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Apr 12

How to set up a geocache

If you’ve spent any time geocaching, you know it’s a hoot and a enanny. But, just as an apprentice becomes a master, a tadpole becomes a frog, or a friendly robot becomes homicidal, so to must a geocache seeker must become a geocache hider. If ready to set up your own geocache, then we’ve got a few helpful guidelines for you. Read on.

Choose a Location

When setting up a geocache, there are a few matters to take into consideration. If it’s too close to a trail and particularly visible, someone may come across it by mistake. Likewise, if it’s too difficult to find, there’s a chance seekers may trample the surrounding environment while they search.

Be sure you get permission before you hide your cache. If it’s on private land, you’re trespassing. If it’s on public land, it’s just polite to ask.

There are a few places you’ll want to avoid. Wet and moist locales will likely mold the contents of your geocache. Any spot where human traffic could have a negative impact is off limits. This includes historical sites, fragile terrains, or animal nests. Also, avoid setting up a cache within sight of an occupied building. Geocaching will probably look incredibly suspicious to the people inside.

While scouting a location, you may want to take a digital camera along with you. There are quite a few models with built-in GPS tracking. The AW100 from Nikon, for example, is tough enough to take on your geocache adventure, and it’ll record the GPS location of your photographs so you can return to that perfect spot later.

(Tough and GPS capable)

Build a Cache

Choosing the right container is extremely important. You’ll want something watertight. Plastic containers and ammo boxes work well. It’s also a good idea to seal the contents of your cache in plastic bags for extra protection.

There are a few items you’ll want to include in your cache. Including a logbook and writing utensil is considered pretty standard. With it, people who find you cache can sign their name and record their trip. Quick note: pencils work better than pens as they won’t freeze when temperate drops.

It’s also fun to leave prizes in your cache. Small toys work well. Also, you might consider leaving a disposable camera. This way, a geocacher can photograph themselves, and you can see who visited the cache when you develop the film.

There are a few items you’ll want to avoid. Food or any item with a strong aroma is a bad idea. There are animals out there, and nearly all of them have a better sense of smell than us. Of course, respect the law. Don’t put drugs, alcohol, or weapons in your cache.

(Logbook from

Establish a Cache

This is by far the most important step: use your GPS device to get accurate coordinates. Without them, geocachers will never find your cache. For that matter, it’s likely you won’t be able to find it again either.

With some GPS devices, it will sort out an average to produce a set of coordinates, giving you the most accurate reading. If your GPS device does not, you’ll have to create an average of the coordinates yourself. You can learn how here.

Also keep in mind, bad weather can affect the accuracy of your GPS. Plan accordingly.

(Take a photo clue with this GPS camera)

Create the Hunt

Think up some clues. It’ll certainly make the cache more fun to hide and to seek. Also, it’s always a good idea to give out a few hints. Make sure there’s a way for geocachers to figure out the cache’s GPS coordinates. After all, that’s the point of the game.

With a GPS enabled camera, not only will you be able to record your cache’s location, you can create visual markers correlating to GPS coordinates as fun clues to the cache location.

Once you’ve done all that, you’ll want to post your cache online. There are several websites that host geocache hunts. Here are a few:,, and buxley’s.

It’s a good idea to check the guidelines of the website and make sure your geocache meets their requirements.

(Example Cache from

Keep Up Your Cache

One last step: check up on your cache. This way, you’ll be able to see what prizes have been left in your cache and what has been written in the logbook.

When you check up on your cache, you can make sure it’s not impacting the surrounding environment, and perform any necessary maintenance.

Looking for even more tips? Click here for more information.

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