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Are you being watched? Here is a tip that works for me ........


Gatos
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Hello fellow geocachers ... Gatos here. If you are like I am and you find yourself looking for a cache where there are a lot of people, you might want to give this a try. Simply strap on a camera and wear it around your neck!

 

When you are walking around, that handheld GPS looks like you are treasure hunting but if you have a camera around your neck, it looks like you are taking light meter readings.

 

As a travelling photographer, I take my digital and film camera everywhere I go but not just for geocaching although the sport certainly puts me in some real neat areas often with a lot of people. I once was being watched on a hunt and I heard someone at a distance ask someone else what they thought I was doing. When they saw my camera (any size will work with a neck strap) the other person said that I was taking pictures and they never gave another glance. It works folks, and it doesn't hurt to have a camera handy for all those award winning photos you are no doubt going to find. Good luck and good hunting! ..... Gatos

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I've used the photography cover for the past year and half. You're right. It works every time. It's interesting that onlookers will wonder what a person is doing when they venture off a trail or a sidewalk and are just looking intently at things. But if they are holding a camera, that seems to justify any type of lotherwise "weird" behavior.

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In urban settings, I carry a clipboard with me. People think you are up to some official activity . . . or worse yet, that you are taking a survey.

 

Yesterday, in Central Park, NYC, a woman came up to me and asked if I was a "parks person," and before I had a chance to answer she went on to complain about how careless birdwatchers were becoming. We discussed "social trails" at some length, and then she went on her merry way, allowing me to snag another cache. icon_wink.gif

 

[This message was edited by BassoonPilot on April 22, 2002 at 09:27 PM.]

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In urban settings, I carry a clipboard with me. People think you are up to some official activity . . . or worse yet, that you are taking a survey.

 

Yesterday, in Central Park, NYC, a woman came up to me and asked if I was a "parks person," and before I had a chance to answer she went on to complain about how careless birdwatchers were becoming. We discussed "social trails" at some length, and then she went on her merry way, allowing me to snag another cache. icon_wink.gif

 

[This message was edited by BassoonPilot on April 22, 2002 at 09:27 PM.]

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Had a couple of small kids approach us in a neighborhood park and ask us what we were doing ... we were looking through the bushes. We didn't have any props available, so we simply told the kids we were counting bugs. After asking them if they wanted to help, they decided they had better things to do.

 

Love the clipboard ... will have to add that for urban caches. Thanks.

 

Jeepster

- Road kill on the information highway ...

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If we get stopped or if someone notices us, we generally tell them we're on a scavenger hunt, which in a round about sort of way we are. We had one person offer to help us look (actually his dog helped us look), which was a good intro to introduce him to the sport.

 

It's not like it's a bad thing we're doing here people!

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My fiancée and I were at three caches on Saturday where there were a few people around, and we were picking up trash at all three sites and never got questioned once as to what we were doing. We also got thanked by a couple who were riding bikes past on a nearby trail. Alas, they were too far away by the time I thought to offer for them to join us picking up trash!!! Happy cachin'!!! 15T

 

www.1800goguard.com

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Many GPS recievers look quite a bit like cell phones. In a crowded area I can sort of look around in a bored fashion while I hold my "cell phone" and press buttons. When I find the general cache area, I have to begin searching, so I just hold the reciever to my ear and give an occaisional "uh huh" or something of the kind. Most people are going to ignore someone on a cell phone, and most people also want to give you some privacy during your "call."

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quote:
Originally posted by Dekaner:

 

It's not like it's a bad thing we're doing here people!


 

True. However, I'm concerned that non-geocachers find out there's a "secret" container hidden nearby. It might be too tempting for some people to take it or trash it after we leave. By being discrete, we feel we protect the cache owner's investment in creating the cache.

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quote:
Originally posted by Parsa:

Many GPS recievers look quite a bit like cell phones. In a crowded area I can sort of look around in a bored fashion while I hold my "cell phone" and press buttons. When I find the general cache area, I have to begin searching, so I just hold the reciever to my ear and give an occaisional "uh huh" or something of the kind. Most people are going to ignore someone on a cell phone, and most people also want to give you some privacy during your "call."


 

I've used the 'cell phone' thing, too. icon_biggrin.gif

 

But since I've been carrying a camera around my neck, I've resorted to the photographer's demeanor.

 

I like the clipboard idea for urban areas, though. I'll have to remember that one. (Assuming I ever make it to an urban area, that is.)

 

-------

Join us at our first 196939_600.gif "geo-gathering" on 4/27/02!

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quote:
Originally posted by Parsa:

Many GPS recievers look quite a bit like cell phones. In a crowded area I can sort of look around in a bored fashion while I hold my "cell phone" and press buttons. When I find the general cache area, I have to begin searching, so I just hold the reciever to my ear and give an occaisional "uh huh" or something of the kind. Most people are going to ignore someone on a cell phone, and most people also want to give you some privacy during your "call."


 

I've used the 'cell phone' thing, too. icon_biggrin.gif

 

But since I've been carrying a camera around my neck, I've resorted to the photographer's demeanor.

 

I like the clipboard idea for urban areas, though. I'll have to remember that one. (Assuming I ever make it to an urban area, that is.)

 

-------

Join us at our first 196939_600.gif "geo-gathering" on 4/27/02!

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So I'm walking down a hillside in 3' of snow in light hiking boots wearing a t-shirt and clearly not having an easy time of it. 6 or more ladies just happend to be snow shoeing by and they stopped in their tracks and just flat out stared. As my friend and I floundered down they waited and watched. Alas while the trash bag, cellphone, clipboard methods have their place we were busted big time and I don't think we could of pulled it off. So naturally they asked what we were doing when we got close enough and we told them. They thought it was a kick and could not wait to tell their husbands.

 

Geocaching isn't a crime. If I can sell some people on it while digging the snow out of my boots and wringing out my socks in a tshirt while everyone else is snowshowing and cross country skiiing in complete fancy get-ups, there must be something to this hobby.

 

Having said all that, I'd just assoon not meet people when I geocache. Just hanging with my friends is enough.

 

[This message was edited by Renegade Knight on April 28, 2002 at 08:53 PM.]

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hahahah, some of this stuff is too funny! =) although geocaching isn't a crime or anything, it is nice to have a story when you don't feel like explaining it and stuff. i like KGB's idea, but i think i'd use the bush trick in the woods and the box trick in the city.

 

hey renegade, you have to tell me where you found 6 girls snowshoeing, i want to go there!

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On one cache I did, I was wearing an orange knit shirt with the "CalTrans" logo on the shoulder (California Department of Transportation). My wife, who's an engineer gave it to me, and it seemed like a good idea to wear it on this day. The funny thing was, when I got out of my truck to plant the cache, there was an orange CalTrans truck parked there, so anyone who saw me taking the averaging readings with my reciever would just assume I was on official business. I never saw the Caltrans worker.

 

I think it's OK to tell a hiking family what you're doing, but when you're in a park full of people (homeless folks, non-English speaking families, etc) then there's a chance that you're going to be the cause of losing somebody's cache. One local cacher came upon a Mexican family on the trail, and he noticed the little girl had a plastic box full of toys. It wasn't until he was at the cache site that a light bulb went off and he realized she had the cache in her hands. He ran back and convinced the father that it would "be known" that the site-specific object had been moved. The cache was recovered.

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I put out a cache that was for nighttime cachers. Unfortunately a bunch (truckloads) of hunters decided to get together and hunt it as a group. It starts in a quiet neighborhood. Needless to say after the first two loads of people arrived and milled about waiting the third load, a neighbor got nervous about the growing group. Search for "After Dark" and read the oldest logs for the drama as it unfolds.

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When I geocache in a large metropolitan park, someone usually passes and says; "how-you-doing?"

 

I say; "I'm doing just fine, thank you. I just got into town, my brother-in-law picked me up at the airport. That's a mighty fine airport you got here and it's really busy. The people here are really friendly, too! I'm gonna tell my wife, Sugar, about this place and how friendly you people are..."

 

About that time they take off and start warning everyone else to avoid me... WORKS EVERY TIME!!!

 

Sluggo - American by birth... SOUTHERN by the grace of God.

 

It has to be down there somewhere!

9617_300.jpg

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I have used several excuses...recently during the washougal history cache, there were park planners milling about. I had to wait forever for them to leave. Finally one of them asked me what I was doing. I told them a teacher at my school gave extra credit for finding numbers on historical markers. You had to find the marker using the gps.

 

They thought it was a great idea and left it at that.

 

 

There have been a couple other recent caches where I said I was looking for new places to play paintball. Even though I have no desire to play paintball. If they see me milling through the bushes or sitting there signing a log, then I just say I am scouting out the area and looking for the best hiding spots to get the jump on my paintball buddies.

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quote:
Originally posted by Gatos:

Hello fellow geocachers ... Gatos here. If you are like I am and you find yourself looking for a cache where there are a lot of people, you might want to give this a try. Simply strap on a camera and wear it around your neck!


 

I was figuring out bearings and waypoints for a cache with a flashlight in a field at 2:00am when I was interupted by 5 drunken youths coming back from a "bush" party. They yelled "Hey Dude, whatcha doin out there!". When I said "Geometry!" the school connetation must have freaked them out and they kept walking.

 

Next choice would have been "Getting rid of a body!"

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quote:
Originally posted by Parsa:

Many GPS recievers look quite a bit like cell phones. In a crowded area I can sort of look around in a bored fashion while I hold my "cell phone" and press buttons. When I find the general cache area, I have to begin searching, so I just hold the reciever to my ear and give an occaisional "uh huh" or something of the kind. Most people are going to ignore someone on a cell phone, and most people also want to give you some privacy during your "call."


 

Hey Martha, look at the weirdo over there talking into his GPS reciever! icon_biggrin.gif

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quote:
Originally posted by Parsa:

Many GPS recievers look quite a bit like cell phones. In a crowded area I can sort of look around in a bored fashion while I hold my "cell phone" and press buttons. When I find the general cache area, I have to begin searching, so I just hold the reciever to my ear and give an occaisional "uh huh" or something of the kind. Most people are going to ignore someone on a cell phone, and most people also want to give you some privacy during your "call."


 

Hey Martha, look at the weirdo over there talking into his GPS reciever! icon_biggrin.gif

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Just tell them you're wading through briars, poison ivy, wasps nests, and snake-infested woods carrying a digital camera and global positioning system trying to find a container of happy meal toys. They'll instantly come to the realization that you may very well be 'a few fries short of a happy meal' yourself and give you a wide berth.

 

Ever notice everybody is willing to give THEIR 2 cents worth but only offer a penny for YOUR thoughts?

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Originally posted by Gatos:

Hello fellow geocachers ... Gatos here. If you are like I am and you find yourself looking for a cache where there are a lot of people, you might want to give this a try. Simply strap on a camera and wear it around your neck!

 

We've even found to "use" the GPS as a "camera" itself. My husband and I trade off 'posing' in front of the "Camera" when people are looking!!!

 

But you're right, we take a camera too...and the light meter excuse works for those who know what that is)...

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The old cell phone trick works like a charm,if anybody looks at me funny are something I hold it to my ear to look like I'm talking.I know most people won't look twice even when they see my real cell on my hip so many people carry more that one.

 

I would follow my GPS to the gates of Hell if it pointed that way.

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if you are going to do the spock routine you have to approach them and scan them. i prefer to carry a walky talky and if anyone talks to me say over it something like. "there's another one that knows too much" and reach really fast into my jacket.....

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So far, nobody has ever asked me about my activity. If it ever happens I will tell them I am geocaching. It might not be creative but at least it's not a lie.

If I ever do feel the need for a "cover story" I think that the trash bag route is the way to go.

 

"There's no need to be afraid of strange noises in the night. Anything that intends you harm will stalk you silently."

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When I go out hunting I'm usually with my son. If people start looking at us funny or seem overly interested in what we are up to I will show him something new to do with the gps or even better, his compass. We have been taking his bug kit, binoculars and other stuff too because he likes to explore. When people see you spending time with your kids and teaching them something they don't interrupt.

 

Not that I need an excuse to spend time with my son or even to teach him something new, but if I can combine his outdoor education with avoiding overly inquisitive people, so much the better.

 

No one can make you feel inferior without your consent. E Roosevelt

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