Find Your Geocache: Container Maintenance

Geocaching Maintenance

It’s that time of year again. Time for my annual trip to Flagstaff to check on the geocaches I placed there.

Some new geocachers get started, get a few finds under their belt and then decide to HIDE a geocache without ever realizing that there is on-going work associated with it. simply says:

  • Owner is responsible for geocache page upkeep.
  • Owner is responsible for visits to the physical location.

Geocache containers waiting to be hidden


But what does that MEAN? That means that as the cache placer you need to be ready to go check on your cache if you get notes saying that it needs maintenance. Notes might be that the log is wet or full. Or the cache seemed to be either too hard to too easy to located.

In the case of The Quiet Zone GC1X2F5 two years ago a BEAR made off with the cache. Or at least the cache disappeared over the winter. Since I live 200 miles away, I temporarily archived the cache and send a note into the review letting him know that I had a trip planned to check on the cache. "Royal" Family

The "Royal" Family placing The Quiet Zone in 2009

When I went, I went prepared to replace the cache if I couldn’t find it. I replaced the container and updated the coordinates and it was good to go!

As a cache placer, I am responsible for occasional (but regular) visits to make sure everything is a-okay. In the case of caches that are far away from me (like my Flagstaff caches) I have a few caching buddies that I can always call upon to take a quick look if I’m too busy.

And those occasional visits are why requests that caches are not placed while you’re traveling on vacation or for business. If you live a 4 hour plane ride away, how is it feasible for you to check on a cache every time you get a report of a wet log? But, it is possible to place a cache and then have it adopted by a local cacher or to even have a non-geocaching friend maintain it.

If a cache is not being maintained, or has been “temporarily” disabled for an unreasonable length of time, we may archive the listing.

When I’m placing a new cache, I always ask myself these three questions:

  1. How often can I visit?
  2. How easy is it for me to visit?
  3. Do I have time to maintain another cache?

Readers Weigh In:

  • How many geocaches have you placed?
  • How often do you check on them?
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4 Responses to “Find Your Geocache: Container Maintenance”

  • horseshoechamp:

    I have placed over 500 caches in the past 6 years and still have 237 active caches. I do a maintance run twice a year at the least unless I get some logs saying I should check it. I try to keep everything within a 50 mile radius of my house so it is not hard for me to go and check my caches.

  • Kim:

    @horseshoechamp — that’s PERFECT. Sometimes I wish we hadn’t placed that set so far away, but I think we were like a lot of new geocachers: very caught up in the idea of placing and not really thinking (or knowing) about maintenance. The other side is that you can’t even go after them all winter long because of the snow! Whereas closer to home, you can cache nearly year-round with just a few weeks of it being too snowy or wet.

  • geo-tree-0:

    We haven’t placed any caches. We have found a TON of great places to put one, especially areas that have no caches for a few mile radius. But hubby said he doesn’t want me out with the kids doing cache maintenance all the time. Summer time would work to maintain, but other times of the year would be difficult due to jobs and other demands on our time. I talked to another local cacher who has a few in the area and suggested the locations to him. We also help other COs by maintaining caches as we find them when possible. We have replaced a few logs that were soaked and shredded, and rehid a couple caches that were left in the open. Maybe when the kids are older we can start hiding some.

  • Kim:

    @geo-tree-0 I think your caching philosophy is dead-on. I really appreciate it when cachers take a moment to fix up one of my caches that needs it. It makes my life so much easier! And in some ways, I wish I had waited to start placing caches until I really had a handle on how much WORK it is to take care of them! Good luck and thank you for helping out the COs in your area! Affiliate Link
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