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Forums —» General Caching —» General —» Caching in Washington
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Caching in Washington
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savant9



Joined: May 02, 2009
Posts: 198
Location: Langley

PostPosted: Fri Apr 01, 2011 4:38 pm    Post subject: Caching in Washington Reply with quote

Living less than 10 minutes from the US border, as most lowermainlanders do, it is often tempting while out on a sunday drive to head across the line to pick up some caches in a new area. I haven't been to the USA since passports/EDL's have been required, I am planning on changing that soon.

My question to those of you who often cache in the USA is.... when at the border crossing do you explain why you are heading to the south... "I am going geocaching" or do you just tell them "Going shopping/Visiting friends...etc" Border services seem to like to call me in to be detained whenever I cross the border, which is one reason I haven't bothered to cache stateside. Do the border guards seem to understand geocaching or do they make it into a huge production?

Thanks for any input.

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Never attribute to malice that which can be adequately explained by stupidity.
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doingitoldschool



Joined: Jan 07, 2008
Posts: 176

PostPosted: Fri Apr 01, 2011 5:17 pm    Post subject: Re: Caching in Washington Reply with quote

My experience with that was crossing at Point Roberts. I told them "tourism", and he asked "What's there for tourism in Point Roberts?"

I showed him my GPSr and told him I was a geocacher, and wanted to get my first American caches. He smiled and gave me a map. I wondered afterwards if it was someone who logs on here - Half-Canadian, or something like that?
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Half-Canadian



Joined: Jan 11, 2004
Posts: 59

PostPosted: Fri Apr 01, 2011 8:29 pm    Post subject: Re: Caching in Washington Reply with quote

I can assure you that I do not work for the US border patrol, or any other governmental agency for that matter Yuck

I do, however, have a long history of border crossings in both directions, holding both Canadian and US citizenship.

Most US border guards have heard of geocaching by now, and if they haven't, a little explanation has always gotten me through with a smile or a puzzled look, but never a search because I mentioned geocaching.

Guard: what's your reason for visiting the US?
Me: I'm going geocaching.
Guard: Geo-what?
Me: Geocaching, it's kind of a treasure hunt using a GPS.
Guard: Oh, OK. Have fun. Shakes head.


I've found it's easier to tell them that rather than say I'm going shopping -- then they want to know where you are going, what you are planning to buy, etc. Geocaching is pretty benign.
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tjguy98



Joined: Aug 06, 2005
Posts: 206
Location: Maple Ridge

PostPosted: Fri Apr 01, 2011 8:30 pm    Post subject: Re: Caching in Washington Reply with quote

Tell them you are going geocaching - most of them know what that is. They still try and "catch" you up by having you explain it to them...it's the usual game they play to see if you have all your answers in a row.
"where do you work", "what do you do", "explain your job", all those sorts of questions.

No biggie, just tell the truth.......that always works the best!

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Read about my geocaching adventures on my website at:
tjguy98.blogspot.com/
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Magicman65



Joined: Nov 02, 2009
Posts: 109
Location: Victoria

PostPosted: Sat Apr 02, 2011 6:41 am    Post subject: Re: Caching in Washington Reply with quote

When we went down to Geowoodstock VIII, we told the border guard just that, and he said "is that the thing with the GPS and you take something and leave something" When we replyed, YES, he said "just make sure you don't leave something, as then you would have to declare it" "Have fun"

Chris

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www.cymagic.ca
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Cuddlefish



Joined: Oct 20, 2008
Posts: 297

PostPosted: Sat Apr 02, 2011 7:47 pm    Post subject: Re: Caching in Washington Reply with quote

I say geocaching every time and it seems to spark a polite and friendly conversation. In fact, in February, a fellow geocacher and I crossed the border to geocache in Blaine. I mentioned that our purpose was geocaching. He then noticed my companion's passport had EXPIRED the previous month.

He told us to have fun and could my friend please renew his passport. Then he let us go. Can you believe that?
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Mr. Wilson and a Mt. Goat



Joined: May 01, 2009
Posts: 481
Location: Nanaimo

PostPosted: Sat Apr 02, 2011 8:10 pm    Post subject: Re: Caching in Washington Reply with quote

I went over last august for some shopping (and caching) with my cousins. I didn't have my passport so my mom faxed a copy of it over to us in Abbotsford, and they still let us across.

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Chewy_06



Joined: Sep 27, 2009
Posts: 158

PostPosted: Mon Apr 04, 2011 7:36 am    Post subject: Re: Caching in Washington Reply with quote

We havent had any problems & have been down with at least part of the intent being caching a half dozen times. Usually the explanation is shopping & geocaching.

Some of the guards knew what it was, one engaged us in a nearly five minute long (without a word of a lie) discussion about it, how it worked, whhere you find the coordinates and such...

Geowoodstock - when i headed down, the guard just rolled his eyes & told me to have fun. Reminded me of 20 years ago when we used to go down to the point every two weeks or so, didnt even need to come to a complete stop...

No issues of late

I'm also going to post a thread in teh lower mainland forum about this - im interested in seeing if we can get a group together to go down to the tree farm around Marysville (pritchard i think it is?)
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titelines



Joined: Oct 15, 2007
Posts: 140
Location: Abbotsford BC

PostPosted: Tue Apr 05, 2011 2:47 pm    Post subject: Re: Caching in Washington Reply with quote

We frequently cross the border for geocaching and always, always just tell them the truth. Most have heard of it now and give you that knowing look. We used to carry muggle cards with us and give them one to help them understand the game. Lately we don't get asked many questions about it...they just say "Have Fun". It is always possible the first few trips through that you might get asked more questions but it will lighten up with more frequent trips. There is some great caching south of the border. Go have some fun!!!
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savant9



Joined: May 02, 2009
Posts: 198
Location: Langley

PostPosted: Tue Apr 05, 2011 3:00 pm    Post subject: Re: Caching in Washington Reply with quote

Thanks all, I guess its time for me to go get my EDL.

_________________
Never attribute to malice that which can be adequately explained by stupidity.
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doingitoldschool



Joined: Jan 07, 2008
Posts: 176

PostPosted: Tue Apr 05, 2011 4:08 pm    Post subject: Re: Caching in Washington Reply with quote

savant9 wrote:
Thanks all, I guess its time for me to go get my EDL.

Applied for mine on Friday - I will post again when I get it.
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Chewy_06



Joined: Sep 27, 2009
Posts: 158

PostPosted: Wed Apr 06, 2011 10:09 am    Post subject: Re: Caching in Washington Reply with quote

Got mine... wasnt too bad a process although the whole interview thing seemed kindof odd.

Smile
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DisneyGirl



Joined: Jun 04, 2007
Posts: 10

PostPosted: Thu Apr 07, 2011 10:26 am    Post subject: Re: Caching in Washington Reply with quote

I always say I'm caching and most know what it is. One Lynden border guard asked me to go look for a specific cache "'that he had heard about." I don't think he was a cacher but he was super interested.

One time I was asked to show my GPS so make sure you have it ready. It seems they do like to trip you up sometimes!
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