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SkinDog1

Stealth?

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OK so I am new as heck to this. I discovered geocaching through a friend on facebook and didn't get serious about it until some people I work with got into it. Now my competitive nature is forcing me into this. I look forward to this and found my first cache today, but I was disappointed that it wasn't online so I can't log it on here (is that common?). Question 2 is I noticed lots of these say stealth required, and I don't understand why that is important? I could understand if the location was somewhere I wasn't supposed to be why it would say that but most of them are public places? Thanks for helping the newbie with this and good luck to all.

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Forget Stealth:

I advise you to not try and be stealthy. That just attracts more undue attention. Instead be bold. Be proud of what you are doing - act as though you are doing nothing wrong (mostly because you aren't!!). Act as though it is your job to find that cache, a job you are very good at and proud to do. Find it. Sign it. Put it back and move on. Carry a clipboard and look professional - you'll blend into the background. That is what I do.

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I agree with StarBrand. I used to be worried about people seeing me, but now I just go and get it.

 

The reason people say it requires stealth is because of the fear that someone will see you get the cache and then be curious and go get it themselves and not return it because they don't understand geocaching and what it is about. Personally, I generally feel that if someone hides a cache in a place where it is likely someone will be seen finding it then they should expect the cache to get muggled every now and then and be prepared to replace it.

 

Edit to say that I only go after caches that are posted on this site so I don't know how common it is for there to be caches from other sites that are not also cross-posted here.

Edited by GeePa

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Just dont attract attention to yourself.

I have found that dressing in decent clothes and looking like you are supposed to be there will get most people to ignore you.

For roadside caches just park and hold your cell phone since you shouldnt be talking and driving, see you are being a good and safe citizen.

I find if I try "hiding" in the scenery after retrieving a cache while signing instead of taking the cache back to the car and signing it then returning it draws unwanted attention.

I do like the idea of the clipboard, no one questions the guy with the clipboard!

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I noticed lots of these say stealth required, and I don't understand why that is important? I could understand if the location was somewhere I wasn't supposed to be why it would say that but most of them are public places?
A "stealth required" warning doesn't necessarily mean that the cache was placed without adequate permission. If a location is a very busy public location, then cache seekers will be observed by a lot of people besides the land manager. Those bystanders might notice the location of the search or even the cache itself, and might remove or vandalize the cache.

 

The "stealth" technique that I usually use is to pick up trash while I search. People see people picking up trash, and then pay no more attention to them.

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I could understand if the location was somewhere I wasn't supposed to be why it would say that but most of them are public places?

This almost sounds as though you feel that you need to hide yourself..... No!

Think more along the lines of being a magician -- being able to find and grab up the cache with slight-of-hand, if you will. Do so without others that may be present (or those even unnoticed by you) see and/or realize that you are:

1) looking for something;

2) finding and taking it (the cache) from under their noses, if necessary;

3) replacing same in like manner;

4) going about your business as if you were never there.

 

Couple of days ago, I cached in a popular park with many scenic overlooks, all of which had observation platforms. Of course, all of those locations had a cache hidden in close proximity. Weather was absolutely the best and the crowds were fairly large.

 

In order to make myself "invisible", I stayed out of their way (everyone was taking photos) making sure that I gave them space. I then volunteered myself to each group to take their photo so that all could be in the 'all family' pose on their own cameras.

While one crew was taking their photos, I would snatch the cache. Then take the volunteer photo.

I would sign the log, while the next crew approached.

-- Repeat process --

Re-hide cache as they were leaving and the next crew coming.

 

The guy with the white goatee wearing motorcycle garb sure was nice, just there for the views. They never knew what he actually did.

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I look forward to this and found my first cache today, but I was disappointed that it wasn't online so I can't log it on here (is that common?).

 

It sounds like you found an archived cache. Very often, a cache will get archived, but the owner doesn't collect it.

 

Or you might have found a cache that is listed at another site.

 

Do you have the GC code for it? How did you get the coordinates for it?

 

 

B.

Edited by Pup Patrol

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My most-used technique for when people are looking at us oddly is just to smile at them and say hi, real cheerful, like OF COURSE it's absolutely fine that I'm there, why wouldn't I be? I think if I looked sneaky, people would be more suspicious, but what's more normal than two moms and a four-year-old taking a break near a cool-looking thing?

 

I admit, I also use the four-year-old as camouflage. I mean, really, who's gonna take a little kid like that on something illegal or dangerous? :P

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what's more normal than two moms and a four-year-old taking a break near a cool-looking thing?

 

 

Nothing at all...but two moms and a four year old poking around a dumpster behind the local strip mall would NOT look normal. And unfortunately these days that's more and more what you get. It seems to be the exception rather than the norm that caches are located near "cool looking things"...

 

You want suspicious, try being a middle aged man and an adolescent girl (my daughter) sneaking off (or even just nonchalantly strolling) into a patch of woods in the secluded back corner of some parking lot. I'm waiting for some busybody to call the cops on us some day.

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I look forward to this and found my first cache today, but I was disappointed that it wasn't online so I can't log it on here (is that common?).

 

It sounds like you found an archived cache. Very often, a cache will get archived, but the owner doesn't collect it.

 

Or you might have found a cache that is listed at another site.

 

Do you have the GC code for it? How did you get the coordinates for it?

 

 

B.

 

A coworker gave me a clue as to were it was so I could see how small a micro could be. I think its probably a premium member cache (he is one) that doesn't show up for us freeloaders.

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what's more normal than two moms and a four-year-old taking a break near a cool-looking thing?

 

 

Nothing at all...but two moms and a four year old poking around a dumpster behind the local strip mall would NOT look normal. And unfortunately these days that's more and more what you get. It seems to be the exception rather than the norm that caches are located near "cool looking things"...

 

You want suspicious, try being a middle aged man and an adolescent girl (my daughter) sneaking off (or even just nonchalantly strolling) into a patch of woods in the secluded back corner of some parking lot. I'm waiting for some busybody to call the cops on us some day.

Well, I check them all before we go, and I haven't found one yet that's near a dumpster behind the local strip mall. There are a couple that are near dumpsters, but we haven't gone for those yet, mostly because the ones within walking distance and the ones that I'm willing to get in the car for... well, they aren't those. :)

 

(I will say that one's by the dumpster of a bakery, but I'd like to visit the bakery while we're there. However, they have early morning hours, and we're not early-morning people. :P )

 

Maybe I'm just lucky that the great majority of caches around here are placed by cool-looking things. Definitely ups the challenge of placing our first one; I want ours to be awesome like the ones I've found (or not found but looked for). But it does say a lot about the local cachers, I think, that they're usually placed in interesting spots! A lot of them do have Stealth attributes, which is one drawback of having caches in interesting spots, but as mentioned, I just wave and say hi to anyone looking at us weird. (And to be fair, we're usually not very good at stealth; a loud, active child who's probably going a mile a minute about geocaches, plus two women with unnaturally-colored hair is a situation that doesn't lend itself to stealth. Thus, my approach, acting like everything's fine and we have every right to be there.) :)

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I think it's great when people are curious what you are doing- it's an opportunity to teach them about geocaching. Vandals will occur when people aren't educated.

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The way I look at it stealth is mentioned to keep the cache location safe from curious bystanders.

 

Like mentioned above you don't want to be sneaking around like 007 or you're going to get unwanted attention. Sometimes you have to try to blend in with the crowd while waiting for the right opportunity to strike.

 

The other day I was looking for a cache at a boat landing but two guys were parked right in front of it. So, I just walked down to the dock, smiled and waved, then acted like I was just there for the view of the lake (which I was)

 

I took some pics, sat there for about 10 minutes, and then they pulled off. As soon as I grabbed the cache (magnetic bison tube in the railing of a sign) a family pulled up so I had to play the game again.

 

They were occupied with their lunch, so I thought it would be smooth sailing until I tried to reposition the cache. The lady looked right at me. I casually walked off, smiled and waved at them as I left.

 

Who knows, maybe my mistake could've led to a family discovering geocaching!

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The way I look at it stealth is mentioned to keep the cache location safe from curious bystanders.

 

Like mentioned above you don't want to be sneaking around like 007 or you're going to get unwanted attention. Sometimes you have to try to blend in with the crowd while waiting for the right opportunity to strike.

 

The other day I was looking for a cache at a boat landing but two guys were parked right in front of it. So, I just walked down to the dock, smiled and waved, then acted like I was just there for the view of the lake (which I was)

 

I took some pics, sat there for about 10 minutes, and then they pulled off. As soon as I grabbed the cache (magnetic bison tube in the railing of a sign) a family pulled up so I had to play the game again.

 

They were occupied with their lunch, so I thought it would be smooth sailing until I tried to reposition the cache. The lady looked right at me. I casually walked off, smiled and waved at them as I left.

 

Who knows, maybe my mistake could've led to a family discovering geocaching!

 

Now, try doing that with a nano that is hidden under a newspaper rack, five feet from the main entrance to a busy supermarket. They do exists, and they are really simple to hide, but finding it without attracting attention is an entirely different story. Unless the cache has a clear hint as to what or where to look, I usually just skip the caches that have the Stealth icon.

 

BTW, the way that you handled that situation was perfect. I have been caught replacing a container a few times and I make it a point to stick around for a bit and act casual. A lot of the bomb scare incidents that involve geocaches are because someone sees a cacher replace the cache and then rush away like he needs to get out of there before the bomb goes off.

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I was in East Lansing this week and introduced a college-age nephew of mine to geocaching. We zeroed in on a magnet key hide attached to a very public street bench. There were people sitting at a restaurant table within a few feet, and a lady walking by even asked us if we were waiting on a bus?! LOL. Anyway, we visualized a cache on the underside of the bench and just made a game of it to grab it without drawing attention. It was a lot of fun, and we joked about how it would look if caught on video or something. The bottom line was we had fun with it. I also subscribe to the "clipboard" attitude method, mentioned above, where you just be bold. On one cache hunt a few weeks ago, we had some muggles come up to us and start asking what we were doing. I simply told him we were surveying the area, (not in the literal sense) and they just nodded and left us be without much more inquiry. Have fun with it....

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Now, try doing that with a nano that is hidden under a newspaper rack, five feet from the main entrance to a busy supermarket. They do exists, and they are really simple to hide, but finding it without attracting attention is an entirely different story. Unless the cache has a clear hint as to what or where to look, I usually just skip the caches that have the Stealth icon.
I'm dealing with one like that right now.

 

It's hidden somewhere on main street in the downtown area of my city. So, there are always a lot of people there, and even when the crowds die down there are apartments everywhere. The cache is well hidden and the clue doesn't help to zero in on it so it's going to require some odd poking around that'll probably attract a lot of attention.

 

These types of hides are interesting because of the challenge but I don't like attracting that type of attention to myself. I'd much rather search for caches in the woods.

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A coworker gave me a clue as to were it was so I could see how small a micro could be. I think its probably a premium member cache (he is one) that doesn't show up for us freeloaders.

 

You can still log it.

There's a method a 'Backdoor' or loophole that is allowed by Groundspeak.

You just need to know which cache, Name/GC number, to log it.

 

Do you know your co-workers caching name, so you can search for the cache?

Or if you can give the approximate location, someone here may be able to help.

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OK so I am new as heck to this. I discovered geocaching through a friend on facebook and didn't get serious about it until some people I work with got into it. Now my competitive nature is forcing me into this. I look forward to this and found my first cache today, but I was disappointed that it wasn't online so I can't log it on here (is that common?). Question 2 is I noticed lots of these say stealth required, and I don't understand why that is important? I could understand if the location was somewhere I wasn't supposed to be why it would say that but most of them are public places? Thanks for helping the newbie with this and good luck to all.

 

If you're "forcing yourself into this" are you having any fun?

This is a game, meant to be fun.

If you're not having fun, you might look for a game you enjoy more.

Getting into this competitively would require more daily commitment than you can possibly imagine. To spend that kind of time on something you're "forcing yourself into" and not having fun doing would be pretty nuts.

 

Have fun, or go find something else you enjoy doing.

This is for fun.

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OK so I am new as heck to this. I discovered geocaching through a friend on facebook and didn't get serious about it until some people I work with got into it. Now my competitive nature is forcing me into this. I look forward to this and found my first cache today, but I was disappointed that it wasn't online so I can't log it on here (is that common?). Question 2 is I noticed lots of these say stealth required, and I don't understand why that is important? I could understand if the location was somewhere I wasn't supposed to be why it would say that but most of them are public places? Thanks for helping the newbie with this and good luck to all.

 

If you're "forcing yourself into this" are you having any fun?

This is a game, meant to be fun.

If you're not having fun, you might look for a game you enjoy more.

Getting into this competitively would require more daily commitment than you can possibly imagine. To spend that kind of time on something you're "forcing yourself into" and not having fun doing would be pretty nuts.

 

Have fun, or go find something else you enjoy doing.

This is for fun.

 

I'm having a blast, the "forcing me into" was tounge in cheek. I was refering to the motivation to finally hunt after I had signed up almost 5 months earlier. But thanks for the advice.

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I think that after awhile you start to develop a "sixth sense" about what sort of muggles will be a problem. Sometimes if the location is truly busy then everyone is too preoccupied with what they're doing to even notice you're there...you just sort of blend into the crowd and not one pays particular attention to you.

 

On the other hand, if the location is fairly quiet and people aren't normally hanging around where the cache is, then your mere presence may seem conspicuous to the casual observer. Plus some people are just busybodies and make a habit of concerning themselves with what other people are doing.

 

Then, the type of person doing the observing might make a difference. Older people might call the cops or question what you're doing there because they think you're up to something. Alternately, a bunch of teenagers might see you replace the cache and then decide to steal it or vandalize it just to be jerks. "Profiling" is a dirty word these days but that's really what it amounts to...checking out the observers and making a judgement call whether they'll be a problem or not.

 

Sometimes the hide itself will dictate whether you should go for it or come back later. If recent logs indicate it's a particularly sneaky hide, suggesting that you may have to spend several minutes looking for it in muggly conditions, maybe you should come back later. But sometimes the opposite is true....I recently logged a couple of caches where muggles were definitely an issue, but the type of hide made it easy to tell where it was going to be before I even got out of the car...on those sometimes you can just stroll up and grab the container then casually walk back to your car to sign the log before anyone even notices what you did.

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