When you think of geocaching, two options often come to mind: a summer activity or something to do while traveling…in summer. Both of those are great choices, but before you prepare to pack away your TOTT (tools of the trade), have you considered caching in the shoulder season?
Shoulder season is the time between the summer and winter seasons (or winter and summer for all you southern hemisphere folks!) Spring and fall may have a bit less predictability, but one thing is certain: there are fewer people on the trails. We’ve compiled our top five reasons to show why these months are perfect for geocaching.
1. Have the trails to yourself
During the off-season, trails tend to quiet down. Kids are back in school, vacations wrap up, and the weather begins to change. This also means it’s easier to park at trailheads, parklands, beaches, and more. Easy parking and fewer muggles means more finds!
2. Enjoy the view
While transitioning temperatures can make the weather less predictable, the variable conditions can lead to some stunning landscapes! Wildflowers begin to bloom in the spring and the leaves turn to vibrant colors in the fall. Make a List and hit the trails to enjoy the colors from foliage and flowers alike!
3. Geocaching Events
The shoulder season hosts two awesome geocaching events (and souvenir moments!): GIFF (Geocaching International Film Fest) in November and CITO (Cache In Trash Out) in April and September. GIFF happens just once per year where geocachers submit their geocaching films to a panel of judges in hopes of having their film shown at GIFF events around the world.
CITO is an environmental initiative to preserve the natural beauty of cache-friendly spaces. While you should practice CITO every time you cache, you can earn a unique souvenir during the Spring and Fall CITO weeks each year.
4. Traveling can be more affordable
Spring and autumn seasons tend to have less demand when it comes to traveling. Without the demand, the deals are often better. If you’re a savvy traveler, keep the in-between seasons in mind for some savings on that trip you’ve always wanted. Looking for travel inspiration? Check out these “Greatest Hits” geocaches.
5. Have the best of both worlds
The most marvelous part of the shoulder season is that you can enjoy the best of both worlds. The changing weather means that you may have a sneak peek of summer sunshine in spring, or could indulge in ski or snowshoe caching in autumn!
One rule for all activities, regardless of season is to be prepared! Bring layers, water, a pen, snacks, and share your plans when heading out for an adventure. Have fun, be safe, and cache on!