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Hiding a Geocache

Placing a good geocache - one that others want to find and thank you for placing - takes just a little bit more thought and effort.

We advise that, before making your first hide, you find a variety of different geocaches in your area. This will enable you to gain an understanding of what merits a good, and sensible, geocache hide. It's hard to put a number on it, but around 100 geocache finds should provide you with this understanding.

Take a look at this summary video of how to hide a geocache:

How will my Geocache be Published Online for People to Find?

This varies depending on the listing site you want to hide your geocache for. On, your geocache listing will be reviewed by a fellow geocacher. These volunteer reviewers are appointed by or On, your geocaches will be reviewed and published by the two geocachers that sponsored you upon your registration.

Follow these simple steps on how to place a great geocache!

Step 1: Planning


Pick a great location: one you want to bring people to. Think about your favourite geocaches you have found and why you enjoyed them so much. Was it the location? The container? The story on the geocache page? Try to follow what you enjoyed while adding some of your own creativity. Sometimes it's a beautiful place or perhaps somewhere meaningful to history, geography, or simply to you and you wish people to know about it.

Check there is not a geocache already there - each geocache requires 161m (0.1 miles) of space around it - and find a nice hidey hole for a geocache container.

Some locations simply are not suitable - railway stations, for example, also some culverts under highways, electricity pylons, and so on. Also think about flooding, leaf cover in Winter, bramble growth in summer, and so on. Avoid these problems to get happy geocachers year-after-year.

Use your GPS device to take the coordinates several times or use the waypoint averaging feature on your GPS to check for accuracy and head home to check things online. Phones can also record GPS coordinates, but it's not always as accurate and you will want to triple-check yourself by walking away and back, around a bit, and taking an average.

Step 2: Checking

First Get Permission: This could be as simple as phoning the landowner or knocking on their door. A web search could help find who they are, or ask whoever lives closest. If you have trouble tracking this down get more information on Getting Permission webpage.

Geocache Guidelines: The GAGB have general advice for you hiding a geocache and each of the geocache listings sites have their own rules and guidelines. Follow the Geocaching Hiding Guidelines, ensure that you adhere to them.

Step 3: Preparing

Prepare your geocache container: Some containers are simply tupperware boxes and some are very clever disguised containers. Some are very large and some are really tiny. Choose a container that won't look like litter to a passing 'muggle', and also won't cause alarm.


Step 4: Build the Geocache Page

It's starting to get real now isn't it? You have a location, you have permission, you have an actual geocache box. Now it's time to put it all together online. Each listing site is different, so let's look at what they all need - but they all have one thing in common: you need to use their website. You can't add a listing through their app.

  1. Decide what type of geocache you have. Usually it is 'traditional' - the simple ones are by far the most common. Look here for a reminder of the geocache types.
  2. Enter the coordinates and have the site do a double-check that the location is far enough away from other geocaches. Look carefully at the map to check it's where you thought it would be.
  3. Waypoints, if parking is not obvious, consider adding a waypoint to indicate a good parking location, to minimise the chance of seekers attempting to drive in unsuitable locations.
  4. Create a name and description. In here please explain why this is a great location - what's the geocache for? Some people include photos, format the text, tell a story, and generally put in some effort here - it adds a lot to many geocachers' enjoyment to find out more. Make sure there is no mention of a business or product in your description, geocaches cannot contain commercial content. Spread the GAGB word - place a link on your geocache pages explaining What the GAGB Does?. Also look at How to use HTML for some good tips on improving your geocache pages. Finally remember to spell check what you just wrote, please!
  5. Select your region. Ensure you are listing its region in accordance with this map. Otherwise, there might be a delay in it being published.
  6. Add an appropriate hint. In a busy or overlooked location this can be very clear instructions (top of gate, left, behind panel, etc), but if your location allows a bit more time to puzzle things out this hint can be a bit more gentle, more like a nudge so you don't spoil the game (e.g. stylish).
  7. Only tick the 'I have read and agree to the terms of use agreement and the geocache hiding guidelines' if you have permission from the land owner and have abided by the geocaching hiding guidelines.
  8. Choose the right geocache size can be tricky. Smaller geocaches are easier to hide but they cannot hold any or very few swaps or trackables. Larger geocaches are more difficult to camoflague but easier to find. Look at our geocache size guide to choose the correct size of your geocache.
  9. Rate the difficulty and terrain for your geocache and location. This is a 9-point scale (from 1 to 5 in halves) and each site has a helpful guide for what to put. You can also look at this article in Seeker 8 that explains the ratings.
  10. Finally, check out our Seeker article A Reviewer's Lot, where a former Reviewer (Deceangi) explains what gets checked when a geocache is submitted for review.

And now you are ready? Well then what are you waiting for? Go and place the geocache now! It's a good check to use the coordinates you entered online, as another check on accuracy.

Step 5: Submit

Submit the listing for review: you'll need to acknowledge that you indeed do have permission from the landowner, of course. Remember to place the geocache first before you submit and then you sit back and wait. The reviewers just check your geocache page they do not check that your geocache is in place.

Check your mail for the next week to see if your geocache has been approved. Please remember that reviewers are volunteers, and your geocache will have entered a queue that they'll work through as time allows. This wait could be very short or it could be a week or more, depending on the listing site you are using and how busy the region is.

The reviewers check there aren't any invisible geocaches near where yours is and look for other issues such as restricted sites and so on - but this isn't a problem for you because you have permission, right? If challenged by the reviewer you may need to send a copy of your permission to them - for example in some wildlife or historical locations.

Step 6: Success

Hooray - you have just received notification that your cache has been published. You now own a geocache! Keep an eye on what people say - generally the better the description you wrote the more likely you'll get interesting logs.

Step 7: Maintain your Geocache

To make it a great geocache for everyone, it is crucial that you maintain your geocache regularly throughout its lifespan. Remember to check on it from time to time, and react to any comments that give you warnings of problems.

You cannot place a geocache and never check it again. Imagine you placed a fantastically devious fake mushroom container (they do exist, and they are difficult). The first people to find it would love it. Then, say it broke, went missing or the log was wet. Someone finding it a few years later would not experience the same clever geocache. They wouldn't enjoy it as much as the first finders. In other words, it would have transformed into a different geocache, in a sorry state.

Maintaining your geocache prevents this from happening. By regularly visiting your hide, you can repair the container, hide a new one if the previous one has gone missing and replace the log if needed. Consequently, your geocache will live on in all its glory throughout its life, meaning everyone will enjoy it.

If someone logs 'Needs Maintenance' maintenance on your geocache, head out as soon as you can to rectify the issue. If you're lucky, it will coincide with one of your routine maintenance trips.

If you can no longer maintain your geocache for any given reason, you may wish to send it for adoption. Our FAQ page contains a question surrounding adoption, so we suggest you take a look there for more information.

For more advice, keep reading on about GAGB geocache hiding guidelines for some general advice… GAGB Geocache Hiding Guidelines right

The GAGB wish you all the best with your geocache hide(s) and subsequent maintenance trips.

“Hiding a Geocache” video is copyright Groundspeak, Inc. DBA Geocaching. Used with permission. All rights reserved.