Historically, Basic members have always had full access to the worldwide database of geocache listings (excluding Premium-only caches) on Geocaching.com. This was true when we launched the site in 2000 and remains true today.
Now, more than ever, new and experienced players are using mobile devices as their primary tool for geocaching. As our co-founder and President Bryan Roth stated in a recent episode of our Inside Geocaching HQ podcast, we’re committed to exploring alternatives that allow all members to access more geocache listings using our mobile apps while maintaining a sustainable business model.
With that goal in mind, we are initiating some regional tests where Basic members residing in Canada and New Zealand can now use the Geocaching® app to access all caches, regardless of difficulty or terrain rating, or cache type (excluding Premium-only caches). We hope to learn how these changes will impact the community’s adoption of Premium membership.
If Premium membership subscriptions are negatively impacted by these changes, it would reduce our ability to support the community and global game going forward. Smaller, regional tests provide the opportunity for us to adjust our approach until we find the best solution for the global community.
The support of Premium members makes it possible for Geocaching HQ to remain a strong independent organization committed to supporting the needs of the global geocaching community. We’re always looking for the right balance between open access to the game and maintaining the financial support necessary to manage and host the worldwide database of cache listings, in addition to new feature development, API access, and our mobile applications.
We hope you will consider becoming a Premium member, if you have not already. If you are a Premium member, we thank you! Your support is critical to the success of this testing and our ongoing efforts to support the game.
These are the first of what could be a series of tests. We’re not sure exactly how long the testing will last, but we are committed to long term positive results. Thank you for your patience and support while we work to find the best solution for the community, the game, and Geocaching HQ.