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Keeping Caching Alive In The Cold Months

winter

In a few days, NB is going to get its first blast of real Winter weather. Despite the cold we’ve been having, there hasn’t been a major storm to hit the region yet. But after this weekend, most of the province will be covered in it. This will signal the true arrival of the winter season and for many geocachers, it also signals the end of their geocaching days until the warmer weather returns.

Thankfully in a province such as ours, we’re fortunate enough that we have many different options for caching in the cold months.

For starters, since us locals know that snow is always something we have to deal with every year, we tend to see a lot of so called “winter friendly” or “winter compatible” caches hidden.

What exactly does that mean? Well there’s a few variations on this depending on what part of the world you live in, but in NB, it usually means the cache is hidden above ground; most commonly hanging in a tree or somewhere else. The idea is that since we get so much snow, if you hide a cache on the ground, no one can find it in the winter. Some people interpret this a bit differently in that they see it as saying the cache is simply not available because of winter. This could be many things but the most common would be the cache is hidden in a park that is closed during the winter.

Then of course there’s the infamous “Ice Walk” that takes place every year out in the Grande-Digue area. Every year folks gather together and make the hike across the frozen bay area over to Shediac or Cocagne Island to snag those hard to get caches. It’s topped off by a big gathering of cachers who share stories, eat food, and generally enjoy themselves in the company of many other cachers. Plus, the food is always awesome. Be sure to check out this year’s Ice Walk event:

GC4V1EV

Last but certainly not least are the contests. For many years, some of the geocachers in the various cities would hold hiding contests to see who could hide the most caches. It got people out hiding and others finding new caches. An explosion of caches hidden in Fredericton one year during the hiding contest eventually led to the launch of the Come Out & Play contest. This contest has been running the last few years and consists of a series of tasks which you must try to accomplish to score points. The winners are announced at a big event weekend in Fredericton in April.

ABC2014adLast year another new contest was put on by PHD Coins. Atlantic Battlecache was launched for all of Atlantic Canada. This contest is based on the old Battleship board game. Geocachers take “shots” on the board by using the GC codes of geocaches they find during the run of the contest. Winners are announced at the finale event at the end of the contest.

The presence of these contests certainly helps to entice people to go out caching during the winter months. But for some, the cold days and nights of winter keeps them by the fire or inside and away from that elusive find.

What do you think of the winter geocaching activities we have here in NB? Do you participate in any of them and if so, why? Or are you one to hibernate until Spring.

6 Comments

  • avatar Rev Slippery says:

    So you are saying it is going to snow soon.

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  • avatar forestfauna says:

    I love snow and winter. Did my Masters research on snowmobile and snowshoes in -20 weather.

    Since the early 2000’s, I always used snowshoes that were rated below what my weight was, for two reasons: a. I am cheap, and b. with the thinking “this is the year I will lose the weight”. Yeah, right. It become more apparent over the past 4-5 years as I have ramped up my caching that my old snowshoes just weren’t up to snuff, especially on untouched, virgin snow. I love getting out in the winter, but snowshoeing trips were agony on myself and others. Two years ago, on a fall trip to Freeport, ME, I stepped into L.L. Bean and bought the biggest snowshoes I could find in the store (rated at over 325 lbs.). I also bought snowshoes for my two oldest girls (aquakid and littlefauna). These were, by far, the best equipment investments I have made in a long, long time.

    Long story short: buy the right equipment for you and what you are doing. It is worth the extra bit of money for comfort out on the trail, especially during the colder months. Also, include your kids. As mine have gotten older I cherish the moments that I spend with them. Winter caching is just one more way for me to share my passion for the outdoors with them.

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  • avatar PA says:

    We love winter caching. But this winter is quite the challenge

    This year we have done a few park and grabs and the snow is more than knee deep. It is quite a struggle to reach the caches. We hid some new Micro Logics and it is likely easier to solve the puzzles than it is to walk the short distance from the car through the snow to get the caches.

    Last week we did some snowshoeing to caches on trails but once we went into the woods to get the caches, we were surprised that we sometimes sank more than 2 feet into the snow with our snowshoes on.

    Each winter we snowshoe to pick up series on trails. We have sometimes gone to Fredericton to do that as they have many series in the woods. We have also walked on groomed snowmobile trails to pick up caching series.

    Each year before the Ice Walk we snowshoe a few times to the islands with Belladan to check on the caches. Sometimes we are accompanied by other caching friends.

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  • avatar PA says:

    Caching is a lot warmer here in Louisiana today. Temperature was 28 degrees.
    .
    .
    .
    OOPS it was 28 degrees F here today. or about minus 2 C. I hear it was warmer than that in Shediac

    PA

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  • avatar PA says:

    ICE WALK UPDATE

    Yesterday morning five cachers did a maintenance run to Shediac Island: globuf, châtelaine, belladan, Pa (of Ma & Pa), and John (of Brechan_Paytra_&_Fin) and took care of 18 caches on the west and south sides of the island. Snowshoes were needed on the island and to cross the ice because of the recent storm. The ice is safe as there have been snowmobiles and vehicles on the ice for a number of weeks now. If time permits, the north side will be checked before the event.

    A group is hoping to cross to Cocagne Island on Thursday morning to check on caches on the South side of the Island. The north side may be checked before the event.

    A large number of caches have been placed since the last Ice Walk. Check the map and you see a large number of new caches in Scoudouc , in Barachois, and Memramcook to Aboujagane. There are also a number of new series in the Moncton and Riverview area.

    If you cannot participate in the caching, please drop in to chat. If you are bringing food, you can drop it off in the morning as there are large refrigeration units.

    .
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