Jump to content

Fooling Muggles


takcache
Followers 4

Recommended Posts

I went out yesterday for my first time and honestly, I feel like a fool staring at shrubs and light poles. Especially since I struck out 3 times. I imagine mother's pulling their children close to them as they saw me walking around making all these sharp turns with my GPSr in hand. Worry not, I was discreet and 'tried' to look normal. SO...

 

1. How long do you spend at a cache looking for it with muggles around? I spent a good 15 minutes at my first cache pretending my GPSr was a cellphone circling a bush, DNF. Traffic started picking up and I left.

 

2. What do you do to fool muggles? I only have that one, talking into my GSPr as a cellphone and I used it 3 times already. I'm thinking about going with my dog from now on.

 

3. Is it okay to take a cache back to my car or somewhere out of sight of muggles to sign the log?

 

And lastly, is there some trick to using the 'search' function with words less than 5 letters? TIA

Link to comment

First - I tend to try and avoid caches with lots of muggles around.

 

Don't act stealthy - be bold. Act as though you are doing nothing wrong - mostly because you aren't. Boldy look for the cache, find it, sign it, return it. Act as though it is your job to cache - a job you are proud to do. Act confident. Such people tend to blend in.

 

Carry a clipboard and wear a hardhat - you will blend in.

 

I spend up to 30 minutes on caches rated 2.5 or less - depends on a lot of factors.

 

Use google site specific feature to seach the forums.

Link to comment

Sometimes it is a good idea to take the cache aside from where you found it to sign. Your vehicle just may be a good place. OTOH, if somebody sees you carrying a package from the bushes to your car and returning it to the bushes. Expect the cops to show up soon! Soooo... there are two sides to that coin. Use your best judgement.

 

If there are an abundance of muggles, sometimes it is best to leave. You can always come back some other time.

 

How long do you look? That's a toughie. I guess it depends on how bad you want the smiley. :P Again, returning later just may present you with a different approach to your search.

Link to comment
Don't act stealthy - be bold. Act as though you are doing nothing wrong - mostly because you aren't. Boldy look for the cache, find it, sign it, return it. Act as though it is your job to cache - a job you are proud to do. Act confident. Such people tend to blend in.
That right there is the best advice for caching around Muggles. There is no need for any of the crazy stuff Geocachers come up with for evading Muggles. We cache all the time in high traffic areas. We poke around everywhere and look under everything and the Muggles walk right past us without giving us a second thought. The only time you need to be a little cautious is when you are replacing the cache. If someone sees you rehide it then they will sometimes go and Muggle it.
Link to comment

I don't worry about "fooling" muggles. Most think I'm a bit odd anyway. :P

 

I think we put too much emphasis on "fooling muggles" or "stealth". Most passerbys don't give a hoot about what we're doing. They're too busy wrapped up in their own lives.

Link to comment

Take a camera with you and every time a muggle is around, start taking 'artistic' photos of something. I found this to be incredibly effective as it gives you an excuse for looking at strange things like shrubs ("setting up your shot") and staying in the one spot for long periods of time. And who knows - you might even take some interesting photos!

Link to comment

The clipboard and hardhat routine would never work for me so I just go about my business. Acting too stealthy will probably make you stand out even more. If it's in a busy area, I will read the description, hint, and past logs first. If I am not comfortable searching for any number of reasons I will come back at another time or otherwise move on from there. The length of time really depends on the type of cache and the circumstances. If anybody asks, I tell them about geocaching.

Edited by Erickson
Link to comment

Take a camera with you and every time a muggle is around, start taking 'artistic' photos of something. I found this to be incredibly effective as it gives you an excuse for looking at strange things like shrubs ("setting up your shot") and staying in the one spot for long periods of time. And who knows - you might even take some interesting photos!

 

Yep, I use my camera as a visible "excuse" for lingering in a spot too long. However, if it's a really busy spot, I won't stay for more than 5 minutes before I give up and (maybe) come back another day.

Link to comment

Before I get ourt of the car I mentally prepare an answer to the question "what are you doing". Having it in mind permits me to step boldly. Never actually need it, though. Most people don't care unless you look sneaky. With LEOs you ALWAYS tell the truth. Guidelines state that the CO is required to obtain permission. Therefore you're an invited guest.

Link to comment

talking into my GSPr as a cellphone

No way, I don't talk into my GPSr. But I do hold it to my ear as if I'm listening to an extended monologue. :P Same thing with my regular mobile phone. The best way to get "a better signal" is to lean under a park bench, walk around a bush several times, etc., while tugging on various bolt heads and fence post caps, and moving rocks with my foot.

 

My recent cache is in a very popular picnic pavilion. It's not a good idea to inject yourself into someone else's family picnic. However, there's a "Disc Golf" tee nearby, and I think you might get away with at least a quick walk-through, if you're carrying a frisbee. Sometimes creativity pays off.

 

I scope out a cache, to find the best time to search. It's much less trouble when there are much fewer muggles.

Edited by kunarion
Link to comment
Take a camera with you and every time a muggle is around, start taking 'artistic' photos of something. I found this to be incredibly effective as it gives you an excuse for looking at strange things like shrubs ("setting up your shot") and staying in the one spot for long periods of time. And who knows - you might even take some interesting photos!

Taking a few pictures of the Muggle could also get them moving along pretty quickly.
Link to comment

Before I get ourt of the car I mentally prepare an answer to the question "what are you doing". Having it in mind permits me to step boldly. Never actually need it, though. Most people don't care unless you look sneaky. With LEOs you ALWAYS tell the truth. Guidelines state that the CO is required to obtain permission. Therefore you're an invited guest.

 

Is it your advice to tell law enforcement that you are an invited guest?

Link to comment

Good advice. I'm still new to the geocaching game and always feel like I'm up to something when hunting for the cache. Yesterday, I had my two sons on muggle watch while I made an entry in the log and put the cache back. Though my sons were more interested in sword fighting with each other than watching...hehe.

Link to comment

Good advice. I'm still new to the geocaching game and always feel like I'm up to something when hunting for the cache. Yesterday, I had my two sons on muggle watch while I made an entry in the log and put the cache back. Though my sons were more interested in sword fighting with each other than watching...hehe.

 

I hear ya. I have an 11 and 8 y/o boys and they are suppose to be on muggle watch and I look up and they are sliding down swings or stick fighting..lol

There was a cache at a dog park and we just kept calling out our fiticious dogs name when muggles would go by it was so funny. Thats the joy of this sport. Trying to come up with ideas on why you might be there on the ground looking threw shrubs.

 

;)

Link to comment

kids or a dog! between them, it looks like you are trying to take care of them, or let the kids crawl under that park bench to find that urban micro!

And I agree with everyone else: just act like you know what you are doing! It's very normal to walk up to a lamp post and lift up the metal skirt and reach under it!!

Link to comment

Don't act stealthy - be bold. Act as though you are doing nothing wrong - mostly because you aren't. Boldy look for the cache, find it, sign it, return it. Act as though it is your job to cache - a job you are proud to do. Act confident. Such people tend to blend in.

 

This.

If you feel an area is too muggle-sensitive, try to figure out when the area is mostly and less populated. There was an urban cache that me and my girlfriend did. It took us two visits. Usually people won't even notice what we're doing, but that area was not "comfortable". So we left and came back on a Sunday evening when there was no one around.

Link to comment

If its parkland, or at least some thick bushes, carry a doglead, many will think you are looking for a 'lost' dog, whistle everyso often, call out a fake name..

 

Or you might consider the CITO - Cache in Trash Out. We carry (and use) a litter picker and rubbish bag and it goes with us as we Cache. We do good, we avoid the allegations of Geo-Littering and no one bothers us. The litter bag almost is the perfect cover for grubbing around the undergrowth.

Link to comment

Actually, I have done the reflective vest/clipboard thing when checking a couple of large electrical panels. In both instances, the local po-po rolled up, waved, and kept right on rolling. I even had the local electric company service guys wave and roll on by.

 

Other times, I just went for it and didn't care if anyone was watching. Seeing that those caches are still out there and still getting found, this method also works.

Link to comment

I have to agree about 100% honesty if approached by the police. I work for a small department, and several of us are into geocaching, so the officer may know exactly what you are talking about. Lie, and get caught in that lie, and you impact negatively on the sport, and if the property owner learns that the cache has caused some type of problem, he/she may want it removed.

 

Just my .02 cents

 

Matt

Link to comment

If its parkland, or at least some thick bushes, carry a doglead, many will think you are looking for a 'lost' dog, whistle everyso often, call out a fake name..

 

Or you might consider the CITO - Cache in Trash Out. We carry (and use) a litter picker and rubbish bag and it goes with us as we Cache. We do good, we avoid the allegations of Geo-Littering and no one bothers us. The litter bag almost is the perfect cover for grubbing around the undergrowth.

 

I do this one, too! I feel more likely to not worry that other people are watching... cuz if I look like I have a reason to be reaching inside a bush or whatever then I don't have to feel nervous that others are going to be a nuisance.

 

And, I love the idea someone posted earlier about the camera! I think I'm going to have to try that... great for so many reasons!

Link to comment

My advise? Bring a friend! :blink:

 

I always bring a friend when searching for the really high muggle areas. For some reason, one person looking into the bushes is weird, and appears strange. However, two people looking into the bushes is fine, and appears legitimate.

 

For some reason, when others see two people performing the same task, it justifies what they are doing more so than just one person.

 

Perhaps it's a psychological thing?

Link to comment

I love this thread, too. I bring at least one kid with me (can always blame it on them for being too curious) and am prepared to tell questioners that we're on a neighborhood scavenger hunt and leave it at that. Also agree with looking like you're sposed to be doing what you're doing...the idea of getting dressed up in a worker's uniform sort of makes me nervous.

Link to comment

Don't forget that people are smart enough to wonder why you are talking into a gpsr or pretending to be a worker. And if two people are in the bushes they will know why you are there and it will not have anything to do with caching. Fortunately most are too busy with their own business to give it a second thought. And that might lead you to believe you are fooling them. If they do give it a second thought and ask you what you were doing most people will not find it that interesting. But if you act too stealthy and your fake moustache falls off, some might think you are up to no good and call out the bomb squad.

 

A while back an observant fellow told me that people look strange until you find out what they are doing. With that in mind it's best to carry around yellow tape (to block off your search area) and get out a sign that says "Geocache Search In Progress. Do Not Disturb Unless You Know Where It Is and Can Give a Hint."

 

I always look like what I am supposed to be doing: geocaching.

Edited by mulvaney
Link to comment

Lately I've been practicing these two things: 1) looking people in the eye and saying "hi" as they walk by. and 2) If you encounter someone that is in the area you want to search, (like in a park, or on a path) or someone comes around after you've already started searching,(like a neighbor spraying weeds on a trail head... yes that just happened to me) just go about your business, catch their eye and tell them you're on a scavenger hunt. (if you want a short conversation) You can say geocaching if you want to have a longer conversation, meaning most people won't know what it is and you need to explain it to them. This of course, wouldn't necessarily apply to a group of teenagers... in that case, I'd come back later.

Link to comment

If its parkland, or at least some thick bushes, carry a doglead, many will think you are looking for a 'lost' dog, whistle everyso often, call out a fake name..

 

Or you might consider the CITO - Cache in Trash Out. We carry (and use) a litter picker and rubbish bag and it goes with us as we Cache. We do good, we avoid the allegations of Geo-Littering and no one bothers us. The litter bag almost is the perfect cover for grubbing around the undergrowth.

that exactly what i did when i hid my second cache carried a bag with me - it had my cache in it and a soda can and a napkin- and when i went to check on it there were some ppl i just made it look like i was studying the plants :blink:

Link to comment

Lately I've been practicing these two things: 1) looking people in the eye and saying "hi" as they walk by. and 2) If you encounter someone that is in the area you want to search, (like in a park, or on a path) or someone comes around after you've already started searching,(like a neighbor spraying weeds on a trail head... yes that just happened to me) just go about your business, catch their eye and tell them you're on a scavenger hunt. (if you want a short conversation) You can say geocaching if you want to have a longer conversation, meaning most people won't know what it is and you need to explain it to them. This of course, wouldn't necessarily apply to a group of teenagers... in that case, I'd come back later.

yes i agree once you say hi to someone they dont give you a second glance.

Link to comment

Join the conversation

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

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

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

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

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

Loading...
Followers 4
×
×
  • Create New...