Winter Geocaching

Geocaching in the winter
Geocaching in the winter can be fun!

It’s that time of year again when the wind blows cold, the wet stuff turns to white stuff and people start using that 4 letter swear word again. Yes it’s SNOW!

Just when you start to think that the season has turned to a point where you are going to just stay inside, you load up your gps with geocaches, suit up in the warm clothes and decide to head out just to see what it is like. You may find it amazingly beautiful at this time. There are no bugs, there are less weeds (although the wild raspberry bushes seem to still be sharp) and the poison ivy is non-existent.

I know that some geocachers like to stay close to their vehicles as it is one of those warm shelters when the wind is blowing. I will admit, that if the wind is whipping the old white stuff around I generally do the same. Drive by’s are usually on the order. But even then, just when you think you have a drive by, you end up wandering 100 to 200 meters away from the vehicle and it can get mighty cold in a short time.

bad winter geocaching outfit
Don’t dress like I did here. Not great attire for winter caching! Brendah was better suited!

I do prefer trail caching in the winter time as the bugs aren’t bugging you (as they do best on a hot humid day), it is so much easier to take off a few layers to cool down then it is to try and cool down on a 30C day. I like to try to choose days that aren’t as windy also, but I find that once you wander down
the first 100 meters or so of a well treed trail, the temperature change is noticeable and the cold wind doesn’t whip through you like a banshee. The week before New Year’s I took my son on a newly opened trail near here to place 6 caches. I was afraid at first that the trail ran west to east and we had a strong westerly wind, that my son wouldn’t go. But after placing the first cache near the road (I like that on a trail for those who may just want a quick drive by) and walking in about 50 meters, we were surprised that that it was very comfortable and the wind just didn’t reach us.

Last year I did a lot of winter caching with groups. We had lots of new caches on the trails in Brantford and it made for great fun. With all the laughing and carrying on, it was a great time. Plus the fact that we all took turns signing everyone’s name at each cache made it so your finger weren’t cold all the time. Bouncing from one cache to another and making fun of each other was the greatest. A group of us even spent some time caching a wooded area near Thorold.

So remember, just because there is snow a flying doesn’t mean that you can’t get out to enjoy grabbing a few caches or a lot of them.

Some things to remember to take when winter caching:

  • Take more then the usual extra batteries – Batteries don’t last as long in the cold, take more then you would take in the summer time. You may end up pulling out what you thought were good batteries only to see them die a few minutes after putting them in.
  • Dress warm – wear more clothes then normal. You can take clothing off but you can’t put more on if you don’t have them.
  • This wasn't the geocache, but was easily spotted without weeds.
    This wasn’t the geocache, but was easily spotted without weeds. It is actually an old rail road lantern.

    Take extra socks and pants – wet feet hurt after a while. Believe me!

  • Good footwear – this year I purchased water proof hikers. I wear them all year round. They have better traction then normal boots, they stay fairly dry and they breathe.
  • water/drinks – even though it’s winter, you still burn off a lot of fluids while hiking and you will still need to drink
  • I always carry my back pack while hiking – I purchased ice traction clip on’s for my boots at the dollar store. A backpack is also great if you need to put a coat in instead of carrying it over your arm.
  • Take out your bug spray – if your bug spray freezes, it may not work right next year.
  • Take out anything that may freeze – except your drinks of course. Sun screen may split the container if you are out long enough and we all know what an awful mess that leaves in a back pack.

All in all, winter caching can be just as fun as summer caching. You may even be able to get to those places that would be quite a bit more difficult in the summer time. Just remember to don’t always trust ice and make sure you test it well if you do walk out on ice.

Happy winter caching!

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