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3.1. 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 listing.

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 listing 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.

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