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So where/how do you draw the line re safety? 
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Post Re: So where/how do you draw the line re safety?
Just a cacher wrote:
Taz, you do what makes you feel safe.

You won't enjoy it out there, if you're frightened or worried all the time, anyway. You could consider taking a large hatpin or loud alarm, or you could just hunt for a like-minded friend and cache as a team.

I find that "we" find more caches when I go out with someone. Everyone 'looks' differently, and I often spot caches the other person misses, and vice versa. Sadly, it isn't as easy as one might think to find a caching partner.



Thank you for looking at my perspective, and you are right we always do so much better if I have company on a cache outing and stay out longer than if I"m alone, and way more fun.
I think I"m allowed to express my own concerns without having them dismissed as irrelevant and paranoid.


As for the statistics? Sure attacks are very rare. The instances of teenage boys being taken in broad daylight from a major highway bus stop are VERY rare too but that's small comfort to the Morcombe family don't you think?


25 September 15 12:35 pm
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Post Re: So where/how do you draw the line re safety?
It's always a tricky area this - And we all have our own responses based on our natural style, previous experience, sense of ability, etc. etc. And even when the stats may point to something being incredibly unlikely, it doesn't always make us feel 'safe' in doing it. Sometimes the fear of the risk, the magnitude of that risk (however unlikely), lead us to certain decisions which won't always make sense to others. It's a very personal thing... I for one ride a bike to work. My wife freaks out about it constantly. Statistically she might be right. But I feel like I've got the experience and wisdom to handle it quite safely...

I remember some time ago seeing some research (can't locate it now) where it looked at this issue and a lot of it came down to 'perceived control'. If we feel like we are in control of a situation (like driving a car or climbing a tree or stomping through grassland) then we are quite comfortable in that activity even when the risk may be very high. But give us something where we feel 'out of control' (like walking down a dark alley or being alone in bushland) and we might not feel comfortable even when statistically it's incredibly safe. A classic example are people who I often see standing on the white line in the middle of the road, surrounded by traffic, trying to cross it [-X - No doubt they feel in control but the risk is just massive. But I'm sure after they cross the road and start walking through the train-station carpark they suddenly feel less safe!

My wife and I several years ago did a fair bit of training in self-defence/Krav Maga. One of the best things about it wasn't so much the tactics and skills, but the spatial awareness. Knowing what's around you and just being consciously aware of risk factors. Sounds paranoid, but after a while it becomes second-nature and we reckon has been helpful in teaching us to avoid situations, rather than having to deal with them after the fact.


25 September 15 2:33 pm
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Post Re: So where/how do you draw the line re safety?
I draw the hard safety line by going with instinct. For me, instinct is that small voice that goes 'bring a jacket' despite it being a sunny day. Sometimes I'll reason with myself, but if it all comes up clean and small!voice is still saying 'no, leave', I'll leave. I consider myself extremely lucky because my life circumstances did not result in outright paranoia/serious personality issues, and I have rarely been given flak for acting on my instincts.

Currently, I am mostly urban night caching, typically between 2200-0300.

Echoing the post above mine - be aware. As I approach the area that I have to search in, I give some thought to where others might approach from, where people might watch me from, and where the exits are. I'll spend a few seconds searching, then look around. This also helps with keeping the cache safe from randoms who would like to take it; I do not want to be the last finder before a subsequent string of DNFs.

Perhaps more important for prevention - don't look like prey. My mentality goes a bit like this: 'I know where I'm going, I know why I'm here. I don't actually want to talk to you. Do not mess with me because I have a plan to go completely nuts in your face if you approach', and because the mind is linked to the body, this is what gets reflected in my body language when I move.
I'm told an air of confidence, 'I am calm and alert. I am capable of handling anything that comes my way.' is really all that's needed. I just take the slightly more extreme line of thinking because I am small, female, not-white, and would actually prefer not talking to people.

I find it unfortunate and wrong that I have to modify the way I think and act, to reduce the risk of running into random crazies. It's tiring and I dislike it, but life is a series of compromises, it is what it is. You'll find no judgement from me if you have to avoid doing certain things/situations to keep yourself safe, and feel the need to unload about the unfairness of it all once in a while :)


23 October 15 12:52 pm
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Post Re: So where/how do you draw the line re safety?
So, as a new geocacher, the story in the OP post in this thread got me thinking. He mentioned that he found some needles while he was searching.
How many of you wear gloves or use a pole or stick to poke under things to protect your hands while searching? What other supplies might be needed to do this safely? Obviously I'll carry my little first-aid kit and a water bottle and for longer hikes I'll take food. I have sturdy boots and shoes I can wear too. Anything else I should know in this regard? Bear in mind that I have done plenty of hiking in my time (Cradle Mountain, Mt. Roland, Mt. Farrell, Wentworth Falls/Valley of the Waters, Wineglass Bay, Magnetic Island to name a few places I've been) so I'm familiar with the Great Outdoors; I just don't know much about the specifics of geocaching yet.


16 May 16 10:29 pm
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Post Re: So where/how do you draw the line re safety?
Sometimes I wear gloves, but this is often only for the yuck factor; occasionally to be safe. I don't like to stick my hand in some places without looking first. (Sharps, etc!) I check hollow logs carefully too for snakes. I also look first before I step over a tree log for the same reason, but I have observed most other people I am with appear to just 'bound' carefreely over logs. I often poke first with a stick. I also figure if I walk noisily enough I will scare away snakes before I see them, but having come close to stepping on a couple (one EXTREMELY close) I'm not sure how effective this is. A mirror with a handle is a good tool for safety.


16 May 16 10:50 pm
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Post Re: So where/how do you draw the line re safety?
Goldenwattle wrote:
Sometimes I wear gloves, but this is often only for the yuck factor;

The yuk factor? What kinds of places do people hide these things???
Or are you just not a fan of mud? Which would be equally understandable in my book especially if you want to keep your GPS/pen/camera clean.

Goldenwattle wrote:
I don't like to stick my hand in some places without looking first. (Sharps, etc!)

Good thinking. Although that's sometimes not always possible. I guess that's where the mirror you mentioned comes in handy though! Where does one get mirrors with handles anyway? I don't think I've seen one other than at the dentist...

Goldenwattle wrote:
I check hollow logs carefully too for snakes. I also look first before I step over a tree log for the same reason, but I have observed most other people I am with appear to just 'bound' carefreely over logs. I often poke first with a stick. I also figure if I walk noisily enough I will scare away snakes before I see them, but having come close to stepping on a couple (one EXTREMELY close) I'm not sure how effective this is.

I've heard of stomping to scare away snakes too. It always seems to have worked for me. That said, caution is still warranted, especially in long grass and when stepping over logs so I agree with you here! I even had to use a stick to pole-vault over a snake once when I realised there was one at the bottom of the hill and I couldn't stop in time! :P Lesson learned. Go slowly on hills!


16 May 16 10:58 pm
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Post Re: So where/how do you draw the line re safety?
Furrhan wrote:
Goldenwattle wrote:
Sometimes I wear gloves, but this is often only for the yuck factor;

The yuk factor? What kinds of places do people hide these things???
Or are you just not a fan of mud? Which would be equally understandable in my book especially if you want to keep your GPS/pen/camera clean.

Goldenwattle wrote:
I don't like to stick my hand in some places without looking first. (Sharps, etc!)

Good thinking. Although that's sometimes not always possible. I guess that's where the mirror you mentioned comes in handy though! Where does one get mirrors with handles anyway? I don't think I've seen one other than at the dentist...

Goldenwattle wrote:
I check hollow logs carefully too for snakes. I also look first before I step over a tree log for the same reason, but I have observed most other people I am with appear to just 'bound' carefreely over logs. I often poke first with a stick. I also figure if I walk noisily enough I will scare away snakes before I see them, but having come close to stepping on a couple (one EXTREMELY close) I'm not sure how effective this is.

I've heard of stomping to scare away snakes too. It always seems to have worked for me. That said, caution is still warranted, especially in long grass and when stepping over logs so I agree with you here! I even had to use a stick to pole-vault over a snake once when I realised there was one at the bottom of the hill and I couldn't stop in time! :P Lesson learned. Go slowly on hills!

"The yuk factor?"
Some suburban hides might have the yuk factor. I can think of a couple in Canberra (one belonging to me :roll:). They are behind cafes, bars (and the surrounds that creates in the back alley) and the like, out with the bins. Greasy places with the yuk factor. I wear a glove when checking my cache. The cache has always been fine, but the cache has suffered a bit of cache creep in the past and I have had to feel about to locate it.

"Where does one get mirrors with handles anyway?"
I have a couple. One is like a dentist's mirror (might be an actual dentist's mirror), and the other is a cheap, light, plastic dressing table style mirror from a cheap shop. That has been the most useful mirror of the two, as it's a good size and I can clearly see under things with that.

"I even had to use a stick to pole-vault over a snake once"
Impressive =D>!


16 May 16 11:26 pm
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Post Re: So where/how do you draw the line re safety?
Goldenwattle wrote:
Some suburban hides might have the yuk factor. I can think of a couple in Canberra (one belonging to me :roll:). They are behind cafes, bars (and the surrounds that creates in the back alley) and the like, out with the bins. Greasy places with the yuk factor. I wear a glove when checking my cache. The cache has always been fine, but the cache has suffered a bit of cache creep in the past and I have had to feel about to locate it.

Ewww. Note to self: take gloves when searching for an urban cache. Also take hand sanitiser.

Goldenwattle wrote:
I have a couple. One is like a dentist's mirror (might be an actual dentist's mirror), and the other is a cheap, light, plastic dressing table style mirror from a cheap shop. That has been the most useful mirror of the two, as it's a good size and I can clearly see under things with that.

Cool! I know a couple of cheap shops around here so I'll have to have a look!


16 May 16 11:47 pm
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Post Re: So where/how do you draw the line re safety?
Goldenwattle wrote:
I have a couple. One is like a dentist's mirror (might be an actual dentist's mirror), and the other is a cheap, light, plastic dressing table style mirror from a cheap shop. That has been the most useful mirror of the two, as it's a good size and I can clearly see under things with that.

"I even had to use a stick to pole-vault over a snake once"
Impressive =D>!


An iPhone camera or similar can also be useful to take a photo inside a hollow log or post before you stick your hand in there.


16 May 16 11:51 pm
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Post Re: So where/how do you draw the line re safety?
That's true. I refuse to get a selfie stick though! :P


17 May 16 12:07 am
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Post Re: So where/how do you draw the line re safety?
I second the glove factor here... Even in 'natural' environments you have no idea what critters might be hiding down a hole.. Tongs can be good too - both for that purpose, and for reaching that cache that's just a little too far away.

To better the mirror idea, occasionally you'll see sales on simple inspection cameras. I've always been tempted but felt it might make just a bit too 'hardcore'!


17 May 16 9:33 am
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Post Re: So where/how do you draw the line re safety?
I think it is knowing about one's own limitations and being sensible. For example if out in the bush letting someone know where you expect to be, if the terrain is an issue travel with a friend(s) so help can be sought if needed.

I am a stroke survivor and take a wonderful drug called warfarin (affectionallly known as 'rat sack' because it is made with the same drug). It brings about a whole new perspective about what I will try or not.


17 May 16 12:19 pm
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Post Re: So where/how do you draw the line re safety?
So what kinds of gloves do you guys wear then? Gardening gloves or thick rubber gloves or disposable when it's just the yuk factor or what?

Happy Chappies wrote:
To better the mirror idea, occasionally you'll see sales on simple inspection cameras.

You mean like those on the flexible cables with the screen in your hand? That would be cool. I bet they'd be expensive though...

lucky1955 wrote:
I think it is knowing about one's own limitations and being sensible. For example if out in the bush letting someone know where you expect to be, if the terrain is an issue travel with a friend(s) so help can be sought if needed.

I am a stroke survivor and take a wonderful drug called warfarin (affectionallly known as 'rat sack' because it is made with the same drug). It brings about a whole new perspective about what I will try or not.

Good advice! And congrats on surviving the stroke! I hope you recovered well and if you're still on the mend then I hope you recover soon!


17 May 16 2:41 pm
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Post Re: So where/how do you draw the line re safety?
We usually carry disposable gloves but rarely put them on. We use our walking poles as probes and have a small under auto inspection mirror on an extendable rod for looking around corners. The latter can be purchased quiet cheaply from the cheap auto supply shops.


18 May 16 5:04 pm
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Post Re: So where/how do you draw the line re safety?
2y'stassies wrote:
have a small under auto inspection mirror on an extendable rod for looking around corners.

Is it small enough to be concealed in a handbag :)? The dressing table mirror is :wink:.


18 May 16 5:22 pm
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