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HunterandSamuel

What are your best tips to turn a muggle into a geocacher?

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I just read Geocaching.com's advice on tips to turn a muggle into a geocacher. It's an interesting question! A cacher who found one of our caches in the woods screamed when she found it out of excitement and a concerned muggle came over and asked if she was okay. She explained geocaching to him and he was fascinated and said he wanted to join. My story is...our die-hard geocacher son, when visiting,  brought us out geocaching. We were hooked after the first find which was a lock-n-lock hidden on conservation land. It was muddy, a long walk,  and difficult but so exciting.  But what hooked us on geocaching the most was our son telling us that it's based on an honor system. That blew me away. Also that swag is then exchanged, the log inside the cache is signed and then you go online to log your find. So when I cross paths with a muggle, I tell them the same, what our son said to us that got us hooked. 

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28 minutes ago, HunterandSamuel said:

.  But what hooked us on geocaching the most was our son telling us that it's based on an honor system

If only that were true.

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My first Geocaching experience was in 2008, right when the activity had gained a lot of traction.

One of my extended relatives asked me if I had heard of Geocaching. I forget the exact explanation he used, but I was very intrigued.

My cousins and I hopped in the car and joined the search with my relative.

I didn't find any of the caches (they were all micros), but the people with me did. I signed my name and the rest is history.

 

I think the best way to get muggles into it is to talk about it. 

I usually bring up the names of trails I walk and mention Geocaching.
They either give me a puzzled look or a "Yeah I've heard about it."

Also, there is a trend on Tik Tok that I learned of recently, so a lot of younger people are being introduced to it that way.

Last week, I found a cache in front of some muggles. They asked what I was doing and I explained Geocaching to them. 

They responded positively, so I might have helped a "wizard" discover themselves!

 

My favorite is to just ask a muggle if they want to go Geocaching with me. I've done this maybe once and it was a good time.

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Posted (edited)
20 hours ago, carnyhunks said:

My first Geocaching experience was in 2008, right when the activity had gained a lot of traction.

One of my extended relatives asked me if I had heard of Geocaching. I forget the exact explanation he used, but I was very intrigued.

My cousins and I hopped in the car and joined the search with my relative.

I didn't find any of the caches (they were all micros), but the people with me did. I signed my name and the rest is history.

 

I think the best way to get muggles into it is to talk about it. 

I usually bring up the names of trails I walk and mention Geocaching.
They either give me a puzzled look or a "Yeah I've heard about it."

Also, there is a trend on Tik Tok that I learned of recently, so a lot of younger people are being introduced to it that way.

Last week, I found a cache in front of some muggles. They asked what I was doing and I explained Geocaching to them. 

They responded positively, so I might have helped a "wizard" discover themselves!

 

My favorite is to just ask a muggle if they want to go Geocaching with me. I've done this maybe once and it was a good time.

 

 

Thank you for sharing! I'm so happy to hear younger people are being introduced to geocaching on Tik Tok. It's important to keep the younger generations informed and interested! Not long ago we were geocaching in New Jersey. One town had "alleys" leading from one street to another. These alleys were made before automobiles were invented and this was how people got from one section of town to another. It was so quaint! A couple of bike riders rode by and because we were acting "suspicious" to them I'm sure, I told them were geocaching. The girl stopped on her bike and said "geocaching?" I told her it was like a treasure hunt and to google later to learn about it. She was intrigued. 

 

Edited by HunterandSamuel
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In old parts of some our cities there are a lot of alleys but they weren't for getting across town more easily. They were for delivery purposes, such as coal and goods for shops. And "night soil" removal in pre-sewer system days.

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2 hours ago, HunterandSamuel said:

Thank you for sharing! I'm so happy to hear younger people are being introduced to geocaching on Tik Tok. It's important to keep the younger generations informed and interested!

 

That's fine as long as such promotion is done in a way so that new players are aware of how the game is played. In early April, at the start of the lock-down here, I saw a rash of new PM players who have never visited the website and have no idea of how multis and other cache types actually work. They either don't respond to messages from COs or get upset by them. I suspect some social media "influencer" was promoting caching as an app game to while away the boredom of lockdown.

 

I was introduced to caching in 2013 through an article in a bushwalking magazine. It went for a couple of pages, was pretty thorough and, most importantly, ended with the geocaching.com URL as the place to go for more information. That's what I did, where I read all the geocaching 101 guides and watched the videos before inflicting myself on the region's COs.

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Posted (edited)
3 hours ago, HunterandSamuel said:

I'm so happy to hear younger people are being introduced to geocaching on Tik Tok

I think that's a terrible idea! Not only are these videos showing spoilers of geocaches, but like barefootjeff said, they are playing without any awareness of guidelines or how the game is played.I

Edit: I do know of a TikTok user who showed their own geocache. In my opinion, that's ok. 

Edited by Max and 99
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18 hours ago, colleda said:

In old parts of some our cities there are a lot of alleys but they weren't for getting across town more easily. They were for delivery purposes, such as coal and goods for shops. And "night soil" removal in pre-sewer system days.

 

That sounds more like what the alleys were made for (delivery purposes). Makes more sense. Someone explained it the way I did in their cache description. Could be I read it wrong. 

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18 hours ago, barefootjeff said:

 

That's fine as long as such promotion is done in a way so that new players are aware of how the game is played. In early April, at the start of the lock-down here, I saw a rash of new PM players who have never visited the website and have no idea of how multis and other cache types actually work. They either don't respond to messages from COs or get upset by them. I suspect some social media "influencer" was promoting caching as an app game to while away the boredom of lockdown.

 

 

 

 

I noticed new members joining too during the pandemic. They are cute, their logs.  I got a few excited "my first find!". One found our nano and didn't know it was a cache. She/he said...only part of the cache was there. She logged a DNF. lol 

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18 hours ago, Max and 99 said:

I think that's a terrible idea! Not only are these videos showing spoilers of geocaches, but like barefootjeff said, they are playing without any awareness of guidelines or how the game is played.I

Edit: I do know of a TikTok user who showed their own geocache. In my opinion, that's ok. 

 

 

The cacher said there was a trend on Tik Tok. You say there are videos showing spoilers there and playing without any awareness of guidelines? Can you give me a link showing this? 

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3 hours ago, HunterandSamuel said:

 

 

I noticed new members joining too during the pandemic. They are cute, their logs.  I got a few excited "my first find!". One found our nano and didn't know it was a cache. She/he said...only part of the cache was there. She logged a DNF. lol 

 

There's nothing cute about someone attempting a terrain 4 multi as their very first cache, with no idea about D/T ratings or attributes because the influencer said just download the app and follow the arrow to the hidden treasure or something to that effect, then injuring themselves at the first waypoint and logging a find because they didn't know that was just the first stage of the multi.

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3 minutes ago, barefootjeff said:

 

There's nothing cute about someone attempting a terrain 4 multi as their very first cache, with no idea about D/T ratings or attributes because the influencer said just download the app and follow the arrow to the hidden treasure or something to that effect, then injuring themselves at the first waypoint and logging a find because they didn't know that was just the first stage of the multi.

 

 

Like I said...my logs of first cachers were cute. Geeze.

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5 minutes ago, HunterandSamuel said:
9 minutes ago, barefootjeff said:

 

There's nothing cute about someone attempting a terrain 4 multi as their very first cache, with no idea about D/T ratings or attributes because the influencer said just download the app and follow the arrow to the hidden treasure or something to that effect, then injuring themselves at the first waypoint and logging a find because they didn't know that was just the first stage of the multi.

 

 

Like I said...my logs of first cachers were cute. Geeze.

 

You're lucky the caches they attempted weren't physically demanding ones. This is the log I referred to:

 

image.png.cdf7588f708a07723d7fd0e3229496f4.png

 

Getting to Wanda (the first stage) is about a terrain 2.5, mostly along a formed track that's a bit steep and muddy in places. Getting to the final from there is a long hard off-track slog up to the top of the ridge, climbing 100 metres in a horizontal distance of 300 metres. This is not a cache for beginners, especially ones who've never visited the website and have no idea about any of the nuances of the game and probably don't even know there's a description on the cache page you're supposed to read first.

 

As I said, promoting caching is fine but it has to be done responsibly. Not all caches are unicorns and rainbows, there are some, like most of mine, that require a degree of bush skill and preparedness which includes paying close attention to the description, attributes, D/T rating and the topology on the maps and satellite images.

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6 minutes ago, barefootjeff said:

You're lucky the caches they attempted weren't physically demanding ones.

 

 

Gee. I guess they are lucky. That's besides the point I was making. 

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As I mentioned...the best tip was telling me it was based on the honor system, that when you find a cache you sign the log and then go online to log it. You also trade swag. Also that a GPS is used to find the cache. For newcomers...this is something they haven't heard of before. Makes it all the more exciting to join! 

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1 hour ago, HunterandSamuel said:

As I mentioned...the best tip was telling me it was based on the honor system, that when you find a cache you sign the log and then go online to log it. You also trade swag. Also that a GPS is used to find the cache. For newcomers...this is something they haven't heard of before. Makes it all the more exciting to join! 

Geocaching is not based on an honor system. If that were true, there'd be no need for a physical log to sign. COs would just take your word that you were there if it was based on an honor system. The way the game is played is you either signed the log or you didn't. It is physically verifiable. 

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In our early days in this game we would carry a few business cards, explaining Geocaching, which we would give to interested muggles. It was something we found online and printed,   but I have no idea where that link would be now. Perhaps others here can recall it. It had www.geocaching.com in there somewhere.

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5 hours ago, colleda said:

In our early days in this game we would carry a few business cards, explaining Geocaching, which we would give to interested muggles. It was something we found online and printed,   but I have no idea where that link would be now. Perhaps others here can recall it. It had www.geocaching.com in there somewhere.

 

I think I remember them. Weren't they on the same page as the brochures? Brochures have moved to the help center but there isn't any business card available.

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I bought some on Shop Geocaching. The next best thing that I've found is on the page when you create a new hide (a download to the information to put in the cache in case muggles find it). 

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16 hours ago, Max and 99 said:

Geocaching is not based on an honor system.

 

 

You already mentioned this to my first post. What first attracted me to geocaching is being told it was based on an honor system. In my opinion it most certainly is. I could go on the map right now and log 100 caches even though I wasn't physically at their locations. Probably 60% will be left there. 

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15 hours ago, colleda said:

In our early days in this game we would carry a few business cards, explaining Geocaching, which we would give to interested muggles. It was something we found online and printed,   but I have no idea where that link would be now. Perhaps others here can recall it. It had www.geocaching.com in there somewhere.

 

I actually saw a few somewhere. It's a great idea. I know people love hearing that a GPS is used to find hidden caches. You then sign the paper log, trade swag, and go online to sign the cache's log. It sounds so fascinating!  We use geocaching.com's GPS at no cost. So that's also a good way to get people interested, especially when so many are unemployed and short on cash. It's a great healthy outdoor hobby for the whole family and the only expense if you keep traveling local is the gas you use in your car.  So I would even call geocaching a free activity & hobby if you remain a basic member.

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13 minutes ago, HunterandSamuel said:

 

 

You already mentioned this to my first post. What first attracted me to geocaching is being told it was based on an honor system. In my opinion it most certainly is. I could go on the map right now and log 100 caches even though I wasn't physically at their locations. Probably 60% will be left there. 

I do not understand

 

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9 hours ago, Max and 99 said:

I bought some on Shop Geocaching. The next best thing that I've found is on the page when you create a new hide (a download to the information to put in the cache in case muggles find it). 

 

 

I found this thread on ther geocaching forum! 

 

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14 minutes ago, HunterandSamuel said:

 What first attracted me to geocaching is being told it was based on an honor system.

In my opinion it most certainly is.

I could go on the map right now and log 100 caches even though I wasn't physically at their locations. Probably 60% will be left there. 

 

This hobby is not based on an honor system.  :)   

If it was, there'd be no need to "sign a log", send a CO answers , or have your pic on a webcam.  

 

It is possible that "60% would be left there," but that has more to do with uncaring/inactive COs than someone "taking your word for it".  ;) 

If you don't "sign the log", the CO has the ability to remove your "smiley".

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Here is the card found on the link I posted.  When a cacher was stopped by the police looking for one of our caches this would have come in handy! But a great card to hand out to muggles perfectly explaining what geocaching is. 

 

 

 

 

businesscard1.jpg

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21 minutes ago, Max and 99 said:

I do not understand

 

Now I do. You mean 60% of the fake logs would be allowed to stay.

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12 minutes ago, cerberus1 said:

This hobby is not based on an honor system.  

 

 

In my opinion it is among other things and what first attracted me to geocaching in the first place. And, if you take an item (gift, swag, trinket) out of the cache, make sure to replace it with another, do not hog them all up. I love that!

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Just now, Max and 99 said:

Now I do. You mean 60% of the fake logs would be allowed to stay.

 

 

Yes! That's what I was trying to say. 

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There is a well known geocacher who does not use a GPS. Instead he uses satellite maps. That is another option and might lure in muggles, especially of the older generation, which this gentleman is. It's a fascinating story!  

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Posted (edited)
19 hours ago, HunterandSamuel said:

What are your best tips to turn a muggle into a geocacher?

Teach them how to log properly.

 

Teach them that if you don't find the cache you don't log it as found. You log it as Did Not Find.

Teach them that a DNF is not a sign of failure. It happensto all geocachers. Log it that way.

Teach them to use Needs Maintenance when they find logs wet, missing, full or the cache is broken. This is the way cache owners are alerted to a problem with their cache.

Teach them it is the cache owners responsibility to maintain it. Dropping in a temporary replacement log is acceptable to most cache owners until they can maintain it.

Teach them when to carefully use “Needs Archived” if a cache is not being properly maintained after a “Needs Maintenance” or other problematic issues with the cache are not being addressed.

Teach them that replacing a cache without permission is unacceptable.

 

These are BASIC guidelines and exceptions can and have been made depending on circumstances. Encourage them to read up and become familiar with all of geocaching guidelines at this website.

 

Geocaching is more than getting someone interested and downloading an app. Too many people have entered this activity lately and are completely uninformed. The apps do a terrible job of informing people proper geocaching and too many people don't bother to find out on their own

 

 

Edited by RocTheCacheBox
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Posted (edited)
10 minutes ago, RocTheCacheBox said:

Teach them how to log properly.

 

Teach them that if you don't find the cache you don't log it as found. You log it as Did Not Find.

Teach them that a DNF is not a sign of failure. It happen to all geocachers. Log it that way.

Teach them to use Needs Maintenance when they find logs wet, missing, full or the cache is broken. This is the way cache owners are alerted to a problem with their cache.

Teach them it is the cache owners responsibility to maintain it. Dropping in a temporary replacement log is acceptable to most cache owners until they can maintain it.

Teach them when to carefully use “Needs Archived” if a cache is not being properly maintained after a “Needs Maintenance” or other problematic issues with the cache are not being addressed.

Teach them that replacing a cache without permission is unacceptable.

 

These are BASIC guidelines and exceptions can and have been made depending on circumstances. Encourage them to read up and become familiar with all of geocaching guidelines at this website.

 

Geocaching is more than getting someone interested and downloading an app. Too many people have entered this activity lately and are completely uninformed. The apps do a terrible job of informing people proper geocaching and too many people don't bother to find out on their own

 

 

 

 

Great post and so important.  Got any tips on how to first get a muggle interested in geocaching?  

 

 

 

Edited by HunterandSamuel
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13 minutes ago, HunterandSamuel said:

Great post and so important.  Got any tips on how to first get a muggle interested in geocaching?

 

I've found that explaining what geocaching is and how many are around them without them knowing about it will get most muggles interested in geocaching. But....

 

11 minutes ago, HunterandSamuel said:

get a muggle interested in geocaching?  

 

and....

 

19 hours ago, HunterandSamuel said:

Getting back to the topic of this thread: 

 

What are your best tips to turn a muggle into a geocacher?

 

 

Well, Those are two different things.

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2 minutes ago, RocTheCacheBox said:

 

I've found that explaining what geocaching is and how many are around them without them knowing about it will get most muggles interested in geocaching. But....

 

 

and....

 

 

Well, Those are two different things.

 

 

I see your point but they really are the same. To get a muggle interested in geocaching...tips are being asked. I like the geocaching business card.

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5 minutes ago, RocTheCacheBox said:

I've found that explaining what geocaching is and how many are around them without them knowing about it will get most muggles interested in geocaching.

 

 

Also show them the map of their area that shows all the cache hides. They will be surprised. It's amazing. 

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One of ours is "ask them what they expect of the hobby."    :)

 

If they're looking for the treasure in this "real-world, outdoor treasure hunting game ", we show them the "treasure" and go from there. 

 Families seem the most interested, "something for the kids".  "Treasure" and little kids a draw.

Others realize they're not gonna make a buck here, and scoot shortly after.

 

Those who are already interested in outdoors hobbies (chatting on-trail),  just explaining that this site will bring you to unique areas, waterfalls, and awesome views through containers "hidden in the woods" is a draw.

We've yet to have one outdoors person not "sorta" know what Geocaching is.

Many have already signed summit or trail registers, so that "sign the log" part of the hobby is understood.  Tokens/swag too.

They want to find the views, waterfalls, and unique areas, so for them, the hobby fits their lifestyle.

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Here's the latest Trail Card I've purchased from Shop Geocaching:

 

 

 

 

Geocaching Trail Card.png

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2 hours ago, HunterandSamuel said:

I see your point but they really are the same. To get a muggle interested in geocaching...tips are being asked. I like the geocaching business card.

 

No. They are not the same. At all.

 

The question “What are your best tips to turn a muggle into a geocacher?” which is the subject of this and the referenced article, is much different than “What are your best tips to get a muggle interested in geocaching?”

Judging by the OPs response to my post, “What are your best tips to get a muggle interested in geocaching?” is the OP's intended question

 

A guitarist knows at least the basics of how to play a guitar. A plumber knows at least the basics of how to install plumbing. A golfer knows at least the basics of how to play golf. None of them became what they are simply by showing interest in it. They had to go through a learning process.

A geocacher needs to know the basics of how to geocache. Even the referenced article  was about teaching basics to muggles yet it had NO mention of proper logging.

 

Please forgive me for my rant. I have to go yell at the kid on my lawn.

 

 

 

 

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On 6/23/2020 at 1:05 PM, HunterandSamuel said:

I just read Geocaching.com's advice on tips to turn a muggle into a geocacher.

Implicit in Groundspeak's blog post is the idea that you're going geocaching with the muggle. I think that's the key. Don't give them an info card. Don't give them a brochure. Don't have them download the app. Don't send them to a web site. Take them geocaching with you. Everything else is icing on the cake.

 

With that said, I do have some comments about the suggestions in Groundspeak's blog post.

  • "Pack the basics" is good advice. You may be able to expect muggles to prepare for a hike (depending on their hiking experience), but YOU should prepare for the geocaching along the hike.

  • "Sign ‘em up" is bad advice. They don't need to worry about the technology at first. If they like finding hidden containers with you, then they can sort out the technology later. But they don't need an account, they don't need an app, they don't need a handheld GPS receiver. Make sure your technology is ready, and then let them share. If you want, you can hand them your device so they can see what it's like to follow the arrow. And you can keep track of the caches you found together, so they can create an account and log their finds afterwards, if they want to.

  • "Vet your caches" is good advice. I often revisit caches that I've previously found, caches that I'm familiar with, when I introduce newbies to geocaching.

  • "Check the weather" is good advice too. Give them the opportunity to enjoy geocaching without too many other negative influences.

  • "Know your resources" is good advice, but be prepared to explain the basics to them yourself. And be prepared to explain the basics again:
    "No, you can't trade for that toy car with a TB tag attached to it."
    "Yes, you should replace it the way you found it."
    "Yes, it's normal for the container to be 16ft/5m away from where the device was pointing."
    and so on...

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4 hours ago, HunterandSamuel said:

 

 

You already mentioned this to my first post. What first attracted me to geocaching is being told it was based on an honor system. In my opinion it most certainly is. I could go on the map right now and log 100 caches even though I wasn't physically at their locations. Probably 60% will be left there. 

 

Claiming to have found 100 caches you've never visited doesn't sound very honorable to me.   Perhaps 60% of the logs would be left there but that has nothing to do with an honor system.   If the game were based on the honor system a cache owner would always accept that if someone claimed that they found a cache they would just accept that they were telling the truth.  What you're describing is a CO that doesn't care if someone claiming to have found the cache is telling the truth, and is shirking their responsibility as a cache owner by failing to delete bogus logs.  What you're describing is a game where some players are dishonest and other players condone dishonesty.  

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4 hours ago, HunterandSamuel said:

Here is the card found on the link I posted.  When a cacher was stopped by the police looking for one of our caches this would have come in handy! But a great card to hand out to muggles perfectly explaining what geocaching is. 

 

 

 

 

businesscard1.jpg

 

That would come in handy, assuming that the police that stopped you could read and understand English.  That's what happened to me in Rome.  The plain clothes policemen didn't seem to understand English well at all and eventually solicited the help of a nearby street vendor to translate.   I was eventually able to get them to bring up the geocaching web site where they able to switch to the Italian translation and read about the game.

 

That incident prompted me to set up a site where others provided translations of the what is geocaching brochure and that led to further issues.   The first time I went to Cuba to take part in a week of meetings at a university in Havana I entered the country on a tourist visa and the plan was that I would be issued a business visa after I arrived because that was required  for me to enter the property of the university.  Apparently they did a little research and found the github project I set up called "what is geocaching?" and that caused great concern.  Bringing a GPS into Cuba is illegal and they suggested that my web site was promoting the hiding of things in Cuba.  I never got that business visa.    

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6 hours ago, NYPaddleCacher said:

That would come in handy, assuming that the police that stopped you could read and understand English. 

 

And doesn't need to be outta the country either.  :)

We were stopped once in another state, a park n ride that the CO said was "open 24/7".

After ID, I explained what we were doing. I handed the officer my pamphlet that the other 2/3rds printed, IIRC it had a pirate on it.

The officer wanted to know "what kind of treasure ?"

It was just perfect that the cache the other 2/3rds produced five feet in under a bush had a cork and a plastic soldier inside.

He looked at the contents, then looked at us like we were aliens and not just from another state...   :D

I use those two items in a few forum posts over the years to show how silly using the "treasure" angle is when explaining this hobby to strangers.

She handed him her phone to actually look at the site to see that this was for real, and told him the dept. could get a PM for free.

He gave me my ID back, said to have a nice evening, and to put that thing back n go.  

Last I saw, the new pamphlets don't mention "treasure" at all. 

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On 6/25/2020 at 11:48 PM, HunterandSamuel said:

Getting back to the topic of this thread: 

 

What are your best tips to turn a muggle into a geocacher?

 

It may sound a little contradictory but that is mine:

Don't take them on a tour with a "perfect" cache. Make their first cache a solid one but not that cool gadget cache with the 95 % of FPs.

 

I remember someone who wanted to do a cache tour with some friends (other muggles) and me (geocacher, but in the beginning). He had done one (!) cache before and it was a great one and so while we were driving to our destination he told everyone that geocaching was something with electronics and devices and .... (I was just thinking, no?). In the end we did a solid multi cache - but for an obvious reason he was disappointed.

 

Most caches out there are simple and not too great adventures. Don't take the muggles to a tour just getting one simple traditional after the other but do not take them to this one special cache. Take something "in between". :-)

 

Best wishes

Jochen

 

PS: And something to add - of course Groundspeak wants more cachers on their site. The more, the better.... But that's not true for us. Don't make everyone a geocacher please. :-)

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On 6/26/2020 at 9:48 AM, HunterandSamuel said:

Getting back to the topic of this thread: 

 

What are your best tips to turn a muggle into a geocacher?

 

 

For me, well, most people I know have also seen my instagram account, so they see the awesome adventures I get up to and places I go.  So I give them the basic run down of the sport, hidden objects, in the bush, up mountains, and around town, describe a few examples, etc.  I don't push it because if they are interested, that's enough.  If they're not, then probably best they don't play because they'd be a fly-by-night and I'd feel responsible for what they "added" to the game.

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