Geocaching.com is the official global GPS cache hunt site: the sport where YOU are the search engine.
- 1. Beginner's Basics
- 2. Finding Geocaches
- 3. Caches in General
- 3.1. Agreeing to the Terms and Conditions Disclaimer
- 3.2. GC Code
- 3.3. Adopting or Transferring a Cache
- 3.4. Command: [view/edit logs/images on a separate page]
- 3.5. Images in Cache Logs
- 3.6. Log Book Etiquette
- 3.7. Wheelchair Accessibility
- 3.8. Caches That Need Maintenance
- 3.9. Grandfathered Caches
- 4. Review Process: Hiding a Geocache
- 4.1. Guidelines for Hiding a Geocache
- 4.2. Publication of Caches
- 4.3. Getting Your Cache Listed Quickly
- 4.4. Working With the Reviewer: Cache Disabled or Archived
- 4.5. Working With the Reviewer: communication
- 4.6. Working with the Reviewer: enable your cache after edits
- 4.7. Finding your local reviewer
- 4.8. Saturation Guideline: Hidden, Virtual and Additional Waypoints
- 4.9. Checking for Cache Saturation
- 4.10. Ratings for Difficulty and Terrain
- 4.11. Additional Waypoints
- 4.12. Additional Cache Hints
- 4.13. Technology and Links on Cache Pages
- 4.14. Puzzle/Mystery/Unknown
- 4.15. Challenge Caches
- 4.16. Night and UV Caches
- 4.17. Beacon Caches
- 4.18. EarthCaches
- 4.19. Camping Event Caches
- 5. Creating EarthCaches
- 6. Cache Ownership: A Long-Term Relationship
- 6.1. Cache Note to Welcome Finders
- 6.2. Containers Explained
- 6.3. Display an Image in a Cache Description
- 6.4. HTML In Cache Descriptions
- 6.5. HTML in Cache Descriptions auf Deutsch
- 6.6. Logging My Own Cache
- 6.7. Managing Your Cache Listing
- 6.8. Log Deletion
- 6.9. Editing Your Cache Coordinates
- 6.10. Editing a Published Listing: Minor Change
- 6.11. Editing a Published Listing: Major Change.
- 6.12. Temporarily Disable and Enable
- 6.13. Permanent Removal: Archiving a Cache
- 6.14. Unarchiving a Cache
- 6.15. Editing Premium Member Only Status on a Listing
- 7. Calendars and Events (regular, mega, CITO)
- 8. My Account and Profile
- 8.1. Validation Code
- 8.2. Managing Email Addresses
- 8.3. Email Preferences
- 8.4. Your Geocaching Statistics
- 8.5. Friends List - Adding a Friend
- 8.6. Friends List - Colored Icons
- 8.7. Friends List - How Your Friend Can Accept Your Request
- 8.8. Localized Languages and Translated Pages
- 8.9. Member ID
- 8.10. Password Reset
- 8.11. Photo Gallery In My Profile
- 8.12. Profile Photo and Avatar
- 8.13. Staying Logged In
- 8.14. Username Change
- 8.15. Merge or Combine Multiple Usernames into a Team Username
- 8.16. Deleting My Account
- 8.17. Status Types in a Profile Page
- 9. More Site Functionality
- 9.1. Attributes
- 9.2. Coord.Info - SMS features and a shorter URL
- 9.3. Email a User
- 9.4. Field Notes
- 9.5. Find Count In Cache Listings
- 9.6. Geocaching Live Access and Restrictions
- 9.7. Go Mobile with Geocache Navigator
- 9.8. Google Earth and Viewing Geocaches
- 9.9. GPS Devices and Reviews / My GPS
- 9.10. GPS Devices - Adding Your Device
- 9.11. I think I just found a bug in your site. How do I report this?
- 9.12. Identifying Lackeys and Reviewers
- 9.13. Lists
- 9.14. Needs Archived Note
- 9.15. Printer-Friendly Pages
- 9.16. Search for Other Players
- 9.17. Souvenirs
- 9.18. Stat Bar Customization
- 9.19. User Profiles
- 9.20. Watchlist and How to Adjust It
- 9.21. Watchlist Identity
- 10. Conversions
- 11. Partnering
- 12. Miscellaneous
- 12.1. Typing the ° Degree Symbol
- 12.2. Helpful Links
- 12.3. Benchmark Hunting
- 12.4. Contact Us
- 12.5. Email Missing from Geocaching.com
- 12.6. Place Names for UK and Ireland
- 12.7. Becoming a Volunteer Cache Reviewer
- 12.8. Signature Items
- 12.9. Twitter and Geocaching
- 12.10. Over 1 Million Active Geocaches Worldwide: March 2010
- 12.11. A Brief Intermission
1. Beginner's Basics
1.1. An Introduction to Geocaching
Geocaching (pronounced geo-cash-ing) is a worldwide game of hiding and seeking treasure. A player places a geocache somewhere in the world, pinpoints its location using GPS technology and then shares the existence and location of that geocache online. Anyone with a GPS unit can then try to locate the geocache.
Below are some places to start your journey of exploration.
- Getting started with geocaching : http://www.geocaching.com/about/
- Read the most recently uploaded logs. This is a fun launching point to see some experiences from other geocachers around the world. http://www.geocaching.com/seek/history.aspx
- Don't feel like reading today? Browse through some recently uploaded photos: http://www.geocaching.com/seek/gallery.aspx
- In addition to the animation below, Groundspeak now provides An Introduction to Geocaching Presentation, which you can download from our site. This presentation provides an excellent overview of geocaching, and is a useful resource for educators and presenters, as well as cachers who want to share geocaching with their family and friends.
1.2. Frequently Asked Questions About Geocaching
Please go to our page of answers to Frequently Asked Questions About Geocaching:
You'll find answers to questions like:
What is Geocaching?
What is the meaning of the word Geocaching?
How does GPS work?
What is usually in a cache?
What should not be placed in a cache?
Where are caches found?
How do I hide a cache?
Are there any variations in the game?
When I submit a new cache for publication, how long will it take to be listed?
1.3. Geocache Types
Learn about the various geocache types and the graphics that symbolize them:
(and many others)
The "pair of eyeglasses" icon means that you have listed that cache on your watchlist.
1.4. Cache Log Types and Icons
[Updated Dec 12, 2012]
One of these icons appears in each cache log. On each cache page, a summary of these icons appears above the cache logs.
Green arrow = cache published
Red arrow - cache retracted
Sad face = did not find (DNF)
Smiley face = found it!
Photo = webcam photo taken
Envelope (RSVP) = will attend (event)
Megaphone = announcement by event cache owner emailed to all who have posted will attend
Two people = attended (event)
Red wrench = needs maintenance
Green wrench = cache has been maintained
Do not enter = cache disabled
Green check mark = cache enabled
Write note = note posted
Red Folder = needs (to be) archived
File Cabinet = cache archived
Green Folder = cache unarchived
GPS Location icon = coordinates updated
Reviewer Note = note posted to or from reviewer pre-publication reviewer notes automatically archive when caches are published
1.5. Geocachers' Creed
The Geocachers' Creed is designed to help orient new players to the ethos of the geocaching community and to guide experienced players in questionable situations, so that everyone can enjoy geocaching.
When placing or seeking geocaches, I will:
The above information is taken completely from http://www.geocreed.info/. It was created and is managed by the geocaching community without direction from Groundspeak. For detailed explanations and examples, please visit the site.
When placing or seeking geocaches, I will:
The above information is taken completely from http://www.geocreed.info/. It was created and is managed by the geocaching community without direction from Groundspeak. For detailed explanations and examples, please visit the site.
1.6. Newsletter and Weekly Emailer
We can send you a weekly message containing, among other information, recent press and a list of new caches in your area.
- Set latitude and longitude for your home coordinates at the Manage Location page.
- Modify your account information and check the appropriate boxes at the E-Mail Preferences page.
___ Show my email address to other users.
* Please note, account-related emails will be sent to all account holders
1.7. Terminology and Glossary
The geocaching glossary changes as the game evolves. Commonly used geocaching terminology can be found in our glossary:
The geocacher named Prime Suspect also maintains a great page called the GeoLex - The Lexicon of Geocaching:
Learn about terms such as these below and many more.
ALR Approver Archive Attribute Benchmark Bison Bookmark BYOP BLM Charter CITO Datum DNF D/T EarthCache FTF GC Code Geocoin GJTN GPS Adventures Maze Exhibit GPSr GPX GZ Hitchhiker Latitude Letterbox Letterboxing LOC Locationless Longitude Markwell Markwelled Mega Mitsuko Muggle Offset Mystery Puzzle NAD27 Pocket Query PQ Project A.P.E. APE ROT13 Signature Item Spoiler SWAG TFTC TFTH TNLN TNLNSL TNSL Traditional Travel Bug USFS UTM Virtual WAAS Waypoint Webcam WGS84 Wherigo YJTB
1.8. Trading Items
When you find a geocache:
1. Take something from the cache
2. Leave something in the cache
3. Write about it in the logbook
You do not have to take an item if you do not want to. However, if you do take an item, it is good to leave another item as a fair (or better than fair) exchange.
1.9. Well-Stocked Geocaching Bag
You never know when the urge to geocache will hit, so it is a good idea to keep your geocaching bag ready. Much will depend on where you are caching (city? woods?) and with whom you are caching (kids? dogs?). Below is a list of some common and handy items you might find in a well-stocked geocaching bag:
- GPS unit and extra batteries
- Swag for trading
- Cache printouts or PDA/GPS/smart phone for paperless caching
- Extra logbooks and pencils
- Water and snacks
- Bug repellent
- Rain poncho
- Tool kit
- First aid kit
For more ideas, check out some discussions in the Groundspeak forums:
"What's in your geocaching bag?"
"To pack or not to pack?"
2. Finding Geocaches
2.1. Home Location
Entering your Home Location or "home coordinates" improves the functionality of the web site significantly. For example, this data enriches your quick searches and enhances Pocket Queries. Also, Groundspeak's Weekly Newsletter is made more relevant to you: events and new caches nearest you are listed with their distance from your location already calculated.
Your home coordinates are required when submitting a new cache for publication.
You can choose to use the actual coordinates of your home, or if you choose, a location that is within 2 or 3 miles (3 or 4 km) of it.
To change your Home Location:
- Log in to your account
- Click the "Your Profile" link
- Under the "Search Options" section, click "Update home coordinates"
- Enter your city, address or coordinates and select "Search"
- Scroll down and select the "Save Changes" button located under the map.
Alternatively, you can use this direct link to take you to the Manage Location page:
Please note: Reviewers do not see your home location; they only see a distance from your home location to your cache location.
2.2. Finding Your First Cache
Welcome to the exciting world of geocaching!
We have gathered some tips to make it easier to research and locate your first cache, based on experiences from fellow geocachers:
It contains the following sections:
For tips on logging your find online, step-by-step instructions are available in our Getting Started section.
2.3. Search Near My Home
You can search for nearest caches from your home coordinates ( and even filter out the caches that you have already found) directly from My Account page:
Look for the box labeled "Search Options" and follow the appropriate links.
In order for this feature to work, you must share with us your Home Coordinates:
See Home Location article linked below.
2.4. Newest Caches Near Me
There are a few ways to find out about the newest caches hidden near me.
If you are a premium member:
1 - Use the Instant Notification Service: http://www.geocaching.com/notify
This can also be accessed by clicking on the "Member Features" link at the top of the Profile page. http://www.geocaching.com/my/
Set up as many as ten requests, based on cache types, and you will be sent an e-mail very shortly after a new cache is listed within the specified radius from the specified coordinates (up to 50 miles).
2 - Another way is to set up a Pocket Query for new caches within a certain distance of your Home Coordinates or zip code, that are new within the past seven days, and which you haven't found. View the Pocket Query results via geocaching.com and bookmark that page. You don't even need to ever order the PQ files to be sent to you by e-mail unless you want to. Check your bookmarked page often.
If you are not a premium member:
3 - Those who geocache in the United States can use their Local State Page, like this one for Washington State, used here as an example.
This shows the most recent "Events, Past and Present" the "Latest Caches Hidden" and also the "Latest Trackable Items" that have moved. If you don't care about Washington, find your "Local State Page" here:
Check your bookmarked page often.
Send to GPS Option:
- Plug your GPS device in to the computer
- Turn on your GPS device
- On a cache page, click the "Send to GPS" button
- Choose your specific device
- The link will let you know if/when you need to download a plug-in
- Select either Windows or Mac
- Click Save, Open the plug-in (.exe) and Run (For Windows or for Mac)
- Follow the directions to complete the installation process
- Go back to the cache page, your GPS device should be set up
- If you have a Garmin, click 'Write'. If you have a DeLorme, try clicking the 'Send to GPS' again. If you have a Magellan then you will select "Download".
Many thanks to Volunteer Cache Reviewer Keystone for initially developing this article.
2.5. Download Cache Information
Basic Members can download cache information in the form of LOC files. This file type contains only general information: the cache listing title, GC Code, and coordinates.
LOC files can be downloaded one at a time from cache listings by clicking the "LOC Waypoint File", located under the cache coordinates.
Up to twenty LOC files can be downloaded from a search results page, after entering in the required CAPTCHA. Check the box to the right of the listings you want, and then check the "Download Waypoints" button at the bottom of the search page.
Cache information can also be printed from each listing.
See the Resources page on Geocaching.com for software options that can help you manage .loc files.
Premium Members can download cache information in the form of GPX files. This file type contains much of the listing information: the cache title, description, public additional waypoints (such as parking coordinates), hints, and the most recent logs.
Premium members can download individual GPX files from cache listings using the "GPX File" button, located under the cache coordinates, or they can download groups of up to 1000 caches via Pocket Query (see related page below). Twenty logs will be included if a GPX file is downloaded from a listing; five logs if downloaded via Pocket Query.
Depending upon GPS unit, Premium Members may be able to send GPX files directly to their GPS unit. To do this, click the "Send to My GPS" button on each cache listing page, or select the check box next to cache listings on the right side of search pages and click "Send to My GPS" at the bottom of the search page.
If a cache has hidden waypoints, cache owners who download the GPX directly from the listing will receive these waypoints. No one except the owner receives hidden waypoints, and hidden waypoints will not be returned via pocket query.
Both Basic Members and Premium Members can access cache information via their mobile phones, if they have a geocaching.com application installed. How to guides for all platforms are provided on the "Send to Phone" page.
Alternatively, Trimble Outdoors is an application that works with GPS-enabled cell phones. Members can send cache information to their phones as a "Trimble Outdoors GPS trip", by providing their Trimble login information on the Send to Phone page.
2.6. Local State Pages (USA only)
If you live in the US, you may want to keep your Local State Page handy. You can select a local city. You can glance at the event caches, both those in the recent past and coming up soon. The latest caches hidden and latest movements of Trackable Items are also listed. To find your Local State Page, go to Hide & Seek a Cache, and then search "by Local State Page." At this time, this is only available for states in the US. Below is an example for Pennsylvania. Many people bookmark their state (or states, if you live near the border) and refer to that data often.
If you live in the US, you may want to keep your Local State Page handy. You can select a local city. You can glance at the event caches, both those in the recent past and coming up soon. The latest caches hidden and latest movements of Trackable Items are also listed.
To find your Local State Page, go to Hide & Seek a Cache, and then search "by Local State Page." At this time, this is only available for states in the US.
Below is an example for Pennsylvania. Many people bookmark their state (or states, if you live near the border) and refer to that data often.
2.7. Find Geocaches Outside the United States
Use the 'Search by Address or Coordinates' field on this page: http://www.geocaching.com/map/default.aspx?
Enter the specific street address or the general location for your search.
Street address: 221B Baker Street, London, UK
General location: Regent's Park, UK
TIP: When typing the address, place a comma between the street address, the city, the state/province, and the country.
Use the Seek a Cache search on this page: http://www.geocaching.com/seek/default.aspx
TIP: Include the full street address (street, city, state/province/country), separated by commas.
Use the Advanced Search page: http://www.geocaching.com/seek/nearest.aspx
TIP: For searches in Germany type D- or DE before the 5 digits.
2.8. Advanced Search Features
Search for geocaches by postal code, state, country, coordinate, keyword, username or GC Code. The Advanced Search page can be found here:
You can exclude owned or found items from the results by checking the box beneath Search for Geocaches.
- Postal Code - Search by a variety of postal codes from around the world. If you receive unexpected results in another country, it might be because the system isn't detecting which of several possibilities you mean. TIP: Try appending the state or province name to the postal code. For example, '92668' could give you results in California or in Germany. '92688, California' or '92688, Germany' will give you the correct results. TIP: Add DE or D- to German postal codes to distinguish them from U.S. postal codes. 'DE55116' gives results in Mainz, Germany. 55116 results in caches in Minnesota, U.S.A.
- Use latitude and longitude to determine a position on the planet.
- State/Country - Select a state and/or country to search.
- Keyword - Choose keywords carefully. A search of "Iron Horse" will search for "Iron Horse" specifically and not "Iron" and "Horse." A keyword search only searches geocache names and not the geocache detail page content.
- Username - Search for geocaches hidden or found by a specific username.
- GC Code, search by a specific GC Code. A geocache GC Code starts with "GC" and is in the upper right corner of every geocache listing.
Custom geocache searches based on geocache size, location, and attributes can also be created through the use of a Premium Member feature, called a Pocket Query. Learn more or read about the additional features of a Groundspeak Premium Membership:
2.9. Using True North vs. Magnetic North
For the average geocacher, it should not matter whether your GPS is set to True North or Magnetic North as the GPS should be accurate either way. True North can sometimes be better if you frequently use maps over long distances on your GPS.
Magnetic North is only really required when you're following a magnetic compass. If your GPS is set to True North, and it says to go 15°, and you pull out your magnetic compass and shoot a bearing of 15°, you may be in trouble based on your position if you are using the type of map pictured here. (This is an old one.)
However, if your GPS tells you to go 15° and you follow the arrow on the GPS (and the numbers get smaller), you'll be fine.
Scenario 1: simple, short distance
In Chicago, Illino, I have a cache 750 feet (229 meters) away.
My GPS is set to True North, and the GPS says that the cache is 45°. I take out my trusty compass and shoot a bearing of 45° and walk for 750 feet. But wait! I didn't take into account the magnetic declination, which around Chicago is somewhere between 2 and 3 degrees. Let's say it is 3.
According to my calculations, after traveling 750 feet, I will be off 41 feet (about 12.5 meters). It's not a big deal. Many GPS units are off by that much anyway. I will still arrive at the cache.
Scenario 2: big declination, long distance
I'm hiking on Cape Cod, Massachusetts and there is a cache 3 miles (5 km) away.
My GPS is set to True North, and the GPS says that the cache is 45°. I take out my trusty compass and shoot a bearing of 45° and walk for 3 miles. But wait! I didn't take into account the magnetic declination, which around Cape Cod is somewhere around 16 degrees.
With that much difference in the declination and with traveling that far, I would be off by 0.78 miles (1.2 km). I may not get close to the cache's location at all.
In a real situation, I would take out my GPS many times during the 3 mile (5 km) hike. Many small adjustments would be made over that distance. I would see the displays and adjust my own direction.
That is why magnetic declination doesn't really enter into it. Follow the arrow on your GPS and watch the numbers go down.
Many thanks to Volunteer Forum Moderator Markwell for initially developing this text.
3. Caches in General
3.1. Agreeing to the Terms and Conditions Disclaimer
The disclaimer that appears on cache pages will still appear even after you've agreed to Terms and Conditions. You likely already agreed to the Terms and Conditions when you signed up for your account. The following message is just a warning to remind you that you've agreed to the Terms and Conditions:
If you haven’t agreed to the disclaimer, you will be prompted to do so when you click on the ‘in our disclaimer’ link. Otherwise, you shouldn't need to do anything else to use the website.
3.2. GC Code
Each geocache is assigned a unique code displayed at the top of each cache page: we call this the GC Code. This is one of the easiest ways to identify a geocache. You will often see it on the cache container and the logbook.
Most of the time, the lower GC code is, the earlier the cache was placed. More on this below.
It has nothing to do with the location.
Do I have to use these codes?
You are not required to use this number for anything. EasyGPS, its big brother ExpertGPS and programs like GSAK can download directly from geocaching.com and then into your GPS through a connecting cable. When that happens, the geocaches will have the GC Code for its name. It is convenient.
How are they generated?
Each cache listing is assigned a number based on the order in which it is posted - e.g. Beverly, one of the oldest caches, is number 40. Originally, the geocaching.com database translated this number into a hexadecimal code (1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9,A,B,C,D,E,F,10) with a "GC" tagged onto the front (GC28 for Beverly).
Sometime around April 2003, the database reached ID=65535 or GCFFFF - the maximum of four digit hexadecimal. The programmer's used the solution of changing to a base 31 code: 0-9, A-Z with some characters left out. The waypoints were originally limited to six characters because most GPS units only allow six characters per waypoint. In December 2006, the database hit 512401 cache records, which meant that they had already had GCZZZZ, the maximum cache under the base 31 method. The programmer's solution was that next cache would be GC10000 (seven digits). That cache is now a memorial to the rollover.
All that is simply very interesting trivia as all you really need to know is that the GC***** is a unique code:a way to identify the individual caches.
Does it denote the age of a cache?
Most of the time, the lower GC code is, the earlier the cache was placed. However with the very earliest geocaches there is not a direct correlation . Geocaches were first listed on other usenet groups and as they were entered into the system. They were not sequentially entered until sometime later in 2000 when users started submitting them directly to geocaching.com.
For example, as of this writing (April 2010) GC30 Mingo is the oldest existing cache. It was placed on May 11, 2000 and GC30 is #48 in the system. However, GC28 Beverly, the oldest cache in Illinois, was placed on May 13, 2000 and is #40 in the database.
Many thanks to Volunteer Forum Moderator Markwell for initially developing these instructions.
3.3. Adopting or Transferring a Cache
[updated 12 December 2011]
In some situations, a geocache is no longer able to be maintained by the owner. A geocache adoption can be processed using the Geocaching Adoption Service without intervention from Groundspeak.
Steps for transferring ownership of a geocache:
- The current cache owner logs in and visits:
- Enter the GC Code (GCXXXXX) and click 'Lookup.'
- Enter the username of the new owner and click 'Go.'
- Click on 'Send Adoption Request.'
- The new cache owner will receive an email. They should log in to the site and follow the adoption instructions provided.
If the original geocache owner is inactive on our site and/or will not use the Geocaching Adoption Service, the interested new party must ask the original cache owner to give Groundspeak written permission. The owner should inform us at email@example.com from their Geocaching email account that this cache can be adopted to the new party with their permission. If the cache owner is unresponsive and the cache needs attention, you may write a Needs Maintenance log or a Needs Archived log to the cache page, as appropriate.
Groundspeak will not process a geocache transfer without written permission from the geocache owner. Individual geocaches are owned by the person(s) who physically placed the geocache and/or submitted the geocache listing to geocaching.com. Decisions about caches belonging to someone who is deceased need to be made by the cache owner's family since that cache is now part of the estate.
Grandfathered cache types cannot be transferred to a new owner. Neither the adoption tool on the website nor Groundspeak will be able to make the transfer for Virtual, Webcam or Locationless caches. Archived caches cannot be transferred, and rarely will archived caches be unarchived for the purpose of adoption.
Many thanks to Volunteer Cache Reviewer Keystone for initially writing this article.
3.4. Command: [view/edit logs/images on a separate page]
How do I remove [view/edit logs/images on a separate page] from my log?
The option to [view/edit logs/images on a separate page] is not removable. Don't worry, though. It can only be seen by the user and the cache owner. If you log out, go back to the cache page and view your log, you will no longer see the text.
3.5. Images in Cache Logs
How do I add an image to my cache log?
To add an image to your cache log:
After you post a log to the cache page you should click the link below the log that says 'view /edit log /images' or the link next to it that says 'Upload Image'. If you choose the 'view /edit log /images' option, it will send you to a separate page that contains only your log with a link at the top that says 'upload image'. Click on the 'upload image' link on either page and follow the instructions for uploading your picture.
3.6. Log Book Etiquette
When you find a geocache, write the date of the visit, your username and the experience you had into the log book. You may want to share funny stories about your adventure, or tell about the condition of the cache and the area of the hide. Some people prefer to enter just their name into the log book. Others have special stamps, stickers or paper-punchers that leave signature marks in the pages.
Sometimes, for smaller cache containers, there is no book but only sheet. It is best to simply write your username and the date on these sheets.
3.7. Wheelchair Accessibility
Some caches are wheelchair accessible.
One way to identify them is by using the Terrain rating. One star usually means that it is handicapped-accessible. Terrain is likely to be paved, is relatively flat and less than a 1/2 mile hike is required.
Another method is to look for the cache attribute designating "wheelchair accessible." Attributes are listed along the right side, near the top of each cache page. Those who use Pocket Queries (a Premium Member feature) may create a filter using these attributes, and automate their searches.
You may also want to see the Handicaching site. Handicaching aims to improve the accessibility of Geocaching for disabled people all over the world. (Please note: Groundspeak is not affiliated with Handicaching.)
3.8. Caches That Need Maintenance
If you find a geocache that is in need of some help (e.g. container is cracked, logbook is wet), please post a "Needs Maintenance" log on the cache page so the cache owner and the community is notified. This log adds an attribute to the page (looks like a red wrench) to alert other geocachers of the needed repairs. Logging Needs Maintenance does not increase find count. Needs Maintenance logs are not forwarded to reviewers.
Once you have made repairs, post an "Owner Maintenance" log on the cache page. This log removes the Needs Maintenance Icon. Don't let your cache be filtered out in Pocket Queries by forgetting to remove the Needs Maintenance Icon.
Additional reminders for Cache Owners:
- Replace the container if the current one is not holding up in its environment.
- Make sure that that your container is watertight and that the contents are free from debris.
- If any of the cache contents are wet, dry them off or replace them.
- Check that there is enough space left in your logbook for many more entries.
- If winter is approaching, make sure you include a pencil in your cache since the ink in pens can freeze.
- If your cache will not be accessible due to seasonal weather conditions, note this on the cache page.
- Verify the Trackables that are listed in your cache. Those that are listed in the online inventory but are no longer physically in the cache can be marked as "missing" by using the appropriate link on the Trackable's page.
3.9. Grandfathered Caches
What does "grandfathered" mean?
The word "grandfathered" means to grant a special exception. More clearly, to "grandfather" something is to allow certain situations to exist based on an older rule (this is the "grandfather clause") even though a new rule is in place now.
For example, cache types like Virtual Caches and Webcams are no longer accepted as new listings today, but those that already exist remain as grandfathered caches as long as they continue to be maintained by their owners.
How do I hide a new Virtual, Webcam or Locationless cache? I don't see these options on the form.
Geocaching.com no longer accepts new submissions of these cache types. Existing Virtual and Webcam caches are "grandfathered" and are still available for you to log. All the Locationless caches were archived and locked in January 2006. The new home for these types of caches is Waymarking.com.
I found a place that meets the requirements for one of the old Locationless caches. How do I log it?
You can't log it at Geocaching.com because all Locationless caches are closed to new logs. Search Waymarking.com to see whether the same category exists there. Many, but not all, of the Locationless caches were converted into Waymarking categories.
4. Review Process: Hiding a Geocache
4.1. Guidelines for Hiding a Geocache
It is imperative that you read and understand the Cache Listing Requirements and Guidelines prior to placing each and every geocache. That page is an overview and further details are explained by following the appropriate links. If your geocache does not adhere to all of our guidelines, it may be placed on hold, temporarily disabled or permanently archived.
You assure us that you have the landowner's and/or land manager's permission before you hide any geocache, whether placed on private or public property.
Once you are prepared, fill out our online form to report a new cache. This is a free service. Login is required
First time? Learn how to hide a geocache .
4.2. Publication of Caches
We understand that it can be a tense time waiting for your new geocache to be published.
Time to begin review process
If you've successfully submitted a cache for review, and have read the email from noreply@Geocaching.com, you know that geocache listings are reviewed by volunteers. Reviewers strive to begin the review within 7 days of enabling your listing. You may experience longer than normal waiting time in the week following a holiday, or after a large geocaching event. We ask for your patience. Please keep in mind that reviewers are volunteers and sometimes things come up in their lives that delay cache review.
Communications from the reviewer
Your cache may be published as submitted, or the reviewer may have questions or concerns which they will post in a log to the cache page (Reviewer Note). Please read and respond to those questions or concerns. Do this by posting a Reviewer Note on the cache page. All Reviewer notes will delete upon publication.
Possible reasons for a delay
If your enabled listing is not reviewed within 7 days after receiving the initial "Cache Report Submitted" email, you will want to check that your cache listing has been submitted and enabled. All of your submitted, unpublished caches will appear on this page http://www.geocaching.com/my/default.aspx under "Your Geocaches Waiting for Review." If a cache appears under the "Your Unpublished Disabled Caches", you will need to go to the cache page and enable the listing.
If the cache does not appear on either list, there may have been an issue with the submission process, and you will want to submit the cache listing again through this tool: http://www.geocaching.com/hide/cachebasics.aspx.
It is also possible that the cache was reviewed and because of problems with the cache, was archived by a reviewer as not publishable. If this has occurred an email will be sent from firstname.lastname@example.org, so check your inbox. You can also check your profile page for unpublished, archived listings http://www.geocaching.com/my/geocaches.aspx?archived=y. If you disagree with the decision to archive the listing, send an email to email@example.com or contact the reviewer through their profile page. Include the GC code and explain your point, respectfully.
Cache submitted, delayed review
If the cache is enabled and has been awaiting review for 7 days or more, please contact the local reviewer through their profile page, or email firstname.lastname@example.org. Include the GC code of the cache to expedite the follow up process.
Note: It is a good idea to verify that you can receive from email@example.com (sometimes this email is caught by your Spam filter; if so, you can update your Spam settings). To see what email address is associated with your account, visit Your Account Details, under Your Validated E-Mail Addresses http://www.geocaching.com/account/default.aspx. To see what email address is associated with your account, visit Your Account Details, under Your Validated E-Mail Addresses http://www.geocaching.com/account/default.aspx.
4.3. Getting Your Cache Listed Quickly
- Plan your cache hide carefully.
- Be aware of all the caches in an area before you hide one. This does not mean you have to find all the local caches. It does mean that you are aware of the existing cache density and the approximate locations of other caches prior to selecting a spot for your new cache.
- Make sure your cache meets all the Cache Listing Requirements/Guidelines.
- Find out if the area you like has a geocaching policy. If so make sure you have the necessary permissions.
- Make sure your cache page is complete and accurate.
- Use the "Note To Reviewer" wisely. Provide details that may be helpful to the reviewer.
- These automatically go away upon publication of your cache. The public does not see them.
- Include any permissions.
- Include any map anomalies that you have noticed. For example, the map still shows a railroad track but you know that the tracks are gone and it is now a bicycle path.
- Explain in detail anything that might be confusing.
- Formatting: If you are using the old form and choose to supply HTML code, check the appropriate box for the text to render correctly. View your page to check your code.
- The "Navigation" area at the top right of your cache page is full of useful features.
- Be sure to include coordinates for all the waypoints in a mystery/puzzle or a multi-cache.
- Specify the attributes.
- Upload some images, if you like.
- Edit your listing, if needed.
- Check the maps that link from the cache page. If they do not show your cache location, double-check your coordinates. On unpublished caches, all the map links except the Geocaching.com Map, show your coordinates as a pin.
- Check the link for "all nearby caches" from your cache page, even if you are sure the nearest cache was more than 528 feet away.
- If possible, ask a trusted friend to proofread your page. When you read the same thing multiple times, the little errors are easy to miss. There are many good spell check programs that can also help you identify common spelling errors or typos.
- Use the "Note To Reviewer" wisely. Provide details that may be helpful to the reviewer.
- Make sure your cache text is appropriate
- Caches with business names as cache titles, or which promote businesses are not appropriate.
- Cache pages are not the place to promote charities, political or social agendas.
- Cache pages cannot require, and should not strongly encourage, the placement of caches, particularly chain-letter type series (find this, then plant another in the series). This is an agenda.
- Cache pages should be family friendly.
- Work with the reviewer, not against him or her.
- When you have the cache listing perfect, be sure that this box is checked: "Yes, this cache is currently active."
- The primary responsibility of the reviewer is to make sure your new cache meets the guidelines. If s/he questions you on anything, it's not that s/he doesn't trust you. Caution is simply the best approach.
- If your cache has not been listed in the normal time frame check your cache page to see if the reviewer has left you a note.
- Do not reply to the Geocaching.com email robot. This robot never answers email. The best way to get a message to your reviewer is by clicking on their name and using the "send message" feature, or by posting a new Reviewer note to the cache page, if that is what they requested.
Many thanks to Volunteer Cache Reviewers Team Misguided for initially developing these step by step instructions.
4.4. Working With the Reviewer: Cache Disabled or Archived
Each new geocache is reviewed by a volunteer reviewer for compliance with Groundspeak's listing guidelines before publication.
After reviewing, one of the following will happen:
- The reviewer will publish the cache listing as the cache owner submitted it.
- The reviewer will have questions. The cache listing may be disabled by the reviewer while the cache owner addresses the questions.
- The reviewer will require or request changes. The cache listing may be disabled by the reviewer while the cache owner makes the changes.
- The reviewer will decline to publish the cache because of issues with its language or its location. The cache listing may be archived by the reviewer.
1 - If the cache listing is published just as the cache owner submitted it, great!
2 - The cache owner should answer all questions about the listing, thoroughly. The reviewer wants publish the cache, so they will need the additional information. The reviewer will often post a reviewer note on the cache page to instruct the cache owner how to answer the questions.
3 & 4 - If the cache listing has been disabled, the cache owner will be instructed to enable it again once the issue has been addressed, or the question has been answered. When enabling the listing, the cache owner will be able to include a message for the reviewer. This is posted to the cache page as a reviewer note, and will auto-delete upon publication.
When disabling the cache listing, the reviewer may link to or quote the relevant Listing Guidelines. Cache owners should read the relevant Guideline section, and ensure that the cache listing complies so the reviewer can publish it.
4 - If, after considerable effort to accommodate the Reviewer's requests, the cache owner is not making any further progress, the cache listing can be referred to the Appeals team. The cache listing can also be referred to the Appeals team if the cache owner does not agree that the cache listing is unpublishable, and does not want to make the requested changes.
Cache owners should inform the reviewer that the cache listing will be referred to Appeals. Often the cache listing is archived after publication is denied. The Appeals team will assess the cache listing, and take into account information provided to them by the cache owner and the volunteer reviewer.
If the cache appeal is successful, the cache listing may be un-archived. This is done at the discretion of Groundspeak. Often as appeal is successful, but only if the cache owner agrees to make requested changes to the cache listing, or answers relevant questions.
To appeal a reviewer's decision, send an email through our Help Center. Categorize the email as "Geocache Appeals". Provide the GC code of the cache, and information to explain why the Appeals team should allow publication of the cache listing.
4.5. Working With the Reviewer: communication
Each new geocache is reviewed by a volunteer before publication. Sometimes, your cache is published just as you submitted it. At other times, the reviewer may have questions or suggestions for you.
Pay attention to the messages from the reviewer. S/he will often provide you with instructions on how best to communicate. Sometimes, s/he prefers email. You can email people through the website even if you do not have their email address. Just click on their name to go to their Profile Page and you'll see a link to send a message.
Sometimes, s/he prefers that you use a Reviewer Note. These notes become part of the logs on your cache page. Reviewer Notes are automatically hidden when the cache is published, so that the general public does not see them.
To log a Reviewer Note, look at the Navigation section at the top of your cache page:
1. Log your visit.
2. Post a Reviewer Note.
3. Submit that log entry.
Please note that once the cache is published, cache owners can no longer communicate with the reviewer via Reviewer Notes. If you need to contact your reviewer after your cache is published, or for something unrelated to getting your cache published, you can email them from their profile page (see above).
4.6. Working with the Reviewer: enable your cache after edits
I did what my reviewer asked, why is the reviewer not responding?
If a reviewer determines that more work needs to be done on your new cache before it can be published, he/she often will disable your cache to separate it from caches that are ready to be published and give you an opportunity to continue working on it. Your cache will not come to the attention of the reviewer again until you enable it. When you are ready to have your cache reviewed again, check to make sure it is enabled.
There are three ways to enable your unpublished cache for review.
One: Enable the cache from the box at the top of the cache page.
1. Check the box next to "Yes, the cache is in place and ready to be found."
2. Click "Submit."
Two: From the "Navigation" menu, select "enable listing".
You will be taken to a new page, where you will post an 'enable listing' log. This log type will already be selected for you. You will need to write some text in the text field. Click "Submit log entry."
Three: Post a log on your cache page, using "Enable Listing" as the log type.
1. Go to your cache page and "Navigation" menu, select "Log your visit".
2. From the "Type of Log" menu on the next page, select "Enable Listing". You will need to write some text in the text field. Click "Submit log entry."
After your cache page is enabled, it will return to the active queue and the reviewer will be able to proceed with the cache review.
4.7. Finding your local reviewer
If you wish to contact a volunteer reviewer for your area, load a list of local caches and look for a recently published cache.
Find the Publish log near the bottom of the logs. Usually it will just say Publish; its icon is a green circle like you see here.
That Publish log generally belongs to an area reviewer. Occasionally the cache owner will have deleted that log, so you may have to try another cache page. You can use the link of their name to get to their profile page, and email them from their profile. You don't need to know their email address.
If you are inquiring about a specific cache, please include the GC Code. If you are asking a question about land manager policy, please include enough land manager and location information for the reviewer to answer your question. For example, "Can I place a cache in a city of Gainesville Park, Alachua County, Florida?" not "Can I place a cache in Northside Park?"
As a courtesy to the reviewer and to get a quicker reply, please check the box "I want to send my email address along with this message."
4.8. Saturation Guideline: Hidden, Virtual and Additional Waypoints
A fundamental guideline of geocaching is that physical elements/stages of a geocache should be at least 0.1 miles (528ft or 161m) from the physical elements/stages of any other geocache. Below is a longer explanation of that guideline.
- Some caches have false coordinates (or reference coordinates) posted at the top of the cache page. A new cache can be placed near these coordinates, as nothing physical has been placed there by the cache owner. A new cache cannot be placed near the actual location of the physical elements/stages. You will have to find these caches to know where their physical elements/stages are.
- Some caches have virtual stages, which are typically places where a cacher gathers information, but no physical element/stage has been placed. Usually a new physical cache can be placed near these virtual stages. In the rare cases when the cache owner designated these as "stages of a multi-cache" the waypoints are treated as physical stages. This means that a new cache cannot be placed nearby.
- A multi-cache can have stages 100 feet apart, or 100 miles apart. The distance between stages of a single cache is limited only by the owner's ability to maintain those stages.
- For additional help identifying proximity issues with hidden stages of nearby caches, follow step 3 on the related page linked below (Checking for Cache Saturation).
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.
4.10. Ratings for Difficulty and Terrain
When you submit a cache for publication, you must specify ratings for difficulty and terrain using a 5-star scale. One is the easiest. Five is the hardest. For example:
We recommend the Difficulty and Terrain Selector:
- This is conveniently available from a link on the page to Create / Edit a Geocache Listing.
- This rating system is subjective.
- The cache owner is asked to answer some questions based on the most difficult parts of the cache.
- Cache ratings vary from one community to the next. A 3-star terrain in British Columbia, Canada is most likely going to be a very different experience from a 3-star terrain in Amsterdam, Holland.
How was the rating system created?
Thanks to ClayJar for the early implementation of this feature.
It is based on criteria discussed with the community on the Groundspeak Forums: In the early days of geocaching (summer 2001), quite a few people who were active in our Forums came up with explanations of the rating system over a great deal of discussion. In the end, that group came to a consensus of suggested definitions of ratings, which is the best they could do. Ultimately, you alone are the best judge for rating your cache.
Below are the definitions that came as a result of those discussions.
What about the half stars?
As already indicated, these are simply suggested ratings. Each cache owner can make decisions about the final ratings of our caches. If you have hidden a cache that gives a result of 4 stars for terrain, but your know that it doesn't seem THAT difficult, you could rate it at 3½.
|D I F F I C U L T Y||T E R R A I N|
In plain sight or can be found in a few minutes of searching.
Terrain is likely to be paved, is relatively flat, and less than a ½ mile hike is required.
The average cache hunter would be able to find this in less than 30 minutes of hunting.
|Suitable for small children
Terrain is generally along marked trails, there are no steep elevation changes or heavy overgrowth. Less than a 2 mile hike required.
An experienced cache hunter will find this challenging, and it could take up a good portion of an afternoon.
|Not suitable for small children
The average adult or older child should be OK depending on physical condition. Terrain is likely off-trail. May have one or more of the following: some overgrowth, some steep elevation changes, or more than a 2 mile hike.
A real challenge for the experienced cache hunter - may require special skills or knowledge, or in-depth preparation to find. May require multiple days / trips to complete.
|Experienced outdoor enthusiasts only
Terrain is probably off-trail. Will have one or more of the following: very heavy overgrowth, very steep elevation (requiring use of hands), or more than a 10 mile hike. May require an overnight stay.
A serious mental or physical challenge. May require specialized knowledge or skills to find or open the cache.
Extremely challenging terrain Requires specialized equipment (boat, 4WD, rock climbing, SCUBA, etc.) or is otherwise extremely difficult.
4.11. Additional Waypoints
[updated 17 October 2012]
Additional Waypoints are used to provide parking coordinates, reference points, places where a question is answered as part of cache design, and the stages and final location of caches with multiple physical locations.
Staged cache types, Mystery, Multi-cache, Wherigo, and Letterbox hybrids all require that a Final waypoint be entered as the cache report form is filled in. Sometimes these caches will not have a final location different from the listing coordinates, in that case, just re-enter the listing coordinates.
Using the "Waypoints" tool
Log in to your account on Geocaching.com and display your cache page. In the Navigation section at the top right of the cache page, click on the Waypoints link. This takes you to the Waypoints collection page.
Choose a waypoint type - Final Location, Stages of a Multicache, Parking Area, Question to Answer, or Trailhead. Under Quick Entry, if you click on Parking, the numbers, or Final, the waypoints fields will automatically fill, and there will be coordinates loaded in the coordinate boxes. Those coordinates will be the current listing numbers, you must edit them! You may over-write the automatically generated text if you wish.
- Only places where you have placed something physical should be coded as "Stages of a Multicache" or "Final Location". These locations must be 528 feet away from a physical stage of any other cache.
- Virtual waypoints should be coded as "question to answer" or "reference point" -- in which case the virtual waypoints can be closer than 528 feet from another cache and do not block other physical placements.
- For a puzzle/mystery cache or a multi-cache, make an entry for each physical stage and for the final cache location.
- For any cache, you may add coordinates for the parking, a trailhead or a reference point.
- You can use the Quick Entry to automatically fill in the fields for Stages of a Multi-cache up to stage 9. For additional stages, you will have to type in the boxes manually.
- If your waypoint type is Question to Answer or Reference point, and you select that from the pull-down menu, you will have to manually fill in the text fields. Remember that the pre-loaded coordinates are the current listing coordinates and need to be edited.
There are three choices for how the waypoint will display.
- Show all information for this waypoint, including coordinates. This should be chosen for parking waypoints, trailheads, and in those cases where the geocacher is being sent to a location to gather information or to answer a question that may be required to determine another stage or final location.
- Show the details of this waypoint but hide the coordinates. Use this perhaps to indicate how many stages a multicache has, without giving anything away.
- Hide this waypoint from view except by the owner or administrator. This should be chosen for intermediate stages of a multicache or a mystery/puzzle cache, as well as for the final cache location. NOTE: as cache owner, you will see the hidden waypoints shown on the cache page. The coordinates of hidden waypoints will be replaced with ???. No one else sees hidden stages on the cache page. You can see the actual coordinates from the waypoints link.
When you're finished adding all the waypoint information, press the "Create Waypoint" button. Do not press the "Archive Waypoint" button, that will make the waypoint disappear!
To delete or edt a waypoint, return to the Waypoints Collection page. Delete: to the right of the waypoint is a gray garbage can Icon. Clicking on that icon will bring up Pop up box, "Are you sure you want to remove this waypoint?" Click Okay, and the Waypoints collection page will reload, with the waypoint gone. You can also click the box to the left of the waypoints, and then "Bulk Remove" to delete one waypoint, or several at a time. Edit: to the right of the waypoint is a pencil icon, clicking on that will load the waypoint. You can then overwrite any of the waypoint fields. Scroll to the bottom of the page and click "Submit Changes".
Many thanks to Volunteer Cache Reviewers gpsfun for initially developing these instructions and to Prime Reviewer for developing Quick Entry.
4.12. Additional Cache Hints
An optional space for "Hints/Spoiler Info" from the cache owner is provided on every cache page. This information will be encrypted using the ROT13 system in the displayed cache page until a geocacher clicks the button to show or unencrypt it, or decodes it manually.
These additional hints appear for the public just after the Long Description.
A hint is meant to be decrypted at the cache site, after a search has failed and a further clue is needed. It should give additional information about the cache or its location. Hints should generally be short as some cachers manually decode them on the trail with pen and paper.
If the cache owner enters text within brackets [like this], that text will not be encrypted. You may want to use this in instances where you want people to understand something immediately, without encryption. For example, if you are providing three hints meant to be used in order and resulting 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.
The ROT13 system means that the letter above equals the letter below, and vice versa.
An effective hint should narrow the search area. The examples below will likely help with the search:
- "low" (ybj)
- "reach up" (ernpu hc)
- "not in wall" (abg va jnyy)
- "rock" (ebpx) or "tree" (gerr) might be useful, but not if the area is full of rocks or trees.
Finding a balance between too specific and not enough information will likely take some thought or cunning. Some hints are fun, little riddles. ("The roof of my house is soft and green; I wonder when it started to lean?")
A spoiler hint may be appropriate in an area where you want to protect the surroundings or definitely shorten the search. (A spoiler is information that can give details away and ruin the experience of something. For example, telling someone the end of a movie before they see it is a spoiler.)
Parking instructions and driving directions are bad hints. Those should be listed as Additional Waypoints or simply displayed in the Long Description.
Hints like "too easy for a hint", "hint will be provided after DNF," or "email me for a hint", or anything that requires research, do not help. Remember, the hint is decrypted on site after a search has begun and failed. The cacher is seeking useful information for the hunt at that moment. None of these are useful in the field and it would be better to leave the hint field blank rather than using any of these examples.
For more on this topic see these forum threads:
4.13. Technology and Links on Cache Pages
[updated 03 Nov 2012]
Technology on cache pages
As technology is rapidly evolving, we do not maintain a list of allowed technology for inclusion on cache pages. Rather we review each cache page on its own merits. Further, we consider each new technology we encounter on cache pages, and whether it is appropriate for use on our site.
At this time we do allow music, text and PDF files.
From the geocaching.com guidelines (#2):
Geocache listings that require additional website registration, installs or downloads are generally not publishable.
In the interest of file security, caches that require the installing or running of data and/or executables will likely not be published.
Downloads of certain files (specifically .TXT files, .PDFs and all audio files) may be acceptable in the interest of allowing greater cache creativity. These downloads must adhere to all geocaching guidelines and include the following text above the link:
Alert: You are about to download a file that contains further details needed to find this geocache. As the cache owner, I represent that this file is safe to download although it has not been checked by Groundspeak or by the reviewer for possible malicious content. Download this file at your own risk. [insert link here]
If your chosen form of technology is deemed appropriate, you will be asked to include the disclaimer above on your cache page.
Links on cache pages
From the geocaching.com guidelines:
disallowed...listings contain...links to businesses, agencies, commercial advertisers, charities, or political or social agendas.
Exceptions to this guideline are rare. Please contact firstname.lastname@example.org with all pertinent information if you wish to apply for an exception.
updated 15 December 2011
Mystery, Puzzle or Unknown Cache is the "catch-all" of cache types.
For many caches of this type, the listed coordinates are not where the cache is placed. They refer to a nearby waypoint, such as parking. If the listed coordinates are not for the cache location, the true cache location should be no more than 1-2 miles (2-3 km) away.
Common cache designs within this category:
- Beacon Caches
- Bonus Caches Clues to the bonus cache location (often coordinates, or partial coordinates in several caches) are hidden in one or more other caches. Generally, clues for a bonus cache should not be placed in another bonus cache, and the bonus cache belongs to the owner of the caches where clues are found.
- Challenge Caches
- Night Caches
- Puzzle Caches The cache page provides a puzzle to be solved to generate coordinates for the cache. The information to proceed to solve the puzzle must be on the page.
- Other All other cache designs that meet the guidelines, and don't fit in other cache types.
For Cache Owners when designing Mystery/Unknown caches
- The cache hunt must involve gps use and accurate coordinates.
- The information needed to find the cache must be available to the general caching community. For example, a puzzle that requires research on public websites may be acceptable, while a puzzle that requires email to the cache owner with the solution to obtain the coordinates, or for other information necessary to the solution will not be .
- Caches cannot require a geocacher to visit another website, if they must create an account there, or provide personal information to the other website.
- If the listed coordinates are not for the cache location, the true cache location must be provided as an Additional Waypoint. See linked article below
4.15. Challenge Caches
What is a Challenge cache?
A challenge cache requires that geocachers meet a geocaching-related qualification or series of tasks before the challenge cache can be logged. Waymarking, Benchmarking, and Wherigo-related tasks also qualify. The additional qualification or geocaching-related tasks are considered the basis of a challenge cache, rather than Additional Logging Requirements (ALRs).
Challenge caches vary in scope and format. All challenge caches must be in the affirmative and require that something be accomplished. Challenge cache owners must demonstrate that there are sufficient available caches to meet the challenge at the time of publication. Reviewers may ask the cache owner to demonstrate that they have previously met the challenge and/or that a substantial number of other geocachers would be able to do so.
How will you know when the challenge cache requirements have been met?
Importantly, cache owners must consider how they will substantiate claims that the cache requirements have been met. The challenge criteria on the cache page must reflect this consideration, and must be verifiable through information on the Geocaching.com website. Challenge caches relying solely on third-party software for verification will not be published. Cache owners will need to ensure that geocachers can verify that they have completed the cache requirements without compromising their privacy. Challenge cache owners may also be asked to outline a long-term cache maintenance plan.
What makes an acceptable challenge cache?
A challenge cache needs to appeal to, and be attainable by, a reasonable number of geocachers. A challenge cache may not specifically exclude any segment of geocachers. If a geocacher is required to alter their caching style or habits, such as avoiding a particular cache type to attain a specific percentage or average, the cache will not be published.
The requirements for meeting the challenge should be succinct and easy to explain, follow, and document. A lengthy list of "rules" would be sufficient reason for a challenge cache to not be published.
Additional points to consider when creating a challenge cache:
- Challenge caches must contain the word "challenge" in the cache name.
- Challenge caches are listed as the Mystery/Unknown cache type.
- A Challenge cache must avoid undue restrictions. Specifically:
- Challenge caches based on a specific list of caches, such as caches placed by a specific person or group, will generally not be published.
- Challenge caches cannot include restrictions based on 'date found'; caches found before the challenge cache publication date can count towards the achievement of the challenge.
- Challenge caches need to be attainable at any time while the cache is active. A cache that requires "100 multi-caches found in 2011" would not be publishable, as would not be attainable by someone new to the game.
- A Challenge cache based on non-accomplishments, such as DNFs, will not be published.
- One should not have to 'give up' finding other caches to achieve a challenge cache's requirements. To state that "10% of your find count needs to be Attended Logs" would require the geocacher to stop finding other types of caches and could affect their overall enjoyment of the game.
- Challenge caches may not require the publication of a new cache or waymark as a challenge criteria; challenge caches must be achievable by those who do not own caches or waymarks.
- Challenge caches must not require geocachers to log caches that are disabled or archived.
- A challenge cache should recognize the completion of a personal achievement, rather than the winner of a competition. For example, a challenge cache based on "First to Finds" is a competition between geocachers, and is therefore not publishable.
- A challenge cache must be attainable without the need to email the owner. The cache page must include the true coordinates or the means to calculate them, if a puzzle.
- If a challenge cache is submitted within an area where a similar challenge cache already exists, then it will need to have a unique list of qualifying criteria (geocaches, waymarks, etc.).
From the Geocaching.com Geocache Listing Requirements and Guidelines:
Please be advised that there is no precedent for placing geocaches.
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: Challenge caches published prior to the guideline update 3/12/12 are grandfathered into the game and do not need to comply with current guidelines.
4.16. Night and UV Caches
[Updated Feb 2012]
Night Caches have been designed to be found at night. They can be difficult or impossible to find during the day. For example, you must use a flashlight and follow a series of reflectors to find the final location. Night caches usually have the attribute "night cache", "recommended at night", and/or "flashlight required." UV caches are a variation on night caches, where cachers seeking the cache will need to use a UV flashlight. Cache owners of UV caches must include the UV attribute on the cache page.
Night caches are most often listed as mystery caches, sometimes as multi-caches. The starting coordinates often locate the first of the reflector/UV mark location.
Those who use Pocket Queries (a Premium Member feature), can create a filter using the attributes above, and automate their searches.
When designing a night cache, please keep in mind that the hunt for a cache must include GPS use to a set of accurate coordinates. The location of the container with log must be loaded into the waypoints tool.
4.17. Beacon Caches
In geocaching, a beacon is a wireless device that transmits a brief message, needful to finding a cache.
Cache owners, please observe the the following requirements:
- All caches that utilize a wireless beacon must have the "beacon" attribute (pictured above) on the cache page.
- If the cache owner does not provide an alternative means of finding the cache, it must be listed as an Unknown cache.
- A beacon can be listed as a type other then Unknown, if seekers can find the cache without being able to receive the beacon's message.
- Intermediate waypoints using a beacon should be designated as "Stage of a Multi-Cache"
- Cache descriptions may mention NFC (Near Field Communication) or the "Chirp" (a specific beacon) only if the text is brief and does not have overtones of promotion, marketing or advertising, as per our commercial guidelines. Names of GPS companies and compatible models of GPS units are not appropriate on a cache page.
- There are no plans to add a beacon cache type.
EarthCaches are developed by folks with a special interested in geology. They show how our planet has been shaped by geological processes. An EarthCache is a virtual geocache. There is no container to be found at the coordinates, but rather a lesson to be learned. You can search for them using the usual search features available on our site. Just be sure to choose "EarthCache" as the cache type:
Have fun sharing your questions and your knowledge with the community on this topic in our forum:
More information about EarthCaches in general, and specifically the EarthCache guidelines are also available from the Geological Society of America.
A list of FAQs can be found here: EarthCache Frequently Asked Questions
4.19. Camping Event Caches
Events during camping weekends are very popular. The guidelines for event caches say, "Event caches are gatherings that are organized by geocachers and are open to other geocachers."
See below for how to make your camping event cache publishable.
The campsite is open to non-campers.
- The campsite may be free or may charge a small fee for attendance by non-campers.
- The event organizer understands that non-camping cachers are permitted to log the event as attended, regardless of when they attend throughout the duration of the event.
The campsite is closed to non-campers.
- If a cacher wants to pay the appropriate camping fees so that they are permitted on site, but they do not want to stay overnight, they can log the event as found.
- Organizers of events at this type of location can create a secondary off-site event so all cachers can log an 'attended', but it will be considered part of the same cache event.
- Planning a secondary, off-site event is not required.
Event cache owners requiring cachers to log the cache at a particular time to exclude non-campers. Note: Cache Events do not require a logbook. Mega-events are an exception, and organizers should provide a logbook for signing.
Camping event cache owners must check with the campsite manager/owner to determine whether day visitors are permitted to visit the cache event location before submitting the event for publication. The listing must explain whether the venue is open to day visitors or not, and if so, the specific conditions for visitors (cost, times and so forth).
From the Geocaching.com cache submission guidelines:
Please be advised that there is no precedent for placing geocaches.
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.
5. Creating EarthCaches
5.1. Creating an EarthCache
The current EarthCache Guidelines can be found here: http://www.geosociety.org/earthcache/guidelines.htm
These guidelines were updated on January 1st, 2013. All EarthCaches published prior to this date should be reviewed by the cache owner and if necessary, edited to comply with current guidelines.
1. EarthCache Description
An EarthCache provides an Earth Science lesson through a visit to a unique geological site, and generally focuses on one aspect of the site. The description and tasks combine to teach the lesson and highlight what is unique or interesting about the location. The text should provide accurate, clear explanations of what visitors will experience at the site. The cache page content should assume no prior knowledge of Geology, and be written at age 14 reading level. The logging tasks must relate to the specific geological lesson.
Common features such as rivers, mountains, meanders, streams will likely not be accepted unless the cache page content indicates what is unique about that particular location, and provides an appropriate lesson.
Some cachers use GPS devices with a limited amount of text. If your cache page is long, you may want to place the logging requirements near the top. Be concise so that cachers read the cache page, rather than just skim it.
2. Acceptable Sciences
EarthCaches focus on the solid earth and the processes that shape it.
Biology, Botany, Zoology, Ecology, Atmospheric observations, Oceanographic observations, Geodesy (unless specifically linked to the location), Archeology, History (unless it has a geological theme), a building (unless it has a geological lesson), Engineering (unless it has a geological theme).
Please note that the lists provided here are a guide and are not all-inclusive. Your EarthCache reviewer will address any concerns about a suitable choice of topic, location or lesson.
Landowner or land manager permission is required for most EarthCache locations.
It is important the land manager understands that your EarthCache may bring more people to the site. This will allow managers to plan for any challenges that might arise from the EarthCache publication. We want land owners/managers to be aware of the role EarthCaches can play in attracting visitors.
When providing the permission, post a Reviewer Note with the name, title, and contact information of the person who granted permission. You may also wish to include a copy of the email that they sent to you. All Reviewer Notes are auto-deleted before a cache is published, but the information is available to Groundspeak staff and volunteers should the need arise in future.
Public lands are managed in different ways throughout the world; therefore, there are some instances where the land owner's/manager's permission is not required. Your local EarthCache reviewer may be able to help determine if permission is required or not, but if you are certain that the location requires no permission, please explain this to the reviewer in a Reviewer Note on the cache page.
Many thanks to Volunteer geoawareCA for initially developing these articles
5.2. EarthCache Logging Requirements
An EarthCache must include logging tasks which relate to - and help teach - the Earth Science lesson. The logging tasks should be stringent enough that they can only be completed by cachers who have visited the EarthCache site. Requiring a photograph of the cacher as proof that they were at the EarthCache site is not permitted. However, photographic tasks will be considered if they relate specifically to the Earth Science lesson.
When setting logging tasks, keep in mind that their purpose is for cachers to demonstrate that learning has occurred. Good logging tasks involve the use of open questions, like "what/why/how do you think...?"
Taking a measurement or recording data is a satisfactory logging task only if it is directly related to a specific Earth Science lesson. Please note that certain questions, such as stating an elevation reading, can be easily determined from a topo map and therefore could be answered without visiting the site. In these instances your reviewer may direct you to include a question which can only be answered by visiting the site.
An EarthCache listing should assume no prior knowledge of Geology. A question such as "identify the type of rock found here" is not an acceptable logging task. A better logging task would be "You will find a strip of light coloured, opaque minerals running through the middle of this rock. Measure the width of this quartz vein."
Asking cachers to complete internet research is also not a valid logging task, as it does not relate to what visitors will experience at the site.
Important: Please remember to add the answers to your logging tasks in a Reviewer Note on the cache page. All Reviewer Notes are auto-deleted when a cache is published.
5.3. EarthCache Review
EarthCaches are reviewed by members of the EarthCache 'Geoaware' Team, which includes staff members from the Geological Society of America, as well as volunteer cache reviewers.
As this team of specially-trained reviewers is relatively small, it may more than three days for your EarthCache to be reviewed. Your patience is appreciated. EarthCache pages are often detailed and complex in nature, therefore needing extra attention.
Finding your local EarthCache reviewer
In most places the Geoaware team member who reviews local EarthCaches will be different from the volunteer reviewer who reviews local physical caches.
The easiest way to determine who the EarthCache Reviewer is for your area is to look at a nearby EarthCache which was recently published and see who published it. The "publish" log belongs to an EarthCache reviewer (EarthCache reviewer names begin with "Geoaware").
Please see the related article linked below: Finding a Local Reviewer.
5.4. Creating an EarthCache: Additional Tips
An EarthCache may be placed near a physical cache (traditional or final stage of a mystery/multi). However, we ask that you do not place it at the exact same coordinates, in order to avoid confusion that the cache container belongs to the EarthCache.
If an existing physical cache highlights the same feature as a new EarthCache submission, the EarthCache listing may be rejected. Content rather than physical proximity is the guiding factor when determining what can be published.
Multiple EarthCaches may be developed at the same location, but only if they provide distinctive Earth Science lessons. Cache owners may find it better to combine the lessons into one EarthCache.
You may submit an EarthCache for a location that is far from your home. You must have visited the site no more than two months prior to the cache page submission. The reviewer may reject the listing if cache maintenance seems likely in the foreseeable future (such as a need for different logging tasks).
Using photographs and graphs
Graphs and photographs are an excellent way to enhance your cache description. Be sure the materials you use are not copyright protected.
Wikipedia and other online sources can be a good starting place for obtaining general material about a location or feature. However, EarthCache pages which are simply cut-and-paste from Wikipedia (or similar sites) are not acceptable. Cache owners must write the information in their own words, and sources must be acknowledged appropriately.
The Best 10
The Geological Society of America has compiled a "Best 10 List" of EarthCaches. These provide excellent examples of EarthCache submissions and may give you ideas for your own EarthCache: http://www.earthcache.org/
Using Logos on EarthCache Pages
Logos are trademarked items and should not be included on EarthCache pages without permission. Placing an EarthCache on public land, even with permission, does not mean you can use the public land logo on your cache page.
An official EarthCache banner, with the Geological Society of America's, logo has been developed and can be included on your EarthCache pages. The banner can be found here: http://www.geosociety.org/earthcache/Images/banners/OfficialECBanner.jpg
5.5. Limiting some EarthCache types
There are some types of Earthcaches for which there are already many examples. For this reason, new submissions for the following types will be considered only if they provide an excellent - and unique - Earth Science lesson.
- Watershed Divides: Only major watershed divides will be accepted.
- River Confluences: Only major river confluences will be accepted.
- Waterfall Classification: We no longer accept EarthCache submissions featuring the various types of waterfalls with a logging task asking to identify the type of waterfall. Waterfall EarthCaches with specific information about the local geology and related logging tasks are acceptable.
- Artesian Wells/Springs: A general description of how an artesian well or spring forms will not be accepted. The EarthCache should include details about the geological conditions that caused the specific artesian well/spring to be formed at the selected location.
- Glacial Erratics: We have decided to no longer publish these EarthCaches unless the cache provides an exceptional Earth Science lesson and logging tasks. Cache owners should be innovative. Text should focus on the relationship between the blocks and their surrounding geology. Create a task that examines or identifies how the action of the glaciers brought the erratics to the location.
Please note that we are no longer accepting new submissions about the U.S. river gauging stations.
6. Cache Ownership: A Long-Term Relationship
6.1. Cache Note to Welcome Finders
It's always a good idea to include a welcoming Cache Note in each of your caches. While we do not intend for "muggles" to find caches, it does happen sometimes. This note provides an explanation to non-geocachers about the container they've found and where they can learn more about the game. Some people put this note right 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 can include this note on the backside of the logsheet. We've prepared Cache Note printouts for you in several languages and several sizes on the Hide and Seek a Cache page. Print out the one you want and include it with your next cache hide.
It's always a good idea to include a welcoming Cache Note in each of your caches. While we do not intend for "muggles" to find caches, it does happen sometimes. This note provides an explanation to non-geocachers about the container they've found and where they can learn more about the game. Some people put this note right 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 can include this note on the backside of the logsheet.
We've prepared Cache Note printouts for you in several languages and several sizes on the Hide and Seek a Cache page. Print out the one you want and include it with your next cache hide.
6.2. Containers Explained
- micro: e.g. 35mm film canister or smaller
- small: Holds only a small logbook and small items.
- regular: e.g. ammo box
- large: e.g. 5-gallon bucket (about 20 liters)
- other: See the cache description.
Generally, you want to use a container that:
- is able to withstand a long time outdoors
- Is your location in direct sunlight? Will sunlight degrade your container quickly?
- Is there water here? It can be in the form of rain, snow, ice, condensation, a rising river ... A compressed seal is often the best method to protect your cache from being a wet mess inside.
- is suitable for your particular environment
- Can this forest support a nice, large cache with room for many trade items?
- Should I use a micro in this highly-populated, urban environment?
- is not going to look like a threat to anybody
- Will this object hidden in this manner likely be reported to the police as a bomb?
- Hiding items for, say, a witch-themed cache can appear scary without being threatening.
How to test a container for water resistance: This is an easy task, yet often forgotten. Put some toilet tissue in the container place it under a steady drip. Dry the outside completely and open it. If the tissue is wet or even just damp, your outdoor cache will be a wet mess quickly. Some containers may pass the test and still get wet in the field, but any container which fails this test is guaranteed to take on water in the field. Below are some general examples of what people use for containers. Some are better than others. Military surplus ammo boxes make excellent cache containers, provided that they have a rubber gasket to ensure a good seal. This sort of cache can sometimes even survive the area being flooded. This picture shows the two most common sizes of ammo box. They are sometimes referred to as .30cal and .50cal, respectively. They are usually sold in the color shown, which is generally a good base for any camouflage which you might add. It's a good idea to erase any original military inventory description such as you can see on the picture. You don't want a person who accidentally finds your cache to think that it might contain live ammunition. Better still, once you've eliminated the frightening words, you could paint "Official Geocache - Contents Harmless" in large, friendly letters on it. Although this shouldn't, in theory, mean very much (a terrorist could easily write "Contains Kittens" on a bomb, after all), in practice it can mean the difference between your local "muggle" opening the box and discovering our game, or calling the Bomb Squad. Many original military markings can be removed by isopropyl alcohol (rubbing alcohol), with sand paper or with a wire brush. You can also paint over it. This picture shows an older type of ammo box. It doesn't have a rubber gasket, which means that moisture can get in eventually. This will make the logbook and other cache contents damp; it will also start to produce rust, which will permanently stain any contents which are not in sealed bags. If you have a container like this, try to reserve it for a dry place. All of the above ammo boxes would normally be considered "Regular" size containers. The .50cal box sometimes appears as "Large". There is probably a better name for these containers, but they are sometimes advertised as storage bins to keep supplies dry on kayaks or small boats. They come in a variety of heights, but generally they are all about 25cm/10 inches in diameter. They are often durable and watertight with a gasket in the lid. They make some of the best large containers you can find. Their disadvantages are cost (unless you can get them used), possible degradation in sunlight and they tend to be white with either red or blue lids - which makes them highly visible. Because they are made of polyethylene, they are hard to paint any other color. The name "GladWare" corresponds to a range of products, but to geocachers it refers to the thin plastic food storage containers which look like this. These are fine products for storing food in your refrigerator, but they are not designed for any form of exposure to outdoor conditions. They will quickly become cracked and the lid will not fit properly after being out in the weather for just a few days. Experienced geocachers avoid using this kind of item as a cache container. It can be tempting to use an ice cream container, coffee can, cookie tin, or some other apparently waterproof packaging to hold a cache. It's free, and you might even feel that you're helping to recycle. But like GladWare, these containers are designed to be used once only. They are just strong enough to get their contents to you and keep it fresh long enough for you to consume it. All of the disadvantages of GladWare apply to the plastic in these containers, and outdoors the tins soon rust and fill with water. It's hard to completely remove the odor of food from these containers, which may attract animals. To some people, Tupperware is almost a synonym for geocache. Whether it's original Tupperware, or a similar box from Rubbermaid, Curver, etc, everyone recognizes a polyethylene box with the push-to-seal lid as being a good choice. We'll call these containers "P-ware" from now on — P for polyethylene — to avoid having any one firm's lawyers get upset at us when we point out their main disadvantages for geocaching, which are: This is not to say that P-ware boxes do not make good cache containers, but they do require more maintenance visits than, say, ammo boxes. Polypropylene Boxes An improvement on the basic P-ware box is the version with two or four clasps which fold over part of the sides, to clip the lid to the base. These boxes are often available in proportionately deeper sizes than P-ware, and the lids are usually made from the same material as the base, which reduces the loss of quality of the seal over time. And of course the clasps make for a better seal in the first place. Polypropylene boxes are generally preferable to P-ware products. Shop Geocaching carries a branded line of these products. This kind of container comes in the widest variety of sizes. We would suggest that volumes up to 0.7 liters be listed as "Small", from 0.7 to 3.5 liters "Regular", and above 3.5 liters "Large". The classic "Micro" size cache is a 35mm or APS film canister. However, not all of these are created equal. The most commonly seen film canister has a black body with a gray lid. The gray lid appears to form a seal inside the black main part, with the outside of the lid forming a lip which looks like it might keep water off. However, it does not. In the tough outdoor world, you will often find this kind of container with a soggy log sheet. The other kind of film canister is usually opaque white and has a much better reputation for keeping the log dry. The lid fits snugly, almost forming a proper seal; certainly it keeps more moisture out than the first type of film canister. A plastic pill bottle has some good qualities for a micro cache (albeit a large one): the plastic tends to be very tough and the lid usually fits well. However, water gets in quite easily. This is a special magnetic metal container, possibly the smallest of containers. It is usually pretty waterproof. Logs can get jammed inside occasionally; if this happens folks use a tool (like tweezers) to get the paper out. There are many other possible containers: bison tubes, waterproof matchboxes, water bottles ... Some are better than others. If you would like to purchase a container from Shop Geocaching, we do carry a nice selection. However, as you can see above, many options exist that do not require an additional purchase. Many thanks to Volunteer Cache Reviewer riviouveur and the geocacher named paleolith for helping to develop these descriptions.
Boat Supply Containers
GladWare and similar products: Generally a Poor Cache Container
Food Containers and Other Packaging: Generally a Poor Cache Container
How to test a container for water resistance:
This is an easy task, yet often forgotten. Put some toilet tissue in the container place it under a steady drip. Dry the outside completely and open it. If the tissue is wet or even just damp, your outdoor cache will be a wet mess quickly. Some containers may pass the test and still get wet in the field, but any container which fails this test is guaranteed to take on water in the field.
Below are some general examples of what people use for containers. Some are better than others.
Military surplus ammo boxes make excellent cache containers, provided that they have a rubber gasket to ensure a good seal. This sort of cache can sometimes even survive the area being flooded.
This picture shows the two most common sizes of ammo box. They are sometimes referred to as .30cal and .50cal, respectively. They are usually sold in the color shown, which is generally a good base for any camouflage which you might add.
It's a good idea to erase any original military inventory description such as you can see on the picture. You don't want a person who accidentally finds your cache to think that it might contain live ammunition. Better still, once you've eliminated the frightening words, you could paint "Official Geocache - Contents Harmless" in large, friendly letters on it. Although this shouldn't, in theory, mean very much (a terrorist could easily write "Contains Kittens" on a bomb, after all), in practice it can mean the difference between your local "muggle" opening the box and discovering our game, or calling the Bomb Squad.
Many original military markings can be removed by isopropyl alcohol (rubbing alcohol), with sand paper or with a wire brush. You can also paint over it.
This picture shows an older type of ammo box. It doesn't have a rubber gasket, which means that moisture can get in eventually. This will make the logbook and other cache contents damp; it will also start to produce rust, which will permanently stain any contents which are not in sealed bags. If you have a container like this, try to reserve it for a dry place.
All of the above ammo boxes would normally be considered "Regular" size containers. The .50cal box sometimes appears as "Large".
There is probably a better name for these containers, but they are sometimes advertised as storage bins to keep supplies dry on kayaks or small boats. They come in a variety of heights, but generally they are all about 25cm/10 inches in diameter. They are often durable and watertight with a gasket in the lid. They make some of the best large containers you can find. Their disadvantages are cost (unless you can get them used), possible degradation in sunlight and they tend to be white with either red or blue lids - which makes them highly visible. Because they are made of polyethylene, they are hard to paint any other color.
The name "GladWare" corresponds to a range of products, but to geocachers it refers to the thin plastic food storage containers which look like this.
These are fine products for storing food in your refrigerator, but they are not designed for any form of exposure to outdoor conditions. They will quickly become cracked and the lid will not fit properly after being out in the weather for just a few days.
Experienced geocachers avoid using this kind of item as a cache container.
It can be tempting to use an ice cream container, coffee can, cookie tin, or some other apparently waterproof packaging to hold a cache. It's free, and you might even feel that you're helping to recycle. But like GladWare, these containers are designed to be used once only. They are just strong enough to get their contents to you and keep it fresh long enough for you to consume it. All of the disadvantages of GladWare apply to the plastic in these containers, and outdoors the tins soon rust and fill with water. It's hard to completely remove the odor of food from these containers, which may attract animals.
To some people, Tupperware is almost a synonym for geocache. Whether it's original Tupperware, or a similar box from Rubbermaid, Curver, etc, everyone recognizes a polyethylene box with the push-to-seal lid as being a good choice. We'll call these containers "P-ware" from now on — P for polyethylene — to avoid having any one firm's lawyers get upset at us when we point out their main disadvantages for geocaching, which are:
This is not to say that P-ware boxes do not make good cache containers, but they do require more maintenance visits than, say, ammo boxes.
An improvement on the basic P-ware box is the version with two or four clasps which fold over part of the sides, to clip the lid to the base. These boxes are often available in proportionately deeper sizes than P-ware, and the lids are usually made from the same material as the base, which reduces the loss of quality of the seal over time. And of course the clasps make for a better seal in the first place. Polypropylene boxes are generally preferable to P-ware products. Shop Geocaching carries a branded line of these products. This kind of container comes in the widest variety of sizes. We would suggest that volumes up to 0.7 liters be listed as "Small", from 0.7 to 3.5 liters "Regular", and above 3.5 liters "Large".
The classic "Micro" size cache is a 35mm or APS film canister. However, not all of these are created equal.
The most commonly seen film canister has a black body with a gray lid. The gray lid appears to form a seal inside the black main part, with the outside of the lid forming a lip which looks like it might keep water off. However, it does not. In the tough outdoor world, you will often find this kind of container with a soggy log sheet.
The other kind of film canister is usually opaque white and has a much better reputation for keeping the log dry. The lid fits snugly, almost forming a proper seal; certainly it keeps more moisture out than the first type of film canister.
A plastic pill bottle has some good qualities for a micro cache (albeit a large one): the plastic tends to be very tough and the lid usually fits well. However, water gets in quite easily.
This is a special magnetic metal container, possibly the smallest of containers. It is usually pretty waterproof. Logs can get jammed inside occasionally; if this happens folks use a tool (like tweezers) to get the paper out.
There are many other possible containers: bison tubes, waterproof matchboxes, water bottles ... Some are better than others.
If you would like to purchase a container from Shop Geocaching, we do carry a nice selection. However, as you can see above, many options exist that do not require an additional purchase.
Many thanks to Volunteer Cache Reviewer riviouveur and the geocacher named paleolith for helping to develop these descriptions.
6.3. Display an Image in a Cache Description
To display an image in your cache page, you can upload an image right to your cache page, or you can hyperlink to an image hosted elsewhere on the internet — but not on your own computer.
Let's use this cache as a fine example.
- Adding a graphic requires the use of proper HTML commands.
- Click on the "upload images" button in the Navigation box at the top right of the cache page.
- Navigate to your photo directory on your hard drive, and identify the correct picture. Give your photo a name (e.g. "View from West End Overlook") and upload it.
- The photo now appears on the cache page as a little camera icon with a hyperlink on its name. Look for it just below the maps and just above the logs:
View from West End Overlook
- Now you need the URL of just that image.
- Drag that photo's name up into the address area of your browser.
- That should then show you just the photo on its own page with nothing else. The URL that you need can now be copied from the address area of your browser.
- If, for some reason, you have trouble with dragging the name up into the browser's address area, try this: Right click on the name of the image, and follow the screen prompts to get its unique URL.
- Or, under the image link, you will see an "edit" link. Clicking on "edit" will open the image on its own page. On the edit page clicking directly on the image will open the image on its own page. The URL of that page can be seen there in your browser.
- Copy that URL into the clipboard.
- Put the cache page into edit mode.
- Make sure that the box is checked to say that you are using HTML on the cache page, and then insert the HTML code for the image so that the photo will display in the center of the cache page:
In your case, the characters in between the quotation marks will be different, of course.
If you are still having trouble at this point, please check out the the Knowledgebase Article called "HTML In Cache Descriptions."
Many thanks to Volunteer Cache Reviewer Keystone Reveiwer for initially developing these step by step instructions
6.4. HTML In Cache Descriptions
Some HTML code can be used on cache pages. A geocaching team named The Blorenges (pictured here with their best hair) has created the following instructions on how to enhance your cache page with simple HTML code.
You can learn how to enhance a cache page with a photo like you see here, hyperlinks, text effects and much more.
6.5. HTML in Cache Descriptions auf Deutsch
Ein Wikiprojekt, das zeigt, wie eine Cachebeschreibung mit HTML oder BBCode
erstellt werden kann. Eine schrittweise Heranführung an eine gute Cachebeschreibung
mit vielen Beispielen und Vorlagen. Die gestalteten Quellcodes sind alle valide nach W3C.
You can learn more at projekt.geofreunde.de.
6.6. Logging My Own Cache
[update 16 October 2012]
Can I log a find on my own cache? What about when I go back to visit?
It is considered "bad form" to log a find on your own cache, no matter when you do it. The same is true if you re-visit a cache (for example to place or retrieve a travel bug). Use the "post a note" log option to record your visit in these circumstances.
In either case, you're not "finding" a cache because you already know where it is. Save the smiley face for use when you've truly discovered a hidden cache.
Many thanks to Volunteer Cache Reviewer Keystone for initially developing this article.
6.7. Managing Your Cache Listing
Cache owners have many options for managing their listings. Most of these appear in the Navigation box in the upper right corner of the listing, illustrated below.
Cache owners will also find the following as log types when they select "log your visit":
- Archive listing
- Temporarily Disable/Enable Listing and
- Update Coordinates
- Reviewer Note - only available before cache is published
Cache owners who download a GPX from the listing will receive hidden waypoints, if any, in that download.
See the Related Pages below for more about each of these functions.
6.8. Log Deletion
[update 13 December 2012]
When a log is deleted, the owner of the log receives an email that generally looks like this:
[LOG] Log Deletion Notice
Your log entry for the listing Name of Listing (Cache Type) was deleted
by User Name at Date and Time
Visit this listing at the below address: listing URL
Profile for Deleting User: user profile URL
- The deleted log can no longer be seen.
- The count associated with that log is decreased.
- The log cannot be restored by the log owner or listing owner.
- Movements of Trackables associated with logs are not affected by log deletion. If a log is posted, and a Trackable is dropped with that log, deletion of the log will not affect the location of the Trackable.
Delete a log if you have accidentally logged the wrong listing. You may also want to delete a log if you have used a "Write Note" log just to drop a Trackable in a cache.
You can delete your own log by using the View / Edit Logs / Images link under your log. That link will open the log on its own page. Above the log you'll see a "Delete Log" button. You will be asked "Are you sure you want to delete this log entry?" and must click "Yes." This is permanent. You cannot restore the log.
Use your powers carefully. The complete set of logs tells the story of the cache or that Trackable Item. Once it is deleted, you cannot restore it.
If your log has been deleted by a listing owner and you feel that the deletion is in error, please politely send a message to the listing owner. You may also try re-logging the cache while avoiding any spoilers and meeting logging requirements.
It is one of your maintenance duties as the cache owner to monitor quality control of posts to the cache page. To this end, you have the power to delete logs.
Use your powers carefully. The complete set of logs tells the story of the cache or that Trackable Item. Once it is deleted, you cannot restore it. You also have the power to permanently encrypt a log, which is a nice alternative to deletion. Logs are the cacher's history as well.
Many logging errors are simple mistakes. Assume the best and please deal kindly with logs that may be in error: Are they novices using "Found it!" for repeat visits? Are they cachers entering finds on the wrong cache page?
If you must, delete a log by using the View This Log link. That link will open the log on its own page. Above the log you'll see a "Delete Log" and a "Permanently Encrypt" button. If you choose to delete, you will be asked "Are you sure you want to delete this log entry?" and must click "Yes." Again: once it is deleted, you cannot restore it.
- See our guidelines for Logging of All Physical Caches.
- If the geocacher has failed to meet logging requirements, please explain your concerns. Politely email the log owner before or immediately after you delete their log. If their log or photos contain spoilers, invite them to edit the log. If you have deleted the log already, invite them to re-log without the spoiler.
- Deleting a log removes that log from the logger's history and from their profile. Not even the original author of that text can see it. The associated log count is decreased.
- Deleting a "bug drop note" does not affect the Trackable mileage but may affect the log owner's happiness. Be careful.
- Deleting a Needs Maintenance log will not clear the Needs Maintenance attribute from the listing. Log an Owner Maintenance to clear that attribute.
- Needs Archived logs are forwarded to reviewers. Deleting the log does not affect this.
- Cachers may value their DNFs, Notes, and Needs Maintenance logs, don't assume it's okay to delete them. Those logs are part of their caching history.
- If you are a cache owner and have deleted a log in error, you can contact your local reviewer to restore the log, or you can contact a site administrator by submitting a request for assistance, or emailing email@example.com.
- If you are a geocacher and you believe that your log was deleted in error, you will have politely emailed the cache owner requesting that the log be reinstated. If you require further assistance, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
We know that sometimes this issue can be contentious. If the other party is being stubborn, ask yourself, "Is this dispute really worth my time?" Try being the bigger person and conceding the point. You may discover that you feel better for doing so. At the very least, it will put the matter quickly behind you.
Many thanks to Volunteer Cache Reviewers palmetto and Keystone for initially developing this text.
6.9. Editing Your Cache Coordinates
[update 1 May 2012]
Cache owners may find it necessary to update their cache's coordinates if the container has been moved or if the original coordinates are inaccurate. If the new coordinates are less than 161m/528 feet from the posted coordinates, the coordinates can be updated by the cache owner. Before moving your container, review our cache saturation guidelines and be aware of other caches in the area. Your move may put your cache too close to other caches.
- Click on Log Your Visit from the navigation box in the upper right corner of the cache page.
- Choose the "Update Coordinates" log type.
- You must click "add a coordinate to this log" in the shaded Log Options field below the Comments field.
- The page will reload, with your cache's current coordinates already loaded in the coordinate boxes, below the text entry area. You may have to scroll down to see them.
- Edit those coordinates to the new coordinates.
- Enter an explanation for this change into the comments field, then scroll to the bottom of the page and click the "Submit Log Entry" button.
This will complete the coordinate update if the new coordinates are less than 161m/528 feet from the original coordinates.
If the new coordinates are too far from the original coordinates, a reviewer will need to change the coordinates for you. You will receive a red error message at the bottom of the page that will direct you to contact a reviewer. An email link to the original publishing reviewer's name will be provided to make contact easier. Please include the GC Code of your cache, the old and new coordinates, and the reason why you need to move the cache in your email. In some cases, the publishing reviewer will no longer be active. If this is the case with your cache, please see related articles linked below for finding an active local reviewer. In some circumstances, it may be appropriate to archive the original cache, and submit the moved cache as a new listing. Your reviewer will advise you if this is the case.
Once you have updated the coordinates, be sure the cache is enabled so that it will appear in the active list of caches. Clear the Needs Maintenance icon, if needed, by posting an Owner Maintenance log.
6.10. Editing a Published Listing: Minor Change
You might wish to make minor changes to your cache page after it has been published. Your cache must still abide by the Guidelines.
To edit your listing, log in to your Geocaching.com account and display the listing. In the Navigation box in the upper right corner of the cache page, use the "edit listing" link. That will take you to the original cache report where you can edit the title, text, hint and cache size. You can also edit the difficulty and terrain ratings. You may wish to make adjustments after a few finds on a new cache, or if a cache container has been replaced.
Once you have made the changes, scroll to the bottom of the form and click the "submit changes" link and the two buttons:
- Yes. I have read and understand the guidelines for listing a cache.
You will find that you cannot change the cache type. Changing the cache type will retroactively alter the statistics of all previous finders, so we do not allow this field to be edited.
6.11. Editing a Published Listing: Major Change.
If you need to change the coordinates beyond 0.1 miles (528 feet or 161 m), or change the type of cache, please contact your local reviewer. The reviewer will check the changes for adherence to the current guidelines and notify you when the changes have been made, or suggest that a new cache listing should be submitted. Please be sure to follow any instructions the reviewer may send you.
There is a link to the profile page of the reviewer that reviewed your cache listing in the bottom of your cache page (you must be logged in). If you email a reviewer and do not receive a reply within one week, the reviewer account may be inactive and you will need to contact us at Groundspeak.
When you contact the reviewer or Groundspeak please provide the cache name and GC Code for the listing.
6.12. Temporarily Disable and Enable
[updated 26 January 2012]
As the cache owner, you can easily tell people whether or not your cache is ready for visitors.
Cache owners can temporarily disable a listing, which will take a cache page offline. Do this if the cache needs repairs, or if the area is closed for a period of time (construction, hunting, winter closures, etc.) This is meant to be temporary, which means a few weeks or perhaps a couple of months. When the cache is available again, you must enable it. Enable and disable are actions done via log entries:
- Starting at the "Navigation" box in the upper right of your cache page, use the "log your visit" link.
- On the new page choose the appropriate log type, and write some explanatory text in the text field.
- "Enable" or "Disable" will show as options for cache owners.
If a "Needs Maintenance" log was posted, you will need to log an "Owner Maintenance" log to clear the "Needs Maintenance" icon from the cache page or clear it from the Attributes menu.
A listing which is disabled for an extended period may be archived by a reviewer, unless there is some explanation on the listing. If you decide not to replace a missing cache, please archive the listing.
A new listing is disabled at the time you create it. That means you can create a cache page and generate a GC Code before the cache is enabled and ready for review and publication. This will allow you time to work on the cache page. When the listing is ready for review, you must enable it.
You can enable it from the "edit listing" page by checking the box that says, "Yes this listing is active...". The cache page can also be enabled by using the "enable listing" link on the cache page. Both methods automatically generate a dated log on the cache page.
Someone else disabled it. During the review process, reviewers will sometimes disable caches if there is still work to be done by the cache owner. Do you need to make changes to the listing, answer some questions, obtain permission or submit permits? Pay attention to "Reviewer Notes." Enable the listing when you are ready, so that the reviewer knows to take another look at your cache page.
6.13. Permanent Removal: Archiving a Cache
To archive a cache is to remove the listing permanently from the website and from public searches. A cache owner can archive their own listing. A cache owner cannot unarchive it.
IMPORTANT: If the cache container is still in place at the time you choose to archive it, please retrieve the container.
If you feel that a cache listing needs to archived, log onto the cache page, use "log your visit" and select the log type, "needs archived". Please explain in your log why the listing needs to be archived. This log will be received by both the cache owner and a local reviewer. The log will not automatically cause the listing to be archived. You may not see any public response to your log.
Please use this log only when there are serious problems with the cache or its location. Do not use it if the cache needs repairs, or you didn't find it, or the location made you uncomfortable. Please consider first contacting the owner of the geocache with your concerns. Use the profile link next to the cache owner's name at the top of the cache page to send an email, as well as logging to the cache page about your visit.
Visit the page of the listing you wish to archive. Click on the "archive listing" link in the Navigation box in the top right of the page. Enter some text for the log and click "Submit Log Entry."
A warning will alert you, "This can only be reversed by a reviewer or a site administrator. Use the "temporarily disable this cache" option if you only need to take your cache offline for a short time. If you still wish to archive this cache, click on the "yes" button to continue." Click the YES button to archive the listing.
Again, this is permanent.
If you simply want to temporarily disable the cache to give yourself time for repairs, click on the "disable listing" link in the Navigation box in the top right of the cache page. You can enable the listing there, when the cache is ready for finders.
6.14. Unarchiving a Cache
The archiving of a cache by the owner is supposed to be a permanent status. That is why only the site administrators and volunteers have the capability to unarchive it. This is done only in rare circumstances.
However, if you accidentally archived it, please contact the reviewer who originally published your cache with the cache name, GC Code and the explanation for unarchiving it. You'll find a link to the reviewer's profile at the bottom of your cache page. You may also send a message to email@example.com in cases where you are unable to reach the correct reviewer.
For any cache to be unarchived, it must first meet the current Cache Listing Guidelines.
6.15. Editing Premium Member Only Status on a Listing
The option to make a cache available to Premium Members is found on the cache report form.
The cache's status can be changed at any time by returning to the form from the "edit listing" link, and checking or unchecking the box.
If a cache owner's Premium Membership lapses, or if a PMO cache is adopted by someone who is not a Premium Member, they will not see that text on the cache report form, and will not be able to make the change. The cache owner can contact a reviewer to make the change for them, or email to firstname.lastname@example.org. Be sure to send the email from the account that owns the listing and include the GC Code of the cache.
Illustration from a forum post by BlueDeuce, used with his permission.
7. Calendars and Events (regular, mega, CITO)
7.1. Meeting Other Geocachers
Is there a way to meet geocachers in my area?
Yes, there is! Occasionally, an individual or a geocaching organizations may designate a time and location to meet and discuss geocaching. We call these Event Caches. They are gatherings that are open to all geocachers and which are organized by geocachers.
One way to find these gatherings is by browsing through the event calendar:
A more targeted method is to use our Advanced Search feature and look only for Event, Mega Event or Cache In Trash Out Events near you. That is, pull down the menu that says"All Geocaches" and select the appropriate option, and select the area in which you want to search:
They are designated with one of the following icons:
Explanations of the different icons are here:
A few tips for first-timers:
- Be sure to read the event description carefully; depending upon the type of event you are attending, you may want to bring geocoins to trade, trash bags to collect garbage (CITO), and/or some food to share.
- If you choose an event that requires travel and lodging, make sure you plan in advance. Larger events may lead to a shortage of nearby accommodations if you wait until the last minute.
- If it's an outdoor event, come dressed for the weather. Don't forget sunscreen, insect repellent and a water bottle.
You may also submit your own event. Report them to the site using the Hide And Seek A Cache page and follow the prompts on the right side of the page:
Before doing so, please read the current guidelines for Event Caches.
If you would like some tips, please see our Guide to Hosting Event Caches: http://www.geocaching.com/calendar/guide.aspx
While a music concert, a garage sale, an organized sporting event, a ham radio field day or a town's fireworks display might be of interest to a large percentage of geocachers, such events are not suitable for submission as Event Caches because the organizers and the primary attendees are not geocachers
7.2. Calendars and Desktop Wallpapers
Groundspeak periodically provides fun goodies for download, like calendars and desktop wallpapers. These are listed here:
7.3. Frequently Asked Questions About CITO (Cache In Trash Out)
Cache In Trash Out is an ongoing environmental initiative supported by the worldwide geocaching community. Since 2002, geocachers around the world have been dedicated to improving parks and other cache-friendly places around the world. Through these volunteer efforts, we help preserve the natural beauty of our outdoor resources!
An introduction to CITO is here:
We have answers to some of the Frequently Asked Questions:
7.4. Guide to Hosting Event Caches
Occasionally, local geocachers and geocaching organizations designate a time and location to meet and discuss geocaching. These are called Event Caches. If you would like some tips, please see our Guide to Hosting Event Caches.
7.5. Mega-Event Classification
A Mega-Event is similar to an Event Cache, only it is much larger. In order to qualify as a Mega-Event, it must have been attended by 500+ people.
Typically these are annual events and attract geocachers from around the world. Because of the international nature of these gatherings, Mega-Events are included in each Weekly Mailer regardless of the distance of the event location from your home coordinates.
Most events that qualify for Mega status do so after the event, and only after meeting strict criteria. Many event caches only achieve Mega status after two or more subsequent iterations. Once an event has achieved Mega status, organizers may find it easier to attain Mega-Event status for subsequent iterations of that event.
How do you submit an event for Mega status? (For First-timers)
It is very rare for an event to be classified as a Mega-Event if the event is being held for the first time. Most organizing groups only get this at the second year of their event. There are strict criteria that must be met before Mega status can be achieved.
- First, please read the Guidelines for Mega-Events.
- Next, create a cache page and submit it for review. Choose "Event" as your cache type, complete the standard Event Cache submission procedures, and adhere to all geocaching.com Guidelines for Event Caches.
- Standard Event Caches can be published up to three months in advance. However, if your event is designed to attract a large number of regional, national or international geocachers and you can support these claims, you can request that the local Reviewer publishes the event cache page up to six months in advance. This process may require additional correspondence or discussion with the Reviewer. You should be prepared with supporting information such as the venue booking, details of sponsorship, responses to a forum thread, and any other documentation that will support your claim that the event will attract a large number of people.
- Since you aim to achieve Mega status for your event, you will include www.Geocaching.com as a sponsor on the separate webpage you have created for this event. If you have tiers of sponsorship, Geocaching.com must be at the highest level of sponsorship.
- Will you have a separate event website? If so, add a link at the top level of your site navigation pointing back to the geocaching.com cache page. This is to facilitate moving back and forth between the two sites. Since site navigation styles vary greatly, we will leave design details up to you. Generally, text that has the words "Mega-Event" plus the GC Code on it will work. Example: "Mega-Event GC2FYVM"
- You can freely download the appropriate logo at our Logo Usage page, where you will also find detailed Guidelines about the use of the geocaching.com logo.
We do not award Mega status ahead of time to an event as a means of attracting attendees. The designation of Mega status will only be granted on the merits of the actual event. This is why many events attain Mega status after one or more annual iterations, and not at the first year.
Once you have successfully hosted your event, and it was attended by more than 500 people, you can submit a request to email@example.com for the event to be designated a Mega-Event.
You will need to present a legible copy of the signed event attendance log. You can either mail an annotated physical copy to Groundspeak or email an annotated electronic copy, but Groundspeak must be able to verify that 500+ people attended the event. Geocaching teams will be counted according to the number of people in the team. No person may be counted twice.
What do we mean by annotated? At the top of page 1, place the number of names from this page in a prominent way. Let's say you have 25 names on Page 1 so you should put 25 in red at the top. If page 2 has 20 names on it, put 45 in red at the top. Page 3 which has only 2 names on it will have 47 in red at the top. At some point, this prominent number will exceed 500. That is the general idea. Your logbook may not be a book at all so you will have to figure out how best to annotate this for Groundspeak verification. Why should you annotate? The faster we can get through verification, the faster you can get your Mega-Event status.
If Mega-Event status is awarded to the event, Groundspeak will change the cache type on the cache page, and all geocachers who logged their attendance on Geocaching.com will be credited with a Mega-Event icon.
How do you submit an event for Mega status? (For Repeat Organizers)
- Submit your Event Cache page as per usual procedures. Then, send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org with all supporting documentation, and your request for the upgrade to Mega status will be considered.
- For those planning subsequent Mega-Events, these can be published up to one year in advance.
- Most likely, you have a separate event website. Add a link at the top level of your site navigation pointing back to the geocaching.com cache page. This is to facilitate moving back and forth between the two sites. Since site navigation styles vary greatly, we will leave design details up to you. Generally, text that has the words "Mega-Event" plus the GC Code on it will work. Example: "Mega-Event GC2FYVM"
Hint: It helps greatly with our administration when an organization or group submits subsequent events with the same Cache Owner they have used previously. This clearly shows via the Profile Page that this username has owned at least one Mega-Event already.
Discussing Mega-Events in the Forums
We have a section in our Forums just for Mega-Events. If you are an organizer for an already-published Mega-Event and you want to have a forum section for your event, just send us a message that your team wishes to have a forum section created for your event. There is no fee for this service.
We then invite you to link to the relevant forum from your own Mega-Event website. You can also announce the news to those who will attend your event. (Hint: If you are the Cache Owner, you can use the Announcement log type.)
It is a place to have conversations about whatever you might need to organize your own attendance at one of these large events. Looking to go geocaching with a group? Looking to find carpool partners? Want to deliver a special Trackable item to someone who lives in a special city? Need to ask details about the Mega-Event coin? Looking for tourism recommendations from locals?
Organizing can be made much easier by posting relevant messages in this discussion forum.
Souvenirs, SWAG and Tracking Codes For a Mega-Event
Mega-Events qualify for souvenirs. (See the related page below.) The event must have mega status before the event occurs in order to be eligible. The Cache Owner can submit the event logo or any original art. The Cache Owner must have the rights to use the imagery submitted; do not use art or photos merely found online. We recommended that the event name and date appear clearly. Event planners must submit a 100x100 pixel JPG or PNG, and an optional 320x480 pixel JPG or PNG (this can display either horizontally or vertically). If we do not hear back from you and it is within 2 weeks of the event, Groundspeak will create a souvenir for the event.
Mega-Events qualify for a donation package from Groundspeak, including 5 Lackey coins. These items can be used for raffles, give-aways or awards.
In addition, Mega-Events that are published as Megas (the event is in its second or higher iteration), will likely qualify for free tracking codes to be used for the official Trackables, Geocoins and trackable T-shirts. These tracking codes will be accompanied by a free Trackable icon specific to the event. Please note that some restrictions apply regarding the number of tracking codes for which each event will be eligible. Organizers should contact Groundspeak for additional information.
Please note that organizers will need to ensure the Mega-Event meets all guidelines outlined here to qualify for these benefits, particularly with regards to exclusivity.
7.6. International Geocaching Day
3rd Saturday every August
It's a day devoted to enjoying what we love – geocaching. There's even a digital prize. Geocachers who log an "Attended" at an Event Cache or a "Found it" for another cache type on International Geocaching Day earn a souvenir (pictured here) for their Geocaching.com profile page. International Geocaching Day is the perfect occasion to hike with family and friends, enjoy the outdoors, and log one, two, or a dozen smileys.
In 2012, we made International Geocaching Day the biggest day in Geocaching.com history. More than 94,000 geocachers from around the world charged into the wilderness or perhaps walked casually down the sidewalk to find a geocache on August 18.
Thank you to all those cachers who organized the more than 250 events, including 3 Mega-Events, on International Geocaching Day this year. The events range from Event Caches to CITO Events and include Mega-Events in Germany, Hungary, and the United States.
The Mega-Event in the U.S. for 2012 was the Geocaching Block Party hosted at Groundspeak HQ in Seattle, Washington. We invited the community to attend via this video from some of Geocaching.com's most famous (furry) employees.
Check out the Geocaching.com Event Calendar to find an International Geocaching Day event near you. If there's not an event in your area, consider planing an Event Cache of your own. Don't forget to share pictures and stories from your International Geocaching Day event on the official Geocaching.com Facebook page.
8. My Account and Profile
8.1. Validation Code
When applying your code, we recommend that you copy and paste it instead of typing it in by hand.
8.2. Managing Email Addresses
Changing your email address
- Login to your account.
- Go to "Your Profile" and click on "Your Account Details" (http://www.geocaching.com/account/default.aspx)
- Scroll to the section for "Your Validated E-Mail Addresses" and select "Change."
- The first section shows your primary email address and any others you have added to your account.
- To change your email address add the new address.
- You will receive a validation email to this address, which you must respond to before Groundspeak will send you any further emails.
- When you have added your new email address you can delete the original one using the link beside it to "Remove Email".
Managing multiple email addresses
You can add multiple email addresses to your account using the method outlined above. The first email address you add will be automatically designated as your primary address and will be used to receive general emails from Groundspeak (eg. the weekly mailer, Watchlist, logs on your caches, etc) based on the settings you decide. You can however, use a second or third address for other purposes such as emailing the results of Pocket Queries or Instant Notifications.
If you have multiple addresses on your account then you can select which one to use for a Pocket Query results using the drop down menu in the "Output To" section of the "Create/Edit Geocache Pocket Query" page.
If you wish to change your primary email address while keeping multiple addresses you can use the link beside your desired email address to "Set as Primary".
Finally make sure you click on "Save Changes" or your changes will not be saved.
8.3. Email Preferences
Login to your account.
Go to "Your Profile" (http://www.geocaching.com/my/) available from the main menu on the left or by clicking on your username in the top right of the scree.
Click on "Your Account Details" (http://www.geocaching.com/account/default.aspx) from the "Quick View" menu near the top of the page.
Scroll to the section for "Your Validated E-Mail Addresses" and select "Change."
The third section of this page will allow you to decide the settings for your primary email address.
Finally make sure you click on "Save Changes" or your changes will not be saved.
Keywords: Weekly Newsletter New Caches
8.4. Your Geocaching Statistics
All Members have a Geocaching Statistics page based on their cache finds. Geocaching Statistics available to Basic Members are limited, while Premium Members have more statistics available to them.
A player can view their own Geocaching Statistics from Your Profile (www.geocaching.com/my) and from the Statistics tab at the top (www.geocaching.com/my/statistics.aspx.) Basic Members can see their own statistics, and Premium Members can see their own plus the statistics of those who have chosen to display theirs publicly. If Geocaching Statistics are set to 'public', they are displayed on a user's Public Profile (www.geocaching.com/profile/) under the Statistics tab. Public display of Geocaching Statistics is the default.
Setting Statistics Display
To set the display of Geocaching Statistics (to either private or public), go to your Account Details (www.geocaching.com/account/), look at the 3rd box down on the right side, Statistics. Click change (www.geocaching.com/my/statistics_edit.aspx ), and a new page will open where you can set the display option. If you set your Geocaching Statistics to 'private', they will be hidden from public view, but visible to you on Your Profile.
8.5. Friends List - Adding a Friend
To add other geocachers to your My Friends list: The other player will not be added to your friend list until they accept your Friend request. You can see all pending friend requests under the “Pending Friend Request” tab located next to the “My Friends” tab.
To add other geocachers to your My Friends list:
The other player will not be added to your friend list until they accept your Friend request. You can see all pending friend requests under the “Pending Friend Request” tab located next to the “My Friends” tab.
8.6. Friends List - Colored Icons
Once you add some friends, you'll notice colored icons next to your friends' names. Here is what they mean:
Once you add some friends, you'll notice colored icons next to your friends' names. Here is what they mean:
8.7. Friends List - How Your Friend Can Accept Your Request
If you try to add another player as a friend and you receive a message that they are not accepting friend requests at this time, this is due to an option that the other player has set in their profile. To change this setting, your friend will need to complete the following steps: Once your friend has completed this, you can send them a new friend request. To accept, your friend can visit: http://www.geocaching.com/my/myfriends.aspx
If you try to add another player as a friend and you receive a message that they are not accepting friend requests at this time, this is due to an option that the other player has set in their profile.
To change this setting, your friend will need to complete the following steps:
Once your friend has completed this, you can send them a new friend request. To accept, your friend can visit: http://www.geocaching.com/my/myfriends.aspx
8.8. Localized Languages and Translated Pages
We are pleased to offer Geocaching.com in 16 languages. Thanks to more than 150 volunteer translators, portions of the website are available in:
English, Deutsch, Ceština, Nederlands, Français, Svenska, Português, Norsk Bokmål, Español, Italiano, Català, Polski, Eesti, Magyar, Română and 한국어.
You can set your language preference in two places:
- You can easily choose your preferred language from the footer (the very bottom) of the page.
- Or to make a more permanent change to your language, go to http://www.geocaching.com/account/ManagePreferences.aspx.
Our hope is to continuously improve translations on the website. We are working on the more popular pages first. Following are some of the pages available in a language other than English:
- Home Page
- Cache Details
- Cache Search Results
- Hide and Seek a Cache
- Geocaching Profile
- Your Profile
- Log a Cache
- Report a New Geocache
- Login Pages
- Pocket Queries
- Geocaching 101
- Geocaching Guidelines
- ...and many more!
Thank you very much to the volunteers who translate for the international geocaching community. With their language skills and a software tool called Web Translate It, we are make it easier for non-English speakers to enjoy the game.
8.9. Member ID
To find out what your Member ID is, log in to your account and navigate to My Account Details or click here: http://www.geocaching.com/account/ Your Member ID will be listed in the box titled "My Profile"
To find out what your Member ID is, log in to your account and navigate to My Account Details or click here: http://www.geocaching.com/account/
Your Member ID will be listed in the box titled "My Profile"
8.10. Password Reset
If you have forgotten your password:
- Click on the "Forget your password?" link on the login page, or visit http://www.geocaching.com/login/password.aspx.
- Enter your username and a password reset request will be emailed to the address associated with the account.
- Check your inbox for a username/password reset. The email will be sent to the email address associated with your geocaching.com account. If more than one account is tied to your email address, all usernames using that email address will be included in the email.
If you have already requested your password and still have not seen the email:
- Check your "junk" or "spam" email folder. In some cases, automatically-generated email such as this may be filtered as junk.
- If the password reminder email is not located in your spam folder and you still have not received it, please see the instructions about "Email Missing from Geocaching.com" (link is below).
- Submit a request to us using the link at the left. Be sure to specify the email address associated with your account.
If you have lost access to the email address tied to your account:
Unfortunately, we cannot send private account information to any email address other than the validated email address listed on your account. One possible solution is to sign up for a new free account. You can do so here: http://www.geocaching.com/login/new.aspx You are welcome to view the previous account's logs via the profile page and log your finds again under the new account. It is common courtesy to indicate briefly in the new logs that you are re-logging with your new username, and make sure that the dates are the same as your original visit to the location.
8.11. Photo Gallery In My Profile
Public Profile pages contain a "user gallery" of photos. This is an automatically-created collection of all the photos that user has uploaded as part of all their logs. For instructions on adding photos to your cache logs, please visit: Note that the date we show in the user gallery is the date when the photo is uploaded. We do allow the user to change the date manually if desired. This comes in handy when uploading photos many days after the cache log was actually posted. If you notice date anomalies in photos uploaded before mid-2009, it may be because we used to use the date embedded in the image from your camera (EXIF data). If the date on your camera was accurate when the photo was taken, then it would also be accurately displayed online.
Public Profile pages contain a "user gallery" of photos. This is an automatically-created collection of all the photos that user has uploaded as part of all their logs.
For instructions on adding photos to your cache logs, please visit:
Note that the date we show in the user gallery is the date when the photo is uploaded. We do allow the user to change the date manually if desired. This comes in handy when uploading photos many days after the cache log was actually posted.
If you notice date anomalies in photos uploaded before mid-2009, it may be because we used to use the date embedded in the image from your camera (EXIF data). If the date on your camera was accurate when the photo was taken, then it would also be accurately displayed online.
8.12. Profile Photo and Avatar
You can add a photo to your Public Profile. You can also specify a different image to be used as your avatar, which is displayed throughout the site and in the discussion forums. Your Profile Photo change will take effect immediately. Since the forums run on a different machine, you will need to re-register the change before the new Avatar will take effect in the forums. To do this, use the link provided on that screen to enter the forums.
You can add a photo to your Public Profile. You can also specify a different image to be used as your avatar, which is displayed throughout the site and in the discussion forums.
Your Profile Photo change will take effect immediately.
Since the forums run on a different machine, you will need to re-register the change before the new Avatar will take effect in the forums. To do this, use the link provided on that screen to enter the forums.
8.13. Staying Logged In
Why does the site keep logging me out? Symptoms: Entering your login and password and clicking "submit" returns you to the login page and forces you to login again. Reasons:
Why does the site keep logging me out?
Entering your login and password and clicking "submit" returns you to the login page and forces you to login again.
8.14. Username Change
If you want to change your username, you can do this yourself by going to Manage Your Profile:
Remember, this is the name that will represent you throughout all Groundspeak websites.
Usernames must be between 2 and 20 characters.
If a username already exists and has ever been validated, or the username has been used in any way, then the username is not available.
Once you process your new username, your site statistics will remain the same. The caches and Trackables that you own will still belong to you under that new name, and all your found caches and Trackables will show as found by your new username. You do not need to transfer them. You may, however, want to update the "Cache Placed By" field on all caches that you have created.
8.15. Merge or Combine Multiple Usernames into a Team Username
Our system cannot automatically merge two accounts to create one "team" account.
If you'd like to join forces with friends or family members to log caches, please either create a brand new, separate account, or make one of the preexisting accounts into your team account.
If you choose to create a brand new, separate account:
- Visit the membership page to create a new team account
- Log any and all past finds and did-not-finds on the new team account using the date when you found the cache.
- You may want to indicate this in your cache logs under the new username with a sentence like: "I am logging this old find under my new username." Those on the Watchlist will appreciate this type of information.
If you choose to make a preexisting account into your team account:
- You can do this yourself by going to Manage Your Profile: http://www.geocaching.com/account/editprofile.aspx
- Pick the new username that you would like to use on the preexisting account. All the historical data will transfer to the new username
- If you would like us to disable a username that will no longer be used, please let us know by submitting a request.
8.16. Deleting My Account
Although accounts are never permanently deleted, they can certainly be disabled.
To disable your account, you will need to send the request to email@example.com from the email address that is listed on your account. Groundspeak will reply to your email to confirm that your account has been disabled.
If you’re not sure which email address is listed on your account, you can look it up here:
If the email listed on your account is no longer current, you may need to update your profile accordingly and validate it to make sure you can receive email from geocaching.com.
A NOTE TO PREMIUM MEMBERS:
If you are a Premium Member and have an active PayPal subscription, you may need to contact PayPal directly to cancel it.
8.17. Status Types in a Profile Page
Below are explanations of the different status types you can see in a public profile page:
- Member - created a Basic Membership for Groundspeak.com
- Premium Member - paid for a Premium Membership for Groundspeak.com
- Charter Member - has continuously paid for a Premium Membership since the first few months that they were offered
Other Status Types:
- Not Validated Member - has yet to validate their account via the email address they provided upon registration, or email to them bounces
- Inactive Member - has requested that their account be disabled
- Reviewer - a volunteer who reviews and publishes cache pages
- Lackey - paid staff member at Groundspeak
- User - Most accounts fall into this category: all accounts except Reviewer and Lackey
9. More Site Functionality
[updated April 24th]
Cache owners have the option of specifying attributes for their geocaches. It helps to describe the cache better at a quick glance.
Once attributes are specified, these are displayed as icons on the cache page. For example, those interested in dog-friendly caches with a scenic view can simply look for the corresponding icons. Premium Members can automate this by using that information as part of a specific filtering mechanism called a Pocket Query.
Cache owners, you can set attributes by using the "edit attributes" link from the Navigation area of each of your cache pages. Options for attributes are listed here: http://www.geocaching.com/about/icons.aspx
When creating a new cache using the cache listing wizard, you can select appropriate attributes in step 5.
In May 2011, we added a new attribute:
The "sponsored cache" attribute is awarded to geocaches developed in partnership between Groundspeak and another company. Groundspeak works to provide a limited number of entertaining sponsored caches in order to bring another element of fun to the activity. Many geocachers have enjoyed sponsored cache programs, from the old Project A.P.E. series to the new and family-friendly PBS Dinosaur Train Geocaching series.
Some attributes that are used for specialty caches include:
Field Puzzle: To be added to a cache page when the cache requires solving a puzzle during the activity of geocaching. Cache types: Mystery/Puzzle caches (Unknown).
Wireless Beacon: To be added to a cache page when a wireless beacon has been integrated into the cache concept. Caches of this kind must be created as Mystery/Puzzle (Unknown) caches.
9.2. Coord.Info - SMS features and a shorter URL
Would you like a shorter URL? Try: http://coord.info.
This site is used as a quick redirect for Groundspeak's family of web sites. You can use it for geocaches, waymarks and trackable items. It's the Groundspeak version of TinyUrl.
For example, instead of typing all this for a geocache page:
You can just type in this:
Further, if you have SMS on your mobile phone, you can use features based on this functionality to connect to the rest of the world using Twitter (and thus Facebook) or Fire Eagle. You can receive cache information and hints, and you can also log caches. Ours is a free service although you may incur SMS texting fees based on your cell phone subscription.
For more instructions, visit:
9.3. Email a User
There are several ways to email a user:
1. Click on the username of the user on the cache page. There is a link there to email them
2. Use http://www.geocaching.com/email
3. Visit your "My Account" page when logged in and click on the link that says "email a player" - That will also take you to the link in #2
9.4. Field Notes
Field Notes are an easy way to keep track of the caches you found during your cache hunt. Geocaching.com now supports Field Notes from your Garmin Colorado as well as Trimble's Geocache Navigator application. Field Notes are available from the My account page, or directly through this link:
With Trimble's Geocache Navigator, you can log your Field Notes on the phone and they show up on this page once you link the phone to your account. While Geocaching with the Garmin Colorado you can upload your finds directly from the device once you return back from your day geocaching.
9.5. Find Count In Cache Listings
Why aren't the find counts correct in cache listings?
Due to the internet traffic we receive on a daily basis, cache pages are re-generated only when major things happen. For example: new logs are added to a cache page, a change is made to the description of the cache, etc.
If you find another cache, you may see a temporarily incorrect display on some pages that you have touched in the past. Don't worry: this will update once the page gets re-generated.
Fortunately that find number is always correct on your public profile. If someone wanted to find out your current find count, they could simply click on your username and look at your profile.
9.6. Geocaching Live Access and Restrictions
Groundspeak is working with select third-party application developers to introduce the new Geocaching.com Public API. We are progressing rapidly through the closed Beta phase, and as of August 2, 2011 have approved for release the first partner application. Many more applications for various platforms are expected to launch in the coming weeks. Check the Geocaching Live page for a current list of supported applications.
Basic Member Restrictions
Geocaching.com Basic Members are provided access to 3 full Traditional geocache descriptions per day through the API, with restricted cache filtering options. After reaching this limit Basic Members may continue to retrieve "light" geocache data, including coordinates, geocache name, and difficulty/terrain information. Under most circumstances this is enough access to continue using the application to find Traditional geocaches. All other functionality such as logging geocaches and Trackables are unrestricted for Basic Members.
Premium Member Access
Geocaching.com Premium Members enjoy an upgraded experience with applications using the Geocaching Live API. Full geocache data, including descriptions and logs for all geocache types is available to Premium Members regardless of the platform. Becoming a Premium Member of Geocaching.com is the best way to take full advantage of any application connecting to the website through Geocaching Live.
9.7. Go Mobile with Geocache Navigator
Are you a first time geocacher looking to purchase a GPS unit? Or have you ever forgotten your GPS unit but still wanted to go geocaching? Use your mobile phone instead!
The Trimble Geocache Navigator is the first fully featured geocaching application for the mobile phone. Read more here:
9.8. Google Earth and Viewing Geocaches
Our Geocaching Google Earth Viewer allows you to see up to 500 geocaches within a particular map view. For more information, please see:
9.9. GPS Devices and Reviews / My GPS
You can read reviews written by geocachers and see which devices have the highest ratings at the GPS Devices and Reviews page. Choose to read about most popular devices, newest devices or recently reviewed devices. Farther down the page, you can also see your own reviews and your Friends' devices. To post your own product ratings and reviews:
You can read reviews written by geocachers and see which devices have the highest ratings at the GPS Devices and Reviews page. Choose to read about most popular devices, newest devices or recently reviewed devices. Farther down the page, you can also see your own reviews and your Friends' devices.
To post your own product ratings and reviews:
9.10. GPS Devices - Adding Your Device
Here are the steps to send in your request to have your device added to the list:
From your profile page, click on "Change your Device" (the link appears on the right side under "Your GPS") or go to this URL: http://www.geocaching.com/account/editgadget.aspx
Select "Add another Device". In the bottom of the text box it says, "Don't see your device here? E-Mail us and let us know."
Click "E-Mail us". An Email window will pop up, pre-filled with the email address firstname.lastname@example.org and the text, "I have the [GPS Device Name] made by [GPS Manufacturer]. (Please provide a product URL if you have one.)"
Fill in the required information and send.
Once our developers have received this email they will be able to add the device to our site.
9.11. I think I just found a bug in your site. How do I report this?
Occasionally, you may find something on our website that does not work properly. We'd like to know whenever there is a bug so that we can fix it.
Here's what you can do, in this order:
- Check our forums to see if this has already been reported by someone else first. This is the most dynamic way to communicate with the active and well-informed community. Fixes or temporary solutions to known issues (workarounds) are also reported in this forum.
- If your topic is already posted, add any new information that will help us investigate.
- If your topic is not already there, start a new thread. Be sure to use the topic title and topic description wisely. Write something specific. For example, a title like "500 error when editing cache page" provides useful detail. A title called "help me: I found a bug" does not describe the problem at all.
- Help us help you. If we cannot repeat the issue, we cannot repair it so the extra information below is a must. We will get to the bottom of it much quicker if we know about these details:
- What are the specific steps to reproduce your problem?
- If you use other browsers on your computer, does it happens there also?
- What is your Operating System? Windows XP, Mac 10.4, etc.
- What is your browser with version number? IE 7.0, Firefox 2.01, Opera 9.1
- What is the GC code? (if the error occurred at a geocache page)
- Are there any URL's (web page addresses) that you feel would help?
- When you find any thread that is interesting, track or follow that topic: In other words, subscribe to it so you are notified when there are new responses.
- If you feel that the issue you see is a personal one and not appropriate to share in a public forum, please contact us privately. See the link below for more information on how to do that or email us using the link on the left side of this page.
Please fix my bug! you pleaded,
But some repro steps are needed,
What you expected to happen
And what actually happened
Help resolve your bugs unimpeded.
9.12. Identifying Lackeys and Reviewers
How can you confirm that another user is a Lackey or a Reviewer?
If you are contacted through geocaching.com by a user who claims to work for Groundspeak or to be a volunteer reviewer, you can quickly confirm their identity by checking that user's profile page.
User Profile: Most people who log in to geocaching.com are shown as a "User" on their profile page.
Lackey Profile: Users who work for Groundspeak are known as "Lackeys". You will also see a small blue 'badge' next to a Lackey's username (located under "Profile" in the following picture).
Reviewer Profile: Volunteer cache reviewers are shown as "Reviewer". You will also see a small red 'badge' next to a reviewer's username (located under "Profile" in the following picture).
A user's profile status is different from their membership type, which include Charter Member, Premium Member and Basic Member.
Geocaching Lists allow you to organize caches so that you can keep track of your Favorites, watch the activity of caches, ignore caches so that they do not appear in your search results or Bookmark caches into groupings such as "the best caches for out-of-town guests."
There are three different types of Geocaching Lists:
- Favorites: Geocaching Favorites is a simple way to track and share the caches that you enjoyed the most. For every 10 caches that you have found, you will be able to Favorite 1 exceptional cache in your find history. The Favorites accumulated by a cache are displayed in search results and on the cache page so everyone can see which caches stand above the rest.
- Watchlist: By adding a trackable item or cache to your Watchlist, you will receive a copy of each posted log via email.
- Bookmarks: Bookmarks are like a souped-up Watchlist. Add up to 1000 caches to each list and share them with your friends. This feature is perfect for planning your next trip.
9.14. Needs Archived Note
What is a Needs Archived note or log?
This log sends an email to the cache owner and a local reviewer. There are several instances when using a "Needs Archived" log is appropriate. Here are some example situations that warrant a Needs Archived note.
1 - There is a law enforcement, trespassing or similar issue requiring immediate attention. Occasionally a cache is placed in a location that is inappropriate because of security concerns - schools, court houses, or airports among the most common.
2 - There is no immediate problem, but it is painfully evident that the cache is missing AND the owner is missing.
When a reviewer receives a Needs Archived note he/she will usually:
Post a note to the cache page in response to the Needs Archived log, providing the owner with an opportunity to fix the problem, and following up in a few weeks to make sure the issue has received attention from the owner. In cases where there's a legitimate maintenance need like a wet or possibly missing container, but not a trail of evidence that the owner has ignored their responsibility, it is appropriate to give the owner a fair chance to respond.
Do nothing. Some Needs Archived notes are logged purely as a matter of frustration, either because of a personal dispute with the cache owner or an inability to find the cache. New geocachers sometimes mistakenly assume that because they cannot find the cache when their GPS zeroes out, it *must* be missing and therefore should be archived. Other folks simply choose the wrong log option by accident. Each day, there's a Needs Archived note that says "we really enjoyed the hike to this beautiful spot. We took a toy bear and left a screwdriver set. Thanks for the cache."
9.15. Printer-Friendly Pages
Do you need to print out a cache page for easy reference? You can access a printer-friendly version of each cache page by clicking on the appropriate link just under the area containing the cache coordinates: In addition to choosing how many logs you wish to print out, there are several more ways to customize your display. Try them before you print. Many thanks to Volunteer Cache Reviewer Hemlock for initially developing these step by step instructions.
Simple [No Logs] [5 Logs] [10 Logs]
Do you need to print out a cache page for easy reference? You can access a printer-friendly version of each cache page by clicking on the appropriate link just under the area containing the cache coordinates:
In addition to choosing how many logs you wish to print out, there are several more ways to customize your display. Try them before you print.
Many thanks to Volunteer Cache Reviewer Hemlock for initially developing these step by step instructions.
9.16. Search for Other Players
There are several ways to find the profile page of another player.
Often, you can click on their username. This works while on many pages at geocaching.com and it also works in the Groundspeak Forums. A username is clickable when it has been generated by the site and was not typed out by someone else within the text of a cache log or the text of a forum post.
If you know their username (be careful of exact spelling), you can use this page to get to their profile:
You can either follow the link to their profile page or send them an email message.
Once you've entered the first 3 letters of a username, the find function will generate a list of 20 usernames that start with those letters. You must type them exactly as they appear in the username. Spaces in usernames do matter to the find function. For example Eagle Dad and EagleDAD are two different users. And the find function won't yield either of them in the first 20 users if you enter the word eagle. The more letters you're sure of, the quicker you can get to the username.
Souvenirs are virtual pieces of art with some associated text that you can discover and display on your profile page, as well as in the iPhone, Android and Windows Phone 7 apps.
Some souvenirs are awarded for their geographical location, while others are awarded differently. For example, you might get a souvenir for attending a specific Mega-Event. A list of available souvenirs is below and hope that you enjoy discovering these unique pieces of art!
Learn more: geocaching.com/about/souvenirs.aspx
View your own souvenirs: geocaching.com/my/souvenirs.aspx
To see a list of available souvenirs: http://blog.geocaching.com/2010/11/geocaching-com-souvenirs/
Souvenirs released in 2013: http://blog.geocaching.com/2013/02/new-geocaching-souvenirs-celebrating-2-million-active-geocaches/
9.18. Stat Bar Customization
At My Stat Bar page, you can choose from one of two logos (the geocaching logo or Signal the Frog) and personalize your stat bar with a with a short quote. After you choose a logo and write a quote, click the "Generate Stat Bar" button to display what your stat bar will look like.
If you like what you see, copy everything in the box below the stat bar and paste it in the HTML of any web site you choose.
The URL for the example stat bar is: http://img.geocaching.com/stats/img.aspx?txt=This+is+a+Stat+Bar&uid=457aa896-3133-409e-84fa-169764730e22&bg=1
The quote text begins with txt= and ends at the ampersand (&). Any spaces are replaced with addition signs (+). Anything not alphanumeric will need to be converted to its HTML equivalent.
Your user ID is the long set of alphanumeric characters and dashes followed by the uid= section. This only changes when you're working with another user's stat bar. A user's ID can be found as part of any hyperlink in geocaching.com referencing that user's account page.
Finally, the background number begins with bg= and is either a 1 or 2.
9.19. User Profiles
There are a few ways to locate other users on our site. You may click on their username from any forum post, cache listing they own or any log they have posted.
Locating a user profile:
From Hide/Seek page:
1. Click on the "Hide & Seek a Cache" button on the upper left hand corner of the main page.
2. Scroll the the bottom enter the username in the box to the left of this text "Or, Caches found by username:".
3. Click "Find".
4. Locate the user post on that page.
5. Click on the username, the link will take you to their profile page.
From a cache page:
Click on the username, the link will take you to their profile page.
From a Forum Post:
1. Click on the user name in the upper left hand corner of their post.
2. In the pop up window click "View ******* Public Profile".
(note: if you attempt to open the pop up in a "new window" you will receive an error message. You must just click on the user name.)
9.20. Watchlist and How to Adjust It
A watchlist is a list of users that are watching a specific trackable item or cache. A user who adds a trackable item or cache to their watchlist receives a copy of each posted log via email. Owners of these items do not need to use this feature since they will already get a copy of those logs.
How do I add/remove watchlist items?
To add items: You must be logged in. In the upper right hand corner of the Cache Details page or the Trackable Item page there is a link to "add to watchlist". It will take you to your watchlist page with the confirmation.
To remove items: Click on "My Account" from the left navigation area. Click the "watchlist" link at the top of the page. Click "remove" for any items you would like to remove. Shortcut:
9.21. Watchlist Identity
How can I tell who is watching my cache?
For privacy reasons we cannot reveal the names of the watchers of your cache. Sorry.
If you like, post a note on the cache page requesting the watchers reveal themselves. Since they are watching the cache, they will all receive your request by email.
10.1. Convert a Street Address to Latitude/Longitude
There are a few websites that can help you convert a street address to latitude and longitude coordinates. Some are better than others.
Near the top of any cache page, you will see a link for "Other Conversions" near the cache coordinates. This takes you to the Waypoint Conversions page at geocaching.com. By pulling down the menu, you can choose "Geocode Address" and a field appears into which you can plug a street address. Click Change Waypoint and you will get your coordinates.
|Website||Displays Coordinates as...|
|Multimap||Deg, Decimal Minutes
|Geocode (US)||Decimal degrees
One big problem with these programs is accuracy. None of them precisely "nail" your location, but some come closer than others. There are several others out there but those listed above work well.
In addition, MS Streets and Trips has the function of finding an address and a location sensor. Just hold the mouse over the map and get the latitude and longitude.
One final note: If you're in the USA and you are familiar with the area, you can get a close approximation of the coordinates using the websites above, and plug the information into the GeocachingAdmin's Terraserver Viewer. You should then see a nice combined area of arial photos of the coordinates. If you know the particular building or house you're looking for and you click on the image, the viewer will provide you with the precise coordinates of where you clicked.
Many thanks to Volunteer Forum Moderator Markwell for initially developing these instructions.
10.2. Convert Decimal Coordinates to DDD MM.MMM
If you would like to convert Decimal Coordinates to DDD MM.MMM, take the integer (whole number) - positive is North and East, negative is South and West - and set it aside. The remaining decimals would be multiplied times sixty to get minutes.
Example: the Sears Tower in Chicago is located at 41.878928° -87.636415°. For the latitude...
Start with the number in decimal degrees
Positive is north, and take the whole number
Then take the remainder times 60
Round to three decimals
Therefore the latitude for the Sears Tower in Chicago is
41.xxxxxx = N41°
0.878928 x 60 = 52.73568
Now try the math on your own: Longitude -87.636415° will convert to W087° 38.185.
To reverse the process, take the minutes portion and divide by 60, then tag it on to the degrees:
W 087° 38.185
38.185 ÷ 60 = 0.636417
tag it onto the degrees to get 87.636417°
“West” is negative: -87.636417°
To carry it further to seconds beyond minutes, you do the same thing with the minutes that you did with the degrees. Take the integer off of the minutes and multiply the remaining decimal times 60. That will give you seconds. If you have Degrees, Minutes and Seconds...
- Start with the seconds and divide by 60. Add the minutes and you'll be in the format that Geocaching uses: H DDD MM.MMM
- To take it further to the decimal degrees, divide the minutes (MM.MMM) by 60 and add the decimal to the degrees. That will leave you in the format DDD.DDDDD. Remember, West and South are negative, East and North are positive. Coordinates in the US are N latitude (positive) and W longitude (negative).
Many thanks to Volunteer Forum Moderator Markwell for initially developing these instructions.
10.3. WGS-84 and HDD(D)° MM.MMM Datum and Format
Why do we use WGS-84 and HDD(D)° MM.MMM Datum and Format?
Most GPS receivers are set coming out of the box with WGS-84 and HDD(D)° MM.MMM Datum and Format. Using this setting will be less likely to confuse new GPS owners.
Many thanks to Volunteer Forum Moderator Markwell for initially developing this explanation.
10.4. GPS Coordinates Don't Match the Map
My GPS coordinates don't match the location on the map. What's wrong?
The coordinates are most likely in the wrong format or datum. Make sure your GPSR uses WGS-84. If you need more help, please see the Related Page below.
Note that there is a slight variation in the Topozone maps when linked from geocaching.com: the Topozone website uses NAD-27, a different coordinate datum.
Another possibility is that the GPS may be set to "Lock to Roads." If this is the case, even when you're in the middle of the forest, the GPS will state that you're in the middle of the nearest highway. Be sure to turn off this feature if you have it.
Many thanks to Volunteer Forum Moderator Markwell for initially developing these instructions.
10.5. How Many Feet are in 0.001 Minutes?
How many feet are in 0.001 minutes?
It depends. The answers are different for latitude and longitude.
Latitude lines are also called "parallels." The circle the globe at a constant distance from each other. Therefore, the answer for latitudes is constant: 6.074 feet.
However the lines of Longitude all run from pole to pole, converging as you get closer to the poles. At the North Pole, the distance between E/W 0° and E/W 180° could be a matter of inches depending on how far away from the actual pole you are. At the equator, it's halfway around the world - about 12,500 miles.
So, what's the distance between 0.001 minutes at my latitude?
The following table was taken from an answer in the General Forums. The degrees are the farthest column to the left, and the minutes go across the top. Find your degree/minute combination, and the number in that cell is the distance between 0.001 minutes in feet.
Many thanks to Volunteer Forum Moderator Markwell for initially developing these instructions.
10.6. Calculating Distance Between Two Sets of Coordinates
How can I calculate the distance between two sets of coordinates?
The easier of the two - Pythagorean - can be done by someone with a basic calculator with square roots (or an Excel Spreadsheet). The Great Circle can also be done with a spreadsheet utility, but there are several online calculators to do the calculations. Examples include: Calculator 1, Calculator 2, Calculator 3.
Using the Pythagorean Theorem to Calculate Distances?
First, both sets of coordinates need to be in UTM.
- Existing Geocaches have them on the cache detail page.
- Your personally retrieved coordinates in your GPS can be converted by changing the setting on the GPS to UTM.
- Finally, you can convert them using the online calculator at JEEEP.com conversion page .
Once both sets of coordinates are in are in UTM assume the following:
Northing 1=" N1" Easting 1="E1" Northing 2="N2" Easting 2="E2"
Sqrt((N1-N2)²+(E1-E2)²)/1000=Distance in Kilometers
To get it in miles: divide your answer by 1.6093
UTM uses meters from reference points, so the positions are already metric.
Subtracting the northings gives you the distance in meters north-to-south (a).
Subtracting the eastings gives you the distance in meters east-to-west (b).
Since a²+b²=c², that translates into sqrt(a²+b²)=c.
C is the distance in meters. Divide by 1000 to get kilometers.
So Why Use The Great Circle Calculation?
The Pythagorean calculation works well enough for short distances - namely trying to figure out if a cache is less than 0.10 miles or 161 meters from another. Over longer distances, the numbers become more skewed because of the curve of the earth's surface. In those instances, you need some trigonometry skills to be able to accurately reflect the distance.
Look at the difference in the calculations in distances between three caches:
These two are exactly 4.00 miles apart, using both the Great Circle Calculation and the Pythagorean Calculation.
Great Circle Distance: 473.01 miles
It's not a huge difference, but when you're dealing with distance across a continent, the error is even greater. Besides, it's nice to be "correct."
Many thanks to Volunteer Forum Moderator Markwell for initially developing these instructions.
11.1. Beginner's Basics
You may be new to geocaching and want to spend time familiarizing yourself with the hobby. Below are some places where you can learn some of the needed skills, common terms and places where you can learn even more.
11.2. Land Management and Law Enforcement
Property owners, park systems and police departments are a welcome and integral part of the geocaching community.
If you have found an inappropriately placed geocache on your property, please notify us so we can take steps to correct any issues. Please also read the additional Action Items enumerated on our Land Management and Law Enforcement page
If you need action on or more information about any particular geocache, please email us the details. Include the geocache name, GC Code (GCXXXX), geocache location or any other information that might assist us in identifying the correct geocache. Sometimes, what you will find inside is a book or a simply sheet of paper with a list of usernames and dates; this information can sometimes help us identify which geocache you have found.
If the geocaching.com web site is contacted and informed that a geocache has been placed inappropriately, the geocache owner will be contacted with any information provided by the individual or organization who contacted us.
We can be reached by telephone at (+1) 206.302.7721 or via email: email@example.com.
11.3. Clubs, Camps and Kids
We have options for hosting a geocaching event for clubs, camps, or kids. Download the attachments below and let the games begin!
Among other clubs and groups, Groundspeak has worked with the Girl Scouts as part of their 100th anniversary celebration in 2011. Girl Scouts and Groundspeak have introduced a new Geocacher badge for Girl Scout Juniors. Juniors can find the complete badge requirements in The Junior Girl's Guide to Girl Scouting, available through their council stores. More information on all the new Girl Scout badges can be found at http://forgirls.girlscouts.org/home/badges/. For more about the great time girls can have while changing the world, visit: www.girlscouts.org.
More options are outlined at:
11.4. Organizing Caches For a City, State or Region
We want to be a part of bringing people to unique, interesting places. You (as a representative of a city, state or region) want to create geocaches that highlight the wonderful outdoors in your part of the world.
We can help you effectively entice geocachers to visit your destination. Read on!
If you are a travel and tourism professional, we can help. We have worked with CVBs (Convention and Visitor Bureaus), park systems, tourism councils, Chambers of Commerce and other similar organizations.
Also read the Related Pages linked near the bottom of this page.
- Each geocache must sit well within our existing guidelines. Please pay special attention to our guidelines on commercial caches as they are generally not published on our site and the geocaching community appreciates this. Our community usually reacts negatively to cache pages that are veiled billboards for advertising.
- That said, there is plenty of opportunity to get your message to the public. For example, while it would be acceptable to explain the nature of your group or to explain why this place is worth visiting ("the Pacific Northwest is full of excellent hiking trails"), it would not be acceptable to recommend that cachers purchase drinks and snacks at your store. Indeed any call to action should be avoided (stay away from statements like "subscribe to our newsletter").
- Create a username with an accompanying profile page to consolidate the geocaches under one account. That is, one username would own all the relevant caches in your series. Use your destination as the username so people know right away. For example, "Visit Springfield" would be a suitable username. (See this example of a park system; login is required to view this and a basic account is free.)
- An appropriate link to your organization's website and text describing your destination can be added using the space provided on the profile page.
- Players/Tourists should be directed to geocaching.com for the coordinates, rather than web pages or pamphlets being distributed with the coordinates pre-printed. We prefer that traffic be directed to our site for coordinates not for the sake of increasing traffic but because the status of a live geocache can and does change daily. Sometimes, even hourly. It could be temporarily unavailable, for example. Or, the most recent finder may have reported that a hornet made a nest nearby. The original geocache page is the best source for this sort of live, dynamic information.
- If web pages and pamphlets are created, we would happily consider providing our logo for appropriate use.
- Trade items in the container that represent coupons or gift certificates to local businesses are allowed. The local finders would likely appreciate finding "treasure" like that. To respect the spirit of the game, we strongly recommend having non-commercial trade items as well. Ideas include small toys, pens, books, etc.
- Trackable and collectible game pieces often increase participation in geocaching programs. Consider minting a set of these game pieces and making them available as prizes or for purchase. Each individual piece would include a unique tracking number to be used for following its movements online and out in the real world. The longevity of this project makes it an effective promotion since the Trackables continue to move from cache to cache after their initial release. There are several options:
- Tags: These can be custom designed quickly and affordably at the cost of $3 each, with a minimum order of 1000. See examples of Trackable Tags and note the variety in shape, graphic style and size.
- Geocoins: Similar to tags, these game pieces are heavier and are often much larger. They require a longer lead time and a slightly more expensive initial investment. See some examples of Trackable Geocoins and learn more.
Questions for Your Group:
- Is there anyone at your organization that is already a geocacher, and therefore aware of our guidelines and the many tips and tricks for hiding geocaches? It helps to have an experienced cacher on your team, as there are creative ways to hide geocaches that make the game more engaging and make your promotion more enjoyable.
- Please see some of the sections of our Knowledge Books for more helpful hints: Review Process: Hiding a Geocache and Cache Ownership: A Long-Term Relationship.
- Would you like to purchase appropriate banner advertising for your geocaching program in order to reach a wider audience? Are you interested in additional possibilities such as email blasts in our weekly e-newsletter?
- Does your organization have a retail store? Consider becoming a Geocaching.com Distributor and carrying a selection of geocaching merchandise. Both those learning about geocaching for the first time or the geocaching experts that come to visit the geocache on your property may be interested in shopping. Specifically you might look into some of the basic essentials, starter kits, Trackables, stickers and trade items.
If you have a budget and would like to work with us for a paid promotion, we offer consulting services and can help arrange a GeoTour. Otherwise, you can find a vast amount of information on our website and we have wonderful volunteer reviewers who guide you when you submit your first geocache.
11.5. Tourism Initiatives
Geocaching Tourism is the perfect combination of travel and geocaching. Explore a new location by searching for geocaches that locals have hidden in places of general interest, historical importance and great natural beauty!
What better way to see the Greek Island of Naxos than to find the caches hidden by Yiannisp & E.X. that take you from the island's most famous monument, The Portara, to the summit of its highest mountain, Zas, and beyond?
You are in Africa, not Greece? What about finding the cache Sailors' Star at the Cape of Good Hope and learning from the cache page that, according to legend, the "pirate ship the "Flying Dutchman" haunts the waters around the cape? Most people probably would not know that fun fact without the tip from the local cache owner.
In addition to all of the great caches hidden by geocachers, several cities, parks and other locations have created geocaching programs to introduce geocachers to their area. This is a great way for them to attract more tourists, while geocachers benefit from the well-thought-out geocaches (and can sometimes even receive prizes).
See below for a list of Geocaching Tourism programs. If we failed to list a program, please email firstname.lastname@example.org with the name of the program, its general location and the program URL. Thank you!
Geocaching Tourism Programs
These are Geocaching Tourism Programs created by parks, tourism bureaus and others. Please see the program-specific web pages for more information. We know this list is incomplete. Help us! If you know of a program we are missing or if we have listed a program that should now be removed, please let us know: email@example.com.
Ringkøbing - GPS treasure Hunt
Maryland and vicinity
12.1. Typing the ° Degree Symbol
If you would like to make the ° symbol when typing, you can use these methods:
- On PCs - hold down the Alt key and on the numeric keypad on the right of the keyboard, type 0176, or Alt+ 248 When you release the Alt Key, a ° should be there.
- On Macs - option shift 8.
Many thanks to Volunteer Forum Moderator Markwell for initially developing these instructions.
12.2. Helpful Links
We maintain a list of resources and web sites that you might find useful or interesting:
12.3. Benchmark Hunting
Using your GPS unit and/or written directions provided by National Geodetic Survey, you can seek out NGS survey markers and other items that have been marked in the USA.
At the top of a peak or in a village square, you probably walk by at least one every day.
Learn more about it here:
12.4. Contact Us
Our Contact Us page is full of helpful tips: Groundspeak receives thousands of email messages each week. If you have a question, comment or suggestion for us, please feel free to email firstname.lastname@example.org or Submit a Request using the link on the left side of this page. When you do, please remember to include all relevant information in your inquiry so we can properly respond to your email. Whenever possible, please use the email address associated with your username to contact Groundspeak. Helpful information to include:
Our Contact Us page is full of helpful tips:
Groundspeak receives thousands of email messages each week. If you have a question, comment or suggestion for us, please feel free to email email@example.com or Submit a Request using the link on the left side of this page. When you do, please remember to include all relevant information in your inquiry so we can properly respond to your email.
Whenever possible, please use the email address associated with your username to contact Groundspeak.
Helpful information to include:
12.5. Email Missing from Geocaching.com
Are you wondering why you are not getting any email from geocaching.com? There could be any number of causes for this. Here are a few things to look into:
1 - Check your email preferences at the Account Details Page:
2 - Check that your account is not listed as "invalidated" by looking at your public profile page. If it is, request a new validation code to be sent by following the prompts in the Account Details page.
3 - Sometimes, email from geocaching.com is arriving but is filtered from your main inbox into a separate folder. Check your other folders, including the Spam folder.
Check your personal Spam settings. Individual users can white list our domain/IPs on their own. A person missing email from us might need to remove us from a personal black list.
4 - In the past, some email providers and some Internet Service Providers (ISPs) blacklisted Geocaching.com and labeled us as a "bulk sender." This is true and false. While we do send email in bulk, those filters do not always distinguish between solicited and unsolicited bulk email. If you have another email address you can use, consider temporarily changing your email address on Geocaching.com to determine if the issue is based on your email provider or ISP.
Since you want to receive email from us, contact the problematic email provider or ISP and ask them to allow all email originating from the IP address belonging to geocaching.com which is listed below.
Gmail users, you can create a rule to ensure you will receive all emails from firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Sign into your account.
- At top of the page next to the "Search the Web" button, click on "Create a Filter."
- On the next page, enter "email@example.com" in the "From" field.
- Click "Next Step."
- On the next page, select "Never send it to Spam."
- Click "Create Filter."
5 - Before contacting us, consider looking in our Web Site forum to see if your particular issue has already been reported and (hopefully) resolved. Sometimes, specific issues are widespread so there may be others experiencing similar concerns.
12.6. Place Names for UK and Ireland
When assigning regions within Europe, Groundspeak considered two important aspects: political regions and geographical regions. In both the United Kingdom and Ireland the decision was made to use non-political, geographical divisions. This decision was made after input from the UK and Ireland Reviewers, the forum community, and prominent members of the Geocaching Association of Great Britain and Geocaching Ireland, as well as Groundspeak staff. The solution was proposed and the community agreed with the proposal.
In making this decision our intention was for geocachers to focus on the recreational aspect of geocaching, rather than associate geocaching with political differences. This decision received widespread support at the time of its introduction, and is in no way meant as a sign of disrespect.
Importantly, this geographical division allows local Reviewers to oversee a specific geographic region.
Groundspeak recognizes that Northern Ireland is part of the United Kingdom, and is distinct from the Republic of Ireland (RoI). Geocachers in Northern Ireland are able to select the region of Ulster. To those who are unaware of the larger background: while a portion of the original Ulster region is part of the Republic of Ireland, Ulster is generally equated to Northern Ireland (part of the UK). The political boundaries between the UK and RoI are a potentially sensitive matter to the residents of Northern Ireland.
Further, in the rest of the UK, we decided together with the community's support, that we would again use geographical regions like Southern Scotland or West Midlands. We did not use political designations as is typically done in the rest of the geocaching world. For those familiar with US geography, it's as if we used the geographical term "New England" instead of the political state names of Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont, Massachusetts, Rhode Island and Connecticut.
12.7. Becoming a Volunteer Cache Reviewer
[Updated May 2012]
How do I become a volunteer cache reviewer?
Groundspeak invites geocachers to become volunteer cache reviewers for Geocaching.com based on an identified need in the local area and each candidate's skills and experience.
- Intimate knowledge of the Geocache Listing Requirements/Guidelines
- Active in the geocaching community as a cacher, cache owner, event organizer, etc.
- Consistency in cache ownership: caches are well-maintained and adhere to the guidelines.
- Positive reputation within the local geocaching community
- Involvement with local geocaching organizations
- Ability to communicate effectively on-line and in English
If you'd like to become a cache reviewer, we encourage you to build on your skills and experience needed for the role. If you feel you are currently qualified to serve in this role, please contact Groundspeak and describe your qualifications.
Thank you for your interest in serving the caching community!
(Many thanks to Volunteer Cache Reviewer Keystone for initially developing this article.)
12.8. Signature Items
No geocache swag (trade item) says "I was here" like a signature item. Whether it's a geocoin, pin, toy, card or other bauble, they're fun for people to find, and they're great to have on-hand for trading during the busy geocaching event season. You can make them trackable and give them a goal, or just release them to be treasured as collector's items.
Pick something in your budget that reflects your own style and interests; we suggest incorporating your username somewhere in the design. If you want to go all out, design a personalized series of custom trackable geocoins and follow their journey online as they travel the world. See the geocoin home page for a list of Groundspeak approved vendors and resellers.
12.9. Twitter and Geocaching
Find and follow us us at http://twitter.com/GoGeocaching.
Groundspeak can send updates to Twitter when you post Field Notes via SMS through TextMarks or from the Geocaching iPhone Application.
12.10. Over 1 Million Active Geocaches Worldwide: March 2010
On Monday March 8, 2010, the number of active geocaches listed on Geocaching.com exceeded the million-cache mark. Congratulations to the geocaching community on this major milestone and thank you for all you have done to create such a wonderful, widespread activity in less than 10 years!
This is not the millionth cache ever hidden, since caches have been archived over the years, but the millionth active cache listing. There is no way to pinpoint who owns the cache, since every time a cache is archived, this changes. Therefore, if you hid a cache on the 8th, the millionth might have been yours at some point during the day!
Here are some interesting facts that show how quickly geocaching has grown in the last couple of years:
- We hit 500,000 active caches on 12/31/2007.
- Geocaching.com had 531,000 active caches listed as of 3/3/2008.
- There were 741,000 active caches as of 3/3/2009.
Read the official Press Release that we sent to commemorate this occasion.
12.11. A Brief Intermission
Some site users have been using an automated data retrieval program that causes an excessive burden on geocaching.com. Those users are then prevented from accessing the website for a short amount of time. Some people refer to this as throttling. During this brief intermission, they are automatically redirected to a page with the words "Why are you here?" at the top.
If you have been redirected to the "Why are you here?" page, it is because we noticed that you are viewing pages faster than humanly possible. There are several reasons why this may be happening:
- You may have installed an add-in for your browser that is doing things you don't see.
- You are using some automated tools to pull information on the site.
What You Can Do
- Stop! Have a cup of coffee, glass of water or go out geocaching. We will let you back in shortly.
- Disable any add-ons to your browser that may be hitting the site too fast.
- Stop using automated tools to access the site. Like Mos Eisley Cantina, we don't allow droids here.
If you are unsure if you or your computer setup may be causing this issue, please let Groundspeak know what programs you are using with the geocaching.com website and we may be able to help you troubleshoot this issue.
If we continue to receive automated excessive traffic from specific accounts in the future, account privileges may be revoked or modified.