: 5711

PostPosted: Sat Oct 09, 2004 8:00 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Marsha and Silent Bob wrote:
While I enjoy winter caching more than dead-of-summer caching there are downsides (ie digging through snow), see here: http://gallery.lazylightning.org/gc-20040208/pic3

This cache was buried under 12" of snow that was icy. I ruined two pairs of gloves digging through snow to find caches.


Now just imagine digging around a whole bunch of trees like that (in a 20' circle say) to find a container. And maybe throw a foot or two more snow on there for good measure too...
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rickrich
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Joined: 06 Jul 2003

Posts: 673

PostPosted: Sun Oct 10, 2004 7:01 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I was apprehensive about winter caching last year. But by the end of the season it had become my favorite of all the seasons. Especially winter night caching. But I only did metro area caches, so it might be a different experience out in the really big woods.

I really like winter caching because you don't need to bushwhack. Well, you might be bushwacking, but there is no way to tell. You are only making a temporary trail that disappears when the snow melts. At night, the air is usually still so it feels warmer than during the day even though it might be 10-20 degrees colder. The light at night is very good to excellent (if there is a moon). The snow reflects the ambient light very well and there are no leaves to deal with. And the extra bonus of winter night caching is you won't run into any muggles at all.

You will learn new skills in winter caching, skills that will carry over into next years non-winter caching. One of those skills is tracking. By the end of the season, you may be able to identify several cachers by their boot-prints.

After last winter, we tried to place more "winter friendly" caches than we had been, and to also mark them as such on the cache page. There are now 92 caches in MN that mention that they are winter friendly on the cache page. And there are many, many more that are winter friendly but just don't say so. The majority of micro caches are winter friendly even if they don't say so.

-Rick
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towlebooth
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Joined: 26 Nov 2002

Posts: 1270

PostPosted: Sun Oct 10, 2004 8:39 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

rickrich wrote:
But I only did metro area caches, so it might be a different experience out in the really big woods.


Big woods are just as good. Some of my favorite caching trips have been on the Iron Range around Christmas & New Years. Like the time three of us nearly got our car stuck in the middle of nowhere driving to Arrow Abandon City, Forest Center.

Winter caching rocks! No bugs, no swamps, and you've got the whole woods to yourself.
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towlebooth
Past MnGCA Board


Joined: 26 Nov 2002

Posts: 1270

PostPosted: Sun Oct 10, 2004 8:41 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

And no *&#%#$ poison ivy!!
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Pear Head
Past MnGCA President


Joined: 04 Apr 2004

Posts: 5711

PostPosted: Sun Oct 10, 2004 11:00 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

rickrich wrote:
After last winter, we tried to place more "winter friendly" caches than we had been, and to also mark them as such on the cache page. There are now 92 caches in MN that mention that they are winter friendly on the cache page. And there are many, many more that are winter friendly but just don't say so. The majority of micro caches are winter friendly even if they don't say so.


Is this just by a search of "winter friendly" on the cache pages? I think I have one or two that say it "isn't winter friendly" so I'm wondering if that shows up as one of the 92.

I intend to go through all of my cache pages and mark whether they are winter friendly or not before the snow flies. Some are more friendly than others. I think many of mine could be found with 12" or less of snow without too much trouble - very few could be found with more than that.
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Kitch
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Joined: 18 May 2003

Posts: 1286

PostPosted: Sun Oct 10, 2004 1:46 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

winter is just more fun.....

I think its something "extra" to brag about.....

I mean ....how cool is it to say you went out in 24 inches of fresh snow, 20 below wind chill. Just to get a FTF.......

show's your nuts ...but its more fun to say "i did it and mother nature is not going to stop me...."
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Isildur's Bane
Geocacher


Joined: 12 Jun 2003

Posts: 9

PostPosted: Mon Oct 11, 2004 1:33 pm    Post subject: Winter caching Reply with quote

I much prefer winter caching to donating blood to the skeeters.

Good things about winter caching:

1. NO BUGS!
2. Fewer leaves & weeds & brush = can be easier to get to and find cache
3. Possibility of snowshoeing or skiing to caches.
4. Gets you outside when you wouldn't normally go out.
5. You get to see where other cachers went by following footprints.

Bad things about winter caching:

1. Cold toes and having to open cache containers with mittens on or risk frostbite.
2. Snow cover can make retrieving caches hidden near ground level very difficult.
3. GPS may freeze up at around 0 degrees if you are outside more than 20 minutes or so.
4. Bring a pencil because pens freeze and don't work.
5. No dry place to sit and go through the cache.

Fall caching = best of both worlds Very Happy
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