Jump to content
Sign in to follow this  
Followers 6
tweetiepy

How can you be inconspicuous when the cache is in public?

Recommended Posts

I looked though this thread just to be sure that suggestions are what I really used to do at geocaches when trying to be sneaky :)

 

In our country the percentage of muggled geocaches is very high. The game in urban environment actually started here a couple of years ago and geocachers still lack experience in how to camouflage a micro attached to a fence, how to grab it without demostrating this attempt to everyone around, etc. So, it's an issue of not only circumstances but also my own experience. I would better avoid grabbing a cache if there's a muggle sitting too close to it. I would definitely not try explaining him/her the meaning of the game (quite useless attempt here). In most cases I just leave to return later. Many caches are better found at night (late evening). Kids are helpful but not in every situation. Talking on a mobile phone, lighting a cigarette, trying to tie shoelaces or find something in my bag are usual tricks. It's very good to have a camera at hand. Most caches are hidden in interesting places so no one is surprised seeing a man trying to focus on some building, changing lenses, writing smth in a small logbook (just some numbers, aperture/focal distance, right?) When someone sees a photographer he/she quickly switches attention from me to what I'm supposedly taking photo of. It's sometimes good to talk to a stranger if I feel he/she becomes troubled with my presence, e.g. ask him/her something about the place. Many locals seem to be happy to talk about the church they visited when being children, long ago, and share their knowledge with someone.

 

I definitely cannot understand cache owners who place containers in a way that my behaviour is suspicious whatever I do to be sneaky. E.g. there was a nano cache attached to a road sign standing on a crossroads at a height of about 2.5 m. The location was observed clearly from hundreds of windows of houses nearby. Cars were usually parked at every corner. The most problematic issue was a playground for kids at about 3 m from the GZ. While kids were busy their parents seem to be really bored and interested in everything that happened around. I would understand if the cache was "just to demonstrate your ability to become invisible" - however it was devoted to a really nice church at some distance. The church was better observed at day time but I had to return there at night to grab this cache. I bet there were many good places to put a magnetic nano (including those closer to the church).

Share this post


Link to post

I had to give up on 3 caches on the last 2 days because it was placed on a very crowded area (eg : one next to a very busy intersection in the middle of the city, another one in a street parking place with people constantly parking and leaving). As a young woman, I will not go out in this neighbourhood alone at night, it's not safe at all. I'm gonna try again tomorrow morning but if it's another fail, I'll just give up on those caches all together :( I just don't want to go for it, be noticed and then for the cache to be muggled. I'd rather not risk it .

 

I agree with you CJ, it's easier when it's placed near a church or something you could be looking at as a tourist/photograph/etc ^_^

Edited by ClemB

Share this post


Link to post

In Orlando there are quite a high number of urban hides and for the most part, I just get away with it simply with confidence. If I look like I know what I'm doing, no one bothers me. In my experience, if I'm with a small group, absolutely no one questions what we're doing. On the few occasions where I have been noticed, I simply explain what geocaching is. It is quite remarkable how excited some people get when it dawns on them that this hobby exists. I know of at least a half dozen people who have started geocaching here because of such an introduction.

 

There have been two occasions when a police officer has asked me what I was doing. In first occasion, they actually thought it was an awesome outdoor activity and they helped me find it. On the second, I actually made a new friend that has begun geocaching with me. There is no greater advantage to night-caching than to have a police officer on your team!

Share this post


Link to post

I got caught today while out with my son and his friend by the employees I guess of the building we were near. I said we were hunting for treasure. They stared at us for a very long time.

Share this post


Link to post

You should probably make some adjustments to your mental play list and delete the theme songs for

,
, and
. :lol:

They are all very cool tunes, but don't inspire acting naturally while looking for something which is what you really ought to be doing. Also, sizing up GZ from a distance before you actually start the search can narrow down the targets.

Edited by wimseyguy

Share this post


Link to post

I have seen cachers trying to act casual. They REALLY REALLY sitck out.. don't bother.

 

I will try to make a fake phone call, mill about, circle back.. .but if someone is really giving me the eye.. I go for the goods.. or I move on.. depending how I feel.

 

Shaun

Share this post


Link to post

Now you get to take all that carp home with you and pay for it to be disposed of.

 

Toss the "carp" back in the lake - or maybe someone here has a good fish recipe!

Share this post


Link to post

If I am out in the countryside/woods then usually it is not a problem. If I am unlucky and muggles are walking by when I reach GZ I'll wait for them to move on.

 

In a busy urban environment then I assume I'm pretty much invisible and go for it. Obviously I'll not wave the cache around and make it obvious.

 

The hardest and where I feel the most uncomfortable is when I am in a rural area, but near a house. Example: in a wood off a public footpath, but across the street from a house with a dog. When you look for the cache the dog starts barking and the owner comes out. I assume there is no permission issue with the cache; but does this owner know about it? To make it worse the cache is hard to find (I never did find it)... so hanging around for an extended period here was not comfortable.. so I moved on and it was a DNF.

Share this post


Link to post

O/P: I have to agree with everyone else's comments; basically all I do is act like I know what I'm doing (act is the key word, lol) and like people have said...most people don't even "see" what you're doing. Now, I'm new also...and I just, today, got 3 caches that were in VERY high-trafficked areas (basic C&D's at a local mall) and for a few seconds I felt highly visible. One of the times, in fact, I think a mall security guard spotted me. The other times, although people were driving around...it seemed as if I was wearing a cloak!

 

Now, that's not to say I didn't feel anxious about it, for a few seconds. I am a very observant person. Someone mentioned looking around at people at times when you normally might not...I do that all the time lol. So, as I'm so observant, usually, I tend to 'feel' like everyone else is as well...but I know they're not.

Share this post


Link to post

If I'm grabbing a cache whilst in smart work clothes, on goes the hi-vis vest and out comes my clip board and pen. You can then pretend to be inspecting the area and making notes etc...

We pulled up to a street corner that was heavily populated with what appeared to be "day workers". Hubby grabbed the clip board we keep in the cache mobile and walked to a nearby electrical box to make some notes. The "day workers" scattered and we were able to make the find.

Share this post


Link to post

I have learned a couple of lessons in stealth. When I was in Bogota I was observed from across the park by another cacher who piggiebacked on my find (he was looking for it too). we encountered each other again later. The next day he got caught by security at a GZ location, read the post after mine (I was FTF): Plazoleta de los peregrinos

Share this post


Link to post

Had a rather sad encounter today. I'm 6'2" senior citizen, with rather long hair. My caching companion is a middle-aged, 5'3", born in Cuba. Okay. We're a strange pair: Tall senior-citizen gringo, and short cubano. We were in a nice park today, hunting geocaches. Modern surburbia. "You don't belong here!" Three stage multi. First stage is a MKH in grey duct tape, attached to a black bench. We were espied returning it to the bench. Playground. Benches behind the playground, near the ball felds. Swamp woods behind, bordering on the golf course. If it's the woman I'm thinking of, she must be a lot older than I am. (Or not endowed with my youthful looks...) Leading a five-year-old girl into the woods! And she thinks that we are suspicious enough to call the police?!? I would have called the police on her, but I don't have a cell phone!

Found the cache. I doubt that it will last long... Went off into the swamp looking for a mystery cache that we had solved. (Waterway got in the way.) Cops were waiting for us. Questioned us.

This is really sad. Modern paranoia! Public park, and we cannot walk through it?!? Really sad aspect of modern America! Guess aged Americans and hispanics are not welcomed in suburbia? I am really upset by this perversion of modern America!

Share this post


Link to post

If you really want to be inconspicuous , come back when no one is around. There is nothing to say that you have to stay until you find the cache. Fact is , there are some bad hides which will serve only to raise the attention of neighbors. I have literally seen a cache hidden in the window box outside a restaurant.In a storm drain on the main street in town. When we pulled up on that one , a cacher was going from tree to tree shaking each one on the street, my friend and I made the find and beat it out of there, the next cacher explained himself to the police. He was not inconspicuos. We have inumerable caches on private property in the form of LPC hidden under surveilance cameras. If you are at the game long enough you will at some point be explaining your presence to a police officer. I was arm deep reaching into rock hide in NYC, when I hear "What are you doing ?" I thought it was my friend, so I replied sharply, What do you think I am doing Einstein ?, only to be told pull your hand out slowly and produce your identification and explain what you are doing ? The officer actually ran me for wants and warrants, as my companion could barely contain his laughter. I am not doing anything wrong , so I dont much worry about it, but you have to know that a stream of people coming into a neighborhood or area in a short period of time will attract someones attention. We live in a time when even the most gently soul is viewed suspiciously. That is why some people will refuse all help from a stranger even when they desperately need it.

 

And then there are the Radio and TV ads going 24/7 See Something Say Something, which is nothing more that a way of making people more suspicious of other people. Driving fear is all they do.

Edited by Packanack

Share this post


Link to post

A woman saw me return a lamp skirt cache in Port Orange FL and she called 9-1-1 to report a possible terrorist planting explosives. Four cop cars pulled me over. One of them went to check out my story, two stood there chatting with me, and the 4th cop had an attitude. "If I see somebody hide something I'll cite them for littering." He ridiculed us for being too old for "Easter Egg hunts". Then he wanted to call a drug sniffing dog to check for other illegal activities.

So what am I doing differently now? Nothing really. I did nothing illegal. It's an amusing story and a fond memory of geocaching.

Edited by Fridge01

Share this post


Link to post

Aha, this is what we do...

 

My 8 year old boy takes one of his gloves off and puts it in his pocket.

 

We are then "searching" for his "missing" glove.

 

We have used this several times - once we had a lovely old lady start looking for it with us, bless!!

 

Happy hunting!

 

Lizzy

xx

Share this post


Link to post

 

If you *ever* lose a ring, tell anyone questioning you that you are looking for a geocache.

 

Okay. Now what do I say next when they ask me for the coords? :P

Share this post


Link to post

 

Oh yeah, 0 credibility if the phone rings during a fake call! :laughing:

"Oh, hang on a minute, I've got a call on the other line."

If the muggle is up that close and studying your behavior that intently, use the "proactive" approach and use your cell phone to call the police on the muggle before they call the police on you! :laughing: Tell the police the muggle was acting suspicious. :laughing:

Share this post


Link to post

A woman saw me return a lamp skirt cache in Port Orange FL and she called 9-1-1 to report a possible terrorist planting explosives. Four cop cars pulled me over. One of them went to check out my story, two stood there chatting with me, and the 4th cop had an attitude. "If I see somebody hide something I'll cite them for littering." He ridiculed us for being too old for "Easter Egg hunts". Then he wanted to call a drug sniffing dog to check for other illegal activities.

So what am I doing differently now? Nothing really. I did nothing illegal. It's an amusing story and a fond memory of geocaching.

 

Yet another story about why lamp post caches should forever be banned! :lol:

 

I guess it would NOT have been good form to ask the officer with the attitude, "Whaddaya think, Dude, that I intended to disable the power grid by blowing up this lamppost?!" :laughing::lol:

 

By the way, you DID have permission from the property owner to place the lamppost cache, didn't you??! Tsk-tsk-tsk! ;)

Edited by wmpastor

Share this post


Link to post

Most people in the USA are Sheeple that walk around in "Condition White", act like you know what your are doing, ignore the looks, and keep on keepin on.

 

Conversely, if you present the impression that you know your surroundings, act confidently the less than desirables will leave you alone (think of predators and prey) and the sheeple will not even be aware of you.

 

Oly

Share this post


Link to post

In cases when I feel conspicuous...when I'm close enough to GZ that I don't need my GPSr, it turns into a "camera" and I stand there "looking for a good angle to take a picture."

Share this post


Link to post

A woman saw me return a lamp skirt cache in Port Orange FL and she called 9-1-1 to report a possible terrorist planting explosives. Four cop cars pulled me over. One of them went to check out my story, two stood there chatting with me, and the 4th cop had an attitude. "If I see somebody hide something I'll cite them for littering." He ridiculed us for being too old for "Easter Egg hunts". Then he wanted to call a drug sniffing dog to check for other illegal activities.

So what am I doing differently now? Nothing really. I did nothing illegal. It's an amusing story and a fond memory of geocaching.

 

Yet another story about why lamp post caches should forever be banned! :lol:

 

I guess it would NOT have been good form to ask the officer with the attitude, "Whaddaya think, Dude, that I intended to disable the power grid by blowing up this lamppost?!" :laughing::lol:

 

By the way, you DID have permission from the property owner to place the lamppost cache, didn't you??! Tsk-tsk-tsk! ;)

Don't you think that would be a question for the CO rather than a random finder? :rolleyes:

Share this post


Link to post

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Loading...
Sign in to follow this  
Followers 6

×
×
  • Create New...