Hiding rocks during winter

Just because many of us are getting ready to hibernate with colder temperatures and (gulp!) snow on the way, it doesn’t mean hiding rocks needs to be put on pause. You just need to give a little extra thought about placement of rocks.

We’ve been painting and hiding rocks for several years now, and through various seasons. Sure, winter does pose some challenges when it comes to hiding rocks – especially as snow piles up – but, we’re here to assure you that it still can be done (and, should be!)

Did you know that more people report feeling down and depressed during the winter months? For example, according to Psychology Today, SAD (or, Seasonal Affective Disorder)  is estimated to affect 10 million Americans. And, the Mental Health Institution reports that one in every fifteen people in the UK experience symptoms of SAD. Stress management techniques and spending more time outdoors are ways to help.

We interpret this as paint rocks 🎨 (relaxing activity) and hide them outdoors ❄️.

The verdict is still out whether painted rocks should be placed inside stores. More and more store employees are reporting that rocks found inside their stores are, sadly, thrown away or kept.

This could be for several reasons:

  1. Store employees not knowing about the activity of painted rocks and thinking they’re trash (educating people about this activity can certainly help)
  2. Potential hygiene reasons (e.g. this is especially the case with rocks hidden amongst food at a grocery store or within a hospital)
  3. On a security camera, a person picking up a rock and placing in their bag could look like they’re taking merchandise 

That said, some stores (libraries in particular) do welcome painted rocks. When in doubt, simply ask. At the very least, it’s an opportunity to make someone else aware of this activity of kindness (and, hopefully save some rocks from being tossed due to lack of knowledge).

We’re not going to make a hard-fast rule about it, but just pass along what we’ve heard from other rock painters (and, wondering why their rocks have never been posted). We outline even more places where rocks can be hidden.

For this post, our suggestions are going to be for places outdoors where rocks may be placed (and, likely to be picked up!)

On the base of a light post
From our experience, the light posts in parking lots have been popular places for rocks to be picked up. In the winter months, snow tends to pile up everywhere else, but only sparingly on these light posts. They make an ideal location because with the backdrop of white snow, a colorful rock will stand out (unless it’s painted white!) As a passerby is getting in/out of their car, they’ll spot the rock and it will surely put a smile on their face.

On the ledge outside a store or library
Think about it. Where are your eyes as you’re entering a store? 👀 Usually eye-level and pointed towards the entrance. There may be a ledge right at eye level near the door, which is an ideal place to prop a rock. Or, right on the ground near the entrance will typically catch someone’s eye. Psst. We’ve had much success with rocks being posted when placed right outside of a library.

Other high traffic areas
When rock painters report to us that their rock is not being posted as found, first, we remind them that even though their rock isn’t posted as found, it still made someone’s day when it was found.  Then, we ask them “where did you hide your rock?” There’s certainly a trend in the answers we receive – rocks are typically placed in low-traffic areas like in a crevice at a park or really hidden (under a bush outside a store, which is especially troublesome if there’s snow). Remember, painted rocks are intended to be seen and found as an unexpected surprise, so if you’re literally hiding them, you may want to re-think your strategy.

High-traffic areas like outside of schools, hospitals, senior centers, at playgrounds and outside of popular stores are places where rocks are generally picked up and enjoyed.

Have a place where your rocks have been picked up and posted? Share below! ⬇️

Seasonal Affective Disorder (US)
Seasonal Affective Disorder (UK)


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