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Favorite Answers To "What Are You Doing?" While Caching


Brasstax
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I haven't sought out that many caches where I am likely to be asked what I am doing. I am fortunate to live in an area where I can combine my passion for hiking and now caching and can avoid most such confrontations. However, I do wonder what I would say if I needed to explain myself in the safest possible way. I know honesty is the best policy, especially when dealing with law enforcement, but I was curious what memorable conversations people have had when confronted, be it by police, curious passers-by, property owners or even other cachers. Any good stories out there to inspire us, warn us or just make us laugh?

 

If this topic has already been thoroughly discussed, could someone provide me with the link, I couldn't find one and I'd like to check it out.

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[snip] I carry a bunch of the folding cards that can be downloaded from here:

 

http://www.lehighvalleygeocachers.org/Links.html

 

I used to use them for LEO but now I'll hand them to anyone willing to take them.

 

Good idea. When our children were infants and toddlers my wife used to carry cards with her that contained a statement pertaining to the relavent laws to hand to people that questioned her breast feeding in public places. It's basicly just a nice way of saying shove it to people that should be minding their own business.

 

I underestand the need to inform people of what you're doing when in a place that looks like you might be doing something suspicious but If I am searching along a public trail where I have just as much right to be there as the dog walker who is passing by then my response is going to be short, curt and uninformative. Nosy people drive me nuts and there are far too many of them around IMHO.

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Why would you feel the need to proselytize?

 

Why not? Is there some reason not to share this awesome activity with others?

 

That family in the encounter I linked might be looking for just this kind of thing to do as an outdoor activity. They didn't have a dog and didn't appear to be there trainspotting, although it was a great spot for it (I was surprised that they don't appear to have train track proximity restrictions up here).

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"What am I doing? That would be looking round acting suspiciously, the fact though is that I am waiting at this spot for no reason that concerns you and bid you a pleasent day"

I've been asked "what am I doing" several times. I feel out the situation. If there's a sincere curiosity on the part of the person asking, I like to provide a little insight into geocaching. On the other hand, if there's a negative tone to the question, I politely indicate that I'm enjoying the park or the trail my way. Once, I was actually interrogated by a dog walker who I got to finally back off after I asked if I needed to have a dog on a leash to enjoy the trail. Most are simply curious. I mean, what's so unusual about two grown men coming out from under a bush, lol?

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I usually just explain I'm geocaching. Nothing more suspicious than the tattooed chick rummaging around anywhere. It actually has been kind of fun and I've got to meet some neato people that way as well. Other than urban caches our caches typically stay in place here if non-cachers find them. Found a bunch of them and read the paper logs in them to find non-cacher after non-cacher who have found it signing the logs out in the woods.

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I usually just pull a "Watchtower" pamphlet out of my pocket and ask them if they have a few minutes to talk, and they get the heck out of there.

:-)

Love this one, may have to use it. :P:

As long as you don't run into another JW...

 

I usually just say "scavenger hunt" to avoid a lengthy explanation. Though these days just about everyone has heard of geocaching.

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Why would you feel the need to proselytize?

 

Why not? Is there some reason not to share this awesome activity with others?

 

That family in the encounter I linked might be looking for just this kind of thing to do as an outdoor activity. They didn't have a dog and didn't appear to be there trainspotting, although it was a great spot for it (I was surprised that they don't appear to have train track proximity restrictions up here).

Some people just aren't trustworthy... I would certainly never explain it to a teen, unless they look very honest, and are there with adults.

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When confronted around parks I usually respond with " I am waiting for the small children...." Funny, no one seems to laugh. Seriously, if they are pleasant about the inquiry, I will provide a short overview of geocaching. If they are rude, they become my verbal play toy.

Edited by Russ!
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I used to provide a cover story to non-LEO people who asked. For the last year or so, though, I've simply offered the truth. Around here, most people have heard about geocaching previously.

 

Yesterday, we were asked twice. Both people had heard about it before. One had accidentally found a geocache last year. The other was a park groundskeeper who now understands why so many people behave strangely around one of the park's picnic tables.

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'Looking for spiders (or snakes)' usually makes them loose interest.

 

While searching for a cache in a rocky area near a boat ramp in the Outer Banks I had a muggle ask me if I was looking for snakes. When I told him that I wasn't he said, "we'll if you keep looking around over by those rocks you'll probably find one anyway". I DNFd that cache.

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I live in a country where I don't speak the main language fluently. This naturally limits my response repertoire.

 

I never try to hide what I am doing, and actually find most people either don't notice, or frankly could not care less.

 

Almost every time someone has asked me what I am doing it is becasue they think I have lost something, and are offering to help find it (the Swiss are pretty community spirited like that).

 

I am always pretty up front. I tell them I am playing a game with friends. One of them hides a magnet and I am trying to find it. In return I hide something for them. At this point most people just walk away. If they ask more questions I usually pull out leaflet, and tell them to look it up online.

 

With my recent success rate, the chances are I am not leading them to anything anyway.... :rolleyes:

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I have found that if a muggle arrives you are better off to keep on hunting in the undergrowth making funny grunting noises, cursing to yourself as usual. Amazingly they just move on (quickly). I was deep in an Ivy covered tree on all fours the other day and actually called out 'good morning' nice and confidently on a muggles approach. Even the Rottweiller gave me a wide berth.

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Was caught in Northern Manhattan aroudn 9pm with my girlfriend geocaching and some little old lady from the church next door was hovering adn starting shouting and calling us disrespectful and told us to move on..so walked away still looking, eventually had a DNF :(

However whilst in Central Park i was looking by the lake for a cache when i discovered i was accompanied by two men sat on top of the rock on top of the cache!! I seen the GPS in their hand and me with paper and caches dotted on! Got chatting for a while then headed separate ways! First time caching in New York whilst travelling and met people along the way! :)

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