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Do you really worry about muggles?


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I don't worry about muggles asking what I'm doing, I worry about muggles stealing the cache after I leave.

 

I did too, until I started looking at it from the muggle's perspective. If I saw someone wandering through a wooded area, not knowing what they were doing, it's unlikely I would be curious enough to go in after they left and steal a moldy Tupperware box.

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I don't worry about muggles asking what I'm doing, I worry about muggles stealing the cache after I leave.

Right. In particular, the muggles to worry about are the ones you don't talk to, or don't even see.

 

If anyone asks, I normally tell them what I'm doing. If someone's preventing me from looking, I'll often approach them and tell them what I'm about to do. Geocaching isn't a secret, nor is it a crime.

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I don't worry about muggles asking what I'm doing, I worry about muggles stealing the cache after I leave.

 

I did too, until I started looking at it from the muggle's perspective. If I saw someone wandering through a wooded area, not knowing what they were doing, it's unlikely I would be curious enough to go in after they left and steal a moldy Tupperware box.

 

I worry about it a bit more in urban areas.

 

But yeah, after nearly 2300 caches over ten years, I'm pretty sure the vast majority of people do not care what other people are doing. Once in a while I spot someone who seems to be looking askance, and that's what I worry about, if I worry.

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Three little girls ran up to me Saturday (their dad was lagging behind) and saw the container full of little toys I'd just opened at the edge of a parking lot in the middle of a park. I let them take one each from my stash, and then quickly explained geocaching when dad arrived, because out of context that would seem super creepy. Other than those kinds of situations, I usually explain if someone seems to be paying attention to what I'm doing, and don't if they aren't. I've never been concerned that anyone would go back and take the container...can't imagine anyone would care that much.

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I take great care if muggles are around. There were several instances that I came close to GZ, noticed muggles and just walked away. I even did so on a new cache 250m from my home when I get the new cache published notification. I was there within minutes, saw a few muggles sitting on a bench 2m from GZ, turned around and went home. FTF logged about an hour later.

 

As for anyone returning to take the container, it happens on a regular basis. Mostly playing kids who find the box, take the toys, burn the log or the whole cache.

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Worst case of muggles was an urban cache where a couple men J-walked and came directly up to me. I was expecting the "What are you doing?" when instead they asked if I had found the cache.

 

Another time there were some grade-school children and I thought I was going to have to come back later, when one of them asked "are you looking for the geocache?"

 

Probably 15-20% of the time (way more than I would expect), when I explain I am geocaching they say they tried it at one time.

My estimate is 45% of the rest say they've heard of it. I suspect some people answering this question have ego's that can't admit they've never heard of something before, but I'm guessing.

 

I've never had a negative reaction from someone who has never heard of geocaching before.

 

Austin

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If it's someone who appears to be under age 20 or so, then I care more. If it's someone older or a family, I don't care much. Teens or tweens who might come look for the larger container? Yeah, more careful of them. But it's rare for me to get in that situation anyway.

 

I'll hunt for the magnetic nano under a park bench while kids are playing on the nearby equipment. I doubt they'd find it once I put it back, even if they are paying attention to me to notice what I'm doing.

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I do two things -

1. I am very careful about muggles and avoid letting them know what I am doing - looking for bugs is my best answer! I assume if muggles find the cache that it will be home with them in record time especially the lame manner in which alot of them are placed!

 

2. if I can see muggles are going to be a problem I deem the cache location to be a nuiance and avoid it all together. I believe caches should not be hidden where you have to worry about muggles. Put it somewhere else so finders need not bother with the problem. Never Ever Ever holler out "I found it" - Use a signal for that! Put your hat on backward - hands on your hips or head - stand on one foot - but dont yell it out! Muggles from far away will watch you very closely if they know you found something great or you wouldn't be hollering to the whole world that you found it!

 

The CO hides it for all to find except muggles!

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I worry more about kids than I do adults. I went for a cache under a rock along a popular trail a couple of months ago, sat on the rock like I was taking in the scenery, then slipped it back when no one was looking. When I looked back from my car, two kids were checking out the area I was in, but the cache was so well hidden, they didn't find it.

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Not really. I just wander around a bit, then go for the find. That being said, I only find playground caches when it's raining. What I really wonder about is when I'm looking in a wooded area, come out and see someone, I hope they're not thinking I ducked in there in lieu of a bathroom :o

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If I think the cache is hidden on the park bench someone is sitting on, or if I think I would have to do something that looks too suspicious to search, or something like that, I will probably skip the cache. I try to use reasonable stealth if possible. However I really don't worry that much about leading muggles to a cache because I was looking for/found it. If the CO hides it in a muggle-infested area, then muggles are really the CO's problem.

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I know I am way to paranoid about muggles when looking for a cache. It has amazed me many times with other cachers. We will pull up to a cache with a muggle or more around. It would be one I skipped if I was alone. They just go find it and all is well. Once was in a neighborhood and there was a neighbor outside. I would have skipped it. The other cacher just went looking. The neighbor came up and knew about the cache but had never seen it. We showed it to him and he thought it was cool.

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I do worry about muggles.

 

But, I don't try to be "stealthy" (as that just makes me look suspicious). And if someone asks me what I'm doing in a nice way, I'll tell them the truth. If the muggle is confrontational, I'll make something up.

 

And it depends a lot on the situation. For example:

 

1. I'm in the middle of nowhere, but a muggle just happens to be taking a rest right at GZ. In this case, if they look like they are going to be there for some time, I may skip the cache and move on. If they seem friendly and I trust them, I MAY explain what I'm doing and look around while they are there.

 

2. The cache is in a front yard/garden on a busy street. Lots of neighbours out in their front yards. I just go for it. I figure if the cache is hidden like that, there isn't much I can do about it.

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I worry on occasion, particularly i would feel really guilty if a cache got taken after I'd be the one to log it because a muggle happened to see me scoping around for something. I've had police come up and ask what i am doing before and usually they know the term and just say carry on or something along those lines. I'm extra careful when night caching but there are not many local places where that is allowed, so generally we don't do that here.

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One evening I drove to a cache area and parked in a nearby parking lot. There were no signs out warning of private property or no tresspassing, but the lot was on a "campus" (private commmercial school). The cache was located along a nearby right of way and not on the private land. As I was signing the log a security guard (armed, which is rare around these parts, usually they are like mall cops with a radio and maybe some pepper spray) arrived and told me I had to leave. He didn't notice the container in the grass. Rather than replce the cache while he watched me, I left in my car. Half hour later I parked in another spot and walked along the ROW and replaced the cache in the dark. While urban caching I often pull out a bag (I keep them in my pack) and start picking up trash...this always works.

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It is so exposed now, it is hard to find someone who doesn't know what it is. But we try to assess the muggles to see if they maybe the type to steal the cache, other then that I only worry about some of them like well crafted ones. To me lampskirts in shopping centers that have too many muggles or windows in eateries facing the cache well I wouldn't cry over their disappearing. If you are going to place a cache where you think muggles will be watching, it's not an evil hide, it's just a bad placement.

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My geobuddy and I were looking for one tucked into the face of a building somewhere, and a little girl was watching us with a big grin on her face-- I'm sure she knew exactly what we were up to. Mostly I don't worry about muggles, unless I'm somewhere very visible, and need to do something that would look really odd to make the grab-- lift a lamp post skirt, or get on my knees and rummage around the hollow in the base of a tree, something like that. For the most part, people really don't care what other people are doing, even if they seem to be doing something a bit weird. You only really attract attention when a) you act sneaky and or nervous-- now you look like you're up to no good, or B) you actually do something that looks REALLY weird-- an adult climbing things, or down on all fours rooting through the bushes.

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I think avoiding being noticed by the general public is all part of the fun of geocaching. The thrill of possibly getting caught adds to the excitement, a bit like if a couple were "at it" in the woods. It's the feeling of danger which makes it fun.

 

Although it can be frustrating if there are people just sat around who won't move on and you just want them to go away so you can get on with finding the cache.

 

There are some situations where you just have to not care though, like on a busy road with lots of cars going past. Then you just have to go for it and pretend they aren't there.

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I used to worry more about when I first started. But then I decided that I actually look more suspicious just wandering around doing nothing. I don't worry at all about the adults. If they are just passing by I wait until they are gone, as to not draw attention. But if they are sitting in the area and not going anywhere, then I just go for the cache anyway. As others have said I worry about the kids and teens. If I see them I usually just go back for the cache at a later time. They are the ones that will move/steal it. My nephew (12 at the time) who thought he understood geocaching, moved a cache once trying to hide it better. But he moved it quite a distance from GZ. He thought he was helping until I explained how that could cause problems.

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Only if it involves an area where children might be around. Other then that, I ignore muggles, and if questioned I tell them exactly what I am doing. I find the "stealth required" translates into "this cache doesn't have permission to be there but I am going to place it anyways".

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I ran into a muggle problem today. I needed to drop off a TB and thought this ammo can on the way into town would work great. So I come around the corner and there's a car parked there with this guy just sitting in it. They do that there sometimes; I don't know why. Then, when I'm returning home, there's a group of homeowners hanging around nearby. I would obviously attract unwanted attention if I got out of the car right in front of them. Needless to say, I still have the TB.

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I ran into a muggle problem today. I needed to drop off a TB and thought this ammo can on the way into town would work great. So I come around the corner and there's a car parked there with this guy just sitting in it. They do that there sometimes; I don't know why. Then, when I'm returning home, there's a group of homeowners hanging around nearby. I would obviously attract unwanted attention if I got out of the car right in front of them. Needless to say, I still have the TB.

 

The guy sitting in the car could have been a geocacher waiting to make sure there weren't any muggles around - and then he saw you, assumed you were a muggle, and continued to wait.

 

Or maybe he actually had the ammo can in his car and he was in the process of signing it?

Edited by ZeekLTK
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The guy sitting in the car could have been a geocacher waiting to make sure there weren't any muggles around - and then he saw you, assumed you were a muggle, and continued to wait.

 

Or maybe he actually had the ammo can in his car and he was in the process of signing it?

Of course! Why didn't I think of that? I've been wondering for years what all those people sitting there in their cars were doing. Thanks!

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