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Stealth Tactics


gargamouse
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What kind of stealth tactics do you use while searching for a cache in high muggle areas?

 

I am trying to complete a series of caches in order to obtain coordinates for a mystery cache (They are mostly micro's). While reading some other cachers logs I have learned a couple of stealth tactics.

 

:laughing: 1. When possible your vehicle can be a great block in order to grab a cache.

:ph34r: 2. Your GPS can turn into a "cellphone". Once you get close to the coordinates, instead of blatantly looking around for the cache, act like you are talking on your GPS/Cellphone while kicking around a few rocks. (This one came in very handy for me while trying to find a micro in a large rock pile.)

 

Please share some of your stealth tactics!

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I like to hide in plain sight. I act like I know what I'm doing and furiously take down notes at what I'm looking at.

Please elaborate! For example how do you look like you know what you are doing when you are in the parking lot of Walmart looking underneath a light post?

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I like to hide in plain sight. I act like I know what I'm doing and furiously take down notes at what I'm looking at.

Please elaborate! For example how do you look like you know what you are doing when you are in the parking lot of Walmart looking underneath a light post?

 

Well, you could carry a tape measure, and pretend to be measuring things, or a wrench and pretend to be checking the nuts on the post .... on second thought, lose the wrench! It might be seen as if you are trying to loosen the nuts! :laughing:

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I like to hide in plain sight. I act like I know what I'm doing and furiously take down notes at what I'm looking at.
Please elaborate! For example how do you look like you know what you are doing when you are in the parking lot of Walmart looking underneath a light post?
Well, you could carry a tape measure, and pretend to be measuring things, or a wrench and pretend to be checking the nuts on the post .... on second thought, lose the wrench! It might be seen as if you are trying to loosen the nuts! ;)
For my only Wal-Mart LPC to date, I used my car as cover. I didn't even have to get out. B)

 

Of course, as I was signing a log, I realized there was a lamppost that had fallen just one section over. :ph34r: If I'd have had a wrench and had been oberved, I bet there would have been trouble... :laughing:

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We've done the cell phone thing. When we've come out of the brush or are caught going in, then it's "Here kitty...kitty. Here kitty...kitty!!!" ;)B) Or...."Dang did ya see the size of that snake?! ;) I think it went this way!!" B)

 

:laughing: Awesome! :ph34r:

Edited by gargamouse
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I like to hide in plain sight. I act like I know what I'm doing and furiously take down notes at what I'm looking at.
Please elaborate! For example how do you look like you know what you are doing when you are in the parking lot of Walmart looking underneath a light post?
Well, you could carry a tape measure, and pretend to be measuring things, or a wrench and pretend to be checking the nuts on the post .... on second thought, lose the wrench! It might be seen as if you are trying to loosen the nuts! B)
For my only Wal-Mart LPC to date, I used my car as cover. I didn't even have to get out. B)

 

Of course, as I was signing a log, I realized there was a lamppost that had fallen just one section over. :ph34r: If I'd have had a wrench and had been oberved, I bet there would have been trouble... :laughing:

 

Yeah .. the wrench was meant as a joke ... a bad one! .... I shoulda just deleted that part of my reply. ;)

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I don't really hide. If you look like you are trying to be "stealthy" thats what draws attention. (Example: the comment I made on another thread about being all over areas of a nearby business that I wasn't supposed to be in/on but was never stopped cuz I looked like I belonged.

 

Parking lot caches, simply pretend you dropped something. Look around, maybe pull stuff out of your pockets as if rechecking that "lost" item really was dropped and not still in your pocket.

I've stood in a parking lot next to a road, getting passed by many cars, looked like I was looking for something I dropped and no one ever stopped either from a passing car or the neaby businesses.

 

In the woods/parks if you see someone just keep slowly walking (but take notice to see if they are also cachers) act as if it's a leasurly stroll, then when out of sight return to location and resume hunting.

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For me.. I either A: idly look like I'm waiting for someone (if I'm on foot). Or B: look like I'm futzing with my bike/relaxing from a bike ride.

 

And of course. I always do my best to act natural. I pretend I'm not doing anything wrong ('cause I ain't).

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:ph34r: Haven't used much stealth yet. Ooops.

 

First time out, we were pretty subtle, but mostly just by looking out for other people and not being TOO obvious. But we didn't exactly hide what we were doing very well.... B)

 

Second time out I was with a team from work (it was a team building activity). We were out in nature on a nice 3 mile hike... and only saw 4 other people total. And never when we were near a cache. So, that was easier, since we didn't have to hide what we were doing. Made it nice for me, as well, since I was trying to introduce the activity to several people in the group. It was just one feature of the game that I didn't want to have to try to explain.

 

Instead, I let the guys crawl all over the place and scramble through brush exactly as they normally would (these guys are NUTS) and I kept them on track and from killing themselves. ;)

 

In the future, I'm guessing I'll be tying my shoes a lot. :laughing:

 

~Ariel

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I like to hide in plain sight. I act like I know what I'm doing and furiously take down notes at what I'm looking at.

Please elaborate! For example how do you look like you know what you are doing when you are in the parking lot of Walmart looking underneath a light post?

 

Carry a clipboard or an "official" looking notebook. Take a close look at a potential hide location then write down something on the notebook. I've used the field notebook ruse while searching for a cache in the woods that was near what seemed to be a popular trail that day. Of course, the woods was on a college campus so it probably just looked like I was doing some form of research.

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Sometimes you have to be blatant in your search. When asked what I'm looking for I'll sometimes answer with "A friend hid something here and challenged me to find it." It's close to the truth and doesn't encourage them to help me. If they do offer the help I can politely refuse as "I appreciate it, but that might mean I didn't find it. You did. That's not fair."

 

When I'm in obvious search mode, I don't pull the cache when I spot it, but I'll keep "looking." After a while I'll "give up" and walk away so I can scan the area for folks who might be watching. I'll then come back, sometimes a while later, and stealthily retrieve the cache. This works well in historical areas with a lot of muggles around.

 

Your tactics will be determined if you can be readily observed at the location you're searching.

 

Also, try to find a better spot to sign in and do your trading that right at the hide location. The less time there the better.

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What kind of stealth tactics do you use while searching for a cache in high muggle areas?

 

I am trying to complete a series of caches in order to obtain coordinates for a mystery cache (They are mostly micro's). While reading some other cachers logs I have learned a couple of stealth tactics.

 

:huh: 1. When possible your vehicle can be a great block in order to grab a cache.

:) 2. Your GPS can turn into a "cellphone". Once you get close to the coordinates, instead of blatantly looking around for the cache, act like you are talking on your GPS/Cellphone while kicking around a few rocks. (This one came in very handy for me while trying to find a micro in a large rock pile.)

 

Please share some of your stealth tactics!

 

The best approach is to not constantly search for muggles while you perform your search. For the most part, people mind their own business. If they do spot someone constantly looking up, they'll become suspicious.

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Sometimes you have to be blatant in your search. When asked what I'm looking for I'll sometimes answer with "A friend hid something here and challenged me to find it." It's close to the truth and doesn't encourage them to help me. If they do offer the help I can politely refuse as "I appreciate it, but that might mean I didn't find it. You did. That's not fair."

 

When I'm in obvious search mode, I don't pull the cache when I spot it, but I'll keep "looking." After a while I'll "give up" and walk away so I can scan the area for folks who might be watching. I'll then come back, sometimes a while later, and stealthily retrieve the cache. This works well in historical areas with a lot of muggles around.

 

Your tactics will be determined if you can be readily observed at the location you're searching.

 

Also, try to find a better spot to sign in and do your trading that right at the hide location. The less time there the better.

CR makes a very good point.

 

In most cases, it's not the searching that endangers a cache. It's the retrieving and replacing.

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My dog covers most of my tracks of sketchiness for me.

 

I did burst out on this couple walking a trail once with my dog.

 

I wouldnt normally have cared, but the cache location was close and they were startled by me. I just looked them right in the eye, shook my head and said, "That was NOT a shortcut." They left laughing.

 

I guess my only stealth tools are my dog and wit.

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I told my friend that if the rent a cop in the shopping center asks, I'm going to tell him she had really bad gas and I made her get out of the car and walk around.

 

I've never used this, but I might just tell anyone who looks inquisitive to move on and let me endure my morning sickness with some dignity...doesn't really matter if you are pregnant...but don't think that would work for men. Maybe a bad case of food poisoning?

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1) Don't be there when muggles are there.

2) If muggles are there and unavoidable sometimes I'll just pass on it.

3) If muggles are there and unavoidable and I don't pass. I just blatantly look and waste no time trying to be discrete.

4) If busted I tell them what I'm doing and don't pull the wool over their eyes. Though CR's got a good plan as well.

5) To avoid whatcha doin'? questions I try to look like I don't want to be bothered. Mostly it works.

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I like to hide in plain sight. I act like I know what I'm doing and furiously take down notes at what I'm looking at.

Please elaborate! For example how do you look like you know what you are doing when you are in the parking lot of Walmart looking underneath a light post?

 

All it takes is a hard hat and a clip board and you can go just about anywhere you want and no one asks too many questions. You are just another guy with some job he's trying to get done. It may help to try to look annoyed, which isnt usually a problem for the hunt, but if you inadvertantly cheer when you make the find, then you have to say something about being done with a double shift and it's quitting time....

 

Adjust as necessary.

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I like to hide in plain sight. I act like I know what I'm doing and furiously take down notes at what I'm looking at.

Please elaborate! For example how do you look like you know what you are doing when you are in the parking lot of Walmart looking underneath a light post?

Well for one, I don't look for LPCs. Not my cuppa java. But in high muggle areas, I'll pretend to study the tree near the cache location, occasionally looking up as well as in the brush and pretend to take notes.

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I like to hide in plain sight. I act like I know what I'm doing and furiously take down notes at what I'm looking at.

Please elaborate! For example how do you look like you know what you are doing when you are in the parking lot of Walmart looking underneath a light post?

 

You don't bother being discreet. The harder you try to look discreet, the more attention you bring to yourself. Simply walk up to the lamp post, lift up the cover, and make the grab. Do your business and leave. You may draw the attention of a few people, but most will assume you were there for a purpose.

 

I'm of the opinion (not shared by everyone here) that cachers who foolishly place caches in high visibilty spots expecting others to "defend the integrity" of their log only micros, are naive. Caches hidden in spots like this will eventually disappear regardless of how hard you try to be sneaky.

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Just run towards GZ yelling "Bomb Squad! Clear the Area!"

 

:P

 

I did that and it worked VERY well. People did clear the area and I was able to find the cache. :laughing::)

 

That would be illegal. It's against the law to impersonate authority figures and also that statement is not protected by the 1st amendment. Its a good way to give a bad name to the sport and a very good way to end up in a cell funny or not.

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What kind of stealth tactics do you use while searching for a cache in high muggle areas?

 

I am trying to complete a series of caches in order to obtain coordinates for a mystery cache (They are mostly micro's). While reading some other cachers logs I have learned a couple of stealth tactics.

 

:D 1. When possible your vehicle can be a great block in order to grab a cache.

:D 2. Your GPS can turn into a "cellphone". Once you get close to the coordinates, instead of blatantly looking around for the cache, act like you are talking on your GPS/Cellphone while kicking around a few rocks. (This one came in very handy for me while trying to find a micro in a large rock pile.)

 

Please share some of your stealth tactics!

 

I use the gps as a pretend cell phone technique a LOT! Once I get in the area, I also tie my shoes frequently. Once I was several feet into the woods off the bike trail when a woman came up walking her dog. She wanted to know what I was doing and I said I saw a stray kitty. I then asked her to move on because I was afraid her dog would scare it off and I wanted to make sure it was ok. I then squatted, stared into the woods at nothing while saying "here kitty....its ok" until the woman moved on and was out of ear shot. lol. This technique would work if a muggle has a dog.....but would only get you more attention if they have kids with them, so use it carefully.

 

Another good excuse (if they see you looking under rocks/ rotted logs..etc) is to say that its a school (yours or your kids depending on which lie you could get away with) science project and you're looking for bugs.

Edited by Firespinner
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I just saw other people mentioning the light-pole caches.

 

Once I pulled up in Meijer at a light pole with a garbage can attached. I could clearly see the cache (disguised to look like the bolt assembly holding the can to the pole). I could also clearly see the cop parked 2 spaces away.

 

I still got the cache, without being noticed. It was a good excuse to clean out the car! I filled a small bag with reciepts and empty fast food papers (my husband always leaves those in the car........grrrrrrr). I got out and with one hand threw the bag in the trash while the other hand reached up and snagged the cache. Back in the car, I took it apart, signed the log, then complied another small bag of papers and repeated the trash can procedure while replacing the cache. :-)

 

Usually if you look like you have a purpose, and don't glance around suspiciously, you can play it off and not be nocticed.

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So to sum up......

 

:wub: When possible your vehicle can be a great block in order to grab a cache.

;) Your GPS can turn into a "cellphone". Once you get close to the coordinates, instead of blatantly looking around for the cache, act like you are talking on your GPS/Cellphone while kicking around a few rocks.

:P Carry a camera and take closeup pictures of that "interesting" bug.

:) Act like you know what you are doing and furiously take down notes at what you are looking at. You can also take a tape measure along and pretend to measure things.

:) When coming out of the brush or are caught going in, then yell "Here kitty...kitty. Here kitty...kitty!! Or...."Dang did ya see the size of that snake?! :wub:

:) Simply pretend you dropped something. Look around, maybe pull stuff out of your pockets as if rechecking that "lost" item really was dropped and not still in your pocket.

:D Idly look like you are waiting for someone.

:D Tie your shoes.

:D Act like you have lost a contact lens. (Hopefully muggles will not offer to lend a helping hand.)

:D Wear a high visibility jacket or an orange vest. Everyone ignores you and thinks youre a council worker.

:D A dog can be a great tool by covering sketchiness tracks.

:lol: Exercise CITO! Carry a trash bag and pick up the litter, you just might find the cache in the process.

Edited by gargamouse
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Much of the time I am in a foreign country so it can be interesting to try and make the find without drawing a lot of attention. I've found that if I cannot get out from the public eye I look right back and smile :P . Ninety percent of the time the other people will look away from you long enough for you to make the grab.

 

It is common sense to remember that other people have more pressing business to do then to stare at you all day. With the exception of security or police of course, it is just better to look like you know what you are doing and go about your business.

 

Having a friend take your picture while doing a "CRAZY", aka contorting your body and reaching for the cache, pose can do the trick as well.

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I like Sarge's idea of taking a photo of various poses while reaching for the cache.

 

Another idea for those lamppost caches: I carry around a rag in the car just for cleaning up coffee spills, etc. I'd pull that rag out, wipe down that lamp skirt (while sneaking out the cache). Go on to the next post and wipe it off. You can put it back when the gawkers have moved on. I mean, how exciting is watching someone wash lamps????

Karl

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I just try to act like I belong there at the GZ.

 

Once I stopped for lunch at a fast food place and parked right next to a new cache which turned out to be a lampost hide right at the drive through enterance. I had the perfect cover - an electrical company van, an electrician uniform and a tool belt. I got out and made the quick grab and returned to my van to sign the log. At that point a man looking angry knocked on my window and wanted to know what I was up to. His company takes care of those lights! He learned a little about geocaching and left with a smile since I didn't take his work away.

 

I knew that was too easy.

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I like to hide in plain sight. I act like I know what I'm doing and furiously take down notes at what I'm looking at.

I do the sme thing. In Orlando, we have "off your rocker" caches. they are hidden at cracker barrel restaurants. they are hidden but the muggle traffic is very high. I walk up with a notebook or clip board and act like I am inspecting the exterior items until I find the one with the cache. Then I even act like that location is also an area I am inspecting. So far it has worked like a charm and I have never been looked at twice while caching.

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Forget stealth:

 

1. I carry a handful of "exemplar" subpoenas. I explain that I'm a process server (which is not impersonating anyone official) and that I understand a particular witness can be found here. I then ask anyone nearby if their name is Roger Hossenpfeffer. Of course, they say "no." Then I ask their names as i start looking through my stack of subpoenas. When I look up, they're gone.

 

2. I carry an empty bullet casing on the end of a pencil. I stand up proudly displaying my find and ask anyone who may be observing my hunt if they heard any gunfire about an hour ago. Then I ask their names and addresses. They generally split.

 

3. I've had to ask some fishermen if the guy from Fish & Game has been by yet. (I never said he was coming by) They left in a hurry.

 

4. When I saw the local police watching me rummage through ivy by the street, I boldly walked over, greeted them and asked if they were the ones who took a report on a car crash at that spot the week before. They spent fifteen minutes trying to locate the report within their department and in trying to come up with an excuse for not having one. They offered to cordon off the area for me and left quickly.

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I have often used my gps unit as if it were some type of electronic sensor. I just hold it out, look at it, point it toward where I am looking for the cache and act like I am supposed to be there. Haven't been questioned yet. I have found if you look like you know what you are doing, most people will leave you alone.

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