geo-banner-1 geo-banner-2 geo-banner-3 geo-banner-4 geo-banner-5

Finding a geocache

Tips for finding a geocache

Each geocache is different, and so is each geocache hunt. There are many things each geocacher should take into consideration.

Before you start walking

Prepare! Use aids such as Google Earth, Whereis, and street directories to get a clear idea of the not just where the cache is hidden, but what is in the area and how to get there. If the cache well away from roads, other aids like paper topographic maps and Open Street Map should be consulted to identify which tracks to take.

Check the cache attributes read the description and know your limitations. Some need kayaking, swimming, tree climbing or abseiling. If it looks too risky, go for another one instead. 

Dress appropriately for the conditions and location. Think long sleeves, long pants, hats, sunscreen and perhaps even gloves. Take appropriate equipment for your cache hunt, particularly if it involves a hike or long walk. Do you have water, charged phones, torches and batteries?  

Most importantly, let someone know where you're going and when you'll be back.

Off you go

If you're driving, find a safe parking spot close to the geocache or the beginning of your walk. If you're heading into the bush, mark the location of your car on your GPS, so that you can find it easily on your return.

Be responsible. When walking through the bush, stick to the tracks. Don't trespass into private property and assess the risks of what lies ahead. Don't stare at your GPS receiver all the time. Look up and watch out for trip hazards, overhangs and other dangers - including snakes and other wildlife.

Closing in

Once you're about 10 metres from the geocache, put your GPS receiver away. It is unlikely to reach zero precisely at the geocache's location.

Now's the time to be observant. Look around for things that are a little unusual. Did those rocks or sticks arrange themselves like that naturally? What might be inside that hole or in that crack? A good torch is invaluable for peering into dark places. What size is the cache and so where would it fit?

Look high. Look low. If you haven't found anything after a while, it might be time to read the hint or earlier logs. 

While searching for the geocache, respect the environment. If you move objects such as rocks or logs, replace them as you found them. Avoid tramping on plants and grasses.

You found it!

Success! If you've had an epic journey, mentally or physically, perhaps you'll take the time to write a few words about it in the log book and read what others had to say. If you exchange trade items, trade kindly: consider what future finders would like and leave something equal to or better than what you take. Don't leave illegal stuff, food or items that aren't 'kid-friendly' in a geocache. Of course, if it's a quick, park and grab nano, your'e probably just going to make your make and get moving. 

After you have signed the logbook and completed any swaps, replace the cache as you found it. Make sure that ziplock bags are sealed, container seals are clean and the container is properly closed to prevent the contents from getting wet or destroyed.

Put the cache back where you found it. Don’t move a cache to match your reading. If you suspect the cache is not in the intended spot, hide it as best you can and alert the owner as soon as possible. 

When leaving the cache site there should be little to no visual sign of disturbance. As you return, follow the track and remember to take nothing but photos and leave nothing but tracks - on the trail.

Finally, if you're running late, inform someone as soon as possible - especially if you're searching for just one more on the way home.