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Etiquette When Muggles Are Around


Madness522
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Being new to geo-caching I was wondering what kind of etiquette should be used when there are muggles around. Especially when searching for stages on an multi hunt.

 

The situation I was in yesterday evening went like this....Mrs. Madness and I were out on a multi stage hunt looking for a stage. We closed in on the location and there were a group of muggle sitting on a bench about 75 yards from us. They weren't paying us much attention so we proceded to hunt for the clue. When they started to leave up the trail toward us I pulled us out and we started walking another direction until they were gone.

 

I do know better than look for a final location cache when muggles are around but how close is too close?

 

Is there something we should have done differently?

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I think you were fine.

 

My approach differs depending on what I am looking for.

 

If I am looking for a clue for a multi and I don't have to retrieve a container, the presence of muggles does not affect me.

 

If I am looking for a container, I will have to make a judgement call. If I can find, extract, log, and replace the container without attracting the attention of nearby muggles, I will do it. If I cannot, I will either wait them out, or abort the hunt.

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What's the point of acting suspicious? I carry on as normal regardless. Most people will not set out to damage a cache even if they do stumble on it. They are more likely to wonder what you're doing if they see people acting funny.

 

You should have carried on looking and if asked what you were doing, told them.

 

I've been asked around 5 times what I've been doing and 3 of the 5 have gone on to seek out caches of their own.

 

We're not a secret society, after all.

 

PS. Please don't use the horrible made-up word, muggles.

Edited by davester
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If the intermediate stage is something placed into the environment by the hider, then it should be treated as any other cache. The main thing is to be aware of any muggles and act appropriately to protect the cache location. Sometimes this means waiting and sometimes it means coming back some other time. Sometimes that is not possible due to travel or other time/location problems. In that situation you just have to accept that finding that cache is not in the cards for you...

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Once spotting a cache, as a rule I usually retrieve/extract it and carry it off a fair distance from its hiding spot, say around 50 feet or so.. That way I can open it, swap my treasure(s), and sign the log in unstressed comfort & convenience. Then I re-package the cache & attempt my best to return it exactly where it was without being too obvious.

 

A couple times I've approached a cache site that had muggles hanging around, and I too wound up "lounging around" until they moved off, then proceeded in my quest.

 

By the way,, what's wrong with the term "muggle"? To me it doesn't automatically imply a bad person.. And no we're not a part of a secret society, but if we can ensure a cache will not be moved/taken/disturbed by the general public then we help ensure the cache is there for the next cache quester.

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By the way,, what's wrong with the term "muggle"?

It's sad, geeky and suggests that the person using it has to resort to reading children's books because they're not quite advanced enough to progress to non-chewable reading material quite yet?

 

:o

Edited by davester
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the proper etiquette would be to say "hello" or some other such thing. use the same manners you would use in any situation where stranggers are present.

 

the proper practice would be to either abort the search or search in a way that escapes the attention of the passerby.

 

sometimes you get caught, though. when someone comes around the corner and you are butt-up under a staircase in a snowbank, there's really no non-alarming reason except the truth.

 

the one i prefer is "we're looking for a clue for a game we're playing." i do not mention a container, and it seems to satisfy most people.

 

what's wrong with the term "muggle" outside of a harry potter context is that it is only acceptable for the kind of person who wears argyle sweaters tucked into their paisley pants. it is best suited to people who have there "hang in there" kitty poster framed in a plastic "roses and hearts" frame. it is best left to adults who talk babytalk to their stuffed animals and pretend the toys are talking back.

 

in short it is the single worst behavior a person can engage in. it is the scourge of geocaching and you ought to be ashamed.

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I usually go on about my geocaching activity without concern for others observing me.

 

Usually. On one occassion on a hunt in a large city park on a remote area. There were to fellas on a log drinking beer with cans about. Now that sort bother me, not knowing how intoxicated they may have been. Though we went with the cache search. Gave them plenty of room.

 

Otherwise I carry those fold over cards and introduce others to geocaching in a positive encouraging manner. All this stealth and stuff usually just makes you look more suspicious.

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Thanks for the responses! I appreciate all the input. Hope someone else got something out of this as well. I like the term muggles and will use it freely and abundtly with no mailce intended or implied. Where would a person get a hold of those cards introducing muggles to geocaching? Might be better than looking suspicious.

 

Thanks!

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PS. Please don't use the horrible made-up word, muggles.

Absolutely right! Silly word, "muggles". You should use "mundanes", like the SF/F world has been using for years!

I think that imature word came form the Harry Potter books. Why it was adopted here is beyond me as it seems this activity is primarily adults, geeky as we are. :rolleyes:

 

I personally do not like the word as it is not original in itself and all I can think of when I hear it is the Harry Potter books.

Edited by mrking
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...

Usually. On one occassion on a hunt in a large city park on a remote area. There were to fellas on a log drinking beer with cans about. Now that sort bother me, not knowing how intoxicated they may have been. Though we went with the cache search. Gave them plenty of room.

...

I was looking for one the other day along a street, wooded area with a sidewalk. I'm looking up in the tree trying to find the cache. Guy with a beer can comes ..walking.. down the sidewalk. Stops. "WHATCA DOING?" Looking for something. "WHATCA LOOKING FOR?" It's a scavenger hunt. "OH!" Thinks about it for a minute or two and then wanders on along.

 

My biggest worry was that he was going to want to climb the tree and look for it.

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A couple always looks less suspicious peering around the undergrowth than one person on his own. I find a smile, a hello and a really stupid cover story usually does the trick for me. Like, "hi! Lookin' for chipmunks!"

 

As for the term "muggle", I find it both apt and amusing. Two disparate but contemporary events have a way of coming together and cementing a slang term; Harry Potter and geocaching being one example.

 

Another, and my favorite, is the British expression "sweet Fanny Adams," which most modern Brits think is a euphemism for "sweet eff all." But, in fact, it represents the late Nineteenth Century coincidence of a grisly child murder and the issuing of a new and horrible tinned meat ration to the Royal Navy. More here.

 

I wouldn't worry about the terminology unless you're the sort of person who spends a lot of time wondering whether you're cool. And, with the redoubtable Mister Cartman as your avatar, I'm guessing you're not that sort.

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Absolutely right!  Silly word, "muggles".  You should use "mundanes", like the SF/F world has been using for years!

Thank you. I was desperately searching my brain for the proper Xanthian reference. :blink:

Oooh, mundanes... I like that. Anything Xanthian is good to me! :D

I just might have to start using that term.

 

I have to admit though I thought the term muggles was kind of cute.

 

And just wanted to point out that Harry Potter is NOT chewable. Believe me, I've tried... B)

(just kidding)

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Well heres my two cents.

 

Being pretty new to the site. At first I guessed that the term muggles took the name from an association with being "mugged"......So you have to be careful or the cache can get mugged by the muggles who see you messing with it.

 

Personally, I'm 31 years old and the Harry Potter books and movies are of no interest to me so I had no clue the word came from there. Obviously the folks who take offense to the term for that reason have some major issues with Harry Potter Obsesion or Anti-OBsesion.

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The issue I have with the word "muggles" is mostly down to the fact it seems to suggest that geocachers are in some way superior because they "know". I feel the same annoyance with other words used in the same context.

 

Like I said above, why try to avoid being discovered? Most people like to hear about new and interesting things.

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flask,

 

What's the meaning of 'auslander'? I know it's German, but not really the meaning beyond that.

 

Thanks,

C-ko

Literally out lander, meaning foreigner.

 

I never liked the term muggle. It started as geo-muggle, which was sort of OK but I cringed when it was shortened to muggle and became common usage. Unfortunately it is so common that changing it would be nearly impossible. I do like Auslander. It's got a nice sound to it. I once suggested CLAMS or Cache iLliterate And unaware Members of Society but it never caught on.

 

Though I like auslander it is troublesome in some ways. If you cache is stolen is it auslandered? That sounds silly. I guess clammed would work...or we can just say the cache was "raked".

 

Maybe we should start a commitee of slang standards :mad: .

Edited by briansnat
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...Like I said above, why try to avoid being discovered? Most people like to hear about new and interesting things.

The problem with inviting everyone you meet in the field to play the game is that you don't know which ones will remove/destroy the cache right after you leave. I believe that I owe it to the cache hider to protect his cache.

 

One way I do this is to hide my actions from muggles. Obviously, if a police officer askme what I am doing, I will explain the game to him. If a muggle asks, I will either give him/her a very vague explanation, or I will lie.

Edited by sbell111
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...Like I said above, why try to avoid being discovered? Most people like to hear about new and interesting things.

The problem with inviting everyone you meet in the field to play the game is that you don't know which ones will remove/destroy the cache right after you leave. I believe that I owe it to the cache hider to protect his cache.

 

One way I do this is to hide my actions from muggles. Obviously, if a police officer askme what I am doing, I will explain the game to him. If a muggle asks, I will either give him/her a very vague explanation, or I will lie.

I think telling some one (a muggle) what geocaching is all about is a great idea and I even printed some of the cards to take with me should I happen upon a curious muggle. I really don't care about the strange looks and wrinkled brows or what muggles think I'm doing. But I don't think I will take one with me to a cache just in case they come back and mug it later. If they are interested enough they can pursue it on their own and if I like them enough I'll even let them know how to contact me if they want to get started in this activity.

 

There is one thing that has really surprised me about the geocaching community. And that is the ability for geocachers to police themselves and respect the cache, the game, and the area in which they hunt. Some of the above posters stated that they don't like the term muggle and that it make us somehow better. While I don't believe it true that we are any better I do believe that it does set us apart in that we are more respectful of what and where we are hunting.

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...

As for the term "muggle", I find it both apt and amusing. Two disparate but contemporary events have a way of coming together and cementing a slang term; Harry Potter and geocaching being one example....

I personally have no problem with the use of muggle in geocaching, and I agree that the etymological crossover is interesting. Language is the most democratic of all institutions. The language is constantly being redefined--not by some stuffy academic authority, but by the innovations of common usage. I wouldn't be surprised if twenty years from now, muggle shows up in the dictionary.

 

Those who turn up their nose at children's literature are missing a rich experience--as are those who think themselves above science fiction. Both genres have produced the complete range of works--from trash to masterpieces. However, if muggle is offensive to some, there are certainly other possibilities.

 

Any word that you borrow from another usage is likely to offend somebody. Certainly "auslander" has an offensive connotation to some.

 

Another possibility--used in a certain computer subculture--is chainik. I leave you to research the various connotations.

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I especially like the caches hidden right along the sides of Interstate highways (GCK65J). Try "stealth" on that one! I'm with Madness though, I typically never change my tactics, regardless if there are people around. There have only been a couple times I've been approached by someone while looking for a cache, and both times have been from cachers who had previously found the hide.

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Muggle is pretty appropriate - they are "normal" people who have no idea of the sub-culture that exists almost under their very feet... It doesn't imply that we're in anyway better, whereas "mundane" to my mind does......

 

Its one of those words used by anyone to describe anyone else not "in the know".

 

At the end of the day, if you don't like the word don't use it - I think its pretty accurate & harmless & will use it at every given opportunity! :ph34r:

 

I also wouldn't show all & sundry a cache just because they were nearby, I'd explain what I was doing & then come back later on when they were gone...

 

Chalky

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PS. Please don't use the horrible made-up word, muggles.

 

What's 'geocaching' then? Isn't that a made-up word?

 

The only problem with the word muggle is it's naff in the context of geocaching. And all the alternatives that have been put forward are pretty naff too. BTW, I love Harry Potter novels and I'm 41 - if that's a problem to you then keep your problem to yourself. It's your problem, not mine.

 

Geocaching needs a word to denote:

 

"People you bump into or people that may observe you when you're out geocaching who may or may not be geocaching too or may or may not be interested in geocaching or, if you told them what you're doing, they may or may not be interested in what you're doing or if they observed you finding a cache they may or may not think it's fun to vandalise the cache".

 

As one poster has observed, we have a duty to the cache hider to take reasonable care to protect the cache. Caches do get vandalised and we've no statistics to show what proportion of vandalised caches are those that have been observed as being visited.

 

MUGGLE is a fantastic word in Harry Potter novels. In the context of geocaching, it's naff. But it's all we've got at the moment. All the alternatives that have been put forward suffer from pomposity. How would YOU describe people you bump into when you're out geocaching? A one word noun? We need an alternative. Why not suggest one?

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And, how's this? If everyone prefers a bit of self-deprecation in their jargon, how's about we refer to non-chachers as "straights"?

"Non-cachers" is pretty good. But the pedant in me thinks that perhaps they are cachers, and you don't know you unless they wave their GPS at you!

There are no non geocachers. Only people who haven't discovered the sport and some who have and don't care for it. <_<:lol:

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OMG!  Look at THIS!

Yes, muggle is related to wicca and witchcraft. And it means you are somehow less than a practitioner of these. Another reason I dislike it!

And yes, it is prejudicial...

 

""

Some Wiccans and other neopagans use the term when referring to non-pagans, though others deprecate this usage as prejudicial.""

 

What's wrong with onlooker? Mundane might be okay...

Edited by Durango!
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