A random sampling of questions that I receive from geocachers in no particular order —
How long does it take to get my cache published?
There are lots of factors involved in reviewing a cache. Remember that cache reviewers are volunteers who have family, work, and other responsibilities along with their time spent reviewing caches. If you submit a cache at the end of a sunny weekend or during spring break, for example, odds are pretty good that lots of other cachers had the same idea! It may take a few days for us reviewers to catch up with all the new caches that were submitted, so please be patient!
I’ve decided I need to change my cache from a traditional type to a multicache. Can you do that for me?
Once a cache has been published and cachers have logged finds on it, the cache type can’t be changed. The best solution is to archive your cache and submit a new one with the new cache type listed. As long as the new cache meets the current guidelines, you should have a new cache with the correct cache type published in no time.
I emailed you about my new cache, but you couldn’t answer my question. Why not?
The only way a reviewer can easily look up your cache and answer your question is if you include the waypoint number that’s assigned to your cache. You can find that number, which begins with “GC”, in the upper right corner of your cache page. Sending an email doesn’t automatically include your cache’s waypoint number or name, so the GC waypoint information is really important to include in your email!
I submitted a cache that wasn’t published because of something in the Geocaching guidelines, but there’s another one just like it nearby. What’s up with that?
As the sport of geocaching grows and evolves, the guidelines that govern our game do too. For example, when the first few caches were placed about ten years ago, no one ever imagined that there would be problems with areas becoming oversaturated with geocaches.
The Geocache listing guidelines address this issue “…there is no precedent for placing geocaches. This means that the past publication of a similar geocache in and of itself is not a valid justification for the publication of a new geocache.” Your best resource for preparing a new cache and selecting its location are these listing guidelines . Refer to them often, as they are frequently updated to address new issues that may be just what you were wondering about!
There’s a really cool old cache in my area that needs maintenance. I’ve emailed the owner but they haven’t responded and I don’t think they are geocaching any longer. Can I adopt their cache?
If you are able to contact them by email and they are willing to let you adopt their cache, it’s easy to do. Just click here to start the adoption process — it can be done quickly and easily online.
If the cache owners are not responsive, unfortunately ownership of a cache cannot be transferred to someone else. There are two options — you can be a “surrogate cache owner” by keeping an eye on the cache, adding a fresh logbook, etc. when maintenance is needed. You can post a note to the cache indicating that you are looking after the cache in the owner’s absence, but you won’t be able to make any changes to the cache page. The other option, if the cache is in bad shape (or missing), is to file a “needs archived” log. A reviewer will look at the circumstances of the cache and try to contact the owner. Typically, if the cache owner doesn’t respond, the cache will usually be archived in about 30 days, and the location will then open up for you to place a new cache.
I checked to make sure that there weren’t any caches nearby when I picked out a spot for my new cache, but you told me that there was a puzzle cache hidden too close. Why couldn’t I see that?
Checking for nearby caches is a good starting point — using the “search for nearby caches” function on your cache page will show you where traditional caches are located near your location. It won’t show you the location of the secret waypoints of a multicache or the final location of a puzzle cache, for example — those locations are confidential, and require that you complete the cache on your own to find them. Your cache location must be at least 161 metres (528 feet) away from any other nearby cache containers or waypoints that have a physical element (a container, metal tag, etc.) There’s a great diagram that explains this concept in the Geocaching guidelines.