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1.15. Checking for Geocache Saturation

Before placing a new geocache in a chosen area, go geocaching there. Other people may have already placed their own geocaches there, some of which may have multiple stages.

New geocaches must be comply with the Geocache Saturation section of the Guidelines. They must be at least 0.1 miles (528ft or 161m) from the physical elements of any other geocache.  Below are some tips that can make this process easier for you.

Search for nearby geocaches

Go geocaching in the area. When you find a good place for your geocache, check for "nearest" geocaches on your GPS or geocaching app. If you see geocaches 0.1 miles or closer, this location is unlikely to be available. In the field, it's a good idea to look within .12 miles from your proposed spot, allowing for error in the GPS readings.

Back at home, you can use the Planning Map or Search to check if your proposed coordinates are too near the visible coordinates of another cache.  If you see any physical geocache within 0.1 mi (528ft or 161m) of your proposed location, your geocache is unlikely to be published. Some multi-caches start with virtual stages, and you may be able to place a geocache near these stages. A community volunteer reviewer will be able to help you with this question (see below).

Hidden stages or off-limit areas

Even if a spot appears to be available on the map, it doesn't guarantee that spot is an open location for your cache. Neither the planning map or the Search shows hidden stages of geocaches, mystery finals, stages of multi-caches, unpublished caches or areas off limits to geocaching (such as a nature preserve). See Understanding the Geocache Planning Map for more information.

If you see mystery geocache with posted (bogus) coordinates within 2 miles of your chosen location, its final location might be near your proposed geocache. Many, but not all, multi-caches start and finish in the same area too. So solving mysteries and multi-caches in the vicinity will greatly increase your knowledge of whether your proposed geocache location is available.

Coordinate check with local reviewer

If you are still concerned about encountering the hidden parts of other geocaches, you may contact a community volunteer reviewer for a saturation check with your proposed coordinates. This should be done before placing the geocache container.

  1. Create a geocache listing, with a title like "Coordinate Check". You can add additional waypoints if you'd like more than one spot checked (such as by using stages of a multi-cache).
  2. Add a Reviewer Note explaining that the geocache is not in place and you would like a saturation check.
  3. Either enable the geocache, or email your reviewer with the GC Code.

To find your local reviewer, check for a recent published log on a nearby geocache. Follow the link of the reviewer's name to their profile, where you can email them through the site. For more information on contacting reviewers, see Finding your Local Reviewer.

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

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