Answers to all of your questions about archiving a geocache

Archiving a geocache can feel like a big decision for cache owners. After all, you’ve put time and effort into selecting a location, choosing or creating a container, and maintaining it; but sometimes circumstances change and you might find yourself considering if you should archive your geocache.

While there are no exact standards for knowing when it’s the right time to archive your geocache, we’re sharing some things to consider when making the decision, plus answering some common (and not-so-common) questions about archiving geocaches.

Are there any guidelines for when I should archive my geocache?
Geocaches must remain in place for at least three months. While there are no official rules for deciding when to archive your geocache after that, here are three things to consider that may help with your decision:

  • Are you moving away or unable to care for the geocache? If yes, consider archiving the geocache so another local cacher has the opportunity to place a new cache that they can maintain regularly.
  • Would you like to archive the cache and hide a better one? If you’d still like to be a cache owner, consider archiving your cache that is there and placing an improved one, that way it provides a new experience for people again. Learn more about this below!
  • Has the environment around the location changed? If the location is no longer suitable for hosting a geocache, this may be an opportunity to archive the cache—either to protect the environment or to place a new geocache that is a better fit for the hiding spot.

How does archiving a geocache affect my geocaching statistics?
Archiving a geocache does not impact your statistics. The number of hides in your statistics represents the total number of your hides, both active and archived.

Will my Favorite point count on my Profile change if I archive my geocache?
Archiving your geocache will not change the count of Favorite points earned on your owned geocaches. That number is inclusive of all of your hides throughout your cache-owner lifetime. Geocachers can still add or remove Favorite points after a geocache is archived, so the count may change as a result of that, but not as a result of archiving the geocache.

I want to archive one of my existing geocaches so I can replace it with an improved experience. How should I do that?
Archiving a past geocache and placing something even better is one way to refresh the gameboard and share a new experience with geocachers. First, you should make sure your original cache has been in place for at least three months. Then you should make sure you have a new container and cache page ready before archiving the first cache. Remember, try to create a new experience rather than archive the cache and replace it with the same one.

What should I do after my cache is archived?
The only actual thing that gets archived is the geocache details page. It’s your responsibility as the cache owner to prevent “geo-litter” by retrieving your geocache from its hiding location and disposing of it properly.

What should I do if I receive a Needs Archived log on my geocache?
When a Needs Archived log is posted, both the cache owner and local reviewer get notified. The cache will not be archived automatically, but you may receive a message from the reviewer. The Needs Archived log type should only be used if reviewer attention is needed, but if you are still an active geocacher and responsive to the reviewer, it should be easy to resolve the log and keep your geocache available for others to find. Geocachers should use the Needs Maintenance log type when a cache owner’s attention is requested.

As our official Year of the Hide comes to a close and we look ahead to 2023, consider how you can make next year your year of the hide and provide compelling and creative experiences for geocachers around the world. What type of cache container would you love to place? Share your ideas below!

Geocaching HQ is where the tools for your geocaching adventures are created and maintained. Founded in 2000, we are dedicated to inspiring and enabling adventure, exploration, and community through a unique combination of outdoor recreation and location-based technology.