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Geocaching with kids and stealth


Flah_and_Kids
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Ok..am I the only one that caches with kids and who have given up on stealth when with them?

I have explained the meaning of the hunt, the reason for stealth but yet, we found ourselves in situations where if there is bushwhacking or bugs or thorns or....(you get the point)involved the kids will talk, yell, scream, etc....

Unless I have just one of them with me (I have 3) then stealth is not something I have been able to achieve. Thankfully, the only time so far we came across other people while caching was a couple of other geocachers and all was well.

But I am getting really discouraged by the racket they make and afraid they might compromise caches.

Have you encountered the same issue when caching with kids and if so, have you found a solution?

 

Thank you,

 

Flavia

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Like wiseye said, the kids are your cammo. Some caches I don't like because I feel so exposed. I wait on those until I get a chance to bring the kids. Curiosity and kids are like peanut butter and jelly. No one will think anything other than that you and the kids are having fun playing a game.

Edited by rawkhopper
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I am getting really discouraged by the racket they make and afraid they might compromise caches.

 

Parents playing with their kids are invisible. Nobody hears or sees you (as being suspicious). Kids are an excellent cloaking device for Geocaching. Trust me. If there are people actually sitting on the Geocache, or very close (so that you end up in their space), maybe come back to that cache later. Otherwise (as others have said), be confident, and just let kids be kids, and go get the cache.

 

If folks approach you to ask, or seem overly interested, understand this important thing:

They're simply curious about what this magic activity is which is fun for you and engaging to your family, and how do they find out more about it.

Edited by kunarion
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The kids are your cammo...!

 

Now my "kids" are teenagers and mostly behave... but regardless, I agree that in general kids can be more of a help then a hindrance. But it depends on the reason for the need for stealth.

 

The typical situation where I feel "stealth" is needed is where there are lots of muggles around, and I fear I can be seen finding or returning the cache. I do worry about this (even if I assume permissions are fine etc), as I don't want to risk the cache being stolen, or worse yet someone calling the police (if I look suspicious). In these cases, kids make you look less suspicious. People will look away from a family with noisy kids; they will be more likely to look at a middle aged man alone crawling under a bench..... send a 4 year old under the bench and all is well.

 

There are situations where it is best to be quiet. One example is a cache I found which was hidden with permission, but to get to it requires a path across private land. This path is used fairly regularly by non-geocachers to access the same site, but it is not a public right of way. So as a courtesy to the owner of the land if nothing else it is best to be quiet. I did that cache with a group which included several younger children, we told them in advance to be quiet along that stretch and they were.

 

Mostly I prefer to cache where stealth doesn't matter so much, as you are in the woods etc.. but still I find the need for stealth comes up from time to time.

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My family is the loudest on the planet and we never have problems when caching or hiking. Most people just smile and wave or if they ask questions I do my best to teach them about caching or a simple its like a savenger hunt. Ive yet to have a problem anywhere in America when I was minding my own business.

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I find my kids really useful for the following;

 

- Putting down holes

- Lowering in to ditches

- Sending under bridges

- Looking over barriers/guard rails.road signs (I tell them to pretend to be being sick)

- Lifting on to walls/trees

- Rummaging through hedges/undergrowth

 

The kids are not necessarily stealthy about these tasks but it is far less suspicious than a grown up doing it!!

Sometimes they even enjoy it.

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My partner has two kids, ages 3 and almost 2. They love caching, and they are pretty loud. The three year old will see someone coming and shriek, "Look Daddy, a muggle!" I think that people expect kids to be looking in funny places and exploring, and they are much less suspicious of someone with children, rather than if someone is out there by themselves, especially a single guy.

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Why the concern with stealth? Just go and find the cache and have fun.

Lots of people believe that a responsible player doesn't attract undue attention to a cache. They, therefore, use a bit of 'stealth' when looking for caches. As a parent, this means that I try to keep my kids from drawing undue attention to the cache, also.

 

One solution is to skip those caches that one's kids might draw too much attention to and stick to the ones where kids being kids wouldn't attract attention.

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Kids are the best excuse to being out there, playing. And when they try to look innocent and not geocaching, they look they are playing still. It is also great when you have to stick your arm into a hole that you know is filled with creepy crawlies as they just love that stuff.

 

They are the best when a small or micro is hidden in a bush and you don't want to dig around to find it.

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Good responses, everyone. My two boys and I have been doing this for almost a year and a half and they're both 9yo now. At first it was the "Woohoo!!! We found it!" and the jumping for joy would start :lol: , but now after almost 200 finds under their belts, they understand what this is all about and have matured...or at least tried to mature into good geocachers, hehe. Understanding what a "Muggle" is (courtesy of Harry Potter and Co. :lol: ), really made being stealthy hit home and they go to great lengths to tie their shoes by a bench, or trip near a lamp post in the middle of a parking lot, or squat down below the height of nearby bushes. It's kind of enjoyable to watch their "acting". It's also funny to hear them whisper, sometimes way to loud, "Watch out!! I see a muggle!", or "Quick, hide the cache...someone's coming!".

 

Their geocaching mentality really hit home when one evening when we were returning from a relatives house that was a couple of hours away. One of my sons HAD to use the restroom, but none were nearby. So we pulled off the road and both boys ran 20' into to woods past some of those 2'x 4'concrete blocks. On their way back, I see them stop, turn around and go BACK to those blocks, look around for about 15 seconds...Meanwhile, my wife (not much of a geocacher), wondered why they ran back and then wondered why I started chuckling out loud <grin>. I quickly said, ask them when they come back. She asked and one plainly says, as though it was normalest (is that a word, hehe) thing to do, they thought that those blocks were a perfect spot for a geocache and wanted to check none was hidden there B).

 

Kids can be very funny at times and I'd rather be caching with my boys than without :)

Edited by Fryguy1111
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The first time I took the family out with me, I told the kids about being quiet and not yelling out loud that we were looking for or found a cache. I told them we should come up with secret word to use to say we found the cache. On the way to the cache I started spotting deer, rabbit, and coyote tracks. When I pointed out one particularly large set of deer prints, my middle daughter asked 'Is that a Cantaloupe hoof?' My wife and I laughed so hard we had to stop for a few minutes. We decided to use Cantaloupe as our secret 'found the cache' word when we cache. So if you're out in the woods and you hear someone yell CANTALOUPE!, you know we just logged another smiley. :}

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The kids are your cammo...!

So true, and add my little dachsund on a leash and go caching in a Park. B) I am a expert in the art of camo. :ph34r:

Tip: Carry a doggy poo bag for picking up the cache when located. :anibad:

I have an image of you walking around with a doggy poo bag with an ammo can in it... Trying not to look suspicious as muggles see you with a large doggy poo bag and a small dog. :blink:

 

:laughing:

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The kids are your cammo...!

So true, and add my little dachsund on a leash and go caching in a Park. B) I am a expert in the art of camo. :ph34r:

Tip: Carry a doggy poo bag for picking up the cache when located. :anibad:

I have an image of you walking around with a doggy poo bag with an ammo can in it... Trying not to look suspicious as muggles see you with a large doggy poo bag and a small dog. :blink:

 

:laughing:

Yeah, that may not work for most ammo cans. I have some "Urban Ammo Can" hides the poo bag would work with. Size is unlisted, geocache container is discribed as an ammo can, hint is magnetic, cache container is a .177 air gun pellet can with log, and holds most trackables. :lol:

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I LOVE the answers here. Of course, sometimes you must be stealthy, but much of the time the kids will be perfect cover. For some reason, this reminded me of a discussion from this forum a while back. Someone suggested an orange vest and a hard-hat for appropriate caching camo. Someone wearing those are expected to be poking around odd places.

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I was out with my 8 and 11 year old today. Bushing near some popular trails. Then the 8 year old is GONE. He has Aspergers and can get really sidetracked easily.

 

Dog walkers come along and I show them a picture of him with today's clothes on, and ask if they saw him. No they hadn't but they sure wanted to know HOW I had misplaced him . Somehow saying well I was over in the bush looking for a cache then went over a cliff and my dd had to help me up. :ph34r: Wouldn't have been the right thing to say. :unsure:

 

They went one way, I went another, and dd went another. He was found right away, but man that couple thinks I'm a bad parent. :anicute:

 

Kids are great cammo, I almost feel nakid :ph34r: :ph34r: :ph34r: caching without them.

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I LOVE the answers here. Of course, sometimes you must be stealthy, but much of the time the kids will be perfect cover. For some reason, this reminded me of a discussion from this forum a while back. Someone suggested an orange vest and a hard-hat for appropriate caching camo. Someone wearing those are expected to be poking around odd places.

 

I wear an orange vest at work and usually nab a cache a day on the way home. I never take the vest off until I get home and it seems to help not draw attention. Also, since it is now deer season, it's very handy to have in the woods.

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I laughed so hard reading "dphickey"s post about the "Cantalope"....amazing what's kids come up with.....to add to our daily lives....

But anyway....I have been looked at far far less while caching with my son that I have by myself.....and especially since my son will soon be 9....people tend to not think twice about a boy running around poking and prodding and looking for hiding spots...

I enjoy caching tremendously.....but when my son is with me I enjoy it a million times more!

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I agree if you are with your kids you look less suspicious then alone. We hid a large 5 gallon bucket at a remote place that ended up being to close to the end of a puzzle. We had named that cool spot the obnoxious geo pile. So now not only did we have to move a big green 5 gallon bucket but also a huge geopile! I got out a bag to put the bucket in and it looked worse then carrying the bucket. We get to the place to pull out the bag with the bucket and my daughter points out there is some guy with a green 5 gallon bucket getting out of his car?? :blink: So we decided to just rock the 5 gallon bucket and no one seemed to question it. We then had to move a big geo pile in a cart. Some lady with a dog was more worried about where her dog was then to notice we had a big cart filled with rocks and sticks. Kind of fun and I sometimes think if you just act like you know what you are doing that no one will notice more then if you act like you are hiding something. My daughter definitely helped as I think if I was alone it would have looked even weirder.

-WarNinjas

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I laughed so hard reading "dphickey"s post about the "Cantalope"....amazing what's kids come up with.....to add to our daily lives....

But anyway....I have been looked at far far less while caching with my son that I have by myself.....and especially since my son will soon be 9....people tend to not think twice about a boy running around poking and prodding and looking for hiding spots...

I enjoy caching tremendously.....but when my son is with me I enjoy it a million times more!

 

Y'know, there is this key part of punctuation called a comma. Some people use them instead of ellipsi. Just a though y'all?

 

'Huetes out

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I love caching with my children. They are great for diving into bushes or under benches to retrieve the cache and also great distraction techniques for finding a nano.. "we're looking at a spider". Ok yes...the ability to be stealthy is greatly reduced but who is going to take notice of a family! I also feel safer caching with my children as my husband is not overly keen on caching but will suffer coming with me with bribery!

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I laughed so hard reading "dphickey"s post about the "Cantalope"....amazing what's kids come up with.....to add to our daily lives....

But anyway....I have been looked at far far less while caching with my son that I have by myself.....and especially since my son will soon be 9....people tend to not think twice about a boy running around poking and prodding and looking for hiding spots...

I enjoy caching tremendously.....but when my son is with me I enjoy it a million times more!

 

Y'know, there is this key part of punctuation called a comma. Some people use them instead of ellipsi. Just a though y'all?

 

'Huetes out

 

This is an online internet forum, not a term paper. I find the use of ellipses (the plural of ellipse is ellipses, not elipsi) much more conversational than a sentence constructed with commas (commi?), a writing style that I think works much better for online forums.

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Someone once mentioned on these forums that when you are trying to look stealthy you look way more suspicious.

 

I LOVE the answers here. Of course, sometimes you must be stealthy, but much of the time the kids will be perfect cover. For some reason, this reminded me of a discussion from this forum a while back. Someone suggested an orange vest and a hard-hat for appropriate caching camo. Someone wearing those are expected to be poking around odd places.

 

OT, I know, but this reminds me of when I swear I saw a "pro" caching crew. I was parked outside of EMS looking at my shiny new GPS and an really nice Audi pulls up next to me not even close to the door. Out jumps 3 college age kids, they go into the trunk and pull out the shiniest orange construction vest and hard hats and then run off behind the EMS. 5 minutes later they are back and in the car and take off.

 

Now I have been around a lot of construction workers and none of them looked like one. The only issue was that I knew there weren't any caches where they went. So, unless it was part of a multi or puzzle or something I am not sure what they were going for.

 

Long story short, if they were cachers, they had there stealth on point. I sure nobody would know what they were doing unless they knew about GC.

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I have found the most useful "stealth" technique is to have an answer to the question in my mind before I leave the geomobile. Stealth isn't about being sneaky, its about blending into your environment and carrying yourself as if you belong there. Looking up a skirt, hey, I'm the state skirt inspector. With the answer in mind there have been very few instances where it was actually necessary. I usually cache alone and would avoid any playground that had children or families in attendance, or any similar circumstance where i was unable to blend in.

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having little kids can be helpful or hurtful if one wants stealth. If I am near a playground or near a residential area, having my 2 year old helps a ton. I can just walk right past a neighbor and they do not look at me as suspiciously, or I can more easily search a bench without being noticed for what I am doing.

 

However, had a cache the other day, was like 15 feet off trail in a park. Some joggers were going by, I was at the cache. If I was quiet, I knew they would not have noticed me behind this random tree 10-15 feet off trail, but my 2 year old yells out HI! HI! They noticed us when if by myself, I would not have been.

 

So, double edged sword, good and the bad as far as stealth goes, if you are going for that.

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I remember seeing a quote here in the forums that basically said that if "stealth is required" then it is a terrible place to have a cache. I tend to agree with this. There is a micro cache nearby that is on one of the busiest intersections in the city and " stealth is required".This is one that made the ignore list for me.

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I remember seeing a quote here in the forums that basically said that if "stealth is required" then it is a terrible place to have a cache. I tend to agree with this. There is a micro cache nearby that is on one of the busiest intersections in the city and " stealth is required".This is one that made the ignore list for me.

 

I don't know if I agree with that. I just returned to a nano right in the center of our time. You have to really plan to get this one because the pedestrian traffic is insane. That being said, this is a little main street town that anyone who visits loves. It can easily be bypassed by a main route. So, if someone stops for this cache on there way up the highway they will certainly be brought to a nice location that is worth visiting. Isn't that part of the game?

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I remember seeing a quote here in the forums that basically said that if "stealth is required" then it is a terrible place to have a cache. I tend to agree with this. There is a micro cache nearby that is on one of the busiest intersections in the city and " stealth is required".This is one that made the ignore list for me.

 

I don't know if I agree with that. I just returned to a nano right in the center of our time. You have to really plan to get this one because the pedestrian traffic is insane. That being said, this is a little main street town that anyone who visits loves. It can easily be bypassed by a main route. So, if someone stops for this cache on there way up the highway they will certainly be brought to a nice location that is worth visiting. Isn't that part of the game?

 

What I think was meant is that often when a cache page says "stealth is required" there is an issue with the placement - e.g. watch out for the security guard.

 

While I generally prefer caches in more remote places; I prefer a cache in a very busy (but nice) location than one overlooked by 1 or 2 houses. In the middle of a city you can blend in, easy not to be noticed.

 

Today I tried to find a cache which was on a quiet road, but right opposite a house. A dog came out barking at me; the owner followed after. Those are the types of locations I don't like.

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Why the concern with stealth? Just go and find the cache and have fun.

 

Yea, me and the kid used to worry about stealth. So much that once the kid boldly stated to a passing muggle, when we were trying to grab a ammocan under a stairway to a beach, "We aren't doing anything!" Yep not trying to be stealthy anymore.

 

We have no trouble getting those caches on playground equipment, in parks or anywere else kids are expected to be. Now I have got funny looks comming out of the woods with her. I know people are thinking "Why was that middle age man in the woods behide the stripmall with that little girl? Problem? Not really.

 

We will wait until a passerby heads down the sidewalk before returning a cache to its hidding place. But if a cache requires more stealth then that maybe the cache is in to public of a place. Then again both of us would rather find a ammocan in the woods then a micro on a street sign anyday. The ammocan just might have some dirty Mcswag that we can trade for. 8-)

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