Planning a successful geocaching outing is a science. Many cachers have mastered the art of making Lists, ensuring they have the right tools of the trade, and downloading offline maps of their itinerary. But you might be making some planning missteps and not even realize it. Here are six planning mistakes you may not know you’re making.
1. Not looking for which of your geocaching friends have found the cache
The logbook on a cache details page allows you to see if your geocaching friends have found that geocache. Click “View Logbook” just above the logs on cache details and easily view all logs, your logs, or your friends’ logs for that cache. Use the Logbook to get an idea of who you can call if you need to phone-a-friend on a tricky cache!
2. Not looking at the GOTW public list to see if any featured geocaches are nearby
For the past five years, amazing geocaches from all over the world have been featured as an official “Geocache of the Week” by Geocaching HQ. These cache owners go above and beyond to keep this game ever-evolving. Find the closest one to you, then nominate the next one!
3. Not using Geocaching.com to help plan
The Geocaching® app is great in the field. For planning though, check out Geocaching.com. The search map easily allows you to filter for the caches you want to find, add them all to a List, download to GPX, or send to your Garmin device. Plus, you can create Pocket Queries—custom geocache searches you can have emailed to you on a daily or weekly basis.
4. Not checking to see if the cache is located somewhere that’s only open during specific hours
Geocaches can be hidden in many places and even when hidden outdoors may still only be accessible during certain hours. For example, city parks are often open dawn to dusk. Be sure to read the cache description to learn details about the cache!
5. Not refreshing your offline data before you leave
You’ve made your List*, you’ve switched to the Trails map type in the Geocaching® app, and you’re ready to go. But wait! Don’t forget to refresh that List to make sure you’ve got the latest information. Here’s how:
- Go to the My Lists section of the Geocaching® app.
- Tap the ellipsis (…) next to the list that you want to download.
- Select Download Offline Data.
6. Not looking for GeoTours in the area
GeoTours are official collections of geocaches that serve as self-guided, themed tours around historic sites, parks, cities, and more. Premium and Basic members have access to GeoTour caches of all cache types and Difficulty/Terrain ratings in the Geocaching® app. Bonus: if you find all the caches in a GeoTour, you’ll earn a unique souvenir.
*Note: Lists and offline geocaches are Premium member features.
What else would you add to this list? Share other planning mistakes to avoid in the comments!