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What makes a cache a good one?

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The number one rule for any cache that I would call good regardless of any other rule I may have is that I had fun. If I give you a list of everthing I hate about caches I could still have fun.


There are things that can increase my fun and sometimes


Swag helps.

Finding them helps.

Larger containers help.

Creative unique hides help.

Something I haven't seen before helps.

A good cache write write up setting the stage helps.

Good company to have a great cache day goofing off helps.

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In my opinion, here are characteristics that make a cache a GOOD experience:

  • A decent hike (>=0.25 miles) in a sparsely populated area
  • Nifty little-known history
  • Great scenery
  • Unusual hide (suspended in a tree, on an island that you have to canoe to)
  • Thought-provoking puzzle
  • Cool camo or really neat container
  • Long history of being at that spot (old cache that's been around for a long while)
  • Good theme (and people are sticking to it)

Any one of these characteristics on a cache, and I'll think it's pretty cool. Combine a few, and it scores more points. But if it doesn't have a single one of those characteristics, I'll be asking myself why I was brought here. If I have to ask myself that, I would think the cache was disappointing.

Edited by Markwell
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I'm new, so I'll put in my .02 worth. Starbrand and Markwell included everything I'm looking for, so I'll not repeat it. I'm I wrong for not going for the "numbers"? I'm not interested in parking lot caches and places in town. Having said that, I'm glad they are there for the folks that enjoy them. Having great fun with my new 60csx, and have found some terrific places that I never knew existed close to home.

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I love small town caches where I can hop on the interstate, get off at the 1,000 person towns and find a few caches. It is nice to get a taste of the small town parks. I've even had a great conversation with a business owner while looking for a cache in a small town. They all have some sort of history and are much friendlier than city folk.

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I'd like to add one to those listed above ...


A sufficient degree of difficulty. I like a cache to be just challenging enough to make me work for it, yet not be insanely difficult. (Like a film can in a giant brush pile or a nano in a bank of 2 dozen electrical boxes.)


Sure, spotting an ammo can under a piece of bark from 50 feet away can still be fun, but I get a bigger kick out of an earnest search and then thinking to myself, "bravo, you sneaky %@*!#" when I finally find it.

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I'm new, so I'll put in my .02 worth. Starbrand and Markwell included everything I'm looking for, so I'll not repeat it. I'm I wrong for not going for the "numbers"? I'm not interested in parking lot caches and places in town. Having said that, I'm glad they are there for the folks that enjoy them. Having great fun with my new 60csx, and have found some terrific places that I never knew existed close to home.


I agree. I think the drive for numbers has really started to take away from the game in many ways. It is always a bummer if you get a DNF, I get them all the time. There have been many caches in my area that are placed in not so desireable areas and I usually get a DNF because I don't want to waste any more time in those places. I just need to learn to ignore those, hard to do when youre addicted. However if you get a DNF in a cool area it doesn't ruin your day and you still come away with a rewarding experience. That is what it is all about.

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I am very new to this, and I have to agree that I would rather have the challenge of finding something that was diabolically hidden in plain view or being taken somewhere that is worth going. Sure I like to cache, but a nano attached to the cart coral in the parking lot of a Wal-Mart is not my idea of fun. Now give me a quarter mile walk on or off the trail of some wooded area that is off the beaten path, and I am going to be happy if I come up with the cache or not.

Put both of those together and I will take pictures and talk about it for a week. (Or until I come up on another one like it)


It didn’t take me long to learn how to use the maps on Geocaching.com so I am not lot caching. Now my wife, on the other hand, she would be happy if she could drive up to the cache sign the log and never leave the car.


So in conclusion there are caches out there for everyone, you just have to find them. Ha Ha! ;) I still crack myself up.

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Swag isn't all that important to me, personally. I'm usually a TNLN kinda guy. When my daughter gets old enough to participate I'm sure she will appreciate good swag, though. I could care less about cache size too, a micro in a good spot is fine in my book. I just want an interesting location I haven't seen before, preferably with a nice hike. A history lesson is a MAJOR bonus. There are a few hiders around here who almost always have a story to go along with their caches. So in my book, a nice hike to an interesting location with a history lesson makes for an EXCELLENT cache.

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Most of what has been said above I agree with. One of my favorite aspects of geocaching is discovering those beautiful or otherwise interesting, out of the way spots that you would never have known about if someone had not hid a cache there. Those are my favorites.


Also, an original, unusual, or otherwise very clever hide is always appreciated by me. Something I haven't seen before. Each time I am challenged by a clever, even if maddingly diabolical hide, it makes me a better cacher. It also gives me ideas for hides of my own.


I love to hike and so hides along trails are also a favorite of mine. Somewhere that takes a little effort and usually offers a great reward. Keep those trail caches coming!



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Somewhere that has A nice view or that would be interesting to visit.


A cache bigger than a "Micro"


Well hidden so you have to really look and think to find it but not too hard. If it takes more than a couple of hours to locate than I'll most likely log a FTF and move on


Swag is nice but not necessary


Not more than 5 or 6 miles round trip on a hike as I usually don't have the time to spend hiking for more than that on my days off. I wish I did, but.....

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A cache that meets the needs/wants of the group it was targeted at. Which means that almost any cache is good ---- for those people it was intended for.


Some cachers - whether because of age (younger or older), physical ability, time & family constraints etc etc (or numbers hounds!!LOL) ..... will primarily be interested in the 1/1 end of the scale. You can still make this a 'good' cache by

1)having an interesting cache page - maybe with some history or botany or geology to be learnt from it, or a personal story of why this is a special spot or something like that.

2) Placing the cache in a spot that is aesthetically pleasing in some way - plants nearby, public art nearby, historical site or building to lok at ... etc

3) making the 'find' a pleasant experience - one that is physically achieveable, not in an area that has nasty prickles or nasty garbage, not too many muggles


And nearer to the 5/5 end of the scale -- which another "target market" of cachers prefer -- many of these suggestions stilll apply - plus there will, of course, be either or all of:

a fiendishly difficult puzzle

a tricky camo, job

a long (scenic!) hike

a challenging multi,

a significant stealth-required challenge


So, ...... what constitutes a 'good' cache will variety considerably from cacher to cacher ........


Decide on your "target market" for any particular cache, and make it a cache that will please/suit those cachers. You will never please everyone.



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I like creative hides that aren't too difficult that they frustrate you. I love to encounter a cache, where once you spot it, you get a chuckle. Whimsical caches that play on words, or other people's foibles are especially pleasing.


I like to hike and one aspect of geocaching, when I first started was that most caches were out in the woods with a half mile hike or better attached to it. Then, I made up my mind I wasn't going to find micros. Well, I went against that after awhile, because I'd been on the hikes and found all of those, so I knew that if I didn't go out and find micros, I'd go caching maybe once every three months or so.


So a variety of different kinds of hides are always nice too.

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I think that most of all I like caches that I can find. I don't know how many times not finding a cache has bummed me out a little bit, harshed my mellow, if you know what I mean.

I'll second this one. While I will usually return, even after a good day of lots of finds, if my last cache is a DNF, (you can ask my wife) I'll come hope and in response to "so how was it," I'll say "I'm pissed."


Though it makes my next find that much more satisfying.



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I want to be glad I came here!

I want to be free from muggles or having to worry about them!

I want a hike. Or a bike ride! Or both

I love it - if there is a lot more there than the cache

Many more trails

Bushwacking - without a wacker!

Enough places to hide the cache but not so many it is redickulous!

Great trade items

Another cache fairly close.

Regular size cache = shoe box size

Neat container

GPS challenge - make me use that thing. Multi are good if creative.

Don't wanna fall! I want good footing even if it is just 4 inch wide.

Don't want to bother anyone.

Don't wantmy car broke or broke into.

Mountain women.

Wildlife sighting - Even Bigfoot -

I have never seen a Bigfoot

And I am hoping not to see one

I am also hoping that if I do

It will be a wee one!

Edited by GPS-Hermit
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