The ghost of caches past

Nothing is spookier than coming across an unloved cache. It’s soggy logbook gives you goosebumps, the broken container allows a look at its rotting insides. Terrifying!

If you’re a cache owner and don’t want to be haunted by the ghost of your caches past, here are some tips for you. Here’s how to decide when a geocache is ready for the cache cemetery and how to deal with the cache remains.

Top reasons it might be time to archive your cache:

You are moving

Cache ownership requires regular trips to the cache’s hiding spot to replace full logbooks, make sure the container is in good shape, and keep a look out for changing conditions. If you know you are going to move and live too far from your cache to do maintenance, you have two options. You can either transfer ownership of the cache to another geocacher in your old home zone or you can collect the cache container* and archive the cache listing online.

*This step is REALLY important, if you want to avoid being haunted by your cache for life. Left behind cache containers turn treasure to garbage and convert a game that cherishes nature into a game that litters.

The cache location is changing

Construction, weather, or changes to land ownership—no location will remain the same forever. Make sure to read the logs on your owned caches and visit the location periodically to make sure the cache is in place and accessible. Otherwise it’s time to collect the container, archive the cache, and find a better spot where you can hide a new geocache.

Life takes over

There is so much to do—and then you have to do it all over again. If life becomes too busy and you think you cannot be the responsible cache owner you aspire to be, it might be time to say goodbye to your beloved cache. As mentioned above, think about transferring ownership or collect the container and archive the cache. Doing so will free up the location for someone else to hide their own.

But that doesn’t mean you have to give up cache ownership altogether. You could consider hosting a geocaching event to continue the feeling of community without the need for continuous maintenance.

You receive multiple DNFs

If you are dealing with repeated muggle theft and have replaced a cache container over and over again, the location might be haunted itself. You tried a better disguise (camo), changed the cache container to fit better in its hiding spot—but still, the geocache has vanished once again. After you thoroughly checked the location to make sure the container really isn’t there you should archive the cache listing.

If you take these tips to heart and collect and archive your cache when necessary, we can (almost) guarantee you won’t be haunted by the ghost of your caches past.

How do you make sure your caches are well cared for? Share your tips in the comments!