custom-geocaching-coinScouting out the hiding spot for your first custom geocoin?

We don’t just sell trackable geocoins (customizable coins) used in the geocaching, we’re big fans of this modern form of treasure hunting ourselves! Geocaching is a fun and exciting way for all ages to get outdoors and into nature, especially for families in need of an activity everyone can enjoy. Leaving a custom geocoin in the caches you find is a great way to take the adventure to a new level as you track each coin’s voyage. But what about creating and hiding your own cache? You can seed it with one of your custom geocoins and then watch to see the cache grow and change as others treasure hunters find it.

What does it take to create a popular-to-find, long-lasting cache? Here are some geocaching tips we’ve gained from experience:

1. Don’t Crowd: Do you have a particular area in mind where you would like to place the cache, such as a public park? If so, how many other caches are in the same place? According to the official geocaching rules for cache placement, caches should be at least 0.1 mile apart. If the park is very small, two caches in the same location may not work. A good geocaching tip is to brainstorm at least three possible cache sites before checking the geocaching map for the best placement.

2. Get Permission: In general, if you plan to hide your cache in a public area, such as a city park, state-owned forest, or other public property, you do not need permission to do so. If the cache will be on private land, such as a land trust owned by an independent nonprofit or private land conservation group, or someone’s private property, you must get permission before placing the cache. Also note that some public places have explicitly said no to geocaching due to environmental concerns. These include the lands of the National Park Service or in national wildlife refuges. In the geocaching community, it’s also considered good etiquette avoid placing caches at archaeological sites and in sensitive animal habitats.

3. Scope Locations with Visual Appeal: You may come up with a wonderful place to place the cache, but what is the route like to get there? One cache we tried to find in a local park sounded intriguing, but the one path to get to it was littered with broken beer bottles and other trash, so we turned around (but not before picking up some of the trash and carrying it out with us!). An important geocaching tip is to think about what geocachers will experience as you map your route.

4. Finding a Hiding Spot: When it comes to the actual hiding spot for the custom geocoin, take into consideration the impact searchers may have on the area. If you need to veer off a trail or path to the get to the cache, is the area relatively clear of debris? Are searchers in danger of trampling plants on the way? Are searchers at risk for tripping on tree roots and rocks? These are red flags to keep looking for another hiding spot.

5. Keeping Your Cache Safe and Dry: A sturdy, dark box or bag is usually a good bet for a cache that can go unseen, but will still stand up to the elements. A black plastic index card file box may be ideal, or you can buy a custom geocaching box. Some cache-hiders like to label the box with the fact that the box is for geocaching and include instructions on how to rehide the cache if it’s found by accident. Other people like to slip the box inside a heavy duty plastic freezer bag for extra protection against the elements. This geocaching tip is especially helpful in colder climates.

Wherever you decide to hide your cache, don’t forget to add your custom geocoin to get the game started! And remember, you are ultimately responsible for the cache, so check in from time to time to make everything is in good repair. It’s also fascinating to check out the goodies that others have left behind!

For some additional geocaching tips, check out Geocaching.com’s Guide to Geocaching: http://www.geocaching.com/guide/default.aspx