- We do test your coordinate checker for accuracy. If a keyword is needed to get a positive answer or coordinates other than the Final waypoint coordinates, please include this information in a Reviewer Note.
One of the things we check with puzzle caches is whether they are solvable based on the information placed on the cache page, as well as whether there is sufficient GPS usage. Please include the solution in a reviewer note so that we can complete my review. What we are looking for is how you get from the information on the cache page to the final coordinates (for example, if you have text encrypted on the cache page, just tell us what the text says, or what information gives numbers, etc). If we have to solve you puzzle, it might take a while.
- Please do not put your 'posted' coordinates in areas where people should not search such as freeways, private residences, railroads, off-limits locations, or other areas where access is restricted. Lakes and street corners are fine. I know your cache page says the cache is not at the posted coordinates, but people do search those coordinates. We have many new cachers who are using cell phones and may not look at the cache page. If you have any questions about a location, feel free to ask one of us.
Is my cache a Puzzle/Mystery cache or a Multi-Cache?
Multi-caches require a visit to the starting coordinates. A simple test for a multi-cache is this: If you print out the cache page and take it to the starting location with your GPS on your trip, can you find the cache with that information? Then a Multi-cache would be appropriate.
If you can't because you need information from elsewhere - such as other caches, the Internet or need a computer (including a phone app) to examine a photograph or file then it would need to be a Mystery cache. If there is any sort of puzzle to solve then it should be listed as a mystery. Generally these cache types do not require visits to the posted coordinates, but some do.
The Event guidelines can be found here: Event Guidelines
For indoor Events, we ask that you have contacted the facility's management about your plans so they are prepared for extra customers. Many restaurants are short staffed and may not be able to accommodate your group. Additionally, informing management of your plans insures that your Event does not conflict with something already planned at the venue. This includes first come, first served venues. No reason to give geocaching a bad name by overloading the location. These permission details (who you spoke with, their title, and contact information) need to be included in a reviewer note upon submission. The person granting permission needs to have the authority to do so (asking the greeter for permission, for example, won't cut it).
The guidelines were recently updated. Here is one important change: "The geocacher who owns the Event Cache page must attend the event in person." Added 9-10-18
Please include the name of the venue once in the description (not the title) if the Event is at a commercial location to reduce confusion for attendees. The Event Guidelines do allow the venue name. We also suggest that the address be included. Added 12-14-22
"Event Stacking" occurs when an attempt is made to host multiple Events/CITOs in relative proximity (in location and time). The Geocaching Event guidelines say that two Events should not be created that are intended to attract the same audience or are near the same time or location. The guidelines can be found here: Event stacking
To determine if an Event is being stacked, these are the distances and times we use between locations:
- If an Event is scheduled within 2 hours of another Event, there should be a distance of at least 20 miles between them (measured as the crow flies).
- This means that Events and CITOs need to be either more than 20 miles apart OR have a spacing of more than 2 hours between the end of one event to the start of another.
e.g. If an Event runs from 4PM to 7PM, any other Event less than 20 miles away should end no later than two hours before (2PM) or begin no earlier than two hours after (9PM).
Date or time changes- If you need to change the date or time of your Event, please check with a Reviewer first.
We can pre-check the coordinates of a planned location for you if have something unique in mind. A unique cache is something that requires a special container to be constructed or a Mystery cache that has a complicated puzzle to solve. A location that you have not visited and roadside signs are not unique. Please be patient, as we do these checks as our schedules allow. Publishing caches that have been submitted for review is our first priority. If you want us to check coordinates, please:
1. Create your cache page. It can be blank, except for the coordinates. This reserves your location.
2. Don't enable the page for review
3. Email one of us (gatrdoneMN@gmail.com or email@example.com) a link to the cache page (or the GCxxxxx code if you don't know how to email a link).
4. We will respond by placing a reviewer note on the cache page, letting you know if it's good, if there are more questions, or if there are problems.
5. If you do not submit a cache for publishing at that location within 30 days, the location will not be held.
Future Publication Requests
If you have a special cache that you want published at a future date, it needs to be submitted for Review a minimum of 5-7 days prior to your requested publication date. When you submit it for Review, include a Reviewer Note stating when you would like it published (date and general time of the day). We will try to accommodate your requests, but cannot make any guarantees. Please keep these requests to a minimum. Also be reminded that once we schedule a cache to be published at a future date, it is locked by the system and cannot be edited.
Damage to an area
Sometimes your geocache may comply with the geocaching guidelines, but placed in a manner that geocachers searching for the cache could be causing damage from their searching activity. Some typical damage caused might be walking in landscape planting, moving rocks in a drainage area and not returning them as designed, moving retaining wall blocks and not returned them correctly, or scraping the ground bare while searching for a very difficult cache. We have seen this happen. If we believe your cache placement may result in damage to an area, we may ask you to relocate it. If damage to an area from searching for a cache already published is reported, the cache will be archived. No reason to give geocaching a bad name because of our searching activities. The guideline can be found here: Do not damage property
Do not place caches in a location that requires or encourages geocachers to damage, deface, or destroy public or private property, especially archaeological or historical sites.
Optional Bonus Caches for Adventure Labs
If you are setting up an Adventure Lab and wish to include an optional Bonus cache, here are the guidelines:
- Only one Bonus cache is allowed for your Adventure Lab no matter how many locations it has.
- The Bonus cache can only be a Mystery Cache. No other 'types' are permitted.
- Be sure to include something on the cache page telling geocachers what Adventure Lab the Bonus belongs to. This can be the Adventure Lab's name, a link, a QR code, or all of the listed items.
- Be sure to include the "Bonus cache" attribute.
- The Adventure Lab should provide the solution for your Mystery cache once it's completed. If you use a keyword, be sure to include the keyword in your Reviewer Notes.
- The Adventure Lab needs to be public before the Bonus cache can be published. Please let us know in a Reviewer Note when the Adventure Lab will be public.
- Remember, the Adventure Cache exists on its own and the Bonus cache requires the Adventure Lab to be solvable. If anything happens to your Adventure Lab that prevents people from obtaining the solution for the Bonus cache, you will need to disable or archive the Bonus cache.
If you use an Adventure Lab image on your Mystery cache, HQ has asked that you only use their approved images:
- You may use the updated logos available on this page: https://newsroom.geocaching.com/adventure-lab-logos
- While you are not allowed to change our logos, you may add additional text, as long as it does not touch or otherwise interfere with any of the design elements in our logo.
- Images with the word "BONUS" covering any part of the image are not okay.
- There is no need to have finders add a list or bookmark of finds to their found log. Any list needs to be optional. The checker confirms who has qualified and it is up to the Challenge creator to check to be sure finders qualify.
- Oldest caches in a County Challenge
- Please use 7 of the 10 (70%) oldest caches as your qualification criteria to maintain consistency.
- Remember that everyone will have a different list, as caches found before they were archived do count.
If the park has specific hours that geocaching is allowed, please include those hours on the cache page.
Link to Minnesota County Land Maps
Locations needing verified permission in a Reviewer Note or not permitted-
With caches on cemetery property (and not just on the burial ground areas) we ask that you obtain permission from the caretaker. In the case of a church cemetery that would probably be the pastor, in the case of a city cemetery probably a municipal official. We ask this since graveyard hides are often in sensitive areas and we do not want to give cemetery caretakers or the public a perception that geocachers are insensitive.
When you have had a chance to obtain permission, please place the details (name and full contact information) in a reviewer note.
Attaching a geocache to utility equipment, such as a piece of power equipment, water or sewer equipment, etc. will need permission. I'm sure they would not want to find a foreign object attached to something vital to the operation of their equipment.
Provide the complete contact information for who granted permission to place a cache at this location in a Reviewer Note.
After the I-35 bridge collapse, Minnesota bridges are under additional scrutiny. Bridges are also potential terrorist targets. With those two items in mind, caches generally need to follow the guideline below:
4-lane or interstate (or over 4 lane/interstate) - 100' away (from the driving surface or the supports below)
2 lane major road - 50' to 100' away, depending on setting
Near Active Railroads
Railroads typically have a right of way that extends 150 feet to either side of the tracks, and trespassing onto the right of way is prohibited by Federal Regulations. Even if the RR appears abandoned, if the tracks are still in place we will not publish a cache there.
If the area has been converted to a trail and all trackage has been removed, that likely will be OK. Just tell us about the location in a Reviewer Note.
If there is something that prevents seekers from venturing onto nearby tracks like a fence, please tell us about it in a Reviewer Note.
Hiding a cache on a fire hydrant could interfere with the hydrant's use in an emergency situation. A small cache container can become lodged in fire hose threads or fittings, for one example. Second, law enforcement officers are watchful of persons who appear to be tampering with a fire hydrant. And third, since dogs do what they do at fire hydrants, expecting cachers to retrieve a cache that has been treated in that manner is a bad idea. If you have verifiable permission, please post it to a Reviewer Note.
The Geocaching guidelines do not allow caches to be hidden on OR NEAR school property. We live in suspicious times and such a location may get a cache seeker in trouble.
- Following recent unfortunate events we are exercising an abundance of caution when it comes to cache placements near schools.
- While the school administration may be OK with the idea, parents, the general public and law enforcement officers are unaware of this. Adults milling around school property without an apparent clear purpose arouse suspicion - as they should. We're not putting geocachers in such situations by having them search for caches at schools.
- Even when there are conditions on the cache page, they are unenforceable. Today many geocachers operate using smart phones and go searching for caches when something nearby shows up. Placing requests on the cache page to search after hours, on weekends, or to announce their intention to search for the cache by visiting the school office seem like a good idea. More often than not, those instructions will not be seen and will therefore not be followed.
If you place a cache high in a tree that is accessed by climbing, we would ask that you provide permission to climb the tree. How high off the ground is this cache located? My concern here is that climbing trees is not a typical park activity and a geocacher climbing a tree can easily cause damage. If the tree is out in a wooded area and not a 'landscape' tree, this will not be a concern. Trees planted by parks departments can be costly and if damaged, geocaching may be banned.
If a climb is required or one of the ways searchers may use to access the cache, I'll need to know what permission you have to place the cache in a tree. Otherwise, please reposition the cache so climbing is not required.
Roundabouts are traffic control devices. Caches will only be allowed on roundabouts where there is pedestrian access either onto it or across it in the form of marked crosswalks, underpasses and crossings, or if permission has been granted. This is to avoid any distractions to motorists using the roundabout.
Little Free Libraries
Caches are fine in these. However, the name "Little Free Library" cannot be used as it is commercial. We need to know that you have permission to place a cache on or in the library. Someone owns the structure. If you own it, saying so in a Reviewer Note is fine.
Transit Facility Park and Ride Lots
Caches hidden in Metro Transit (MTC) and Minnesota Valley Transit Authority (MVTA) Park and Ride lots need permission, as these lots are typically posted "No Trespassing".