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!
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?