Find Your Geocache

Explaining Geocaching To Muggles

Have you ever tried to explain geocaching to a muggle? It can be anything from a new convert to the geocaching game, blank stares, or GULP, having Officer McFriendly called on you.

Will the muggles leave you alone or will them come check out what you're doing?

Here are some tips for what to do when confronted by a muggle:

1. Invent a Story

Yes, I’ve been known to spontaneously invent a story when I get asked why I’m carrying a GPS. This is when I’m not anywhere near the cache and am just starting to make my approach.

I’ve used everything from “I’m doing classified work for the government” to “I’m a geologist mapping the lake shore”.

I usually get asked this when people notice the GPS and are just being chatty.

2. Be Honest!

Yes, it might be nosy-neighbor syndrome when they come bustling out of their house asking what you’re doing lurking around that bush. But, if you’re asked straight out what you’re doing, honesty is the best policy.

Here’s what I say:

I’m geocaching! Do you know what that is? It’s basically using a GPS to find hidden containers of “treasure”. There are over 1 MILLION of these hidden world-wide. You just go to to look for a cache near you.

Usually, people will say “Oh, that’s nice” and it will be the end of the story. I try not to get too technical with our terms like “micro” or “travel bug” but I might show them the GPS.

3. Carry An Official Looking Business Card

On your computer, print out a business card (or small piece of paper) that explains what geocaching is. You might even want to include your geocaching name on it! Then, you can just hand it to the muggle after you explain the game. People love “official” looking documents!

You can also find pre-made up business cards online that explain geocaching. I’ll be posting a download here soon and I’ll let you know when!

4. Be Polite

Yes, it can be hard to stay polite when somebody’s giving you a hard time. But remember how weird we look poking around in the bushes!

If somebody accuses you of suspicious activity and are getting upset after you’ve explained the game of geocaching, don’t get in their face. Most people are hyper-worried about terrorists, lone gun man and other bad guys that they just won’t calm down. It’s better to stay calm and leave then to have the muggle get upset and call the police on you. Or worse!

Readers Weigh In:

  • What do you say to a muggle who asks what you’re doing?
  • Have you ever had a muggle get really upset with you? What did you do?
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