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Explain to muggles?


mommomlinda
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Which is it be sly or openly search?

 

It is: size up the situation, factor in your safety, the safety of the cache (will the muggle come back and damage it), your estimate of how much work it would be to explain things, and how much fun it would or wouldn't be. Then make a decision based on those factors.

 

I think you'll find that some people are excited to tell all to everyone. Some people prefer having a secret. And others prefer to avoid the whole muggle issue entirely by going to the cache at unpopular times or by only seeking low muggle caches (generally those that require a hike).

 

Carolyn

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I'm still pretty new to geocaching, but if I was approached by a muggle I prolly wouldn't hesitate to share the sport with them. Now I WOULDN'T show them where the cache was cuz you never know, but I think it's a great way to show our sport to the uninformed.

 

A couple of weeks ago I was approached by a Sheriff muggle and I was happy to describe the sport to him. His eyes kinda glazed over when I mentioned the internet :) but after running my driver's license he went on his way. Now the next time he comes up on a geocacher he may not be so suspicious, who knows, he may decide to start geocaching himself.

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If they approach and ask, or have obviously "made" you, just let them know - secretive behaviour in our society is just a way to get people to call the cops.

 

Maybe one day, I'll work up the courage to say, "I'm geocaching, what's it to you?", but for now, a polite explanation is best.

Edited by doingitoldschool
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If they approach and ask, or have obviously "made" you, just let them know - secretive behaviour in our society is just a way to get people to call the cops.

 

Maybe one day, I'll work up the courage to say, "I'm geocaching, what's it to you?", but for now, a polite explanation is best.

 

As post #2 indicated, every situation is different. Sometime rather than been "made" by muggles, a better approach may to be walk right up to the muggles and explain to them exactly what you're intending to do. I've done that a couple of times and each time the muggles were very interested in what I was doing and thought they might like to try it someday themselves.

 

I'm still kicking myself for not taking that approach on a cache a week ago. It was one of those caches where you have to find a bunch of caches (in this case, 7) to get a number from each to get the coordinates for a "finale". I had found most of them one day, the was back out the next day and went for the last two and planned on getting the finale on the way home. I found the first easily enough but when I got to the next it was in a park with some really nice picnic spots. Ground zero was close to a stream with a picnic table next two it where a couple of people were having lunch. I had a look around and "think" I spotted the location where the cache was but rather than have a muggle encounter then, I went to find a couple of other caches in the park and came back. I got there just as they were packing up to leave so I walked away a bit and waited a minute. Just before they drove off another vehicle pulled up and two more people got out to take over that picnic table. I should have just walked up to the first couple and told them what I was doing. Instead, I have to go back to that cache to get the last number for the coordinates (actually, looking at google maps, I think it can be only one of two possible numbers) and as it turns out, that cache was the furthest of any in the series from home (about 27 miles).

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I try to avoid spectators, but if somebody asks what I'm doing I happily explain geocaching to them. Once I had an older couple walk along the trail and I didn't notice them until they were inquiring about what I was doing with my head stuck in the hollow of a tree. :) They loved the idea that a tree they'd hiked past many times held a secret. Another time I emerged from the woods just up the trail from a pair of hikers who were really curious about what I was doing. They ended up joining me on my next hunt, they had a blast and it's one of my best caching memories.

 

But, generally I just call out "Hello!" very cheerfully if I spot somebody staring at me acting a little odd off the trail and they just wave in return and move along.

 

The exception would be kids/teens/young adults that give me a feeling they'd likely steal the cache. And this is mainly going to be teen males.

Edited by rob3k
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If they approach and ask, or have obviously "made" you, just let them know - secretive behaviour in our society is just a way to get people to call the cops.

1- I've cached for a little while now.

2- I make an effort to not give away what I am doing to muggles.

3- I've never had the police called on me while caching (or at least I've never still been around when they've arrived. :) )

 

Therefore, I disagree with your premise.

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I am new to caching and am very wary of searching when muggles are in the area.Some logs I see say they searched in the open and muggles approached them and they explained caching.Which is it be sly or openly search?

My best advice is to use your best judgment. If you feel the other person will comprimise the game locally or the cache you are searching for - then just tell them you are looking for a lost item. Most folks - just tell them what you are up to. I carry these brochures - great at explaining things: http://www.gpsmaze.com/uploads/files/GEOCACH_F2.pdf

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A couple of weeks ago I was approached by a Sheriff muggle and I was happy to describe the sport to him.

 

One of the more useful things I learned on the forum is that you should absolutely be honest with law enforcement authorities. Once the officer understands that you're a geek and not a drug dealer they will happily leave you alone. Making up any kind of story is just going to cause problems.

 

In all other situations I think you just need to use your best judgement and err on the side of caution to protect the cache.

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A couple of weeks ago I was approached by a Sheriff muggle and I was happy to describe the sport to him.

 

One of the more useful things I learned on the forum is that you should absolutely be honest with law enforcement authorities. Once the officer understands that you're a geek and not a drug dealer they will happily leave you alone. Making up any kind of story is just going to cause problems.

 

In all other situations I think you just need to use your best judgement and err on the side of caution to protect the cache.

Agreed.

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A couple of weeks ago I was approached by a Sheriff muggle and I was happy to describe the sport to him.

 

One of the more useful things I learned on the forum is that you should absolutely be honest with law enforcement authorities. Once the officer understands that you're a geek and not a drug dealer they will happily leave you alone. Making up any kind of story is just going to cause problems.

 

 

Yep. I've been "caught in the act" twice by LEOs (in both caches they just happened to be patrolling a spot where I was caching). The first time it happened, I had just replaced the container back in a hidey hole (in a stone bench) when the cop drove into the small park. I kept going about 30 feet, then backed up close to where my car was parked (the only car in the small park). The first thing he said was, "what were you hiding over there?".

 

Let's face it the act of extracting or replacing a geocache container might look might suspicious especially in an urban location or small park. I don't know if the two parks where I was stopped are known hot spots for drug activity, but if they were, you can bet an LEO is going to want a good answer (and the best answer is the truth in this case). In both cases, I told the LEO exactly what I was doing and they expressed interest in the game and wished me good luck in my future searches.

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I usually tell people that I am on a high tech treasure hunt involving the use of the government's gps satellites.

 

As one person said after I found a cache hidden in a very busy area: "people do not look as strange when you know what they are doing." So far, I have had some very pleasant conversations with mail carriers, homeless people in a park, dog walkers, and a young mother who recalled seeing a geocacher in Russia and asked her children to help me look.

 

Honesty can sometimes be the only sane policy. I had a polite conversation with a homeowner when the cache I was looking for turned out to be on private property -- if I had not told him exactly what I was doing there it would not have been nearly as polite. A friend of mind was once approached by some very big men who were very concerned about strangers in their remote area after a string of burglaries put them on edge. After explaining about caching, he was allowed to leave (with the cache in hand but his body in tact).

 

I have only approached people to tell them what I was doing on one occasion -- when I was traveling and there were a young couple sitting on a bench that also happened to contain the final for a Wherigo. In other situations, or for other types of caches, I probably would have just moved on. They obviously were going to stay there longer than I had time. But after investing some effort in the cache, I explained myself and asked if I could look where they were sitting.

 

The only time I have not explained caching is when some caches were placed around the site of an abandoned military base that is patrolled by private security. I have gone there periodically to take pictures and knew that outside people stopping made them very nervous, even if you are in an area that is accessible to the public. I brought along the camera and truthfully told them I was taking pictures, even if I was doing some other things as well. At the time I simply wanted to let the cache owner know that security might be a problem so I took the easy way out.

 

If we truly believe that express permission has been obtained from the land managers, then there should be no problem explaining what we are doing to anybody. Its the gray areas that sometimes creates more hesitation.

Edited by Erickson
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If they approach and ask, or have obviously "made" you, just let them know - secretive behaviour in our society is just a way to get people to call the cops.

1- I've cached for a little while now.

2- I make an effort to not give away what I am doing to muggles.

3- I've never had the police called on me while caching (or at least I've never still been around when they've arrived. :P )

 

Therefore, I disagree with your premise.

 

Thank you for your attention to my post; may you continue to successfully evade the attention of local law enforcement. I'm still going to work on preventing muggles from calling the fuzz.

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If they approach and ask, or have obviously "made" you, just let them know - secretive behaviour in our society is just a way to get people to call the cops.

1- I've cached for a little while now.

2- I make an effort to not give away what I am doing to muggles.

3- I've never had the police called on me while caching (or at least I've never still been around when they've arrived. :mad: )

 

Therefore, I disagree with your premise.

 

Thank you for your attention to my post; may you continue to successfully evade the attention of local law enforcement. I'm still going to work on preventing muggles from calling the fuzz.

I also am going to continue working on preventing muggles from calling the police. As a bonus, my way also protects the game piece from the muggles.

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My general approach is to mention a friend has hidden something for me to find. We're GPS enthusiasts and he took GPS coordinates and challenged me and other members of the group to find the object. Depending on the situation and my gut feeling on the persons asking, I might continue to look or I might declare another friend had already found it and took it. The taking part will discourage the muggle from later returning to hunt for something that he thinks is not there--even though it probably is and I don't want him to find it.

 

I like the above because it's not a lie until you start protecting the cache you're hunting, then you're simply falling back onto something you're supposed to be doing.

 

However, if any authority approaches you, I'd not lie about the game piece. This could be police or land steward. Both have the ability to make the lives of future seekers harder.

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If they approach and ask, or have obviously "made" you, just let them know - secretive behaviour in our society is just a way to get people to call the cops.

1- I've cached for a little while now.

2- I make an effort to not give away what I am doing to muggles.

3- I've never had the police called on me while caching (or at least I've never still been around when they've arrived. :mad: )

 

Therefore, I disagree with your premise.

 

Thank you for your attention to my post; may you continue to successfully evade the attention of local law enforcement. I'm still going to work on preventing muggles from calling the fuzz.

I also am going to continue working on preventing muggles from calling the police. As a bonus, my way also protects the game piece from the muggles.

 

Thank you for your attention to my thoughts. You seem to be implying that my way, in which I simply let curious people know what I'm doing, puts the game pieces at risk. I guess you feel that honesty must give way to subterfuge to protect the sanctity of a cache.

 

Did you not see that this is how I address those who approach me and ask me what I'm doing, or are obviously curious? If you were asked what you were doing, would you lie? Is our hobby so under the radar that we cannot simply describe it to the curious?

Edited by doingitoldschool
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If they approach and ask, or have obviously "made" you, just let them know - secretive behaviour in our society is just a way to get people to call the cops.
1- I've cached for a little while now.

2- I make an effort to not give away what I am doing to muggles.

3- I've never had the police called on me while caching (or at least I've never still been around when they've arrived. :mad: )

 

Therefore, I disagree with your premise.

Thank you for your attention to my post; may you continue to successfully evade the attention of local law enforcement. I'm still going to work on preventing muggles from calling the fuzz.
I also am going to continue working on preventing muggles from calling the police. As a bonus, my way also protects the game piece from the muggles.
Thank you for your attention to my thoughts. You seem to be implying that my way, in which I simply let curious people know what I'm doing, puts the game pieces at risk. I guess you feel that honesty must give way to subterfuge to protect the sanctity of a cache.

 

Did you not see that this is how I address those who approach me and ask me what I'm doing, or are obviously curious? If you were asked what you were doing, would you lie? Is our hobby so under the radar that we cannot simply describe it to the curious?

Since the cache in question doesn't belong to me, I believe that it is not within my authority to place it at undue risk. Therefore, if I were approach by someone who was neither a land manager nor a LEO, I would obfuscate in order to protect the game piece.

 

Going back to your 'calling the fuzz' coment for just a moment, it is important for me to add that I don't see this as a risk because I don't knowingly break laws while geocaching. Therefore, I have no fear of a police officer asking me what I am doing.

Edited by sbell111
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If they approach and ask, or have obviously "made" you, just let them know - secretive behaviour in our society is just a way to get people to call the cops.
1- I've cached for a little while now.

2- I make an effort to not give away what I am doing to muggles.

3- I've never had the police called on me while caching (or at least I've never still been around when they've arrived. :mad: )

 

Therefore, I disagree with your premise.

Thank you for your attention to my post; may you continue to successfully evade the attention of local law enforcement. I'm still going to work on preventing muggles from calling the fuzz.
I also am going to continue working on preventing muggles from calling the police. As a bonus, my way also protects the game piece from the muggles.
Thank you for your attention to my thoughts. You seem to be implying that my way, in which I simply let curious people know what I'm doing, puts the game pieces at risk. I guess you feel that honesty must give way to subterfuge to protect the sanctity of a cache.

 

Did you not see that this is how I address those who approach me and ask me what I'm doing, or are obviously curious? If you were asked what you were doing, would you lie? Is our hobby so under the radar that we cannot simply describe it to the curious?

Since the cache in question doesn't belong to me, I believe that it is not within my authority to place it at undue risk. Therefore, if I were approach by someone who was neither a land manager nor a LEO, I would obfuscate in order to protect the game piece.

 

Going back to your 'calling the fuzz' coment for just a moment, it is important for me to add that I don't see this as a risk because I don't knowingly break laws while geocaching. Therefore, I have no fear of a police officer asking me what I am doing.

 

No, the cache does not belong to you, but your actions do. If you feel it is best to lie about what you are doing, that is your choice. Maybe you lie well, and that's the easiest road for you to take.

 

The question we've been asked to answer, I believe, is what to do when a potential muggle asks you what you are doing. I will tell them what I'm doing. The depth of my response is dependent on many things, which I will not assume you are interested in. My main point is that I see no value in lying, and believe that it can only cause more trouble than it's worth.

 

I am glad that you are a law-abiding geocacher and that you are able to keep the muggles oblivious while you cache; please keep up the good example for the rest of us.

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If they approach and ask, or have obviously "made" you, just let them know - secretive behaviour in our society is just a way to get people to call the cops.
1- I've cached for a little while now.

2- I make an effort to not give away what I am doing to muggles.

3- I've never had the police called on me while caching (or at least I've never still been around when they've arrived. :mad: )

 

Therefore, I disagree with your premise.

Thank you for your attention to my post; may you continue to successfully evade the attention of local law enforcement. I'm still going to work on preventing muggles from calling the fuzz.
I also am going to continue working on preventing muggles from calling the police. As a bonus, my way also protects the game piece from the muggles.
Thank you for your attention to my thoughts. You seem to be implying that my way, in which I simply let curious people know what I'm doing, puts the game pieces at risk. I guess you feel that honesty must give way to subterfuge to protect the sanctity of a cache.

 

Did you not see that this is how I address those who approach me and ask me what I'm doing, or are obviously curious? If you were asked what you were doing, would you lie? Is our hobby so under the radar that we cannot simply describe it to the curious?

Since the cache in question doesn't belong to me, I believe that it is not within my authority to place it at undue risk. Therefore, if I were approach by someone who was neither a land manager nor a LEO, I would obfuscate in order to protect the game piece.

 

Going back to your 'calling the fuzz' coment for just a moment, it is important for me to add that I don't see this as a risk because I don't knowingly break laws while geocaching. Therefore, I have no fear of a police officer asking me what I am doing.

 

No, the cache does not belong to you, but your actions do. If you feel it is best to lie about what you are doing, that is your choice. Maybe you lie well, and that's the easiest road for you to take.

 

The question we've been asked to answer, I believe, is what to do when a potential muggle asks you what you are doing. I will tell them what I'm doing. The depth of my response is dependent on many things, which I will not assume you are interested in. My main point is that I see no value in lying, and believe that it can only cause more trouble than it's worth.

 

I am glad that you are a law-abiding geocacher and that you are able to keep the muggles oblivious while you cache; please keep up the good example for the rest of us.

That bit where you judge how much information that you give to the muggle is where you are choosing to put someone else's cache at risk. If you are wrong, that cache get's stolen (or worse). In my opinion, this violates the trust of the cache owner. Only he should willfully put his cache at risk.
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If they approach and ask, or have obviously "made" you, just let them know - secretive behaviour in our society is just a way to get people to call the cops.
1- I've cached for a little while now.

2- I make an effort to not give away what I am doing to muggles.

3- I've never had the police called on me while caching (or at least I've never still been around when they've arrived. :mad: )

 

Therefore, I disagree with your premise.

Thank you for your attention to my post; may you continue to successfully evade the attention of local law enforcement. I'm still going to work on preventing muggles from calling the fuzz.
I also am going to continue working on preventing muggles from calling the police. As a bonus, my way also protects the game piece from the muggles.
Thank you for your attention to my thoughts. You seem to be implying that my way, in which I simply let curious people know what I'm doing, puts the game pieces at risk. I guess you feel that honesty must give way to subterfuge to protect the sanctity of a cache.

 

Did you not see that this is how I address those who approach me and ask me what I'm doing, or are obviously curious? If you were asked what you were doing, would you lie? Is our hobby so under the radar that we cannot simply describe it to the curious?

Since the cache in question doesn't belong to me, I believe that it is not within my authority to place it at undue risk. Therefore, if I were approach by someone who was neither a land manager nor a LEO, I would obfuscate in order to protect the game piece.

 

Going back to your 'calling the fuzz' coment for just a moment, it is important for me to add that I don't see this as a risk because I don't knowingly break laws while geocaching. Therefore, I have no fear of a police officer asking me what I am doing.

 

No, the cache does not belong to you, but your actions do. If you feel it is best to lie about what you are doing, that is your choice. Maybe you lie well, and that's the easiest road for you to take.

 

The question we've been asked to answer, I believe, is what to do when a potential muggle asks you what you are doing. I will tell them what I'm doing. The depth of my response is dependent on many things, which I will not assume you are interested in. My main point is that I see no value in lying, and believe that it can only cause more trouble than it's worth.

 

I am glad that you are a law-abiding geocacher and that you are able to keep the muggles oblivious while you cache; please keep up the good example for the rest of us.

That bit where you judge how much information that you give to the muggle is where you are choosing to put someone else's cache at risk. If you are wrong, that cache get's stolen (or worse). In my opinion, this violates the trust of the cache owner. Only he should willfully put his cache at risk.

 

That "bit", in my opinion, is as much to my discretion as your choice to lie or not.

 

I think lying may cause more problems than it's worth.

You think telling people what I'm doing may cause more grief for the cache, and thus the cache owner.

 

We do see this two very different ways, and I'm sure that there is wisdom in your thoughts.

Edited by doingitoldschool
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You two ought to meet, and put on the gloves, it'd be a good battle ! But back to the topic...

 

Any joe anyone that asks me what I'm doing gets a basic "my wife lost her cell phone again...." excuse, then they just carry on, no worries.

 

I did once have the grandson of a land owner follow me in to a cache on private land, and once he identified that he was a relative, I promptly explained the process to him, showed him a cache (we had some containers), my gps, etc. He was very understanding and explained that there were some old cars in a garage on the property that "disappeared", so I told him that we understood and were very sorry. The cache in question seemed to be missing (a micro), and when I e-mailed the cache owner, she archived it immediately.

 

There's a time and a place to explain some things to certain people. The above-mentioned grandson absolutely deserved an accurate explanation, where a curious passer-by can live without the same information.

 

LEO's always get the truth, an honest explanation. I saved myself a very hefty fine for speeding after I failed to notice where the 50 km/h speed limit sign was, and the constable was outstanding in his acceptance of the sport. He only expressed concern for the people living nearby whose children play along the roadway, etc.

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If they approach and ask, or have obviously "made" you, just let them know - secretive behaviour in our society is just a way to get people to call the cops.

 

Maybe one day, I'll work up the courage to say, "I'm geocaching, what's it to you?", but for now, a polite explanation is best.

 

I always carry a copy of the Geocaching brochure http://www.geocaching.com/resources/guide_to_geocaching.pdf to give to muggles who are safe and curious. I've heard this is also a good idea in case the local police department are curious.

 

BTW - check out Dauxvoks' log that describes how muggles helped find a cache! http://www.geocaching.com/seek/cache_detai...16-7ce599a83744

:mad:

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More and more often it goes something like this...

 

"You've got me curious, what are you doing?"

 

"Geocaching"

 

"Oh, okay, my mother does that. Cool. Good luck!"

 

'Bout right on that, Rambler. :ph34r:

 

That's been my experience lately, too. From a recent cache log I left -

 

"As we strolled up to this one, a fellow with his dogs was sitting nearby. The dogs woofed at us, and we headed for the geocache - told him don't mind us, we'd only be a minute since we were "geocaching." Would normally not go for a cache in plain view of a muggle, but instincts told me this one would be fine, especially with kids in tow who can tend to distract muggles from our true intent.

 

Quick find and signing of the log at a nearby table, then as we headed back to the van, the muggle got on his phone and said to someone whom he had called "hey, I was just thinking of you. You know that hobby you have where you have coordinates and find something with a GPS thang?" Mrs. JD politely reminded him "it is called geocaching," and he said "thanks!" and continued "yeah, that geocaching thang you do? Well, you wouldn't believe it, but this family just showed up and did one of them right here in my dog park..." and then continued on to other subjects as we piled in the van and headed for the next one."

 

The cache is still in service, so apparently we didn't "compromise the trust" with the CO....

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My wife and I just try to geocache when there are no muggles around. One of us stands as lookout while the other goes for the cache. Sometimes we both will be too involved with finding the cache that we don't see the muggle and they spot us. Thats when we just explain what we are doing with the hope of getting that muggle interested in geocacheing. Keep recruiting :unsure:

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Just go about doing something as if you know what you are actually doing (because, believe it or not...we do know what we are doing) and they (muggles) will usually ignore you. If any approach, I just explain what I am doing...must just shrug their shoulders and move on...

 

The moment you try to be sly and stealthy is the moment you look suspicious and get more attention than you want...

 

Edit: Also trust your instinct...if you don't feel it is best to keep searching after talking...or while be approached (whether you notice the approach or not)...just stop what you are doing and move on...

 

There are many times where I have given up the search because of a feeling...

Edited by ArcherDragoon
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