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Deep Brush / Woods in Summer?

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Im curious....how many of you actually go into the deep woods or heavy brush during the warmer months of the year to Geocache?  The reason I ask is the last few times I ventured into the "bush" the Harris County bug population has done a number on me.  Now I'm not blaming it on Geocaching.  If I wasn't caching I would still be in the woods fishing, working on my deer stand, cutting firewood, etc.  Its just that the bugs usually don't get the best of me like this.

Two weeks ago I picked up a tick at GC2T5DT.  The only reason I know it was there is that was that these were the only bushes I went into over a several day period.  Ended up getting so sick that I missed 3 days of work and had to take antibiotics.  Tests is negative for Lyme (like an idiot I flushed the tick before I identified it....dumba$$) but it gave me one nasty infection and they gave me doxycycline as a precaution.

Today I went after Love Like the Movies #3.  Right when I reached GZ I got lit up by something on the back of my knee.  It got to burning so bad that I gave up the search and headed to the nearest Walgreens for Benadryl. 

The funny part is the following...the highest Terrain Rating for the two is 2.5 however this is summer and I would rate the 1st a 3 and the second a 3.5. I waded through waist high bushes and briars to both of them.  In both cases I had on my knee high snake boots and hacked in with a machete.  The only exposed part of my body was the 4 inches between my shorts and my boots.  Guess I'm going to have to stick with long pants as much as I hate them!

Josh

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:) Welcome to Geocaching, during the Summer, in Texas. It's akin to Australia where everything is trying to kill you.

In the beginning I dived head first into the woods with little care. Now I'm mostly a seasonal cacher in Texas. Full time cacher when I stray outside Texas in a Northwesterly fashion.

My only suggestion is put on your socks and douse them with Deet. Put on the rest of your clothes and shoes. Douse yourself with Deet from head to toe. Long pants and long sleeved shirts mandatory.

Undress in the garage or other safe place.. Jump in the pool if you have one. Alternatively... acquire a flame thrower and pave your way through the woods.

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I think experiencing really shitty bug bites are a right of passage.

My husband had to sleep off flu-like symptoms after we both enjoyed a weekend Village Creek State Park my first year geocaching and were covered head to toe with chigger bites.

Last month I picked up two ticks last month because I was signing a log & walked in circles, (think pin-the-tail-on-the-donkey style), to discourage mosquito swarms only to get disoriented and have to bushwack just 400 feet...but luckily they hadn't attached yet.

Other than those two instances, I don't remember too many run-ins, (oh ya, Armand Bayou last month was a scene from "The Birds" with mosquitos...), but my rule is, if it's <200 feet to the cache & tall weeds, I'll jump in w/my jeans, but over that...I'll drive on by during the summer.

PS: I refuse to use Deet...

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Trust me Amberita.....Ive had my share of bug bites before this. The amount of "woods" Ive actually been going in Geocaching this summer has been quite low compared to my usual fishing and work at the farm schedule.  What I, and my wife especially, find hilarious is I can trounce all over Polk County in shorts, low boots, no bug spray etc and never pick up a bite while two trips with bug spray and snake boots less than 100 yards each into the "woods" of Harris County has resulted in 2 nasty wounds.  The thought of not going into the woods in the summer has never crossed my mind until now. 

Josh

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It depends on the circumstances for me.

Example: End of June 2014, mid 90's and very humid, a 4.5/4.5 rated cache that we needed to complete our second loop on the D/T grid. 500'+ bushwhack in, climbed up a tree to the cache, signed the log, back down the tree, 500'+ bushwhack back to the truck. Soaked with sweat from head to toe, bloody from thorns and briar cuts, picked off a couple ticks, drove straight back home and took a nice long shower. Mission accomplished!

If this would have been a cache with a typical rating I never would have went after it. 

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I wish I could say I actually *plan* to dive into thicket and brambles during Houston's HADES months of July-August, but to tell you the truth, for me it's almost always unintentional. Most sane people know intuitively not to attempt Alphabet Soup or TEXAS in GBP during the Summer, but it's the "oh, it's only 223 FT to the GZ" devil voice in your head that burns me more times than I'd like to admit. It's those times that I'm inappropriately wearing slacks and wingtips,  or worse, cargo pants and flip-flops to crawl to the 1.5/1.5 from Hell due to overgrowth. Ironically, many times, I end up realizing there's a geotrail nearby while attempting to wring out the putrid smelling log making the exit much less demanding of blood, sweat, or tears.

 

Summer caching in Houston's woods helps you appreciate LPCs. ;)

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I have to agree with KeyResults.  It "only xxx feet to the cache" while in shorts and flipflops.  I do beat the weeds or brush pretty vigorously with my walking stick. Usually have the same experience leaving the cache "Oh, THERE'S the trail!".

Kayak caching is my favorite way to cache in the summer.

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The woods don't bother me so much, as long as there's no poison ivy.  But tall grass in a sun-baked open field is just asking for a mass of chigger bites.  I try to limit my summertime caching to England, Scotland and Mackinac Island.  O0

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How bad can the TEXAS extraordinary series be in the summer? It's in the middle of GBP. "Just a walk in the park".

 

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I officially hate GBP now due to the total takeover by the Thorn-Birds!  It has always been bad, but now it needs to be burned down and replanted.  BRAWNDO is like Borneo and you gotta love it.

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I went ahead and added an allergy rash last Sunday afternoon from juniper rubbing on me placing a cache. What is completely funny is I had spent all weekend climbing through the thickest stuff imagineable clearing 200 yards of new fence line by hand with chain saws and didn't get a chigger, rash, or insect sting one. I need to work to take a break from caching!

I haven't done much of GBP yet but Alphabet Soup series really wasn't that bad to me. Pair of snake boots and DEET stops the snakes, thorns, and mosquitoes so you can wade right in. The worst part to me was it was flooded when I did most of it so the walking was slow going.

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I found this great tool to add to my GeoPack for caching at GBP.flamethrower.jpg

Edited by LordJeff
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That is the only answer for that park.

Edited by Baytown Bert

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Unfortunately, after the fire in GBP, I think it's the thorns that grow back the fastest. 

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