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Hide a cache

Members of the geocaching community hide and maintain all of the geocaches listed on Geocaching.com. You can hide one too!

1. Follow the guidelines

1.1. Is my idea publishable?

Geocaching HQ and community volunteer reviewers cannot tell you before you submit your cache page for review whether it will be published.

If you need advice about the guidelines or want to know if a location is available, follow these steps:

  1. Create a new cache page.
    If you want information about a location, choose a title like "Coordinate Check".
  2. Add waypoints.
    If you are asking about more than one location, choose a cache type that allows physical waypoints, like Multi-Caches, and add locations as Physical Stages. You can later change the cache type back to Traditional if need be.
  3. Add a Reviewer Note.
    State that your cache is not in place and which questions you have.
    For example, “Do not publish, this is a coordinate check."
  4. Submit the cache page for review.

Your local volunteer reviewer will let you know what changes - if any - you need to make to your cache page before publication.

1.2. Check for minimum distance

New geocaches must be at least 0.1 miles (528 feet or 161 meters) from the physical elements of other caches. To check for minimum distance between geocaches (also called "saturation"), follow the steps below.

Search for nearby geocaches

In the real world

Before you place a new geocache, go geocaching at your proposed location. Check for nearby caches on your GPS or in the Geocaching® mobile app. If you see caches within 0.1 miles, the location is probably not available.

Tip: You may want to look within .12 miles of your chosen location to allow for GPS error.

Solve nearby geocaches, including Mystery and Multi-Caches, to discover hidden stages. If you see a Mystery Cache with posted (bogus) coordinates within 2 miles of your proposed location, its final stage may be nearby. Many Multi-Caches also start and finish in the same area.

On the website

Use the planning map or search feature to check if your proposed coordinates are near the known coordinates of another cache. If you see physical geocaches within 0.1 miles, the location is probably not available. For more information, see the planning map help page.

Some Multi-Caches start with virtual stages. You may be able to place a geocache near these stages. Ask a community volunteer reviewer to confirm.

Ask a reviewer to check coordinates

If you’re still unsure if your location is available, ask a local reviewer to confirm.

Tip: It’s a good idea to do this before you place your geocache.

  1. Create a cache page with a title like "Coordinate Check".
  2. Add locations as waypoints if you'd like the reviewer to check more than one location. This is similar to adding stages for a Multi-Cache.
  3. Add a Reviewer Note to make sure that the reviewer does not publish the cache page. For example, “Do not publish, this is a coordinate check."
  4. Submit your cache page for review and wait for your reviewer to reply.

Many thanks to Volunteer Geocache Reviewer palmetto for initially developing this article.

1.3. Geocache planning map

What’s on the map?

The planning map shows all visible physical locations for existing geocaches. This includes visible final locations and stages.

New geocaches must be at least 0.1 miles (528 feet or 161 meters) from the physical elements of other caches. Areas that are occupied are marked on the map with a red circle.

What’s not on the map?

A location may be unavailable, even if it looks available on the planning map. The map does not show hidden waypoints, unpublished caches, or off-limit areas. When in doubt, ask your reviewer for a coordinate check before you submit your cache.

Hidden waypoints

Hidden waypoints include stages and final locations of mystery and multi-caches. You have to solve for these locations, so we don’t reveal them on the map.

Unpublished caches

Unpublished caches are pending review and may conflict with your proposed location. If another cache owner has already proposed the location, their cache page usually takes priority.

Off-limit areas

We don’t show these on the map because they’re always changing. Reviewers constantly work with land managers to update off-limit areas or establish permission processes.

Off-limit areas include

Overlapping circles

Red circle overlap

Sometimes red circles on the map overlap. The physical waypoints (WP) at the center are still more than 0.1 mi (161 m / 528 ft) away from each other.

1.4. Commercial guidelines explained

This page helps clarify two sections of the geocache hiding guidelines:

Check your geocache against the examples below. Pop culture references are usually okay, but commercial content is not.

Okay Examples
A geocache based on a product that is part of a generation's upbringing, or is considered a "classic". Mozart
The Rolling Stones
Gone with the Wind
A geocache based on characters or scenes from books or movies. Princess Jasmine
Middle Earth
Ebenezer Scrooge
A geocache based on facts. "The Fellowship of the Ring was published in 1954."
"The NFL has 32 football teams."
Official logos of geocaching or affiliated organizations.  Texas geocaching association logo
Not okay Examples
Overtones of advertising, marketing, or promotion. "LOTR is the best book series ever!"
"Support the Seahawks football team!"
"Geocachers love McDonald’s cheeseburgers."
Suggestions or requirements to enter a business, interact with employees, or buy a product or service. "Buy the movie Aladdin to find the cache!"
"Go to Cafe Bella and ask for Amy."
"Celebrate with a cheeseburger at McDonalds!"
Links to businesses, agencies, commercial advertisers, or charities. "Learn more on the American Cancer Society website."
"Check out this political party at _.org."
"To find a cache, go to this online shop _.com."
Logos or mottos of businesses or organizations, including nonprofit organizations. "Home of the Whopper"
"No One Fights Alone"
"Got Milk?"
Names or euphemisms of businesses or commercial products. "The cache is across the street from Mac's Beef House."
"I bought the cache container at REI."

1.5. Agenda guideline explained

Geocaching is intended to be a fun, family-friendly game, not a platform for an agenda. Therefore, cache pages should not promote an agenda or highlight a cause. In geocaching, an agenda is content that highlights a cause, promotes a cache owner's personal opinion or hidden intention.

Agendas can be

Okay Examples
Link to or mentions of your local geocaching organization. This cache was nominated for Cache of the Month by the WSGA.
Find France Geocaching on Facebook.
Visit the website of Geocachers of Victoria to find out about local geocaching events

Not okay Examples
The cache page tells you how to think or feel. Never forget this moment in history.
Be sad for the victims of a tragedy.
Rejoice that the enemy was defeated.
The cache page tells or asks you to do something. Donate to our cause.
Say a prayer.
Pay your respects.
The cache page contains information to raise awareness about a disease or social cause. Many suffer from XXX social issue.
Click on this link to find out more about YYY organization that works to cure it.
This person suffered from ZZZ horrible disease, and here are all the details.
The cache page contains information to raise awareness about a religion, organization, club, etc. We attend this church and like how the pastor is not judgmental.
This is a great organization for children.
Join Neighborhood Watch to make your neighborhood safer.
The cache page requires or encourages finders to place caches
The First to Find (FTF) must place another cache to continue this series.
If you enjoyed finding this cache, place one yourself.

Agenda or commercial?

The line between commercial content or agenda can be blurry. If you are unsure if your cache description meets the guidelines, check with your local community volunteer reviewer.

1.6. Environmentally friendly geocaching

These tips will help you protect the environment while geocaching in the great outdoors! To learn more about our environmental initiative, check out Cache In Trash Out®.

Tips for cache owners

Get permission from land managers

Check nearby geocaches and calculate the number of logs per month. This helps managers decide if additional visitors are sustainable for the environment.

Create a comprehensive cache page

Choose appropriate ratings for difficulty and terrain, and include a good hint. This helps prevent geocachers from leaving unnecessary “geotrails." Mention local regulations and seasonal policies.

Choose an appropriate sized container

Searching for a small container in the forest is often fruitless and leads to disturbing wildlife.

Don’t put food or scented items in your cache

Items like chewing gum, candles, air fresheners, and the like can attract animals that may chew the container and get sick.

Place your cache near an existing trail

Add a waypoint for the trailhead so people won’t have to bushwhack.

Hide your cache without harming wildlife

No chopping, cutting, digging, or burrowing. Don’t use permanent fasteners to attach your cache to trees or shrubs.

Work with your reviewer

Give your reviewer detailed information about the location and placement of your cache. They’ll let you know if your cache poses problems for wildlife.

Don’t leave cache trash

Make sure to remove your cache container from its hiding spot when

Tips for geocachers

Leave your car at home

If possible, bike or walk to the cache location. It’s great for your health and for the environment!

Be informed and prepared

Check the cache description for any local regulations before you visit. Be informed about seasonal changes in your area. Don’t visit caves in which bears or bats hibernate during autumn and winter, and don’t disturb breeding habitats.

Ask land managers before you night cache

Before searching for a night cache in the woods, check with park rangers or land managers to make sure it's safe for you and for the natural area.

Respect plants and animals

Observe wild animals from afar. Never feed or try to touch them. Be conscious where you step so you don’t destroy fragile plants and mushrooms.

Stay on track

Stick to designated trails and don’t cut across switchbacks. Doing so might disturb flora and fauna along the way.

Bring garbage bags

Pick up litter on the way to and from the cache. Some caches even have an extra compartment for trash bags that geocachers can use on their way out!

Keep cache owners informed

Let cache owners know if their geocache is damaged and could potentially be dangerous to animals or vegetation.

2. Learn about cache types

2.1. Traditional Caches


A Traditional Cache is the simplest form of a geocache. It consists of a container with a logbook , and is located at the posted coordinates. Cache containers come in many different sizes.

2.2. Multi-Caches

Multi-Caches include at least one stage in addition to the physical final container with a logbook. The posted coordinates for a Multi-Cache are the first stage. At each stage, the geocacher gathers information that leads them to the next stage or to the final container.

Stages of a Multi-Cache

A Multi-Cache can have physical or virtual stages. Here are some examples of tasks that geocachers may need to complete at Multi-Cache stages to gather information:

To learn more, read how to add additional stages as waypoints.

Multi-Cache or Mystery Cache?

It can be tricky to tell the difference between Multi- and Mystery Caches. When in doubt, here’s a comparison of the two cache types. The differences are subtle but important!

Multi-Cache Mystery Cache
Must have multiple stages May have multiple stages.
The posted coordinates must be for the first stage. The posted coordinates may be bogus coordinates, parking coordinates, or for the first or final stage.
The cache can be found by reading the cache page and following the instructions in the field. The cache cannot be found without calculation, or research that goes beyond reading the cache page.
If the cache includes a projection, the projection must be calculated in the field using bearing and distance from one of the stages. If the cache includes a projection, the projection may be calculated based on the posted coordinates without visiting the location.

2.3. Mystery Caches

Mystery Cache designs

Mystery Caches can have many different designs. Here are the most common ones.

Puzzle caches

The posted coordinates are usually bogus coordinates. Geocachers must solve a puzzle on the cache page to get the coordinates for the first stage or the final container. All clues needed to solve the puzzle must be on the cache page, and the information to solve the puzzle must be publicly available. Before you submit the cache page, post a Reviewer Note with an explanation of how the puzzle is solved. Reviewer Notes are automatically deleted when the cache is published.

Bonus caches

Clues for bonus caches are often hidden in one or more other caches by the same cache owner. Bonus cache clues should not be placed in another bonus geocache.

Challenge caches

Challenge caches encourage geocachers to set and achieve fun goals. The seeker has to find a set of geocaches defined by the challenge owner before they can log their find. The container must be placed at the posted coordinates, either as posted coordinates or as a visible additional waypoint.

Stages and coordinates

Like all geocaches, Mystery Caches must involve GPS use. Like Multi-Caches, they may have multiple stages but are not required to.

The posted coordinates of a Mystery Cache may be any one of these:

If the posted coordinates are not for the final stage, the final coordinates must be added as an additional waypoint. The final stage cannot be more than 2 miles (3.2 kilometers) from the posted coordinates. This allows the cache to show up in nearby searches.

If the cache includes a projection, the projection may be calculated based on the posted coordinates without visiting the location.

Additional research

A key difference between Mystery and Multi-Caches is that Mystery Caches require additional research that goes beyond reading the cache page.

The information needed to find the cache

2.4. Letterbox Hybrids

Tribute to letterboxing

Letterbox Hybrids are based on an older kind of container search, called letterboxing. Because letterboxing began in 1854, before GPS existed, the finder follows written instructions to discover the container.

Each letterbox contains a logbook, and a rubber stamp. When letterboxers find the container, they stamp the logbook with their personal stamp, and also stamp their own notebook with the stamp from the letterbox as a souvenir of their visit. The stamp and logbook remain in the letterbox for the next visitor to use.

Letterbox Hybrids - a geocache type

The geocaching version, Letterbox Hybrids, combines the use of GPS, and the stamps of letterboxing. As with all geocaches, this cache type must include GPS usage. In addition, the cache description can contain written instructions to guide geocachers to the container.

A Letterbox Hybrid container must contain:

Tip: It is good practice to remind other cachers on the cache page, that the rubber stamp is not a trade item but intended to stay within the cache. Cache owners must replace the stamp if it goes missing.

Letterbox Hybrids and their underlying cache type

When you add a stamp to your cache, the cache type changes to Letterbox Hybrid but the guidelines for the underlying cache type still apply. The only exceptions are Wherigo Cacheschallenge caches, and bonus caches.

Traditional + Stamp = Letterbox Hybrid

Multi Cache + Stamp = Letterbox Hybrid

Mystery Cache + Stamp = Letterbox Hybrid

Wherigo Cache + Stamp = Wherigo Cache

2.5. Wherigo® Caches

Wherigo® Caches are GPS-enabled adventures in the real world. They use GPS technology to guide players to physical locations where they can interact with virtual or physical objects.

Wherigo Caches can have different designs that overlap with other cache types. If a cache uses a Wherigo cartridge, it is considered a Wherigo cache.

Find a Wherigo Cache

To find a Wherigo Cache, you need an app for Android or iPhone called Wherigo Player. This app allows you to play interactive game cartridges in the real world. Explore new locations, solve puzzles, or experience an interactive fictional story in the real world using only a GPS-enabled device. See step-by-step instructions.

Tip: A device that supports Wherigo apps is not considered special equipment. The Special tool required attribute is not required for this cache type, and the difficulty rating is based on the effort needed to solve the cartridge, and find the cache and logbook at GZ.

Build a Wherigo cartridge

To build your first Wherigo cartridge, follow this tutorial. Walk through the creation of a sample cartridge to learn about basic and advanced features and increase the interactivity of your experience. If you have questions, please post them in the Wherigo forums.

Other Wherigo builders:

2.6. Webcam Caches

Webcam Caches are a grandfathered type of cache. You cannot submit new Webcam Cache pages for review, but you can find those that remain active and log them.

To log a Webcam Cache, follow these steps:

  1. At the posted coordinates, stand within view of the associated webcam.
  2. Go to the website that shows the webcam feed. If the webcam is not in service you cannot claim your “find” online.
  3. Follow the instructions on the cache page. Sometimes the cache owner will require you to pose in a specific location or in a specific way.
  4. Use your phone to capture a screenshot of the webcam image or arrange for a friend to take a screenshot on a computer.
  5. To post your log, select the “Webcam Photo Taken” log type and attach your captured webcam image.

Only logs with a screenshot from the webcam feed are acceptable. Logs with photos taken at the location can be deleted by the cache owner.

2.7. Virtual Caches

A Virtual Cache is about discovering a location rather than a container. The requirements for logging a Virtual Cache vary. You may be required to answer a question about the location, take a picture, complete a task, etc. In any case, you must visit the coordinates before you can post your log. 

Virtual geocaches are a grandfathered type of cache. You cannot submit a new Virtual Cache page, but you can find those that remain active and log them.

The Virtuals that you can find today are mostly great examples of this cache type. But they took a lot of time to review and it was difficult to determine guidelines for high-quality Virtuals. That is why we stopped publishing new Virtuals in 2005.

On June 4, 2019 and August 24, 2017, Geocaching HQ offered selected cache hiders the opportunity to hide one Virtual Cache. Read the 2019 blog post and the 2017 blog post for more information about these limited releases.

If you like Virtual Caches, you may also be interested in Adventure Lab experiences or Waymarking.com

2.8. Virtual Rewards - Guidelines

Lese die Richtlinien auf Deutsch.
Lisez les lignes directives en français.

On June 4, 2019 and August 24, 2017, Geocaching HQ offered selected cache hiders the opportunity to create one Virtual Cache. Following are the guidelines for these limited releases of Virtual Caches. Find out more about this project on the Geocaching Blog

Guidelines

These guidelines are subject to change.

Permission

Virtual Caches must be placed in locations where geocachers are allowed to enter. In some sensitive areas the reviewer can ask for permission to ensure the land manager is aware of the Virtual Cache.

Proximity

Virtual Caches have no proximity restrictions. If the cache owner wants to avoid placing a Virtual Cache with similar content, they can ask their reviewer to check for nearby unpublished caches with similar content.

Vacation Virtuals

The cache owner must have visited the location and any additional waypoints in the previous two months before submitting the Virtual Cache for publication. Placements near the cache owner’s home coordinates are encouraged.

Cache page

The text and logging tasks must be submitted in an official language of the location or English. Additional languages are encouraged, but the local language must be listed first. Your reviewer may request text in a language they understand to assist with the review process.

Logging tasks

The purpose of the required logging task is to show that the geocacher was at the location. Anything other than that should be optional.

Acceptable logging tasks:

Waypoints

Virtual Caches can have additional virtual waypoints.

Physical waypoints are not allowed and the posted coordinates cannot be bogus coordinates. Learn more about waypoints.

Maintenance

The cache owner is responsible for taking appropriate actions if conditions change regarding access, permission, or other concerns. The cache owner is responsible for deleting logs that appear to be false or inappropriate. Virtual Caches will remain a grandfathered cache type and therefore cannot be adopted to other geocachers.

Geocaching guidelines still apply

Geocache location
Geocache page

2.9. Virtual Rewards - Richtlinien (Deutsch)

 Am 4. Juni 2019 und 24. August 2017 hat Geocaching HQ ausgewählten Cachern die Möglichkeit gegeben, einen Virtuellen Cache zu verstecken. Hier sind die Richtlinien, welche für diese limitierten Editionen der Virtuellen Caches gelten.

Lese mehr zu diesem Projekt im Geocaching Blog. (English)

Richtlinien

Änderungen vorbehalten

Erlaubnis

Virtuelle Caches müssen an öffentlich zugänglichen Orten gelegen sein. Für manche sensible Gebiete können Reviewer nach der Erlaubnis fragen, um sicherzustellen,dass der Grundstückseigentümer über den Virtuellen Cache informiert ist.

Entfernung zu anderen Geocaches

Für Virtuelle Caches gibt es keine Einschränkungen was die Entfernung zu anderen Geocaches betrifft. Wenn der Cache-Owner eine thematische Überschneidung mit einem anderen geplanten Cache vermeiden möchte, kann er/sie den Reviewer bitten, unveröffentlichte Caches in der Nähe zu prüfen.Wenn der Cache-Owner vermeiden möchte, seinen Virtuellen Cache mit ähnlichem Inhalt zu legen, kann er/sie den Reviewer bitten, nach unveröffentlichten Caches in der Nähe zu prüfen.

Urlaubs-Virtuals

Der Cache-Owner muss den Ort und jegliche Wegpunkte innerhalb der letzten 2 Monate vor Einreichen des Geocaches besucht haben. Wir ermuntern Cache-Owner, ihren Virtuellen Cache in der Nähe ihrer Wohnort-Koordinaten zu legen.

Cache-Seite

Der Text und die Logbedingungen müssen in einer offiziellen Sprache der Gegend, in welcher der Virtuelle Cache liegt, eingereicht werden - oder auf Englisch. Zusätzliche Sprachen sind optional, aber die Landessprache muss am Anfang stehen. Dein Reviewer kann Dich auffordern, den Text in einer Sprache zur Verfügung zu stellen, die er/sie versteht, um den Review-Prozess zu unterstützen.

Logbedingungen

Das Ziel der Logbedingung ist es, zu zeigen, dass der Geocacher an den angegebenen Koordinaten war. Bedingungen, die nicht diesen Zweck erfüllen, müssen optional sein.

Akzeptierte Logbedingungen:

Wegpunkte

Virtuelle Caches können zusätzliche Wegpunkte haben.

Physische Wegpunkte sind nicht erlaubt und die Listing-Koordinaten dürfen keine fiktiven Koordinaten sein. Mehr zu Wegpunkten (Englisch).

Wartung

Der Cache-Owner ist dafür verantwortlich, angemessen zu reagieren, wenn sich die Bedingungen ändern, wie z.B. der Zugang, die Erlaubnis oder andere Gegebenheiten.. Der Cache-Owner ist für das Löschen von Logeinträgen verantwortlich, welche falsch erscheinen oder unangemessen sind. Virtuelle Caches sind weiterhin bestandsgeschützt, sie können daher nicht von einem anderen Geocacher adoptiert werden.

Geocaching Richtlinien gelten weiterhin

Geocache-Location
Geocache-Seite

2.10. Virtual Rewards - Lignes directrices

Le 4 juin 2019 et 24 août 2017, Geocaching HQ a offert l'opportunité de placer une géocache virtuelle aux propriétaires de caches sélectionnés. Voici les directives pour ces éditions limitées des caches virtuelles.

Lisez-en plus sur le blog Géocaching (article).

Directives

Ces directives sont sous réserve de modification.

Permission

Les caches virtuelles doivent être placées dans des endroits où les géocacheurs peuvent aller. Dans certains domaines particuliers le reviewer peut demander la permission pour s’assurer que le gestionnaire du terrain est informé de l’existence de la cache virtuelle.

Proximité

Les caches virtuelles n’ont pas de restrictions de proximité. Si le propriétaire d’une cache souhaite éviter de placer une cache virtuelle avec du contenu similaire, il/elle peut demander au reviewer de vérifier le descriptif des caches non encore publiées à proximité.

Vacances et caches virtuelles

Le propriétaire d’une cache virtuelle doit avoir visité l’endroit de la cache et des waypoints additionnels dans les deux derniers mois avant la soumission de la cache. Il est encouragé de choisir un emplacement à proximité de son domicile.

Page de la géocache

Le texte et les tâches d'enregistrement doivent être soumis soit dans une langue officielle de la région soit en anglais. Des langues supplémentaires sont encouragées, mais la langue locale doit être listée d’abord. Votre reviewer peut demander que vous renseignez le texte dans une langue qu’il/elle comprend pour aider dans la procédure de vérification.

Tâches d'enregistrement

Le but de la tâche d'enregistrement est de montrer que le géocacheur était sur place. Tous les autres tâches doivent être facultatives.

Tâches d'enregistrement acceptées:

Waypoints

Les caches virtuelles peuvent avoir des waypoints virtuels additionnels.

Les waypoints physiques (avec placement d’une indice par vos soins) ne sont pas permis et les coordonnées indiquées ne peuvent pas être fictives. En savoir plus sur les waypoints (article en anglais).

Maintenance

Le propriétaire de la cache virtuelle a la responsabilité d'intervenir de manière appropriée si les conditions d'accès, la permission, ou les autres conditions changent. Le propriétaire de la cache virtuelle est responsable de la suppression des logs qui semblent être faux ou inappropriés. Les caches virtuelles restent un type de cache bénéficiant d'une clause d'antériorité, par conséquent, elles ne peuvent pas être adoptées par un autre géocacheur.

Les directives géocaching sont toujours valables

Emplacement de la cache
Page de la géocache

2.11. Virtual Rewards - Inspiration tips

In 2017 and 2019, Geocaching HQ offered 4,000 cache hiders the opportunity to create one Virtual Cache. Following are tips for these limited releases of Virtual Caches. Find out more about this project on the Geocaching Blog. All Virtuals must follow the Virtual Rewards guidelines.

A Virtual Cache is about discovering a location. It does not include a physical container. Rather than signing a logbook, finders must take a photo, answer a question, or complete a task at the location.

Choose your location wisely

Choose your task wisely

2.12. Challenge caches

Lese diesen Artikel auf Deutsch.

What is a challenge cache?

A challenge cache requires seekers to find an associated physical cache, and to find an additional set of geocaches as defined by the challenge owner. Challenge caches encourage geocachers to set and achieve fun goals. Examples of challenge caches: find a cache every day of the calendar year, or find one for every Difficulty/Terrain combination.

 

Required for all challenge caches:

1. Type, Title, and Attribute
  • Challenge caches must be listed as Mystery caches, must have the English word "challenge" in the title, and must include the challenge cache attribute.
  • Challenge cache pages must include a link to a web-based challenge checker. See this Help Center article for more information about challenge checker requirements.
  • The container must be placed at coordinates on the cache page, either as posted coordinates, or as a visible final waypoint.
  • The physical cache must be findable without contacting the owner.
  • Challenge cache criteria
    • must come from information broadly available on Geocaching.com such as on the statistics page, cache placement dates, types, attributes, souvenirs, etc.
    • must be verifiable through information on Geocaching.com.
  • Challenge cache owners must demonstrate that there are plenty of qualifying caches to meet the challenge at the time of publication.
  • Challenge criteria must be positive and require that a geocaching goal be achieved. Criteria may not be for a negative achievement such as DNF logs.
  • The challenge requirements should be simple, and easy to explain, follow and document. A long list of rules or restrictions may prevent publication.
  • A challenge cache needs to appeal to and be attainable by a reasonable number of cachers. Your reviewer may ask for a list of cachers from your area who qualify.
  • Challenge owners will need to make sure that cachers can show that they have completed the cache requirements without compromising their privacy.
  • Challenge cache owners must show that they have met the challenge.
  • Cachers may sign a challenge cache's physical log at any time. However, the challenge cache may be logged as found online only after the log is signed and the challenge tasks have been met and documented.
  • For cache pages published after April 21, 2015 with a challenge checker, the owner can confirm the finder's qualification with the checker when the cache is logged as found. No further documentation is required from the finder.

 

What makes an acceptable challenge cache?

 Acceptable
 Not Acceptable
  • Challenge caches need to be attainable at any time.
  • Requiring caches to be found in earlier years, as it is not attainable by someone new to the game.
  • Challenges specifically excluding any segment of cachers.
  • Maintaining a finds streak, at least one find per day, up to 365 days.
  • Finding some number of caches per month, provided the number is cumulative over all years. Example, 100 finds in Januarys.
    Finding some number of caches per day of week, provided the number is cumulative over all years. Example, 100 finds on Mondays. (added Nov 2019)
  • Time-limited caching: as in some number of finds per day, week, month, or year. Example, Busy Day, 50 finds in a day, 500 finds in a month, etc.
  • Maintaining a streak, at least one find per day, beyond 365 days.
  • Requiring finds on February 29th.
  • Specifying any element of a cache page (type, rating, etc.) or find count (above one per day) required during a streak.
  • Requiring more than one find on any day or calendar date, even if cumulative. Example, find 5 caches for every date of the Finds for Each Day of the Year grid.         
  • Challenge cache criteria must come from information broadly available on Geocaching.com and must be verifiable through information on Geocaching.com.
  • Challenge cache criteria must be based upon caches with the seeker’s logs: Found it!, Attended, Webcam Photo Taken.
  • Challenge cache criteria must be based upon the type of log, not on the log content.
  • Challenge cache criteria may be based upon these geographic areas: countries, states/provinces, counties (or their local equivalent).
    Jasmer challenges and variations. (added Nov 2019)
  • Trackable, Benchmarking, Waymarking logs, or specifying Lab Cache finds.
  • These cache page elements: cache titles, cache owner, GC Codes, publishing Reviewer, or cache page text.
  • Requiring cachers to own a cache.
  • Requiring cachers to log caches that are disabled or archived.
  • Challenges based on geographic areas other than countries, states/provinces, counties (or their local equivalent). For example, user-defined mapping polygons, latitude/longitude, radius, etc.
    Restricting finds to caches published prior to a particular date. (added Nov 2019)
  • A challenge based on caches with at least X number of Favorite Points can be published, as the information comes from Geocaching.com.
  • A challenge based on elements under the cache owner’s primary control is not acceptable: examples, my favorites, my caches, bookmark lists, caches by this owner, or this group.
  • Finding a discrete number in a specified area, e.g. some reasonable number of EarthCaches in France would be publishable.
  • Finding all or any percentage of the caches, or of a cache type, rating, or other allowable value within a specified area; e.g. 80% of EarthCaches in France is not publishable.
  • Geocaches found before challenge was published can count towards the achievement of the challenge.
  • Restrictions on date of finds used for the challenge are not permitted.
  • Challenge criteria must be positive and require that a geocaching goal be achieved.
  • Not finding caches: design that limits or punishes any element of finding caches. Examples: Challenges that require ratios in finds; such as 10% of finds must be Attended logs, challenges that require finding only some particular type for over time, as 100 consecutive Mystery finds.
  • Competition rather than achievement; example, a challenge based on "First to Finds" is a competition.

Please do not submit a challenge cache in an area where a very similar or identical challenge cache already exists.

We recommend that the difficulty rating be based on the challenge, the terrain rating on the challenge cache location.

From the Geocaching.com Geocache Listing Requirements / Guidelines:

Please be advised that there is no precedent for placing geocaches.

and

At times a geocache may meet the requirements for publication on the site but the reviewers, as experienced geocachers, may see additional concerns not listed in these guidelines that you as a geocache placer may not have noticed. The reviewer may bring these additional concerns to your attention and offer suggestions so that the geocache can be published.

Note: At this time, challenge caches published prior to April 21, 2015 are grandfathered into the game. As with any grandfathered cache, Geocaching HQ may archive caches which become problematic.

Last Updated: August 31, 2020 (see this announcement for more information)

2.13. Challenge-Caches (Deutsch)

Was ist ein Challenge-Cache?

Um einen Challenge-Cache [challenge - (engl.) Herausforderung] als Fund zu loggen, muss der Finder nicht nur den entsprechenden physischen Cache vor Ort finden, sondern auch eine vom Challenge-Owner vorgegebene Auswahl weiterer Geocaches. Challenge-Caches animieren Geocacher dazu sich gleichermaßen unterhaltsame wie herausfordernde Ziele zu setzen und diese zu verfolgen. Beispiele für Challenge-Caches wären: Finde einen Geocache an jedem Kalendertag, oder finde einen Geocache jeder Kombination von Schwierigkeits- und Geländewertung.

 

Für alle Challenge-Caches gilt:

1. Art, Name, und Attribut
  • Challenge-Caches müssen als Rätsel-Geocache gelistet werden, das englische Wort “challenge” [ (engl.) Herausforderung] im Namen tragen und das Challenge-Cache-Attribut aufweisen. 
  • Challenge-Cache-Seiten müssen einen internet-basierten Challenge-Checker vorweisen. Mehr Information zu den Anforderungen an einen Challenge-Checker finden sich in unserem Hilfe-Center.
  • Der Behälter muss sich entweder an den angegebenen Koordinaten befinden, oder an einem auf der Cache-Seite sichtbaren Wegpunkt.
  • Der Behälter muss ohne Kontaktaufnahme mit dem Owner auffindbar sein.
  • Challenge-Cache Kriterien müssen:
    • auf Informationen aufbauen, die auf Geocaching.com allgemein verfügbar sind. Beispiele sind Geocaching-Statistiken, das Datum an dem der Cache versteckt wurde, Geocache-Arten, Attribute, Souvenirs, etc.
    • mit Information auf Geocaching.com überprüfbar sein.
  • Challenge-Owner müssen nachweisen, dass zum Zeitpunkt der Veröffentlichung eine Vielzahl von Caches zur Verfügung steht, die diese Kriterien erfüllen.
  • Challenge-Kriterien müssen positiver Natur sein und setzen eine Geocaching-Herausforderung vorraus. Die Kriterien dürfen nicht auf negativen Leistungen basieren, z.B. “Nicht gefunden” Logs.
  • Die Kriterien sollten auf einfache Art und Weise erklärbar, nachprüfbar, und umsetzbar sein. Eine lange Liste von Kriterien oder Einschränkungen kann die Freischaltung des Caches verhindern.
  • Ein Challenge-Cache muss eine angemessene Anzahl von Cachern ansprechen und für diese erreichbar sein. Dein Reviewer kann dich nach einer Liste von Geocachern fragen, die deine Challenge erfüllt haben.
  • Der Challenge-Owner muss sicherstellen, dass Mitspieler einen Qualifikationsnachweis für die Challenge erbringen können ohne ihre Privatsphäre zu gefährden.
  • Der Challenge-Owner muss nachweisen, dass er die Challenge selbst erfüllt.
  • Cacher dürfen sich jederzeit in das Logbuch eines Challenge-Caches eintragen. Sie dürfen den Cache jedoch erst online als Fund loggen, nachdem sie sich sowohl in das physische Logbuch eingetragen haben, als auch die Challenge-Kriterien nachweisbar erfüllen.
  • Jeder Challenge-Cache, der nach dem 21. April 2015 freigeschaltet wird, muss einen Challenge-Checker beinhalten mit dem der Owner den Qualifikationsnachweis des Finders verifizieren kann. Von Seiten des Finders bedarf es keines weiteren Nachweises.

 

Kriterien für einen zulässigen Challenge-Cache:

 Zulässig
 Nicht Zulässig
  • Challenge-Caches müssen jederzeit erfüllbar sein.
  • Das Fordern von Funden aus vergangenen Jahren, da dies für neue Spieler nicht möglich ist.
  • Challenges, die bestimmte Cacher ausschließen.
  • Aufrechterhalten einer Fund-Serie, mindestens ein Fund pro Tag, für bis zu 365 Tage am Stück.
  • Finde eine bestimmte Anzahl von Caches pro Monat, vorausgesetzt die Zahl ist kumulativ von Jahr zu Jahr, Beispiel: 100 Funde in den Januar-Monaten.
  • Finde eine bestimmte Anzahl von Caches pro Wochentag, vorausgesetzt die Zahl ist kumulativ von Jahr zu Jahr, Beispiel: 100 Funde an Montagen. (hinzugefügt November 2019)
  • Zeitlich begrenztes Cachen, zum Beispiel: eine bestimmte Zahl von Funden innerhalb eines Tages, in einer Woche, in einem Monat, oder in einem Jahr. Beispiel: 50 Funde innerhalb eines Tages, 500 Funde in einem Monat, etc.
  • Aufrechterhalten einer Fund-Serie, mindestens ein Fund pro Tag, für mehr als 365 Tage am Stück.
  • Fordern von Funden am 29. Februar.
  • Festlegen weiterer Elemente einer Cache-Seite (z.B Art, Wertung, etc) oder einer Anzahl von Funden (über ein Fund pro Tag hinaus), die während einer Fund-Serie erforderlich sind.
  • Fordern von mehr als einem Fund pro Tag oder Kalenderdatum, selbst wenn kumulativ. Beispiel: Finde 5 Caches für jeden Tag der Kalendermatrix.
  • Challenge-Cache-Kriterien müssen auf Informationen aufbauen, die auf Geocaching.com allgemein verfügbar sind und mit diesen verifizierbar sein.
  • Challenge-Cache-Kriterien müssen auf Caches mit Log-Einträgen des Finders basieren: Gefunden, Teilgenommen, Webcam Photo Taken.
  • Challenge-Cache-Kriterien müssen auf der Art des Logs aufbauen, nicht auf dessen Inhalt.
  • Challenge-Cache-Kriterien können sich auf die folgenden geographischen Gebiete beziehen: Länder, Staaten, Landkreise (oder ihre örtliche Entsprechung).
  • Jasmer-Challenges und ihre Variationen. (hinzugefügt November 2019)
  • Trackables, Benchmarks, Waymarking-Logs, oder das Fordern von Lab-Cache Funden.
  • Die folgenden Elemente einer Cache-Seite: Cachename, Cache-Owner, GC-Codes, freischaltender Reviewer, Text auf der Cache-Seite.
  • Voraussetzung, dass Spieler selbst Caches besitzen.
  • Fordern, dass Spieler Caches loggen, die deaktiviert oder archiviert wurden.
  • Challenge-Cache-Kriterien, die auf anderen geographischen Gebieten als Ländern, Staaten, Landkreisen oder ihren örtlichen Äquivalenten basieren. Beispiele: Vom Challenge-Owner festgelegte kartographische Polygone, Längen- und Breitengrad, Radius, etc.
  • Einschränken von Funden auf Caches, die vor einem bestimmten Datum freigeschaltet wurden. (hinzugefügt November 2019)
  • Eine Herausforderung basierend auf Caches mit mindestens X Favoritenpunkten ist freischaltbar, da die Informationen von Geocaching.com kommen.
  • Eine Herausforderung basierend auf Elementen, die primär der Kontrolle des Cache-Owners unterliegen ist nicht freischaltbar. Beispiele: Meine Favoriten, Meine Caches, Lesezeichenlisten, Caches eines oder mehrerer bestimmter Cache-Owner.
  • Das Finden einer bestimmten Anzahl von Caches in einem bestimmten Gebiet, z.B eine angemessene Anzahl von EarthCaches in Frankreich, wäre freischaltbar.
  • Das Finden von allen oder prozentualen Anteilen aller Caches, einer Cache-Art, Wertung, oder anderer erlaubter Parameter in einem bestimmten Gebiet, z.B. 80% aller EarthCaches in Frankreich, ist nicht freischaltbar.
  • Geocaches, die vor der Veröffentlichung des Challenge-Caches gefunden wurden, können zur Erfüllung der Herausforderung verwendet werden.
  • Einschränkungen basierend auf den Fund-Daten der Caches, die zur Erfüllung der Herausforderung verwendet werden können, sind nicht gestattet.
  • Challenge-Kriterien müssen positiver Natur sein und setzen das Erfüllen einer Geocaching-Herausforderung vorraus.
  • Finde keine Geocaches: Challenge-Designs die das Finden von Geocaches in jeglicher Form verhindern oder bestrafen. Beispiel: Fordern bestimmter Fund-Verhältnisse, z.B 10% der Funde müssen Teilgenommen-Logs sein. Selbiges gilt für Herausforderungen, die ausschließlich eine Cache-Art über einen bestimmten Zeitraum zulassen, z.B. 100 aufeinander folgenden Rätsel-Cache-Funde.
  • Wettbewerbe statt Herausforderungen: Eine Challenge basierend auf der Anzahl von “First to Find”-Logs ist ein Wettbewerb.

 

Bitte reiche keinen Challenge-Cache zum Review ein, wenn sich in deiner Umgebung bereits ein sehr ähnlicher oder identischer Challenge-Cache befindet.

Wir empfehlen, dass die Schwierigkeitswertung auf der Herausforderung basiert und die Geländewertung den Örtlichkeiten des Challenge-Cache Behälters entspricht.

Ein Zitat aus den Geocaching.com Richtlinien zum Verstecken eines Geocaches:

Es gibt keine Präzedenzfälle für das Verstecken von Geocaches.

Zudem gilt:

Gelegentlich kann ein Geocache die Richtlinien zur Veröffentlichung auf der Website erfüllen, aber die Überprüfung durch die Reviewer kann zusätzliche Probleme zum Vorschein bringen, die in diesen Richtlinien nicht aufgeführt sind und die du als Geocache-Verstecker möglicherweise nicht bemerkt hast. Der Reviewer kann dich auf diese zusätzlichen Bedenken hinweisen und Vorschläge machen, damit der Geocache veröffentlicht werden kann.

Anmerkung: Zu diesem Zeitpunkt werden Challenge-Caches, die vor dem 21. April 2015 veröffentlicht wurden, per Bestandsschutz  ins Spiel übernommen. Wie bei jedem Grandfathered-Cache kann Geocaching HQ Caches archivieren, die problematisch werden.

Zuletzt aktualisiert am 31ten August 2020 (siehe diese Meldung für weitere Informationen)

2.14. Challenge checkers

Challenge caches published after April 21, 2015, must include a link to a Project-GC challenge checker. This requirement is ongoing for the life of the cache page. Visit Project-GC’s FAQ to learn how challenge checkers work and how to create one.

Challenge checker requirements

Your challenge cache may be disabled or archived if the associated challenge checker does not work properly. Make sure that your checker and cache page meet these requirements:

If you want to include a banner with a challenge checker, you must use an official Project-GC banner.

Example of a challenge checker

2.15. Challenge cache subjectivity

Challenge caches are sometimes difficult to review for publication due to the subjectivity involved. Meaning, one person’s opinion can differ from another’s, which can cause issues in the review process. One of the major goals of the 2016 guideline update for challenge caches was to reduce some of that subjectivity. However, we can’t completely remove subjectivity from the process. For example:

“A challenge cache needs to appeal to and be attainable by a reasonable number of cachers. Your reviewer may ask for a list of cachers from your area who qualify.”

This guideline aims to ensure that a challenge cache is obtainable by a reasonable number of players. If only a few people can find and log a challenge cache, then it’s almost like a private cache. (And private caches aren’t permitted on the website.)  The “reasonable number” of cachers must reside in the area where your cache is placed.

“Please do not submit a challenge cache in an area where a very similar or identical challenge cache already exists.”

This guideline is intended to prevent the publication of repetitive challenges in the same general area. Think of it as a proximity guideline for challenges. The proximity distance will vary depending on your area. “Very similar” is subjective so that reviewers will be able to determine what is appropriate to publish for an area or not, based on existing nearby challenges.  

Please work with your reviewer to make sure your challenge cache complies with the local interpretation of the guidelines.

Read more details about recent changes to the Challenge Cache Guidelines in the Geocaching Blog.

2.16. Optional challenges

An optional challenge is a cache with challenge criteria that does not comply with guidelines for authorized challenge caches. Optional challenges are generally acceptable as long as it is clear that anyone that visits the coordinates and signs the logbook may log the cache as found, regardless of whether they complete the optional challenge.

In order to avoid confusion with authorized challenge caches, cache listings containing optional challenges:

2.17. Bonus caches

A bonus cache is a Mystery Cache for which you have to find clues in other caches. Sometimes the coordinates for the bonus cache are in one other cache. In other cases, you gather clues for the final coordinates of the bonus cache from multiple other caches. Clues for a bonus cache can be hidden in any other cache type.

Bonus cache clues can’t be in another bonus cache

No geocache can have more than one cache dependent on it.

In the example below, the two Mystery Caches on the right side are not allowed. If one preliminary cache is disabled or archived, three caches become unavailable instead of one. In some regions, this is known as "Daisy Chain".

2.18. Beacon caches

In geocaching, a beacon is a device that transmits a wireless message, which can be used to find a geocache.

Examples of beacon devices:

If your cache has a wireless beacon, follow these guidelines:

2.19. Camping Event caches

Camping is a popular activity among geocachers, and long weekend camping trips particularly so. It’s becoming common to submit multiple Event Cache listings during the camping event. Because many of the same people would be attending the same events, multiple listings are often not eligible for publication. Make sure that your camping event meets the Event Cache guidelines.

Camping event guidelines

Camping event tips

2.20. Night and UV caches

Night caches are designed to be found at night. They are difficult or impossible to find during the day. Typically, geocachers use a flashlight or UV light to follow a series of reflectors to the final location.

Night cache coordinates

Night geocaches can be Mystery Caches or Multi-Caches. The posted coordinates are often the location of the first reflector or UV mark. Make sure to add the coordinates of the final container as an additional waypoint. Like all geocaches, night caches must involve GPS use for at least part of the search. This means that following reflectors from the parking lot to the container is not enough.

To involve GPS use in your night cache, include a stage that provides the coordinates

More examples of GPS usage.

Night cache attributes

If your night cache uses UV paint or pen, you must add the UV attribute to your cache page.

UV Light Required UV light required

You can also add one or all of the following attributes.

Night Cache Night cache

Recommended at Night Recommended at night

Flashlight Required Flashlight required

2.21. Teamwork caches

Teamwork caches are created cooperatively by two owners from different areas. They encourage two geocachers to work together to find a cache in the different areas. Geocachers trade information that  leads each to the final container in their own area.

Each teamwork cache must

As a geocacher, you should not sign the name of your teamwork partner in the log of your local cache. You can only claim a find if you visit the cache yourself.

Steps Cache in France Cache in Canada
Find partner Geocacher from France connects with geocacher from Canada to team up for two partner caches.
Complete cooperative stages Geocacher in France finds one or more cooperative stages of partner cache in France. Cooperative stages contain information that the geocacher in Canada needs to complete the cache in Canada. Geocacher in Canada finds one or more cooperative stages of partner cache in Canada. Cooperative stages contain information that the geocacher in France needs to complete the cache in France.
Complete other stages Each geocacher finds and solves any existing stages that do not require cooperation with the partner geocacher.
Find and log the final The find can only be logged by geocachers who visit the final in France. The find can only be logged by geocachers who visit the final in Canada.

2.22. Augmented Reality (AR) and geocaching

Lese diesen Artikel auf Deutsch.
Lisez cet article en français.

From June 06, 2018 until March 06, 2019 Geocaching HQ conducted an Augmented Reality (AR) experiment. During this time, cache owners were allowed to submit Mystery Caches that require the finder to download and use an AR app to find the cache. The goal of the experiment was to see how the geocaching community would use AR technology.

The experiment is currently on hold and new AR cache submissions are no longer accepted while we evaluate the results of the experiment.

This is not the end of AR and geocaching. You can still find the published AR caches. And there is more to come - stay tuned!

Search for published AR caches (Premium feature)

  1. On the search page, select Filters.
  2. Enter “AR_” under GEOCACHE NAME CONTAINS.
  3. Select Search to view all AR caches.

2.23. Augmented Reality (AR) und Geocaching (Deutsch)

Vom 06. Juni 2018 bis zum 06. März 2019 führte Geocaching HQ ein Augmented Reality (AR) Experiment durch. In diesem Zeitraum konnten Cache-Owner Mystery-Caches zur Review einreichen, bei denen zum Finden der Caches eine AR-App verwendet werden muss. Das Ziel dieses Experiments war es zu sehen, wie die Geocaching-Spielergemeinde AR-Technologie verwenden würde.

Das Experiment ist derzeit pausiert, und während wir die Ergebnisse des Experiments sichten, werden keine neu eingereichten AR-Cache-Listings mehr freigeschaltet.

Dies ist jedoch nicht das Ende für AR und Geocaching. Die bisherigen AR-Caches können weiterhin gefunden werden. Fortsetzung folgt - wir halten euch auf dem Laufenden!

Suche nach AR-Caches online (Premium Funktion)

  1. Auf der Suchseite, wähle Filter.
  2. Gib unter DER GEOCACHE-NAME BEINHALTET “AR_” ein.
  3. Wähle Suche um alle AR-Caches zu sehen.

2.24. Réalité augmentée (AR) et géocaching (français)

Du 6 juin 2018 au 6 mars 2019, le Geocaching HQ a mené une expérience de réalité augmentée (AR). Pendant ce temps, les propriétaires de cache pouvaient soumettre pour vérification des caches Mystère qui nécessitent d'utiliser une application de réalité augmentée (AR) pour trouver la cache. Le but de l'expérience était de voir comment la communauté de géocacheurs utiliserait la technologie AR.

L'expérience est actuellement en pause, et les nouvelles soumissions de cache AR ne sont plus acceptées pendant que nous évaluons les résultats de l'expérience.

Ce n'est pas la fin de AR et géocaching. Vous pouvez toujours trouver les caches AR qui sont déjà publiées. Et ce n'est pas tout - restez à l'écoute !

Recherchez des caches AR en ligne (fonction Premium)

  1. Sur la page de recherche, sélectionnez Filtres.
  2. Entrez “AR_” dans la rubrique LE NOM DE LA GÉOCACHE CONTIENT.
  3. Sélectionnez Rechercher pour voir toutes les caches AR.

2.25. Geo-art

Geo-art (aka geoart) is a collection of geocaches that have their posted coordinates arranged in a way to create an image or spell out a word.

Geo-art restrictions

Any cache type can be used to create geo-art. However, in addition to the regular guidelines, some restrictions apply.

   Letterbox Hybrids and Wherigo Cache finals should not be more than 2 miles (3.2 km) from their posted coordinates.
Multi-Caches that consist of a  virtual waypoint and a projection will generally not be published when used for geo-art.

If you need advice about the guidelines or want to know if your geo-art idea is publishable, follow these steps.

Geo-art examples

2.26. Grandfathered geocaches

In geocaching, the word "grandfathered" refers to something that is allowed to continue to exist based on an older rule even though that rule has changed or no longer exists.

Even grandfathered caches should continue to be good examples of geocaching. They will continue to exist as long as their owners continue to maintain them and they don’t cause problems in the community.

Grandfathered caches that cause problems or are no longer supported by Geocaching HQ are eligible to be archived regardless of their grandfathered status.


Virtual and Webcam Caches

These cache types are “grandfathered” and Geocaching.com no longer accepts new submissions. You can still log existing Virtual and Webcam geocaches.

Locationless Caches

Since 2006, all Locationless Caches are closed to new logs on Geocaching.com.

However, to celebrate the 20th anniversary of geocaching, a single Locationless Cache will be available in 2020: Find Signal the Frog® – Locationless in 2020 (GC8FR0G). Read more in this Geocaching Blog post.

Many Locationless Caches were converted into Waymarking categories. Search Waymarking.com for the same or a similar category.

Challenge caches (no icon)

Challenge caches published prior to April 2015 are grandfathered and may have Additional logging requirements that require further documentation.


2.27. The history of traveling caches

Traveling caches were introduced by the geocaching community in 2001. The original idea was that geocachers would move a traveling cache from location to location and ask the cache owner to update the coordinates after each move.

This cache idea soon became problematic for cache owners, community volunteer reviewers, and Geocaching HQ:

By 2017 fewer than 100 traveling caches remained active. Because the number of complaints and disagreements over these few caches were disproportionate to their number, Geocaching HQ decided to archive them.

Traveling Cache Trackable IconTraveling cache trackables

Geocaching HQ recognizes that traveling caches are a piece of geocaching history.

To keep their history and because most traveling caches have been traveling like trackables, Geocaching HQ offered each owner of a traveling cache the option to convert it to a trackable with a special icon. Only traveling caches active at the time of the final retirement are eligible to receive one of these trackable codes.

3. Event Caches

3.1. Geocaching events

Geocaching Event Caches are get-togethers listed on Geocaching.com. They are organized by local geocachers and geocaching organizations. They range from meet-and-greets, to education seminars, to environmental cleanups. Anyone is welcome to attend! Events are a great way to meet fellow geocachers, learn about geocaching, and get involved in the geocaching community.

Event types

Event Caches take place at the posted coordinates. They last at least 30 minutes and are open to anyone.
Cache In Trash Out® (CITO) is an environmental initiative supported by the worldwide geocaching community. Example CITO events are picking up trash, removing invasive species, planting native vegetation, building trails, and more! The host plans the event based on your community’s needs.
Mega-Events are large-scale geocaching events that are attended by 500+ geocachers. Mega-Events include planned activities and are usually held annually.
Giga-Events are the natural extension of Mega-Events. They are attended by 5000+ people.

Attend an event

Find events near you and visit the cache page of the event you’re interested in. Read the event description carefully. You may want to bring geocoins to trade, trash bags to collect garbage (CITO), or some food to share. Post a "Will Attend" log and let the event host know how many people you're bringing.

After you attend an event, post an “Attended” log to earn your smiley. To post an "Attended" log on a geocaching event, you must have been at the coordinates of the event during the designated time period. But you’re not required to sign an event logbook.

Note: Geocaching HQ will not police disputes regarding false logs on Event Caches but may reinstate "Attended" logs in certain situations.

Host an event

Check out our Guide to Hosting Events and read our guidelines for Event Caches before you create your cache page. Keep in mind that event organizers and primary attendees must be geocachers. While a music concert, a ham radio field day, or a town street fair might be of interest to geocachers, such events are not suitable for submission.

Note: Cache owners should enter accurate start and end times for events. However, if the event goes past midnight, we recommend selecting an end time of 23:45 (11:45pm) and adding in the description the actual end time for the event. 

3.2. Collecting Event Attendee Information

During COVID-19, local laws and health and safety guidelines, may require Event hosts to collect personal information from Event attendees. If applicable, it needs to be specifically called out on the cache page and the following procedures must be followed:


3.3. CITO (Cache In Trash Out®)

Cache In Trash Out® (CITO) is an environmental initiative supported by the geocaching community. Since 2002, CITO has helped preserve cache-friendly spaces. In that time, more than 470,000 people have volunteered at over 24,000 events in 124 countries.  

Attend CITO events

See which CITO events are near you! CITO events can include (but aren’t limited to)

Host CITO events

Submit a CITO Event Cache and follow these tips for success:

CITO souvenirs, Season 1 and Season 2

Geocachers can earn CITO souvenirs by attending or hosting events during one or both CITO seasons. Cache In Trash Out® (CITO) seasons for 2020:

Tip: Responsible geocachers CITO every time they cache and CITO events can occur any time of year.

About our CITO 2020 souvenir:


Twenty years ago, geocaching was born. Thirty years ago, the Voyager 1 spacecraft turned its camera back on the solar system and took a stunning photo of the Earth from 6 billion kilometers away. This image, the Earth suspended as a mote of dust in a beam of sunlight, is a poignant reminder of Earth’s unique place in the universe. 

Our home may be one among billions of planets in our galaxy, orbiting a star that is one among a septillion stars in the universe. On the grand cosmic scale, it may be unremarkable. But to us, it is home, the only one we, and everyone around us, has ever known. 

Voyager’s image is a reminder of our responsibility to protect Planet Earth, and our CITO 2020 artwork is inspired by this photograph. We hope it will inspire geocachers, and serve as a reminder of the essential work that we do every time we CITO. 


CITO - Repair, resotore, improve

3.4. Geocaching International Film Festival (GIFF)

The Geocaching International Film Festival is a geocaching short film competition and a festival of geocaching events, held by geocachers worldwide, to celebrate the films and filmmakers that become finalists. From finding new favorite places, people, and puzzles, geocaching is full of moments that should be captured on film and shared with the geocaching world. The global geocaching community is waiting to see YOUR story at the Geocaching International Film Festival.


For more information visit the official GIFF website to:


If you have a GIFFrent question, contact the GIFF gnomes at giff@geocaching.com.

3.5. Can I hold a geocaching event while on vacation?

It depends on the region

An Event Cache is a gathering of geocachers, focusing on the social aspect of geocaching. In some situations an event while traveling is a great way to meet the local geocachers. In regions that don’t have a local geocaching population however, vacation events often don’t see any attendance except for the geocachers holding the event. Therefore, reviewers may limit the number of Events during a vacation to ensure the social aspect of geocaching is met.

Events at transportation centers

Geocachers on vacation often try to hold geocaching events in transportation centers. But the guidelines are listing airports, cruise ship ports, and train stations as inappropriate event locations because of the nature of these locations.

If a transportation center has attached cafes, stores, or restaurants, and is accessible to the local population, they are often not that different than a shopping mall or downtown area. If the proposed event location doesn't conflict with one of the three concerns above, it can probably be published.

3.6. Mega-Event classification

The goal of Mega-Events is to strengthen the geocaching community through amazing social experiences. These events often also result in inspired ways to play the game, friendships that last a lifetime, and incredible amounts of fun.  Mega-Event organizers have great relationships within the geocaching community, serve as model event hosts, and strive to create amazing experiences for their geocaching community.

Events that reach Mega-Event status receive a sponsorship package from Geocaching HQ that includes exclusive perks, such as a custom souvenir, donations of tracking codes for event merchandise, Geocaching logo banners, and a visit from Signal the Frog. Also, because of the mega positive impact of these gatherings, all Mega-Events are featured in the Upcoming Mega-Events map/list and the Geocaching Monthly Newsletter (regardless of the distance of the event location from home coordinates).  

Apply for Mega-Event status

Please fill out the appropriate application:

2020 Mega-Event Application
2021 Mega-Event Application

Guidelines for Mega-Events

  1. New events (event candidates that have not previously been Mega) must receive 300 Will Attend logs before they are considered for Mega-Event qualification. Previous Mega-Events must receive a minimum of 300 Attended logs in order to re-qualify in future years.  This number reflects an event's high probability to attract 500+ Attended logs during the event. If an event qualifies for Mega, Geocaching HQ will change the geocache type on the cache page. Geocachers who log their attendance will receive the Mega-Event cache type in their statistics.

  2. For events seeking Mega-Event status, an application must be submitted. Applications are required even if an event has been Mega in the past. Mega-Event applications must be submitted at least eight weeks before the event. Qualification will be determined by HQ at least 4 weeks prior to the event. 

  3. The event cache page must clearly display the actual location of the event with both coordinates and address.

  4. Mega-Events must take place at one main location and held on one day. Mega-Events must be a minimum of four (4) hours in duration. Events occurring on days before and/or after the main event day are side-events.

  5. Local laws and guidance from local government health authorities must allow a gathering where the event will be held that meets or exceeds the number of Will Attends or 500* people (whichever is greater) at one location at the same time. At least thirty (30) days but no more than forty-five (45) days, before the event, organizers must provide written confirmation that this requirement has been met. If you have reason to believe at any time within the 30 days of the event that actual attendance at any point during the event will exceed the maximum allowable for the location (including if authorities have reduced the maximum), we respectfully request that the organizers postpone or cancel the event. Please note that, as we hold the health of the community as the highest priority, Geocaching HQ reserves the right to retract publication of the event at any time if we believe in our sole discretion that local laws and guidance from local government health authorities do not allow for the event.

    (* 5,000 for Giga-Events)

  6. Mega-Event committees may host one additional event on the same day of the Mega-Event. For example, a morning event or an evening event. The decision to host this additional event is optional and up to the Mega-Event committee. The additional event, or any other side-event, is not eligible to qualify for Mega or Giga status. 

  7. To avoid competition, Mega-Events must not be scheduled closely in distance or time to one another (refer to this map of Mega/Giga-Events). 

  8. The event title and cache page cannot contain any commercialization, nor contain the word "Mega". Only after the Mega icon has been added to the cache page can the description include the word "Mega". Events are not permitted to use "Mega" within the event's proper name nor title. (Exception: Events that were named prior to October 2013 whose names already included the word Mega are an exception).  Custom GC codes for cache pages are not available at this time. 

  9. Events must have a free or low cost participation option. This must include access to the main event area to gather and socialize, sign the logbook (if there is one), and participate in general geocaching activities. Mega-Event organizers are permitted to charge additional fees for registration packages and any extra activities (such as a zipline or rock climbing wall). Any entrance fees must only cover the costs of hosting the event, not for making a profit. Geocaching HQ may request budget information from event organizers to confirm pricing structures.  Tickets or registration packages must only be sold to attendees after the event cache page is published on Geocaching.com.

  10. Mega-Events (and pre-qualifying events) may be published up to one year early. This information is confirmed during the application process. 

  11. Artificially inflated Attended or Will Attend logs may disqualify events from Mega-Event status. Asking people to log a Will Attend to boost numbers, especially if they are not planning to attend, is not permitted. This includes soliciting Will Attends through the Geocaching.com Message Center.
       
  12. Mega-Events must include Geocaching and the approved Geocaching logo as a sponsor on all support materials and web pages you have created for this event. Geocaching must be listed as the primary sponsor of the event and included as the only listing service sponsor on all listings of sponsors and any external event websites. Specifically, no other geocaching websites or location-based games may be included as sponsors of a Mega-Event. If you have tiers of sponsorship, Geocaching must be at the highest level of sponsorship. 

  13. If your event has a separate website (off of Geocaching.com), a link must be added at the top level of your site navigation to the event cache page. Example: "Mega-Event GC22386"

  14. Events are not upgraded to Mega after the event has taken place. On rare occasions, a last-minute decision may be made by Geocaching HQ to upgrade an event to Mega status. This is done at the sole discretion of Geocaching HQ. These events may receive the Mega icon, but not the sponsorship benefits of the Mega program.


The above guidelines have been established as a guide for event organizers in their planning process. Geocaching HQ has the final determination in Mega-Event qualifications. Geocaching HQ reserves the right to deny or retract publication of Mega-Events sponsored by other commercial geocache listing services, as well as parent and affiliated companies, unless written permission has been granted in advance by Geocaching HQ.

3.7. Giga-Event classification

A Giga-Event Cache is a geocaching event attended by 5000 or more people. Giga-Events are the largest of the Event Cache types, and feature excellent social activities for geocachers attending from all over the world.

Successful Mega-Events qualify for Giga-Event status

Giga-Events first exist as very successful Mega-Events. They've become known over the years as great gatherings for geocachers...and perhaps Mega just can't describe the magnitude of the greatness! Geocaching HQ monitors existing Mega-Events to see if they qualify for an upgrade to Giga status. If a Mega-Event qualifies for Giga-Event status, the Mega icon will be updated with the Giga icon before the event. 

Guidelines for Giga-Events

  1. Giga-Events are required to follow the guidelines of Mega-Events unless otherwise stated below.

  2. To be considered for Giga-Event status, events must reach 3000 Will Attend logs. This number reflects an event's high probability to attract 5000+ Attended logs during the event.

  3. Giga-Event qualification is determined by Geocaching HQ based on applications for Mega-Event status. Giga-Event qualification will be determined at least 4 weeks prior to the event. An event cannot receive Giga status retroactively.

  4. The event title and cache page cannot contain any commercialization, nor contain the word "Giga". After the Giga icon has been added to the cache page, the description can include the word "Giga". Events that have received the Giga-Event icon are not permitted to use "Giga" within the event's proper name nor title. The Giga icon exists to celebrate popular, large events, not as a way to attract attendees. 

  5. Only one Giga-Event can take place at a time worldwide.

  6. Side-event guidelines apply. 

The above guidelines have been established as a guide for event organizers in their planning process. At our sole discretion, Geocaching HQ may grant exceptions to these guidelines if we believe an event is consistent with the intent and spirit of the guidelines. Any exceptions granted will not serve as precedent for future events.

Geocaching HQ has the final decision regarding Giga-Event status and has the right to regulate any misconduct, dishonesty, or general inappropriate behavior.

Doesn’t Giga mean 1,000,000,000, not 5000?

Although the metric system prefix giga stands for 1,000,000,000, we chose the term to stay in line with our current system of events and Mega-Events. The name "Five-Thousand-Event" just doesn’t have the same ring to it!

3.8. Side events for Mega/Giga-Events

Side-events are events held nearby on the days before or after a Mega/Giga-Event. These events may be hosted by the event committee ("official") or other geocachers ("unofficial").

Over the years, some of these side events have become more numerous and can unfortunately distract from and dilute the main event. As a result, there are now some limitations on side-events.

Side-event guidelines:

CITO Events as side-events:

3.9. Promoting geocaching events

To help grow the geocaching community, Event Caches are able to promote other geocaching events. Read more below to learn how events can be promoted on cache pages.

Promote geocaching events on Event Cache pages

Geocaching events on other (non-Event) cache pages

3.10. Request a donation from Geocaching HQ

Thanks for your interest in a donation from Geocaching HQ. Each year, we have a small budget to send donation gifts to registered Geocaching.com Events (and CITOs) around the world.

Geocaching Event donations

To request a donation for a 2020 Geocaching.com Event, please visit our 2020 Event donation request form.

Please submit your request at least 8 weeks in advance of your Event date. Fill out all fields completely including the additional notes section where you can tell us more about your Event and why you are requesting a donation. All geocaching Events must include a GC code for the Event.

We apologize in advance that we are unable to respond to every donation request and donate to every Event. If your Event is chosen to receive a donation from Geocaching, you will receive an email with your donation items 1 - 3 weeks before your Event. If you are not selected to receive a donation, please apply again in the future. We hope to expand our support of great Events around the world!

Donations for other events

You plan to use geocaching in the classroom? You want to introduce your scout troop to geocaching? A donation from Geocaching HQ could help your cause or circumstances?

To request a donation for these occasions, please visit our 2020 non-Event donation request form.

Auction and fundraising requests: Unfortunately we are unable to provide donations to auctions or fundraisers at this time.

3.11. Geocaching HQ visits

Join us at the Geocaching HQ Visitor Center in Seattle, WA

We are excited you want to visit us! As a working office, we do not give tours of our office space but we love welcoming visitors into our Visitor Center @ HQ!

Schedule a visit and visit the Geocaching HQ cache page for all the details to plan your trip. During your visit, you can log the GCK25B HQ geocache, shop in our gift shop, and even collect a new cache icon and souvenir on your account.

Our Visitor Center is wheelchair accessible.

Opening hours

Monday - Friday 9:00 A.M. - 5:00 P.M.
Closed Saturday, Sunday and on U.S. holidays.

We strive to list any office closures on our Schedule a Visit page but as you know sometimes things happen. If we have to close the office unexpectedly, we will post a note on the door.

If you have any other questions about visiting Geocaching HQ, please email us.

HQ Visitor Center

3.12. GPS Adventures Maze

The GPS Adventures Maze is an exhibit with geocaches hidden inside that travels to Mega- and Giga-Events. The original maze toured throughout the United States, but was retired in 2014. The Czech Association of Geocachers created a new Maze, which travels to Mega- and Giga-Events within Europe. The Texas Geocaching Association created a new Maze in the United States.

To find out if there is an active GPS Adventure Maze, complete this search.

For information about the European GPS Maze, see the Czech geocaching page or contact the Czech Association of Geocaching.

3.13. Community Celebration Events - 2020

Lese die Richtlinien auf Deutsch.
Lisez les lignes directives en français.

Community Celebration Event requirements

Tips for a successful Celebration event

3.14. Community Celebration Events - 2020 [DEUTSCH]

Anforderungen für Community-Celebration-Events

Tipps für ein erfolgreiches Celebration-Event

3.15. Community Celebration Events - 2020 [Français]

Les exigences pour les Events Célébration de la Communauté


Conseils pour réussir votre Event Célébration de la Communauté

4. EarthCaches

4.1. Create an EarthCache

An EarthCache provides an earth science lesson through a visit to a unique geological feature. For examples and ideas, see our list of 11 Stunning EarthCaches or add these EarthCaches to your bucket list. The complete EarthCache guidelines are available in multiple languages the GSA website. Here are four guidelines to keep in mind.

EarthCache permission

Landowner or land manager permission is required for most EarthCache locations. Warn the manager that your EarthCache may bring more people to the site so they can plan for more visitors.

To document permission, post a Reviewer Note with the name, title, and contact information of the person who granted permission. If possible, include a copy of the email that they sent to you.

Public lands are managed in different ways throughout the world. For example, EarthCaches placed on National Parks Service property in the United States will need a special permission. If you are certain that the location requires no permission, explain this in a Reviewer Note.

EarthCache page

The description and tasks should combine to teach an earth science lesson. Highlight what is unique or interesting about the location. Write in your own words and acknowledge your sources. Don’t copy and paste information from Wikipedia or similar sites.

Assume no prior knowledge of geology, and write at age 14 reading level. Some geocachers use GPS devices with a limited amount of text. If your cache page is long, place the logging tasks near the top.

Get permission to use logos on your cache page. This includes the Official EarthCache logo. Even if you have permission to place the EarthCache, ask for explicit permission to use a public land logo. Don’t use graphs and photographs that are copyright protected.

EarthCache proximity

You can place an EarthCache near a physical geocache. Content is more important than physical proximity. If an existing physical geocache or EarthCache highlights the same feature as a new EarthCache submission, the reviewer may reject the EarthCache submission.

You can develop multiple EarthCaches at the same location, but only if they provide distinctive lessons. It may be better to combine the lessons into one EarthCache.

Vacation EarthCaches

You can submit an EarthCache for a location that is far from your home if you visited the site no more than two months before the submission. The reviewer may reject the submission if cache maintenance seems likely in the future. Another common mistake with vacation EarthCaches is that cache owners forget to check the local rules for geocaching. Make sure to get the necessary permissions.

4.2. Accepted sciences for EarthCaches

EarthCache sciences must focus on the solid earth and the processes that shape it. These lists are not all-inclusive. Your EarthCache reviewer will address specific concerns about your topic, location, or lesson. Learn about additional limitations for EarthCache types.

Accepted sciences

Unaccepted sciences

4.3. EarthCache logging tasks

Updated 10 June, 2019


An EarthCache teaches an earth science lesson. The cache page must include logging tasks that help teach the same lesson. Remember that the EarthCache is based on the world around us, not on an informational sign at the EarthCache site. Geocachers must complete the tasks before they log the EarthCache as found.

Acceptable logging tasks

Tip: Tasks that require geocachers to take measurements are only accepted if they allow people to demonstrate what they have learned.

Unacceptable logging tasks

Important: Provide the answers to your logging tasks and how the finder can determine them, in a Reviewer Note on the cache page. Reviewer Notes are automatically deleted when a cache is published.

4.4. EarthCache review

EarthCaches are reviewed by community volunteer reviewers who are specially trained by the Geological Society of America. They are experts who have a reviewer account that they use to review EarthCaches only.

Please be patient during review. EarthCache pages include a lot of details and scientific information, so they require extra attention. The process may take longer than seven days.

To find your local EarthCache reviewer, look at the cache page of a recently published EarthCache in your area. The “Published” log at the bottom of the page belongs to the EarthCache reviewer. Learn more about finding local reviewers.

4.5. Limiting some EarthCache types

(Updated 11 January, 2019)


We try to prevent too many EarthCaches about the same topic. New submissions for the following topics will be considered only if they provide a unique earth science lesson.

Note: Local limitations may vary. For example, Yellowstone National Park has many EarthCaches about thermal water features like geysers and hot springs, new submissions need teach something unique to be accepted.

Topic Limitation
Building stones We only accept EarthCaches about building stones if the lesson is about a geological feature or structure within the building stone. Examples: Minerals, fossils, cross-bedding, and cave fill.
We do not accept generic lessons about the stone’s type, formation, or origin alone. We do not accept an emphasis on cultural or historical significance
Watershed divides and aquifiers We accept major watershed divides that demonstrate a clear connection between the divide and the visible local geology.
River confluences We accept major river confluences that demonstrate a clear connection between the river confluence and the visible local geology.
Waterfall classification We no longer accept EarthCache submissions that feature various types of waterfalls with a logging task asking to identify the type of waterfall. We do accept waterfall EarthCaches with specific information about the local geology and related logging tasks.
Artesian wells/springs We do not accept general descriptions of how an artesian well or spring forms. The EarthCache should include details about the geological conditions that caused the specific artesian well/spring to form at the location.
Note: If there is nothing to see at the site except for a building or an information board, the EC will not be accepted.
Wetlands
We only accept bogs/wetlands where the focus is on the underlying geology of why it exists in this location, and where that underlying geology is visible.  The focus cannot be on biology, ecology, etc.
Note: In almost all cases, the underlying geology in a wetland is not visible.
Glacial erratics We accept EarthCaches about glacial erratics only if they focus on the relationship between the blocks and the surrounding geology. Logging tasks should examine or identify how the action of the glaciers brought the erratics to the location.
U.S. river gauging stations We no longer accept new submissions.


5. Hide your cache

5.1. Hide your first geocache

Hiding a geocache is a big milestone for any geocacher. Before hiding your first cache, we encourage you to find at least 20 geocaches. Finding a variety of caches makes it easier to create an enjoyable experience for others. To find caches, be sure to download the Geocaching® app or search our online map.

After checking out the gameboard, learn more about hiding caches:

Once you have found a variety of caches and have a unique location in mind, you can create a cache page on Geocaching.com. NOTE: you cannot create a cache page using the Geocaching® app. For more information about submitting a cache, see our Help Center.

A local community volunteer reviewer will review your cache page before they publish it. Learn more about the cache review process.

5.2. How to get accurate coordinates

Why are accurate coordinates important?

Accurate coordinates make the difference between a happy find and a frustrating DNF. They prevent geocachers from damaging the environment by searching at the wrong location.

When hiding a cache, record accurate coordinates by following the steps below.

Record accurate coordinates

Follow these steps to record coordinates:

  1. Hold your GPS or smartphone so that it has a clear view of the sky with few or no obstructions.
  2. Wait until the accuracy figure has stopped and drops no more.
  3. Record these coordinates by writing them down or marking them as a waypoint.

Calculate average coordinates

Record even more accurate coordinates by averaging them:

  1. Record coordinates by following the steps above.
  2. Walk away and approach the location from a different direction.
  3. Record coordinates a second time.
  4. Repeat steps 2 and 3 at least once more.
  5. Average the last 3 digits of the N and W coordinates.

Example:
N51° 42.634' W4°19.915'
N51° 42.636' W4°19.917'
N51° 42.635' W4°19.916'
(634+636+635)/3 = 635
(915+917+916)/3 = 916
Averaged coordinates are N51° 42.635' W4°19.916'

Obstructions influence accuracy

Nearby obstructions affect GPS signals and decrease position accuracy. Obstructions may include

Changes to the air in the upper atmosphere and ionosphere can also affect accuracy. Neither a GPS or smartphone will give you an exact position. At best, you'll get an accuracy of 10 to 15 feet (3 to 5 meters). Obstructions can lead to an accuracy of 5 to 30 feet (6 to 10 meters) or worse.

Time influences accuracy

Allow plenty of time for your GPS or smartphone to get an accurate reading. This can take 5 to 10 minutes, and sometimes longer. More satellites being received leads to better accuracy.

The screenshots below are from a handheld GPS (Garmin Oregon). They show how the following information changes over time:

After 1 minute
after one minute
After 2 minutes
after two minutes
After 3 minutes
after three minutes

 

Geocaching® App

Record coordinates
  1. Choose any cache on your app and start navigation
  2. From navigation screen, tap compass icon
  3. Wait until accuracy settles and record current coordinates

choose any cache  select compass icon  wait until accuracy figure has dropped

Screenshots are from the Geocaching® mobile app on iPhone. It will look slightly different on Android devices.

Record current coordinates by saving a new waypoint
  1. Choose any cache on your app and scroll down to Waypoints
  2. Tap the + icon to add new waypoint
  3. Choose current coordinates to save as a waypoint

select waypoints from any cachetap + iconsave current coordinates as waypoints

Screenshots are from the Geocaching® mobile app on iPhone. It will look slightly different on Android devices.

5.3. Coordinate formats

What is GPS?

The Global Positioning System (GPS) is a network of satellites orbiting the Earth and broadcasting a radio signal. GPS devices like smartphones and GPS receivers use coordinates to define each specific location point for navigation.

Coordinate formats

There are a lot of different coordinate formats. The following four formats all show the location of Geocaching HQ. When you create a new cache page, you can use any of these four formats — but make sure you include exact spacing and decimal points! Degree, minute, and second symbols are optional.

Note, that on the Edit Page you can only use the DDM format.

Format name Format Coordinates Info
Degrees, Decimal Minutes (DDM) HDD MM.mmm  N 47° 38.938
W 122° 20.887
Default format on Geocaching.com.
Decimal Degrees (DD) DD.ddddd 47.64896
-122.34811
Often used in web mapping applications.
Decimal Degrees (HDD) HDD. ddddd N 47.64896
W 122.34811
Similar to DD but includes hemisphere (N/S/E/W).
Degrees, Minutes, Decimal Seconds (DMS) HDD MM SS.ss N 47°38’ 56.26”
W 122°20’53.20”
Used in nautical navigation.
Note: Without Decimal Seconds, this format is not accurate enough to locate a geocache!

Tip: Don’t use the iPhone compass app to record coordinates for your hide. The iPhone compass app uses the DMS format without the decimal portion of the seconds. This format is not accurate and can cover an area of up to 1000 square feet (100 square meters). Learn how to use the Geocaching® app to record your coordinates.

5.4. GPS usage

Each geocache published on Geocaching.com must include GPS usage for geocachers who look for that cache.

Tip: Find out how to get accurate coordinates.

Adequate GPS usage

The cache page must provide coordinates of a specific object or location that is needed to find the cache. In most cases, this specific object is the cache container. However, it could also be another object is needed to find the final container or the next stage.

Examples of specific objects or locations:

Inadequate GPS usage

Coordinates for locations or objects that are not necessary to find the cache do not count as adequate GPS usage.

Examples of objects that don't count as GPS usage:

5.5. Cache containers explained

The popularity and longevity of a geocache often depends on the cache container. Before you choose a container, check out these helpful resources:

Cache container guidelines

Suitable in all weather

Your container should be waterproof to protect cache contents from rain, snow, ice, and condensation. If you place your cache in direct sunlight, choose a container that won’t degrade quickly from exposure. The lid and base should be made from the same material. If they are made from different materials, the seal will degrade faster.  Disposable food storage containers are not suitable for life outdoors, as they quickly deteriorate and crack or get wet inside.

Suitable for the location

Choose a container that’s appropriate for the environment and population density of the location. A micro is hard to find in a forest, while a large cache may be too obvious in an urban setting.

Unscented

Don’t reuse food packaging for your cache container. Coffee cans and cookie tins may seem like great containers, but they retain food odors. This attracts animals who may damage the cache and harm themselves in the process.

Non-threatening

Non-geocachers may be confused if they find your container on accident. To avoid alarm, consider these tips:

Cache container examples

These common containers all make great geocaches:

Polypropylene boxes

Polypropylene boxes

Polypropylene boxes are transparent and watertight. Clasps hold the lid to the base and make a tight seal. Since the lids and bases are usually made from the same material, the seal holds up well over time. Shop Geocaching carries a branded line of these products.

Note: Please don’t use food storage containers like GladWare. These aren’t made for outdoor conditions.

Ammunition boxes

Ammunition boxes

Military surplus ammo boxes usually have a rubber gasket, which is watertight. They’re green, which is good camouflage. But ammo boxes may look dangerous to non-geocachers. Remove any military markings with isopropyl alcohol, sandpaper, or a wire brush. Or turn them into cammo cans! You can also buy transparent ammo cans in the Geocaching Shop.

Boat supply container

Boat supply containers

These containers are designed to keep supplies dry on boats. They’re generally 10 inches (25 centimeters) in diameter. The gasket in the lid makes them durable and watertight. Their main disadvantage is that they’re highly visible. And they’re made of polyethylene, so they’re hard to paint any other color.

film canister

Film canisters

A 35mm or APS film canister is a classic micro cache container, but choose your cannister wisely. Use our branded film canister or find an opaque white one. Avoid canisters with black bodies and gray lids. These are not waterproof.

Disguised micros

Disguised micros

These “devious” micro cache containers are disguised as day-to-day objects, such as bolts, reflectors, rocks, and even chewing gum! They’re tricky to find, but fun to discover.

Micro capsule

Micro capsules

Micro capsules come in different sizes and are perfect for micro caches. They are often called “Bison® tubes” because many capsules are made by Bison Designs. You can attach them to key rings, which makes them easy to hang in trees or other tricky places. Plus, they tend to be waterproof.

Magnetic nanos

Magnetic nanos

These tiny metal containers make great nanos—the smallest type of micro cache. They stick to magnetic surfaces and tend to be waterproof

5.6. Can I hide a cache while on vacation?

It’s not recommended

We recommend that you do not hide a geocache while traveling. Vacation/holiday caches are usually not published.

Geocache owners must visit their caches to maintain them. Log books fill up, cache contents get wet, or the cache can disappear. If you live far away from your cache, timely maintenance is impossible. It’s best to place physical caches in your usual caching area.

Maintenance plan

If you do place a geocache while traveling, you must have a maintenance plan. For example, a local geocacher agrees to maintain the cache in your absence. When you submit your cache, document your plan in a Reviewer Note. Include the local geocacher’s username, contact information, and written consent. Information in Reviewer Notes will auto-archive on publication and will not be available to other players.

5.7. Indoor geocaches

Geocaching is primarily an outdoor activity, but in some cases you can hide geocaches indoors.

When in doubt, check with your reviewer to make sure that your indoor cache follows the guidelines.

GPS and indoor caches

All geocaches must involve GPS use. Inside buildings, GPS signal is either unreliable or not present. To follow the GPS rule, indoor caches must have an additional stage outdoors. Coordinates at the entrance to the building are not enough.

The outdoor stage can be before or after the indoor stage. Because they must have more than one stage, indoor caches can never be traditional caches.

Final container indoors

If the final container is inside a building, then the outdoor stage must provide essential information for finding the final container. Players should not be able to find the final container without completing the outdoor stage. The outdoor stage can be physical or virtual.

Here are examples of essential information:

Final container outdoors

The player must use GPS to find at least one outdoor stage. If the final container is outside, then the indoor stage can provide coordinates to the final container. The indoor stage can be physical or virtual.

5.8. Don't bury your cache or attach it to a tree

Digging is not allowed

Creating a hole in the ground can damage the environment and displease landowners. Therefore you cannot place a cache that requires the finder to dig a hole.

Buried caches need permission

To hide a cache in a way that creates a hole in the ground, first get explicit permission from the landowner.

Examples of cache hides that need explicit permission:

Don’t attach caches to trees

Attaching a cache to a tree with hardware (for example, with nails) can damage the tree and displease landowners.

Caches attached to trees need permission

To hide a cache in a way that attaches the cache to a tree with hardware, first get explicit permission from the landowner.

Examples of cache hides that need explicit permission:

If you are unsure if your cache idea needs explicit permission, check if your idea is publishable.

Explicit permission

Provide full details of your permission in a Reviewer Note. Include:

Tip: Add a photo of your cache and how it is hidden to a Reviewer Note to help in the review process. The photo will automatically be removed when your cache is published. Your reviewer may require this photo.

5.9. Add geocache instructions for finders

It's a good idea to include instructions for finders in each of your geocaches. This welcome note explains what to do with the cache and how to learn more about geocaching. We do not intend for "muggles" to find geocaches, but it does happen sometimes.

Some cache owners put this note on the first page of the logbook or as a loose sheet of paper in the plastic bag with the logbook. Those with micro caches often include this note on the back of the logsheet.

You can download the instructions for finders in several languages and sizes on the Hide a Geocache page. Print the one you want and include it with your next geocache hide!

5.10. Place your cache

Many cache submissions are not published due to basic violations. Before you hide a cache, read the geocaching guidelines, watch the Hide a Geocache tutorial, and check out the tips below!

Choose an appropriate location

Make sure your location is appropriate. Avoid areas where your cache may be mistaken for a bomb, like a bridge or airport. Avoid areas near schools or playgrounds, where cache hunting behavior may worry parents or school staff.

Consider proximity

Your cache must be at least 1/10 mile or 528 feet (161 meters) from other caches. Use the planning map tool to check your location. The tool marks places that are already taken by other caches. It won't tell you about hidden waypoints, however. To be completely sure, ask your community volunteer reviewer if a location is available.

Get permission

Get permission from the landowner or land manager before you hide a cache. Some areas are private property, or don't allow geocaching. The Regional Geocaching Policies Wiki is an excellent resource for restrictions in your area.

Don't damage property or nature

Don’t damage, deface, or destroy the property of others while hiding your cache. This includes private and public property alike.

Don't damage the environment. Screwing or drilling into a live tree creates an inroad for
insects and disease. Don’t dig a hole to bury a cache partially or completely. In some regions, buried caches are allowed if the landowner gives explicit permission. See the Regional Geocaching Policies Wiki for details in your region.

Avoid commercialization and agendas

Don’t use your cache to promote commercial interests or agendas. Read more about commercial guidelines.

Sometimes people violate this guideline on accident. For example, you want to tell your geocaching friends about your favorite coffee shop. You don't own the shop and won't benefit financially. Still, the result is that you are advertising a business.

Geocaches cannot require or encourage players to place more caches. This is also considered an agenda. For example, “Find this cache, then place another cache in the series.”

Be family friendly

Make sure that your cache is suitable for all ages. If your physical cache, cache page, or associated content contains material or references that are inappropriate for children, it will not be published ..

6. Submit your cache page

6.1. Submit a cache page

Submit a cache page

Before you create a new cache page, choose a good container and place your cache.

Create new cache page

Create a new cache page

Follow the cache submission process to create your cache page. Consider adding attributes to your geocache so it appears in filtered searches and tells geocachers more about your cache.

Tip: Learn how to add images to your cache page or make it fancy with HTML

Submit for review

Once your cache page is complete, select Submit for review at the top of the page and write a Reviewer Note. Include any permissions that you have received. Explain where your cache is hidden, give some context about the location, or how to solve for coordinates. The more your reviewer knows, the faster the review process will go.

Submit for review banner

Check for confirmation email

You will receive a confirmation email when you submit your cache. To see what email address is associated with your geocaching account, visit your Email Preferences. If you did not receive an email, there may have been a technical error with your submission.

Tip: Verify that you can receive emails from noreply@geocaching.com. Sometimes spam filters block these emails unless you update your spam settings!

Cancel cache submission

You can cancel the submission if you want to continue editing your cache.

  1. Select Cancel at the top of your cache page.
  2. Then select Edit cache.

Cancel submission

Archived by reviewer

Sometimes, reviewers publish geocaches without question or comment. Other times, reviewers may ask for clarification or changes. If the reviewer finds that a cache page cannot be published, they may archive it. A cache may be unpublishable because of problems with the description or location. When archiving, reviewers may refer caches to the Geocaching HQ Appeals team.

Submit an appeal

Sometimes, you and your reviewer may not agree on necessary changes. Learn more about how to appeal a reviewer decision.

6.2. Community volunteer reviewers

Geocaching is a community driven game played all around the world.  It relies on the support of more than 400 community volunteers.

Community volunteers are geocachers, like you, who are involved in their local geocaching communities. They are a diverse and dedicated group from over 35 countries who give their time to translate content, moderate forums and review cache pages on behalf of the global geocaching community..

Community volunteer reviewers

When a cache owner submits a cache page for review, a reviewer will check it before publication. Reviewers are experienced and knowledgeable geocachers who have a strong understanding of the guidelines, local policies, and regulations. During the review process, reviewers help cache owners to understand the guidelines and make changes to their cache page if necessary.

Only cache pages that meet the geocaching guidelines can be published. At the very end of a cache page you can find who published a cache page in the the publish log.

Publish Listing log

Reviewers mostly review for their local community but sometimes they review in different areas as well. Reviewers dedicate many hours of their personal life to give back to the community.

Reviewer account

Most reviewers create a new username to separate their volunteer role from their player account. Do not be surprised if it appears your reviewer has found few or no caches - this is far from the truth.

Find out how to contact your local reviewer.

New reviewers

Reviewers choose and train each other with guidance from Geocaching HQ.

New reviewers are generally identified in collaboration with the local and global reviewing teams based on a need in the area and each candidate's skills and experience.

Volunteers obey the Frog.

Skills and experience:

If you'd like to become a community volunteer reviewer, work on the skills described above. When you least expect it, you might be asked!

6.3. Waypoints and stages

Traditional geocaches have a single set of posted coordinates. Other cache types may have many waypoints and stages.

What is a waypoint?

A waypoint is a set of coordinates associated with a geocache. There are 6 types of waypoints:

Learn how to edit, add, and delete waypoints from a cache page.

Physical stages

A physical stage is a waypoint where the cache owner has placed an item, such as a container or a tag. A physical stage must be at least 528 feet (161 meters) away from the physical stages of other geocaches.

Virtual stages

A virtual stage is a waypoint where the cache owner has not placed an item. Geocachers gather information at virtual stages to help them find or complete the cache. A virtual stage can be within 528 feet (161 meters) of other geocaches.

Parking areas, reference points, and trailheads

These waypoints help geocachers park their cars, find trails, or enjoy points of interest nearby. They don’t help geocachers find or complete the cache.

Final locations

The final location is where geocachers find the logbook. It is always a physical stage. There is only one final location per cache.

Visible and hidden waypoints

A waypoint can also be visible or hidden. A visible waypoint shows actual coordinates. Geocachers navigate to the coordinates to find an item or information.

A hidden waypoint shows “bogus” or “reference” coordinates. Geocachers must solve for the actual coordinates to find an item or information.

You can place a new cache near bogus coordinates because the cache owner hasn’t placed an item there. However, you can’t place a new cache near hidden, physical stages.

6.4. HTML in cache pages

Geocache pages can include some HTML and BBCode. You can enhance your cache page with hyperlinks, text effects, and more. To add an image via HTML, it must be hosted on Geocaching.com or one of the approved domains.

Toggle the Source button in the description field editor to add HTML to your description.

Style HTML code Result on web
Line break
“Nate the Great<br />
is never late<br />
to eat the food<br / >
that’s on his plate”
“Nate the Great 
is never late 
to eat the food
that’s on his plate”
Paragraph <p>A text often starts with a paragraph.</p>
<p>And is often followed by another paragraph.</p>
A text often starts with a paragraph.

And is often followed by another paragraph.
Hyperlink <a href=”www.geocaching.com”>Geocaching</a> Geocaching
Bold <b>bold</b> bold
Italic <i>italic<i/> italic
Text color <font color=”green”>Color</font> Color
Horizontal line <hr color="green">

Numbered list <ol>
<li>Apples</li>
<li>Oranges</li>
<li>Bananas</li>
</ol>
  1. Apples
  2. Oranges
  3. Bananas
Bullet points <ul>
<li>Apples</li>
<li>Oranges</li>
<li>Bananas</li>
</ul>
  • Apples
  • Oranges
  • Bananas
Image
Learn how to upload an image
 <img src=”https://s3.amazonaws.com/gs-geo-images/b3f21d54-5547-4fe3-98d8-7ae2286a3766.png” /> example image

6.5. HTML in Geocache-Seiten (Deutsch)

Geocache-Seiten können mithilfe von HTML oder BBCode kreativ gestaltet werden. Du kannst deine Cache-Seiten mit Hyperlinks, Text-Effekten und vielem mehr bereichern. Um ein Bild einzufügen, verwende Bilder, die auf Geocaching.com gehostet sind, oder auf einer von diesen akzeptierten Webseiten.


Schalte im Beschreibungsfeld-Editor Quellcode ein, um deiner Beschreibung HTML hinzuzufügen.

Stil HTML-Code Resultat
Zeilenumbruch
“Nate the Great<br />
is never late<br />
to eat the food<br / >
that’s on his plate”
“Nate the Great 
is never late 
to eat the food
that’s on his plate”
Absatz <p>Ein Text beginnt mit einem Absatz.</p>
<p>Oft folgt daraufhin ein weiterer Absatz.</p>
Ein Text beginnt mit einem Absatz.

Oft folgt daraufhin ein weiterer Absatz.
Hyperlink <a href=”www.geocaching.com”>Geocaching</a> Geocaching
Fett <b>fett</b> fett
Kursiv <i>kursiv<i/> kursiv
Textfarbe <font color=”green”>Farbe</font> Farbe
Horizontale Linie <hr color="green">

Nummerierte Liste <ol>
<li>Apples</li>
<li>Oranges</li>
<li>Bananas</li>
</ol>
  1. Apples
  2. Oranges
  3. Bananas
Stichpunkt Liste <ul>
<li>Apples</li>
<li>Oranges</li>
<li>Bananas</li>
</ul>
  • Apples
  • Oranges
  • Bananas
Bild
Lerne hier wie man ein Bild hochlädt (Englisch)
 <img src=”https://s3.amazonaws.com/gs-geo-images/b3f21d54-5547-4fe3-98d8-7ae2286a3766.png” /> example image

Weitere Beispiele und Vorlagen findest Du in in diesem Wikiprojekt.

6.6. Geocache hints

You can include an optional hint in your cache page to provide additional information for geocachers who have trouble finding the cache at GZ. These hints appear on your cache page below the Geocache Description.

Hints are hidden or encrypted

In the mobile app, hints are hidden until a geocacher selects View Hint. On the website, hints are encrypted using the ROT13 cipher until a geocacher selects Decrypt.

ROT13 is a cipher that replaces a letter with the letter that comes 13 letters after it in the alphabet. If you divide the alphabet into two lines of text, the letter above equals the letter below, and vice versa.

A|B|C|D|E|F|G|H|I|J|K|L|M
-------------------------
N|O|P|Q|R|S|T|U|V|W|X|Y|Z

If you enter text in [square brackets], that text will not be encrypted. For example, if you provide three hints that are meant to be used in order because they result in decreased difficulty, you may want to put the following text in brackets:

[first hint] Zl prvyvat znqr bs abguvat uneqre. [second hint] Gur fcnpr vg znxrf: gevnathyne. [spoiler hint] orgjrra fyno bs pbapergr naq bnx gerr.

Helpful hints

An effective hint should narrow the search area without being too specific. Hints should be short so that geocachers can manually decode them while they are searching for a cache.

The examples below will likely help with the search:

Some hints are fun, little riddles:

A spoiler hint may be appropriate in an area where you want to protect the surroundings or shorten the search:

Unhelpful hints

Parking locations, driving directions, and hints that will likely require online research are unhelpful hints. You should list these as additional waypoints or add them to the Geocache Description.

Hints that do not help to narrow the search area can frustrate or discourage geocachers. It is better to leave the hint field blank rather than to give information that does not help. Here are examples of inappropriate hints:

6.7. Add images to your cache page

To add an image to your cache page, upload it to your cache page gallery and insert it into your cache page.

Upload the image

  1. On the edit page of your cache, below the description field, select Add images.
  2. Choose the image you want to upload from your computer.
  3. Optional: Add File Caption and File Description.
  4. Select Upload.
  5. Once the upload is complete, click the image to open it in a new tab and copy the image URL from the address line of your browser.

'Add image' link below description field

Insert the image into your cache description

  1. On the edit page of your cache
  2. Upload images from your computer using the uploader functionality.
  3. Select save.

image icon in editor of description field


Upload a background image

  1. On the edit page, drag and drop or browse your computer to select an image into the Background Image field.
  2. Select Save.


6.8. Add a solution checker to your Mystery Cache page

Mystery Caches often include a tool to check solutions on the cache page. This helps geocachers ensure their solved coordinates are correct before they go to find the final container.

Add the Geocaching.com solution checker to an existing Mystery Cache

Image showing how to add solution checker from edit page

  1. Access an existing Mystery Cache you own.
  2. On the edit page, select Display the solution checker on the cache page.
  3. Select Save.

The Geocaching.com solution checker attribute is automatically added to Mystery Caches that add this solution checker.

Add the Geocaching.com solution checker to a new Mystery Cache

Image of checkbox for solution checker

  1. Create a new Mystery Cache page.
  2. In the “Description” step, select Display the solution checker on the cache page.
  3. Select Continue.

The solution checker will show on the cache page under the description. The posted coordinates will show as the default coordinates (to help guide the geocacher with entering coordinates in the correct format). However, the correct solution will automatically be the same as the final coordinates. 

Solution checker

Features

Correct coordinates in solution checker

Note: The Geocaching.com solution checker is not available on the Geocaching® app.

6.9. Software, apps, and downloads

Technology is rapidly evolving. As we encounter new technology on cache pages, we consider if it is appropriate for our site. We review each cache page on its own merits.

Please read the geocaching guidelines and check with your reviewer to make sure that your cache page complies. We update our policies about software, apps, and downloads regularly.

Computer software

Cache pages cannot require cachers to buy, download, or install a program on their computer. If your cache requires a specific program, it will not be published. Use online-only resources instead.

Mobile apps

Allowed
Not allowed

An exception to the specific mobile app rule are AR_caches that were published during the AR experiment from June 2018 - March 2019.

Downloads

Allowed

If your cache page links to files that are downloaded when opened, please paste the following disclaimer on your cache page:

Alert: You are about to download a file that contains details needed to find this geocache. As the geocache owner, I ensure that this file is safe to download. It has not been checked by Geocaching HQ or by the reviewer for possible malicious content. Download this file at your own risk. [insert link here]

Not allowed

6.10. Links in geocache pages

Technology is rapidly evolving. As we encounter new technology on cache pages, we consider if it is appropriate for our site. We review each cache page on its own merits.

Please read the geocaching guidelines and check with your reviewer to make sure that your cache page complies. We review each cache page on its own merits.

Allowed
Not allowed

Click here for more information about our commercial guidelines.

6.11. Approved domains for images

Images in your cache and trackable descriptions must be hosted on Geocaching.com or one of the approved domains below. All other images will be blocked to protect other players from advertising and other browser cookies.

This list is subject to change.

Approved domains 

6.12. Cache container sizes

Geocaches come in all shapes and sizes. The definitions below can help you choose the correct size for your cache. The names of container sizes differ slightly between our website and app, but the definitions are the same.

Micro (XS)

Micro containers are less than 100 milliliters. They’re about the size of a film canister, or smaller. They can hold a tiny logbook or log sheet. If a micro cache is less than 10 milliliters, it’s often called a nano cache.

Small (S)

Small containers are 100 milliliters to 1 liter. They’re about the size of an apple. They can hold a small logbook and trade items.

Regular (M)

Regular containers are 1 to 20 liters. They’re about the size of a shoebox. Many of these caches are ammo cans.

Large (L)

Large containers are more than 20 liters. They're larger than a shoebox. Buckets, bins, or even railroad freight cars can be large containers.

Other (--)

Some containers just don't fit into size categories, like a magnetic sheet with a logbook attached. See the cache description for more information.

6.13. Ratings for difficulty and terrain (D/T)

Every geocache has a difficulty (D) rating and a terrain (T) rating on a 5-star scale. It is known as the D/T rating.

Ratings vary from one community to the next. A 3-star terrain in Banff, Canada, is a different experience than a 3-star terrain in Amsterdam, Holland. Please rate your cache accurately based on standards in your area and guidance in the table below.

Tip: Event caches always have a 1-star difficulty rating because it is easy for geocachers to “find” events. They are in plain sight or can be found in a few minutes of searching. It does not matter how difficult the event activities may be.

Rating Difficulty Terrain
  Effort needed to solve and find the cache and logbook at GZ. Physical effort needed to arrive at coordinates.
1 star
Easy to find or solve within a few minutes.
The hike is less than 0.5 mile (0.8 km) and wheelchair accessible (attribute required). Most likely paved and flat.
1.5 stars
Easy to find or solve within 10-15 minutes.
The hike is less than 0.5 mile (0.8 km). Most likely flat but may not be wheelchair accessible.
2 stars
Relatively easy to find or solve within 30 minutes
The hike is less than 2 miles (3 km) along well-defined paths with no significant elevation change or overgrowth.
2.5 stars
A mild challenge, but relatively easy for an experienced geocacher.
Terrain may have small elevation changes or moderate overgrowth.
3 stars
A somewhat challenging puzzle or hiding spot.
The hike may be more than 2 miles (3 km) on varied terrain - too difficult to ride a bike due to elevation changes or significant overgrowth.
3.5 stars
Quite difficult. Be prepared for a mental challenge.
Quite strenuous, extended hike on widely variable terrain.
4 stars
Very difficult and may take special knowledge, advanced preparation, or multiple trips.
Very strenuous movement that may include significant distance, overgrowth, swimming, or elevation changes.
4.5 stars
Extremely difficult. Most likely requires special knowledge or skills.
Extremely demanding movement over potentially hazardous terrain.
5 stars
The most extreme mental challenge. Requires specialized knowledge, skills, tools, or significant effort to find, solve, or open.
Requires specialized equipment such as scuba gear, a boat, rock climbing gear, or similar.

6.14. Cache review process

Review process

A local reviewer checks your cache page against our guidelines and regional policies, but does not visit the physical location of your cache. Typically, review begins within 7 days of the date that you submit your cache. But reviews may take longer in the week before or after holidays and large geocaching events.

Tip: Submit your geocache for review and check for updates on your Cache owner dashboard under Unpublished hides. 

Communicate with your reviewer

The reviewer may post a “reviewer note” or “disable” log with questions or concerns on the cache page. Work with your reviewer and make the necessary edits to your cache page so that it can be published. Answer your reviewer’s questions and confirm that you made the required changes.

Select Respond to answer your reviewer’s questions, or select Edit cache to make the necessary changes to bring your cache page to a publishable state. Make sure to Resubmit for review after you finish your edits.

Select Respond or Edit cache to make the necessary changes.

Select Respond or Edit cache to make the necessary changes.

Select Resubmit for review or Edit cache to make the necessary changes.

Select Resubmit for review or Edit cache to make the necessary changes.

Tip: Select Log geocache on the cache page and choose Post reviewer note to add images to your log.

In the case that you cannot come to an agreement with your reviewer, you can submit an appeal.

6.15. Submit an appeal

We know that you have put a lot of effort into placing and submitting your geocache. On behalf of geocachers everywhere, we thank you!

Before you submit an appeal

Before you submit an appeal, try your best to follow your reviewer’s advice. Reviewers are community volunteers who are chosen for their deep knowledge of the game and guidelines. They are discreet, personable, and enjoy helping people publish their caches.

It’s also a good idea to re-read the Geocache hiding guidelines. When reviewing appeals, Geocaching HQ rarely makes an exception to the guidelines. It may be faster to update your geocache to follow the guidelines than to wait for the appeals process.

If you and your reviewer cannot agree on necessary changes, you can submit an appeal to the Geocaching HQ Appeals team.

How to submit an appeal

To submit an appeal, send us an email through Help Center. Categorize the email as Appeals.

In your email, include this required information:

The Geocaching HQ Appeals team cannot review your appeal until you provide all the information above. Please make sure to submit a complete appeal!

Tip: For a faster review, write your appeal in English or German so we can easily understand your information.

6.16. Unpublished geocaches may be archived

It’s good etiquette to submit your cache page for review within three months of creation. Inactive and unpublished cache pages may delay the review of newly submitted geocaches. To prevent this, inactive cache pages that are older than ten months may be automatically archived.

Make sure to check your Cache owner dashboard for updates and to post regular Reviewer Notes on your cache page if:

Archived cache pages keep their history

Unpublished and archived cache cache pages are still available to you. For example, you can

To view unpublished cache pages that are archived

  1. Select Geocaches on your private profile page.
  2. Select Show Archived from Your Geocaches Awaiting Publication on the right side.
  3. Archived cache pages will appear in strikethrough text.

If you think that your geocache was archived in error, contact your community volunteer reviewer for help.

6.17. Contact your local reviewer

There are two places where you can find a community volunteer reviewer for your area.

On the local geocache page

  1. Search for local geocaches and select a recently published cache.
  2. Find the Publish Listing log near the bottom of the cache logs. This log usually belongs to a local reviewer.
  3. Click the reviewer’s username to open their geocaching profile page.
  4. Click the reviewer’s email address or click Send Email.
Reviewer profile on Geocaching.com

 

On the website for regional policies

  1. Visit the website for regional policies.
  2. Select your region or country from the list on the left side of the page.
  3. Find the list of active reviewers for your area, on the right side of the page.
  4. Click one of the reviewer names to open their geocaching profile page.
  5. Click the reviewer’s email address or click Send Email.
regional wiki

 

Email a local reviewer

Here are some tips for sending an email to a local reviewer:

7. Ownership after publication

7.1. Manage your cache page

As a cache owner, you can view all of your published geocaches and access Admin Tools from each of your cache pages to make updates. Admin Tools include: 

Admin tools on owned cache

Log types for cache owners

7.2. Edit a cache page after publication

In order for other geocachers to have a consistent experience when they find your cache, try to avoid editing your cache page after publication. Your cache page must still follow the geocaching guidelines.

However, if you need to make small edits after publication

Edits can include

If edits to your cache page change the experience of your geocache fundamentally, it may be appropriate to archive the cache page and submit a new one.

Tip: If you are unsure if your cache page will continue to follow the geocache hiding guidelines, contact a community volunteer reviewer for advice. If your changes do not follow the geocache hiding guidelines, the cache may be archived.

7.3. Geocache Health Score

Geocaching is more fun when caches are available to find. To help improve the overall caching experience, Geocaching HQ created an algorithm to calculate a hidden Health Score for each geocache. A low Health Score provides an indication that the cache may need attention from the owner. Our goal is to improve the overall geocaching experience and avoid frowny faces due to missing or broken caches.

This algorithm is based on a combination of logs and circumstances, including

Support for cache owners

If the Health Score of a cache drops below a certain point, an automatic email is sent to the cache owner. These emails alert owners that they might need to check on their cache. Here are a few options for cache owners:

Role of community volunteer reviewer

If the score of a cache does not change after the email is sent, a community volunteer might follow up with with further recommendations if it appears the geocache continues to need maintenance.

Answer your reviewer with a “Write Note” on the cache page and let them know when you will do maintenance.

Thanks for your help in keeping the game fun!

7.4. Maintenance expectations

To make sure your geocache is in good health, monitor the logs and visit the cache site periodically. View the Cache owner dashboard to get a full view of your caches and an activity feed of logs on your hides. Unmaintained caches may be archived.

Here is a list of your responsibilities as a cache owner:

7.5. Remove the “Needs Maintenance” icon

"Needs maintenance" icon and attribute

The community will report that your geocache needs maintenance if there are minor problems with your cache. When this happens, you will see the “Needs maintenance” icon and attribute on your cache page.

red wrench 
In the Info column, under Your owned caches.


white wrench on red background 
In the attributes on the right side of your cache page.

 

Remove the “Needs maintenance” icon

If you don't remove the "Needs maintenance" attribute it will affect the Health Score of your cache. Follow these steps to remove the "Needs maintenance" attribute:

  1. Temporarily disable your cache if maintenance will take some time.
  2. Maintain your cache. Find out how!
  3. Select Log geocache on your cache page.
  4. Select Owner maintenance as the log type.
  5. If you disabled your cache, enable it.

Thank you for being a responsible cache owner!

7.6. Disable and enable a geocache

To temporarily enable or disable your cache, follow these steps:

  1. Find the cache you want to enable or disable in your Cache owner dashboard.
  2. Select Enable or Disable from the Admin Tools.
  3. Explain in the log text why you are disabling or enabling your cache page.

You can temporarily disable your cache page if the cache needs repairs or if the area is closed temporarily. If someone posts a "needs maintenance" log on your cache page, perform maintenance and remove the "needs maintenance" icon before you enable your cache again.

If your cache needs to be disabled for a longer time, explain why in a cache log. Community volunteer reviewers may archive cache pages that are disabled for an extended time with no explanation. If you decide not to replace a missing geocache, archive your cache page.

Published geocaches that are temporarily disabled do not show up in the Geocaching® mobile app. They do show up on Geocaching.com.

7.7. Update geocache coordinates

This article describes how to update the posted coordinates. Learn how to update waypoint coordinates here.

If you move your geocache or if the original coordinates are inaccurate, you will need to update your cache coordinates. Make sure to check for geocache saturation before you change your coordinates. If you do not, a volunteer reviewer may disable your cache until you can relocate it so that it complies with the saturation guideline.

Change less than 528 feet (161 meters)

Cache owners can change the posted coordinates by up to 528 feet (161 meters) in the new logging flow.

  1. If necessary, disable your cache.
  2. Select Log geocache in the upper right of your cache page.
  3. Make sure you are in the new logging flow: Click the "Try it now" in the blue banner on the Post a New Log page.
  4. Choose Update coordinates as the log type.
  5. Enter the new coordinates.
  6. Explain the change text field.
  7. Select Post.
  8. If you disabled your geocache, enable it.
  9. If someone posted a “needs maintenance” log on your cache page, remove the “needs maintenance” icon.

If you wish, you can opt out of the new logging experience after using it.

Change more than 528 feet (161 meters)

If the new coordinates are more than 528 feet (161 meters) away from the original coordinates, you cannot change the coordinates yourself.

If the nature of the hide and hunt has fundamentally changed, submit a new cache page. If the nature of the hide and hunt has not changed, or if the original coordinates are wrong, you can ask a community volunteer reviewer to change the coordinates.

7.8. Update additional waypoints

To add, edit, or delete additional waypoints, select Edit from the Admin Tools on your cache page.

Add additional waypoints

  1. On the edit page, select Add waypoint.
  2. Choose the waypoint type.
  3. Enter a waypoint name.
  4. Enter coordinates in the DDM format.
  5. Choose between Visible, Hide Coordinates, and Hide Completely.
  6. Select Save at the bottom of the edit page.

To delete a waypoint, select the trash can icon.

7.9. Edit Premium-only status on a cache page

Premium-only caches can only be seen by Premium and Charter members.

Create a new Premium-only cache

When you create a new cache page, you can choose to make your cache available to Premium members only.

Choose who can see this geocache - CSP

Change a published cache to Premium-only

  1. On the cache page, select Edit from the Admin Tools.
  2. Select the checkbox to make your cache available to Premium members only.

Choose who can see this geocache - Edit page

If a basic member owns a Premium-only cache

A basic member can own a Premium-only cache if the cache owner's Premium membership lapses or a basic member adopts a Premium-only cache.

As a basic member, you can

7.10. Remove a spoiler image from your geocache

Sometimes geocachers post images in their logs that reveal too much information about your geocache. To remove “spoiler” images, follow these steps:

  1. Go to your list of published caches.
  2. Open the cache that has a spoiler image.
  3. Find the log with the spoiler image and select View Log.
  4. Above the image, select Edit Image.
  5. To the right of the image, select Delete Image.
  6. Enter the reason for image deletion. This text will be sent to the owner of the image.
  7. Select Yes, delete.

7.11. Respond to "throwdowns"

Throwdowns are strongly discouraged

A “throwdown” is a container placed by a geocacher who cannot find the original cache.

Some geocachers place throwdowns so that they can log a find on a cache that they suspect is missing. Geocaches should never be replaced without the permission of the cache owner. This can lead to multiple containers, geocacher confusion, and disputes about whether someone is entitled to log a find or not.

How to handle throwdowns

Cache owners are responsible for maintenance. When you are aware of throwdowns, check if your cache is still there and remove the throwdown cache. Consider disabling the cache until you can remove the throwdown or replace the original cache. If you do not disable the cache, you may want to honor Found It logs for the throwdown. However, the geocacher who placed the throwdown does not have a strong claim to log the cache as found.

7.12. My geocache was "muggled"

Sometimes “muggles” interfere with geocaches. If an unsuspecting muggle damaged or took your cache, follow the steps below:

  1. Temporarily disable your muggled cache. This ensures that other geocachers won’t try to find your cache before you hide it again.
  2. Replace your cache or hide it at a new location. You can update the cache coordinates yourself if the new location is not more than 528 feet (161 meters) from the original location.

7.13. Delete logs

Cache owners may delete geocache logs if they conflict with our Terms of Use Agreement or fail to meet the logging guidelines for their cache type. If you delete a log in error, ask your local reviewer to restore the log, or contact us.

Email the log owner

Before or immediately after you delete a log, email the log owner to explain your concerns. If the log or photos contain spoilers, invite the log owner to edit the log. If you have already deleted the log, invite them to post another log without spoilers.

If a log contains obscene or threatening language, delete it immediately. If you prefer not to email the log owner, contact us for assistance.

Permanently encrypt a log

Many logging errors are simple mistakes. Instead of deleting a log, you can choose to permanently encrypt it. Select View Log to open the log in a separate page. Then, select the Permanently Encrypt padlock.

Needs Maintenance and Needs Archived logs

Deleting a Needs Maintenance log does not remove the Needs Maintenance icon.

Similarly, deleting a Needs Archived log does not prevent a reviewer from archiving your cache. Needs Archived logs are automatically forwarded to reviewers.

7.14. Adopt or transfer a geocache

Geocaching HQ will not process a transfer without permission from the original cache owner. Follow the steps below to transfer and adopt geocaches.

Steps for the original cache owner

  1. Visit the geocache adoption tool.
  2. Enter the GC code (GCXXX) and select Lookup.
  3. Enter the username of the new owner and select Go.
  4. Provide any additional information in the text box.
  5. Select Send Adoption Request.

Note: Archived and grandfathered cache types cannot be transferred to a new owner. Neither the adoption tool nor Geocaching HQ can transfer Virtual, Webcam or Locationless cache types or archived caches.

Steps for the new cache owner

  1. When the original owner sends the adoption request, you will receive an email notification.
  2. Visit the geocache adoption tool and accept the adoption request.
  3. The cache page will transfer to your account.

Note: The owner name on the cache page will not change automatically, but it will link to the new owner’s profile. New owners often choose to edit the owner name to their username or “Placed by X and adopted by Y”.

7.15. Archive or unarchive a geocache

Archive a geocache

If you no longer want to maintain your cache, you must archive the cache page. 

To archive your cache page permanently:

  1. Log into your account on Geocaching.com and navigate to your cache owner dashboard.
  2. Select Published hides on the left side of the dashboard.
  3. Select the geocache that you would like to archive.
  4. Select Archive from the Admin Tools menu on your cache page.
  5. Enter a comment to explain why you are archiving the cache, and submit the log.
  6. If you archive a physical cache, remove the container from its hiding spot as soon as possible.

Archived caches do not show up in search results on Geocaching.com or in the Geocaching® mobile app.

Tip: Event Cache pages are automatically archived 30 days after the event date (60 days for Mega- and Giga-Events).

Unarchive a geocache

Archiving a geocache is meant to be a permanent action. Only community volunteer reviewers and Geocaching HQ can unarchive caches. This is done only in rare circumstances and only if the cache meets the current geocaching guidelines.

If a cache is archived by a reviewer or staff for lack of maintenance, it will not be unarchived.

If you accidentally archive your cache, contact the reviewer who originally published your cache page or another local reviewer. Make sure to explain why your cache should be unarchived. Provide the GC code.

7.16. Seasonal tips for cache owners

The changing seasons can affect geocache locations, containers, and contents. Follow these tips to make sure that your cache is visited all year.

All year

Summer

Winter

7.17. Log your own cache or event

Log your own geocache

It is not possible to log your own cache as "found".

When you revisit your cache to drop a trackable or do maintenance, use the "Write Note" log type or “Owner maintenance”, respectively.

Log your own event

Unlike other cache types, we encourage event hosts to log their own event caches. This is especially important when there is a souvenir for an event — you deserve the souvenir too!

7.18. HQ emails to inactive hider accounts

Cache maintenance is an important (and required) component of geocache ownership. In January 2020, as part of Geocaching HQ’s efforts to keep the geocaching game board fresh and encourage well maintained caches, we began a test in the U.S. states of Georgia and North Carolina.

In these states, Geocaching HQ has disabled physical caches owned by players whose Geocaching account has not shown activity in more than five (5) years. We asked them to perform any required maintenance on their cache and enable the cache page. Or, if the cache owner no longer wishes to own and maintain the cache, they can archive the cache or adopt it to an active geocacher. If the cache owner takes no action within 30 days, HQ will archive the cache.

This test does not apply to:

Only 1-3% of geocaches in these states are impacted by the test. Geocaching HQ will closely analyze the results before deciding whether to expand the test to additional regions.