Yay! A new CO (cache owner) is in the making! If you’re reading this to learn how to place your own geocache and have probably made about 50 finds, congrats! The following steps are how I hide each and every one of my traditional geocaches; however, there are more than one way to hide a cache, and I’d love to hear other COs ideas and suggestions to first-time hiders. What was your first geocache hide? What have you learned since then about hiding caches?
Check out this document on all the rules and guidelines that your volunteer reviewer will follow when deciding to publish your geocache: https://www.geocaching.com/about/guidelines.aspx.
You can also take this test to check your comprehension of the requirements: https://www.geocaching.com/blog/2014/12/can-you-pass-the-geocache-hiders-quiz/.
- Find a “Special” Spot
Geocaches should bring people to a neat location, maybe due to history or nice walking trail. I also consider how popular the area is for muggle activity and if they would notice geocachers searching for a hidden container.
- Check the .1 Mile “Bubble”
Different geocaches must be .1 miles apart from each other. Pretty simple, yet reviewers will not budge on this rule, so be sure your GPS shows at least a .1 (this is more easily visible in the list view of the app, instead of the map view).
- Obtain Permission
This step is often missed, and this is why geocachers can get a bad rap. Ask landowners for their permission if you’d like to place a geocache on their property.
- Brainstorm Container Types
What container size would work best for your location? Magnetic? Handmade camouflage? Large? Micro? I try to hide unique containers as large as the location permits, mainly for kids’ swag and kids at heart. Who doesn’t love a large ammo can?!
- Put the Cache Together
Find your container of choice and get it nice and dressed for its debut into the caching world. I like to stock larger containers with toys, keychains, pathtags, cash, and garage sale knick-knacks. No matter what, the cache must have a log sheet. Geocaching Darick’s site has some great log sheets you can print out for free: www.geogz.com.
- Hide the Cache
Go to your desired location and hide the cache.
- Locate the Cache Coordinates
With the Cachly app, I click on my little blue dot and take screen shots of my location above the cache. I walk around the GZ, going far away and coming back to the cache by different directions; I do this until I have at least 6 different screen shots. Write all these coordinates down on a piece of paper and determine the average coordinates.
- Create the Cache Page
Plop down in front of your computer and visit the geocaching.com site. Go to Play > Hide a Geocache > Create a New Geocache (or skip here: https://www.geocaching.com/hide/planning.aspx) and follow the steps they provide. At first, I kept someone else’s geocache listing open as a reference while I filled out this form.
- Leave Your Reviewer a Note
Our reviewer requires an explanation of what you hid, how you hid it, and where it was placed (public/private property). Always show gratitude to your reviewer; they don’t get paid! Also, if you ever have any questions, leave it in the note. They are friendly and helpful people.
- Hit “Submit for Review”
This will send your geocache’s page to your local reviewer to be considered as a new geocache listing.
- Be Patient
Reviewers may take up to 7 days to publish your geocache.
You’ll receive an email if you need to correct any problems with your geocache or its listing. Or you’ll receive the “Congrats, your geocache is now live!” email.
Now you get to wait and see who will be FTF! Also, you get to enjoy all the logs you’ll receive. Don’t let the little, naggy logs bother you either. Some people forget this is a game and that you placed your geocache for fun, not for payment or criticism. Congrats to you and entering further into the geocache community, giving back to others!
- Perform Maintenance
To a degree, I think this is the most important step, and it is often forgotten. Make sure you return to your geocache at least once a year to check that it is good shape, full of goodies, and has a useable log sheet. If you receive a few DNFs or Needs Maintenance logs, you should go check on it too. You can always archive (permanently remove from new searches; basically delete) or disable a cache (temporarily hide from new searches; plan to fix and enable it again) if you can’t keep up with the maintenance. Your reviewer may take matters into his/her own hands and disable or archive your cache too.
Thanks for your contribution to our great hobby!