Geocaching on the water

Paddle your way to a T5 geocache

After attending the MOGA 2014 Mega-Event in Ohio, my wife and I were driving through Kentucky on our way home. I opened the Geocaching® app to search for caches along our route when I caught sight of a ton of T5 caches. I mean a boatload of them (pun intended because they were the kind that required a boat to find). They were on creeks, rivers, and lakes. So many of them! I’d never seen anything like it. Alas, I had no boat. No kayak. No canoe. No watercraft of any kind.

I pondered the boat idea upon returning home. Impulsive as I may be when it comes to geocaching, I know enough not to immediately drop hundreds or thousands of dollars on a watercraft. So, I dipped my toe into water caching by tagging along on a lake outing with a friend who owns an extra hardshell kayak. I loved it. Still, I wasn’t quite ready to make a huge investment. Instead, I purchased an inflatable kayak for around $75.

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Updated Geocache Hiding Guidelines

Today, Geocaching HQ is releasing updated guidelines for hiding caches. The main goal of the update is to make the Geocache Hiding Guidelines easier to read and understand. Here is what we have done to achieve that goal:

  • Improved guideline layout
  • Made text more clear
  • Reduced number of words by 15%
  • Moved supporting material to Help Center
  • Added some changes or clarifications to specific guidelines (see below)

In addition to the text updates, the page got a face lift, including better navigation! Read the new guidelines.

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Introducing Virtual Rewards!

Based on feedback we have received about Virtual Rewards, Geocaching HQ has decided to update the blog post with a new statement, found at the end of the post.

Geocaching HQ is thrilled to announce the release of Virtual Rewards, a project to reward some of geocaching’s great contributors, while also introducing a limited number of new Virtual Caches for the enjoyment of the entire geocaching community.

Starting today, approximately 4,000 geocachers in 63 countries around the world will receive emails with information about their Virtual Reward. This group is made up largely of top quality cache hiders from countries with at least 100 hiders. We created an algorithm to identify these people based on overall cache quality and cache health. Active community volunteers are also receiving a Virtual Reward as a thank you for giving their time and talent to support the geocaching community.

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And the winner is…

The geocaching community has spoken. The Mission 9: Tunnel of Light APE cache will be returned to its original location and restored to active APE cache status. Once reactivated, the cache will be loggable throughout the year.

We will reactivate the APE cache on August 19, 2017, the date of the Going Ape 2017 Mega-Event at Washington’s Iron Horse State Park.

More than 10,000 geocachers helped make this decision. (Read the February 20th blog for more about the ballot choices.) Here are the results:

61% — Return and Reactivate

17% — Activate Once A Year

13% — Display at Geocaching HQ

9% — Traveling Artifact

Geocaching HQ’s Bryan Roth and Jon Stanley examine the recovered APE cache container at HQ in October 2016.

Many of you argued passionately on all sides of this issue. In the end, the consensus from the community was clear.

We understand people around the world are eager for more details. In the coming weeks, Geocaching HQ will work closely with the Washington State Geocaching Association (organizer of the Going Ape Mega-Event) and we will keep you updated as plans are made.

Thanks to everyone who took part in the process. From the Seattle-area cachers who rediscovered the long lost APE cache to the thousands who helped write its next chapter!

(Anyone wishing to visit Geocaching HQ around the time of the Going Ape event should see our Schedule A Visit page. It’s always a busy time, so there is a ticketing system in place during August 14 to September 8.)

Jon Stanley (aka Moun10Bike) at the hiding of the Mission 9: Tunnel of Light cache in 2001.
Several members of team who discovered the long-lost APE cache. At Geocaching HQ in October 2016.