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MacAlyster

How do I tell who is another cacher?

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Is there some sort of secret handshake or gesture to make it known that you are another cacher? We spend so much time trying to be stealthy, when we come across someone else caching, I never know how to introduce myself to ask " Are you looking for a cache?"

 

Any advise? Because, I would love to meet others who share this strange and fascinating game.

 

Cheers!

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There is nothing official. But I heard on one podcast "Podcacher" that popular ways are to ask, "Have you found it yet?" Or, use your GPS and give some kind of signal. You could just ask, "R u a geocacher?" :laughing: My idea is, "How many smiley's do you have?" Those would definitely throw non-geocachers off. :lostsignal: Hope this helps! :grin::anibad::anitongue::antenna::ninja::omnomnom:

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I say "Did you find it?" Most people with a GPS, looking at a light pole, or under a bench are geocachers.

 

If its at a cache you haven't found, you could always wait until they find it, then go and sign it yourself.

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It is pretty rare to actually run into another cacher while looking for caches. The best chance would be if you became a FTFer. They tend to circle the cache at about the same time.

 

Setup a notification for event caches in your area and go to them.

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It takes one to know one! Holding a dedicated GPS is a dead giveaway of course. Constant looking back and forth from their screen to their surroundings.

 

Think about what YOU look like while caching. Holding a phone/device up but actually looking around more than at the screen. People texting or emailing will be focused on their screen and typing/swiping and not paying much attention to their surroundings.

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You appear to be in MA. There are plenty of local geocaching Facebook groups around, and getting involved with them will help you meet others who share the hobby. I'm the admin of the RI group, which has plenty of MA folks. Take a look at the links below; you may find something useful.

 

RIGA - https://www.facebook.com/groups/477818015573612/

New England Geocaching Community - https://www.facebook.com/groups/401127463248952/

SEMAG - https://www.facebook.com/groups/424582484297536/

 

There are others as well, but this should give you a good start.

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I've only met other cachers at a geocaching event or, once, found out a friend I already knew geocached whom I met independently of the hobby.

I have a travel bug trackable patch on my geocaching bag - the hope was for this to make me recognizable to other cachers since they would obviously know what it was, but it wouldn't inhibit my ability to try to blend in and not look suspicious while looking for caches.

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I've met other cachers on the trail maybe 5 or 6 times. They're usually pretty easy to spot.

 

-GPSr in hand (if the GPS is hanging from a lanyard around their neck or clipped to a belt loop, even better :) )

-Seems to be studying or walking toward the same tree/lamp post/park bench/etc. you are zoning in on.

-Backpack or swag bag of some kind

-Sometimes the clothing is a giveaway...might be wearing a Geocaching hat or T-shirt, or just generally dressed like Steve Irwin :rolleyes:

 

It's always a treat when I bump into another cacher....sometimes I need to be reminded that I'm not the only nerd doing this B)

 

I have a Bookmark list of my FTF's...I was thinking of making another one of caches where I bumped into another cacher. :laughing:

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Twice we've had the experience that we've asked - did you find anything yet? and the person answers no and asks if we've found anything yet. Ah, must be a fellow cacher! Nope, we ran into mushroom hunters!

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I smile and say "Hi" or "Morning" whilst holding my GPS in my hand and giving a slight wave (with the hand the gps is in, so that they can see it), to ordinary people I'm just being polite and first thought im just holding a phone, to geocachers they'll hopefully spot it's a gps and talk to me.

 

Not actually met any fellow cachers whilst out yet, few people I've seen who I thought were caching, but never talked to them.

 

I find interaction a bit awkward with people I don't know, and also the fact I'm a 23 year old who walks around in a hoodie 99% of the time, puts some people off approaching me, but I like my hoodie's and I geocache on my walks which is my alone time, so it all works out well for me.

 

I'd be happy to talk to fellow cachers and hope to some day meet some, but I wouldn't want to bump into them everytime I was out caching.

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Be careful. In certain parks and rest areas you don't want to approach a possible geocacher and ask "Are you looking for what I'm looking for?"

 

Log

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Be careful. In certain parks and rest areas you don't want to approach a possible geocacher and ask "Are you looking for what I'm looking for?"

 

Log

 

ROFLMAO! That's hilarious!

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I'd estimate that I've met 40 or 50 geocachers on the hunt. (Brian, it wasn't nice to lead that guy on!)

"Are you geocaching?" "Yes." "I think it's in the sign that lady is leaning against, waiting to get into the restaurant." "Ah. This is New York." I put my backpack down against the sign, and retied my shoes. Handed the nano off to the other cacher. Put my backpack against the sign again, and rifled through it, replacing the nano. The lady leaning against the sign never even saw me. This is New York.

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The rest stop thing is funny as we were once caching at night with flashlights looking for what I think was a ammo can. Then a family comes out with flashlights and kids with them. We were thinking great! Some help as we had been looking for a while and it was kind of creepy out there. We were sure they were cachers. Then they ask if we were looking for what they were looking for! B) We said "yes we are!" Then they asked if we had found any yet. Any? They said yes olives (We were in a olive orchard) We just looked at each other like WHAT? and left. We were thinking they probably thought we were crazy. Now when something funny comes up we just say we are looking for Olives. :D

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Is there some sort of secret handshake or gesture to make it known that you are another cacher?

When I park at a cache location and there's a car there with a Travel Bug sticker, I'm pretty sure the occupants are Geocachers :anicute:. That's best if that's the only other car at some remote spot. That might not work if you see my car, since I currently have no sticker (the car sends a TB number via "Chirp").

Edited by kunarion

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I was once several miles down the trail and noticed someone holding a gpsr within six feet feet of a cache. It turned out that they were just trying to figure out if there was an alternative route back to the trailhead.

 

The secret signal is the only sure way of telling.

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I've experienced almost all of the scenarios mentioned so far, including stopping to chat with someone that was fishing on a bridge and while at GZ a couple hundred feet into the woods saw that he'd followed me and I figured out what he was fishing for.

 

The "did you find it yet" question has worked for me both as an asker and and askee. Some times just holding up a handheld GPS and giving it a little wave is all that's needed if it's near a cache. Several years ago I was just walking down a sidewalk with my GPS on a lanyard around my neck and a couple of blocks away from a cache in Monterey and someone walking the other way said "geocaching?" as I walked by.

 

I've met quite a few geocachers while finding another cache but even though I've got 20 or so FTFs (less, I think) and about the same for 2TF I've never met another geocacher while trying for a FTF. There isn't much of a FTF game around here though. One of the most recent hides here is about .1 of a mile from my office and it was about noon the day after it published before it was found (by the one person in the area that seems to care about such things). I could have easily found it before that but just didn't bother.

 

 

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Some times just holding up a handheld GPS and giving it a little wave is all that's needed if it's near a cache.

I've used this method successfully lots of times, but it can sometimes backfire. I had spent a couple of hours in a local park chasing down a 5-part multi, and was hiking the trail back to the parking lot. A young woman approached from the opposite direction. She had a GPS unit in her hand, and was wearing a backpack. I smiled, said hello, waved my GPS unit, and told her to expect to spend some time finding the cache, since it involved quite a bit of hiking.

 

She looked at me as if I was out of my mind, then told me she was a graduate student in ornithology at Ohio State (a few miles from there), and was there to check on several experimental plots in the park. She asked me what the "cache" thing was about, which gave me an excuse to explain geocaching and why I thought that might be what she was doing. She seemed intrigued; I never found out whether she ever tried caching herself.

 

--Larry

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There is nothing official. But I heard on one podcast "Podcacher" that popular ways are to ask, "Have you found it yet?" Or, use your GPS and give some kind of signal. You could just ask, "R u a geocacher?" :laughing: My idea is, "How many smiley's do you have?" Those would definitely throw non-geocachers off. :lostsignal: Hope this helps! :grin::anibad::anitongue::antenna::ninja::omnomnom:

 

Hey, that is really good. How many smiley's do you have

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I don't usually see a need to ask others if they are cachers unless (1) I see they have a GPSr in their hand, or (2) I am searching for a cache and someone else walks up, and they are not walking BY, but are staying RIGHT WHERE I NEED TO SEARCH. THe times I have seen others with GPS devices, they have turned out NOT to be geocachers, which has surprised me since I tend to think we're the only ones using these. No...some people just use them to keep track of mileage, etc.

If I have walked quite a way to find a cache (I tend to prefer those requiring a hike), and I find someone else there who does not seem like they will be leaving, I first ask them if they are geocachers, and then if they say no, I tell them I am and that I am seeking a geocache. If their response seems favorable, I don't worry about letting them watch me search...sometimes I will 'Deputize" them and have them help me search. SOmetimes this is all that is needed to get people excited about geocaching...their first attempt! If the people do not respond favorably, eg seem annoyed or not friendly, I usually try to leave for a few minutes and come back hoping they will be gone. I think there is often too much fuss about "stealth". Generally stealth is needed for urban caches where there are a lot of people around. In parks, when you meet just one or two people, usually if you explain what you are doing, the people are interested to hear about it and are extremely unlikely to steal the geocache after having been let in on the game.

 

The worst experience I had with a "muggle" was the time I refused to explain what I was doing with a clipboard in my hand. (Since I went paperless I don't need a clipboard any more). THis man walking his dog absolutely INSISTED that I tell him what I was doing walking along with a clipboard. When I didn't answer but continued to walk, he insisted again, and at that point, to make a point, I insisted to know what HE was doing out here. He became extremely rude. It is odd, isn't it, how some people can be so intrusive and demand to know what you are doing, just because you're holding a clipboard?!!?

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I smile and say "Hi" or "Morning" whilst holding my GPS in my hand and giving a slight wave (with the hand the gps is in, so that they can see it), to ordinary people I'm just being polite and first thought im just holding a phone, to geocachers they'll hopefully spot it's a gps and talk to me.

When you say "hi" with that subtle little wave of the gpsr, has anyone asked, "Oh, is that the new iPhone?" :grin:

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The worst experience I had with a "muggle" was the time I refused to explain what I was doing with a clipboard in my hand. (Since I went paperless I don't need a clipboard any more). THis man walking his dog absolutely INSISTED that I tell him what I was doing walking along with a clipboard. When I didn't answer but continued to walk, he insisted again, and at that point, to make a point, I insisted to know what HE was doing out here. He became extremely rude. It is odd, isn't it, how some people can be so intrusive and demand to know what you are doing, just because you're holding a clipboard?!!?

You handled that dog-walking busy-body correctly! Keep carrying that clipboard!

 

You could have told him, "I'm taking a census of ugly dogs. What's your address?"

Edited by wmpastor

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There is nothing official. But I heard on one podcast "Podcacher" that popular ways are to ask, "Have you found it yet?" Or, use your GPS and give some kind of signal. You could just ask, "R u a geocacher?" :laughing: My idea is, "How many smiley's do you have?" Those would definitely throw non-geocachers off. :lostsignal: Hope this helps! :grin::anibad::anitongue::antenna::ninja::omnomnom:

 

Hey, that is really good. How many smiley's do you have

Yes, something like "Is this Ground Zero?" might not go well, especially in a city. :ph34r:

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When we met geocachers I say "Don't think I don't know what you are doing" because normally it is very obvious what they are doing, even if they are quite far away from the cache, only yesterday when we were geocaching people walked past and said "watch out for the muggles!". I have also had muggles who know about geocaching talk to us while hunting! Most geocachers are friendly and you will end up looking together, well it would be a bit strange 2 people 3 foot apart both looking in a bush with a GPS in there hands! Happy Caching

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For those that know me, I stand out like a sore thumb and I usually look like I belong in that area doing something important. So usually, I'll leave the area so they can make the find. However, if I see someone totally clueless and needing help, I approach them and ask if they are geocaching. If the answer is yes, then I tell them my handle and real name and ask them if they need help. If they're new (usually) I tell them about the next planned event in our area and they are welcome to attend to get to know the people and the sport better. I'm a loner by nature and shy but I've really opened up to a lot of people that share the same interests as me.

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Be careful. In certain parks and rest areas you don't want to approach a possible geocacher and ask "Are you looking for what I'm looking for?"

 

Log

 

That is too funny but it is also true. I was recently in a large park in our area and I was setting up my 1st ever caches to be released soon. I was all over the place and soon noticed the same car circling the park. A single older male. He wasn't there to geocache, let me tell you. I explained what I was doing and that I was married and had two lovely kids. That didn't deter him in the least. I was kinda' flattered (joking) but politely declined. I've seen him since every day that I've been there. We've talked many times since that extremely awkward first meeting. He lives in that area. I don't. But hey, who am I to judge his behavior?

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Be careful. In certain parks and rest areas you don't want to approach a possible geocacher and ask "Are you looking for what I'm looking for?"

 

Log

 

Too true!

 

There is a park in our town where I had 3 caches. I've had to archive all of them! I've been bothered way too many times to be comfortable,and have decided I don't want to lure unsuspecting geocachers to the area.

 

IMO, the best answer to the OP's question is simply ask if they are caching. If they are cachers, they'll almost always say yes. If they're not. you'll just get an odd look, and sometimes more questions which can lead to introducing someone to the game.

Edited by BC & MsKitty

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Today I found a cache, signed the log and walked back to my work vehicle. I'm a real newbie).

 

I was sending an e-mail off the laptop, wound up getting a few phone calls etc.

 

I was in the general area about 20 minutes when a couple arrive and parked around 50 yards from me.

 

After they found the ache I walked over and we talked for a few minutes. I'm too new to know better!! :blink:

 

Wow, looked at my original sign up date. Guess I've been more of a lurker. My wife and I want to become more active in the game and enjoy the outdoors more!

Edited by 7RRFS

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I love the area that I live in for caching. There's maybe 15 different FTF chasers and maybe 50 very active cachers in the area, so we all run into one another fairly often. It's great seeing some of your caching friends out in the field rather than just at an event.

 

I'm a solo cacher but love meeting new cachers and seeing everyone at the events.

 

I'll almost always stop by a GZ that I know when I see some one there. You can usually tell if they're caching. I always use the "did you find it yet". It' seems to work perfectly. Then I do the same as Tooling, and tell them about events and the fun people who play the game, and not to hesitate to write if they have questions.

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There is a pull out by my house that the only time I see it used is for people looking for a cache down the bank. If I have time I pull up behind then and just sit in my truck for a while. it freaks out some. Oh my truck is painted the same color as the county code enforcement trucks.

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We were on a busy sea wall, waiting for a gap in the crowds before we grabbed the cache. All of a sudden, a voice says "aren't you worried about muggles?" Our GPSs identified us to him.

 

Titus1919's post made me chuckle - our old black Caravan, with antennae and various mounts on the dash slowed speeding traffic down when we were parked, about to go for a cache. The dark tinted windows helped too. The new Dodge Caravan is going to get the same window treatment soon!!!! :laughing:

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There is nothing official. But I heard on one podcast "Podcacher" that popular ways are to ask, "Have you found it yet?" Or, use your GPS and give some kind of signal. You could just ask, "R u a geocacher?" :laughing: My idea is, "How many smiley's do you have?" Those would definitely throw non-geocachers off. :lostsignal: Hope this helps! :grin::anibad::anitongue::antenna::ninja::omnomnom:

 

Hey, that is really good. How many smiley's do you have

Wonder if that would work in bars? Let us know! :D

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Today I found a cache, signed the log and walked back to my work vehicle. I'm a real newbie).

. . .

Wow, looked at my original sign up date. Guess I've been more of a lurker. My wife and I want to become more active in the game and enjoy the outdoors more!

 

7RRFS - welcome back to the adventure. You are definitely a candidate for the longest time between caches list.

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I run into about 10 fellow cachers I do not know a year since moving from my home state to my current state, which is a popular vacation destination (both winter and summer). Pretty cool, actually, have met fellow cachers from all over the US and from other countries while on the trail and hunt. Either I or the other person will simply say "Geocaching?" If I say that and they give me a blank look, I just say, "My mistake, have a good day" and move along.

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I was lucky today. I was just about to throw in the towel when help arrived. Didn't need any secret passwords or anything, just hugs and caching stories from well known local cachers, and soon the smiley was ours.

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