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Cache ettiquette question


archi77
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I was out this weekend and thought of a situation that I would like some insight into. This is made-up - it didn't actually happen, but muggles in the area got me to thinking about it. Here's the situation - I was searching for a cache. I'd scouted the area before, just never had the time to officially go searching. When I finally get time, I approach the site where I am fairly certain it's hidden, and there are two other geocachers at the hide already.

 

Now, being that none of us are muggles, is it proper ettiquette to walk up, introduce myself, and sign the log, or should I let them "clear" the scene, then go "find it" myself? I know that when I'm at a cache, I take heed to anyone walking up since I don't know if it's a muggle or not. If I were to walk up to them, would this cause undue stress? Or is this such a social sport anyways that my walking up would possibly start a new friendship(s)?

 

So I pose this question to all of you that are so much smarter than I in the ways of the cache... <_<

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Now, being that none of us are muggles, is it proper ettiquette to walk up, introduce myself.

 

Sure it is. It's a great way to meet other geocachers. If they are engaged in the hunt, you can ask if he minds

if you join in.

 

If you are going to hunt together you can decide ahead of time if you are going let each other find it (if one spots it, he walks away and declares he found it and waits for the other to find it) or just let the finder call out he found it and the other gather to sign.

 

If I were to approach and he appears he might already have to cache out, I'd wait off in the distance and let him re-hide it so I can enjoy the hunt.

 

Either way I would say hello.

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I was out this weekend and thought of a situation that I would like some insight into. This is made-up - it didn't actually happen, but muggles in the area got me to thinking about it. Here's the situation - I was searching for a cache. I'd scouted the area before, just never had the time to officially go searching. When I finally get time, I approach the site where I am fairly certain it's hidden, and there are two other geocachers at the hide already.

 

Now, being that none of us are muggles, is it proper ettiquette to walk up, introduce myself, and sign the log, or should I let them "clear" the scene, then go "find it" myself? I know that when I'm at a cache, I take heed to anyone walking up since I don't know if it's a muggle or not. If I were to walk up to them, would this cause undue stress? Or is this such a social sport anyways that my walking up would possibly start a new friendship(s)?

 

So I pose this question to all of you that are so much smarter than I in the ways of the cache... <_<

This happens sometimes. It's fun to meet other cachers. Anyhow, if the cache is out and it's obvious where it was hidden then I'll just sign the log. Otherwise, I'll look away and have them rehide it for me. :unsure:
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These circumstances do happen and you need to know the secret code words. You walk up, GPSr in plain sight and ask “Looking for Something?” The response will be “No, I found something.” You will officially be geocaching friends from then on. After you have done this a few times someone will show you the Geocacher’s secret handshake. Later you will learn other secrets and eventually you will be given the coordinates to the special lodge from where the GPS constellation is really controlled. At that point TPTB will no longer mess with your signal causing those pesky DNF logs and missing so many first to finds by a just a few minutes.

Edited by Great Birds
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i don't want to sound like i have years of experience, because we have only encountered cachers 2 times. the first we walked up on them. we hadn't been around long, and like you, didn't know what to do. in the interest of time, and anonymity, we walked past, and they were none-the wiser. however, we had a very nice couple approach us when we were searching one day, and it was an awesome experience. not only did we meet new people who were nice, but they told us cool stories, and filled us in on some things about caching that we weren't really into. so now if i walked up on someone, i would definitely go up and say g'day. why not? unless you are a social paranoid android...then avoid confrontation!

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This happened to us about a year ago. As we were approaching the cache, we noticed a couple walking with a GPS in hand, looking at a piece of paper. We smiled at them and said "I bet we know what you're doing". It turned out that they had just bought the GPS and this was the first cache the had ever attempted. We helped them find the cache and then went our separate ways. All in all it was a nice encounter, and we were glad to be able to help a couple newbies.

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These circumstances do happen and you need to know the secret code words. You walk up, GPSr in plain sight and ask “Looking for Something?” The response will be “No, I found something.” You will officially be geocaching friends from then on. After you have done this a few times someone will show you the Geocacher’s secret handshake. Later you will learn other secrets and eventually you will be given the coordinates to the special lodge from where the GPS constellation is really controlled. At that point TPTB will no longer mess with your signal causing those pesky DNF logs and missing so many first to finds by a just a few minutes.

 

Your not supposed to tell about the special lodge! Well since the cat is out of the bag; after you get to the lodge, you will finally receive two different books. First the "Geocaching Ettiquette" book written on 24k gold tablets and bound together by platinum strands so that you never have to ask etiquette questions in the online forum ever again and then you receive the "Geocacher's Jokey Joke Book" which is written on toilet tissue and pieces of old bathroom wall bound together with who knows what - so you can torment those poor souls who do ask the questions. I must say though that the parties at the lodge are awesome and it is quite nice that TPTB have finally left my signals alone so now I have accuracy down to 1 foot.

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My family's first find was last weekend and we happened to run into some fellow cachers. We had found the cache but as I heard people coming up the trail we left it hidden and took some pictures standing in front of a large yucca nearby. I saw as the people came up they had a GPS in hand and i asked if they were looking for something. We let them find the cache on there own exchanged a few pleasantries and then parted ways. The whole thing was great and I'm amazed to see that this situation is not all that common and that we got to experience it on our first find. Need less to say we're hooked and I'm looking forward to#2.

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Now, being that none of us are muggles, is it proper ettiquette to walk up, introduce myself.

 

Sure it is. It's a great way to meet other geocachers. If they are engaged in the hunt, you can ask if he minds

if you join in.

 

Either way I would say hello.

 

Briansnat, since the OP asked nicely, I think it's time you let him in on the secret greeting you came up with a few years ago. It sounds like he may enjoy using it to meet other cachers. :unsure:

Edited by Teach2Learn
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I was out this weekend and thought of a situation that I would like some insight into. This is made-up - it didn't actually happen, but muggles in the area got me to thinking about it. Here's the situation - I was searching for a cache. I'd scouted the area before, just never had the time to officially go searching. When I finally get time, I approach the site where I am fairly certain it's hidden, and there are two other geocachers at the hide already.

 

Now, being that none of us are muggles, is it proper ettiquette to walk up, introduce myself, and sign the log, or should I let them "clear" the scene, then go "find it" myself? I know that when I'm at a cache, I take heed to anyone walking up since I don't know if it's a muggle or not. If I were to walk up to them, would this cause undue stress? Or is this such a social sport anyways that my walking up would possibly start a new friendship(s)?

 

So I pose this question to all of you that are so much smarter than I in the ways of the cache... :lol:

 

I'm new to this so it hasnt happened but I think I would certainly go up and say hi. Just like us firefighters/emt's go up and say hi to each other right archi77? :laughing:

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I've had several different encounters with cachers. :(

 

One of the first was when I was sitting on a park bench, near the hiding place, with the cache in my hands. A father and his son walked behind me. He said, "How far is it now?"

 

:laughing:

 

I asked if they were Geocaching. He said, "Yes." I explained I had the cache in my hands, but would rehide it so they could look for it. They didn't have the cache printout, past logs, or the hint, so it was fun to watch them try to find it. Some "Hot/Cold" hints helped them pinpoint the clever hide.

 

Another time, my caching partner and I had stopped for lunch near a cache. We hadn't looked for it yet because there was a car nearby. Soon a little girl walked over towards the bush with a cammoed container in her hands. My caching partner said, "I see you." yikes.gif Poor girl . . . :lol: That turned out to be a nice visit with a new cacher and her three little girls.

 

Other times when I have noticed someone with a GPSr in their hands when I arrive at the location, I've just said, "Found it yet?"

 

On a trip to Colorado, I was trying to find a cache near a highway pullout. When a couple approached, I sort of hid my GPSr and tried to look like I belonged there. Didn't fool them. As they walked by, they said, "Coordinates are off." :lol:

 

We had a nice visit and they helped me center my search in the correct location. ;)

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Our usual greeting is, "Find it yet?" Most of the time we've guess correctly that the party are geocachers, but we've been wrong a time or two. My family still laughs about my wrong guesses and the funny looks that we get!

 

We've met some really neat folks "in the field" and have become friends with some of them.

 

Keep looking, we're out there!

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Just like us firefighters/emt's go up and say hi to each other right archi77? :D

 

Not sure where you're from, but around here, unless you're part of the "in" crowd, the FF/EMT's can be downright nasty to each other. I still do it for the community, not because the people at the station are overly nice to hang out with. <sigh> :wub:

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Just like us firefighters/emt's go up and say hi to each other right archi77? :wub:

 

Not sure where you're from, but around here, unless you're part of the "in" crowd, the FF/EMT's can be downright nasty to each other. I still do it for the community, not because the people at the station are overly nice to hang out with. <sigh> :wub:

 

:wub: that surprises me. I am from Connecticut and whenever we see each other out and about it turns into a big conversation. We get our frustrations with each other out on the muster field.

 

I still say that saying hi to fello cachers is a good, sociable practice to get into.

 

Maybe if you start saying hi to FF/EMTs, being friendly will be the next big thing!! :D

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I'll agree with the others that it's usually acceptable to approach other geocachers in the field. Make sure your GPSr is in plain site, or you great them with something like "Find it yet?" to put them at ease.

 

I've met three groups while geocaching: I came up on a couple looking for a really hard local micro (we later found out it was missing) and helped them search for a while. A few hours later I was back in the area searching again, and was approached by a girl who said she knew what I was doing. On a different occasion, I was FTF at a cache and noticed an extended family in a minivan waiting on my parking spot as I pulled out. It was a really odd spot, so I suspected they were after the cache I had just found. I drove around the local business to watch, and sure enough the two men walked into the woods looking at their hands while the women stayed behind with the kids. I drove back and chatted with the women and kids a while, then the men phoned to say they couldn't find it. I dove back in and gave a few hot/cold hints.

 

I realize that three encounters isn't a huge number, but they've all been pleasant. After all, you're already members of the same elite club even if they haven't upgraded to Platinum membership. :laughing:

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Briansnat, since the OP asked nicely, I think it's time you let him in on the secret greeting you came up with a few years ago. It sounds like he may enjoy using it to meet other cachers. :rolleyes:

 

Would this be the one I was told about where you hop three times on each foot, right one first, then turn a circle to the left, fall down and scratch your backside on the grass like a dog with worms?

 

Haven't had a chance to use it yet. Bummer!! :laughing:

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I’ve had the pleasure of running into other geocachers while out hunting a cache. It’s especially common if you’re looking to be the FTF on a newly published cache. Around here you had better be quick if you want that FTF prize. The last time I was involved in a impromptu geocaching meeting hunting for a FTF I got there first, followed up by a family affair of a dad and his two daughters. So we joined together for the hunt and located the cache, had fun watching the little gal’s trading swag and had just replaced the cache when another geocacher showed up. So then we had fun watching him look for the cache and after a little friendly cackling from us :laughing: he soon turned up with a smiley. Another time I was driving home at night and passed this spot where there was a very evil micro hidden. I could see some folks moving around with flashlights, so I pulled over and introduced myself and asked if they were having fun. They were even though this was their third attempt to find this devil of a cache. I just wished them luck and chuckled as I drove off. Noticed later that night that they would have to make a fourth trip back for that smiley. About the only folks I’ve run across while looking for a cache that had any problems with my being there were the local men in blue. They carried a badge and sidearm not a GPSr, but even they were friendly and usually wished me luck once I identified myself and explained what I was up to.

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I too will approach other cachers if I meet them in the field but only if I can be sure they are geocachers. A few times I have spooked others by walking in their direction (only way out) so as they walked away I seemingly followed. It was not until I reached my geomobile that they figured they were "safe". Kind of funny on my end, but I would guess not so much for them. Now I will see if they carry a GPSr, or are actively searching before I approach, and I make sure my GPSr is in plain view. Met a few nice cachers this way.

 

v/r

O-Mega

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When I've run into people "in the wild", I ask... Geocachers?

And go from there.

 

Here's a pet peeve about stealth and re-hiding cache containers:

 

I know it may be a hassle to return for finding a cache but...

 

I think too many players don't respect the cache / cache owner enough to use real stealth or return later for the hunt. Which makes for a vulnerable situation and the cache may be muggled. A cache may be even in a very public place and remain intact if no one makes it obvious that there's something to look for there.

 

Also a second point on Geocaching etiquette.

Please take the time to re-hide a container well.

 

My "JUNEAU" cache has been muggled and now archived.

The area has not been cleared, so I surmise that either or both of the points above must've occurred.

 

Most caches are either really well camo'ed or hidden out of sight.

We all need to do our best to help them remain that way.

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When I've run into people "in the wild", I ask... Geocachers?

And go from there.

 

Here's a pet peeve about stealth and re-hiding cache containers:

 

I know it may be a hassle to return for finding a cache but...

 

I think too many players don't respect the cache / cache owner enough to use real stealth or return later for the hunt. Which makes for a vulnerable situation and the cache may be muggled. A cache may be even in a very public place and remain intact if no one makes it obvious that there's something to look for there.

 

Also a second point on Geocaching etiquette.

Please take the time to re-hide a container well.

 

My "JUNEAU" cache has been muggled and now archived.

The area has not been cleared, so I surmise that either or both of the points above must've occurred.

 

Most caches are either really well camo'ed or hidden out of sight.

We all need to do our best to help them remain that way.

 

Yes, I agree. I was one of the unlucky people who spent way too much time looking for this cache when it was gone all along. I was on my vacation and getting a DNF on your vacation is aggravating because you know that you will not be able to get back to it, and finish it off.

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I've only had one experience running into another geocacher. It was actually quite hilarious come to think of it. We were looking for a cache in a local park. We drove by the park and saw these two people lurking mysteriously next to a tree, then walking around and around the tree. I poked my husband and said..."only a geocacher would explore a pine tree with such interest." We waited until they walked away from the tree and simply smiled and asked if they had found it yet. Of course they had and were even nice enough to give us better coord's to save us a few minutes of searching. They were very nice folks. I wish we could meet more of them "by surprise." LOL

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We've met fellow cachers several times with some interesting stories. One, however, has a different twist. While traveling along a highway about 50 miles from home we had stopped for a cache. It all started to look familiar as we realized that we had DNF'd it the year before. As we walked up to GZ, a pickup truck pulled up. After awhile a man got out of the truck and sat nearby. We asked if he was a geocacher and he said yes. A few questions later, we discovered he was the cache owner; and, by coincidence, was stopping by to pick up the cache because he was moving to the East Coast. If we had arrived two minutes later, the cache would have been gone. Instead of returning the cache to it's hiding place, we handed it to the owner with our thanks for a couple of fun visits to an interesting location. This is the only time I have been comfortable with a LTF (Last To Find).

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But do be careful.

 

Not long ago I was looking for a cache in a local park. I was standing next to my car looking at my gpsr when a guy pulled up beside my car, and rolled down the window. He asked what I was looking for. I was thinking that he was probably a fellow cacher, so I said something like "Oh, you know, the usual suspects". Anyway, he asked if I wanted to get in his car and see if we could find it together. Well, I said that I didn't think we were looking for the same thing, got in my car and left as fast as I could.

 

I have since met a real cacher at a FTF search, and it was much more pleasant.

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Don't know why but only twice in 4 years have I encountered other caches on a hunt. They were all very friendly I joined the hunt and we all logged the find. Nobody was interested in anything but having a great time out. Some of them looked in places I would not have tried and still won't. I only take my hunt so far.

Nothing wrong with coming back later and let them hunt - either way - I like to meet the folks and see what other caches or places in general they go. I love a new place.

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