The Urban Caching Dilemma

I have a love/hate relationship with urban geocaches, those typical LPCs and key hides. Last weekend, my family traveled to Fargo, North Dakota and our little cacher met one of her uncles for the first time. While we were staying at a hotel, I, of course, ran of search of nearby geocaches. Actually, I had searched the area around our hotel before booking the room, since I wanted to make sure I’d find at least one. When we arrived, I realized that we were staying at a very busy area and the closest geocache, with a whopping 32 favorite points, was placed between two parking lots and was across from another, not to mention positioned right next to a high-traffic intersection. I was slightly disappointed.

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I ended up searching for the geocache early one morning to beat the crowded muggle zone. I took the picture above this paragraph at the GZ. The container was pretty neat, definitely a difficult hide for newbies, and I awarded it a favorite point. However, this cache’s placement made me recognize my torn feelings for caching in town.

Initially, I had decided to use my two hours of gifted solo geocaching time from my husband to rack up as many finds as I could. But it hit me, after doing a quick search, that most of the immediate hides were bound to be common and unoriginal, potentially leaving me unsatisfied in my endeavors. Plus, I don’t like to resemble a strange girl lifting up screechy metal skirts in parking lots or possibly a drug mule, trying to stealthily find and hide small containers around the city. For some reason, I have the feeling muggles think weird activity is always chalked up to drugs…I don’t know what that says about me.

To get back to the point, this past weekend really messed with my ideas about geocaching in town, especially in an unfamiliar town. I’m mad if there are no caches in close proximity to me. At the same, I don’t want them to be placed where I look like a crazy lady. What is a geocacher to do?

I do own LPCs and P&Gs, but I try to place them in quiet places, away from suspecting muggle eyes, or on paths where my family walks. I’m not dissing these easy inner city grabs. Instead, I’m just learning that checking out those hides further away from the hotel or motel may prove to be more interesting, plus the swag and trackables have a better chance of surviving. Common sense, I know. Previously, when we’ve traveled, I have gotten geocache greedy and wanted to find them all, but I’m changing my geo-views, slowly. My favorite geocaches don’t care how many finds I have or any other statistical data, even though it’s fun to compare and set goals, but they are the ones that take me to neat locations I never would have discovered without geocaching.

In the end, I drove twenty minutes from my hotel to a virtual geocache just outside of Fargo, Uncle John’s Virtual Cache. North Dakota only has three virtuals, and I had never found one. The low-maintenance roads were worn, and I got lost a few times, but the virtual’s destination was much more rewarding than gaining thirty more LPC hides. At least this time.

Uncle John's Virtual Cache

Uncle John’s Virtual Cache

What types of P&Gs do you prefer? Or do you refuse to cache in town? How do you remain stealthy around muggles? Go explore!

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