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Gabeman26

How to protect yourself while caching?

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This is a question I've had in a while. I usually cache alone about 95% of the time. Sure I protect myself from the elements with boots and bug spray and sun screen.

 

Since I cache alone I don't usually venture out that far in secluded areas. ie forests and stuff.

 

I live in Texas where open carry is legal. I have a long gun and I've been wanting to take it with me while caching in the forests (of course no public or national parks). 

It should be legal and of course I don't want to alarm other people b/c of Hiking Trails are a mile from the cache zone.

 

What are your opinions on this topic and do you carry any sort of protection on secluded areas?

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I have been Geocaching since April 2002 a lot of it in the back county of many states and parts of Canada.  I have never felt the need to carry protection other then Bear Spray in Alaska and the Yukon.

 

I prefer not to cache alone but often cache alone and only because of worry about a car break down.

 

I have only had one time when a break down almost cause me trouble. 

I was out in a remote area and got a flat tire. No problem I have a good spare,  but for some reason did not have the key for the lug lock nut.  Luckily it was a poor lock that broke off with a couple of hammer hits.  I was also lucky that I had 2 jacks as the first one broke.  I went home as soon as I finally  got the tire changed.

 

 

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19 minutes ago, Gabeman26 said:

What are your opinions on this topic and do you carry any sort of protection on secluded areas?

I carried a walking pole in potential bear country in Canada. On seeing a ranger's thick wooden pole, I decided my flimsy aluminium one probably wouldn't have been much help.

 

Other than that, no - and that includes caching in east London. If you feel there's a risk and that you're not adding to that risk then that's your choice I guess.

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22 minutes ago, Gabeman26 said:

This is a question I've had in a while. I usually cache alone about 95% of the time. Sure I protect myself from the elements with boots and bug spray and sun screen.

 

Since I cache alone I don't usually venture out that far in secluded areas. ie forests and stuff.

 

I live in Texas where open carry is legal. I have a long gun and I've been wanting to take it with me while caching in the forests (of course no public or national parks). 

It should be legal and of course I don't want to alarm other people b/c of Hiking Trails are a mile from the cache zone.

 

What are your opinions on this topic and do you carry any sort of protection on secluded areas?

 

It would be interesting to know if anyone in the forums has used their firearm to protect themselves while geocaching. 

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  • Bear spray.
  • Hiking pole with pointy tip.
  • Some knowledge of bear psychology.
  • Making noise to shoo away large animals.
  • Cell phone
  • Personal locator beacon
  • Fully offline map- and caching setup.
  • Attitude of self-reliance.

Gun?!?  No way.

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28 minutes ago, Gabeman26 said:

I live in Texas where open carry is legal. I have a long gun and I've been wanting to take it with me while caching in the forests (of course no public or national parks). 

It should be legal and of course I don't want to alarm other people b/c of Hiking Trails are a mile from the cache zone.

What are your opinions on this topic and do you carry any sort of protection on secluded areas?

 

Had a handgun on my side at work for well-over thirty years, so carry is a norm (for me) everywhere legal (which includes public and national parks...).

We've noticed that more women carry here than men.  Concealed carry.  People we've met who say they don't, often carry concealed.

Carrying an exposed  long gun when you aren't hunting (I feel) is a bit odd.   Like you're looking for a reaction.

We've carried "long guns" when caching while hunting though, and met many cachers who do similar.

We know of a few who bought hunting licenses just so they can hit caches not available when hunters are in the woods too. 

Edited by cerberus1
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Well the first time I did I had it in a bag/case, walked toward the cache area and pretty much waited until I couldn't see any trails or cars before I even took it out.

 

b/c it was a long gun there was no way to hide it I just had it holstered. But I was sure no critters would be an issue  and I did find 3 of 4 caches.

 

 

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Its funny. I prefer to geocache in the woods where the only thing I have to worry about is the local wildlife. I've had a few friends run into issue while urban caching.

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Take geocaching out of the equation. Would you open carry while hiking those trails if you were just hiking them, with no relation to geocaching whatsoever?

 

The same goes for other "What do you carry while geocaching?" questions. If I walk to the local park down the street, then I don't even bother carrying extra water, because there's a perfectly fine drinking fountain if I get thirsty. If I'm backpacking several miles from the trailhead, then you can bet that I'll be carrying the ten essentials and then some. The fact that I might (or might not) be geocaching on either of those trips is irrelevant, except for geocaching-specific items (cache data, extra pens, trade items, etc.).

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I worry more about the nervous guy with a gun in the woods, who might react to me caching off trail (where many cache are) and take a shot in my direction...

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I'm from Canada like Viajero Perdido, so when I think "protection", the most I'm thinking about is bear spray or bear bangers, and that would only be if I'm out in a remote area where a bear encounter is more likely. Otherwise, there typically isn't anything or anyone I need "protection" against. The rest of my well-being would fall under the heading of "preparation", like niraD discussed.

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Just to add an "european" angle... I (we) would never even think of having a gun while geocaching, some good options for protection could be a good pair of boots and trousers for avoiding bites and ticks... other than a camping knife by instance.

Even here in the Amazon, a good long stick and some shouting hopefully will keep the beasts away. :)

And again... long sleeves and trousers when entering the woods.

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And to add an Australian perspective, carrying or using a firearm on public land here is likely to land you behind bars, so that's something I'd never even imagine doing. In this subtropical region of coastal New South Wales, heat and humidity are the biggest enemies so I carry lots of water and dress minimally - this (plus a hat and sunscreen) is my usual caching attire in open forests, and I'll only put on a long-sleeved shirt and/or long pants if I'm likely to be battling thorny undergrowth. Footwear is reserved for negotiating oyster shells which are thankfully rare on my caching jaunts.

 

efea8e92-8531-4f8a-950b-626565d80924_l.jpg

 

The only life-threatening animals in this neck of the woods are snakes, so I carry a snake-bite compression bandage, my phone and a personal locator beacon should that not work. A first aid kit for other scrapes and knocks, insect repellent for the mozzies, a magnetic compass, a head torch and, as I said, lots of water. If I'm going well off the beaten track I'll also take printed topographic maps so I'm not reliant on battery-powered technology. Oh, and most importantly, a pen for signing the log.

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1 hour ago, barefootjeff said:

The only life-threatening animals in this neck of the woods are snakes

 

 

And here I thought every living being in Australia was out to painfully murder me

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1 hour ago, barefootjeff said:

oyster shells

As a child I slipped down an oyster laden rock and into the ocean. Not a pleasant experience and I carry some scars to this day, although well faded by now. I swam to the beach as fast as I could with sharks in mind, as I was trailing blood.

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4 minutes ago, J Grouchy said:

And here I thought every living being in Australia was out to painfully murder me

93cjct98bgy11.jpg

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33 minutes ago, J Grouchy said:

 

 

And here I thought every living being in Australia was out to painfully murder me

 

I did say "this neck of the woods". Bundy's wonderful menagerie of crocodiles, cassowaries, taipans, box jellyfish, irukandji and cane toads don't extend this far south :). The magpies, brush turkeys, seagulls, possums, wombats and water dragons still want to, of course, but don't have much success.

 

image.png.6a9b03d2dfd0c47cc463a7417ca892dc.png

Edited by barefootjeff

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What protection is needed depends where you live. I live in Canberra and I have been know to swim to a cache in summer. Too cold in winter. But I wouldn't do this up north where there are crocodiles. Would need a boat there. Actually you need a boat if there are other boats around, as a swimmer in the water could be run over. I once went to swim across a small lake, looked up and a sail boat was headed my way. Went flat out back to the shore. That ruined my swimming day. I have not swum with boats around again.

I often cache alone, but alone I don't go into remote areas. I stick to the path. When going off trail into thick bushland I go in a group. Long sleeves are good to help avoid scratches and protect from the sun. Wide brimmed hat too, unless it's cloudy. Unfortunately thick bush can keep knocking and pulling a hat off, but still take one. Wear block-out, often 50+, because even without visible sunburn (rarely get this) the sun still damages. Lots of water. Depends on the walk and weather, but could be a bottle in the back pack and another at my waist. If driving, especially in the outback, lots of bottles of water in the car and I refill as opportunity comes. Food too. Perhaps spare petrol, but have never needed it, but it was there in case. I don't drive too far off the road (although the road might be dirt) as I often travel alone and have difficulty lifting a tyre (not so young now) up to change a tyre. I like to stay within walking distance of where I can wave down help (a few kms). In many places there is not mobile phone reception. But most of the time I am driving on 'proper' roads.

I give wild pigs and big male kangaroos a wide berth. I stand back and look carefully for snakes in a log, etc before reaching in to extract a cache. I don't reach in red back webs, but spiders don't usually worry me too much...at least since I started geocaching. Met so many now and that has lowered the fear of them for me, unless I know they are poisonous.

Edited by Goldenwattle

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39 minutes ago, barefootjeff said:

 

I did say "this neck of the woods". Bundy's wonderful menagerie of crocodiles, cassowaries, taipans, box jellyfish, irukandji and cane toads don't extend this far south :). The magpies, brush turkeys, seagulls, possums, wombats and water dragons still want to, of course, but don't have much success.

 

image.png.6a9b03d2dfd0c47cc463a7417ca892dc.png

 

A couple of weeks ago my sons' foot was mauled by a goanna. It thought his foot looked tasty.

Edited by colleda
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I have had 2 interesting experiences on our recent caching trip away. Down NSW somewhere, I gave up on a hunt when turning a piece of wood over revealed 2 of the biggest Red Back spiders I have ever seen, each was about 2cm across the body. And a hunt in Caboolture Qld saw me raking my hand through some leaves in the fork of a fig tree, to then see a snake scurrying away. Errr, nope. 

 

Otherwise, depending on the location, mossies, sandies, and bush flies can be the worst. I have had encounters with big buck roos, no pigs or crocs as yet, but they are out there. 

 

Its usually the smaller things that you don't see are the worst. The big stuff cant really sneak up on you. 

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6 minutes ago, Bundyrumandcoke said:

Down NSW somewhere, I gave up on a hunt when turning a piece of wood over revealed 2 of the biggest Red Back spiders I have ever seen, each was about 2cm across the body.

 

Not this cache-dweller, was it?

 

image.png.44716f08941d5be4a99bd3963fa0dbb0.png

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Two of us almost always cache together, and we carry concealed.  For these events, we both have a Glock 43. 

So far, and we expect this to be the case in the future, zero need to deploy -- but we have cached in some pretty dodgy places.

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1 hour ago, ecanderson said:

Two of us almost always cache together, and we carry concealed.  For these events, we both have a Glock 43. 

So far, and we expect this to be the case in the future, zero need to deploy -- but we have cached in some pretty dodgy places.

So have people in other countries - "cached in some pretty dodgy places", but we don't carry guns. Don't have the mental need.

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46 minutes ago, Goldenwattle said:

So have people in other countries - "cached in some pretty dodgy places", but we don't carry guns. Don't have the mental need.

Glad things have worked out for you well there.  However, we also have some issues in common.

I honestly don't feel like trying to arm wrestle a mountain lion like this guy did last week.  Gettin' too old for that crap.

Note:  this was a local story, not more than about a mile from where we were caching today:  https://www.nbcnews.com/news/us-news/colorado-man-who-killed-attacking-mountain-lion-bare-hands-said-n971731

Needless to say, after his incident, we did pay a bit closer attention to our surroundings.  With luck, we won't get complacent later.

 

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1 hour ago, barefootjeff said:

 

Not this cache-dweller, was it?

 

image.png.44716f08941d5be4a99bd3963fa0dbb0.png

Talking spiders, some of my cache containers and their placement.GC4CB12 & GC7AWYW

The chest is in a road guard, but not what is normally expected, as there are also dangling spiders and spiders on the surrounds. The big spider is under a boulder and you need to get down low to see it and then you are close, so it has startled a few people. Also, because it's not found often, there can be a build up of real web across the entrance, to add to the experience. So real spiders there too.

 

Spider chest 2.jpg

Spider chest.jpg

Cache 2.jpg

Cache.jpg

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5 minutes ago, Goldenwattle said:

Talking spiders, some of my cache containers and their placement.GC4CB12 & GC7AWYW

 

They look awesome and are getting good percentages of FPs - I must keep them in mind next time I'm down that way. Let me see, the last time I was in Canberra was several decades ago so it might be a long wait, but who knows.

 

The one I posted is from one of my hides; I have another spider one, as well as various other themed critters and underworld figures. They make for interesting logs :).

 

DSC_0005_small.jpg.c32b7de1ad1859561c3fcbddedcb7708.jpg

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3 minutes ago, barefootjeff said:

 

They look awesome and are getting good percentages of FPs - I must keep them in mind next time I'm down that way. Let me see, the last time I was in Canberra was several decades ago so it might be a long wait, but who knows.

 

The one I posted is from one of my hides; I have another spider one, as well as various other themed critters and underworld figures. They make for interesting logs :).

 

DSC_0005_small.jpg.c32b7de1ad1859561c3fcbddedcb7708.jpg

Glowing eyes would make me jump. Mmmm, not a bad idea :laughing:.

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22 hours ago, Gabeman26 said:

This is a question I've had in a while. I usually cache alone about 95% of the time. Sure I protect myself from the elements with boots and bug spray and sun screen.

 

Since I cache alone I don't usually venture out that far in secluded areas. ie forests and stuff.

 

I live in Texas where open carry is legal. I have a long gun and I've been wanting to take it with me while caching in the forests (of course no public or national parks). 

It should be legal and of course I don't want to alarm other people b/c of Hiking Trails are a mile from the cache zone.

 

What are your opinions on this topic and do you carry any sort of protection on secluded areas?

A couple of things.  As noted in a post above, two of us usually cache together.  You say you tend to cache solo, so don't venture out very far.  Here in Colorado, we have quite a lot of caches in the mountains that require that kind of adventure, and find that working as a pair provides a lot of potential benefit.  A slip or fall in the wrong spot can pose a serious problem, though that is true in a lot of places other then the Colorado mountains.  I guess both of us, while in good shape,  are also in the 'old fart' category.  Though we're both in good health, you just never know when having someone else right there on site could be important.  Also as noted in my prior post, we can have some major critter issues here, and another set of eyes/ears and another quick hand is always welcome.  If you can find a friend to work with, you will have an opportunity to get more safely into what may be some great outback caching territory.

 

As for the long gun, I'm thinking about how difficult it would be to have it truly at the ready unless it's something you've done 'for a living' before.  Properly slung, it might not be too bad, but it depends a lot upon the terrain.  Faced with that fellow's mountain lion incident of a couple of days ago, I'd have rather had something I could deploy more quickly in close quarters. 

 

We find that the smaller, concealed approach is more comfortable to work with, and specifically avoids the potential for alarming anyone else we might encounter out on the mountain trails.  Bears could potentially present us with a larger problem than we'd like, but as instructors and RSOs, we've got some extra experience and accuracy on our side.  We've been careful to take our very few bear sightings very seriously, and kept as much distance between us as possible.

 

There's no issue when looking for virtuals and earth caches  in National Parks (which represent a fair bit of the land in this State) though physical caches are quite rare there.  The Federal rules for National Parks changed significantly back in 2010.  There are very few excluded areas now.  It's States' CC  laws that dictate it now.  You may wish to investigate that more fully.  We do find quite a lot of caches in national forest land here, though. 

 

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22 hours ago, The Jester said:

I worry more about the nervous guy with a gun in the woods, who might react to me caching off trail (where many cache are) and take a shot in my direction...

 

I've hiked many trails, bushwhacked, swam for, and fought through lots of briars going for caches. These are my favorites! B)  Being prepared is a good thing but to this day, I haven't really felt the need to carry a firearm,,, yet. It is something to think about and who knows, I may decided to carry later on. Having said that, I wouldn't think of carrying a long gun since I like traveling light. 

 

OP, where about in Texas? There's some good woodsie caching to be done north of Houston...

 

 

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23 hours ago, The Jester said:

I worry more about the nervous guy with a gun in the woods, who might react to me caching off trail (where many cache are) and take a shot in my direction...

 

That's odd ...

Here, our largest land owner in the state is the Game Commission, who allows "other use" folks to play on their property (so far...) for free.

Other than the state-wide two-week rifled deer season, when there's the most hunters in the woods at one time, (and rules for "other use" are in place) we cache with little issue. 

There's even sunday hunting, so someone could be hunting every day of the year while we're caching off-trail...   :)

 

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Here in Pennsylvania, aside from terrain dangers, the wildlife dangers are black bears with cubs and rattlesnakes (and copperheads).  I hike/cache a lot in the Poconos with just our Geo-Hound, and we've seen bears, but luckily not with cubs.  Generally, the dog barking (as she is trained to do) sends the bear away, although one 400+lb bear sure took his time.

 

Not worried about coyotes (very elusive), and no mountain lions to worry about here (unlike that poor runner out west who ended up strangling an immature mountain lion earlier this month).  There is a woman in the Poconos (NE PA) in December that was attacked in her back yard by a black bear with cubs b/c her small dog barked at the bear.  She literally just got out of the hospital in early February and is lucky to be alive.

 

I have a friend who bikes alone and carries, but she is a LEO.  Her concern is not wildlife, but criminals. After many years of carry, she has never used it, although she found a dead person who hit his head after falling off his bike.  No helmet.

 

I have chosen not to carry; the chance of me running across a mother bear with cubs and me actually stopping a 300lb+ bear with a handgun in a cloud of adrenaline is pretty small.  Had many close encounters with timber rattlers, but luckily they warn you, unless you step on them while going over a log.  Copperhead bites are rare and unless you are allergic, can be treated with few long term consequences.

 

So, in Texas, water moccasins (cotton mouths), rattlesnakes, copperheads and alligators; I doubt the wild boars would be much of an issue.  If you can hit a snake or alligator with a gun of any kind, with the adrenaline running, you are a much better shot than me.  Rattlesnakes and copperheads will try to avoid you, water moccasins are nasty and will chase you out of it's area.  (had that happen once in a boat on a pond catfishing)  Situational awareness and avoidance is the best ticket.

 

If you are worried about criminals, that is a different story.  I would not choose to carry a gun, and did not during my time in Texas.  If you choose to go that route, work with someone knowledgeable to get the right gun, and practice, practice, practice.  The culture in rural Texas is very pro gun, and it is not unusual for open carry, in some jurisdictions.

 

Also, here in PA, the local gun clubs run concealed carry classes that cover the legalities of carrying; would recommend finding a local class as well, even if you open carry.  Covers where you are allowed to carry, how to react when a approached by a LEO, etc.  Carrying a gun adds an entirely different element to your outdoor experience.

 

Best of luck.

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+1 on coyotes.  Saw one yesterday as we approached a wooded area, and he loped off, preferring his own company to ours.  Generally speaking, they'll give a very wide berth here.  Have yet to have one behave aggressively toward me.

 

As for mountain lions, see my prior post.  That fellow was right in one of our typical caching areas near Ft. Collins.  He was lucky to get away with just 20 stitches and nothing worse. 

 

As for rattlesnakes -- have never had reason to mess with one up close and personal, and we have plenty of them here once it warms up each year.  Am probably accurate enough to take one out at 7-10 yards on the first go, but what would be the point?  I'll wait them out or go around.

 

So although I can't quite foresee the reason for needing to deal with a snake in that fashion, there are 'snake loads' that are available specifically for this purpose.  Think of them as mini 9mm or .45 shotgun shells with very tiny shot, making expert level accuracy unimportant.  Not every automatic will cycle properly with these light loads, though.  It's something one would want to check out on the range first. 

 

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I am in the "Emerald Triangle" of N.W. Calif. >>>>>>> if I venture towards any suspected area I ALWAYS "CARRY".  

 

Post harvest season and after the "trimmer-grants" have scattered there is always the danger of booby traps.  Sooooooo ... be safe out there.

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Hmm...  I've done quite a bit of hiking by myself.  And have not run into any major problems yet.  I've hiked half the Appalachian Trail  (a few hundred miles of it with my sister.)  And quite a number of miles with my late geocaching partner, Andy Bear.  I have met 37 black bears.  Okay.  Some of them more than once.  Black bears are not as aggressive as brown bears or grizzlies.  The only time they're a problem is when mama bear has cubs with her.  Well, the one who liked food at campgrounds in Shenandoah National Park did not want to leave the trail. So, I had to wait him out.  On the trail I maintained, I turned a corner and saw mama bear with two cubs.  Cub one went bouncing off.  Cub two went bouncing off.  I looked again, and saw mama bear.   Then she went bouncing off.

My former boss asked:  What do we do if you don't show up on Monday?  I told her:  "Bribe OnStar.  They'll tell you where my car is parked.  Then check nearby caches that I have not found."

I don't have a gun.  I live in New Jersey.  Tough here.  

I think the most worried I've been was at several urban caches.  (New York City.)  Washington Heights.  We headed off into the woods, and all the kids playing there went running out.  Another:  We parked a few hundred feet behind the drug dealer.  When we found the cache and came back out, it looked as if someone were scoping out the cachemobile.  We went running towards it, and they drove off.  I'd rather go hiking/caching off into the woods.  I prefer the black bears,

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<aside>

Black bear moms are wimps when it comes to protecting their cubs, nothing like grizzlies. 

 

I once found myself inadvertently right below a black bear cub in a tree, and rather than dealing with me, mamma just abandoned it.  Imagine my surprise when I looked up.  Likewise, Stephen Herrero (Bear Attacks - Their Causes and Avoidance) reports a scene where boneheads were throwing rocks at a cub in a tree, with mamma simply off grumbling in the distance.

</aside>

 

Back on topic...  Bear risk is manageable.  Make noise so you don't surprise 'em.

 

I never thought I needed to make noise in scrambling terrain (my example above), so I didn't.  So what's the first thing I encountered once the terrain levelled out?  Of course, a bear.  Two bears.

 

Edited by Viajero Perdido
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I'll happily mix it with snakes and spiders in the Oz bush but I admit to being very nervous searching for caches in woods near our hotel in Denali. I had been told that bears were known to occasionally frequent the area. I was mentally going through what we had been told by our tour guide on identifying types of bear and what to do if confronted and subsequently getting quite confused. Turned out that the caches were all (3 I think) MIA. There was a real bird house that cachers were logging as a find instead of a (missing) ammo can that was a few metres away.

Edited by colleda
yypo

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I only know one cacher who carries while caching and he's a cop so he probably always has a concealed weapon if he leaves home.

 

If I was in grizzly or mountain lion country then carrying a firearm might be a good idea, although from what I've heard on the rare occasions a cougar makes an unprovoked attack it's an ambush where a gun is no help.

 

Here in Florida, the dangerous wildlife are gators, wild hogs, and certain snakes. However, if you encounter a big aggressive hog, you're going to need more stopping power than a typical self-defense pistol or deer rifle. Usually the hogs flee unless a mama feels her babies are threatened, but at that point unless you're really careless you probably stumbled across them too closely and suddenly to draw. Same with the gators, rattlers, and moccasins: if they attack it's probably cause you came across them suddenly without time to draw.

 

The time I would most want a gun is against unleashed dogs. I have been chased, charged, or harassed by unleashed dogs more times in my life than all other non-human species combined. I frequently encounter unleashed dogs on property where dogs are prohibited entirely, dogs running off leash where leashes are required, and/or dogs running out of sight of their owners. I'm fortunately a fairly tall guy and usually carrying a telescoping hiking pole. Combined with stopping to assume a firm stance ready to defend myself as soon as I see a potential threat dog has avoided any actual attacks, although there have been some tense moments. A gun isn't much use here, unless I'm trigger-happy, as 99% of the time a dog running up to me is just excited not dangerous.

 

That leaves people. I can definitely understand a solo female hiker with a CCL. In years of caching I haven't encountered a situation with another person where I felt I might need to defend myself with force. Trouble seems more likely in urban areas where those looking for victims are more likely to find them.

 

The most important thing is to be well-trained. Carrying a gun you can't really use effectively, especially in a pressure situation, makes you dangerous not safer.

 

The most important thing is to avoid solo hiking whenever possible. Another person can provide help in far more situations than a gun can.

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There's a thread about whistles. Use a whistle to protect you, it wouldn't hurt anyone and you'll not get shot for blowing a whistle ;)

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3 hours ago, DerDiedler said:

There's a thread about whistles. Use a whistle to protect you, it wouldn't hurt anyone and you'll not get shot for blowing a whistle ;)

I am reminded of a certain "National Park Warning" about the need for bear bells and pepper spray.

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Gabeman26 - If your concern is animals, as far as I know, the only threat in Texas would be a chance encounter with a mountain lion in west Texas.  But despite the story of the guy here in Colorado, lion attacks on humans are extremely rare.  You're more likely to be struck by lightning.  I live about 10 miles from that incident and I cache a lot in the back country of Colorado where the bears and lions roam.  I've never carried while caching and I often am solo.

 

If your concern is other people, personally, if an area was sketchy enough for me to want to carry, I'd be finding a better place to cache.  A little hidden box isn't worth it to me.  

 

But if you really feel the need to carry, like others have said, get yourself a hand gun and a concealed carry permit.  It's probably not a good idea carrying a long gun even when there is a hunting season going on.  A game warden might be hard to convince that you aren't hunting without a license.

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@icezebra11

True enough.  I can't recall the last time we had a news story like that around here.  It's more often a problem that the tourists get sideways with a moose doing something stupid for a photo.

 

Didn't know you had invited all of that lead into your kitchen that day, did you?  Yes, we try to be discreet.  Became 2nd nature a very long time ago.

And I still think Park Place was one of the best of its type we've ever encountered.  Thanks again for that.

 

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Nope, no idea you guys had iron.  Doesn't bother me though, stop by any time.  And thanks for the kind words on Park Place.  That one and Palisade View are my favorite cache children.

 

Moose, yeah, now they do make me a little nervous.  I've had a couple unexpected close encounters.  They can be unpredictable and I give them a wide berth.  Most people have no clue that an animal that big can cover a hundred yards in just a few seconds if they decide they want to.

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The risks and methods to address them obviously vary greatly depending where you are.    Where I am (England), the biggest dangers are humans, and cattle.   When caching in cities and towns I generally stick to daylight, or very lighted areas, and I turn back if I don't like the feel of an area.    In the countryside I try to avoid cows with calves and bulls.   Carrying a gun isn't an option.   

 

When travelling in other countries, I research the local dangers, and adjust.    In Australia I was concerned about snakes, in Johannesburg I took extra precautions for the human risks.  

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On ‎2‎/‎16‎/‎2019 at 4:23 PM, Goldenwattle said:

Glowing eyes would make me jump. Mmmm, not a bad idea :laughing:.

GW, if you want glowing eyes, try some of those colour changing LED solar garden lights. For the 2013 Australian Scout Jamboree, I modified one of those plastic garden gnome owl bird scarers to have glowing, colour changing eyes. Pulled apart a couple of those solar garden lights, extended the wires, drilled holes into the owls eyes, and fitted the LEDs into the eyes. Good enough to look interesting at anything over a couple of metres. One of these----- https://www.bunnings.com.au/41cm-brown-owl-bird-scarer_p3040634

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1 minute ago, Bundyrumandcoke said:

GW, if you want glowing eyes, try some of those colour changing LED solar garden lights. For the 2013 Australian Scout Jamboree, I modified one of those plastic garden gnome owl bird scarers to have glowing, colour changing eyes. Pulled apart a couple of those solar garden lights, extended the wires, drilled holes into the owls eyes, and fitted the LEDs into the eyes. Good enough to look interesting at anything over a couple of metres. One of these----- https://www.bunnings.com.au/41cm-brown-owl-bird-scarer_p3040634

Although one of these looks even more interesting for a night cache container. 

 

https://www.bunnings.com.au/whites-330mm-solar-powered-pest-control-owl_p3041144

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I don't carry unless I'm on duty, and normally not even then.  I've cached around different rural and urban areas in the US and never had a weapon on me, unless a Gerber multi tool in my bag counts. 

 

Other than coming close to rattlesnakes, the only times I felt threatened by other critters have been when I came across idiots doing illegal target practice. 

 

The first time, near the ghost town of Sasco, Arizona, the shooters had a reckless disregard for where their rounds were going -- no backstop, just shooting wherever they pleased - to the point where I realized rounds were going over my head.  Thankfully, well over my head - and as soon as I realized that, I was outta there.  Went back a few years later (i.e., the next time we visited my mother-in-law) and got some finds with no extra bullets thrown in.

 

The second time, on a trail of caches between El Paso, Texas, and Las Cruces, New Mexico, I had to walk past the collection of vehicles that was on the dirt road I was hiking, and they noticed me taking note of their license plates in preparation for calling the police.  A waste of effort, as the cops never showed up.  But even worse, one of them followed me to my car.  I felt pretty vulnerable, since I knew they were armed and I was not.  I do wonder whether open carry would have stopped them from thinking they could intimidate me, or whether it would have escalated the situation.

 

I have openly carried a long rifle near at least one cache, but I wasn't a geocacher yet, and I didn't know there was a cache there.  As everyone else was open carrying around Tallil, it wasn't an issue.

 

I probably open carried near this one, and a handful of others that were on Bagram in 2005, but again, wasn't caching then, didn't know.  Another situation where everyone else was open carrying - in fact, usually the only ones not carrying a weapon were my clients awaiting court-martial.

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