I know this might seem like an overly simple topic, but trust me, there are plenty of newbie geocachers out there who ask me questions like this. And, once you actually go to geocaching.com to LOG a cache, you realize that it might not be that simple of a question after all!
The first time I logged into my account on geocaching.com to log a cache, I was really surprised that I had a ton of options for recording a cache hunt. I figured that it would be the straight forward:
Found or Did Not Find
And that was the end of the story.
Boy! Was I ever wrong!
Here are the steps to logging a cache.
- Log into geocaching.com.
- Go to the upper right hand side, below the GC code. Click on “log your visit”. (Depending on if you’re a premium or basic member, you’ll have slightly different options, but “log your visit” will be there as long as you’re logged in.)
- From the first drop down menu, you’ll select the “Type of log” See the types of logs below
- Then, select the date that you visited the cache site. Most cache owners prefer if you log your visit within a day or two of going for the cache. But, they understand if it is weeks later as well!
- Leave comments about your adventure. As the owner of multiple caches, I LOVE it when I get descriptions of the adventure to find my cache. But, even if you just want to type in a quick acronym, that’s okay too. To find a list of the most common log acronyms, please see the post: ‘Log Abbreviations: Decoded!‘
- Below the box for comments, you see additional options for your log. You can encrypt your entry (usually when the entry contains spoilers) or add additional coordinates. I never encrypt my entries and I haven’t had any pressing needs for coordinates either.
- Below that, you can indicate if you placed any trackable items that you might currently be holding on to.
- And finally, at the bottom, you find the “Submit Log Entry” button.
Once you’ve submitted a log, you DO have the ability to go back and edit it and upload photos. But, that will be the topic of another article since this is more than enough to get you started.
- Found It – ONLY use this when you have successfully found the cache AND signed the log in the cache.
- Didn’t Find It – ONLY use this when you have actually made it to the cache site, have looked for it and then couldn’t find it. Don’t log a DNF if you just thought about going after it.
- Write Note – I use a note for a variety of reasons: returning to a cache with a newbie; logging maintenance or a travel item drop; when I thought about going for the cache but didn’t; leaving a message for the cache owner
- Needs Archived – I would recommend against using this designation. Unless you are a cache reviewer or the cache owner, you can’t really decide if the cache needs to be archived.
- Needs Maintenance – this is used when the cache itself is damaged: wet log, broken container, full log sheet, etc. Don’t think that it s a “black mark” against the cache or cache owner; it isn’t. I don’t post a “Needs Maintenance” when I feel the cache has been muggled; I always give the cache owner the benefit of being cleverer in the hide than I am in the find.
Readers Weigh In:
- How often do you log your cache visits? Right away? When you get around to it?
- Do you ever use the “Needs Archived” or “Needs Maintenance” posts?