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Going It Alone?


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My Mother-in-Law, Patudles, is single. She's having a hard time cause she wants to take a big hike to a cache this weekend, but she doesn't have anyone to go with. I'm trying to discourage her from going. :P

 

But she has two caching buddies in town that she can call and they go out a lot together, and have a very good time. Both of the ladies have husbands that do not geocache at all.

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As for as a Gun, pepper spray etc..  If you don’t have quick and easy access, it might as well be in a gun safe at home.  You can’t expect to have time to rummage through your backpack.  If you are going to go this route, get training.  You won’t have time to think and training kicks in exactly those situations.

Also keeping in mind, as I think Rengade Knight is possibly alluding to, any object you bring into a dangerous situation to protect yourself with has the chance of being used against you if something should go wrong (which it often does).

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I came across mountain lion tracks, some very fresh! Got some great photos. I was nervous for awhile, but I rehearsed lion enounter procedures and pressed on.

 

Do you know that if a mountain lion decides it wants you for lunch then the odds are that you are as good as dead. They quietly stalk their prey and then jump onto the prey's back and bite it on the neck, strangling it or breaking the neck entirely. It's good to be prepared, but also be aware of how predatory animals react to 'food'. :P

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I came across mountain lion tracks, some very fresh! Got some great photos. I was nervous for awhile, but I rehearsed lion enounter procedures and pressed on.

 

Do you know that if a mountain lion decides it wants you for lunch then the odds are that you are as good as dead. They quietly stalk their prey and then jump onto the prey's back and bite it on the neck, strangling it or breaking the neck entirely. It's good to be prepared, but also be aware of how predatory animals react to 'food'. :P

Darn right. A wolf might get as big as 150 pounds. A mountain liion will sometimes reach 220 of pure muscle. I've read a few of those 'Man survives cougar attack' news bits. They all mention to stay upright, it's harder for them to go for your head and neck, yell, scream, throw stuff (although how you pick stuff up to throw without bending down escapes me) and FIGHT FIGHT FIGHT, playin' dead might work with a bear but playin' dead with a cougar will just help the cougar.

 

It will eventually give up if it starts to take too long. Can you say eye gouge?

 

Ack!

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They all mention to stay upright, it's harder for them to go for your head and neck, yell, scream, throw stuff ...

It may sound dorky, but I've also read that you should flap your arms by your side. This may give the illusion that you are 'bigger' than you appear to be or the mountain lion is laughing so hard it decides to move on.

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Much to my disappointment, my husband confided to me that he really doesn't enjoy geocaching all that much. (We've only been at it for a month or so now.) I guess following your wife around in the woods isn't exactly his idea of a good time. I really enjoy it, and I don't want to stop, but I'm a bit nervous about geocaching on my own. I'm pretty small in stature, and don't want to get into any situations that I can't get out of on my own. Does anyone out there have a spouse that doesn't share their interest, and if so, how do you handle it? :P

I can't get my wife away from the TV or out of the bed long enough to go caching with me, But I'm 6'3" 265 Lbs. Not very many people bother me. Where are you from? I would love a cache partner. E mail if your'e interested. :D

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Much to my disappointment, my husband confided to me that he really doesn't enjoy geocaching all that much.  (We've only been at it for a month or so now.) I guess following your wife around in the woods isn't exactly his idea of a good time.  I really enjoy it, and I don't want to stop, but I'm a bit nervous about geocaching on my own.  I'm pretty small in stature, and don't want to get into any situations that I can't get out of on my own. Does anyone out there have a spouse that doesn't share their interest, and if so, how do you handle it? :D

That is pretty much my situation, with one twist. My husband enjoys hiking and will occasionally come along for a single cache in the woods. But frequent caching and tupperware in parks leave him cold (to put it mildly!), he just has other things he'd much rather be doing.

 

Most of my caches have either been with our 16-year old autistic son, or alone (while he's at camp this summer). My husband and I did go on one expedition with some local cachers and it was extremely fun, I'd love to do more of that. I've been a little reluctant to join up with other cachers with my son, we do have to go slowly (he has some physical issues too, as do I). Also (this is the main thing) when he's had enough, that's it - we gotta get out of there. It's hard enough for me to head back when we're 300 feet away, I wouldn't ask somebody else to, and waiting in the car is not a real appealing prospect.

 

The thing I am the most worried about is my son twisting an ankle or something (and maybe feral dogs, though we haven't run into any so far, and we have a big hardheaded German Shepherd so I have some dog sense). I'm not strong enough to get him out of an area if he hurts himself, and I can't leave him alone at all. In fact, typing this, some of what we've done seems foolhardy, though none of it has been in remote areas. But a fifteeen-minute walk back on a little-frequented nature trail in a local park can be pretty isolated.

 

On the other hand, I always carry a cell phone, and limit attempted caches to terrain 2 or less (though you can't always go by that). And jeez, we can't just sit in the house. It's been good for his self-confidence to get out walking. When I'm proud of him for getting over a trail section that was a challenge, you can tell it means something to him.

 

Also on the good side (in the geocaching context), when we're in a town park, no matter how strangely we're behaving, NOBODY approaches us except other parents of disabled kids :( . That's a degree of freedom that probably most geocachers don't have. So on balance: you have to go with what you've got.

 

On the same theory, while I try to use common sense about where to go caching, I'm not going to let being alone stop me from going. I've really enjoyed the caching I've done on my own. There's a special pleasure in being able to go at exactly your own pace, and doing exactly as much as you want.

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I sometimes cache alone, but I find I have more fun with someone else. Once I was searching a cache alone (broad daylight, roadside rest stop, felt relatively safe) but this guy kept following me, first by car - kept re-parking nearer and nearer - then got out and followed around on foot. It creeped me out, so I bolted. It could have innocently been a fellow cacher, doing the same GPSr dance I was doing, but I'd rather be safe than get a smiley. I'd much rather have a person along to ward off weirdos.

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They all mention to stay upright, it's harder for them to go for your head and neck, yell, scream, throw stuff ...

It may sound dorky, but I've also read that you should flap your arms by your side. This may give the illusion that you are 'bigger' than you appear to be or the mountain lion is laughing so hard it decides to move on.

Or they might think you are a big bird. Cats like to eat birds. :(

I heard that if you have a jacket then you should open it as far as you can, this will also give the illusion of being bigger.

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Maybe Caching could be good therapy for slightly challenged folks (Tring to be Politically correct). It sounds as if it has been a good thing in your son case.

Yes, exactly. Sort of like Special Olympics.

 

But to get back on topic, the larger point I was stumbling around is one of those "we all have our own particular disabilities" things.

 

Like, I can't find things when they're under my nose. Trust me, that's a real serious disability for a geocacher.....

 

And the original poster is caching-partner-impaired.

 

This thread has me so inspired, I'm going to make a real attempt to get to my first cache event this weekend and meet some people!

 

(Oh, and don't worry about being politically correct. Being ordinarily polite is plenty good enough :blink: )

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If I had to wait to cache with someone I would probably have less than 100 finds. Well, maybe a few more than that. I do cache with family and friends at times but being a single grandma type character it is hard to sit around and wait for friends and family to free up there time to go caching with me. So I hoof it alone alot. Last Saturday I took off and did four caches out of my area alone. Met some nice people watched a cool sunset from the top of Quartz Mt. Hiked in to a lake alone to find a cache. Had a great time. Choice is stay home and wait for friends or cache alone. Caching alone wins hands down.

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If I had to wait to cache with someone I would probably have less than 100 finds. Well, maybe a few more than that. I do cache with family and friends at times but being a single grandma type character it is hard to sit around and wait for friends and family to free up there time to go caching with me. So I hoof it alone alot. Last Saturday I took off and did four caches out of my area alone. Met some nice people watched a cool sunset from the top of Quartz Mt. Hiked in to a lake alone to find a cache. Had a great time. Choice is stay home and wait for friends or cache alone. Caching alone wins hands down.

:o

 

You need to get a dog. :o

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I've gone alone many times to find a cache. It doesn't bother me a bit.

 

The only time Ironman114 said it wasn't a good idea to cache alone, was when I was up in Tacoma. There is a park near Mary Bridge Hospital where our "micro" granddaughter was staying. I knew that there was a cache in that park but I was told that it wasn't a good place to go alone. It looked like a nice park but too much crime goes on there.

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Much to my disappointment, my husband confided to me that he really doesn't enjoy geocaching all that much.  (We've only been at it for a month or so now.) I guess following your wife around in the woods isn't exactly his idea of a good time.  I really enjoy it, and I don't want to stop, but I'm a bit nervous about geocaching on my own.  I'm pretty small in stature, and don't want to get into any situations that I can't get out of on my own. Does anyone out there have a spouse that doesn't share their interest, and if so, how do you handle it? :D

I can't get my wife away from the TV or out of the bed long enough to go caching with me, But I'm 6'3" 265 Lbs. Not very many people bother me. Where are you from? I would love a cache partner. E mail if your'e interested. :P

wife who won't get out of bed sounds more intersting to me.... :P

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I've only been geocaching for a short time, but I've always gone alone, as my husband doesn't seem interested. Being alone in the wilderness has never bothered me, be it for hiking, cross-country skiing or now geocaching. I'm never more than a few hours from civilisation and there is always someone who knows what area the rescue people should be sent if I don't return :unsure:

 

I feel much safer alone deep in the woods then alone in the city. More weird people in the city. Do you really think that a sexual predator is going to wait 3 days on a little used hiking path in a national park for a woman to go by? Most violent crime happens in very high-density population area. You're very safe when there is no one around. For those who worry about the wildlife, very few wild animals are actively hunting humans (with the notable exception of mosquitoes, black flies and other little buggers). And you have more chances of getting attacked by a dog then by a wolf...

 

So my advice for caching alone would be the opposite of what most people said: go for wilderness caches, avoid urban settings. Take a waypoint at your car, bring your map and compass, a first aid kit, matches, water... That's not being paranoid, that's being prepared :lol:

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I think it's unsafe for a woman to cache alone, which is why I avoid it 98% of the time. A chick alone in the woods might as well have a bullseye painted on her! I have done some urban caching solo, but I find it not as anjoyable as being with other cachers.

 

I echo many of the sentiments expressed here in this thread -- You should join a local cacher's club in your area. That's how I met the people I cache with now. And tho there are many days no one can go caching with me, I do get out a lot more than I did before joining a geocacher's association and never have to worry about being alone.

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i often cache alone. i often cache with others. i have also cached with mosaica, who is slower, but not stinkier than others. she is also very entertaining, so if you have the time, i recommend it.

 

when i'm alone there's a kind of experience i never get with others. i was reviewing the caches that i call whole HOG experiences: you know, when the Hand Of God reaches down and taps you on the shoulder. i'm always alone at those times. with other people i think i'm not in the right mood for it.

 

most of the time i feel safe caching alone. if i get to a cache and i don't feel safe, i go away.

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I do most of my caches alone because of timing and logistics. Often it's returning from some work related trip or while errand running on a weekday, and there is not enough time to schedule to bring someone along on such short notice, usually.

 

Also, sometimes the timetable takes an unexpected twist and there has been times that with someone else, some distant caches had to be skipped so they could get where they needed to be on time.

 

Plus I need my space away from the hustle and bustle, and I've been known to just take off in a random direction 50 to 70 miles after work to do a new cache rather than head straight home in the summer when local sunset is around 9 PM.

 

In the winter, I've done a few caches alone in the dark - not really night caches either, but just because it's dark within a few minutes of quitting time.

 

Those can be nice because the bugs are gone and the weeds have died back, so some more difficult caches are easier to spot.

 

Normally there is an APRS tracker in the car, so at least the ham radio folks can see generally where I'm at, and I keep the area repeaters in the handheld radio plus carry the cellphone.

 

Another advantage of going out there alone is being able to stop and examine interesting things seen along the way, and also not having to wait for others who find different distractions.

 

Oh - as an aside, I finally stumbled on someone else geocaching for an urban micro on the way back from lunch today. It was one I'd found before, so seeing 2 adults and 2 kids right under the tree from a block away and carefully looking... I turned on the next street and pulled right up beside them with the window down and asked "Found any film canisters?".

 

That was fun. We were all late getting back from lunch, and got to meet some other locals who are getting active again while the grandkids are in town.

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And SPIDERS?!?  F*** them!!!  Nasty 8-legged freaks!    :unsure:

Awww, there're cute! Found this one along the trail today:

 

-WR

Here's another really cute one found near a local cache during ham radio Field Day:

 

3b2a2ebd-a501-4c06-aa53-9b4ddcffd583.jpg

 

They sure tickle when stepping on the arm hairs and they feel really fuzzy to the touch, although it takes a while for them to settle down when handling one. We spent over an hour taking pictures of this tarantula.

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I think it's unsafe for a woman to cache alone, which is why I avoid it 98% of the time. A chick alone in the woods might as well have a bullseye painted on her! I have done some urban caching solo, but I find it not as anjoyable as being with other cachers.

 

I agree. I think most men have no idea what dangers are out there for women that aren't there for men so much. Deny that if you want, but the reality is, a man caching alone isn't nearly the target that a woman caching alone is.

 

And Like AG says, it's so much more fun to cache with someone! I enjoy my alone time, too, don't get me wrong, but 'it's friendlier with two.' Brownie points for whoever knows where that phrase comes from!)

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I think it's unsafe for a woman to cache alone, which is why I avoid it 98% of the time. A chick alone in the woods might as well have a bullseye painted on her!

Myth: Sexual assault usually occurs when a stranger attacks a woman in an isolated area like a parking garage or dark alley.

 

Fact: 85% of sexual assaults occur between people who know each other (Warsaw, 1994). Rapists can be strangers, but most often they are people the victims know and trust. They can be husbands, boyfriends, relatives, and other individuals in that person's life..

 

-WR

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I think it's unsafe for a woman to cache alone, which is why I avoid it 98% of the time. A chick alone in the woods might as well have a bullseye painted on her!

Myth: Sexual assault usually occurs when a stranger attacks a woman in an isolated area like a parking garage or dark alley.

 

Fact: 85% of sexual assaults occur between people who know each other (Warsaw, 1994). Rapists can be strangers, but most often they are people the victims know and trust. They can be husbands, boyfriends, relatives, and other individuals in that person's life..

 

-WR

Tell that to the other 15%. Not taking any chances, because I don't HAVE to take that risk.

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Back to topic: I rarely cache with others as much of my caching is done during my lunch breaks. I travel all over and grab the one's near my route.

 

There have been times when I was concerned for my safety, often when in urban parks where there are lots of hidey holes, squatters, mystry campsites, piles of abandoned clothes, drug paraphenalia, etc.

 

For the most part I try to appear confident and alert and continue about my business.

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I think that it's generally true that your average 2nd shift nurse is in more danger when she goes out to her car than any cacher who chooses sensible caches. That, however, doesn't give any guarantees, and precautions are in order.

I'm going out this a.m. to get an ftf on a 3/4 cache. In Ohio, a 4 terrain is rare. So I managed to find a buddy to go along. I'm gonna loan his family my gps some day soon, and (as he is a young RR worker training to someday be a Pastor) we can spend some time together and I can answer some of his many questions. :huh::huh:

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I think it's unsafe for a woman to cache alone, which is why I avoid it 98% of the time. A chick alone in the woods might as well have a bullseye painted on her!

Myth: Sexual assault usually occurs when a stranger attacks a woman in an isolated area like a parking garage or dark alley.

 

Fact: 85% of sexual assaults occur between people who know each other (Warsaw, 1994). Rapists can be strangers, but most often they are people the victims know and trust. They can be husbands, boyfriends, relatives, and other individuals in that person's life..

 

-WR

My comments were not only pertaining to sexual assault, however that is a huge concern.

 

Stats are irrelivent anyway. It's not like they're any guarantee it WON'T happen. But if you're a person who uses stats as a guide for what is safe or not, then tell me... what are the stats of crime against women in rural versus metro areas. (me thinks they're probably much higher in large cities) :huh:

 

Regardless, I also worry about getting injured. Yeah I have a cellphone, but that's not reliable all the time. In heavy tree cover or in remote areas, a cell is completely useless.

 

Then there is getting lost. While I'll admit breadcrumb trails from the GPSr cut down on the chance of this happening, I still remember getting lost in the woods as a kid for HOURS. I don't remember that being a fun experience either.

 

To each his or HER own I suppose.

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Well, I just got started and I am hooked. I take my kids with me, they are 8, 4 & 18 months. I don't like to go with just the kids. It is too unsafe...not necesarily other people, but SNAKES!! There are tons of snakes around most places and we have been seeing them when we go out.

 

My mom has gone with us a few times and so has my sister (although she is ready to deliver her baby, so she can't go too far or on hard hikes.)

 

Trying my darnest to get my hubby to go, since the kids look forward to going any chance we get.

 

I am looking for a partner/buddy in my area. So if anyone is in Lancaster, SC, email me.

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Hopefully this will help educate that they aren't the threat many people think they are.

 

There are only 4 kinds of poisonous snakes in the CONUS (continental US):

 

Rattlesnakes, Copperheads, Water Moccasins, Coral snakes

 

The first 3, pit vipers, have primarily hemotoxic venom - that is, it attacks the blood vessels and surrounding tissues. Coral snakes are only found in a small part of the U.S. (I think somewhere in Florida) and are neurotoxic like the cobras and asps, but they also have to latch on and chew to put in much venom. I've read that you have to really work at it to get bitten by a coral snake.

 

Everything else is not poisonous, although a bite can sure bleed a lot because of the tiny sharp teeth.

 

All snakes are reptiles. They are cold-blooded, that is, their body temperature follows ambient temperatures. So they have to move from shelter to the open and back again to regulate their temperature.

 

In the summer, they crawl deep under rocks and into cool, dense foliage to escape the heat, and won't come out unless absolutely necessary because they can overheat during the day.

 

They come out to eat or move about once things cool off, and then get under something again to escape the next day's heat.

 

In winter, they hide under rocks and such to stay warm at night, and crawl out to bask and warm up on warm sunny days.

 

So I see them in my driveway in the late afternoon in December, and in the summer they will be out late at night or in the very early morning.

 

I happen to live out in the middle of nowhere, so I have a much higher odds of encountering a western diamondback rattlesnake between my front door and the car to go to work every morning (they sometimes stretch out in the driveway early on a summer morning, and on a winter evening).

 

Pit vipers (rattlesnakes, copperheads, water moccasins) are relatively slow moving compared to nonpoisonous snakes, and normally will attempt to escape when they sense something warm-blooded that is too big to eat.

 

If you see one, usually you can just wait and it will crawl off once it knows you are there. I've stomped the ground a little further away than its body length to get its attention, and then just stood there until it crawled off.

 

Most people who get snakebit actually stepped on the snake while it's basking, stuck their hand under a rock or log or somewhere it was hiding to escape summer heat or winter cold, or actually tried to catch the thing.

 

I've walked right past basking rattlers on trails, and just stayed 2/3 of their body length or more away (striking distance) and they just ignored me as not a threat.

 

One of my caches has a log entry about a snake living under or on the cache. The finders shooed it off, and it lurked about 5 feet away in the brush while they signed the log, traded swags, and put the cache back.

 

There's a lot of caches in New Mexico and West Texas that mention "bring your pokin' stick". All you need to avoid far too close encounters with snakes is just common sense.

 

Carry a cane, and use it to poke before you step, step on TOP of large rocks and not down beside them. Wear leather boots that extend a ways up the calf of your leg, several inches above the ankles.

 

Also take comfort in that the number of snakebites per thousands of miles hiked is extremely low. The few I am aware of happened because someone was doing something really reckless - like trying to catch the snake or not looking before sticking their hand in dark places they couldn't see into.

 

Also - if you startle a rattler and it coils up and rattles, just slowly take one step back, give it some space, and it will eventually get out of your way.

 

I've lived in rattlesnake country all my life, so this becomes second nature.

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Thank you for that information! I did some caching in the woods in Arkansas in June, and living in Ohio, I rarely even SEE a snake (not even a garter snake), let alone worry about rattlesnakes. I saw just one snake in the week I was there and that was in downtown Hot Springs, where it was attempting to cross the street (but didn't succeed).

 

I'm sure I didn't use good sense while climbing Mount Riante, so I was just lucky, I guess, since rattlesnakes are common there, and I would imagine inhabit the area I was rooting around in.

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I'm a cachin' girl who goes it alone for the most part. Part of that which interested me in this hobby is that I can do it alone. But boy-oh-boy wouldn't it be nifty if I could find a caching partner (and stuff!)

 

I haven't run into anything but regular old garden variety snakes without poisonous biting parts. I'm not too worried about snakes. Skunks, bums and vernicious kinids (pardon my spelling) are really the only thing that I worry about!

 

Bec

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And SPIDERS?!?  F*** them!!!  Nasty 8-legged freaks!    :)

look at it from the spider's perspective:

 

"ewww, look at that thing. it doesn't have NEARLY enough eyes or legs and it's freakin' HUGE!!!"

"And it's gonna flatten me!!!"--You bet I am. With all 220 pounds of me. :lol:

 

I'm with shannicat. Spiders are only good for filling the little holes that form in dried concrete. :laughing:

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I enjoy setting up events and group hikes. My wife I like hiking, I like geocaching (the two are not always inclusive). So... I set up group hikes and cache with others on a large loop trail... keeps both of us happy, and together. :lol:

 

Or...

 

Drop the husband... there are plenty of eligible cachers out there :huh:

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