Jump to content

Do you feel like a criminal?


Followers 0

Recommended Posts

I'm fairly new to the sport and already quite addicted. But sometimes I feel like a criminal lurking about in secluded areas. Usually I go caching with my husband, but we sometimes bring my pre-teen son. I know that we must look like a group of drug dealers, especially when we are in a woodsy area looking for a micro. I mean, think about it. Three odd looking characters (with my son wearing a hat shaped like a cheeseburger) creeping around the woods, then stopping to huddle around a small hidden tubular thing hanging from a tree. Then we huddle closer as we unroll the tiny little piece of paper...... :D

 

I try to ignore people who come out of their houses to stare at us after their dogs start barking like crazy. I even waved to a cop once. But I feel so creepy doing it. Is anyone else self-conscious? ;)

Link to comment

I think if you all wore hats shaped like cheeseburgers you wouldn't have to worry about being mistaken for drug dealers. ;)

 

It's true that we do sometimes appear furtive when looking for caches. Pretending to talk on a cell phone, carrying a clip board and making notes, are but a few of the ploys you might try. But I'd loose the cheeseburger hat.

 

~erik~

Link to comment

since you have a husband, I'll assume you are female. You have less to worry about than men who are suspiciously hanging around in playground and in the woods near jogging paths as female joggers go past.

 

I always feel much less out of place when I cache with my girlfriend. I tend not to go to caches near public places when I'm caching by myself since I do feel that I look suspicious, and people who don't know me tend to think I look kind of intimidating since I'm a tall/large guy and tend to have an intense expression on my face.

 

It's not uncommon to be stopped by police, though fortunately, it hasn't happened to me yet (I've just had one stop his car and give me a once over, then move on.)

Link to comment

I disagree, keep the cheeseburger hat! There's nothing like having your own style.

 

I felt creepy the first time someone saw me. later that night I received an email from him. He turned out to be another geocacher!.

 

Now I'm not really intimidated, but I do wonder what they are thinking.

Link to comment

We usually cache as a couple. We figured out fairly quickly that most people are more concerned with what they are doing, or what other people think about them, than they are about us.

 

We've also learned that a camera works well--just pretend you are taking a picture of something. Add a clipboard to that and most people assume you are doing something "useful"--surveying flowers, birds, or bugs for a class or some club, perhaps?

Link to comment

We've also learned that a camera works well--just pretend you are taking a picture of something. Add a clipboard to that and most people assume you are doing something "useful"--surveying flowers, birds, or bugs for a class or some club, perhaps?

 

this is not going to help near schools and play areas!!!! :cool:

 

at the end of the day by feeling like you are doing something elicit you will act that way. you are not. so don't act that way.

 

plus when you are spoken to by the police you will give over a bad image if you are feeling guilty.

 

so just accept that you are doing a legit hobby and just enjoy it.

Link to comment

If you carry the mindset that you're doing something wrong, of course you're going to feel like a criminal.

 

What I've found to alleviate that mindset is to do only caches that you are sure have not only been approved by GC.com, but by the landowner. You will feel so much more at ease in natural areas and parks than doing LPCs, especially since I would say their legality is fuzzy at best.

 

Always Geocache with confidence. If you feel like you have to do something and are worried about getting called out for doing something wrong, move on. Believe me, there are enough caches in this world that you can ignore the ones that make you uncomfortable.

Link to comment

If you carry the mindset that you're doing something wrong, of course you're going to feel like a criminal.

 

What I've found to alleviate that mindset is to do only caches that you are sure have not only been approved by GC.com, but by the landowner. You will feel so much more at ease in natural areas and parks than doing LPCs, especially since I would say their legality is fuzzy at best.

 

Always Geocache with confidence. If you feel like you have to do something and are worried about getting called out for doing something wrong, move on. Believe me, there are enough caches in this world that you can ignore the ones that make you uncomfortable.

 

I strongly agree that if you don't feel comfortable and are not having fun move on. Sometimes you don't even need to get out of the car to know that the cache will just not be worth it.

I also agree with geocaching with confidence, if you act like you are doing something wrong, constantly looking around to see if anyone is looking, people in vicinity will think you are doing something wrong. I like to carry a copy of the log sheet and have my GPS visible and act like I'm doing some type of official inspection. If anyone asks I tell them exactly what I am doing.

Edited by geomann1
Link to comment
Do you feel like a criminal?

 

 

No, but then, I choose my caches mainly to not have those uncomfortable feelings, which is why I'm still under 500 finds after 4 years.

 

 

Why spend quality cachin' time being uncomfortable? Just do the caches that feel worthy of your quality time and you'll stay relatively free of geocaching angst..... Unless you're OC and ya gotta get 'em all. :cool:

Link to comment

you are only a criminal if you are doing something illegal. then again, in our society, everything we do is pretty much illegal so if you feel like a criminal you should fit right in. unless you are the president. then you can do whatever you want and change the laws to make it legal.

Link to comment

Nope never have, but I do understand what you're talking about though. I feel I have the right to pursue my hobby even if it makes me look a bit comical sometimes. Also I would never go for a cache the took me somewhere I shouldn't be. If I'm not doing anything illegal, why would I feel like a criminal? I go about my business as though I know what I'm doing, and most folks don't pay me much mind.

Only twice has the public approached me. Both times they ask if I need any help. And by the way I'm a middle aged, bald headed, bearded, somewhat muscular man with a bit of a beer belly. Dress me in leather and I would look like the stereo-typical Hell's Angel. Still the public pays me little mind because I act like I belong there and know what I'm doing.

The only time I have ever had any contact with LEO while caching was when an officer pulled up while I was crawling around a bush. He rolled down his window and yelled, "You found it yet?" I replied, "No." He shouts back, "If you do, give me hint. This one has me stumped." Then he gave me his caching name and drove off.

My advise, don't call attention to yourself and the cache of course, but don't act like your do something illegal either. Not that you were. And don't worry about. Have fun. :cool:

Link to comment

I know the feeling and agree with the others here to have confidence that you are not doing something wrong. You are being "sneeky" only to protect the location of the cache from being vandalized not because you are doing anything wrong.

This is why I feel permission and disclosure to authorities such as police is so important. If they know what cachers are doing they aren't going to be so alarmed if they catch someone doing it. I did a cache once where the ground crew had been told of a cache placed in their park. They took great pleasure in calling out "Did you find it yet?" everytime they drove by which only added to the fun (and frustration because the cache was missing).

Occassionally I'll see people peering over at me while I'm hunting for a cache in the park. I'll usually walk right by them so they can see who I am and that I have nothing to hide. They can even stop me if they want and ask what I'm doing. I'll explain geocaching to them if I feel they are not going to vandalize the cache with this knowledge otherwise I might tell them I'm looking for golf balls. If someone is uneasy about seeing people stopping near their house all the time to look for something and they asked me what I was doing I'd probably tell them that there is a cache there and explain geocaching to them which hopefully will help them feel a little better about what all these people are doing. If they are still too upset then I might contact the reviewers or even tell the person to contact the people at geocaching .com about having it removed.

The other day I found a cache near a dog walking area at a rest stop. There was a guy there walking his dog and I think he probably wondered what I was doing walking toward him and plunging into the forest near him- and I didn't even have a dog. I emerged with a handful of sticks. This seems to calm people down. They think okay, she was just looking for sticks. I might also pick up a few pine cones or leaves or whatever. They think I'm a nature nut (and I am).

Link to comment

I'm kinda new to this (5 finds, 1 DNF), and all but 1 were secluded enough that I never felt self concious. My most recent find was a multi. Stage 1 was very secluded, no problem. Stage two turned out to be up an embankment to a bridge that is part of Amtraks NE Corridor AND was right next to a jogging path. I felt like a terrorist as well as very visible to geomuggles. It was kind of funny when people would walk or jog past, and there I was about 5 feet out and 15 feet up, and then never knew I was there. I was wearing a bright blue jacket but I guess people just don't look up. I did do the cell phone thing, but that felt wron gbeing up a train embankment. I'm bringing a clipboard next time.

 

That was the only cache were I felt a little odd, but I say just do it!

Link to comment
I have stopped putting caches inside the Cities limits.Mine have been placed out in the forest where there is plenty of privacy just for the OPs reason.I only have 2 left in town now.

 

Someone mentioned this before and I thought it was a pretty compelling reason to place more caches out in the forests.

Link to comment
I have stopped putting caches inside the Cities limits.Mine have been placed out in the forest where there is plenty of privacy just for the OPs reason.I only have 2 left in town now.
Someone mentioned this before and I thought it was a pretty compelling reason to place more caches out in the forests.
Many people like the 'secret agent' experience provided by finding urban micros. I think that if you are not in this group, it is wise that you have stopped looking for urban caches.
Link to comment

If im caching with my boyfriend (which is usually) and we're tromping around 15 feet off of the paved pathway in a city park and somebody comes by sometimes we'll pretend we were just about to ...well, i think theres another thread on the topic :cool: usually makes people look away and walk faster.

 

I spoke to a cop once who didn't understand the concept at all; she was alarmed that people from GASP outside of her town were going to be coming to her park to search for this box, wanted to know how many people were playing this game and instructed me to just hurry up and find it so i could take it away and prevent more people from coming...as it would happen, I never found it.

 

Another time, we were sitting in a park at night (the kind of city park that local streets cross through), preparing to go look for a cache when a cop came to see what we were up to...he saw a car full of geeks and geek toys and told us "technically the park is closed after dark, but you don't seem to be up to any bad, so carry on" :( Well, he also asked if PolskiKrol was holding me there against my will :(

 

Forests are defintely preferred, and easier to not feel like a criminal, but sometimes you've just gotta get outside on a weeknight, so I do appreciate the variety (unless its hidden under a pile of trash but thats another story for another thread)

Link to comment

... Is anyone else self-conscious? :cool:

 

Self conscious? Yes, when muggles show up, I don't like the feeling of being exposed. However I don't feel like anything but a cacher.

 

I'm also aware that when caching we can look very suspicious. Most "what to look for to phone in suspicious behavor" guidelines cover a heck of a lot of the things that geocachers do.

 

We we do is harmless. We just happen to look like other things that aren't.

Link to comment

I've made it a point to not feel Criminal...oh, you didn't mean it that way. Carry on :(

AAAAAHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGG, my eyes!!!!!!!!!!

 

 

 

Usually we don't feel like a criminal out caching, where do you get a cheeseburger hat, will have to get one for my daughter :cool: Having a 1 year old has been great lately as she loves the park and been able to find quite a few lately while caching. Also since spring has sprung and the days are getting longer with the wife back to work, been taking the little one out caching just the two of us. I do get a little self conscious when I drag the stroller into the woods, find the cache and take pictures of the cache and daughter while off in the woods. So far been ok, there were ducks at the last one where we were spotted and we were also looking at the ducks near the cache :( Still hate to try to explain it to a cop, well you see officer, I was just.....

Edited by Shawn&Holly
Link to comment

Nope never have, but I do understand what you're talking about though. I feel I have the right to pursue my hobby even if it makes me look a bit comical sometimes. Also I would never go for a cache the took me somewhere I shouldn't be. If I'm not doing anything illegal, why would I feel like a criminal? I go about my business as though I know what I'm doing, and most folks don't pay me much mind.

Only twice has the public approached me. Both times they ask if I need any help. And by the way I'm a middle aged, bald headed, bearded, somewhat muscular man with a bit of a beer belly. Dress me in leather and I would look like the stereo-typical Hell's Angel. Still the public pays me little mind because I act like I belong there and know what I'm doing.

The only time I have ever had any contact with LEO while caching was when an officer pulled up while I was crawling around a bush. He rolled down his window and yelled, "You found it yet?" I replied, "No." He shouts back, "If you do, give me hint. This one has me stumped." Then he gave me his caching name and drove off.

My advise, don't call attention to yourself and the cache of course, but don't act like your do something illegal either. Not that you were. And don't worry about. Have fun. :blink:

 

Did you find it?

Link to comment

I was thinking about setting up a cache inside a saftey-deposit box at a local bank. The coords for the trailhead would include elevation and lead to a skylight over the bank lobby. Of course this would be a night cache and a level 5 because of additional equipment required: Glass cutter, rappel gear, blow torch, etc... Not sure how many people would be comfortable with it though.

 

I haven't asked the bank manger for permission yet. Anyone else think this would be a good idea?

Link to comment

I wouldn't worry. Drug dealers rarely frequent the woods -- at least for business purposes -- and never wear hats like your son's. In fact, they tend not to lurk much at all.

 

Enjoy your time and don't worry what people think about you. Always be ready to tell people about geocaching and have fun.

 

-- Jeannette

Link to comment

I wouldn't worry. Drug dealers rarely frequent the woods -- at least for business purposes -- and never wear hats like your son's. In fact, they tend not to lurk much at all.

 

Enjoy your time and don't worry what people think about you. Always be ready to tell people about geocaching and have fun.

 

-- Jeannette

Link to comment

I wouldn't worry. Drug dealers rarely frequent the woods -- at least for business purposes -- and never wear hats like your son's. In fact, they tend not to lurk much at all.

 

Enjoy your time and don't worry what people think about you. Always be ready to tell people about geocaching and have fun.

 

-- Jeannette

Link to comment

One time I was walking out of a subdivision into the small woodlot in question, only to find myself behind a Senior Public (obUSA: Junior High) school. I hoped it would be a quick stop, but then the bell went off to signal class changes, and there were several hundred students going between the various buildings and portables, all while I am tromping through a snowy woodlot. I half expected Chris Hansen to pop out and wonder what I was doing there.

 

As for the drugs, today in Ottawa I had a muggle ask about geocaching, then admit he checked the container to see what was in it, only to be more puzzled, but somewhat relieved.

Link to comment

When I started geocaching I had that "secret agent" feeling because just about everything I was going to find was urban. It was fun, but I think I worried too much about "being discovered."

 

Since that time, I have found that if I go about what I am doing with no real cares or worries, I attract less attention. I find that furtively looking around will more often attract attention than just doing what you're there to do. On the rare occasions that I have been busted by a muggle, I have made an on the spot decision about how I will respond to their questions. If they look like they're "OK", I've told them about the game and asked if they've heard of it before. Some answer "yes", some say "no but that sounds cool. Tell me more!" Depending on the situation, it's a great way to be an ambassador to our game and educate interested people on how to go about getting involved. Of the fairly few caches I've done where I've had a conversation with a muggle about the game, none have gone missing directly after my visit. (Yes, I've checked because I wanted to make sure that my openness about the game didn't backfire.)

 

Just recently I was searching around the back of a parking lot near a dumpster area and no doubt looking suspicious. :blink: I noticed a police officer parked behind an adjacent business writing a report and occasionally glancing up at me. I eventually made the find (didn't know what a "nalgene" bottle was before this, now I do) and took it over to the hood of my vehicle and emptied it out and signed the log. I glanced over at the officer and caught his eye watching me. Anyway, I went ahead and signed the log and put it back together then took the cache and walked over to the officer. When I was just about at his car, he got out and greeted me. Being completely open, I asked him if he had heard of geocaching and he indicated that he had. In fact, his brother down in Southern California does it quite a bit. (Don't remember his geocaching name.) I asked if he had ever done it before and he said "no". Then I offered him an opportunity to sign the log of his first geocache. :unsure: He declined but I got a big smile out of him. I asked him if he wondered what I was doing over there and he said "well, I wondered a little, but you didn't seem to be doing anything wrong." We had a bit more of a chat and wished each other well. I rehid the cache, he finished his report and we parted ways. Good exchange, I think.

Link to comment

I feel like a criminal the instant I step off the path in the park. But I figure its better to push myself outside my very narrow realm of comfort than stay in it all the time and never find a cache. :laughing:

 

Psychologists will soon be prescribing geocaching to all their patients.

Link to comment

I'm fairly new to the sport and already quite addicted. But sometimes I feel like a criminal ...

Uh, how's that?

I'm not sure what Criminal feels like and I'm not really willing to find out :anicute: .

I can actually speak from first-hand experience on this one ... but I'm not going to.

Although I will say he works out. He works out a lot.

Link to comment
I try to ignore people who come out of their houses to stare at us after their dogs start barking like crazy. I even waved to a cop once. But I feel so creepy doing it. Is anyone else self-conscious?

 

I try to ignore those caches.

Me too. I add those kinds to my ignore list. Edited by TrailGators
Link to comment

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Loading...
Followers 0
×
×
  • Create New...