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Newbie wanting advice on stealth


ACE_Finders
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Hi everyone! My daughter and I have just started geocaching and boy are we hooked! We had a blast finding our first cache, and are looking forward to many, many more. I have a question for those more experienced . . . how stealthy should we be in looking for caches?

 

I have read through the forums and have seen lots of comments regarding "muggles" and to be careful to not be so obvious, but I've also seen comments suggesting to be confident and act like we're supposed to be there.

 

Right now, we're doing mostly suburban caches (simply because that's where we are!). So, please, wise ones, advise us on the proper search etiquette. Thanks mucho!! :D

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unless the hider placed a earth magnetic nano on the inside of a power box within eyesight of workers who are in the building most of the time, im going to avoid those type of hides from now on, no amount of being stealthy or confident can save you from people who think you are messing with their building power.

 

or nanos right in front of the entrence of a 24 hour place of business. way to go hiders, its super easy to walk by with something the size of a pencil eraser thats highly magnetic, and let it stick onto anything metal you come close to, then find your coordinantes with your smartphone when you get home. Then listing your cache as "other" size wise with little to no description as to what or where it could be. just something snarky like "have fun avoiding muggles, be stealthy" like some n00b geocaching initiation process or some garbage like that.

 

Thanks for that. Especially thanks for not getting permission to hide such a thing at such a store. You're doing us all a huge favor when someone who works there comes out and yells at us for snooping around their facility like an idiot with our head in their bushes, or our hands in their utility boxes, because thats where your bad coordinantes tell us it is supposed to be and there is no other feasible hiding spot except the unlocked, half open electrical box,

 

im not bitter, honestly, i just hope it amuses you, and from now on i will no longer look for any hides you place, and i will make sure not only to tell all my caching friends your hides are no good, and give geocaching a bad rap with civilians, but ill log it on your cache pages as well. thats really all i can do, but i feel better already.

 

true muggles as in customers, park goers, and people driving by, do not pay any attention to you looking like a foll shoulders deep in some bushes, they just think you are sick and tasting lunch twice or something,

 

but muggles as in cops, and store workers / managers / property owners etc etc etc do care, especially if the cache you are looking for was not given permission by such people to be there. ESPECIALLY like i said above, if the said cache is such that just honestly looking innocently for it where its supposed to be makes you look suspicious.

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How stealthy you are is up to you. Some people go as far as wearing an orange vest and carrying a clip board so they look like they belong. Others walk right up to the cache and grab it, without caring who is looking.

 

I think skulking around the area constantly looking over your shoulder to see if anybody is looking is the worst way to do it. I read about a cache that was recently investigated by a bomb squad. Someone observed the searchers stopping their search every time a car passed and acting like they were just standing there. That aroused his suspicion and spurred him to call the police.

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You said that you have a child that goes caching with you. in my mind, that is all the stealth you need. what is more natural than a kid looking in bushes or straying away from you or even picking up things that other people didn't notice. The only stealth I use is to bring the cache back to the car or some other out of the way so we can dig through it, admire it, and sign the log.

 

Have fun!! in my mind, there is nothing as fun as the look on a kids face when they find the cache

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Thanks everyone - I appreciate the good advice! I love the quote you have from StarBrand, BCP, and in fact that helped to raise my question. And to Woody, you are spot on . . . a child's curiosity is the best! I can't wait to get out to find more caches (but my cover, I mean my child, is at Grandma's house so I have to wait! :D

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My husband is a big biker guy with a lot of tattoos, so he doesn't do well with stealth, unfortunately, but if I'm out caching by myself I sometimes pretend that my GPS is a phone and that I'm talking on it or texting, or I'll pretend to be doing something else, or I come at a time of day when there aren't as many people. There's some places where one just can't avoid being seen, and if someone asks me, I do honestly tell them what I'm doing.

 

I also try to dress fairly neutrally, and like others said, I try to look confident and like I'm enjoying myself. If I act suspiciously, the someone will probably think I'm suspicious.

 

Someone once said, "You should just buy orange vests and hardhats, everyone will see you, but no one will question you." I thought that was kind of funny... but I don't think I'd actually do it.

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Act normally. You'd be surprised at just how invisible you are.

Contrary to most people's ego, very few people pay attention to others in a crowd. They think they are more important and interesting to others than they really area. Most people think others are watching them and paying attention to what they do. Not so. As you go about your day few people will ever know another person exists. Others really are not watching you. They don't care.

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So then instead of using stealth because it only makes you look even more suspicious, especially on micro or nano caches placed without (what you find out later) permission, you should just walk up and look around without stealth. And if a muggle happens to see you, and "disturb" the cache after you leave because you wernt stealthy enough, its more so on the owner for placing a cache in such a way they geocachers had to look suspicious to retrieve it.

 

I say its better to have a lame cache like this muggled than to have to deal with angry store or property owners, because you were looking super suspicious being "stealthy".

 

I am NOT saying I will personally go around and muggle caches i think are lame, or are placed in such a way as to "initiate" the new geocachers with the interference of cops or store or property owners. If i find it i will sign the log, get the smiley, and put it back as i found it. but i am no longer going to worry about muggles seeing me, i figure if the cache owner wants me to act sneaky and or get caught at some cheesy lame location such as wally world looking for a stupid micro, i will not worry about it being muggled after i have found it, and replaced it.

 

granted I understand there is a rush about being stealthy, and thinking everyone is looking at you while you look like a loony looking for a cache of this nature, but i also think it is silly to place a cache someplace where there is high muggle concentration, and think it will last very long. If it does, it does. If you get told off by the store owners, or property managers i think the cache should be archived until things are worked out. There is no sense in getting innocent geocachers in trouble because a hider thought it would be funny to put a cache someplace without asking where it would make people look suspicious looking for it.

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CITO is a great cover. Take out a trash bag and start picking up litter. No one will pay any attention to you.

 

When you find the cache, toss it in the bag. After picking up litter for a little longer, wander to a nearby bench for a break, and sign the log. When you're done, continue picking up trash, replacing the cache as you go, and toss the bag of litter in a trash can as you leave.

Edited by niraD
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CITO is a great cover. Take out a trash bag and start picking up litter. No one will pay any attention to you.

 

When you find the cache, toss it in the bag. After picking up litter for a little longer, wander to a nearby bench for a break, and sign the log. When you're done, continue picking up trash, replacing the cache as you go, and toss the bag of litter in a trash can as you leave.

 

yeah i agree this is a great idea,

see? thats the beauty of the forums, some people need to rant about things that bother them, and some people post honest solutions about how to fix those things some of us have to rant about, and you can either keep ranting, or take the advice, and it really doesnt matter, its about community, its a hobby / sport / job we all liek and there fore want to exchange stories, rants, raves, and reviews about,

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unless the hider placed a earth magnetic nano on the inside of a power box within eyesight of workers who are in the building most of the time, im going to avoid those type of hides from now on, no amount of being stealthy or confident can save you from people who think you are messing with their building power.

 

or nanos right in front of the entrence of a 24 hour place of business. way to go hiders, its super easy to walk by with something the size of a pencil eraser thats highly magnetic, and let it stick onto anything metal you come close to, then find your coordinantes with your smartphone when you get home. Then listing your cache as "other" size wise with little to no description as to what or where it could be. just something snarky like "have fun avoiding muggles, be stealthy" like some n00b geocaching initiation process or some garbage like that.

 

Thanks for that. Especially thanks for not getting permission to hide such a thing at such a store. You're doing us all a huge favor when someone who works there comes out and yells at us for snooping around their facility like an idiot with our head in their bushes, or our hands in their utility boxes, because thats where your bad coordinantes tell us it is supposed to be and there is no other feasible hiding spot except the unlocked, half open electrical box,

 

im not bitter, honestly, i just hope it amuses you, and from now on i will no longer look for any hides you place, and i will make sure not only to tell all my caching friends your hides are no good, and give geocaching a bad rap with civilians, but ill log it on your cache pages as well. thats really all i can do, but i feel better already.

 

true muggles as in customers, park goers, and people driving by, do not pay any attention to you looking like a foll shoulders deep in some bushes, they just think you are sick and tasting lunch twice or something,

 

but muggles as in cops, and store workers / managers / property owners etc etc etc do care, especially if the cache you are looking for was not given permission by such people to be there. ESPECIALLY like i said above, if the said cache is such that just honestly looking innocently for it where its supposed to be makes you look suspicious.

 

Lay off the Power Aid or caffeine. It wore me out just reading your post.

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yeah i agree this is a great idea,

see? thats the beauty of the forums, some people need to rant about things that bother them, and some people post honest solutions about how to fix those things some of us have to rant about, and you can either keep ranting, or take the advice, and it really doesnt matter, its about community, its a hobby / sport / job we all liek and there fore want to exchange stories, rants, raves, and reviews about,

 

I don't mind the rants (too much) - it gives me something to read over lunch!

 

My biggest concern was that when I dropped my little ace at grandma's, I told her that there was a cache at the park she goes to all the time there. I read her the description and the clue (since the gps is my phone). What I didn't tell her was to be stealthy. But a kid poking around the edges of the park is exactly what a kid should be doing! I can't wait to find out if she found it on her own, or if we get to do this one together.

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Act normally. You'd be surprised at just how invisible you are.

Contrary to most people's ego, very few people pay attention to others in a crowd. They think they are more important and interesting to others than they really area. Most people think others are watching them and paying attention to what they do. Not so. As you go about your day few people will ever know another person exists. Others really are not watching you. They don't care.

 

I know I'm invisible when I'm driving to and from work, but when I'm out geocaching too?? C'mon now!

 

The funny thing is, this probably explains half the people I've watched, wondering if they were up to no good, because why would they be around that tree, light pole, sign, etc! :D

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