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So what do you do if muggles are nearby

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Kinda depends on your personality. I cache with a friend that will go right up to GZ regardless of who is around. If they ask questions, he just tells them he's geocaching and continues the hunt. If they ask more questions, he elaborates a little more. He has that gift of gab thing.


Most cachers will simply return at another time, or wait out the muggles. I usually try and wait them out. I may go for the grab if I think I can retrieve the cache without anyone noticing. On a few occassions, I have gone up to a cache and told muggles not to mind me as I am on a scavenger hunt.

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We actually recruited them into the game of a recent search. We were on a mesa overlook, and after some discrete searching, we were coming up DNF. A couple of moms were there with tween kids, and one asked us what we were looking for. We explained, and they got the kids looking. A bicyclist who was up on the mesa joined in as well. Unfortunately, a DNF--we're pretty sure the cache was missing. But everybody had a pretty good time on an otherwise hot, dusty day.

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It WILL happen so we all have to deal with it at some point or another. The situations that come to mind from my experience usually involves me waiting them out. One time, a couple was eating their lunch on a park bench where a magnetic micro was hidden. I just sat on a bench across from them and waited until they left. Wonder what they thought when I went over and started looking underneath the bench where they'd been sitting???


Another time in a parking lot cache, some girl was on break from the store where she was working and was standing outside her car making out with her boyfriend - right next to the cache! I waited and waited... Geez, how long of a break do you get!?!? They finally left.

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There are a number of things I have done over the years. Walking around talking loudly with my GPSr CELLPHONE by my ear, whipping out my GPSr "CAMERA" to snap a shot where they are standing, (really clears out an area), explained that I was looking for poisonous lizards, explained I was a botonist looking for exotic and rare plants, examined a fishing pier for structural soundness, and several others. Of course I've also just explained what I was doing, then continued. There have also been times that I just didn't like the vibes I was getting at particular locations, and just walked away. You know, that hair on the back of your neck feeling.

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What I have done in the past:



- WAIT: One time there was hot dog vendor chatting with a friend for what seemed like HOURS by the cache, I knew where the cache was but just couldn't get to it. My wife and I took turns faking that we were taking pictures of ourselves, finally the guy left and I quickly got the cache.



- FESS UP: I was doing a virtual where you had to find a word written on a bench. This was in a small park trail system, when I got there there was a young couple sitting on the bench having a talk. I went down the trail so I was just out of their sight but kept an eye on them. They kept talking, finally I headed back, explained what geocaching was and asked if I could see the bench.



- IGNORE THE MUGGLES: We were doing a cache at the waterfront in Burlington, there were TONS of muggles. So many that nobody cared what we were doing. Just went up and grabbed the cache.



- STEALTH: Another little park, older couple sitting on bench near the cache, just wouldn't leave. Put my cell phone to my ear and started a one-way conversation. Walked around absent mindedly. Crouched down into a squatting postition with my head looking away from muggles. Reached down with my other hand and grabbed the cache.



- COME BACK LATER: Some times the vibes just aren't right and I give up and try again another day.



Best of luck to you!

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I usually approach them and ask if we can discuss my close personal relationship with the Holy Pirate Captain or Flying Spaghetti Monster. :laughing:

That usually scares them away. :(


Or else I do what the others have already posted except for the fake cameraphone?GPS thingy. That just seems too fake for me.

I've also told inquisitive muggles:

1. I'm looking for something.

2. I'm doing community service.

3. I'm on a scavenger hunt.

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I've done the GPSr as cell phone thing and felt kinda stupid doing it! If I'm heading out to a park or wooded area, I'll slip a small pair of binoculars around my neck and, hey presto! .... I'm a birdwatcher! Alternatively, I'll whip out my camera and, voila! .... I'm a nature photographer! :laughing:

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depends on the muggle. I try to judge the "danger" of them harming the cache.


if it's kids, I'll wait for them to leave, or come back later, because I figure it's pretty likely they'd steal or damage the cache.


if it's adults, I'll either smile and say "hi" or just act like I'm doing something, making sure they can see me.


Some people hide, but for me, I'd feel weird doing that, and I think it's more suspicious than just showing yourself to them and making it clear that you don't care they are there, so there is nothing for them to be curious or suspicious about.


I do usually lie when asked though, since I often have a camera along, I'll just say I'm taking pictures. People tend to be fine with that explanation. I've even used it when I didn't have a camera, as people see a gadget hanging around someone's neck, they assume it's a camera.

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Generally - Don't make people feel the need to watch you. In other words, just don't act suspicious. The last thing you want is people thinking that you may be doing something "bad" or, in this day and age, dangerous. Be careful around playgrounds. If someone asks, tell them what you are doing.


If you assess that the muggles aren't really a risk to the cache's well-being and you are in a "recreational environment", you can be fairly direct in your search especially if you have disarming caching companions. Having kids searching with you helps. Having your 70 year-old father with you crawling around under a pine tree is helpful as well. I was shocked to find what eager cachers my parents are.


Ultimately, you want to focus on two things -


1. Do not give people a reason to fear your actions while caching.

2. Don't give away the cache location.


Sometimes, you'll have to walk away if you can't do those two things.

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Weirdest for me so far was a micro hidden behind a guardrail on a main road through town next to a very popular store. I had to park in the store's lot and walk over to the rail. I just KNEW that someone would recognize me and wonder why I was poking around over there, looking like some kind of weirdo over by the roadside with all the litter.


Best thing I could think of was to just do it...get down to business, get the container, write my name, put it back and be gone. And if someone should mention to me that they saw me and wondered what I was up to, well, there's a potential convert to the cult! :unsure:

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1. Do not give people a reason to fear your actions while caching.


This is tough for me (and other males around my age). I'm 25, but I look like a 19 year old looking for drugz or something. A couple times muggles have unexpectedly walked up near me and been aggressive like "leave or we call the po-po's", etc. Especially when night caching, which because of my schedule, is what I do most often.

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My favorite fallback is to pretend I am carrying on a very important call on my GPS. Geocachers know right away what your doin and muggles usually give you your privacy.One time I was elbows deep into a cache along the waterfront when a boat came drifting by with 2 fisherman so I picked up the logbook and looked closely at the boat and "wrote" something down then I looked closely at the fisherman and "wrote" some more. Then I made a "call" on my GPS and they left pretty quickly.However if someone does ask the question I will tell them but I will probably hold off on finding the cache until they are gone or just come back another time.

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We had a muggle today watching at the end of the trail as we walked up. He just stood there watching us. We both got a bit spooked and decided to leave. As we approached our car, he followed and started telling us about geocaches he found. How should I put this so as not to offend? Let's just say he was challenged. We moved on to some other caches for the day, with the idea of coming back later when no one was around.



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If I suspect that I may encounter muggles on a cache run, I will often carry in my pocket a one gallon heavy-duty ziplock freezer bag filled with chunks of pumpernickel bread (or rye bread; it works almost as well) soaked in warm beer overnight. If muggles start to follow me or even look at me for too long, I deliberately walk at least 200 feet from ground zero and then start tossing some of the beer-soaked bread chunks on the ground. For some reason that I have never been able to fathom, most muggles cannot resist this stuff -- it is a major treat to them -- and they end up crawling on the ground as they seek out each and every piece of soggy bread to gobble it down on the spot. While they are thus distracted, I return to my search for the cache.


And, for the few muggles who will not be deflected by this tactic, well, the state in which I live is one of three states in the continental USA (see footnote #1) which allow Platinum members who are also certified geocachers (yes, I am one and I dutifully carry my certificate at all times) to "sanction", i.e., terminate, muggles (we are also allowed under state law to sanction FTF competitors at the site of a new cache hide as well) if needed to protect the sanctity of the search. And, I admit that I useta be real gung ho about eliminating muggles as a means of permanent muggle abatement. However -- and I sure hope that I do not sound like a flaming namby-pamby bleeding heart liberal here, because I can assure you that I am not -- but, more recently, I have been slightly (only slightly, mind you) influenced by the "muggles are humans, too" movement, and thus have started having second thoughts about employing the sanction process and nowadays I only engage that option if absolutely needed. In fact, in the past year, I have terminated only about eleven muggles, and in that same period, Sue (who hunts far more caches than do I) has only sanctioned about twenty-eight.


footnote 1: Aside from Maryland, the other two states that allow terminal measures for geomuggle abatement are, to my best knowledge, Colorado and Delaware.

Edited by Vinny & Sue Team
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I was caching once with someone else in our area. I was worried about the muggles. She looked at me and gave me this look like I was crazy. Then she said not to worry about them. She explained that everyone else is so self obsessed that they don't care what we are doing.


So the other day another group of us were doing some caches in a park area that had a camp ground. We were doing a cache that was a micro on this sign in this big grassy area. About 250 yards away was a bunch of people sitting around their popup camper. They watched us for awhile when we approached the sign. By the time we finished signing the log, they could care less what we were doing. They were all talking to each other and totally ignoring us.


So, I wouldn't worry too much. Kids will probably ask questions and "scavenger hunt" is what I tell them. Then they will help me. If I'm by myself, sometimes I might wait a bit or come back later. But all of this is usually for micros and nano's. You're better off finding a nice long hike in the park and no one will bother you out there. :laughing:

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Two things that are always with me on a hunt are trail mix & water. Proper use of these items will keep most muggles away. Add a touch of water to a handful of trail mix, and crumble it up. Then, rub it down your chin and the front of your shirt. Squirt a bit of water on the front of your trousers and in your hair, and your disguise is complete. Walk up to the muggle and declare, "No, I'm not on probation!" They'll leave. :rolleyes:

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I'm not "discreet." If someone asks what I'm up to, I tell them. I have the panflets to show them and I've yet to have anyone say anything nasty. Most are interested in the billion dollar satelites and technological scavenger hunt than are interested in giving me grief.

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Two things that are always with me on a hunt are trail mix & water. Proper use of these items will keep most muggles away. Add a touch of water to a handful of trail mix, and crumble it up. Then, rub it down your chin and the front of your shirt. Squirt a bit of water on the front of your trousers and in your hair, and your disguise is complete. Walk up to the muggle and declare, "No, I'm not on probation!" They'll leave. :rolleyes:


:lol: Thank you all! As a newbie, I'd say this section was most entertaining. In my book, Clan Riffster had the funnyest way to deter muggles! I had to deal with a bunch tonight. I must say I felt like a pervert because the cache was near the womans restroom. B)

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