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Finding Geocaches

What does a geocache look like?

Geocaches vary greatly in size and appearance. In the field you will see everything from large, clear plastic containers to film canisters to a fake rock with a secret compartment. So, how do you find the cache?

The first step is to get a general idea of the cache’s size. The size is shown on each cache page. A general overview of the cache size graphic is found below. Please note that these are just examples; sizes can vary.

Micro Cache Size Icon Micro – Less than 100ml. Examples: a 35 mm film canister or a tiny storage box typically containing only a logbook or a logsheet. A nano cache is a common sub-type of a micro cache that is less than 10ml and can only hold a small logsheet.
Small Cache Size Icon Small – 100ml or larger, but less than 1L. Example: A sandwich-sized plastic container or similar.
Regular Cache Size Icon Regular – 1L or larger, but less than 20L. Examples: a plastic container or ammo can about the size of a shoebox.
Large Cache Size Icon Large – 20L or larger. Example: A large bucket.
Other Cache Size Icon Other – See the cache description for information.

Small, Regular and Large containers typically contain trade items.

To learn more about what to look for on the cache page and in the field, check out our video 5 Geocaches in 30 Seconds, these cache container photos, and read our guide.

 

What’s usually in a cache?

In its simplest form, a cache always contains a logbook or logsheet for you to log your find. Larger caches may contain a logbook and any number of items. These items turn the adventure into a true treasure hunt. You never know what the cache owner or visitors to the cache may have left for you to enjoy. Remember, if you take something, leave something of equal or greater value in return. It is recommended that items in a cache be individually packaged in a clear, zipped plastic bag to protect them from the elements.

Quite often you may also find a Trackable, a sort of geocaching “game piece” that you can learn more about here.

 

What should not be placed in a cache?

People of all ages hide and seek geocaches, so think carefully before placing an item into a cache. Explosives, ammunition, knives, drugs and alcohol should not be placed in a cache. Respect local laws at all times.

Please do not put food or heavily scented items in a cache. Animals have better noses than humans, and in some cases caches have been chewed through and destroyed because of food items in a cache.

 

How do I find the cache and what do I do once I’ve found it?

There are many things to know about searching for a cache. For instance, did you know that there is a slight “error” to every GPS device due to technological limitations? Your device can get you close to the cache, but there are a number of things to consider as you get closer to the cache location.

When you find the cache, sign the logbook and return it to the cache. You can take an item from the cache if you like – just make sure to leave something of equal or greater value in its place. When you are finished, put the cache back exactly as you found it, even if you think you see a better spot for it. Finally, visit the cache page to log your find and share your experience with others.

 

Can I move a cache once I find it?

Please do not move a cache from its original location. If you feel that the cache may not be located in the correct location, please email the cache owner directly or post a log on the cache listing page, notifying the owner of your concern. Cache owners are responsible for maintaining their cache placements.

 

What should I do if I discover a cache has gone missing?

If you visit a cache location and the cache is missing, make sure to log the cache with a “Didn’t find it” log so that the cache owner is notified. Cache owners who repeatedly receive “Didn’t find it” logs should check to see that their cache has not been removed.

As a geocacher, if you notice that a cache page has an unusual number of “Didn’t find it” logs, please let the local reviewer know or contact us. We rely on the geocaching community to let us know the status of caches in their area.

 

How do I log my find?

Instructions for logging a “Found It” are located here. If you need to post another type of log, such as a “Didn’t find it” or a Note, the same instructions apply, with one small change; instead of choosing “Found It” in the drop-down menu, you would choose the applicable log type.

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