Extreme Maintainers: Geocaching Edition

Any cache owner knows that owning a cache requires a lot of maintenance. This might include carrying a maintenance kit when going caching, having a regular “cache maintenance schedule,” or something totally unique to you!

We asked geocachers how they go above and beyond for cache maintenance. Here are some of their inspiring responses:

As soon as I can after a “Needs Maintenance” log I go, and always take everything I might possibly need to maintain any other caches in the area, just in case.

-Dams Gingreau Leconte

I’ve typically got 3 levels of maintenance packs going around with me… 

Level 1: The mobile supply – In the geomobile, a case or bags with the larger quantity of geocache materials – logsheets, baggies, a variety of cache containers and sizes (sometimes an ammo can or two), camo tape, writing utensils, attachment accessories, general swag.  Additionally, big-ticket cache-accessing TOTTs (ladder, chest waders, etc), of course!

Level 2: The day pack – For when I’m not at the geomobile for a good amount of time, and just for general quicker access – my backpack contains a handful of each of the above.  A ziplock of logsheets or pads, scissors, multitool, a handful of writing utensils, a larger bag of bag varieties, zip ties, a few bison tubes and other smaller containers. Additionally, cache-retrieving TOTTs (retractable stick, magnets, batteries, etc), of course! And camera and other fun equipment.

Level 3: The on-hand supply – For when I know there’s a maintenance issue, or I’m on a quick, casual geocaching run, only the essentials – a small sack or sling, or sometimes my larger jacket inside pocket will suffice. A prepared container or two, travel bugs on hand, a pen or two, a couple of twist ties, maybe a bit of swag. Additionally, a few common log retrieval TOTTs (tweezers, screwdriver, etc), of course!

-thebruce0

When something does go wrong, I look for the underlying cause and try to come up with a solution that will prevent it from happening again. I had a plastic container that got washed away in a flood so I replaced it with a heavy steel box further weighed down with a couple of large fishing sinkers epoxied into the bottom so it isn’t buoyant even if fully submerged.

-barefootjeff
barefootjeff’s reinforced cache. 

I read each log or Write Note. I will check any DNF, change the logbook as soon as it is wet or full. Then, I’ll come by for a check-up if the cache hasn’t had a visit for a long time. An arduous Mystery without a visit is normal, but a Traditional in a busy place without a visit for three months deserves a check. All my caches are around my home or work, so I am immediately available without it affecting my daily life.

-Ipln Géocaching

A simple tool I use to help with routine visit scheduling is a Word document listing each cache and the date of my last visit, sorted in order of date. Whenever I visit a cache, I move its entry to the top of the list so I can easily see which caches might be due for a check.

-barefootjeff
barefootjeff’s personal maintenance logs.

I only hide as much as I can reasonably take care in a timely fashion.

-l0ne.r

What are some ways that you, or someone you know, go above and beyond for cache maintenance?

Sarah
Sarah is a French-speaking Community Coordinator at Geocaching HQ. She likes cats and musicals, but only separately. In her spare time you can find her knitting, snuggling her cat, and waiting impatiently for the next season of Cosmos.