Geocaching Bomb Scare -or- Smart Geocaching


It’s been a long while since I’ve written a post here. I’ve been a busy guy getting things packed, moved and unpacked into our new home. Unfortunately that means I haven’t had much time for caching lately :(

Now that things are settled down that’s about to change though! I’ve already found a perfect hiding spot for a cache near our new home.

Today I just wanted to write a quick post about the recent Geocaching Bomb Scare that occurred in Anaheim, CA last month. If you didn’t hear about it, you can read all about it here.

About a dozen fire trucks from Anaheim and Fullerton were sent to the area along with a hazmat team and the Orange County bomb squad.

My first reaction is “Are you kidding me?” Geocaching has now been around for 10 years now. It’s a World-wide hobby. Any good bomb squad is going to know about the hobby. It should be S.O.P. to check the site before expending all of these resources!
On the flip side of that, if you come up on a cache that is obviously surrounded by muggles should you REALLY go for it?But, what’s done is done. And it does serve as a good reminder for those of us who hide caches. Caches hidden in public places can be fun as they add difficulty to the hide, but a light post cache (LPC) for instance, in the center of a busy parking lot may not be a good spot to hide a cache unless it is in a spot where cachers can somehow retrieve and replace it discreetly, without attracting attention. OR unless you specify night cache only.


If there is one or two muggles in the area who look friendly I just tell them. “Hey, I’m playing a game called Geocaching. You can

Bomb Scare in NZ due to geocaching

read about it at” I’ve done that several times and I’ve never had an issue. Most people don’t care. Some are curious and want to try Geocaching, but I’ve NEVER had anyone act worried or suspicious after simply telling them what I’m doing.

So, those are my thoughts on the whole situation. What do you think about caches in high-muggle areas?


  1. Arkville

    While I agree with you that the sport has been around for 10 years, there are many people who have no idea what we are doing and am sure even bomb squads are unaware.
    We cachers really need to be extremely careful where we place our caches and do our best to identify the containers used on the outside so that should this happen it will help those responding better know what they are dealing with.
    Placement is also a big concern. We probably need not to place caches in high public traffic areas.

    Given the state of our country and nation you have to understand the concern and safety for the public at large against bombings.

    Let’s play our game safely and responsibly. Also maybe teach others about geocaching so it is more widely known and understood by everyone.

    Happy caching,

  2. Pamela

    I remember a long, long time ago when caching used to be fun… Now all I hear are cachers (mostly newbies) complain about where caches are hidden, private property rights, the lack of cache description (I don’t get this one – isn’t trying to find it the whole point?!)and so on.

    There are many people in my area so afraid to even place a cache for fear of being bitched at by other players. Last time I checked, there are rules and regulations for everyone to read and follow. If the cache is approved by the reviewer just find it and be quiet about it. If you feel uncomfortable for any reason, move on to the next cache. Stop whining about it!

    People placing caches should have common sense about high traffic areas. It’s SUPPOSED TO BE A CHALLENGE. Go there at night to find it if you can’t practice stealth during the day! For the most part, there will always be muggles – use your common sense! Carry cards that explain caching! Don’t look like some suspicious freak. Hiders – Identify your cache containers in case of suspicion! Is it really that difficult?

    C’mon people. Stop taking the fun out of an incredibly enjoyable game!

    Pamela aka skitpero

  3. admin

    I’m not complaining, Pamela. Not at all actually. This post was written to 1. let those people who haven’t heard about the recent bomb scare know about it and 2. provide a simple reminder to be stealthy.

    Sorry if you took it as a complaint. :) Happy Caching.

  4. Guy

    With the sate of affairs in the USA, are they on high alert or paranoid, blowing up a geocache, having toy bunnies, charred and smoking doing summersaults, these are the stories the bad guy’s want to hear because it shows your country is scared.
    Because of this, the guidelines in Canada for placing caches (which are reviewed by American reviewers – at least in B.C.)we have the same restrictions, but not the same threat level, we are getting caches rejected that would not be a problem here, because even the reviewers are paranoid, and when they turn your cache they quote incidents in the USA!!!, I am not in the freaken USA!!!

    If you place an ammo tin beside a tree in the family court carpark, yes, expect it to get blown up, McToys and fluffy bunnys strewn. People are paranoid because they are uneducated, how do we educate them?, force them to watch splinterheads, but more importantly if you have a cache that could be mistaken to be a bome, well if it is beside a trail miles from anywhere, chances are it wont get blown up, if it is a nano near a public building, chances are it won’t get blown up, and MARK THE DAMN THING CLEARLY, Muggles doesn’t know, muggles is scared. Muggles has it drummed into him/her to report anything suspicious, don’t let muggles get into a position where he will call 911, easy EH!

  5. Pamela

    I didn’t think you were complaining! :)

  6. serf050505

    I always carry around information sheets that explain exactly what I am doing, what I am looking for and if they are curious I show them how to play the game. I also point them to the website so they can get more information. This seems to help them understand and not be afraid or think I am nuts. I have also found that many begin to play and it keeps down on the muggles.

    But I am from the south so that may make a difference?

  7. emily preece
    emily preece05-04-2010

    I didn’t think you were complaining, either! All the points you brought up were valid and need to be reiterated every so often.

    Hey, Josh — in additon to your “free” caching logs that we can download and print, how about creating a sheet that we can download and cut up into “business-card” sized “Introduction to Geocaching” ?…… We could then print them out on card stock, cut them up and carry them around to hand to muggles when we bump up against them.

    Just an idea..


  8. mojave_rattler

    There was an incident like this a few years ago here in southern Nevada to include the local police, fire department, and bomb squad. It lasted a good 3 or 4 hours before they determined the container was a geocache. I don’t place very many urban caches so I don’t have to worry as much about my caches being considered as a possible bomb threat.

  9. Andy Grant (we4grants)
    Andy Grant (we4grants)05-05-2010

    You know, I’ve only been caching for three years, but GIVE ME A BREAK.

    1) Clearly label caches if they are remotely in the open.
    2) Use common sense when hiding
    3) As a rule, I always check with the local authorities when I’m hiding outside of my area, and make sure to let them know about GC. Besides, aren’t we only supposed to hide within 25miles of home or if we have a partner cacher who lives there and can maintain?
    4) Screw the terrorists. I refuse to let some dumb a$$ who bastardizes his own dogma to fit his purposes ruin my fun.

    Yes, we have to be safe. Yes, we have to use common sense. Yes, we have to follow the rules. But please, would the alarmists go find another sport or hobby?

    I may not always agree with GC Rules and GC Reviewers. Our local reviewer here in Colorado sometimes has a bit of a deity complex, but that’s OK. Keep it simple, and leave the drama for your mama.

    Sgt. Rick Martinez makes a good point, but somebody should have educated Anaheim police a LONG TIME AGO. There are 470 caches within 5 miles of Anaheim; over 3,000 within 15 miles.

    Geocaching can be a fun, family sport. Let’s remember why we cache in the first place.

  10. admin

    lol good points there, Andy. However, I think the “alarmists” are muggles who obviously don’t know anything about Geocaching, which is where the issue stems from.

    You’re right, just use common sense and have fun.

  11. Josh W
    Josh W01-06-2011

    One of my geocaches “Hidden Deep” was blown up by my local bomb squad. Thankfully no charges were filed against me.

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