3 million active geocaches? How to make your cache stand out!

Now that there are three million active geocaches hidden under rocks, atop trees, and between logs, how can you make your cache stand out? How can you hope to earn favorite points when there are three million competitors hoping for the same?

There’s no exact formula for an awesome cache, but three things are essential for a good hide: creativity, quality, and delight.

The truth is, most of the caches you find are simple, no frills lock-n-locks, ammo cans, petlings, or bisons. They’re easy to hide and quick to find. Classic, and kind of plain — like vanilla ice cream.

Sure — you probably wouldn’t turn down a bowl of vanilla ice cream if someone put it in front of you. But wouldn’t it be better if it was accompanied by a scoop of strawberry, chocolate, or cookie dough? Some sprinkles and a handful of nuts?

You get the picture. Making a creative cache container is more work, but the payoff is huge… for the hider as much as for the finder.

If you have the geocaching equivalent of writer’s block and don’t know where to start, here are some ideas:

  • Incorporate your other hobbies into making your cache container.
  • Check out Geocaching’s Instagram for inspiration.
  • Turn a drab geocache into a fab geocache like these COs.
  • Up-cycle old items from your garage into cool caches.
  • Find the top 25 most-favorited geocaches in your area and take inspiration from them.


Quality. What does it mean to have a quality cache? “Quality” is so subjective, so unspecific. What makes a quality cache?

What we mean by “quality” in geocaching:

  1. The cache container is waterproof.
  2. The contents of the cache are safe, interesting, and dry.
  3. The logbook has blank places for you to sign your name.
  4. The container is labelled as a geocache.
  5. The cache is never disabled for too long.
  6. The area around the cache is clean.


Think about the last time you gasped in surprise while finding a cache. (If this has never happened to you, we recommend finding a geocache of the week near you.) Aim to bring that moment of delight to every person who finds your cache.

For your cache to be delightful, the cache container, its contents, its disguise, or its location must bring unexpected glee to whoever finds it.

The container could have an unexpected disguise. Or be a whimsical twist on an old classic. It could be exquisitely handcrafted. Or a scene in miniature. You’re really only limited by your imagination. (Well, your imagination and the cache-hiding guidelines.)

Now that you’ve learned the three secrets to a stand out cache, share your cache ideas in the comments!

Alex is a Community Volunteer Support Coordinator at Geocaching HQ. When things get crazy, she sends in the big puns.