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Ladies! Weird Experiences Caching Alone?


mcmom1
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Not to be discriminatory in my question, (men, feel free to contribute) but I was wondering if any of the ladies here, who geocache alone, have ever felt unsafe or experienced any weirdos while searching?

 

I'm a single mom and I'd like to start geocaching with my son (I'm completely new to this). I've never been a big hiker or outdoorsy person but thought this might be a nice way to get into more of that stuff - starting with easy terrain caches and increasing as my skills improve.

 

But to be honest, I'm a little apprehensive about going into the woods by myself or with my little boy. Not sure why - probably just lack of knowledge.

 

Any thoughts?

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I am not a woman, but I do often go caching in the woods alone, or with an 8-year-old. 228 finds, and no bad experiences to date.

 

There has been plenty of discussion on this topic. One approach is to attend local caching events to meet other local women, with whom you might want to go caching.

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I absolutely love being out in the woods by myself and it would take a lot to scare me out of it. So far, I've been really frightened exactly once.

 

I was about sixty feet off the trail in a patch of woods looking for a cache. It was one of those suburban tracts of forest that is public land, but not well signposted or maintained. The kind locals tend to think of it as their own property. Anyhow, two guys on ATV's or dirt bikes went by and, just as they were opposite me, my cellphone rang. I wouldn't have thought they could hear it over their engines, so perhaps it was coincidence, but they stopped and just sat there. Didn't talk. Didn't call out. Just sat there silently.

 

I got rid of my caller as fast as I could and decided to wait them out. They were between me and my car on the trail. I couldn't really see them, they couldn't have had more than a glimpse of me, though they probably had heard me talking. We held this standoff for a LONG time. Like maybe fifteen minutes (which feels like an eternity in this kind of situation). For all I know, they were good guys just keeping an eye on their neighborhood, but it felt distinctly sinister. It was the silence, I think.

 

Of course, after they started the engine and roared off, weasel-for-brains still hung around long enough to find the cache. I mean -- come on -- we're talking SMILEY here. Let's have a sense of proportion.

 

I'm much happier in a well marked park, the kind with trail maps and rangers, as opposed to a piece of neighborhood land that has just been allowed to drift back to nature. The latter all too often has camp sites with that lived-in look, complete with bits of crime scene tape.

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Another usefull product is pepper spray. Most / some / all localities require some sort of Firearms permit to carry this but, it can be purchased easily without (though I'm not condoning or partaking in this) .... Ebay! It was one of the first things that went into my cache pack when we started this. I also made sure Nancy had some in her pack as we seperate sometimes while caching.

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You're likely to be safer in the woods than on a city street.

 

Where I live I see women hiking alone all the time. Being that I also hike alone and am often filthy and carrying a chainsaw while doing trail maintenance, some look a bit startled when they see me. You can see a hint of trepidation in their eyes. Others just confidently greet me and keep on going. They don't even miss a step.

 

Just a few weeks ago my wife and I were backpacking along the Appalachian Trail. We made camp, then went to the trail to cook dinner (to keep the bears away from our camp). We're a few miles from any road and a 20 something female comes around the bend and sees me standing there. My wife was sitting on the ground out of her view. She just greeted me with a hearty "good evening" and kept on going. Not a hint of fear at all.

 

Someone who is up to no good can also sense fear as well as self confidence. The latter are far less likely to become prey, whether in the woods or in Central Park.

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I am a grandma cacher and I often cache alone. I have never had any problems or scary times. I do not live near a big city and when I cache in the Seattle area I do prefer to have company. I also often cache with friends. Sometimes it is with other women but I also have some great male friends to cache with. But don't let fear come between taking your son out for a good time. I used to take my son camping when he was just a little guy and it was just the two of us. What wonderful bonding moments these times are. Just think of the memories you are creating for you child. Precious time with just the two of you caching together. That time can't be bought with money. Just use common sense. There are some areas to stay away from when alone.

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Hello! I have two boys 7 and 4. I mostly geocache with my 4 year old when my seven year old is in school. I sometimes do get the creepy's, but nothing that has ever stopped me. I do carry mase with me though, by request of my husband. I am 26 and attractive (not trying to be bold here) and my husband worries. My problem going with a young child is getting him into certain spots. It isn't easy carrying a 44", 45 pound child when trying to get up a hill. I have had to abort some just because of him...I am careful what I take him into. Living in Texas there are plenty of things that the woods and brush hold that could bite. Anyhow happy geocaching! I am glad that I am not the only mom with a child in tow....now to find some around here to go with.....

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My honey is not inclined to do outdoorsy stuff in the spring or summer, so for hiking and now geocaching it's usually just me and our 7 and 9 year old boys, sometimes just me. I have no trepidation whatsoever. I agree that you're in more danger in the city streets than out on the trail.

 

But I still can't wait until it cools down enough in the late fall for him to come and join us as he's promised.

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I'm 14 and sometimes I cache alone. These are my "precautionaries" that are a must incase of a run in ith a "weirdo".

 

*cell phone

*knife (for protection)

*15 pound fanny pack full of geocaching essentials that if they met said weirdos head at enough speed should hold him down for a while

 

In my little experience I haven't encountered anyone, but I've always thought of what I'd do in the situation. The best thing you can do, is know what you would do in the situation if it occured.

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I'm 14 and sometimes I cache alone. These are my "precautionaries" that are a must incase of a run in ith a "weirdo".

 

*cell phone

*knife (for protection)

*15 pound fanny pack full of geocaching essentials that if they met said weirdos head at enough speed should hold him down for a while

 

In my little experience I haven't encountered anyone, but I've always thought of what I'd do in the situation. The best thing you can do, is know what you would do in the situation if it occured.

Suppose the weirdo is packing? :rolleyes:

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I'm 14 and sometimes I cache alone.  These are my "precautionaries" that are a must incase of a run in ith a "weirdo".

 

*cell phone

*knife (for protection)

*15 pound fanny pack full of geocaching essentials that if they met said weirdos head at enough speed should hold him down for a while

 

In my little experience I haven't encountered anyone, but I've always thought of what I'd do in the situation.  The best thing you can do, is know what you would do in the situation if it occured.

Suppose the weirdo is packing? :rolleyes:

Well let's say that a member of our team is licensed to "pack" too.

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Another usefull product is pepper spray. Most / some / all localities require some sort of Firearms permit to carry this...

 

Not true.

 

I also made sure Nancy had some in her pack...

 

Has she tried, even once, to see how long it would take her to get it out of the pack and on target? Might be better on a belt or pack strap.

 

I'm 14 and sometimes I cache alone...

...*knife (for protection)

 

I SO hope you’re kidding. :rolleyes:

Edited by Criminal
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i do not carry firearms, not for any reason.

 

i cache alone for prolonged periods of time, often living in my car for days.

 

i have only had one encounter with a weirdo.

 

i have had more frightening experiences both in degree of fear and in frequency of incident on my road bike on state highways.

 

be alert. don't give in to fear.

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I just picked up a few personal alarms to place in caches (and plan to keep one for myself too.) Deep in the woods with no one else around they won't do much other than scare someone away if there is an encounter (hopefully they'll do that.) For more urban caches in scary areas maybe they'll help one of us ladies feel secure if there are some unsavory characters lurking about.

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Please don't let your fear of the "maybe" keep you from enjoying this sport/hobby/recreation. If you allow your fears to curb your enthusiasm, you have let the bad guys overpower you...and they didn't even have to enter the woods! Be smart...stay alert...and remember that the journey IS the reward!

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I still prefer my option.

shiloh.jpgShe's not eating the cat.  I swear.

no but she's eating the rabbit

It was a cat, actually. The pic is of Shilo. He had a habit of bringing all the neighborhood cats home to be groomed, loved, and generally slobbered over. Shilo got her own cat, Dumber (pictured), after she brought home the neighbors cat and all her kittens.

 

A while back Dumber passed away (the dog didn't do it). They got Shilo a new cat, Shadow. Shadow is not yet a fan of Shilo's attentions.

Edited by sbell111
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I still prefer my option.

shiloh.jpgShe's not eating the cat.  I swear.

no but she's eating the rabbit

It was a cat, actually. The pic is of Shilo. He had a habit of bringing all the neighborhood cats home to be groomed, loved, and generally slobbered over. Shilo got her own cat, Dumber (pictured), after she brought home the neighbors cat and all her kittens.

 

A while back Dumber passed away (the dog didn't do it). They got Shilo a new cat, Shadow. Shadow is not yet a fan of Shilo's attentions.

Great picture & story!

 

I'm a female and frequently cache alone & unarmed. I have had self defense training though. I do feel that a certain amount of self-confidence (even if you have to force it! [:laughing:]) does help -- don't present yourself as a victim. I've never been in an uncomfortable situation. But then again, maybe I'm just not bright enough to see possible dangers :laughing:

 

Cache On!

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I don't know about down South, but over here in the West this is true:

 

Don't worry about people so much as animals that would like to eat you (such as Mountain Lions). I carry a large knife for that reason, when I hike alone in remote areas.

 

In areas closer to the city, I think that a couple of posts earlier nailed it on the head - people up to no good can perceive fear - but as well, can perceive confidence.

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Ya know, I'm thinking a lot of it has to do with how comfortable and familiar you are with your surroundings. I once thought I'd be clever and go cache hunting in the evenings while on a business trip in a totally unfamiliar city. Finished up the work for the day, buzzed out to this trail around a lake, happily started clomping around the lake towards the cache - and ended up being tracked by maybe half a dozen local late-teens-early-20s hang'er out'ers that somehow didn't feel right. They may have been OK, but I didn't know anything about the area, could have been wandering into Drug Central for all I know, and a sudden realization that nobody knew where I was made all my mama's dire warnings about being mugged, raped, tortured and killed all seem much more pragmatic than usual. I ditched the cache and beat feet the rest of the way around that lake at double speed, so I could get back to the truck and spend the rest of the evening watching TV from the safety of a hotel room.

 

Eeesh. And now when I think about it, it was one of two things:

- I'm an idiot. They were just bored kids, and I was paranoid.

- I'm an idiot. Nobody knew where I was, I could have disappeared easily, no way to defend myself or call for help, and just tromping around through unknown territory.

 

Either way, there seems one logical assumption. :(

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I cache with :

my kids son 12 girls 9 & 7

sometimes with boyfriend

sometimes alone

sometimes with our mutts

sometimes we all go!!

 

Don't let the thought stop you from doing something that is so fun for everyone!

 

The only weirdo's I have came across are :

 

Bitting Ants,

Bugs going up kids nose

Growling Raccoon at night ;)

 

and that dog friend of Cujo :blink: on the first leg of a mult cache here in Indiana

 

Glad I didn't carry my gun. Half the time I forget my flashlight :P

 

My dog would just lick them to death.

 

Just enjoy yourself! Do easy caches first then the hunt for that one or this one will take over your worries.

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Im not a lady but I offer this thought. If you have it you may not need it, if you dont and need it your up a creek and it could be your last one. What it is, is up to you, friend, dog, gun, pepper spray, big stick,.... what ever.

Cell phone, dont leave home with out it.

There are times that I like to be alone but most of the time its more fun to share those times with someone.

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