# Geocaching Cover Stories

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Imagine the following scenario:

Your GPSr directs to a location where muggles are enjoying the day outdoors (barbecue, picnic, family reunion, etc.). You can tell that the coordinates for the cache are pointing to a wooded location at the edge of the park, so you'll need a good cover to keep your actions secret.

I've grown tired of the old GPS-as-a-cell-phone bit, and I'd like something new. Anybody got any suggestions?

And how can my wife and I walk into a wooded area without looking like we're sneaking off to find a 'quiet location for a romantic interlude'? (People always give us the funny eyeball when we hop out of the bushes!)

Imagine the following scenario:

Your GPSr directs to a location where muggles are enjoying the day outdoors (barbecue, picnic, family reunion, etc.). You can tell that the coordinates for the cache are pointing to a wooded location at the edge of the park, so you'll need a good cover to keep your actions secret.

I've grown tired of the old GPS-as-a-cell-phone bit, and I'd like something new. Anybody got any suggestions?

And how can my wife and I walk into a wooded area without looking like we're sneaking off to find a 'quiet location for a romantic interlude'? (People always give us the funny eyeball when we hop out of the bushes!)

Get a couple of hard hats and safety vests carry a clipboard and GPS.... Pretend you are just another "drone" doing some "government" or "utility" work...

Dale

Imagine the following scenario:

Your GPSr directs to a location where muggles are enjoying the day outdoors (barbecue, picnic, family reunion, etc.). You can tell that the coordinates for the cache are pointing to a wooded location at the edge of the park, so you'll need a good cover to keep your actions secret.

I've grown tired of the old GPS-as-a-cell-phone bit, and I'd like something new. Anybody got any suggestions?

And how can my wife and I walk into a wooded area without looking like we're sneaking off to find a 'quiet location for a romantic interlude'? (People always give us the funny eyeball when we hop out of the bushes!)

I've told people that I'm an 'arboreal enumerator'. Either it shuts them up, impresses them, or they ask what that measn to which I reply, "I count trees". They usually toddle off after that.

I like that one!

do you hug the trees after counting them? when people stare at me and i'm trying to cache i just break out and hug a tree untill they look away...one time a guy asked me if i was a denderfeeliac....i just nodded with a smile

I was doing the drunken bee dance one morning in the park and a lady came by and asked me if I was recording the bird songs. I just smiled and went about getting a FTF. Once when my wife and I were on a nice trail in the woods and had stopped at a huge downed manzanita to find the cache a couple who had seen us looking for a couple of other caches along the trail commented that we must be doing research. Folks can make up their own cover for you.

Your GPSr directs to a location where muggles are enjoying the day outdoors (barbecue, picnic, family reunion, etc.). You can tell that the coordinates for the cache are pointing to a wooded location at the edge of the park, so you'll need a good cover to keep your actions secret.

I've grown tired of the old GPS-as-a-cell-phone bit, and I'd like something new. Anybody got any suggestions?

Bring a frisbee. Toss it back and forth to each other a few times, and then send it flying into the woods. Go chase it.

And how can my wife and I walk into a wooded area without looking like we're sneaking off to find a 'quiet location for a romantic interlude'? (People always give us the funny eyeball when we hop out of the bushes!)

That seems like the perfect cover story! People aren't very likely to ask about it AND they probably won't want to go where you were, keeping the cache safe!

You mean we're supposed to come up with stories and excuses? All this time I was just going about my business and not worrying about other people.

You mean we're supposed to come up with stories and excuses? All this time I was just going about my business and not worrying about other people.

That's generally my attitude, but if folks are gonna bug me with their silly questions and poke their noses into my business, I figure that's an open invitation to mess with their heads if I feel like it.

Read my log here. The cache was on the end of a dock under a bench. We waited out the muggles but these two just wouldn't leave. So I had to play the role of "that weird person".

I'm half tempted to place a cache in an urban area and then pretend to be a muggle on the park bench or something... just to see what y'all will do to make me go away

Great suggestions, all. Thanks for the ideas. Harriet, we use the camera a lot as well, and it results in some cool pics to go along with the logs.

Edited by Team_Schmidty

GrevingJay: We were in a park hunting a cache a couple of weeks ago, and we noticed a boy doing some caching as well. We hung out on a bench, and watched him weave around and hop into a bush with no sense of discreetness at all. He was also shirtless and appeared a little crazy, so we didn't approach him. Hey, now that I think about it...maybe that was his "cover"!

Edited by Team_Schmidty

Usually my wife and I say we are looking for snakes or spiders.

Really, we're looking "out" for them.

Edited by BAMBOOZLE

"Playing a game with my GPS".

'nuff said.

My youngest almost wigged out. "Daddy, you not supposed to tell"!

If pressed, I guess I'll just have to shoot from the hip.

I hate lying. It just drives me nuts. I'm not trying to judge anybody, we all do what we feel we need to. But I just can't. Perhaps the hard hat thing. Then nobody will ask. I already carry a clipboard with about 20-30 printouts. I'm working on paperless. I guess the clip board will then just be a prop.

I don't have a problem telling others about Geocaching--really it's a lot of fun and gets you out of the house and into the outdoors. I'm just afraid of getting someone else's cache muggled because I'm too excited about finding it and not watching those kids throwing sticks at each other across the way. Y'know?

I have three dogs people don't ask.

I'm a woman and was caching with a friend who is another woman. we were crouched down in the bushes after finding the cache, and a muggle walked by. we were hoping not to be seen, mainly because what they

thought we were doing!

Imagine the following scenario:

Your GPSr directs to a location where muggles are enjoying the day outdoors (barbecue, picnic, family reunion, etc.). You can tell that the coordinates for the cache are pointing to a wooded location at the edge of the park, so you'll need a good cover to keep your actions secret.

I've grown tired of the old GPS-as-a-cell-phone bit, and I'd like something new. Anybody got any suggestions?

And how can my wife and I walk into a wooded area without looking like we're sneaking off to find a 'quiet location for a romantic interlude'? (People always give us the funny eyeball when we hop out of the bushes!)

Try this one:

Tell people you're geocaching and teach them how to play. i got caught in the bushes at a park by the land owner that owned the bushes i was in, and this one worked real good. i even had a print out of the cache. the next week i got an email from her. she got a GPSr and had found the cache i was looking for. (i got a DNF).

We had been looking for a cache in a big pile of rocks. Some muggles were nearby and asked what we were looking for. I told them I was a backyard geologist, looking for a particularily obscure type of igneous rock . They were happy, we found the cache, and all was well.

You mean we're supposed to come up with stories and excuses? All this time I was just going about my business and not worrying about other people.

Yea, I'm with you. I'm not ashamed to be a geocacher. If someone asks what I am doing I honestly tell them, Geocaching.

I've never needed it, but my ready response is, "I'm looking for air potatoes". Should be useful anywhere in Florida or Texas. If you're not familiar with them, air potato is an invasive exotic weed that overgrows everything that isn't already overgrown by some other invasive exotic weed. They form a long fast-growing vine with beautiful leaves and what looks exactly like potatoes all along them.

I sometimes have a few in my pocket to show people if they're curious. I am very self-conscious about searching when muggles are around, especially when I'm alone.

If anyone asks, we generally tell them what caching is all about. I'd say it's about 1/2 and 1/2 people thinking it's interesting and people wandering off with a glaze in their eyes.

I usually carry a clipboard and try to look like a bored government worker. Isn't too hard since I get to practice it every day at my real job.

One day while getting ready for a hike into the prairie in area that is not marked as a park but is, a park ranger pulled into the parking area and asked what I was doing. I just told him "I'm just going walking". I guess that was good enough for him, he said "OK', and then drove off. It was the truth, I was going walking, and some geocaches just happened to get in my way.

.

When looking in high muggle areas, a clipboard make you almost invisible.

You could always just carry and camera and say you are a photographer for an outdoor magazine or just tell them what you are doing and try to lure them into geocaching.

I'm new to all this, but here's my take on it:

First, I mostly solo cache with my dogs (I currently have two). So nobody thinks it all that weird if I'm walking along and divert into the woods. And even with urban ones, I can park a couple of blocks away, start walking, and look like I'm a local out for a stroll.

Second, the key to not being noticed - no matter WHERE you are - is to simply act like you know what you're doing and you're supposed to be there. Instead of acting furtive, look people in the eye and greet them.

Sometimes easier said than done, though. A couple of times, at urban hides with a lot of people about, I've simply sat in the car and read something... looks like I'm waiting for someone.

Third, if directly questioned, I'll simply tell the truth, or at least part of it - for example, "I'm looking for something a friend left behind" is true.

Most often, I'm likely to tell the whole truth, especially if I have the GPS out and somebody asks - most people I've talked to about it go "Hmm, that's interesting" and then forget it. And I would ABSOLUTELY tell the truth if confronted by police, a security guard, a suspicous homeowner, etc..

All of which doesn't mean I'd let on where the cache was, or would continue my hunt at the moment (depending on how I "read" the person), but I'm not going to tell lies, either.

I have three dogs people don't ask.

Exactly why I am trying to convince my husband to get a dog! Provides the cover, companionship and we would probably cache even more to exercise and get the dog out! Of course, we wonder if the dog could be trained to "assist". Okay, this is what an ammo can smells like, FETCH!

People are stupid, just make something up.

\

Exactly why I am trying to convince my husband to get a dog! Provides the cover, companionship and we would probably cache even more to exercise and get the dog out! Of course, we wonder if the dog could be trained to "assist". Okay, this is what an ammo can smells like, FETCH!

Yes, you could probably train a dog to sniff out tupperware or ammo boxes.

I also was going to mention dogs as my "cover". No one notices you when you have a dog with you. I swear, you could be dragging a body-sized garbage bag and no one would look twice... The cosp would probably smile and wave from their patrol car.

And if someone DOES ask you what you're doing when you look like you're searching for something. you can always tell them you're looking for where your dog left a "present" so you can clean it up (helps if you whip out a baggie, too!) They'll probably leave the area immediately.

Exactly why I am trying to convince my husband to get a dog! Provides the cover, companionship and we would probably cache even more to exercise and get the dog out! Of course, we wonder if the dog could be trained to "assist". Okay, this is what an ammo can smells like, FETCH!

I see only two small problems here. If the dog "fetches" the cache from the underbrush, only the dog has seen the location of the cache. Therefore, only the dog should be eligible to sign the logbook, and the dog must also be trained to rehide the cache as well.

Just thinking, hope I didn't hurt myself.

On the one occasion I've been spotted and questioned, I held up my digital camera and said that I was photographing natural textures for use in skinning 3D models. Reason #837 that I enjoy working in the videogames industry: I can shoot from the hip with ready (if fallacious) technobabble.

Here is part of the log I left on a local cache:

"I did my best to blend in with the surroundings on this trip. I had a metal detector, a fistful of papers, my GPS and a neon-orange safety vest. I like to look like I'm officially doing something official-like. Like, you know?"

The funny part comes in because the cache was located in a small park across the street from a Geocacher's home. She and her boyfriend saw me out there and knew what I was up to just the same. Essentially, they busted me in my orange attire.

The excuse I use depends on the circumstances of the search.

I was out at 2 a.m. looking for a cache near a parking structure. From waaaay in the distance we see security rolling up in their cart looking very serious. When the guy got to us and asked what we were doing I said, "I was out here earlier in the day and lost my keys somewhere...they must be here!!!" My partner and I just kept looking for the cache while I muttered something about being a dummy because I lost my keys. He just rolled away and said, "Okay......".

On the other hand, when I was out at 2 a.m. looking for a cache behind a business (I still wonder why I was there...) and a police officer rolled up I stood up and moved my hands away from my body so he could see what I was holding was NOT something that was going to kill him. He asked what we were doing and I said, "Geocaching!" He responded by saying that he didn't know there was one at this location but he could show us where the one "over there" was and pointed to a restaurant parking lot.

My geobuddy and I just laughed.

While solo searching one day I was getting strange looks by passersby. I happened to find a softball in the ivy near GZ and held it up exclaiming, "Here it is! My daughter lost this the other day!"

The stories go on and on...

Well, if you have kids, you can always say that you are doing a project for school. That usually works. I also carry around a clipboard and sometimes a camera. With kids, you can also pretend you are playing hide and go seek if they are young enough. Another way is to say that you are on a treasure hunt.

One time we were geocaching at night and a polic officer came over adn talked to us and my dad started babling on abuot the gps and the police officer started going away in his car and my dad followed him adn kept talking....that sure got him away as soon as he knew we weren't doing anything wrong and we were ok!

how can my wife and I walk into a wooded area without looking like we're sneaking off to find a 'quiet location for a romantic interlude'? (People always give us the funny eyeball when we hop out of the bushes!)

Your problem is that you're hopping out of the bushes, probably looking vaguely guilty, or at least sneaky. Instead, try running out of them, flailing your arms madly over your head, screaming at the top of your lungs about the swarm of wasps chasing and stinging you. By the time you get to where any potential observers were, they'll be somewhere else.

The other day I was approached by an angry resident while looking through a bush in small park. They marched right up to me and asked what I was doing, I responded "Geocaching, why?" to which they responded angrily " And what is geocaching?".

I told them if they weren't willing to answer any of my questions then I wasn't interested in answering any of theirs. I suggested they look it up and stop bothering people. They apparently went to go call the police. Po-po's never showed up though, I guess bush harassment isn't high on their priorities list..

I'm a Hereptologist, looking for snakes!

For one, I don't lie, exactly. We were hunting out a hedge in a park and thought no one was around, when we were suddenly surrounded by a group of teenagers who asked us what we were looking at. I quickly grabbed the nearest native object, a snail, and showed it to them. They thought I was insane and left us alone. Another time someone spotted us from way off in the distance. I saw him heading straight for us after we had already re-hidden the cache. Sure enough, when he got to us he asked what we were doing and we explained geocaching to him. That was good enough for him, and he didn't ask to actually see the cache. He just walked away and left us alone. He didn't apparently come back to muggle the cache later, either.

The clipboard thing usually works well. One exception was when I was in a park looking with my GPS and clipboard and an elderly gentleman came along and accused me of wanting to turn "his" park into condos. Oh, the temptation to say that's exactly what I was doing!

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