User Reviewed

How to Create and Hide a Geocache

Geocaching is a relatively new, family-friendly hobby where participants use GPS technology to seek geocaches hidden by fellow geocachers. At its heart is creating and hiding geocaches.


  1. Image titled Create and Hide a Geocache Step 2
    Image titled Create and Hide a Geocache Step 1
    Search for existing geocaches before trying to create your own and hide it. Try to find a variety of cache types and sizes in various terrains and locations and covering the spectrum of difficulty levels. This will allow you to determine which things work well and help you form wise choices in this endeavor.
    • Some people will advise you to find X number of caches, but if they are mostly of one type, it won't be helpful. You'll learn more finding ten caches of ten different types than one hundred caches of a similar type. It is helpful to gain a little experience first.
  2. Image titled Create and Hide a Geocache Step 3
    Find a good spot for your geocache. A quality geocache will be hidden near something of natural, human, historic, or scenic interest or at least at the end of a pleasant walk. Try to make it a place that people would enjoy visiting even if the cache wasn't there.
  3. Image titled Create and Hide a Geocache Step 4
    Make certain geocaches are allowed there. If it is private property, obtain permission from the land owner. Some park systems require permits and some do not allow geocaching, so check with park management to make sure geocaching is allowed, then obtain a permit if required.
  4. Image titled Create and Hide a Geocache Step 5
    Select an appropriate container. Geocache containers should be waterproof and durable. Military surplus ammo boxes are a favorite of many geocachers. Also make sure the container is appropriate for the area (see Tips, below). A good seal is important, because, if water leaks in, the cache will be ruined.
  5. Image titled Create and Hide a Geocache Step 6
    Camouflage the container. This is optional but will help keep non-geocachers from finding it. Painting it in colors which match the area or wrapping it in camouflage duct tape are two ways that will help conceal it. Other methods include gluing bark to the container or hiding it under fake rocks or tree stumps.
  6. Image titled Create and Hide a Geocache Step 7
    Label the outside. In today's world, suspicious packages can create alarm. Clearly labeling your container as a geocache and with the proper contact information may reduce the chances of your cache being reported as suspicious package.
  7. Image titled Create and Hide a Geocache Step 8
    Stock the cache. Include a letter explaining what it is, just in case a non-geocacher finds it. Also include a logbook, pencil, and, if the geocache is large enough, trinkets for finders to trade out.
  8. Image titled Create and Hide a Geocache Step 9
    Hide your cache. Your cache is more likely to last if you choose a low traffic area where it is not likely to accidentally be discovered and where searchers won't be spotted by passersby, business owners, security guards, or residents.
  9. Image titled Create and Hide a Geocache Step 10
    Use your GPS to obtain the coordinates. Make sure you have a good satellite signal, then let your GPS settle at the cache site for a minute or two before marking. Check your owners' manual for the section on how to mark a waypoint if you don't yet know.
  10. Image titled Create and Hide a Geocache Step 11
    List your cache. You need to post it on a website so other geocachers can obtain the coordinates. The most popular site, by far, is Other sites include,, and
  11. Image titled Create and Hide a Geocache Step 12
    Maintain your cache. Be ready to respond promptly to reported problems such as missing containers and wet or full logbooks. If you lose interest, remove your cache and archive the listing.


  • If you use an ammo box be sure to cover the military markings.
  • When hiding your cache make it look as natural as possible. Simply covering it with a pile of sticks, rocks or bark might encourage a non-geocacher to investigate.
  • Try to hide your geocache where searchers won't be observed by homeowners or passersby. This lessens the likelihood of someone reporting suspicious activity or removing the cache.
  • Use an appropriately sized container. Deep in the woods, large containers are great. In urban and suburban or high traffic areas, use a smaller, more easily concealed container which will be likely to be accidentally discovered.
  • Stock your cache with the kinds of things you might like to find. You don't need to break the bank.—A few inexpensive, but useful items would be perfect, perhaps purchased at a local dollar store.
  • Know the guidelines of the website where you plan to list your cache. Really read the instructions carefully and make sure your cache is in compliance.
  • Also consider the impact on the environment. Hide your cache on durable surfaces when possible (e.g., rock outcrops). Avoid steep hillsides where searchers will contribute to erosion.
  • Before hiding your cache, step back and consider what a non-geocacher might think if he or she were to see a stranger wandering that area with a GPS.


  • Many park systems have rules governing geocaches. Thoroughly check for existing regulations before hiding your cache. If in doubt, seek guidance from your local geocaching society or club.
  • If your cache is accidentally discovered and creates public alarm, you might be subject to prosecution and fines.
  • Do not hide caches near bridges, tunnels, military installations, airports, bus terminals, train stations and railroad tracks, schools or other places that might be deemed terrorist targets.
  • Lands managed by the National Park Service (e.g., national parks, national recreation areas and national historic sites) and by the US Fish and Wildlife Service (e.g., national wildlife refuges) are generally off limits for geocaches. Some National Park Service lands have started allowing geocaching on an experimental basis, but permission is required from the superintendent. Many nationally designated wilderness areas are also off limits, as are some state and local parks. If in doubt contact the managing authority and ask.
  • Don't hide your cache on a the property of a business without first consulting with the owner.

Things You'll Need

  • GPS device
  • Durable, waterproof Geocontainer
  • Small notebook and pen
  • Hiding place
  • Permission from parent or guardian

Sources and Citations

Show more... (1)

Article Info

Categories: Geocaching