5 Geocaching Etiquette Tips

Keep your geocaching skills on the up-and-up.
Keep your geocaching skills on the up-and-up.

There are two steps to any geocache: 1) it’s hidden and 2) others are challenged to find it. As easy as that is, it’s even easier to make sure you’re keeping your geocaching adventures on the up-and-up. Check out five helpful geocaching etiquette tips below or just watch the geocaching etiquette video.

  • Bring a Pen – It’s like the first day of school. You need to be prepared. Always pack a pen to make sure you’re ready to sign your Geocaching username and the date.
  • Leave No Trace – Be kind to the geocaching game board, which happens to be the entire world. Make sure to Cache In Trash Out (CITO) when you geocache: pick up litter along the way and don’t leave anything behind.
  • Write a Great “Found It” or “Didn’t find It” Log – When you find a geocache, or even when you don’t find a geocache, make sure to share the spirit of adventure with the geocache owner and for other geocachers. Write a log detailing your journey.
  • Put the Geocache Back Where and How You Found It – The geocache owner placed the geocache at a specific location for a reason. Make sure the owner can find it again later and that other geocachers have the same experience as you.
  • Move Trackables Along – If you remove a trackable, like a Travel Bug ®, from a geocache make sure to post a “retrieved” log and move it to another geocache as soon as possible.

These five steps will have you rocking the geocaching world in no time. What geocaching tips would you add? Post your thoughts on our Geocaching Facebook page. Oh, and don’t forget the sixth step: repeat steps 1 – 5 often!​

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  • mommio

    Bring extra log sheets with you. I have over 550 active caches and it is truly a big help when cachers replace a full or damaged log for me. I plan maintenance runs regularly; but to be able to scratch one or two caches off my list because a thoughtful cacher has replaced a log is greatly appreciated.

  • manuforlife

    Try to leave no trace of the search and leave the environment as you find it. So sad when you get to GZ and it looks as if there has been a herd of mad bulls trampling all over the place. Agree also with carrying spare logs. Always appreciated by cache owners and we are all in this together.

  • Jenny Hill

    In addition to extra log sheets, I carry extra Zip-lock bags to replace old ones that have gotten wet.

  • Jason Foster

    Do NOT leave your own cache if you didn’t find the original. AKA a “throw-down”. I certainly appreciate the community’s support but all too often the original is there and now the cachers after the throw down are not finding the well hidden one I worked hard on and the replacement container is just a simple box/pill bottle.

  • Lizzy

    Do not own more caches than you can maintain. Do check on your cache if someone logs a DNF or other problem. Do get permission before placing your cache. Do respond to emails from seekers asking questions about your cache.

  • MsMandi

    I agree with this, except in cases where the CO hasn’t checked in on site in months, and/or has ignored maintenance logs and requests to check on cache.

  • WrongWayRel

    Does it bother people when geocachers post a photo of them with the cache along with the log? I like the idea of having a new photo at each site I explore, but am worried to post a spoiler. In my opinion, I wouldn’t open any log photos before finding the cache especially if people labeled them “spoiler photo- do not view”.

    The reason for looking that far into it rather than just making my own album on my computer is because I like the idea of linking my photos to my personal logging experiences. Unfortunately, that means the photos are available to anyone who clicks on them and it kind of ruins the game if people choose to look.

  • Sláinte

    What is the etiquette for replacing full logs? Do you leave the original for the owner to retrieve?

  • JaBo

    I just started geocaching with my family (wife, 6 year old daughter, and 2 year old daughter) and we’ve looked at photos on a couple, especially because we’re still figuring out all the details, like what can be the container and how sneaky do some of them get (like we found one hidden in pipe with a screw on lid that looked like a city service thing that I normally would leave alone). So the pictures have helped to at least show us a little insight. However, they’ve definitely hindered us too by showing a site unrelated to the hiding location. We ended up checking the wrong side of a street for 10 minutes because we thought it must be by the background of the picture.