9 Tips for responsible cache maintenance

Dear cache owner,

You hid me under this rock next to this waterfall two months ago. It’s a beautiful spot. I enjoy it very much. But now, after 25 finds, a rainstorm, and an encounter with a moose, my logbook is full, my trackables are damp, and I’m 15 feet away from where I should be. Help!

Your Cache

Sound familiar? Probably not, unless your cache has learned to communicate! Whether you’re a seasoned cache owner or about to hide your first cache, remember that maintaining your geocache is an essential part of cache ownership. Poorly maintained caches aren’t fun for anyone to find, and they risk being archived.

Luckily, we’ve made it easy for you to learn the art of geocache maintenance. Follow these 9 tips and your geocache will be thanking you for days. (Or it would, if cache-to-human communication were advancing a little faster.)

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Letterbox-Peru: Salkantay Pass — Geocache of the Week

by enaus
Salkantay Mountain, Peru
S 13° 20.816 W 072° 33.756

Find this D4 / T4.5 Geocache of the Week and you might think a terrain rating of 10 is more appropriate.

En route to Abra Salkantay (Salkantay Pass).

The cache has been hidden under the shadow of Salkantay Mountain in the Cusco region of Peru since 2012. It’s placed at the highest point of the popular Salkantay Trek, a route to Machu Picchu that winds 74 kilometers through stunning landscapes, from the alpine lakes of the Peruvian Andes to the tropical cloud forests below.

Just after ascending Salkantay Pass, climbers encounter this crystal blue alpine lake. Only the brave dare to dip their toes in its frigid waters.

Salkantay Pass, where the cache is hidden, is reached on the second day of the trek. The climb to the top of the pass usually starts before 4am, and only after 4-6 hours of strenuous high-altitude climbing is the pass reached.

Unceasing gusts of wind chase snow off the tip of Salkantay Mountain.

The reward is a spectacular view of Salkantay Mountain, a victory photo under the only man-made structure at the top, and this carefully hidden and well-preserved Letterbox-Hybrid cache.

The truly challenging hike through Salkantay pass would not be complete without a photo under the sign, and a name in the logbook.

The cache was placed by geocaching team enaus during their hike through the pass. It’s maintained by a local Salkantay trek guide named Manuel.

Cairns are scattered all along the Salkantay route. Some of them are tributes to Pachamama, the Quechua term for mother earth.

Having done the hike themselves, the cache owners know exactly how tough it is to make it to the top. “But what you don’t know at this point,” they add, “is that the amazing journey is just begun. The hike down through 1.5km in altitude in just a few hours leads through several different landscape and climate zones. In the morning hours at the top there is gravel and ice and later the day you can see coffee, papaya, avocado growing at the edge of the road. Amazing!”

Farther along the Salkantay route the climate becomes more tropical.

Continue to explore some of the most amazing geocaches around the world.
Check out all of the Geocaches of the Week on the Geocaching blog. If you would like to nominate a Geocache of the Week, fill out this form.

6 Tips for Submitting a Film to GIFF

The Geocaching International Film Festival is returning for another year of epic geocaching moments captured on camera.

If you’re a filmmaker, a geocacher, or something in between, GIFF 2017 is your chance to have your geocaching film viewed by thousands of people on movie screens all over the world. Submissions are due August 1, 2017.

But before you start filming, check out these tips all GIFF filmmakers should follow!

1. Know the rules for submission

Seriously. Read the rules. In the past we’ve had to reject films that:

  • Are longer than 4 minutes. We immediately disqualify these entries.
  • Show footage of a geocache that they either don’t have permission to spoil or that doesn’t follow all basic requirements for hiding a geocache. If you’ve received permission to show an active geocache, make a note of that in the film submission form.
  • Include footage that is not family friendly. By “family friendly” we mean: no nudity, sexually explicit or suggestive content, profanity, firearms or other weapons, racist, harassing or otherwise offensive content or content that would be inappropriate for children, such as violent or frightening content. Several times in the past, we’ve had to disqualify film entries for scenes that are too frightening for young kids.
  • Use footage, music, photos, etc. that they don’t have rights to.  Here are some free, fair-use music resources:
2. Tell a story only you can tell

There’s nothing wrong with your film being about a geocaching love story, a race to the FTF, or a geocaching montage, but be aware that we’ve seen those themes a lot in the past. After watching the finalist films from previous years, where do you find the art in geocaching? How do you make this game your own? And don’t forget that your film can be fiction or in a documentary style.

3. Make it global

Geocaching is an international game, and so is every GIFF audience. Try to show an element of the geocaching experience that people in different corners of the world can connect with. Try to find a balance between a film that is personal to you and one that others can relate to.

4. Make it visual

Show, don’t tell! Film is visual medium—you’ll have your audience hanging on tenterhooks by keeping the voiceover and dialogue short and sweet. This GIFF 2015 finalist film was able to do a lot with no dialogue at all.

5. Less is more

Just because you can submit up to 4 minutes of video doesn’t necessarily mean you should. Ask yourself, “What is the simplest way I can tell this story?” Then, add more if you can’t resist. This will help you focus on what is truly important and keep your audience engaged. 2015 GIFF finalist, Travel Bug Story, tells a sweet and simple story in under 2 minutes!

6. Focus on quality

We understand if geocaching comes before filmmaking on your hobby list—we’re not looking for Hollywood here. We are, however, looking for videos that will look and sound good on the big screen. As much as you may love your GoPro, simply wearing it around while you go geocaching usually doesn’t make for the best footage. If you can, use a tripod and an external mic. If you can’t, have your actors speak close to your on-camera mic and use a natural tripod like a tree limb or your friend’s shoulder. The 2015 finalist, The Future of Geocaching, is a great example. For more technical tips, check out Vimeo’s Video School.


Submit Your Film