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.