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.


  • pam

    hi !
    because it’s a one time cache, does the 161m rule take effect?

  • Pam,
    It’s a private geocache, that’s limited time. No 161m rule. The Lab Cache could even been inside, or a riddle that leads someone to discover the Find Code. Let us know what you decide!

  • Each Premium Member will have February to create and one (magical?) Lab Cache experience for someone special. The lucky person will have until the 28th to find the Lab Cache “Find Code” – All your ideas are amazing. Keep us posted!

  • coralteach

    Will the find code be like a QR reader type?

  • Pete Jones

    So this doesn’t have be part of a mega event? Is there somewhere the mechanics of how set one up are explained so we can think about how we want to use it? What’s with the code?

  • AngelEyesRH

    I’m waiting with a lot of tension for this one!!! A great idea to implement this into geocaching. Although I have the feeling that I know the concept already. It let’s me think about the Intercaching experience that I already had. 😉

  • AngelEyesRH

    The find code can be anything. A word on a board you pass, an answer to a riddle, info you retrieve by scanning a QR-code, etc. The sky is the limit. 😉

  • Hi Pete,
    All PM’s will be receive an email about Feb 3 (if they’re opted in to our emails) about the I <3 Geocaching test with a link that send them the page to create the Lab Cache, along with instructions. We'll also launch banners on the website, in case people haven't heard, and of course, make sure the link is available here on the blog. So come back ya hear? 🙂

  • AERH – Yep, yep. The Find Code will be a unique words, string of characters, or short phrase that the Lab Cache builder creates. Can’t wait to hear the amazing experience you create for your player.

  • thebruce0

    Use “MARRYME” as the code?

    How about “YES”? 😛 Then they only get the Find if they give the answer you want… hehe

  • Bruce… very wise.

  • Roman

    For the gift I can use normal cache, from which will be followed by joy and others …
    If I want to give someone a cake (or coffee), I do not have to give it through the cache.
    I did cache as a gift. A man to whom I dedicated the cache, told me that he was glad that the cache is accessible to other and the joy that likes …
    Lab cache I do not like … I prefer the normal cache … I think it’s stupidity

    Groundspeak should rather fix errors on the server (for example, when the link to cache on the map didn’t open cache, etc..) Than to think like crap.

  • The Waysiders

    We have had the opportunity to use the lab cache builder and loved the level of creativity we could use to create lab caches. Now we cannot wait until everyone else can use it too, so we are hosting a Lab Cache Valentine Swap Event to add a new level of fun. http://coord.info/GC4XMHV

  • CRT

    Will Lab Caches appear on the normal Geocaching map?

  • I am da boss

    I’m getting a premium membership today.
    My neighbour is a premium member and we are going to make one for each other so we both get to find one. Where do I go to start? How do I make it? It’s not going to be very special, its just about having some fun.
    By this video it looks like it is special, don’t you think a proposal is a bit too far?

  • I am da boss

    If i get a premium membership during februrary, will I still be able to do this?

  • I am da boss

    No, you give the URL link to your friend

  • Miranda Sings

    Well that’s not the attitude!
    But I do agree that when you can’t open caches on the map is frustrating, you have to keep on zooming in and out to get it, pfft.

  • Johnny Freeland

    Okay good ’cause I don’t agree with the 161m rule for any cache, it should be more like 50m.
    Please don’t take this in a rude way but what I find frustrating is that I put out a cache and I the reviewer declined it because it was too close to puzzle cache that was not on the map. And I was told I had to keep moving it til it was out of the way and he couldnt tell me where the puzzle cache was. Ain’t nobody got time for dat!
    I would just like to say that there should be another way of finding out if your cache will be too close to another as I had no idea there was one nearby. I am not one of those super keen people that dedicate their lives to this, so I don’t have time to solve every single puzzle in my city nor have enough room to keep them as waypoints on my GPS.
    What if I someone set up a really good cache that was too close to another cache not on the map and it couldn’t be relocated?
    I’m just putting it out there, I know this probably isn’t the best place to put this but I heard you shouldn’t contact a reviewer for this.
    I have tried to make this seem as nice as possible.
    Still, ILGC!

  • Wapbuster

    So where is the ‘app’ so that I can create one. There’s nothing (or appears not) on the normal cache creation page.

  • Jeremy Irish


  • Jeremy Irish

    It isn’t online yet. When it is you will receive an email invitation if you have opted to receive emails from Geocaching.com (or find instructions on the web site). It will not be on the normal cache creation page.

  • Jeremy Irish

    Lots of people have proposed through geocaches. There’s a few videos on YouTube including this one: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aqFJvj22WBU

  • geobubu

    Hi Jeremy, how does it look? In Europe is allmost 20 PM. We can not wait. 🙂

  • Jeremy Irish

    I can’t wait either. We’ve been working on Seattle time for today’s release so it may be in the morning in Europe when it officially goes online. But don’t worry – you have plenty of time to use it this month!

  • Therugger (Mike)

    This is an awesome idea I did some thing like this last year in November to ask my girlfriend to prom and my Dad hid my Christmas present one year like this. These we just unofficial cases of I<3 Geocaching. I hope this catches on I think it is a great idea.

  • Robin888

    Why in the world would I need Groundspeak (and a premium membership!) to hide a personal cache anyway?
    The benefit of sites like this are to have my listing found easily by many geocachers. If the cache is for one special person only (and the find is not even counted in the statistics!) WHY would it make sense to use the page?
    And HOW is that “a new way” or “the future of geocaching”? I assume anyone knows somebody somehow how already gave someone a personal geocache as a gift.

  • Jeremy Irish

    The find is part of your find count and will be part of your statistics in the future. Since it is a test as part of Geocaching Labs it does not have the same features as public geocaches.

    Thanks for the feedback. Besides the current situation where it isn’t included on the stats page (which will change), it doesn’t feel like anything is new so there’s no sense to create one, and you see no reason to hide a geocache for only one person.

  • Jeremy Irish

    I know it is around 3am your time, but the link is now available at the top of the page. Hopefully you’ll wake up feeling refreshed and ready to think of a cool way to spend the cache!

  • Cyllene

    I’m excited to get thinking and figure something out. But it won’t be a picnic. We’ve had the coldest winter in Toronto for 25 years and February is also supposed to be below normal temps… and just got through another snow storm on the weekend and more snow coming tomorrow night. Too bad that this is in Feb as it does take some of the fun out of it for some areas… but I can see why Feb due to Valentine’s day and all.

  • NcLibLady975

    Since I’m a premium member, I can create a lab cache – but can I share it with someone who is a non-premium member?

  • Jeremy Irish

    Yes. Any account can find the lab cache you share, regardless of whether they are a Premium Member or not. But only one account can log it.

  • Jeremy Irish

    You’re not restricted to outdoor locations though I totally understand that it limits your choices. Perhaps this could be a regular thing if it is popular with the community 🙂

  • El Pollo Loco Gang

    What a creative idea! I’m looking forward to trying this…and maybe within the next day or so. Very exciting! Thanks Geocaching Labs!

    I did have a question, though, and I didn’t see it addressed in the FAQ. I want to create my personal geocache for my girlfriend. However, we cache together as a team (one account). Can I create the personal lab cache with our account AND log it as found with the same account when she finds it?

  • mau724

    I understand you have developed special web app for smartphone. My friend doesn’t own a smartphone, but is there any way she can log the find online without smartphone??

  • Isebar

    Sorry, but this is not something “new”! I did this on various occasions myself for friends an loved persons, without needing the help of anybody else or any institution.
    This is not a possible “future of GEOcaching (intentionally spelled that way)”.

    Old School GEOcacher

  • Lucas Herraiz García

    I created my Lab Cache and I like it.
    The pity is that you can only create one Lab Cache but I guess that the reason is we are testing this type of cache.
    I received an email in my account that provides me the URL from which I created the L.C.
    Thanks Jeremy and thanks Groundspeak. Good luck with this new idea.

    Could I ask for the returning of Virtual caches as next “development”? We miss them.

  • lumbricus

    Cool idea! Will the test lab cache lead to a lab cache icon for the geocacher who finds the code/lab cache?

  • Svensson

    Geocaching is dead and will not become alive again by such stupid ideas like Lab caches. This shows again that they are too stupid for real innovations in Seattle and prefer to ride their dead horse on and on.

  • Guwisti

    Love it! Already did one for my husband and waiting on mine. 🙂 we even started a pairing service for area cachers so everyone can get the icon!

  • John Williams

    If my favourite “geocaching buddy” is ME, can I create one for me to find??

  • Keller Clan

    Geocaching may be dead for you, but for me and my family (including a 5-year-old and 3-year-old) it is alive and well. If you aren’t enjoying the experience any longer, that’s fine. Nobody is forcing you to be involved. Please don’t share the negativity with the rest of us.

  • Jeremy Irish

    Sure! It’s just a web page so you can view it in any browser. And you can download a GPX file if you have a standalone GPS that supports the file format. The web site simply adapts to the smartphone size and there are some features, like navigation, that work with mobile phones.

  • Jeremy Irish

    You can’t log a find for a lab cache created by the same account. This allows you to test the geocache before you send it to someone – and keeps you from accidentally finding the cache yourself. Aside from creating a second account with a Premium Membership, one idea that comes to mind is you could find another Premium Member and swap lab caches with them.

  • Jeremy Irish

    The idea of a treasure hunt is certainly not new but it is definitely a new feature on Geocaching.com. We’re testing to see if this is something people would like to do in addition to finding geocaches in the public database. If there’s no interest in having an institution or anyone else assist in making a geocache for a smaller audience then we have learned something with this experiment. Thanks for your feedback.

  • Jeremy Irish

    Yes. The finder will have the icon on their profile and eventually be part of their statistics. We also plan to add to the placer’s find count (though this is not currently happening).

  • Jeremy Irish

    You can’t find a lab cache that you placed – this is to allow you to test the cache and find code to make sure it works and to keep you from accidentally finding your own geocache. Like @Guwisti:disqus mentioned, there are some members that are working on events to swap lab caches. You may be able to find some like minded individuals that also have themselves as their favorite cache buddies.

  • Robin888

    Interesting. My answer to your reply didn’t got published…
    But I can’t let your last statment stand like it is:

    I absolutly *see* enough reasons to “hide geocaches for only one person”. And if you read my initial comment I already stated that!

    I don’t see one reason to make use of your service to accomplish that.
    Your service is to provide my listing to as many geocachers as possible.
    If I want to reach only one single person, I can just give the listing to him or her. And have even *more* freedom of creativity. (I could write it by hand! :-o)

    To give someone a geocache isn’t “new”. It’s probably older than your website. That’s what I’m saying.


  • John Williams

    That’s no good then. Load of sentimental tosh. Hope the idea dies a quick and painful death 🙂

  • John Williams

    I’m with you Svensson. It’s you and me versus the mad frog!!