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!
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.
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!