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Media FAQs

Geocaching At-a-Glance

  • What is geocaching?
    Geocaching is an outdoor adventure where players use our free mobile app or a GPS device to find cleverly hidden containers around the world.
  • How many people geocache?
    There are approximately 3 million active geocachers worldwide, with more than 830,000 active users in the U.S., more than 375,000 in Germany and more than 160,000 in the United Kingdom.
  • How many geocaches are hidden?
    More than 2.8 million geocaches are waiting to be found in over 180 countries.
  • Why do people geocache?
    People geocache because it’s a way to explore the world around them with friends and family and because it’s fun. Geocaching is a game that reveals a world beyond the everyday, where the possibility of a new discovery hides under park benches, in the forest and probably a short walk from where you are right now (literally).

Watch the What is Geocaching? video to learn more.

Geocaching Basics

  1. A geocacher hides a geocache, lists it on and challenges other geocachers to find it.
  2. At minimum, geocaches contain a logbook for finders to sign. After signing, finders log their experience on or with the Geocaching app and earn a reward in the form of a digital smiley.
  3. Some geocaches contain small trinkets for trade. If a geocacher takes something from the geocache, they replace it with something of equal or greater value.
  4. Geocaches are put back where they were found for the next geocacher.
  5. Geocaches are never buried.
Who are geocachers?
Geocachers are united by the spirit of exploration and the joy of discovery. Geocachers live in nearly every country on Earth. Geocachers are families with children, grandparents, tech ­geeks, photographers, hikers—anyone can be a geocacher. Geocaching offers a broad appeal in large part because it’s bound only by a location and someone’s imagination.
What should not be placed in a geocache?
Food, sharp objects, ammunition, illicit or illegal items and alcohol should never be placed in a geocache. Everyone should respect their local laws. Geocaching offers advice to geocache hiders from law enforcement around the world and complimentary Geocaching Premium memberships to law enforcement agencies.
Where are geocaches found?
Geocaches can be in forests, parks, urban locations—nearly anywhere you can think of. It is common for geocaches to be placed in story-­worthy locations. Most people in North America and Europe live within a short walk of at least one geocache. Geocache listings include difficulty and terrain ratings (1 being the easiest and 5 being the most difficult) to help geocachers choose an adventure that is right for them.
How do you hide a geocache?
A geocacher chooses a waterproof container and a location to hide it. Once a geocacher has accurate coordinates for their chosen location and has land-owner permission, they submit it for publication on Geocaching provides a set of guidelines for geocache placement. The guidelines include important rules that keep geocaching fun (and legal) for everyone involved. If a geocache clearly violates one of these rules, community members who review new geocaches may ask the hider to fix the issue.
Does physically check the geocache before publishing it?
We rely on the geocaching community to abide by the guidelines, ensure that permission for geocache placement has been secured, provide an accurate location, use common sense and keep the contents family ­friendly. If someone finds a problematic geocache, they’re encouraged to contact the owner directly.
How do you pronounce Geocaching?
You pronounce it Geo­-cashing, like cashing a check.
What is the meaning of the word Geocaching?
The word ‘Geocaching’ was written and said for the first time in 2000. The word was created by combining "GEO" for geography and "CACHING" for the process of storing or hiding materials. Merriam­-Webster added "Geocaching" to its dictionary as an official new word in 2012 and "Geocache" was added to the official Scrabble dictionary in 2014.

Additional Information

Images and Video of Geocaching

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Reporters working under deadline should email for a prompt response during regular business hours in Seattle, WA.

Community members with questions please email Geocaching HQ using this contact link.

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