Find Your Geocache

Using Geocaching.com To Find A Spot For A Cache

Here’s the scenario:

You get the cache container all ready to go. It has a log book, swag, the geocaching disclaimer and the PERFECT camouflage. You hike out to where you’re going to place the cache, going through all manner of pricklies and brambles. You find the PERFECT spot, stash the cache, take a GPS reading (I’ve some tips on just how to do this!) and the scurry home to submit it to geocaching.com.

But, alas! When you submit it for publishing, you get that nasty message that says that it is too close to another cache! All caches need to be .10 miles apart. Geocaching.com says: “Cache containers and physical stages should generally be separated by a minimum of 0.1 miles (528 feet or 161 m).”

Here’s a tip to help you find likely places for your caches BEFORE you get all carried away!

This past summer my family and I were camping and caching near Flagstaff, Arizona. Since I came up a full week after my folks were there, my Dad asked me to research all the caches near Ashurst Lake. Well, that was really easy since by that time, EatStayPlay.com had coordinates for most attractions. All you need to do is visit the attraction page on the website and then click on the link: Find geocaches.

This link appears on any attraction that EatStayPlay.com has GPS coords for!

Bingo! A link to geocaching.com with all the caches listed. But, that didn’t really tell me WHERE those caches were located in relationship to the lake.

All the caches near Ashurst Lake, in a list.

So, what I did was click on a cache listing. For this example, since now there ARE caches at the lake, we’ll pick “Mud Bug Haven”, the second one down and placed by EatStayPlay & ESP Boss. Scroll down on the cache page until you see the lower map.

There are two maps on the page. This is the bottom one.

And then click on the map which will show you all caches as icons on the page. As you can see from this view, there are only TWO caches near this huge, popular body of water. That means that it is ripe for placing caches just about anywhere there’s a good spot. In fact, when I first placed “Mud Bug Haven” it was the only cache there! But, since I live about two hours away from this cache, I wanted to be REALLY sure before I placed it that I wasn’t going to have to drive back up to the cache to move it!

(Here’s the link to Mud Bug Haven in case you want to see it for yourself!)

Now you can see all the caches in the area.

Now, what about if an area where there are caches? Principle is the same. In this image, I zeroed on a road here in Prescott near Goldwater Lake, a road that I was pretty sure had nice pull-offs for caches.

And what do I see? I see caches evenly spaced along a road, Cougar Trail. I’m pretty sure that THIS means that in every pull-out there’s already a cache. But, this is an instant where I really can’t tell without driving the road.

All the caches along this road. I'll bet they're EACH in a really great pull-off.

So, if I REALLY want to lay a cache along this road, here’s what I do.

  • Load the caches into the GPS.
  • Find my favorite pull off, one that backs public forest land.
  • Then, hike AWAY from the cache, into the forest, for .10 miles to hide the cache. Not at all a park-n-grab, but at least I know that it’s likely to be found. MUCH better than placing a cache only to find out that it is too close to another cache.

Now, here’s a question for all you senior geocachers out there:

How do you find likely places to place a cache?

What techniques do YOU use before you place the cache container to make sure there are no other caches nearby?

Have you ever asked somebody to move their cache so you could place yours?

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