Over the years, I’ve ran into many muggles while geocaching. It’s inevitable. The question becomes, as these strangers approach, what will they say or how will they respond when I explain what I’m doing. Here’s a list of the types of muggles I’ve encountered.
1. The Concerned Neighbor
These muggles do not know that their neighbors have a secret hobby or the neighbors have a hidden container in their yard. They typically approach from behind, frightening you, when you’re already feeling a tad uncomfortable. You try to explain geocaching, but they’re too wary to really comprehend. You quickly sign the log, leave the GZ, and write a note online.
2. The Helpful Neighbor
The opposite of a concerned neighbor, helpful neighbors know you’re looking for a container. They don’t know what geocaching is, but they instantly point you in the right direction, whether you asked for help or not. They’re friendly muggles, usually doing yard work near the GZ.
3. The Police Officer
Unfortunately, not all law officials know what geocaching is. They may offer help, if they see you parked on the side of the road or ask questions if they spot you searching in an urban area. Cops and the bomb squad have been called to check on suspicious containers that end up being geocaches. Read about such a story here: “UPDATE: Police identify suspicious item in tree line as geocache in PVC pipe”. I found this geocache before it was blown up – you can see the CO’s comments on the archived page GC4F46Q.
4. The Muggle Dog
Dogs love geocachers. They can sense how you are trying to go unnoticed, so they bark at you, jump on you, or draw attention to their owners while you hide in some bushes, crossing your fingers they’ll all just keep walking.
5. The Awkward Gawker
These muggles don’t ask questions, instead they continue to stare at you as long as they can, drawing out the awkwardness. Also known as “The Highway Driver” or “The Observant Bicyclist.”
6. The Oblivious Passerby
Congrats! Your stealth skills must be improving! I like to pretend to take pictures or check my emails when avoiding a muggle’s gaze. Patience is key! Thankfully, in crowded areas, muggles are often consumed with their cell phones or other people.
7. The Interested Stranger
My all-time favorite muggle is the one that is interested in the geocaching game. They may have noticed you searching lampposts or digging around in some bushes, but they feel comfortable enough to ask what you’re doing, and sincerely want to learn more about this fabulous activity. These muggles also come in the form of “The Approachable Coworker” or “The Considerate Friend,” people who know your obsession and may want to join in your next adventure.
Please let me know if I’m missing any other types of muggles. What type do you come across most often?
Thanks for reading and keep exploring!