(Cough Cough) Hello class, and welcome to a quick installment of the 4 most Common Geocache Hiding Mistakes. Why read on? It’s like knowing the four common routes where there’s a bridge out, or heavy road construction, or a locust migration. These are all mistakes a new hider doesn’t have to make. Let’s learn together and if at any point you’d like to know more, check out the Hiding Overview for all you need to know.
Here are the four guidelines that potential cache owners most commonly overlook:
1) Choose an Appropriate Location
Think like a non-geocacher and ask yourself, “Self, am I placing this geocache somewhere where it could be mistaken for something dangerous?” Also ask yourself if geocache hunting behavior (i.e. looking through bushes) might draw attention in sensitive areas, like schools. And make sure you know whether or not geocaches are allowed in that location. Some areas require a permit, are private property, or don’t allow geocaching altogether. Ask a land manager or owner for permission when needed.
2) Consider Proximity to Other Geocaches
Geocaches must be at least 1/10 mile or 528 feet (161 meters) apart. Check the area for other geocaches before settling on a spot. There’s a great new planning map tool to help you, with red circles showing places that are already blocked by another geocache. It won’t tell you about secret locations, but it will catch a lot of the locations that have already been taken.
3) Avoid Commercialization/Agendas
Geocaches cannot be commercial or used to publicize an agenda. Sometimes people get tripped up by the commercial guideline unintentionally. There are lots of platforms that you can use to get the word out about your important cause or a business that you really (really) like, but geocaches are not an appropriate platform for that.
4) Don’t Damage Property
Telephone poles and stop signs seem like they are public property because they are so familiar, but they are the property of the city or utility company. Don’t damage things in the environment. Screwing or drilling into a live tree creates an pathway for insects and disease. Never bury a geocache, even partway. If you have to make a hole in the ground, it’s not OK.
Follow these four tips and you’ll avoid many of the common hurdles geocache hiders face. And while this is the end of this blog post, it’s not the end of what you need to know. Check out the Hiding Overview before placing a geocache and avoid these pitfalls and create smiles like the one below!