Tips on Geocache Hints



Sometimes geocaching hints create a confusing chorus that doesn’t lead anyone closer to the actual geocache. “Hints” like, “It’s in the obvious place” or “Yes, it’s really there” or “You don’t really need a hint” lead to a little confusion and a lot of shoulder shrugging. The hint shouldn’t spoil the exact location of the geocache, but be should be used as a good clue as to where it can be found. If you’re a geocache hider, consider a clue that would help someone who’s finding their first geocache step closer to the container.

The hint can still be clever and require geocachers to think about their surroundings. If you’re new to geocaching, or even a seasoned pro, sometimes the hint takes a little decoding. Here’s some help:

Tie Your Shoe = Bend down and look at a lower level
Attractive = Magnetic geocache
Troll = Under a bridge
SPOR/UPR = Suspicious Pile of Rocks/Unusual Pile of Rocks
Handyman Special = Magnetic bolt


Do you still have more questions about hints? We’ve got you covered. Another great destination to decipher and share your favorite hints is the Geocaching Facebook page.  Inspire a geocache owner, leave your favorite tips on hints below in comments!


Geocaching in Harmony with Nature (Part 1)

6 Tips for Hiding an Environmentally Friendly Geocache


That’s just… cute

The sun weaves its warm beams through the thick growth of the forest. The birds are singing a familiar tune  and in the distance you hear the careful footsteps of a deer. The geocache you are looking for is only a few feet away. Your geosense is heightened, you take a deep breath inhaling the calming perfume of the forest and look around. You spot a small stack of unnaturally parallel branches and…sure enough, the geocache you were looking for is right underneath!

“Aww”, you say, “I love nature!” Guess what: so do we. And what’s the best way to give that love to Mother Earth? Hide an environmentally-friendly geocache.

To help you out, we put together a list of our top tips and tricks for nature-nice geocaches:

  • Think before you hide. If you’re hiding a geocache in the forest or a park  make sure to get permission from land management first. They will be able to let you know if there are special rules or regulations in the area and if there is wildlife you could be disturbing. Pro-tip: To give park and land managers a better understanding of what to expect, check out nearby geocaches and calculate the number of geocache logs per month. That way they can decide if the number of additional visitors each month is sustainable.

  • Have a comprehensive geocache details page. A good description can help fellow geocachers do the right thing. Let them know what they are looking for and what they need to bring. Parking coordinates for the trailhead or specific local policies are important information to put on the details page as well. If you are hiding in a sensitive area, you don’t want geocachers to turn over every stone and create countless “geotrails”. Prevent this from happening by choosing the appropriate ratings for difficulty and terrain, and come up with a good hint.

Be considerate when hiding – for a moment like this!
  • Place the geocache carefully. When looking for the perfect hiding place for your geocache, be sure to pick a spot that doesn’t disturb what’s already there. That means no digging, chopping, cutting, burrowing, etc…  Another good idea is to place your geocache near an existing trail and add a waypoint for the coordinates of the trailhead, so cachers won’t approach the cache from the wrong side and have to bushwhack.

  • Choose an appropriate geocache container. Your geocache container should be waterproof, tough, scentless and of appropriate size. Searching for a micro in the woods with heavy tree coverage and spotty reception can lead to a fruitless search and disturbed wilderness. Food or scented trade items (for example candles or air fresheners) can attract animals that might chew up the container and possibly get sick. If your geocache is attached to something, don’t put any permanent fasteners (screws, nails, etc.) into any trees or shrubs, regardless if they’re dead or alive.

Some geocachers are tree-huggers.
  • Work with your geocaching community volunteer. Give your geocaching community volunteer reviewer as much information as you can about the location and placement of the geocache. They have substantial experience and will know if the placement or attachment of a geocache could cause potential problems for plants and wildlife.

  • Don’t leave Cache-Trash. It happens: you move away or you just do not have the time to maintain your geocache anymore. Before you archive it, ask around. Maybe one of your fellow geocachers wants to adopt the geocache. (Go here to learn how to adopt a geocache.) If you have to archive the geocache after all, be sure to remove your geocache container from its hiding spot.

Do you feel ready to get outside and explore nature? We hope that these tips will help to make you nature’s best friend when you hide your next geocache. But this is not all you can do to be an environmentally friendly geocacher. Next time we will give you tips on “How to find a geocache in an environmentally friendly way.” But you might already know…

Write your best tips for environmentally savvy finding in the comments below.

Here are our 6 best tips for Finding a Geocache in an Environmentally Friendly Way.


TattooBarbie Discovers Geocaching

After attending Geocoinfest 2013: Las Vegas, Nevada, TattooBarbie and her friend cybercat completed the El Dorado series. They had so much fun they decided to also do the Route 66 series!

This is the story of a woman with Asperger’s, who became a geocacher with Asperger’s. It’s not about conquering a disorder or beating an affliction. It’s about something more. It’s about the most human of all conditions: adaptation. It’s a condition geocachers are known to excel at, and Toni Brown first discovered that at work.

In many ways, Toni (Username: TattooBarbie) is a geocacher like many others: adventurous, fun, and outgoing. But this has not always been the case.

Long before she discovered geocaching, Toni was diagnosed with Asperger Syndrome.  She says, “With Asperger Syndrome, it’s sort of a problem with your social life. You just don’t fit in. You don’t understand people and people don’t understand you. That has led me to have a rather secluded life.” Like many others with Asperger’s, Toni found it difficult to meet new friends and to get outside.

Then, one fateful work retreat, she found a way to do both. Toni works for the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department (TPWD). TPWD uses geocaching as an educational tool for its Outdoor Family Program, and so the department decided that it would be a good idea for TPWD employees to test out geocaching during its annual retreat. For Toni, this activity turned out to be more than fun – it turned her life upside down (sometimes literally).

“Geocaching changed my life…I finally fit in somewhere. I’ve even hosted events when I travel out of town just to meet other geocachers.  This activity is so much fun that no matter where you go you can meet perfect strangers and share a common bond.”  With nearly 10,000 finds and 200 hides, Toni now spends a lot of time outside exploring. Her geocaching dream is to travel to Brazil to find the last remaining Project APE geocache. She also would like to find the International Space Station geocache, but concedes that “Brazil is [more] doable.”

telephone pole
Toni climbs out of her comfort zone (and ours!).
TattooBarbie’s trackable treasure chest tattoo.

Toni has been hooked on geocaching ever since that first experience at the TPWD retreat. Don’t believe us? Check out her rad trackable tattoo, featured in the video below. It’s in the shape of a treasure chest, which she thinks is the perfect representation of what geocaching is all about.

We think that Toni herself is the perfect representation of what geocaching is all about. She has used geocaching as a tool to step outside her comfort zone, to explore new places, and to surround herself with a wonderful community of folks united by their shared love of this crazy thing we call…well…geocaching.

Has geocaching helped you to overcome a challenge or step outside of your comfort zone? Tell us your story in the comments below.

Watch the video below (created by TPWD) to learn more about how geocaching helped Toni overcome the challenges associated with Asperger Syndrome:




Geocaching HQ – The Land of Extreme Coincidence

Lindsey (flossinmatoof), Larry (apawinmyface), and Ciaran (Goldencircle)
Lindsey (flossinmatoof), Larry (apawinmyface), and Ciaran (Goldencircle)

This story begins with some high expectations. A chance meeting would lead to the statement, “Visiting HQ is something I’ve wanted to do for quite a long time, and as it turns out, the experience was crazier than I could have ever imagined.”

It all started on a typical Friday in the Seattle lobby of Geocaching HQ. We see the world come together in 500 square feet of solid, wall to wall, Geocaching . There’s a treasure chest, logbook and usually hundreds of Trackables coming and going. It’s Geocaching HQ after all. You hear languages like German and Portuguese spoken along side English and Spanish. People around the world find themselves visiting for an hour or so and meeting new friends. Rarely, extremely rarely- and let me not under sell this – maybe once or twice a decade, geocachers randomly stumble upon an old friend from another part of the world in our lobby.

Ireland Event Cache 'Toof & Paw's Jetlag Beater"
Ireland Event Cache ‘Toof & Paw’s Jetlag Beater”

And it just happened again. As most stories like this do, this one begins with a Puzzle Cache in Ireland. Larry, username APawInMyFace, and Lindsey, username Flossinmatoof visited Ireland in August. Larry contacted Ciaran, username GoldCircle, for help on a Puzzle Cache. Well, you know, so many email flew across the Atlantic between the America and Ireland that an Event Cache was planned.

More than a dozen people welcomed the out-of-town guests from America. Ciaran and the American couple went their separate ways. Most stories end there. They might never have seen each other again, except for an intervening photo booth in the Geocaching HQ lobby.

Larry and Lindsay were visiting Geocaching HQ from Miami. Larry and Lindsay were visiting friends in Seattle that Larry hasn’t seen in three years. They’d just finish taking pictures in the Geocaching HQ photo booth. Larry placed the strip of photos in our scrapbook. He noticed a familiar face. That guy looked like Cairan, aka GoldCircle. It was GoldCirle. But he wasn’t at HQ.

Carly at the Geocaching HQ front desk, told Larry Cairan would be back in a few minutes. If that one connection would be missed, if a page would have been flipped in our scrapebook, if Larry visited from Miami one week later…. well, you get the idea. It. Was. Close. It was also significant. Cairan just happened to be in Seattle for business.

Photobooth pics reveal a startling discovery!
Photobooth pics reveal a startling discovery!

Geocaching HQ was Cairan’s 1000th find. Can you guess what Larry gave Cairan as a thank you gift for hosting the Event Cache in Ireland? Yeah – a 1000th Find Geocoin.

Larry says they could have never planned this meeting if they tried. Wow right?

That word, “wow” gets said a lot in the Geocaching HQ lobby. People meeting friends they’ve connected with a world away. Some reacquainted themselves with long lost Travel Bugs that ended up in the Geocaching HQ Treasure chest.

Larry wrote in the Geocaching HQ log, ” The ways in which the geocaching community can make our enormous world feel so small are indescribable, yet somehow, rarely surprising. Thank you for the truly unforgettable day and for the wonderful memories that we formed both in and around HQ.” Lindsey wrote in her log, “The world is an incredible place.” She’s right.

Geocaching HQ Lobby (the photo booth is in the corner)
Geocaching HQ Lobby (the photo booth is in the corner)

That’s the thing about geocaching…  you’re always welcome. Whether that’s at a geocache, at an Event Cache or at Geocaching HQ, you never know who you might bump into.

The question now might be where in the world will Larry, Lindsey and Ciaran connect again?  We have a guess. The might randomly bump into each other while claiming the First to Find at this geocache.

What’s the strangest coincidence you’ve encountered geocaching? Tell us about it in comments below.




DIY: How to Hide like You’ve Never Hidden Before

weekly mailer blog geocache hideDid you see that out-of-this-world geocache or maybe you’ve heard whispers of it in geocaching lore? It’s the geocache with King Arthur’s sword in a stone, that geocache placed at the scene of a Hollywood train wreck, or maybe it’s even a birdhouse that houses no birds or something else that’s magical, ingenious and never-before-seen in the history of the geocaching galaxy. Yeah, wow. So you’ve heard of it?

A quality hide inspires and invites other geocachers to flex their geocaching creativity. There are ways for you to find the best of the best and ways to get inspired to create amazing geocaches. Use Favorite Points to find the geocaches that made your fellow adventurers’ jaws drop when they found it and follow the Geocache of the Week on our blog. Check out the Geocacher of the Month to see innovators in the geocaching world. Many of these all-stars have geocaches that have hundreds or even thousands of Favorite Points. The Geocaching YouTube channel offers a whole video series dedicated to Creative Geocaches.

There’s one stop you should make before locking yourself in the garage to craft the perfect geocache hide. Check out Advice to Geocache Hiders from Law Enforcement. Then you’ll be ready! Join us on the Geocaching Facebook page to talk creative geocaches and show off your geocaching wonders to the world.