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Sep. 26th, 2010 @ 10:32 am Nightcaching, we're nightcaching
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Colleague J. and his girlfriend M., whom we have infected with the geocaching virus, have done a few nightcaches: geocaching multi's that can (only) be done at night. Their stories intrigued us, and so we made a deal to do a nightcache together. This time of year is ideal: it's getting dark outside much earlier, but it's not that cold yet.
In the Netherlands, going into the woods after sunset is a big no-no: by default, it's forbidden. But in Germany, there is no such default prohibition against entering the woods at night, and that means there are many more nightcaches there. We surfed around for a few, but in the end we settled for one that J&M had already done before -- the others seemed a bit wonky.
Yesterday they visited us, and after dinner we geared up. All of us had very, very bright LED torches (and spare batteries...) so we were all set. Most nightcaches make use of reflectors. With your torch, you can see these reflectors and navigate accordingly -- so you can indeed only do these caches by night.

When we arrived at the parking lot, we saw another car: another group had just set out as well. We took some time to get ready (and to put some distance between us and them), and we set out. The reflectors were easy to spot, but one near the beginning was missing... So we took to shining with our torches into every side-path to see if we saw the glint of a follow-up reflector further on. We made good way (and we overtook the other group at the first station -- we didn't see them again). The waypoints were pretty nice, but one of the waypoints was missing -- luckily M. remembered the task at that point.

In the end, we completely missed the last station, where we would be given the calculation of the cache coordinate. But by the time we were wondering why we didn't see any reflectors and about to give up, J. said: "I think the cache was somewhere around here..." And lo and behold: the cache was found and logged.

Nightcaching is great fun, but the maintenance of the cache is crucial. If you miss only one reflector, you'll be lost in the woods, so to speak. It's a real pity that some stuff was missing, because it was a really good experience.
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Glowing LED
From:sbslink
Date:September 26th, 2010 01:25 pm (UTC)
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It sounds pretty awesome if everything is working correctly ^^
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From:fub
Date:October 2nd, 2010 09:41 am (UTC)
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It is! And having hot soup with you in a thermos is very, very nice too. :)
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From:merle_
Date:September 26th, 2010 04:45 pm (UTC)
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It is legally forbidden to go into the woods at night? Wow.
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From:fub
Date:October 2nd, 2010 09:44 am (UTC)
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Here in the Netherlands, every square centimeter belongs to someone. And with our fragmented woods, there is very little room for wildlife and other critters -- so the 'default' is not to allow people in after sunset so the critters can roam more freely then. It's not like they have another place to retreat to.
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