The situation concerning mandates surrounding COVID-19 is updating rapidly. Geocaching HQ and your Michigan Review team urges all event hosts and attendees to prioritize the safety of themselves and their attendees.
From Geocaching HQ
At this time, we advise Event hosts to consult their regional health authorities to understand the guidance regarding gatherings of people. Generally, Geocaching HQ leaves the decision to Event hosts on whether to continue hosting the event and to attendees on whether they will participate. In certain cases, we may suspend publishing new events and/or may disable, retract, or archive already published events, in accordance with guidance from health authorities.
Do not rely on this information being the most up-to-date, but I will try.
As of June 22, 2021, all gathering restrictions have been lifted, both indoor and outdoor. Masks restrictions have also been lifted statewide, though some businesses may still require them. ***Please verify with your chosen venue that they are indeed open to and allowing gatherings to take place. Ultimately, per the regular geocaching guidelines, you as the organizer are responsible to make sure you follow all state and local guidelines.***
Events must comply with health and safety guidelines, as well as all local laws. Event cache owners are responsible for ensuring the number of people in attendance is in accordance with any local restrictions on gatherings.
Table of Contents
Putting your cache too near an existing cache. This includes stages of other multi caches and solutions to other puzzle caches. Guidelines require 528ft (0.1mi) separation.
Placing caches too far from home. We check the distance from your home area to the cache, as large distances have historically caused maintenance issues. If you place a cache a good distance from your home, please indicate your "Maintenance Plan" in a reviewer note. That is, if you frequent the area, or have someone locally set up to watch over the cache for you.
Please use the "Add/Edit waypoints" tool for the stages and final coordinates of a multi-cache or the solution coordinates for a mystery/unknown cache. These points must also comply with the listing guidelines, and are then protected from future caches being placed too near them.
Be aware that most all Michigan townships and municipalities have ordinances that close all cemeteries at dark unless otherwise posted, It's helpful to finders if you include a note on the cache page that this cache is not available at night, and set at least one of the attributes (Not available at night, or Not available 24/7).
The Virtual cache type (a cache without a log book) has not been allowed for new caches for some time now. The existing Virtual caches are grandfathered in but have special maintenance requirements and are being archived regularly. All new caches must have a physical log book.
A cache can be deemed too-commercial for listing.
- avoid using a business name in the title and on the cache page
- please do not include any links to a business website or websites that have commercial content
- do not include any business promotional material on the cache page including logos, menus, and endorsements
Caches placed inside a business or that require interaction with employees cannot be published. Commercial requirements also apply to non-profit businesses as well.
For Event caches,
- mention of event coins that are trackable at GC.com
- mention of a business in the page text
- mention of sponsors without links
Caches that appear to be promoting an agenda are not allowed. This may include religious, environmental, military, political, charitable or other social agenda, etc. Geocaching is supposed to be a light and fun activity.
Placing caches in one of these areas require a permit:
Caches are generally not allowed in the following areas, exceptions may be available from the local land/unit manager:
National and State Wilderness Areas
National Wildlife Refuges
Michigan State Game Areas and Wildlife Areas - Map
(Special Permission or Circumstance Required)
Ottawa County Parks
The following places have historically been bad ideas for cache hides. While allowed by the guidelines, please think twice about the types of cachers that will be hunting your cache, and get adequate permission for your hides. In general, these are bad ideas:
Please take a minute when creating your cache page to add some attributes to your listing.
Additional Logging Requirements (ALR) are physical caches that REQUIRE a finder to do anything more than just sign the log, such as take a picture, email the owner, or some other activity be performed in order to claim credit for the find. As of April 4, 2009, ALRs are no longer permitted. Geocaches can be logged online as Found once the physical log has been signed. This guideline change applies immediately to all logs written from April 4, 2009 and going forward. Older caches with ALRs are NOT grandfathered under the older guideline. The lone exception to ALRs, Challenge Caches, are discussed below.
A Challenge Cache requires that geocachers meet a geocaching-related qualification or series of tasks before finding the cache. An older iteration of challenges existed prior to April 21, 2015 that may not adhere to the following, these are for the most part grandfathered. If you are thinking of creating a Challenge Cache, please keep the following in mind, challenge caches...
Caches currently published with a terrain rating of 1.0 are required to carry the Handicap Accessible attribute. This means the location can be reached and the cache hide is retrievable from a wheelchair (not on the ground or up high). Historically, this has not always been the case, please consider adjusting older caches you may own to include the attribute or adjust the terrain rating. Caches may be rated higher than a 1.0 and carry the Handicap Accessible attribute.
The "Temporarily Disable" feature that allows you to disable a cache is meant to be used for no more than a few weeks. A disabled cache will continually show up in search lists from the browser, and while there's no cache to be found, it prevents someone from placing a new cache in the area that others can find. As reviewers, we realize that you may not be able to get to your cache right away, so we generally wait to post a note until the cache has been disabled for an extended period or the cache is brought to our attention. If there is no response to our note within a 30 days, the cache will likely be archived. If there are extenuating circumstances, please post a note to your cache page. We look for notes posted in response to mine before archiving any cache. Please be sure to post a note to the cache page, this state has multiple reviewers, an email will only be seen by one and may result in an archival, if another reviewer looks at it.
When contacting one of Michigan's reviewers, please do so by email and not the internal message system. Also, do not reply to the automatic e-mail sent out by the Geocaching.com notification system in response to a log. This will reply to an unmonitored email maintained by HQ. We will not see it. When contacting a reviewer, please e-mail us directly or via our profile (Send Email). Please include the GC# when e-mailing.
We do not get automatic notification of Reviewer Notes placed on caches. Please e-mail if you've left a note you'd like us to see. Please include the GC# when e-mailing.
If you feel a geocache has been so neglected that it has become more litter than cache or if a cache appears to be totally missing and the owner is unresponsive to either an e-mail or posted notes on the cache page, you can bring this to our attention by either
If you would like to adopt a cache, you must make contact with the cache owner. Have them go to www.geocaching.com/adopt and set up the adoption to you. If the owner is gone (no longer active) and is non-responsive to your e-mail, sadly the cache is unable to be transferred, so it's your choice if you decide to help maintain it. Archived caches cannot be adopted.
If you are planning a cache and wish to verify the location ahead of time, or possibly assemble the cache page in steps, please uncheck the "Yes, it's ready for review" box. If you'd like us to check out the listing before you place the cache, just e-mail us with the GC#. Creating the page ahead of time also has the added feature of "reserving the location" for a few weeks while you complete your cache. Normally, caches are expected to be in-place when they are submitted for review.
If you would like your listing to be published at a special date/time, please be sure to give us at least a full week's notice. We try to accommodate special requests but sometimes things just don't happen as we plan. We can't guarantee a specific time, but we're usually within a couple of hours.
If you are planning on a large series of caches, please let us know ahead of time. This is so that we can both alert you to potential problems with completing your series and so we can pre-review at least some of them before a mass release date. We ask that caches be submitted far enough ahead of time that we have at least 1 day's notice for every 5 caches you submit.
If you relocate a cache, you can change the coordinates up to 528ft (0.1mi) via your cache page. If you need to move it further, please send one of us reviewers a note with the new coordinates and GC# and we can change it for you. Hopefully the new position doesn't encroach on another cache or it's stages, or we may not accept the new location.
Generally, cache type changes (Traditional -> Multi, Puzzle -> Traditional, etc) are discouraged. Many users are very particular about their statistics, and changing the cache type can cause other issues as well. Often, we recommend archiving the old listing, and creating a new one in the same place with the new type. This has the added benefit of bringing cachers back to the area for the new hide. That said, there are valid reasons for changing a type. Contact one of us reviewers and we'll work through it with you.
Please be kind. Since we are *highly compensated* by geocaching.com for our volunteer efforts, most reviewers need a *second* job to make ends meet. We make our best attempt to reply to your questions and cache submissions within 7 days. Many times we are quicker, however life often gets in the way of caching and reviewing, and we may sometimes take a little longer to get to you.