The United States Geological Survey has created the defacto standard for maps for the bush. Everyone who has ever set foot outside city limits, or have actually taken a vehicle off-road is either familiar with these maps, or should be. These maps are commonly known as quad maps.
Many people have emailed me with questions about quad maps. A quad map isn't the same as a topo map, but if you look up the area where you are planning a cache in on a site like topozone.com, it does give the quad name for the area. At topozone.com you go to "view maps" near the upper right corner. Lets say I wanted to place a cache in Laytonville, CA. I put that in the appropriate blanks, and I know it is in Mendocino county, so I fill that in too. Up pops the link to Laytonville, and I click on it, and it says "Laytonville quad" right up at the top of the map. Next, I go to the home page at geocaching.com. In the upper right I go to "search by state" and put in California. When the cache map for California comes up, there is a link at the top that says "map". I click on it and a map of the caches in the state comes up. I zoom it down to the Laytonville area, and I notice there are no caches at all in the area, so I am free to place a regular sized cache in an appropriate place there. When I get it approved I double-check all nearby caches and see that there are none within a radius of 2.5 miles, so I can now log my find for Fill in the Blanks.
Most quad maps are named for the major geographical feature contained on that particular map. For example in Idaho there is one called Crater Rings which as you would expect has a geographical feature named 'Crater Rings'.
The goal of this locationless cache is to find the geographical feature the quad map is named after. Once you have found it, you must place a traditional, regular sized cache there, get it approved, then post the coordinates and a link to the cache here as you log your find.
As always there has to be rules:
How to claim your find:
1) If the quad has any other caches placed in the namesake spot, it's not a valid find. We are looking for virgin territory. As a general rule, there should be no other caches within its quad or about 2.5 miles away from the next cache.
2) Quad maps named after a city are allowed only if there are no other caches within the city limits. These will be mostly small towns.
NOTE NEW REQUIREMENT
3) On or after 8/15/05, at least part of the name of the quad or a dirivitive of the quad name must be included in the cache name. In other countries where the quads are not named, this does not apply.
4) Caches must be regular-sized or large trading caches. No micro caches unless there is sufficient reason why a regular-sized cache cannot be placed (email me first). Multi-caches and Mystery caches are fine as long as they lead to a regular-sized cache. In the case of a multi-cache, the final location of the cache is what counts.
5) Geocachers may find this cache more than once, if they find another new quad and place a new traditional, regular-sized cache.
6) You must get your traditional cache approved. This means you are responsible for getting permission, etc. for your cache just as you normally would.
7) Where a town and a geographical feature and quad map all share a name, then both the town and the geographical feature are open. Twin Falls, Idaho is an example the town and quad map are named after Twin Falls on the Snake River.
8) Geographical features where you can't set a traditional cache are disqualified. Craters of the Moon in Idaho is NPS land. No traditional geocaches are allowed and so it's disqualified. Other areas may be on private property etc. that prevent a traditional geocache from being placed. That's all part of the challenge.
9) The approval date for your cache has to be newer than September 1, 2005. This date will be updated every so often. The idea is for new caches to be placed.
Do your research and find an unclaimed geograhpical feature worthy of a traditional geocache. Then place the traditional cache. Next get the cache approved. Once it's approved place the coordinates and a link to the cache in your log for this cache.
That's it. No need for a mug shot. You have created a place worthy of a traditional cache. So worthy that it is in fact a sanctioned traditonal cache and will soon be enjoyed by those of us who like to get out and see places we have never been. Hopefully this will help spread enjoyment of the sport.
To confirm the location in Canada, the Map segment submited needs to be listed with the government's NTS Map System. A list of NTS locations is avaliable at Canadian NTS maps. To claim a Canadian cache, In addition to the normal caches rules for this locationless, you need to submit the NTS map segment number, the location name, and the province(i.e. NTS#043G08 - Ekwan Point - Ontario) Some NTS numbers have no name, those are not allowed. if there is no NTS number, then the claim will be deleted. Some NTS quads are actually smaller parts of larger ones, those are usually named "PART OF 000X00" or some such thing, those NTS maps are not permitted as they are already parts of the listed map they are a part of. Canada questions should be directed to your Canadian host;FunkyNassau.
*Note: some of the cache rules have been changed, so the older caches may not reflect this, but the same basic concept concieved by Renegade Knight is still there.