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Do you enjoy avoiding muggles when caching?


TheGrey
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I've seen posts where it's mentioned that some people "enjoy the stealth aspect of geocaching". Is this really the true? Do geocachers actually think avoiding muggles is fun?

 

I would always rather be alone (or with friends/family) when finding a cache. I get no pleasure out of trying to act sneaky around strangers.

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I've seen posts where it's mentioned that some people "enjoy the stealth aspect of geocaching". Is this really the true? Do geocachers actually think avoiding muggles is fun?

 

I would always rather be alone (or with friends/family) when finding a cache. I get no pleasure out of trying to act sneaky around strangers.

 

You may not like it now, in fact maybe you won't like it later, but as your find count rises, you may find yourself looking for some new "aspects" to the game to make thing more interesting, especially if you are stuck in a more urban center.

 

it took me a couple of years to realize that a cell phone makes me invisible and, when in the city, I didn't even need that to be indivisible. Nobody pays attention, especially during normal business and shopping hours.

 

Like everything else in the hobby, it may be something you never cotton to.

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It depends. If there are only a few muggles about and I can see them sometimes I enjoy the challenge. In other cases where I might not be able to see someone that could watch me find the cache (for example, a cache located near a house or business where someone could be looking out the window) I might pass on looking for it for another time (like early Sunday morning).

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As others have so wisely stated, it depends on the location and conditions at GZ If there's no chance of not being seen making the grab I'll pass it up til later. On the other hand, my job has me in a uniform shirt with a 2-way radio... like the cell phone, its usually a cloak of invisibility especially outdoors in public areas. Guess I like a little, but not too much of a challenge where muggles are concerned.

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i don't mind busy places, what makes me uncomfortable are hides close to someones back yard or anywhere that would be possible for muggles to stay out of my sight but actually watching every move i make

you can always judge someone by their body language and realize that its time to stop the search and go, not so when someone is invisible to you

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I hate it.

 

I'll do it when it's a reasonable thing to do...

 

But there was someone on the forums a while ago who complained that although he clocked the wait to retrieve his cache as 20 minutes (which meant 40 minutes for one micro at an intersection) that he was totally incenced that NO ONE WAS WAITING for traffic to stop to find and rehide the cache!!!

 

If I find a cache at a very busy intersection, I'll just figure the CO knows he's taking his chances by putting it there.

 

Same for caches in playgrounds. I'll try to have stealth, but if you put it there you should know the risk you're taking.

 

I won't wait 40 minutes to hide and retrieve one cache.

 

Neither will I travel far to get to a cache, only to find it as in one of these circumstances, and then not attempt to retrieve it.

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I'll do it when necessary and when I think the risk of compromising the cache is low, but I never enjoy it.

 

That's kind of the point I was getting at.

 

It's one thing to do it as a negative part of the game that is required for the fun part, it's another to enjoy sneaking around like a ninja or James Bond and think that is part of the fun.

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I don't think about it either way. However, in highly public areas when muggles are more suspicious about those surrounding them I am more likely to pass up the cache. But that is very few and far between. It just maybe because I am from a huge city that it really doesn't bother me.

You may want to filter out urban caches and solely go for those in park, heavily forested areas.

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I get no pleasure out of trying to act sneaky around strangers.

 

I'm with you. If we see that the cache is located in a very busy place, we will pass it by and head to a cache that would be more fun for us. No biggie.

 

I'm on this list also. I may slow down but most likely drive on by. Since we are using aerial photos we usually know where it is but still pass it up.

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I enjoy avoiding muggles and at times acting like a muggle to avoid other cachers. Everyone plays differently. Some people like FTF's, some people like long hikes, some people like driving a tenth of a mile to put a sticker on a piece of paper repeated ad nauseam for 24 hours, some people like events, some people despise events, some people love puzzles, and some people (BITTSEN ;) ) won't do anything but traditionals. The list continues.

 

Why tell others what you are doing? They might ruin our fun. Plus it might slow you up too.

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I've been geocaching for about four years now, and I still don't enjoy the stealth aspect. I avoid those situations whenever possible, and put caches known to be high-stealth on my Ignore List.

 

--Larry

 

That was the key to my geocaching happiness. I derive zero pleasure in "acting like a covert spy."

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I'm in this sport to see interesting new places, not to play a cloak and dagger game. I generally avoid caches in high traffic areas and if I happen to do one, I walk up to it, take it, sign the log and put it back. That probably attracts a lot less attention than someone skulking about the site constantly peeking over his shoulder to see if anybody is looking. Not one cache where I have done this has gone missing in the weeks following my visit.

Edited by briansnat
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I'm in this sport to see interesting new places, not to play a cloak and dagger game. I generally avoid caches in high traffic areas and if I happen to do one, I walk up to it, take it, sign the log and put it back. That probably attracts a lot less attention than someone skulking about the site constantly peeking over his shoulder to see if anybody is looking. Not one cache where I have done this has gone missing in the weeks following my visit.

times 2

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In the dark ages before I discovered geocaching (that is to say, during the 43 years before I discovered geocaching last year) I spent a great deal of time hiking and walking through woods, orchards and fields. I enjoyed making a game of being unseen. I would try to get from point A to point B a few miles away without anybody seeing me. This was partly for fun and partly because my favorite walking paths were mostly through private property.

 

I still enjoy this "cloak and dagger" aspect of hiking through rural areas and have made it part of geocaching. I take a certain delight in slowly edging around a large tree while unsuspecting hikers walk by on the opposite side of the tree. So, you could say I enjoy avoiding muggles.

 

Urban caching is a different story, and I've stated my feelings about that on other threads. I don't enjoy it so much.

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I'm in this sport to see interesting new places, not to play a cloak and dagger game. I generally avoid caches in high traffic areas and if I happen to do one, I walk up to it, take it, sign the log and put it back. That probably attracts a lot less attention than someone skulking about the site constantly peeking over his shoulder to see if anybody is looking. Not one cache where I have done this has gone missing in the weeks following my visit.

times 2

 

+3

 

Except at times I do enjoy finding caches that are in busy spots. I don't sneak around, I go about my business as if I am doing something perfectly normal.

 

If your mental headphones are playing the theme songs for The Pink Panther or Peter Gunn, then you are probably going about urban caching the wrong way.

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If your mental headphones are playing the theme songs for The Pink Panther or Peter Gunn, then you are probably going about urban caching the wrong way.

What would be the right theme song? There's a number of caches I've been to where the appropriate music would be "Mission Impossible". Not complaining, just saying that I'll either pick a better time to come back or ignore it. I'm definitely not dressing up as Lamp Post Inspector with Clipboard just for a smiley.

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I was going to post this in the thread on the bomb squaded cache in Anaheim, but this seems a better place.

 

Instead of trying to use stealth in high muggle areas maybe it would be better to just let everyone know that you are playing a game of finding hidden containers. If someone sees you looking around a lamppost or a utility box for cache, when you find the cache just hold it up and say out loud "Hey I found it." Let them see you take out the log and sign it and then replace the cache. Most people will figure out you are playing a game or they might ask what it was you were doing and you will get a chance to explain geocaching. If you see them pulling out the cell phone to call 911, go over an introduce yourself and let them know what you are doing. Sure you might get someone who thinks we shouldn't be playing our game using lampposts, utility boxes, or whatever and will take the cache after you have left, but on the other hand we can avoid most of the bomb squad incidents and whatever backlash is caused by them.

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Instead of trying to use stealth in high muggle areas maybe it would be better to just let everyone know that you are playing a game of finding hidden containers. If someone sees you looking around a lamppost or a utility box for cache, when you find the cache just hold it up and say out loud "Hey I found it." Let them see you take out the log and sign it and then replace the cache. Most people will figure out you are playing a game or they might ask what it was you were doing and you will get a chance to explain geocaching. If you see them pulling out the cell phone to call 911, go over an introduce yourself and let them know what you are doing. Sure you might get someone who thinks we shouldn't be playing our game using lampposts, utility boxes, or whatever and will take the cache after you have left, but on the other hand we can avoid most of the bomb squad incidents and whatever backlash is caused by them.

That's a great suggestion.

 

I probably wouldn't go that far, but I definitely won't sneak around, casting furtive glances behind my back (I'd much, much rather walk away). And if someone notices me, I'll wave, smile, and if they appear curious, stroll over in a slow, non-threatening manner. Last thing I want is to be maced for trying to explain geocaching to an old lady.

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If your mental headphones are playing the theme songs for The Pink Panther or Peter Gunn, then you are probably going about urban caching the wrong way.

What would be the right theme song? There's a number of caches I've been to where the appropriate music would be "Mission Impossible". Not complaining, just saying that I'll either pick a better time to come back or ignore it. I'm definitely not dressing up as Lamp Post Inspector with Clipboard just for a smiley.

 

Whatever allows you to feel natural and move normally.

How about something smooth like walking in rhythm? Or

might work, but Ride that train probably wouldn't be good either.
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It could be fun but not sure what to do when actually retrieving the cache. Looking for it stealthly is different from getting into it without bringing attention. It could be fun to try and pull it off.

 

In general I find it a bother and I will only wait so long and I am out of there and will not return again. I refuse to get the cache anyway to spoil it for everyone else. So I don't like caches in busy places - especially if some freakall wants to call it end. I don't even want to have that conversation.

Edited by GPS-Hermit
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i don't mind busy places, what makes me uncomfortable are hides close to someones back yard or anywhere that would be possible for muggles to stay out of my sight but actually watching every move i make

you can always judge someone by their body language and realize that its time to stop the search and go, not so when someone is invisible to you

 

It's funny you mention the back yard issue. I was out looking for caches last weekend (as a newbie) and found one basically hidden just past my back yard (there is a steep hill behind my house and the cache was the top of that steep like 8ft tall hill). Don't exactly know how I felt about that at all but it did explain the rampant foot traffic back there and the occasional vandalism to my property (not that other geocachers are doing it but I'm sure it draws some attention and curious onlookers then follow right along behind them).

 

I don't much mind muggles. I find that where we're looking the vast majority pay no attention to what we're doing (other than that one behind my house and even I drew attention getting that one). I helped one catch her dog today that had slipped off his leash.

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I don't like the deception/fear/covertness/nervousness I get when trying to avoid muggles, so I tend to avoid urban caches. If I really want to do them, I do them at night, under the cover of darkness, when there are far less people around.

 

Having said that, what do YOU do when you see someone doing something that looks "odd"? eg someone drives up to a half-built house you know to be abandoned several years before, but does not get out of their car?

Who are they? Drug dealer? People smuggler? Mafia? House owner? Lawyer? Real-estate agent? Prospective buyer? Neighbour? Lost driver?

Why are they not getting out of the car? Checking the map? Making a phone call? Texting? Eating a burger? Catching 40 winks?

I usually just get on with whatever it is I'm doing, and ignore them. There are many perfectly reasonable explanations for what might look suspicious.

 

Muggles care less about what you are doing than you think.

 

But I still prefer the bush caches.

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Question: Do you enjoy avoiding muggles when caching?

 

Answer: It depends on the situation.

 

No: When a cache is placed in a children's play area and you visit the park when kids are present. That cache will be skipped. You can't get enjoyment for being accused of trespassing or something worse by a hostile mommy. When what you do to retrieve the cache looks highly suspicious and may result in one of those calls to the authorities by multiple muggles. Only exception to that was caching with a TOTT in downtown Wheatland during Geo-Woodstock two years ago, when there was only an audience of geocachers on every street corner that had a cache. That was surreal; there were no muggles! Got razzed by VKs and EMC for not being covert, who had watched the transaction from a restaurant with great amusement.

 

Yes: It's another aspect of the game, especially in urban areas. Sometimes the best counter is to use a misinformation technique that will cause the muggles to voluntarily leave. Have to do it in a way that won't cause alarm or panic, but convince the muggles to move along. While talking on cell phone to fictitious person, "have not found the gas leak, but will keep looking." or "no cockroaches here, but will keep looking for signs of the reported infestation." Moving muggles can be fun; give it a try! The game is only as limited as the imagination of the players.

 

Unusual Situations: Cache placed in a Car Wash waiting area with muggles all around. That's a challenge to retrieve and replace without detection. Can think of two times, one very recently, that elicited a thrill, but only after the mission was accomplished without incident. Can think of two other times when the cache was retrieved, signed, and replaced within a few feet of a snoring homeless muggle. Had a grin all day after that one.

 

So for most situations, enjoy avoiding, moving and evading muggles during the covert geocaching op. Since we sign a physical log sheet, we leave visible evidence that we were there, so it can never be considered a clandestine mission op. It's All Good, especially when there's a challenge involved. (caveat: when done safely and no laws are broken)!

Edited by Team Geo-Rangers
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Being aware of what is going on around you, is a skill too few people possess.

Caching hones those awareness skills.

 

The skills can then be applied to other situations - when driving with other cars on the road, when at the deli with other shoppers, when playing team sports against an opponent, etc.

 

Being aware of who is in your way, and whose way you are in, is a life-skill. Geocaching teaches it.

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I, like many others often avoid caches where muggle activity is high, especially in playgrounds. I would be on the phone to authorities too if a saw a 40 ish year old man acting suspiciously in the bushes while kids are on the swings.

 

One trick I sometimes use, which is ironic if you think about it, is to wear a high visibility ( usually fluorescent orange or yellow ) vest while doing caches next to roads and the like. The vest is designed to make you visible to traffic etc, but has the effect of making you invisible to everyone else.

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I don't think about it either way. However, in highly public areas when muggles are more suspicious about those surrounding them I am more likely to pass up the cache. But that is very few and far between. It just maybe because I am from a huge city that it really doesn't bother me.

 

We don't like being sneaky either, so we don't. We just go grab it. Not once has a cache gone missing that we've done that to.

 

Like buttaskotch, I've noticed that in big cities people pay less attention to you than in a small town. In NYC for instance, you can scour a sign or a pole or something while looking for a container, and no one pays any attention to you, but if you're in a small town park somewhere looking at a guard rail, people look at you like you're crazy.

 

We were in NY once and grabbed a keyholder from under a bench that a lady was sitting on. There were people all over the place, and we saw the container from a distance and told her we were doing a scavenger hunt and what we're looking for was under the bench, would she mind if we grabbed it. She didn't care, so we grabbed the cache, signed in and moved on.

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Instead of trying to use stealth in high muggle areas maybe it would be better to just let everyone know that you are playing a game of finding hidden containers. If someone sees you looking around a lamppost or a utility box for cache, when you find the cache just hold it up and say out loud "Hey I found it." Let them see you take out the log and sign it and then replace the cache. Most people will figure out you are playing a game or they might ask what it was you were doing and you will get a chance to explain geocaching. If you see them pulling out the cell phone to call 911, go over an introduce yourself and let them know what you are doing. Sure you might get someone who thinks we shouldn't be playing our game using lampposts, utility boxes, or whatever and will take the cache after you have left, but on the other hand we can avoid most of the bomb squad incidents and whatever backlash is caused by them.

Well said!

 

We've grabbed some containers before, only to notice someone sitting in a car or a park bench looking at us. Rather than suddenly becoming sneaky and trying to hide it or walk away with it (probably making them think we were picking up drugs or something), we make a point to let them see us unroll the log, take out our pen, sign in, put it back and then mark it found found in our GPS. Sometimes we'll say something like "nice job...good find" and then do a high 5 or something like that, so they can see some excitement from us and not think we're doing something shady.

 

If asked what we're doing, we're always honest and will usually tell them we're doing a scavenger hunt and then wait a second to see if they say anything. We'll usually continue with "We use a GPS to help find hidden containers. It's called geocaching..."

 

By then, they've had enough time to either think it's cool and want to know more, or they'll think we're crazy and walk on.

 

We've also had people approach us and ask if we're geocaching and then tell how they've heard of it and want to try it. In those cases, we'll give them the address to the GC site and if they're from the area, a link to our local caching forum.

 

I actually don't mind meeting non-cachers and talking with them about caching.

Edited by Skippermark
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I haven't read this thread though but in case it wasn't mentioned before, you can get a construction worker's vest at a Home Depot and wear that during some cache hunts when you need to sniff around guard rails, telephone poles and such. Nobody will pay attention since you just appear to be a ConEd worker doing his job. :blink:

 

Of course if you really want to sell it you could get a hard hat too, but that might be a bit much. :huh:

Edited by LincolnAdams
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I found carrying a "nine" iron in the park, folk just figure another old duffer looking for golf balls!

The nine iron works great for pushing aside Juniper limbs and is a lot easier on my hands besides.

 

Then I also drive a service vehicle, so the bright vest is a great idea, hard had works too especially when doing LPC or roadside, however I personally don't like LPC or utility boxes which are omost likely on private property, or water supply reservoirs, or school yards! If the police were called you may have to do alot more explaining, especially if you are in disguise and appear to be presenting yourself as a utility worker.

 

I have also thought of putting together a false surveyor pole with a GPS dome on top, carry some of the survey flags, sticking one in the ground every once in a while. We see surveyors working all the time, and never question what they are doing!

 

I figure outwitting the muggles, is part of the game. They are just as much an "obstacle" as if there was a steep cliff, or river in the way! Then it is up to us as to how we play the game! So far I have run into curious muggles, but noone that was hostile or interested in interfereing in the hunt!

 

RkyMtnHootOwl

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I just use the best camo every in cities....

Worktrousers and Lumocoat...

noone care about what ur doin, you could pick u a trafficcone and walk away or dismount a sign and take it home ( don't do that )

Atleast in Sweden and UK sometimes.

 

I like it :D

Edited by falkex
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I'm in this sport to see interesting new places, not to play a cloak and dagger game.

you mean a walmart you haven't been to isn't interesting? :D

 

Most Wal-Mart's (of the regular variety, not Super) have the main door on the left hand side, as you're facing the building. Occasionally, you'll find one where it's on the right hand side. I like to refer to these as "backwards Wal-Mart's". They are interesting.

 

Put me down with the Stealth sucks crowd, by the way. :laughing:

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With only 19 finds, I have found that every spot is different in this regards. For example, in a parks, kids are kids and if they find a cool container, they'll take it...no matter the content. In other places, we have talked about geocaching to passers by and some have watched us sign and trade. I guess some geocachers like the stealth part...making it like a role-playing game. But I do think, to protect the cache, in some instances you have to be careful not to show its location.

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it took me a couple of years to realize that a cell phone makes me invisible and, when in the city, I didn't even need that to be indivisible. Nobody pays attention, especially during normal business and shopping hours.

 

I have found that my dog makes me invisible anywhere near a trail or park. :D

Edited by ConRed
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<snip>Good point Klatch! but will COs use it? (I didn't know there was one for "Stealth Required")

Many don't use attributes, but combined with filtering out micros, it is usually is good enough for me. I realize I am missing out on some interesting micros, but not enough to make me spend time trying to figure out which are the good ones.

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Instead of trying to use stealth in high muggle areas maybe it would be better to just let everyone know that you are playing a game of finding hidden containers.... Most people will figure out you are playing a game or they might ask what it was you were doing and you will get a chance to explain geocaching.

 

I agree. I think we worry too much about muggles. Sometime I will even go to them for help, instead of running away from the cache. If people are hanging around GZ I'll say something like "Hey, I'm looking for hidden treasure. Wanna help?" If they seem genuinely interested, I'll teach them about Geocaching. I make them promise to leave the cache alone, and let them keep a prize if they want (and replace it from my own pocket). I wouldn't do this if the logs indicate that the cache is full if really good stuff.

 

Even middle school kids (who are usually punks---yes, I'm a teacher) appreciate the concept of Geocaching, once they are educated about it.

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