I <3 Geocaching Inspiration

I heart blog-header

Get ready for a test of a new way to explore through geocaching on February 3. It’s an experiment and we’d love to hear what you think once you’ve played or created a new I <3 Geocaching Lab Cache. Whether you create a trek through nature, a romantic quest or even a trip guided by robots, the I <3 Geocaching beta-test is a new way for Geocaching Premium members to experiment with what might be part of the future of geocaching.

Beginning February 3, Geocaching Premium members can take part in the beta-test by using the Lab Cache creator  to craft a one-of-a-kind adventure for someone special. (Hint: It can even be indoors.) Each I <3 Geocaching Lab Cache will be a personalized, temporary Lab Cache meant for just one person.

This new test is different than normal geocaching and is open to all sorts of creative interpretations. To help get you started in creating a cool adventure, here are a few ideas we put together:


1. Say thanks to your favorite geocaching buddy.

It’s no secret that geocaching is better with friends, so why not use this opportunity to say thanks to your favorite partner-in-find. This could work by having your Lab Cache lead them to the outside of their favorite movie theater. In the description, you can leave a clue like, “Check under the bench outside.”  You could hide a typical geocache that contains two tickets to that movie they’ve been wanting to see. And don’t forget to include the find code inside, too. When they enter that in the web app, they’ll see a picture and your thank you. Who knows, maybe they’ll even have an a Lab Cache created to say thanks to you, too!


2. Make it really special.

Just like any other day, your loved one wakes up and heads to the coffee maker for their morning pick-me-up. Except this morning, there’s the URL to your Lab Cache with the words, “I can’t wait to see you!” When they open the Lab Cache on their phone, it leads them to the park where you two first met. Upon arriving, they see you sitting there with a delightful picnic waiting for them. And if you want to make it really special, maybe the find code is “MARRYME?” (No pressure.)


3. Create an all-day adventure.

We all know someone who thrives on adventure. For them, you could create something like a multi-stage puzzle cache. It begins by leading them to their favorite rock climbing crag and has the clue “Head to the top.” Once there, they find another clue: “It’s time to go for a hike, visit the top of the hiking trail we enjoy.” After safely rappelling from the rock climbing route, they’ll head to your favorite hiking spot and make their way to the top of you favorite trail, only to find another clue: “Now it’s time to get wet. Grab your kayak and paddle out to that spot we swim in the summer.” Your friend will paddle out to the floating platform to find a fluffy bunny, some balloons and of course, the find code to your Lab Cache. Epic!

Ready to begin? Click on this Premium Member link to start your limited time, single use Lab Cache: http://www.geocaching.com/iheartgeocaching/

An I <3 Geocaching Lab Cache is easy to create. You’re only bound by your imagination, a Find Code and, of course, local laws, regulations and just common sense. Need more info? Check out the I <3 Geocaching FAQ.

Tell us your creative ideas in comments below.  You might help inspire a once-in-a-lifetime experience for another geocacher.


  • John Williams

    Svensson is allowed to share the negativity if he wants.

  • Jeremy Irish

    The game of hide and seek is probably thousands of years old, if not more. For example, Letterboxing, a sister activity, has been around since 1854. The newness of the experiment is on Geocaching.com.

    Part of the experiment is to see if the community would like to create and share geocaches with individuals through the web site. In your case you have no interest in using the service since you believe you can do it just fine on your own. Thanks for responding.

  • Robin888

    Thank you for clarification. Now we understand each other. 🙂

  • Jen

    My husband and I share an account. Does this mean that I cannot create a lab cache for him to find?

  • Jeremy Irish

    Correct. The account that created the geocache is unable to log it as found. This allows the account to test the geocache without accidentally logging it. You would have to create a lab cache with a separate account in order for your group account to log it.

  • Jeremy Irish

    The experiment automatically ends at the end of the month. It’s the shortest month of the year if that helps.

  • El Pollo Loco Gang

    Thanks Jeremy! I hadn’t thought of the testing and accidental logging possibilities, so that makes sense. My local reviewer had also suggested the “swapping” solution, and I’m going to look into that. Seems like a good workaround to me.

    I hope that more experiments like this occur in the future, as several ideas have already sprung to mind. I hope to be able to try them in the future. I’ve already heard of several cool ideas people are doing, and I think this experiment will show how creative people can be. I hope there will be a post later that highlights some of the creativity people showcase during this experiment. Keep up the good work!

    Duane Bolin
    El Pollo Loco Gang

  • Jeremy Irish

    The plan is to share the experiences that come out of this experiment. Good luck on your hide!

  • Richard

    i like the ongoing innovation, i can imagine placing some of these
    although i am not sure how many of these i will place in the long run, if it is restricted to 1 person searching for it.

    what would be cool if it could work as a kind of ultimate FTF-challenge.

    where you can hide it for a bigger audience (all cachers or a group of cachers) and then when the first one finds it,
    it is automatically archived. Serious FTF-fun 😉

  • Jeremy Irish

    Interesting idea! There really isn’t a restriction on how many people can see the lab cache you share, so you could technically do it with the I <3 Geocaching experiment.

  • Marschkompasszahl

    WTF! – was für ein ungarer Kram!

    Ich könnte es ja noch nachvollziehen, wenn man bspw.
    A) Ehrencaches legt, deren FTF dem Gehuldigten zusteht und danach für alle offen ist
    B) Caches erlaubt, die nur temporär verfügbar sind (und nicht von der min. 3 Monate-Regel betroffen sind), z. B. Adventskalender oder spezielle Caches rund um größere Events (z.B. MEGA, aber auch GC-Meisterschaften)
    C) man damit alle anderen in der Umgebung befindlichen Dosen vorrübergehend deaktiviert und blockiert, um sie vor dem Übergriff der anstürmenden Horden zu schützen (insb. MEGA)

    Es könnte eigentlich so einfach sein: 3-Monats-Regel (eingeschränkt) abschaffen;

    Virtuals wieder erlauben… und man könnte sich diesen LAB-Quatsch sparen.

    Aber was hier präsentiert wird ist nichts halbes und nichts ganzes. Und dann noch PMO…

    Naja, gut für alle anderen Anbieter, die auf solch einen Tünnef verzichten können.

  • Min Heo

    t’s great idea!! One of my friend are going to Annapurna Base Camp this month, and I placed this cache for him. When he goes there and take a picture with local guide, he can get the FOUND CODE. The cache should be memorial, I believe.

  • Richard

    would there be a way for me to test with a second experiment?
    i already used my first experiment for a partner-cache (and she found it)

    this could be a great way to log and celebrate FTFs on new ‘normal’ caches 🙂

  • lumbricus

    It’s the shortest month of the year if that helps.

    Ha! Jeremy, I love your delightful sense of humor.

  • Very interesting! Love the way you’re inventing a new way to play and challenging your friend to explore.

  • Savvy Savvster

    What a bummer, we are a caching team under one account, so I can’t try this out for my boyfriend and repay him for proposing whilst we were out caching one day 🙁

  • Keller Clan

    As am I. My point: Saying Geocaching is dead is an indication someone is not enjoying the experience any longer. But there is a way to express yourself without being offensive. Calling it “dead” is very strong and very negative. Express yourself but there still is a level of humanity that exists that calls for respect of differing opinions.

  • kohalas

    I think I like the lab caches. But I have 2 questions (not if I can log my own ;-)):
    -can I modify my lab cache (at least as long as it’s active)?
    -I don’t like the idea that the lab caches will be added to my find caches at a later time. I’d prefer “found lab caches will be added to your finds starting on (put date here)” instead of “groundspeak will put every lab cache you have already found and so confuse your statistics, numbers and milestones”.

  • kohalas

    Okay. The answer for question 1 is: Yes, you can. But question 2 is still pending…

  • Cedar & Co.

    I would like to confirm: must the Test Lab Cache be Found before the end of February or can it be later?

  • Dell Raphens

    Okay, created an adventure. 1) Can I edit the copy of the adventure description: 2) How do I move it from “test mode” to “Live mode”?

  • Jeremy Irish

    It is live as soon as you share the Url with someone else. It is always in test mode for the owner. Have fun!

  • Jeremy Irish

    They must be found before March 1.

  • Jeremy Irish

    Question 2 is not a question, but we appreciate the feedback. Lab caches are already applied to the find count but will not show up on the statistics until a later date. I doubt we’ll adjust the milestones since they can be edited and we wouldn’t want to override someone’s edits. Our perspective is that we would not be confusing statistics but correcting them when we retroactively put them on the stats page.

  • Jeremy Irish

    Not in February, but we will continue to run different lab experiments after this one. If you have any other suggestions, please share them.

    The FTF bonus lab cache is definitely an interesting idea!

  • Dell Raphens

    Is it possible to “edit” the adventure copy?

  • Jeremy Irish

    I realized I wrote “find count” when I meant “hide count.” Sorry for the confusion. It is already applied to the find count when you find a lab cache today.

  • golddiggers2645

    Maybe, you can mansion the time that the cache coming online?

  • Na’wal

    I created one for my wife & family but we have a 1 team geo account & can’t log the Lab Cache?

  • Bill Anderson

    So since I didnt know what I was doing on the first one and i screwed it up. Any chance I can try it again?

    A Team Vallejo

  • six pineys

    we are sooooo excited!…we tried our first lab cache by making a 12″ heart out of foam …wrote cords to final…cut it into five puzzle pieces…placed each piece in a store where we paid for small item such as coffee or pretzel and left puzzle piece with each goodie…back of puzzle piece leads to next find…they (the recipients ) must say at each place “have a heart and give me a clue”to get said piece and goodie…the final is camo and hidden classically in a bush…the nerve wracking part is 1)they need to travel to six different places 2)we are at the mercy of the honesty of starving underpaid employees and 3) we in the middle of a north easter!…hope the duck tape holds!!!!

  • Claus Nielsen

    I made a lab cache for one of my geocaching friends dog. It was quite easy to make. It made it like a letterbox with a starting coordinate and a task to solve. Then a direction where to go and another two tasks. The results of the task formed the unlock code. My friend emailed me to sat thanks. Everything worked fine. I have a few comments: First of all 1000 characters are two little for a ‘letterbox-type’ description. I did spend some time to limit my description. As a caceowner I think it’s strange that I don’t get a notification once the cache has been logged. I understand that this is an experiment but I did spend some time making it. Hope it will appear on my profile in the future. It’s always funny that people can see that took the time to make someone happy.

  • Claudia

    I’m a Premium member. I’d like to do this cache for my mate, who has not a separate account. Is it enough for him to create another basic account, or should it also be a Premium one? Thanks.

  • Jeremy Irish

    Both Premium and regular members can log one of these lab caches (as long as it isn’t the same account as the lab cache creator), so your mate can certainly log it with their own account if you create one with yours.

  • Claudia

    Thanks a lot for the explanation Jeremy!
    Is it also possibile to create a kind of multi cache, i.e giving the coordinates (or clues to coordinates) in the description part?

  • Jeremy Irish

    Yes. Any member fan log a lab cache with the exception of the lab cache creator (who can’t log their own lab cache).

  • Claudia

    Also, is it possible to send the link to the cache to my mate even BEFORE he creates the new regular account? Since it’ll be a surprise, and so he will have to create it eight for this purpose. Will he be able to see it?

  • Jeremy Irish

    Yes. That works too 🙂

  • Jeremy Irish

    Sure! There isn’t any restriction on what can go in the description, except the number of characters. A multi-cache usually only has the first coordinates to the first clue which gives the coordinates to the next location, etc. anyway 🙂

  • msmrjhampsteadmd

    My son & I began caching on President’s Day, three years ago. Since then, we have had a standing “date” to cache on President’s Day every year. Since he is now a teen, however, sometimes he is not as enthusiastic to go caching with mom as he used to be. Recently, I was able to get a pair of tickets for the Baltimore Orioles Opening Day – and my son is a huge Orioles fan. I was trying to figure out a cool way to give the tickets to him – and remembered that I had seen this lab cache thing a few weeks ago – perfect timing!! A friend helped me to make an Orioles themed cache, and she made a fake game ticket that was placed inside the cache. I created the cache, and ran out that morning to find a good hiding place (which was no easy task, since there was still about 3 feet of snow on the ground in our area!!). Later that afternoon, on our way back from caching, I told him that there was a new cache fairly close to our home. We went to GZ, and after a short search, he made the find. The expression on his face was priceless when he saw the ticket, and realized that he was going to Opening Day, 2014! We plan to use Orioles themed container to hide a new cache in our area in honor of Orioles Baseball! Thanks for helping me to come up with a great plan to celebrate our caching anniversary, and give my son the tickets!!!

  • Guest

    Can the lab caches that are placed to day be found tomorrow Mar 1st. or do they have to be found in Feb ?

  • Eddie Robinson

    The lab cache isnt counting towards the numbers on the stats page, but is doing so on the profile page, when will the stats page fall into line with the profile page, if it doesnt then milestones will not be correct

  • Eddie Robinson

    when are the stats pages going to fall into line with the found caches at the top of the page and on my profile page, on the stats page the number of finds is still one behind

  • Eddie Robinson

    This is still bugging me, and Im sure many others too

    when are the stats pages going to fall into line with the found caches at the top of the page and on my profile page, on the stats page the number of finds is still one behind

    Im sure the techy guys should have been able to sort this by now

  • Eddie Robinson

    Still no answer on this

  • Eddie Robinson

    still no answer to this? come on get your behinds into gear otherwise your just proving what a flop this was and will have screwed up countless peoples stats

  • Nezgar

    And another two months go by…