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Etiquette Questions

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When I picked the cache I wanted to hunt this weekend, I didn't realize what a popular choice it would be. There was another cacher on the site when I got there and two more who arrived while I was there. When I walked by a little later, I saw yet another person looking around.


Is there any kind of well-established way to greet a fellow cacher? I wasn't making too much effort to hide my GPSr, but I sort of wanted to say something like "Hey, I'm like you!" to the others I saw. I felt like I was being rude just ignoring them. On the other hand, it would have been rude of me to go up to someone who's probably busy concentrating, just because we happen to share a hobby. So conflicted.


What's the best way to handle finding a cache when there are lots of other cachers around? Should I still try to be sneaky and take it somewhere else to log and trade trinkets? I decided against that, because a) I probably couldn't have been that sneaky and B) I didn't want anyone to check the hiding spot and not find the cache where it should be. So, I just sat there, in full view and just tried to be quick about it. I assume it's best not to go up to other cachers and say "Hey, I found it, it's right there!" but, that's basically what I was doing by sitting there.

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I've run into other cachers and always say "Hi." and introduce myself. I've met some really nice people that way.


One time I found a cache and was sitting on a nearby bench with the cache contents in my hand when a man and his son walked behind me saying, "How far is it now?"


I asked if they were geocachers and then said I had the cache contents.


We had a nice visit and then I asked them to turn their backs while I replaced the contents in the cache container (this was a tricky hide.)


After that, I got the opportunity to watch them try to find the cache. After a little while, I let the father read the past logs in my Palm so he could get the hint that allowed me to find the cache. It was only their second cache and they didn't have the printout with them.


There is also a hand signal to identify yourself as a geocacher . . . but I think the GPSr gives it away. :rolleyes:

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Well, seems to me there are exactly two things you can do:


1) If "find" means to you that you found it with absolutely no outside help at all, then your only choice is to NEVER post a "found" log on that particular cache -- maybe a "note" if you wish, or I suppose you could even come up with a reason why it should be "DNF". Even if you leave and come back when there's no one around, you still got some form of assistance from the previous cachers you saw there.


2) You could view your serendipity as being no different than an animal dislodging a pile of stick-o-flage, or a squirrel knocking a film canister out of a notch in the tree. Sometimes fate and fortuitous timing make a search into a no-brainer, and coming across other cachers sitting there with the cache in hand is one of those circumstances, so go ahead and log a "found".


Myself, I'd go with option 2.


And in either situation, I'd take the opportunity to introduce myself and chat for a bit.


This is not the same situation, of course, as caching in a group. With some groups, the first person who finds it just gets it out and everyone claims a find; with other groups, when someone finds it they pretend to keep looking for a while and then go stand around with a s***-eating grin until the others have also found it. The first usually makes more sense with large groups; the second is more typically of small groups (2-5 or so).

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You mean you havn't been told the secret greeting? :rolleyes:


I've never aproached a fellow cacher just because I've never come across one that I know of. I have been aproached by another that simply said aloud to his family as they approached, "Oh look someelse cacheing" (or words to that effect. That was fine for me. As the group was coming near, I did my usual "flip through pages of my notebook and look around like I'm thinking and writing" act. A lot of hide locations are aslo good place to sit and ponder life so that makes a good cover. Anyway, I had no problem being "outed" in sucha way. We exchanged chatter and helped each other find the cache. Then he pointed me to another one near by and we parted ways. It was a nice meeting.


Others may feel differently.

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I've had some good exchanges with cachers I've met on the trail. You see 'em comin' and you assume that they are cachers since they have a GOS'r in their hand. Some I've offered to tell them where I just left and others tell me quick they want to find it on their own. It's been good so far.



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I had my wife drive me up to a cache, on Saturday, that had no nearby parking. As I jumped out of my truck, I noticed a fellow cacher looking for the cache. I new the person, so I joined in to look for the cache.


She was busy chasing "zero" on her GPS, while I started looking in the likely spots, (for a micro). I found the cache first, logged FTF, and then gave her the cache to log it. I replaced it where I found it, and Jumped back into my truck to do some errands. This was a "1/1" cache.


Had it been a devious hide, I would have been a bit more secretive about my retrieval and replacement.

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I ran into a group of fellow cachers once. We stopped and talked for a while then split up to look for the cache. I found it, signed the log, and put it back without being seen. I wasn't sure what to do then so I offerd to tell them where it was or at least give them a hint but they declined. Even though I was a noobie the same as they I had had a little more experiance with a gps so I tried to answer questions they had the best I could. Then we said goodbye and I moved on to the next cache. After I found the next one and was leaving the park it was hidden in I ran into them again and they told me they had found the one where we first met. We talked again for a while and I wished them luck and moved on. That was the only time I have ever ran into other caches.


If I'm caching with others, whoever finds it gets to sign first.

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Geocachers are very interesting people, and I love running into them on the trail. Just yesterday I met a fellow at a cache, who lives a few provinces away from me, and who had just come back from caching in Africa! He had some fascinating stories, and I wish we'd had more time together.

- hamgran

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Yeah, caches can get busy sometimes. There was one I was hunting a few years back where a total of 11 cachers ended up there (in groups from 1 to 4). Another time as I was walking back to rehide the cache (I generally move 30-50 feet away so the actual hide site isn't revealed) another cacher approached and thought I was going to hide a new cache so he told me there was one real close. I let him sign the logbook, and then hunt where the cache should be hidden (it was fairly easy, classic type). We then joined up to do another cache nearby. I've also shortened the life of one local cacher when I approached and called a greeting while she was attempting a FTF - she jumped a foot or so!


I always try and introduce myself to other cachers, but I never give hints unless asked (assuming I've found the cache). I've never had anyone refuse to let me join a hunt, especially on the tough ones.

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You must display the universal geocaching sign(1st degree): forearm extended forward, with upper arm vertical, and elbow bent at an angle between 60 - 90 degrees while holding GPSr accompanied with a puzzled look on face. The popular "hand on chin" is a symbol of the second degree level of geocaching and only demonstrates the users advanced knowledge of specialized sardonic communication of forum discussions. It is displayed in addition to the 1st degree sign. There are also localized celebratory greetings

I believe the standard we agreed on was when meeting another geocacher, one was to yell "Ho, are ye a geocacher?" and the correct response is "Yay I am".


Upon the confirmation, the two then approach each other, put their left hand on the other person's right shoulder, standing arm's length and dance around in a circle while skipping and singing (very loudly) "Geocachers are we!  Runy muny mee! Yaba daba baba. He, he, he!".  At least that's the way we do it in New Jersey.

Edited by 4wheelin_fool
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