4.9. Checking for Cache Saturation
Before placing a new cache in a chosen area, go geocaching there. Other people may have already placed their own geocaches there, some of which may have multiple stages.
Importantly, any new cache must be in compliance with the Cache Saturation section of the Listing Guidelines; it must be at least 0.10 miles (528 ft or 161 m) from the physical element of any other cache. Below are some tips that can make this process easier for you.
Before you place your container
Load the caches of your chosen area into your GPS device and go geocaching. If you are using a phone, please change the settings so that it shows you disabled caches. They hold their places. When you find a good place for your cache, check for "nearest" caches on your GPS device. If you see any caches at a distance of .1 miles or less, this is not a good place to hide your cache. In the field, it's a good idea to look within .12 miles from your proposed cache site, allowing for some error in the GPS device's reading.
After you place your container
Use the Seek a Cache , specifically the "Latitude Longitude Search". Put your proposed cache coordinates in the latitude and longitude boxes. This will produce a list of nearby caches with distances from your coordinates, including the distance to any Premium Member Only caches. This allows Basic Members to avoid being too close to those PMO caches when placing theirs.
After you create your cache page, the "nearby caches" link on the page will also produce this list.
If you see any physical cache within .10 mi (528 ft or 161 m) of your proposed new cache, your cache is unlikely to be published. Some multi-caches start with virtual stages, and you may be able to place a physical cache near these caches. A reviewer will be able to help you with this query (see below).
Important: This list will not show you hidden stages of caches in the area, puzzle solutions, stages of multi-caches, Wherigo finals.
Below are sample search results from a "Latitude Longitude Search".
Other things to consider
The search described above is a good first step in checking for saturation, but doesn't produce all of the possible results. There may be:
- Hidden stages of a multi-cache or Wherigo
- The final location of a mystery or puzzle cache
- Unpublished caches which are in line for review ahead of yours
If you see mystery or puzzle cache with bogus coordinates within 2 miles of your chosen location, its final location might be near your proposed cache. Many, but not all, multi-caches and Wherigo caches start and finish in the same area. However, there is no limit on their range, so even if don't see a multi-cache nearby, there may be a stage of a multi in the area.
What can you do about those caches which you can't "see" online?
If after Steps 1 and 2 you are still concerned about encountering the hidden parts of other caches, contact a reviewer with your cache coordinates for a saturation check. This should be done before placing the cache container.
- Create a cache listing, with a title like "Coordinate Check". You can add additional waypoints if you'd like more than one spot checked (use stage of a multi-cache waypoint type).
- Add a Reviewer Note explaining that the cache is not in place and you would like a saturation check.
- Either enable the cache, or email your local reviewer with the GC Code of the cache. To find your local reviewer, check for a recent Published log on a nearby cache. Follow the link of the reviewer's name to their profile, where you can email them through the site.
Many thanks to Volunteer Cache Reviewer palmetto for initially developing this article.