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Thursday, April 21, 2011

HHH's GotD: Geocaching Rule #1 - Poke It With A Stick

There are several hard fast geocaching rules that you will hear from the ole HeadHardHat all the time:
1. Always mark where your vehicle is before venturing out.
2. Always check your batteries in your GPSr.
3. Don't eat spinach with a stranger.

Okay maybe not the third one so much but I do have one major rule when it comes to geocaching and that is "Poke It With A Stick!". Depending on where you go geocaching can put you in potential contact with an awful large amount of snakes, spiders and critters that will bite you if you stick your hands where they should not be. Unfortunately many times that is right around hidden geocaches. If you have seen some of my GeoSnippits videos you will see such critters like black widow spiders, venomous snakes and other things that will spoil your day if you are not careful.

Snakes in particular are always a major concern. In North Carolina for example there are seven venomous snakes. Even for the ones that are not dangerous will cause some pretty severe bites. Think it will never happen to you? Talk with other geocachers in your area. A good friend and experienced local geocacher by me was bit a year or two back by a copperhead. I also was told of two other geocachers in the state that were bit last year as well. It can happen to any of us if we are not careful. Also note that snakes love to stay around and under geocaches. Especially when they are made of metal like ammo boxes. The heat radiates longer from the metal so they keep close.

Spiders love LPC (Lamp Post Caches) hides. Not to mention guard rails, drainage grates and any other nook or cranny they can get into. Go ahead and feel around without looking, see what happens. Not a good thing to do.

My one big rule will always be Poke It With A Stick before reaching in any area you can not see clearly. It is important to stay safe out in our geocaching playground. You never know what might be sleeping nearby. Be careful out there.

Until tomorrows next geocaching adventure...


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Mark Rainey said...

I just ran into the biggest, ugliest, baddest black widow I've ever seen at GC2M3F9. When I do encounter such things, I make a note of it in my online log, too, just for the benefit of the next cacher...

Anonymous said...

I had one time where I was going for an urban cache near Minneapolis. I reached into a hole where I was sure it had to be. I felt something that moved a bit, so I pulled it. I stared at it for a few seconds and thought "Cool, it's an old wasp's nest." Then, I looked down and saw a wasp crawl out of the hole, then another, then a few more. My wife and I moved away quickly. Fortunately, it was a really cold morning, so they were moving really slowly. We got away safely. Whew!

Lauren said...

I am from the UK - geocaching is A LOT safer there!!!! But having been to the States, I do often think whilst geocaching, "There is NO way I'd be putting my hand in here if I was in Texas....!"

Found your blog via Pinterest.