Dec 212012
 

Tick Key - Tick RemoverOnce again Cache At Night is pleased to announce that we are adding an innovative product to our catalogue.   Now available in our store is The Tick Key, the easiest way to safely remove ticks from people and pets.  There are a variety of ticks that pose a risk to humans and pets but the black legged tick is the most common culprit.   The body fluids of the tick can carry pathogens such as Lyme disease which is harmful to humans and pets.  While the black legged tick has a far reaching range there are certain hotspots  of activity where cachers should pay special attention to the steps necessary to prevent bites.  Long sleeves and long pants are recommended in tick hot zones as is Deet.

The Tick Key offers a simple way to remove ticks before they can do any lasting damage.  Ticks need to feed for about 24-36 hours for the Lyme disease bacterium to be transferred to a new host.  Removing ticks as soon as possible is recommend but using your fingers is discouraged.  Narrow tweezers are a better Black Legged Tick Mapoption but they can be problematic.  The Tick Key is simple and effective for humans and pets, especially geo-dogs.   Keep on on your key chain for easy access.   Be sure and disinfect your hands and The Tick Key after use.

All cachers should perform  tick checks when returning from any potentially tick active area.  Light clothing makes it easier to spot ticks before they can attach to you, your family or your pets.

 

 

Nov 282012
 

The best way to free up your hands when caching at night is to use a head lamp.  I can’t imagine night caching without one.   Over the years I’ve tried a variety of head lamps.   I don’t know that there is one perfect head lamp for all tasks so at some point you will most likely make some kind of a compromise when selecting a head lamp.

Here are what I consider the most important criteria for a head lamp:

  1. Output
  2. Beam type
  3. Battery type
  4. Comfort
  5. Price

Head Lamp BeamMost flashlights you buy today will give you the lumen output on the package.  When it comes to head lamps they range anywhere from about 12lumen on the low end to over 100lumen on the high end.   For geocaching I prefer something more in the middle.  Output is just one criterion to evaluate when you are picking a head lamp for your needs.  For instance the Irix has a maximum of 35 lumen output compared to the 50 lumen output of the Irix II but the Irix is my preferred head lamp.  The beam type is the deciding factor for me.

What is beam type?  The head unit of a flash light, head lamps include, contain three basic elements that affect the beam type.  These are: light source, reflector and lens.  The characteristics of those elements determine the type and quality of the light emitted by the head lamp.  A spot beam tends to be narrower but will throw the light to objects further away.   A wide spread beam has a smaller or non-existent hot spot in the centre.   The lights are ideal for working up close like reading or working around a campsite.  The broader the spread the higher lumen output you will need in order to achieve the same apparent brightness on distant objects like fire tacks or when searching for a cache.

Just about all head lamps you can buy today use LED as the light source.  Fire tacks are much easier to spot when using and LED light.  The colour quality is also much better from and LED.

As I mentioned in my post about choosing flashlights I prefer a light that uses AA batteries.  These batteries are easier to come buy than CR123 batteries which are the kind used in higher end flashlights.   Low end flashlights tend to use AAA batteries. This is primarily done to conserve weight.   I also like AA batteries because that is what my GPSr uses.  I have standardized on one battery type for my main geocaching tools.  Higher output head lamps consume power faster then low output types.   This can be mitigated by having a head lamp that has variable output.   The Irix head lamp I use has variable output.  It will last for 3 hours at high on one fully charged AA battery.    I usually get about 6 hours of caching on one battery.   My 100 lumen head lamp uses batteries about twice as fast.   In that case I need 2 AA batteries for 6 hours of geocaching.  I use rechargeable batteries and I always carry a Powerpax Slimline with extra batteries.

If you are like me you’ll be walking around with your head lamp on for a few hours at a time.  It’s important the light is comfortable on your head.  This includes if you are wearing a hat (baseball hats tend to cause a shadow at your feet which is not ideal). If you’ll be wearing a bicycle helping or other kind of hard hat you will want a head lamp that has some kind of slip resistance.   The larger the headlamp the less comfortable it will be on your head.  The lighter your head lamp is the happier you will be.

teamvoyagr night caching

By Gregory Pleau

The first thing most cachers do when thinking about a head lamp is to consider price.   I think price is important but it should come lower in the priority list.   When I started night caching I bought a small head lamp that was within my “budget”.   After about six months of night caching I bought a larger, AA, head lamp that was in my “budget”.    This was a budget based head lamp and it just didn’t have the performance or quality I wanted so I went in search of a head lamp that met my needs first and my budget second.  The price of my poor choices was more than had I just bought a quality head lamp in the first place.  Learn from my mistakes and buy the best head lamp you can afford based on your needs.

Aug 052012
 

Geocaching BagWe are pleased to announce that we have acquired NiagaraCachingSupply.ca.     We strive to make it easier for cachers to find the geocaching supplies they need.   Cache At Night has the the geocaching you need including: containters, log books and trackables.

 Posted by at 09:34
Dec 012011
 

Rogue 2 Icon FlashlightThe Rogue 2 is an exceptional handheld flashlight delivering 100 lumen for 3 hours or 72 hours on low with just two AA batteries. Get all the light you need for your night time geocaching adventures at our best price ever.

25% off

Get a Rogue 2 in your choice of color for only $37.49 (Regular price $49.99). This promotion available until December 24th, 2011 or while supplies last.

Sep 202011
 

This was the fourth annual GHAGAFAP out of ten that I have attended.  I think Ron has been to five.  We love going.   This was my first year of camping at the event.   I love the fall but man that tent gets chilly at night!

I like camping at geocachings event because you get to experience so much more.   You meet more people and see more sights, get warmed by more fire and who doesn’t like a nice campfire :-)  This year I even ate grubs instead of marshmallows, thanks Elf.

This was the first year at Guelph Lake Conservation Area and it was a good choice.  There was lots of area to spread out.  I was amazed at some of the camping set ups.  We geocachers know how to set up camp!

It was great seeing many familiar faces and meeting new ones.   I spent the day in our booth which meant cachers came to me to talk.  That was handy.  Thanks to everyone that stopped by to say hi.

We placed a night cache for the event.   I was camping so when  group of cachers decided to go for it on the Friday night I was able to tag along and see how it went.  The night cache included a projection which some people had never done before.  I was also able to guide the group to the better path with the low brush.  Others that did the cache on their own were not so lucky.   A few of the folks that did this cache learned the importance of checking the attributes before trying to find it.  Rest assured if you are looking for a night cache we placed it will include at least one twist.

There seemed to be enough caches for everyone to enjoy, some easy some not so easy.

If you stayed until the Sunday you were treated to breakfast!  That was a great surprise.  Thank you to everyone that organized and contributed to that.

The organizers did a great job on this event.  I hope that they had someone else catering the meal made the day more enjoyable for the organizers.  After 10 years Trimbles Trek is stepping away from GHAGAFAP but that doesn’t mean it will stop.  Res2100 has picked up the reigns.  I wish him a lot of luck next year.  The organizing of this event is a mammoth undertaking.

I would like to thank everyone from the organizers to the attendees for making this a great event.  If it wasn’t for all those volunteers this event wouldn’t exist.  My hat is off to anyone that donates their time to make geocaching better.

May 102011
 

With over 1,300,000 caches around the world, there are many places for a caching family to get out and enjoy the outdoors. Many of the caches are located along trails, in parks and conservation areas that you may not even know about in your area. We have lived in our area for 38 years and have found many new places and trails to take our kids. Places we did not even know about until we were geocaching.

When we started caching, the kids where excited to get out and find “treasure” but as time goes on (as with most kids) they started to lose interest. A few small things can help keep it fun and interesting for the kids. It’s important to get the kids involved, not just following along until you get near the cache. By letting them use the GPSr they will have more fun knowing they lead the way to ground zero.

With the abundance of rail trails being turned into hot geocaching spots, packing up the bikes and heading to one of these trails adds a new dynamic to family caching adventures.

When at the cache area, have everyone find the cache. Our family uses the ”click” system. After each person finds the cache they quietly move away and say “click”. This allows everyone to have a chance at finding the cache.

Have the kids put together a swag bag full of things they would like to trade. And remind them to trade up or trade even, this will keep the cache fun for the next finders.

Plan out you’re caching day. Try to find some fun and interesting caches by reading the cache description, logs and looking at the terrain and difficulty. A kid-friendly attribute is an option for cache descriptions. Though we find this attribute isn’t used commonly, it can be helpful while planning out your day.

If you are caching at night, it’s a good idea to have a Clip-On Marker or ZipLit that you can attached to the kids for safety. Everyone having their own flashlight helps each person walk safely along the path.

If you find a cache that you know the kids will love save it for near the end, this will top off their day and they will talk about it all the way home. Our kids have their own mini backpacks for caching. Inside is swag for trading, insect repellent, bandages, flashlights for night caching and pens. Before heading out everyone adds a few snacks to their bag and plenty of water.

Geocaching is an activity for the whole family so get out, have fun and be
safe.

May 092011
 

What do you really need for a successful night of caching?  There are five things that you must have:

  1. Permission to be in the area
  2. Headlamp
  3. Flashlight
  4. Batteries
  5. A Buddy

Not all areas are open after dusk.   Look for attribute icons when you aresearching for night caches.  Not everyone uses their allotment of 10 attributesso be sure and look for signs when you enter the area.

I think that a headlamp is required when you are walking around rural areasat night. Headlamps aren’t as important in urban areas.  That being said you might not want to cache is some urban areas at night.  My headlamp of choice, the Irix, has variable output.  I find I don’t need full power when I’m walking on open flat trails which provides the best battery life.

In addition to my headlamp I bring along a bright flashlight.  I switched to LED flashlights a few years ago and haven’t looked back.  My 100 lumen Rogue2 provides an excellent, clear, beam when searching for those hard to findgeocaches.  Again, it’s good to have a flashlight that has a low power settingin order to conserve battery power.  When caching in the dark months it’s not uncommon for us to have our flashlights on for 4-6 hours straight. Battery management is key.   (If it’s cold keep your batteries inside your coat)

Speaking of batteries you can’t have too many.   Even though I use rechargeables I like to keep a couple of alkaline batteries around just in caseI forget to charge up before going on an outing.  Just about any device you use at night will need batteries.  I keep a wind-up flashlight in the car but that’s for emergencies, including getting that caching fix!

I very rarely geocaching alone at night.   I might do it if it’s a quick drive-by but I don’t go out on trails at night by myself and it’s not becauseI’m afraid of the dark.  It is a matter of safety.   Hurting yourself at night gets complicated if you don’t have someone there to help you.

 

Mar 042011
 

We were recently asked about our UV Pens; what they can write on and if you can use the ink outdoors.  Have you ever been to a club that stamps your hand with a UV stamp?  It can take a little effort to wash off the ink.  The UV ink in the pen is about as  waterproof as that.  It will endure a bit of rain but it won’t last for long.  We don’t recommend leaving your UV writing exposed to the elements. Putting it inside a container is good.  You can write on plastic, wood or metal.  Remember though that even the inside of containers get get wet. For best results we recommend non-UV reactive, cold pressed, acid free paper with self sealing pouch.

You can see from the image above that this type of paper produces a much clearer result.  White LED lights are not sufficient to get the ink to react.  You will need a UV light source in order to see the ink.  

When using our special UV paper and pouch we recommend that you write decoy text in regular ink first and then write in UV.  In this way the finder will not immediately realize what they need to do. 

We learned about using non-UV reactive paper from Avernar.