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Friendly confrontations: Do you lie or tell the truth?


CoronaKid
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I'm sure this topic has been discussed at length, but I couldn't find it when searching the forums.

 

I have only been geocaching for a few weeks now and every once in a while some stranger will get suspicious of me in a certain location and they will ask "Can I help you?" or "Do you need help?" At first I was like a deer frozen in the headlights and would rattle off some poor-sounding lie about looking for something I lost. I would then leave the area without finding the cache.

 

On my last cache I was approached yet again, but this time I was honest and told him what I was doing. At first the guy seemed baffled, but then he offered to help me find it.

 

What are your thoughts on this matter? Is it better to lie and protect the integrity of the cache location or is being honest the best solution?

 

--CoronaKid

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I recently was confronted by a property owner at the cache Hoover but the cache isn't on private property. It is on public land. But looking out the back of his 40 or so acres he spotted me walking along the back of his property. I was still on public land by at least 200 feet but he thought I was looking over his spread.

 

So when I walked the 1/2 mile back to my truck there he was waiting for me. He just knew I was casing his place to rip it off. I pulled out my printout of the cache page (always bring this) and showed him what I was doing. He relaxed and told me he had heard of it and even had a gps but he didn't know how to use it. It was in his truck so I helped him set it up and then programmed it for the cache. I looked back on the cache page and he didn't log the cache yet but maybe I got him started.

 

Tell the truth, show them a printout and things usually go well. I've done this also in the middle of a downtown parking lot. To a cop. He also thought it was great and helped me look for the cache.

 

I hear voices.....and they don't like you!

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quote:
Originally posted by Lazyboy & Mitey Mite:

Tell the truth, show them a printout and things usually go well. I've done this also in the middle of a downtown parking lot. To a cop. He also thought it was great and helped me look for the cache.


 

Amen to that... I've found that telling the truth works REAL well with law enforcement! Once I even received a police escort to the proper parking place for a cache, after being stopped for parking inadvertently on private property.

 

For regular citizens, I will give different answers depending on my assessment of the person asking me. If he/she looks outdoorsy (wearing backpack, for example) then I will explain our sport. If it's a bunch of teenagers hiking down the trail, I'll say I'm making a map (sort of true, just look at my tracklogs where I wander all over every possible trail) or picking up trash, or looking for things to photograph, or just using a GPS to help navigate on a hike -- all of which are true.

 

Once, many months ago, when a similar topic was posted, I replied by saying how my daughter and I would make up "cover stories." It was pointed out to me that teaching a kid about lying was not the ideal solution. So I am now careful to make sure that any answer we give is true.... even if only part of the truth!

 

x-x-x-x-x-x-x-x-x-x-x-x-x-x-x-x-x-x-x-x-x-x-x-x

If there's no accounting for stupidity, then why do I need to file a tax return?

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It sounds like The Leprechauns and I have the same method - it really depends on what I think of the person. If its someone who looks like they'd have an appreciation for the game, then I'll give them a brief explanation (and go in-depth if they seem interested after that.) If they look more like someone who'd like to steal or vandalize the cache, I'll use the 'scavenger hunt' excuse, or something along those lines. Its similar to the way I tell friends about caching - if I know that it would go right over their head, or they wouldn't care, or I'd have to spend an hour explaining the existence of satellites to them, I either give a very brief explanation, or just don't bother.

 

It may sound rather judgemental of people, but I'm going with my instincts tell me, and that can often be a good thing.

 

----

When in doubt, poke it with a stick.

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quote:
Originally posted by CoronaKid:

every once in a while some stranger will get suspicious of me in a certain location and they will ask "Can I help you?" or "Do you need help?"


Certainly this must happen occasionally... but in my 120 (or so) hunts, I've only encountered a non-geocacher maybe four times, and none of them asked me any questions or gave me a suspicious look. Maybe I'm doing something different. I've never had to explain.

 

The one exception is when a cop stopped to check me out after I'd stopped for a hunt. He didn't ask any questions... only to see my ID. When he came back, I started to explain geocaching and why I was there, but because of my spotless record he told me it was none of his business, and he'd leave me alone.

 

Jamie

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quote:
Originally posted by Lazyboy & Mitey Mite:

Tell the truth, show them a printout and things usually go well. I've done this also in the middle of a downtown parking lot. To a cop. He also thought it was great and helped me look for the cache.


 

Actually, We agree, tell the truth!

 

Me ambivalent? Well..... yes and no.

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quote:
Originally posted by Jamie Z:

quote:
Originally posted by CoronaKid:

every once in a while some stranger will get suspicious of me in a certain location and they will ask "Can I help you?" or "Do you need help?"


Certainly this must happen occasionally... but in my 120 (or so) hunts, I've only encountered a non-geocacher maybe four times, and none of them asked me any questions or gave me a suspicious look. Maybe I'm doing something different. I've never had to explain.

 

The one exception is when a cop stopped to check me out after I'd stopped for a hunt. He didn't ask any questions... only to see my ID. When he came back, I started to explain geocaching and why I was there, but because of my spotless record he told me it was none of his business, and he'd leave me alone.

 

Jamie


 

A college student with a spotless record? Clearly geocaching has not allowed you to get into the proper amount of trouble at college..or maybe it's just the way you dress. icon_biggrin.gif

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In December, during hunting season, a friend and I were driving back through Pennsylvania state game land roads in about a foot of snow looking for a cache. There were alot of trees blocking the road and we finally caught up to another truck and helped them move some pretty big trees off the road. We were still many miles from the cache at this point. The two gentlemen from the other truck asked what we were doing. We just said we were out enjoying the scenery. The Gentlemen were nature photographers and they gave me their business card.

 

A week later I emailed them and it turned out that one of the guys was the owner of the cach we were looking for! If I had to do it over again, I would have told them the whole truth. Which would have led to some interesting discussions.

 

We ran out of daylight from all of the stops clearing the road and never did bag that cache. Maybe in the spring.

 

Zinnware

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where someone actually asked me what we were doing. At This cache on Sept 29, 02. We were happy to tell them because they seemed like they would be interested. One or two other times hikers have walked by and we usually whisper "incoming" and cease activity until they pass. Then there was last Sat, when another group of cachers watched 6 of us from afar and finally joined in and found the cache 10 minutes after we left. icon_frown.gif Oh well. The point is are you a good judge of character?

 

Cache you later,

Planet

 

"To err is human, to forgive....$5.00"

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I usually say I belong to a hiking club that uses the GPS to plan hikes. If they seem interested in the GPS aspect I'll work into the Geocaching spiel.

Funny story... Started talking to a guy I work with who I know has a PDA. Conversation turns to GPSs.... He knows about them so we progress... Eventually come to find out he's already a cacher! Worked w/him for 8 weeks & never knew.... Go figure. icon_rolleyes.gif

 

Wherever you go, there you are!

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The one exception is when a cop stopped to check me out after I'd stopped for a hunt. He didn't ask any questions... only to see my ID. When he came back, I started to explain geocaching and why I was there, but because of my spotless record he told me it was none of his business, and he'd leave me alone.

 

If I had caught you, I would have asked if I could join you in the hunt icon_smile.gif

 

Jeff

http://www.StarsFellOnAlabama.com

http://www.NotAChance.com

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quote:
Originally posted by Prime Suspect:

Depends. The only reason to _not_ tell the truth is to prevent the cache from being looted. So if I'm walking out of the woods and come across someone who has no idea of where in the woods I've been, then why not tell them? Otherwise, tell 'em you're looking for your lost frisby/golf ball/dog.

 

http://img.Groundspeak.com/user/3608_1400.gif


 

Don't tell them you're looking for your dog, they may find one for you!

 

Bluespreacher icon_wink.gif

 

"We've got the hardware and the software, the plans and the maps ..." -- Citizen Wayne Kramer

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because my shirt has geocache patches on the shoulders. I figured this to be the best way to keep it straight. Plus people from a distance just think I'm some kind of oficial with a clip board doing something and not a wierd-o casing the place. They get the wierd-o part wrong. They clearly don't know how wierd I am, this is GOOD.

 

** The worst suggestion of a life time may be the catalyst to the best idea of the century, don't fail to listen to suggestions.

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This just happened yesterday! My daughter and I were seeking out a cache. My wife was in the car waiting when a cop pulled over and asked her why she was parked there. She explained the whole thing to him. A few minutes later, another cop pulled up asking questions. She explained it to him, too, and he wrote down the web site. I'm waiting to see the logs from him!

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Since I have been doing mainly urban caches or ones that are very close to big cities, I guess this is the reason I've had more encounters with strangers.

 

It sounds like the majority of you recommend just using your best judgment and to be honest in most situations. Great advice.

 

--CoronaKid

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The clipboard answers most questions by assumption. We usually tell the truth or a variation. If they don't appear to be hooligans, we will tell the story and give the web page. For Hooligans we start with checking for radio signals from space. We also make an effort to not reveal the cache to anyone we have not established some level of trust with.

 

We just installed new skylights. The folks in the upper flat are upset.

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I just tell the truth. Some may give me a funny look while others may be genuinely interested. If i'm close to the kill zone...my phrase for cache location...I'll kind of go in different direction for a bit and wait for the person(s) to leave.

 

Oh, Poksal's comment's reminded me that sometimes people will think I'm doing some kind of research for school or am even somem kind of official. I could let them think that, but I just tell the truth.

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In the case where asked by a police officer what you are doing - for goodnes sake tell them the TRUTH.

 

There is nothing worse (or more routine) to cops than being lied to. Being lied to sets off internal alarm bells in the cop that tells him "INVESTIGATE FURTHER". He may not know what you are doing but he probably has developed a sense when he is being lied to.

 

In some places lying to the police is in and of itself a bookable crime. Don't mess with it. If the cache is in an area the cop knows he may already know about it and not care. If it is new to him he will find out someday anyhow.

 

Second point - this is a family sport... What we do our kids watch. What they see they immitate. If you do not want to raise little liars tell the truth. I DO consider this a scavenger hunt so teling fringe people that seems to me to be reasonable. But if you do not want your kids lying to you or worse yet growing up and lying to their spouse - perhaps a good character approach would be best.

 

I'd rather a cache I placed was lost than to have to later deal with some lying little delinquent punk whose parents taught situational ethics and lying by their example.

 

If you absolutely do not want to say then challenge the person asking - "Why do you want to know - who are you?" If they have authority over the property you are compelled to tell them in my opinion... if its none of their business a diplomatic way to tell them that is certainly an avenue to consider.

 

Charles

 

tenarius@memorableplaces.com

http://www.memorableplaces.com

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When some one casually asks what I'm doing or gives me a funny look I'll usual just take the easy way out and tell them I'm on a scanvenger hunt. If they seem truly interested I'll give them the whole scoop. I'm amazed by the amount of people that know what Geocaching is.

 

The one time I was confronted by a cop. I was alone in a park in the middle of the night. He was giving my vacant car the once around with his flashlight when I called out, "I'm over here". I approached him openly and told him I was just getting a benchmark, which I was. He had no problems with that and wished me a good night and carried on.

 

Don't try to be evasive with cops. They pick up on that really fast.

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