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New to Geocaching, Have some questions.

 
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goucher
Geocacher


Joined: 22 Sep 2003

Posts: 9

PostPosted: Tue Sep 23, 2003 4:33 pm    Post subject: New to Geocaching, Have some questions. Reply with quote

I am new to geocaching (4 finds) and would like to know a few things:

1) When I am going off the path, am I breaking any park regulations? I have not yet determined if geocaching is welcomed by the parks, or if they think that we are causing damage.

2) When someone asks or challenges what you are doing, what do you say.

3) Being a female, am I asking for trouble tromping in the woods alone. After visiting McCullah Park and Swamp Thing, I read about the wierdo in the swamp and it made me think twice about this. Do you often meet strange people out there?

I have really been enjoying this new activity, and welcome any advice, because I really don't know what I am doing yet. Embarassed
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Marsha and Silent Bob
Past MnGCA President


Joined: 02 Sep 2003

Posts: 6261

PostPosted: Tue Sep 23, 2003 6:30 pm    Post subject: Re: New to Geocaching, Have some questions. Reply with quote

goucher wrote:
1) When I am going off the path, am I breaking any park regulations? I have not yet determined if geocaching is welcomed by the parks, or if they think that we are causing damage.


This depends per park system (unfortunately) but the MNGCA is trying to work with these park's to make sure that we fit within guidelines that they have set.

Hopefully they will all make geocaching-friendly rules so that we can continue in our adventures.

Quote:
2) When someone asks or challenges what you are doing, what do you say.


If they are someone of authority I would have no problems in telling them what I am doing. If they are a regular person that you have met on the trail and you feel comfortable telling them, feel free, if you feel that they might be into plundering the cache or something else, just say you are hiking and looking for "something". You never know, you might just spark interest both with the person of authority or a regular 'ol person on the trail! The more the merrier!

Quote:
3) Being a female, am I asking for trouble tromping in the woods alone. After visiting McCullah Park and Swamp Thing, I read about the wierdo in the swamp and it made me think twice about this. Do you often meet strange people out there?


If you are fearful, please do cache with a friend. You should always hike/cache with someone else just in case, but especially if you fear for your safety.

I'm a strange guy, I hope you never cross paths with me Smile

Silent Bob
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MrFixit246
Geocacher


Joined: 18 Dec 2002

Posts: 18

PostPosted: Tue Sep 23, 2003 6:55 pm    Post subject: Re: New to Geocaching, Have some questions. Reply with quote

Quote:
"After visiting McCullah Park and Swamp Thing, I read about the wierdo in the swamp and it made me think twice about this. Do you often meet strange people out there?"


Maybe you were that strange person. Laughing

Seriously, I am willing to talk to most people on the trail. I have talked to a coupel of groups on the trail and have had great responses. One group wanted to come along and I showed how to follow the path with the GPS. I think they were hooked after that.

I always try to GC with other people but I usually go during the week when most friends and family are in school and working. I feel pretty safe since I am 6'3" and 300+ lbs. Then again I may have been that strange person they saw in the woods.

MrFixit
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s4xton
Past MnGCA Board


Joined: 23 Mar 2003

Posts: 1070

PostPosted: Wed Sep 24, 2003 11:28 am    Post subject: Re: New to Geocaching, Have some questions. Reply with quote

goucher wrote:
3) Being a female, am I asking for trouble tromping in the woods alone. After visiting McCullah Park and Swamp Thing, I read about the wierdo in the swamp and it made me think twice about this. Do you often meet strange people out there?


I was the one who encountered the strange man there. It was certianly an unusual and uncommon experience. It wouldn't have happened if I stayed to the trails and didn't take the scenic route through the swamp. I have found over 200 caches and this is the only experience I've had like that. Every other time I've run into people it's safe and friendly.

Most caches, in my experience, are very close to trails. Stick to the trails and you should be fine. Another bit of advice, is to get a friend into it. Many times caching is more fun with a partner and it's safer too if you're far from civilization.

-Aaron
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Isildur's Bane
Geocacher


Joined: 12 Jun 2003

Posts: 9

PostPosted: Wed Sep 24, 2003 1:14 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'm a medium sized 30something female, and I usually cache alone. I've never felt unsafe in the north metro area, but this may vary from place to place. If you do feel unsafe somewhere, then cache somewhere else where you DO feel safe - there are caches everywhere! Also, you could bring a dog - borrow a friend's if you don't have one.

It is generally advisable to be somewhat stealthy and wait to retrieve the cache until no one is looking - otherwise it may get discovered and plundered/stolen/defaced. However, you aren't doing anything WRONG, so I wouldn't lie to a ranger or someone like that if you are questioned - be friendly and helpful.

Welcome to geocaching - and feel free to ask more questions!
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Irvingdog
Geocacher


Joined: 28 Mar 2003

Posts: 83

PostPosted: Wed Sep 24, 2003 5:53 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Wait till the first time you run into King Boreas dragging himself out from the underbrush Shocked Shocked Shocked Shocked

Wink

Carry mace and a cell phone. I carry a gun, but that may not be an option for you.
_________________
"You cannot reason a person out of a position they did not reason themselves into"
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bobhiker
Past MnGCA Chair


Joined: 16 Dec 2002

Posts: 61

PostPosted: Thu Sep 25, 2003 8:18 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Very Happy Welcome!
1. If you are in a park system that has policy set up for geocaching, you can read that policy on one of our links on the main page of MNGCA. But as long as you stay on the trail until you are near the cache, you will not be breaking any policy by going off trail to find the cache.

2. For this one just carry a plastic grocery bag while you cache and look like your actively looking for garbage. I do this anyway while caching so it looks pretty natural to see folks picking up garbage versus sneaking around in the woods.

3. If your not sure of the area, bring someone with you and introduce them to Geocaching. Have fun. Rob
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