I was once self conscious . . . but now I'm short, fat and balding so I've lost what little bit of self consciousness and self respect that I ever had in the first place. ;) :)
Actually . . . go caching with Hiram . . . you'll soon lose all of your self consciousness and inhibitions . . . and suddenly find yourself craving alcoholic beverages for whatever reason. ;) :) . . . Of course he also tends to attract cops . . . cops and ticks . . . so you soon learn to get over that self conscious feeling.
And then there was the Fitz Cache . . . :) . . . I would like to say that this cache helped me lose my self consciousness, but to tell the truth I was pretty oblivious about what was happening here . . . God loves idiots, right? :) ;)
OK, in all seriousness, at one time I was all about being the Stealthy Ninja Cacher -- and in fact my Ninja Name was Wo Tan Jang . . . I did all of the tricks . . . tying the shoelaces even though I was wearing boots with zippers, acting as though I was taking pictures with my GPSr . . . of a stop sign and pretending that I was using my GPSr as a cell phone . . . and was on the receiving end of one of those 1-900 phone calls.
But then I realized something . . . something I discovered in my "normal" work . . . if you act as if you belong somewhere and don't act all secretive, most folks will simply ignore you . . . they may give you a quick glance and wonder why you're lifting up all the lamp post skirts . . . or stopped beside that guardrail . . . or blindly thrashing through the woods and then crashing out on to the trail . . . but for the most part they ignore you . . . or may ask what you are doing . . . which is pretty much what Just PJ66 said.
I try not to lie . . . I was raised by Bible-thumping Baptists parents . . . although now ironically enough in my adult life I find that my own mother lies all the time, but that's a whole other story about how she lives in her own fantasy world and so perhaps those lies are reality to her . . . but as I said that's a whole other session on the counseling couch . . . what I'm trying to say is that if I'm asked by a person I look at it as an opportunity to explain geocaching and perhaps gain another convert to our cult of caching. No need to come up with some cockey-mainey ideas . . . although it might be fun just once to tell a person I'm a stalker and see what they do . . . probably mace me.
That said . . . if I'm ever in doubt I have been known to move on . . . I have no issue wading in to a place and letting folks know what I'm doing if they ask . . . but sometimes folks look sketchy to me . . . and in these cases I may pass on the cache. If I'm in doubt as to whether I should be some place I read through the description and/or logs hoping to find some guidance (i.e. "Don't worry about the no hunting signs, I have permission to place a cache here" or "There are some No Tresspassing signs, but that's for the neighbor's land . . . you will not be tresspassing" or "Don't worry . . . I know this cache is in the front yard, but the person here knows about the cache and actually likes watching cachers" or "Don't worry if you hear banjo music here and someone yelling, "Squeal like a pig. Squeal like a pig" . . . it's OK.")
If someone is right next to that bench, statue, etc. I may wait for them to move on, I may pass on the cache or I may just wade right in, explain what I'm doing and let them know that I'm about to search for a cache so they have the option of just sitting there and letting me get within 5 inches of feeling them up, they can move over for just a few minutes or they can join me if they are so inclined . . . I always hope they'll go for the first option . . . but they never go for that option . . . comes back to the whole being stalked by a short, fat, balding blind guy I suppose. :) ;)
I remember one cache that was on a bench somewhere. Unfortunately some old man was sitting there, I asked him to go sit somewhere else, found the cache, put it back and walked away. :)
This is the best technique for urban hides. You are simply invisible if dressed in that manner. I have my blaze orange vest and yellow hardhat, but I never seem to have them with me when I need them.
It may generate worry and suspicion if I'm every actually spotted but I do find that in some of the caching I've done its fun to play ninja (or voyer depending on how you look at it i guess) and hide if someone comes into the area while in the woods. I was in the BCF one day out looking for the Hare Trail cache which can be seen from one of the main roads and remember ducking down in the bushes to hide from joggers and walkers. If you make a big noise, sometimes it makes the joggers take off sprinting.
While out doing the Dodge Point caches with my dad and son we tried this and got busted by a chocoalte lab with a really good nose. We found the cache down by the water and were sitting on big rock signing the log. Some people walked by with a collie and the three of us waited silently as they passed by. Being only about 20' off the trail, it was funny to watch my 4 year old son trying not to laugh as he was getting away with something. They passed and we heard voices in the distance. All of a sudden the lab came sprinting down the trail and came to a screaching hault right where we had left the trail. It looked around, sprinted back to the owner then came flying up the trail again and started barking where we were. The owner luckily knew what we were doing and we had a quick talk before moving on.
I have my bright yellow/green safety jacket that I like to wear if there are people around. With the GPS and jacket people don't seem to really notice me. LOL
We haven't heard from Emelano. Is any of this helping?
After reading some of the ways some of us cache, she may have moved on to a new hobby.:)
QUOTE=Ekidokai;64777]We haven't heard from Emelano. Is any of this helping?[/QUOTE]
I am a shy person by nature, so this is right on topic for me! I have been at caching for 4 months, but more intensively for the last 6 weeks. I feel totally self concious, especially when "using stealth" as I don't really know what I am doing yet! That said, it has become much easier to not feel so self concious if I use 'props'. Thats where geo dog comes in handy! I find in the very rural areas, as a woman alone and caching near the road, a lot of nice people want to make sure that my car hasn't broken down. If I bring the geo dog, I can suddenly be 'obedience training' when I hear the cars coming! Or, I can lean on a guardrail and bob my head to the 'music' coming from my mp3 player (which is really my gps). Also, I ofter am wearing binoculars and/or a camera to bird watch while caching, so when the cars come by, gps goes in holster and binos are used (which is a good way to look for a distant cache too! In the city, its quite a bit harder for me, but it has definately improved with what little experience I have as my confidence goes up.