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cincol

Cache Safety

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I was extremely disturbed to read this log on one of my caches today -

READ LOG HERE This log was on THIS CACHE

 

What is even more disturbing was this poor cacher was attempting his first ever cache!! :mad: I have sent him a PM and I sincerely hope that he will still find his first cache again sometime in the future.

 

This brings me to the purpose of this thread. Perhaps we should discuss ways of helping newbies - and experienced cachers - avoiding such events in the future. Apart from caching in a large group armed to the teeth with firearms I am sure there will be some good contributions to the discussion from SA cachers. We want to encourage newbies and visitors to SA to look for caches. Sure, many caches are in remote locations that could be dangerous. Sure, many SA cachers have also been in similar situations - I know a couple who have been mugged whilst caching. [besem and Team Ginger spring to mind immediately.]

 

Looking forward to some good suggestions / tips / advice.

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I have had my car broken into while caching, and it's happened on one of my caches too.

 

I always find walking on Table Mountain a little intimidating. Some areas are more dangerous than others:

- below the blockhouse and above Rhodes Mem.

- Slopes of signal hill

- Around Maclear's Beacon

- Near the suburbs above the city bowl.

 

I always walk with:

- pepper spray

- hiking poles

- cheap wallet with a little money (I intend to get a cheap cellphone to add to this) which I can hand over if mugged.

 

I take my dog, and walk with friends. I let others know where I am going.

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It takes some time to organise.... but cache in a group. Plenty of fun, and provides some safety in numbers. Even with numbers, remain vigilant, and trust your instincts. Rather walk away from a site if it doesn't feel right and attempt at a different time of day or on a different day. While it makes caching difficult, having the right kind of muggles in an area makes it more difficult for the wrong kind of muggles to get up to nogood.

 

Sadly had incidents on some of my caches too, one in a very busy city park. There will always be opportunists!

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Unfortunately we need to bump this thread back up. This really should be a "must read" for all cachers wanting to attempt to find caches in South Africa.

 

Unfortunately there was another incident in Durban recently that lead to a cacher being mugged and then the caches in the area being archived.

 

Please people - let us add your hints, tips and advice on the subject to this thread and also spread the message via events, Facebook or any other medium.

 

Most local cachers (especially those from an urban area) are well aware of the potential risks of caching in South Africa. Please people - DO NOT LET THE THRILL OF THE HIDE or the quest for a Smiley :) blind you to potential risks!!!!

 

SAFETY FIRST

 

You are an easy target when you are slightly off the beaten track (even in a car park) and have your focus on looking for a cache rather than scanning the environment for potential threats. Not only that you probably have a smart phone, a GPSr, a wallet and car keys on you - a really juicy soft target for someone looking for a target.

 

Having cached around the globe - I am well aware that this could happen in many other countries too (including a few European ones) - but that is not the point. We do not want you to be a statistic!!!!!

 

Caching is inherently safe if played correctly - cuts, scrapes and a broken bone are probably far more likely - but please be aware of the unsavoury social element too.

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Unfortunately we need to bump this thread back up again after a cacher was rather viciously attacked over this past weekend.

Most South African's are aware of the challenges we face in our country and try and take necessary precautions.  Foreign cachers should take note that unfortunately many of our parks and urban spaces are not as safe as they should be and should exercise caution when out and about caching, preferably do not cache alone.  Like anywhere in the world, if you don't know an area, try and gather local intel on the area before heading there.

Cachers can unfortunately be easy targets.  They are focused on a device and intent on looking for a cache and perhaps less observant of people approaching them.  Of course many people cache with phone's nowadays and it is obvious and attractive device for would be muggers.

 

Take care, try not cache alone, do not carry valuables.  If you don't feel safe, abandon hunt and move on.

 

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