Groundspeak Weekly Newsletter – March 28, 2012

Geocache Maintenance


Sometimes nature takes a bite out of geocaches. Cache containers end up battered by weather or broken from regular use. Does one of your geocaches need a new logbook, is the container cracked, or did the pen or pencil in the cache disappear? The changing of the seasons is a perfectly timed reminder to check your caches.

And geocache maintenance is not just for geocache owners. Courteous geocachers often help with cache maintenance, which helps increase the quality of the game for all. It’s easy. You simply bring additional supplies such as an extra geocache container, swag, logbooks, and pens on your geocaching adventures. That way you’re prepared to help out another geocacher by fixing a cache that needs maintenance on the spot.


If you go geocaching on the spur of the moment and don’t have supplies to fix up a cache that needs maintenance, visit Geocaching.com and report a ‘Needs Maintenance‘ log on the cache page.

If you are a geocache owner here are three ways to help make geocache maintenance a breeze:

1. Place a cache that is durable and requires little or no upkeep
2. Periodically check on your cache both in person and via the cache page to see if there are any issues
3. If you see a ‘Needs Maintenance’ log on the cache page, fix the cache and post an ‘Owner Maintenance’ log

  • Sean Sharrow

    I don’t believe its my responsibility to replace containers. I have gone to caches and found multiple containers because people just throw down something when they can not find what they are looking for. I think throw-downs are the complete opposite of CITO. I might replace a log but some CO’s get upset when they don’t get to check all the names on their logs , yet they don’t want to got collect the log in person. I really have a problem with Power Runs that the CO says he is not going to check the logs and that others should feel free to replace them. that tells me that they want to throw a bunch of film cans , preforms and pill bottles out the window of their vehicle every 528 down the side of a road that more than likely has a bunch of trash scattered up and down it to begin with. Be responsible if you are going to put out 100’s of mundane mindless containers out like that , while you are asking others to do your maintenance you should also ask them to practice C.I.T.O. 

  • Chad

    I pretty much mirror Seans comments except that I will replace a container every now and then, but I do haul the broken/damaged container out with me.  It only seems right and it does make the game more fun to play.

  • VeeRich

    “I have gone to caches and found multiple containers because people just throw down something when they can not find what they are looking for.”
    This meaning if a cacher DNF a cahce they simply assume it’s missing and replace it?  I don’t think that is along the same lines as cachers performing routine cache maintenance.  I wouldn’t consider it littering either, if it’s meant for the purpose of a cache.

  • simrebel

    I could see replacing the container if it was broken and you had a similar container with you.
    but not to replace one that someone could not find, that should be left to the co

    I came across a cache and signed the log , then months later got a message that I did not find the right cache, someone place another cache container near the gz and the co  removed all the logs for the people who found the wrong one

  • Kimmie6886

    I agree with you totally! If you can’t maintain your own caches, dont put them out or archive them!

  • Bloodheart

    I’m a newbie cacher and I do maintenance; clean-out cache containers (mud, rust, spoiled swag), I replace logs or add additional log paper, add more swag (it’s poor locally, and I think it’s a nice thing to do…especially for the geo-kids), and re-tape if necessary. I’d not replace the cache containers simply because there’s too much variation in containers to carry enough to do the job, let alone the potential additional supplies if you’re going to account for camouflage. 

    As far as I’m concerned it’s players responsibility to help keep the game fun for others, and I hold out hope that my efforts will prompt others to do the same as it makes me sad that so few others seem to do any maintenance or keep swag as something people will want to find. I do wish cache owners would be more responsible, we can only do so much for them. 

  • Dalejosephb

    The only time I’ve replaced a missing container is when the old one was clearly not there. Example description was ammo can at base of sign (listed as a regular). the sign was there bit the can was not nor was in in the nearby bushes. I replaced it with a small to keep the cache operating and posted a note on the cache page and sent a note to the CO. I replace lots of damaged baggies and add logs I only remove old logs if they are soaked and always offer to send the old to the CO (I never had one that wanted the log) I don’t replace missing pens or pencils as I think it’s the cachers responsibility to bring their own. From time to time I have replaced broken containers if I has something similar with me.

  • Lhhowes

    It makes life interesting, but confusing to find mult. Cache containers at a coor.

  • Hammerman

    Hey Sean, nobody said it’s your responsibility.  It’s called helping out. You don’t have to help, but if you do, hey, that’s cool and a thank you to ya. Attitude reflects a lot on personality.  I’m very grateful to anyone that offers to replace a log for me if they have the opportunity, and likewise, if a log is full, or soaked, I’d much rather snag a log from my stash or even a piece of paper if I can to keep the cache in play and get rid of the old junk. 
    If it comes to a busted cache and I have something to replace it with, I’m glad to help out a fellow cacher and keep that cache in the game for those that have yet to find it.  I’m also a certified Geocaching counselor for BSA and I encourage all my students to take a bag with extra things in it to be helpful. Do a good turn daily.

  • djbach

    This happened to one of our own caches.  We contacted the person who “replaced” the container and told him that we were deleting his log because the cache container was in fact right where it was supposed to be.  We then contacted the cachers that found the “replaced” container and told them what happened.  We honored all those logs because the cachers found it in good faith.  We did encourage any of them that were in the area sometime to try to find the original if they could.  And that did happen for one or two, but many of those cachers were from out of town and we didn’t expect them to come back again.

  • eusty

    I kind of agree with you.

    I will replace a log etc but anything else is the CO’s responsibility as mentioned in the guidelines.

    There is a balance between helping out (which as a CO I appreciate) and just making CO’s lazy. If a cache doesn’t get maintained then it should end up archived…..

  • Roughasguts

    Agreed, I think a cache that is missing should only be replaced by the CO not the visiting cacher, if it can’t be found ether post it as a DNF or come back and try again.
    Maintenance defenetly, clean it dry it, even replace container, and if the log is wet, replace it and put the old one in a zip lock bag and leave it in the cache if possible.
    To me if you ” throw down ” another cache it’s the same as planting a new cache and needs to go through the same process as a new cache and located away from any other cache.

  • Jeremy

     True. You don’t have to be courteous if you don’t want to.

  • Cheryldando

    I carry spare zip bags pens and paper in case logs are full,but I have come across a few cache containers that are beyond simple maintenance, soggy logs with all contents wet and smelly, when I have logged the find I see that several people have already put a maintenance log up on the cache site some going back several months ago, if the Co can’t maintain the cache it should not be the cacher’s responsibility. it is impossible to carry enough containers to have one similar to what the cache is. so yes to helping maintain but no to replacing.