Find Your Geocache

Muggle Avoidance Tips

We all know that muggles (non-geocachers) are just part of the game. Unfortunately, muggles can cause geocachers some serious problems either by harassing a cacher OR by stealing a geocache. Here are some tips to help you avoid muggles altogether.

(Next week will be an article about what to do when you are actually confronted with a muggle!)

1. Think Before You Cache

Most geocaches hidden in high traffic areas will warn cachers to watch out for muggles. My ‘5 is Prime’ geocache is hidden in a more urban area of my home town. There are a lot of people walking dogs, playing ball in the park, and just hanging out at any hour of the day. To make matters worse, the cache has to be RIGHT THERE to be well-hidden from casual glances.

I recommend before everybody leaps out of the car with their GPS, walking sticks, and backpacks, to just look around and see if anybody is observing you. If there are too many people around, come back later.

2. Wear Camouflage

I’ve read many accounts of an orange vest, hard hat, and a clip board making a geocacher “invisible” to muggles. I’ve never tried it personally but I could see how it might work. My favorite type of camouflage is actually just holding the GPS at my side as much as possible. If anybody is looking at me, I just bring it to my ear and pretend it’s a phone.

Of course, the problem with the whole GPS-as-phone type of camouflage is that a GPS is a LOT bigger than a cell phone!

Is he a geocacher or a road worker? You be the judge!

My hands-down favorite camouflage? A camera! Yep, I’ve been known to sneak up to ground zero with the GPS but then whip out the camera and start snapping photos and poking around. Everyone just assumes I’m either a wacky artist or a wacky tourist and ignores me.

3. Ignore Them

Most people will ignore you back! It seems to be ingrained in American society that watching somebody is rude. So if you can easily retrieve the cache, sign the log and replace it, ignoring bystanders will usually work. However, if they ARE watching you, come back later!

4. Be So Outrageous Nobody Would Dare Do What You’re Doing

Case in point: going after the ‘Summer Lovin” cache in Lake Mary. It was a busy Saturday, there were muggles in boats, muggles fishing, muggles walking their dogs! There I was with a tiara and a camera crew.

I'm only a little bit nuts. Promise!

As soon as I started wading into the water, people might have been watching me, but they were also thinking to themselves “No WAY would I do that!” (Trust me, I could practically SEE the little thought bubbles appearing above their heads!)

5. Create A Diversion

Hand-in-hand with Tip #4, comes Create A Diversion. That’s where one member of your geocaching party is being outrageous (not obnoxious, just outrageous!) over THERE while you retrieve the cache HERE.

Readers Weigh In:

  • What tips do you have to avoid the attention of muggles?

And, don’t forget, next week’s article will be about what to do when you simply HAVE to talk to a muggle!

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3 Responses to “Find Your Geocache”

  • Renee:

    I ride a bicycle while geocaching, this is great, you can pretend you are resting or you can lean your bike right against the object hiding the cache.
    I often pretend to be fiddling with the gears while looking into the bush.

  • AK:

    Well, I AM a “muggle” who isn’t very pleased with an otherwise pleasant looking family of geocachers. I was attempting to have a very private and reflective conversation with my spouse, on our anniversary, at a special location at familiar park, when a family of four practically sat on top of us and wouldn’t leave. They might have said, “excuse us, please, but we are on a scavenger hunt and we think you may be sitting on the item we are looking for.” Instead, they were intent, it seemed on making us uncomfortable so we would leave. And after about ten minutes, we did. It wasn’t until then that we noticed the GPS app on the father’s iphone. We were already half way down the hill when we put it together, as our son had found the cache there, early in the summer. We are interested in this sport, but, I’m sorry, those folks were very rude.

  • Kim:

    AK —

    I am so sorry that you had this experience! Most geocachers are very polite. But I think sometimes we get caught up in the “game” and don’t really pay attention to other people who might be enjoying the park. There is no excuse for that rudeness. I would hope that they were new to the game and just didn’t realize that the best course of action would be to come back later rather than make you feel uncomfortable.

    If you ever take up geocaching, which IS a lot of fun, I know you and your family will always have the utmost respect for other cachers and “muggles”. Affiliate Link
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