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Urban Caching: Tips for city Caches?


VRTrooper84

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Hey Folx!

I'm hailing from Toronto, and Prince Edward County, ON Canada.

 

Relatively new to Geocaching.  Noticed that caches seem to come and go rather quickly in the city due to mugglers.

Country caches seem to stay around longer, due to foliage and less muggle activity.

 

Any good tips for URBAN cache disguises and tricks to keep caches out of hands of city muggles?

So far I've noticed MAGNETIC caches are popular for urban hides.

Also came across a cache that was a false electrical panel cover, which is genius!

 

Any other tips?

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9 hours ago, VRTrooper84 said:

Any good tips for URBAN cache disguises and tricks to keep caches out of hands of city muggles?

 

Make your caches for premium members only is one tip and helped me greatly. The magnetic hide a key cache works great under utility boxes (I found a small lock-n-lock with a strong magnet glued on the bottom in New York City). Also saw a small magnetic " keep off sign" on a utility box that was a cache, the log sheet was on the other side of it. That was really cool and hard to find! 

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Here is some advice for beginners that I've posted before. I know you have some experience with non-urban hides, but you might still find it useful, especially the part towards the end about ways to learn what types of hides might be out there...

 

A common recommendation for beginners is to stick with small small.gif size, regular regular.gif size, and large large.gif size caches. Until you're more experienced, avoid micro micro.gif size caches, some of which are smaller than most beginners can imagine (sometimes called "nanos"). Save those for later, after you have some experience.

 

Also, stick with caches that have a difficulty rating of no more than 2 stars stars2.gif. Save the more difficult ones for later. You may also want to choose caches with easy terrain ratings. (The difficulty rating tells you how hard it is to find the cache once you get there. The terrain rating tells you how hard it is to get there.) And it is often best to start with traditional 2.gif caches, which will be at the published coordinates. Multi-caches 3.gif or mystery/puzzle caches 8.gif or other cache types can require more work just to figure out where the container is located.

 

Under ideal conditions, a consumer GPSr will be accurate to about 3m (10ft). That applies both to your device, and to the cache owner’s device, so you may find the container 5-6m (16-20ft) from ground zero under ideal conditions. Under less than ideal conditions, both GPSr readings can be much less accurate. Once you get within that distance of ground zero, put your device away and look around for places where a container could be hidden.

 

Where would you hide something? Do you notice anything unusual? Is anything too new, too old, too organized (e.g., UPS: an Unnatural Pile of Sticks/Stones), too symmetrical, not quite the right color or shape, etc.? Don’t look only on the ground; the cache may be knee-level, waist-level, eye-level, or overhead. How might the container be secured in place? With magnets? With a hook? With string? With fishing line? With something else? Does anything move when you touch it? (Be careful when touching things though.)

 

Go ahead and read the cache's additional hints (if provided), and read the past logs and look at any photos in the cache's image gallery. They may help you understand what you're looking for, and how/where it may be hidden. It may also help to look at some of the cache containers available online. For example, check out the cache containers sold by Groundspeak. Also, take a look at the Pictures - Cool Cache Containers (CCC's) thread in the forums, and check out some geocaching videos on YouTube.
 

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15 hours ago, niraD said:

Here is some advice for beginners that I've posted before. I know you have some experience with non-urban hides, but you might still find it useful, especially the part towards the end about ways to learn what types of hides might be out there...

 

A common recommendation for beginners is to stick with small small.gif size, regular regular.gif size, and large large.gif size caches. Until you're more experienced, avoid micro micro.gif size caches, some of which are smaller than most beginners can imagine (sometimes called "nanos"). Save those for later, after you have some experience.

 

Also, stick with caches that have a difficulty rating of no more than 2 stars stars2.gif. Save the more difficult ones for later. You may also want to choose caches with easy terrain ratings. (The difficulty rating tells you how hard it is to find the cache once you get there. The terrain rating tells you how hard it is to get there.) And it is often best to start with traditional 2.gif caches, which will be at the published coordinates. Multi-caches 3.gif or mystery/puzzle caches 8.gif or other cache types can require more work just to figure out where the container is located.

 

Under ideal conditions, a consumer GPSr will be accurate to about 3m (10ft). That applies both to your device, and to the cache owner’s device, so you may find the container 5-6m (16-20ft) from ground zero under ideal conditions. Under less than ideal conditions, both GPSr readings can be much less accurate. Once you get within that distance of ground zero, put your device away and look around for places where a container could be hidden.

 

Where would you hide something? Do you notice anything unusual? Is anything too new, too old, too organized (e.g., UPS: an Unnatural Pile of Sticks/Stones), too symmetrical, not quite the right color or shape, etc.? Don’t look only on the ground; the cache may be knee-level, waist-level, eye-level, or overhead. How might the container be secured in place? With magnets? With a hook? With string? With fishing line? With something else? Does anything move when you touch it? (Be careful when touching things though.)

 

Go ahead and read the cache's additional hints (if provided), and read the past logs and look at any photos in the cache's image gallery. They may help you understand what you're looking for, and how/where it may be hidden. It may also help to look at some of the cache containers available online. For example, check out the cache containers sold by Groundspeak. Also, take a look at the Pictures - Cool Cache Containers (CCC's) thread in the forums, and check out some geocaching videos on YouTube.
 

 

This is great information. I made a copy.

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Hey gang...

 

Maybe re-read my question?

 

I'm asking specifically about tips for hiding caches in a CITY.

 

While your geocache 101 post may be helpful to others, I was asking a specific question about urban caching.  I'm new to geocaching.... But not THAT new. ;). Ive done my homework on the basics.

 

I'm interested in ways to disguise caches in city environments, not necessarily all just caches in trees and parks.

 

If anyone has any tips or design ideas for urban caches please link and share!

 

TY!

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8 hours ago, VRTrooper84 said:

I'm interested in ways to disguise caches in city environments, not necessarily all just caches in trees and parks.

Did you find the part of my post towards the end useful? The part about ways to learn what types of hides might be out there?

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23 hours ago, VRTrooper84 said:

Hey gang...

 

Maybe re-read my question?

 

I'm asking specifically about tips for hiding caches in a CITY.

 

While your geocache 101 post may be helpful to others, I was asking a specific question about urban caching.  I'm new to geocaching.... But not THAT new. ;). Ive done my homework on the basics.

 

I'm interested in ways to disguise caches in city environments, not necessarily all just caches in trees and parks.

 

If anyone has any tips or design ideas for urban caches please link and share!

 

TY!

 

I gave a few. Also a tip to keep caches out of muggles hands (you also asked for that).  

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On 1/13/2020 at 12:12 AM, VRTrooper84 said:

Any good tips for URBAN cache disguises and tricks to keep caches out of hands of city muggles?

A lot of the really hard-to-find urban caches that I've found have custom camouflage that is specifically designed for the location. An existing hole might be filled with a plug that matches the object, and the cache is inside the plug. Or the cache might be designed to match some objects that already exist, and the cache appears to be one more of those.

 

As far as keeping them out of the hands of muggles, I often pick up litter (CITO) while searching, then toss the cache into my litter bag. After searching a little more, I take a break to sign the log, and then I replace the cache while picking up more litter. I never stop when I find the cache. It also helps that I have big hands and can hide most micro-caches and some small caches from view.

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5 minutes ago, niraD said:

As far as keeping them out of the hands of muggles, I often pick up litter (CITO) while searching, then toss the cache into my litter bag. After searching a little more, I take a break to sign the log, and then I replace the cache while picking up more litter. I never stop when I find the cache. It also helps that I have big hands and can hide most micro-caches and some small caches from view.

 

This is a great tip.

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1 hour ago, niraD said:

As far as keeping them out of the hands of muggles, I often pick up litter (CITO) while searching, then toss the cache into my litter bag. After searching a little more, I take a break to sign the log, and then I replace the cache while picking up more litter. I never stop when I find the cache. It also helps that I have big hands and can hide most micro-caches and some small caches from view.

Nice.

That's a great tactic and also makes u look like a really nice person cleaning up garbage.

 

I've heard about people using their cellphones and pretend to be talking on their phones while searching.

 

Nothing is more satisfying then finding a cache that's been ingeniously camouflaged in the city. I wish there were more caches like that in the wild.

 

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2 hours ago, HunterandSamuel said:

One urban cache I saw a few times in the city was this (see photo). They are magnetic and really blends in well on metal items like street signs, utility boxes, bus stops and bus shelters, etc.

 

urben.jpg

I've only found one of these in the wild so far.

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1 hour ago, VRTrooper84 said:

I've heard about people using their cellphones and pretend to be talking on their phones while searching.

 

Yes! We have done that many times although when my husband makes believe he's talking on the cell...he doesn't talk or move his lips. lol  Looks suspicious when he does it! 

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37 minutes ago, VRTrooper84 said:

The only one off topic is you.


Please try to be respectful of every user, volunteers included. Work with the moderator, not against him. 
This sub-forum debates design... on ideas for city caches. Suggestions on using a reflective jacket to geocaching or owner maintenance, or random tips for avoiding muggles attention are better suited on the general forums... and with a wider audience too.

Do you want me to move it?

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On 1/20/2020 at 2:32 PM, RuideAlmeida said:


Please try to be respectful of every user, volunteers included. Work with the moderator, not against him. 
This sub-forum debates design... on ideas for city caches. Suggestions on using a reflective jacket to geocaching or owner maintenance, or random tips for avoiding muggles attention are better suited on the general forums... and with a wider audience too.

Do you want me to move it?

Hmmmm...

 

I was wondering why the geocaching  discussion forums on here were barely used... And why not a lot of people talk.

 

Now I know why.

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10 hours ago, VRTrooper84 said:

Hmmmm...

 

I was wondering why the geocaching  discussion forums on here were barely used... And why not a lot of people talk.

 

Now I know why.

 

I don't know why, please explain ?

 

This area of the forum , the one you chose to start the thread in clearly states in the menu:

" Design

Calling all designers! This forum will be a fun gathering place for those who love to design around geocaching. Share designs for geocoins, logos and avatars, banners and garments for events, amazing page listings, characters for WIG adventures, etc."

 

So, either you chose the wrong place for the thread's topic, or the topic has veered off from your initial intention. It is not entirely clear in your initial post if you are talking about urban cache design or urban cache finding. Subsequent replies have assumed the latter, and you have not corrected them.  Therefore the moderator is politely asking that either any more posts accord with the 'Design' theme, or has offered to move the thread to a more appropriate place if you chose the wrong one.

 

I was wondering how the volunteer moderators of the geocaching  discussion forums have the patience to deal politely with responses like yours.

I don't know .

 

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On 1/18/2020 at 3:10 AM, VRTrooper84 said:

I'm asking specifically about tips for hiding caches in a CITY.

You have hardly found any caches. They best tip I can give you is to find more caches before you hide any. I held out hiding my first cache until I had found several hundred caches, because I recognised I needed more experience. Then try to hide at least a 'small' sized cache if possible. Many people think this is impossible in urban areas, but it's not always impossible. Look around, be imaginative; don't just plonk down a micro, or worse a nano, because that seems easy. A small sized cache can also have a magnet attached. Micro and especially nanos take much more maintenance, because the log is so small and you will need to make many visits to replace the log. Unless you like regular visits to your cache (and the CO should be maintaining their cache and also checking the log), a larger cache will hold a larger log and won't fill up so quickly. Micro and worse, nanos, can mean a lot of work for the CO which beginners might not be aware of. Small sized caches are big enough to hold a TB or two and some trinkets. Unfortunately some caches are called smalls. but they are actually micro sized. Check the geocaching definition of what each size is; don't just believe the caches you have found are rated correctly, as it appears many people never check the official definitions.

Find more caches to learn what various caches look like and get ideas. Then after you have found many more caches have fun placing you first cache, and with the extra experience the cache and its hide is likely to be all the better for it. Some beginners with very few finds like you hide very good first caches, but from my experience more don't, having trouble with taking accurate coordinates (finding caching improves this skill), suitable cache and hide, and how to rate their cache.

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On 1/19/2020 at 10:46 AM, RuideAlmeida said:

Keep on topic, please...

 

I just want to say that I greatly appreciate your respectful reminders to stay on topic and understand 100% why it has to be this way although it took a few reminders from you to me...to get the hang of staying on topic.  Volunteering for a forum is not an easy job. 

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16 hours ago, VRTrooper84 said:

I was wondering why the geocaching  discussion forums on here were barely used... And why not a lot of people talk.

 

Now I know why.

 

 

Actually, this forum is very active and interesting!  I think what ruins a forum are the long drawn out off topic posts that clutter up a forum. I have been on forums like that with no structure.  People reading the forum will get bored and leave because there are too many posts to go through to get to the informative posts and answers they are seeking. I'm guilty of going on and on off topic with other cachers here, most of us are. It's human nature, we are talkers, thinkers, and highly spirited. But a gentle reminder puts us back on track. I do see that the mods here allow a little leeway now and then, so it's not too rigid that we can't relax. 

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5 hours ago, Goldenwattle said:

They best tip I can give you is to find more caches before you hide any. 

 

 

Groundspeaks recommends at least 20 finds before hiding a cache. 

 

 

5 hours ago, Goldenwattle said:

Micro and especially nanos take much more maintenance, because the log is so small and you will need to make many visits to replace the log. Unless you like regular visits to your cache (and the CO should be maintaining their cache and also checking the log), a larger cache will hold a larger log and won't fill up so quickly.

 

 

Actually, our nanos hold more signatures than our larger cache log strips. I have found that nanos are easier to maintain. We are always checking up on our larger caches to restock swag, pencils, etc and also make sure geocachers place them back in their hiding places. Three have pieces of bark covering them so muggles won't see them.  After someone finds them, we always check to see if the bark was placed back. Most times it is, thankfully. So, I think nanos are great for hiding in urban areas along with other creative caches. One cache we found in New York City was a small lock-n-lock with a strong magnet glued on the bottom. It was hidden under a metal utility box on a busy street. A cool urban hide! 

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3 hours ago, HunterandSamuel said:

Actually, our nanos hold more signatures than our larger cache log strips. I have found that nanos are easier to maintain. We are always checking up on our larger caches to restock swag, pencils, etc and also make sure geocachers place them back in their hiding places. Three have pieces of bark covering them so muggles won't see them.  After someone finds them, we always check to see if the bark was placed back. Most times it is, thankfully. So, I think nanos are great for hiding in urban areas along with other creative caches. One cache we found in New York City was a small lock-n-lock with a strong magnet glued on the bottom. It was hidden under a metal utility box on a busy street. A cool urban hide

Log strips! Larger caches should fit a descent sized note book. I was not talking about piddlie little strips. Log strips might not be so bad if it's a cache that doesn't get many visits, or is very close to where the CO lives and they can get to the cache easily and don't mind continuously doing this over the years doing this. See photograph of good sized log. I marked that cache as a regular sized cache (shoebox sizes or ammunition sized). It's not a large sized cache as when the roof is closed  it wouldn't hold what a large cache does (bucket sized). Some small sized caches would fit that note book, but even those that don't, they should be able to fit a smaller note nook. Nanos are NOT easier to maintain; they are harder to maintain because of the tiny log. Also harder to check the log for false claims. You have said you don't do this, but many of us regard this as part of being a CO.

Caches hidden under utility boxes (nothing wrong with this) are a dime a dozen; extremely common. When you get more experience you will discover this.

3 hours ago, HunterandSamuel said:

Groundspeaks recommends at least 20 finds before hiding a cache. 

Still extremely inexperienced with only 20 finds. Some of the worst (and shortest surviving) caches I have seen have been placed by those with only a few finds like this. Bad coordinates are the biggest problem, but also unsuitable location has been another; as has unsuitable container. The worst of these hiders will then argue with other geocachers giving advice or just ignore the advice. Those who show chances of improvement will accept the advice good naturedly in the spirit it was given and improve. The others often just fade away, and likely just as well.

Geocaching hotel.jpg

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12 hours ago, Goldenwattle said:

I was not talking about piddlie little strips.

 

 

Neither am I. The ritr all weather double wides strips are great. 

 

 

12 hours ago, Goldenwattle said:

! Larger caches should fit a descent sized note book

 

 

I have seen those school notebooks in caches. I don't like them. I like the geocaching.com official log strips & logbooks better. But to each their own. 

 

 

12 hours ago, Goldenwattle said:

Nanos are NOT easier to maintain; they are harder to maintain because of the tiny log.

 

Nanos are way easier to maintain. I highly recommend them for urban areas. Some are creative. 

 

 

12 hours ago, Goldenwattle said:

Also harder to check the log for false claims. You have said you don't do this,

 

 

That's right. No need to. Never had a false log or anything that sends off red flags. And I don't "look" for anything false. I explained this a hundred times already. Why do you bring it up on another thread? 

 

 

12 hours ago, Goldenwattle said:

Caches hidden under utility boxes (nothing wrong with this) are a dime a dozen; extremely common. When you get more experience you will discover this.

 

 

I don't need more experience. My 18 hides are enough for me. 

 

 

 

12 hours ago, Goldenwattle said:

Still extremely inexperienced with only 20 finds.

 

 

So you are disputing Groundspeaks guidelines? Bring it up to them! 

 

 

12 hours ago, Goldenwattle said:

The worst of these hiders will then argue with other geocachers giving advice or just ignore the advice. Those who show chances of improvement will accept the advice good naturedly in the spirit it was given and improve. The others often just fade away, and likely just as well.

 

 

I don't blame them. There are rude cachers who love to ridicule while giving "advice". I personally will never take advice from cachers like that. I place them in the category of being schoolyard bullies.  But here on this forum thankfully there are a handful of seasoned caches on who have been so helpful and respectful.  I listen to them. The others I ignore. 

 

 

 

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13 minutes ago, HunterandSamuel said:

I don't blame them. There are rude cachers who love to ridicule while giving "advice". I personally will never take advice from cachers like that. I place them in the category of being schoolyard bullies.  But here on this forum thankfully there are a handful of seasoned caches on who have been so helpful and respectful.  I listen to them. The others I ignore. 

 

 

 

You are inventing the bullies. The advice I have seen given by far more experienced geocachers has mostly been good advice. However, there are people out there who have a problem with taking advice, as no matter how inexperienced they are they know better. In fact some of them act just like you are now, seeing bullying where there is none, only friendly, politely given advice. But someone 'dared' to make a suggestion; how dare they.

 

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1 minute ago, Goldenwattle said:

The advice I have seen given by far more experienced geocachers has mostly been good advice.

 

 

Yup. They gave great advice. Being respectful and showing patience to newbies is appreciated. 

 

 

2 minutes ago, Goldenwattle said:

However, there are people out there who have a problem with taking advice, as no matter how inexperienced they are they know better. In fact some of them act just like you are now, seeing bullying where there is none, only friendly, politely given advice. But someone 'dared' to make a suggestion; how dare they.

 

 

I wouldn't lose sleep over it, dear, if I were you. Ignore is a great feature. 

 

 

 

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If you read the above posts... You will see that I'm inquiring about designs specifically for urban landscapes. I personally work as a design and artist, so this aspect of geocaching is what excites me.  I've been geocaching for a while now but was working with a friend.  Didn't get my own account until recently... So I'd appreciate you all not making assumptions about me based on my stats. Good for you... If you've found more caches than me... But I'm sorry that does not give u the right to talk down to me over a fun GPS game.  Like wow... What is wrong with you people?  8f this is what you need to feel superior to other people that's just sad .  This is supposed to be a fun game.

 

If other people's responses to my original question were off topic that is not my fault ... it's called conversation... and sometimes its organic.  Talking and conversations aren't meant to be policed... and all this policing has effectively KILLED this conversation.

 

How come the people now complaining about bullies and "newbies".. Who are in fact acting like bullies.... Not being policed to stay on topic?  This subject is more "off topic" now than people talking to me about their urban caching strategies... Which I THINK has a lot to do with DESIGN. It's called UX. Look it up.

 

Why has my thread turned into a bunch of complaining gate keepers... Literally putting down people new to the game.  It's TOXIC.  This is really disappointing... And this is why there seems to only be a handful of people who chat on here.  It's Cliquey and unhelpful.

 

I will look elsewhere online for a positive and helpful geocache community... I've found some on facebook groups who are WAY NICER to me than anyone on here.. Because whatever this is is LAME, judgemental, Cliquey, toxic culture and gate keeper ish... And geocaching.com should maybe reevaluate some of their  mods "dedication" to their "job".

 

My topic of conversation has been officially killed.

Thanks a lot guys.

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On 1/29/2020 at 10:28 AM, VRTrooper84 said:

If you read the above posts... You will see that I'm inquiring about designs specifically for urban landscapes. I personally work as a design and artist, so this aspect of geocaching is what excites me.  I've been geocaching for a while now but was working with a friend.  Didn't get my own account until recently... So I'd appreciate you all not making assumptions about me based on my stats. Good for you... If you've found more caches than me... But I'm sorry that does not give u the right to talk down to me over a fun GPS game.  Like wow... What is wrong with you people?  8f this is what you need to feel superior to other people that's just sad .  This is supposed to be a fun game.

 

If other people's responses to my original question were off topic that is not my fault ... it's called conversation... and sometimes its organic.  Talking and conversations aren't meant to be policed... and all this policing has effectively KILLED this conversation.

 

How come the people now complaining about bullies and "newbies".. Who are in fact acting like bullies.... Not being policed to stay on topic?  This subject is more "off topic" now than people talking to me about their urban caching strategies... Which I THINK has a lot to do with DESIGN. It's called UX. Look it up.

 

Why has my thread turned into a bunch of complaining gate keepers... Literally putting down people new to the game.  It's TOXIC.  This is really disappointing... And this is why there seems to only be a handful of people who chat on here.  It's Cliquey and unhelpful.

 

I will look elsewhere online for a positive and helpful geocache community... I've found some on facebook groups who are WAY NICER to me than anyone on here.. Because whatever this is is LAME, judgemental, Cliquey, toxic culture and gate keeper ish... And geocaching.com should maybe reevaluate some of their  mods "dedication" to their "job".

 

My topic of conversation has been officially killed.

Thanks a lot guys.

If the prior veerings haven't ran you off from the thread, go to the general area of the city where you wish to hide a cache, and look around. Closely. 

Take notice of the things like signs, plumbing connections, plant containers, electrical connections, rain gutter downspouts, and the like. I'll wager that you will see something that you can replicate, or augment with a container of some sort.

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On 1/18/2020 at 10:53 AM, HunterandSamuel said:

 

This is a great tip.

Or toss into pocket, then sit down and process.  The key tip was to not suddenly stop when you find the cache, because that catches the attention of muggles.

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