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Guidelines Update

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Our Cache Listing Requirements / Guidelines were last updated in November 2003. Periodically, Groundspeak and the volunteer reviewers take a look at the Guidelines to see whether changes are appropriate. Yesterday we posted an updated set of listing guidelines.


This update does not attempt to make any major changes to the existing guidelines. Rather, the update contains minor tweaks and clarifications to make the guidelines work better for cache owners and for cache reviewers. We recommend that you read the new guidelines in their entirety prior to placing a new cache.


To assist you in working with the new guidelines, here is a summary of the principal changes:

  • We added a more complete discussion of the cache owner’s options if they disagree with a decision made by a volunteer reviewer.
  • Existing language about not defacing property to provide a clue or a logging method has been expanded from its prior location in the “offset cache” discussion, to become a new item in the list of “off limits” cache locations.
  • The list of “off limits” areas for traditional caches now includes elementary and secondary schools, clarifying existing language about not placing caches near public structures and government buildings.
  • The new “small” cache size has been added to the description of cache sizes.
  • The new Earthcache type has been added to the description of cache types.
  • The guidelines for event caches were modified as follows: Events must be open to all geocachers (subject to space limitations, like the size of a banquet room). If you want to have a private event, it should be organized elsewhere. Events no longer need to be specifically related to geocaching – although they still need to be organized BY geocachers and FOR geocachers. This means you can now have an event built around a non-geocaching activity, without having to add the obligatory language to your cache page saying that “geocaching will be discussed.” It’s recognized that when geocachers gather, they’ll talk about geocaching.
  • Some time limits followed by the reviewers for event caches are now spelled out in the guidelines. Events should be submitted for listing no less than two weeks prior to the event, and no more than three months prior to the event. An exception can be made for regional, national or international events, which can be listed up to six months in advance. Event caches should be archived within one month after the event date, unless it is a recurring event like a monthly meeting where the same cache page is re-used.
  • The cache saturation guidelines have been modified to enable a reviewer to require that a series of closely-spaced caches be combined into a multicache.
  • Lighters have been added to the list of prohibited cache contents.
  • The guidelines on Commercial Caches / Caches That Solicit have been expanded to specifically mention charity fundraising as an example of a social agenda that cannot be promoted through a cache listing.
  • Throughout the guidelines, we’ve made minor wording changes. For example, “approvers” are now referred to as “reviewers” or “volunteers” and a cache is “listed” rather than being “approved.”

We hope that this summary is helpful, and that the updated guidelines provide even better guidance on what’s acceptable for a cache listing.

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