Jan 282014
 

We were welcomed back on GeoGearHeads for an unprecedented fourth time.   This makes Cache At Night the most frequent guest on their podcast.   We think that’s a sign that more people like nighttime geocaching.

Here is a video from the podcast.

Jan 092014
 
nano cache

I was so amazed the first time I saw magnetic nano cache.   I remember it quite clearly.   I was in a parking lot parked in front of a sign.   Where could the cache be.   Turns out it was in the gap between the sign and the U shaped posed that held the sign.  I think this was a very clever hide.    I also remember the time I almost went crazy looking for a green micro in the middle of the woods, with no hint provide.   The cache could have been anywhere!   I did eventually find the micro but I left very frustrated.  I didn’t feel any sense of reward for having finally found this cache.  I walked away asking – why?

Over the years of doing my own DIY projects I’ve learned that having the right tool for the job makes the job go a lot easier.  This is also true when hiding a geocache.  The right container for the situation makes all the difference.   Whether you are picking a geocache container or camouflaging the one you have there are only two reasons to hide a cache from view:   make it hard for muggles to find it or make it hard for geocachers to find it.   The small magnetic nano the I remember finding was hidden in a very public location.  Muggles would have found that cache for sure if it wasn’t hidden as well as it was.    To me that is a good use of a nano.   The micro that I took forever to find was hard for both cachers and muggles to find.  The difficulty rating for that cache was a bit low considering the available options for where the cache might be hidden.   I didn’t find that a very good implementation of a micro geocache.    I don’t mind micro caches I just liked to be warned in advance.  Magnetic nanos can actually be quite winter friendly if intended to be that way.  It’s my belief that caches are placed in order to be found.

Not everyone is going to agree with how I think nano caches should be deployed.   I have rarely if ever complained about a micro cache in an urban or suburban environment.  Myself and many others just aren’t fond of a “nano in the woods”.   I actually have one multi-cache that has three stages two of which are micro sized containers that contain redirects.   The containers are hidden well enough that a muggle won’t easily find them but not so hard that a cacher won’t find them.  Additionally the final stage has an interesting container.   As a result this cache is fairly well received even though it uses micros in the woods.   The final container typically leaves cachers feeling good about the find.  I think that it’s that last feeling the determines how a nano cache or any cache is received.

If you are going to hide a nano or micro cache I hope you do it in such a way that the finder feels rewarded for the search.

 Posted by at 10:05
Dec 092013
 

Over the years I’ve encountered a few geocaches that uses lasers.  They are always fun geocaches.  I will be a guest on the GeoGearheads podcast on January 23rd to discuss lasers and geocaching.   While preparing for that broadcast I discovered this little stat.

Laser One Degree

We have done the math and over 30m (~100ft) an aiming difference of just 1 degree from a fixed location means a difference of 1.5m (~4ft) at the target.   To put that in perspective a coin under one end of our most popular laser represents 1 degree change in angle.   We learned a lot about aiming issues when we built BFL 8: Hot Blooded (Predator).  Adding lasers to your cache can be quite tricky.

We’ve found that the Laser Loci is a great way to incorporate lasers into your cache.  It removes fixed point aiming as an issue.

Dec 052013
 
Laser Loci Geocache

We were pleased to learned today that we have been invited back for a fourth time to participate in the GeoGearHeads podcast.  The episode is scheduled for January 23, 2014 at 2100h.   Since Ron and I opened Cache At Night we’ve been giving back to the geocaching community.  Whether it is through donations to geocaching events or giving presentations we also try to give back to the good community that supports us with their hard earned dollars.   We invest in Cache At Night as much for the the fun it brings than the financial reward.   We are a start up so there is more fun than there is financial reward ;-)

In addition to the overt things we do to support the community there are also the subtle things we do to support the community like source innovative products and make them available to everyone.  The BFL Boot Camp, an event that we both sponsor and volunteer for, has a bit of a reputation for introducing neat concepts to caching.   Cache At Night introduced Laser Loci which is a commercialized product that started life as a BFL Boot Camp cache.   In my day job we call this scaling up.   Instead of one off caches we now have a product that other people, can and have used.

There is a cache in Ottawa that uses a Laser Loci as a key element in the cache.  This cache has received overwhelmingly positive responses from those that have found the cache.   It currently has a 64% favourites percentage.   This is one of those subtle ways we are giving back to the community.

knights-templarAfter a recent GeoGearHeads podcast where I discussed night caching techniques a cacher in Rhode Island, Fishheadjr, took what he learned and built an amazing cache called Knights Templar.   That cache has 100% favourite points as of this writing.  A group of us are even thinking of going on an 800km road trip to check out this cache.   Lucky for us the learning is reciprocal.   In a conversation with Fishheadjr I learned about one of his stages.  I loved the idea so much I reached out to the manufacturer and we now carry that geocaching clue in our store.  I won’t tell you which product it is so as to not give away the surprise.

We will continue to source or create new and innovative geocaching supplies.   We love learning what our customers do with the items they buy from us.   In many cases they are used in ways we didn’t even think of.   We recognize that you have choices when it comes to buying your geocaching supplies.   It is our hope that you will find added value in what we offer.  Without your support we wouldn’t be able bring new things to the store.  Thank you to everyone that continues to support us three years in.

Dec 022013
 
Geocaching Bag

At this time of year you’ll find many gift lists for cachers. Most of the items on those lists are intended for someone that geocaches. We’ve prepared a gift list of geocaching items that non-geocachers can use. Do some shopping for you and some shopping for your muggle friends and family but do it all in one place.

  1. Number one on the list this year is the Kanga Pak.   These little packs are great for day trips to the amusement park or while out on the bike.   The shape of the pack works well for men and women, left of right handers.   It is surprising how much you can carry in the pack.  Even fully loaded the pack does not feel heavy.  The load is carried close to your body and doesn’t flop around.   I carry three flashlights, a laser, a magnetic grabber, my phone, a camera, a chill towel, extra batteries, my notebook, a pen and my GPSr on an s-biner.   I think that’s about as full as you would ever want it.   Even with all the gear it’s still surprisingly comfortable.   Great for cyclists, mom’s with infants, dog walkers and of course geocachers.
  2. This is a two-fer.   An Inka pen and a write in the rain log book make a great addition for anyone that needs to take notes outside.  This could be a contractor, a biologist, birder, journalist and a multitude of others that need to take notes outside.   I carry a notebook with me when I’m caching so I can quickly jot down notes on multi-caches or puzzles.   Everyone should have a notebook.
  3. Do you have a geologist on your gift list?  Our 365nm UV light is ideal for studying various rocks and minerals.   It’s fun to look at things under black light,  it’s surprising what you’ll find.
  4. Every since I first saw these I knew that the Powerpax Battery Caddy would be a hit.   Photographers love the 12 pack holder.   I have both the 12 pack and the slimline 4 pack which I I always carry with me, even for a park and grab.  You never know when you are going to need a battery.
  5. Do you know someone that likes to work on cars or machinery?  Why not get them our  160 Lumen AA flashlight with a magnetic base.  Makes an excellent work light to keep your hands free.
  6. Dog lovers will like the added visibility of our illuminated dog leash.   This makes a great compliment for our illuminated dog collar.
  7. And this one is for anyone on your list.  The Link flashlight is so versatile that anyone receiving it will love it.   I keep on in my caching bag and one on my tool bag.   I don’t go anywhere without this light.
  8. Have a hunter or mountain biker on your list?  Have a look at FireTacks as a way for them to create easy to follow trails on those long dark winter nights.

We have many gift ideas for cachers and non-cachers.   Visit the site and browse our categories.  Be sure and check out the gear and hiding categories.  You will find interesting things there.

Happy Holidays and Merry Christmas!

 Posted by at 09:30
Nov 262013
 
multi colour UV ink

It’s time to add some flair to your UV clues.    For the last couple of years if you wanted to use invisible ink that fluoresces under UV light you only had one choice.   Now you have three!  We have just added red and blue pens that are solvent based.  This means they are more durable then our existing water based UV Pen.  In addition to being more durable you now have more choices on how to use your UV clues.

multi colour UV ink

On certain papers or with the light at a specific angle it is sometimes possible to determine which numbers are written on the paper.   On some papers the UV ink gives a bit of a shine allowing the searcher to determine the hidden coordinates.    Now that we have red and blue inks you can use both colors to write on the paper but have the coordinates show up in one colour while the other works to obscure which numbers are written down.   We are sure you will think of other ways to take advantage of these new UV pens.

 Posted by at 13:56
Oct 012013
 

Hiding Night CachesIn some ways hiding a night cache is just like hiding any other cache.   A traditional night cache that uses FireTacks if very easy to set up and very easy to complete.   Not all night caches are that easy.  You can have fun with your night cache creation making it as much or more fun for people to seek your cache.   This Thursday John will make his third appearance on GeoGearHeads to discuss hiding night caches.   In preparation for that interview we’ve created some tips that you can apply to your night caching creations.  

  • 1. Some people will try and find your cache during the day.   Some night caches can be completed during the day by brute forcing the cache.   This can happen with FireTack caches.   A determined cacher can hunt for the small FireTacks and use that to find the location of the cache.   That’s one of the reasons we asked WildTech to make a Stealth GeoTack.  We wanted to make it just a bit harder to brute force a night cache.
  • 2. Some people will try and find your cache at three or four in the morning.   This could be said about any cache.   Keep in mind that people walking around at night with flashlights can un-nerve muggles if you are in an urban or suburban environment.   Try and keep night caches away from places where you might look suspicious searching for the cache.   Who are we kidding, you are always going to look a bit strange to muggles when night caching.  Be prepared to explain what you are up to.   I have only ever been approached by the police once when night caching and that’s because the cache was too close to a home and required a lot of searching.
  • 3. Think outside the box.   FireTacks are the traditional night cache and are really fun to do if you’ve never seen a night cache before.   The cachers behind BFL Boot Camp work hard to bring interesting and innovated clues to the geocaching experience.  Annual late night event is a much anticipated event for anyone that enjoys getting out at night.   In previous years caches have involved elements such as: glow in the dark, fiber optics, persistence of vision, Fire Tacks deployed in an interesting way, polarized light, electronics and much more.   If the log entries from BFL Boot Camp caches are any indication, cachers enjoy out of the box thinking.
  • 4. A great location during the day is not always a great location for a night cache.  Many urban parks close at dusk.   An ideal location is available 24/7 or at the very least has set closing ours, like 10 or 11pm.   Your best bet for a good night cache location is in a a location that is not managed by a municipality.   Cities and towns tend to have stricter hours then parks managed by higher levels of government.
  • 5. Try something really new.  The Laser Loci is a laser activated geocaching clue that you program via your phone or computer using nothing but light!  One of the great things about a Laser Loci is that it cannot be activated during the day.  When a Laser Loci detects daylight it goes in to sleep mode.   It only because active after dark.    Add the special tool attribute to your cache and keep other geocachers guessing.   

Have you ever hidden a night cache? Why not tell us about it. Visit our Facebook page and share a link to your cache page.

 Posted by at 02:55
Oct 012013
 

BFL8-illumin8-wide

The annual night time geocaching event is back for its eighth installment.     This year will be the first year at Albion Hills Conservation area.  It will also be the first year with the dinner event on the same site.   Gonna stay up late with us?  Why not camp out!   Albion Hills has a campground.   It’s out of season so many of the amenities won’t be available but there are 24hr restrooms  (how about that!)  The event is only a month away so watch the Facebook Page and Website Page for up to date info.     
Are your batteries charged?

Details:

Saturday, November 9th
Albion Hills Conservation Area

Add your Will Attend.

 

 Posted by at 02:44
Sep 152013
 
Cache Me If You Can Board Game

Normally we attend events to sell things not buy them.   We did something a bit different at yesterday’s GHAGAFAP event.   We actually became the Canadian dealer for the Cache Me If You Can board game.   The inventor of the game Dan Hundycz was here with his business partner Jim Cendoma.    I saw the game on the Friday night and immediately thought it was a winner for our geocaching community.   I worked out a deal with Jim and Dan and Cache At Night became the Canadian dealer for the game.   We had to buy some games to secure our status as a dealer so we did that.   We are already looking at placing our second order.

The game plays just like a geocaching adventure.  There are hides, geocoins and hurdles that you most over come, including dealing with the consequences of coming in contact with poison ivy.  The game play is varied with may options that make for an always unique gaming experience, sort of like geocaching. Not only is game fun to play for geocachers it’s also a great board game for people who like games. It makes a great introduction to geocaching for your muggle friends.

Something I found most interesting about the game is that the creator is a geocacher. Dan experience as a geocacher comes through in the game play. Forget your pen? No find for you.

 

 Posted by at 14:08