How Not To Hide

In the past we’ve discussed how to hide a geocache. In this episode, we discuss how NOT to hide a geocache.









How NOT to Hide a Cache

Contest Question

  • In a geocaching hint or description what does GRC mean?
  • Answer at the bottom of show notes.

How NOT To Hide A Geocache

  • What does that mean?
  • Think of it as teaching by reverse logic. Sometimes people understand by an obvious example which makes them say “well duh”.
  • For example, How NOT to Hide a geocache:
  • Hiding a PVC pipe with wires hanging out near a heavy muggle location or
  • Placing a geocache in a National Park without permission or
  • Using a cheap Glad container to hide a geocache in a swamp.
  • There are tons of example of what geocachers have found and thought to themselves. That is NOT how you hide a geocache. That is what we are looking for tonight.
  • We asked the same question to our viewers out in the social network and here are some of the insights our fellow geocachers chimed in on.


  • @sseegars: @HeadHardHat I once came upon a cache that was placed on a guardrail in a curve on a very busy road in NC. I thought that was ridiculous.
  • @MooseOnTheTable: @HeadHardHat I once found a length of pipe, capped at both ends, underneath a major bridge, near a water treatment plant …


  • Bob Strempek: You have to start with a container to make a hide, thats the first step and usually the first failure. No food take out containers or gladware, failure!
  • AndynElaine: Geocaching Getting FTF on a cache when the area needs a team of fifty doing cito !! The CO must have moved crap to place the cache !! Not what caching is about 🙁 Why bring me here ??
  • Bob Strempek: yea the line “this place needed a cache” ugh…
  • Victoria Davis: Finding caches in places that are clearly unsafe, for example, a cache I found located on an off ramp. Not too smart. Jeopardizes the game and the safety of players.
  • Mark D’Elton: Inaccurately describing the size of the container. I found a classic this morning. A “large micro”. Approx 300ml in size. What the ….????
  • HHH note: 300 ml is 10.144 US fluid ounces or a medium sized lock n lock.
  • Kathy Seedorff: You might think that it’s easy to find, but you know where to look. Think about what a person who may not know what container it is will look like to everyone around them while they’re looking for your cache. Stealth frequently (esp since 9/11) looks suspicious. A kids park might = pedophile.
  • Bob Strempek: don’t scrimp on string on shore geocaches, oh and the water tight containers are nice to use to…from the NJ Shore!
  • Jamie Mutt Williams: How about when permits expire the cache owner renews the permit
  • Bob Strempek: Permit? where do you need permits
  • Jamie Mutt Williams: Up here, in some of Five River MetroParks they have a permit system, and to think of it, Indiana DNR have requested the same concept
  • Bob Strempek: Interesting, are they relatively easy to obtain? I can see sensitive park areas, marshland, endangered plants, etc..benefiting from the policy. But the added red tape in NJ would be a bureaucratic pain.
  • Jamie Mutt Williams: It can be a painstaking task of getting them sometimes. If I may link to the [documention] ( I’ve got a couple caches that I’m planning on placing in one of the parks.
  • Geocaching-Five Rivers MetroParks

Google Plus:

  • Jeff Stoehler: We have a cacher in our area who thought it would be a good idea to hide a geocache in the bushes behind a Bar (Pub, Tavern, drinking establishment whatever you want to call it). The area has become littered with all kinds of garbage including condoms, needles, and other yukky stuff. The logs show that cachers are afraid to enter the area and there are loads of DNF’s logged. Just because you see a clump of trees or bushes, it doesn’t mean there should be a cache there. This particular cache is definitely not a family friendly place.
  • I sent an email to the CO to let him know the cache needs attention, and he pretty much told me to mind my own business.
  • Dave DeBaeremaeker: +Jeff Stoehler touched on this a bit, but I would enforce it – don’t hide things in places strewn with dangerous litter – One could theoretically CITO it first, but given the proximity to the bar, it is likely going to require a CITO again soon after – it is a losing battle.
  • I have archived a cache because the area I placed it in became a hobo hangout. They seemed nice enough during the day, but I didn’t want to risk an innocent cacher tripping over a sleeping hobo while night caching. I didn’t want the fallout of what could happen on my conscience, so I removed the cache.
  • Also, if you are going to hide a cache, be willing to listen to feedback from the community. As a general rule, since they are many brains and you are one, they are likely to see things that you may not. “Mind your own business” is never an acceptable response to constructive criticism about your cache. You don’t always have to agree that the feedback is correct, but it should at least be listened to.

Some other things to avoid:

  • Hiding Pipe Caches
  • Pretty much anywhere, but definitely away from infrastructure and public places. If the pipe looks like plumbing or conduit it can be ok – if it looks like a pipe bomb with caps on both ends, you can be sure someone will mistake it as such. Surprisingly, plumbing bits tend to make non-waterproof caches anyway (think of the reasons why plumbers cost $80/hr, and the folly of expecting that level of care from every cacher that finds your cache…)
  • Hiding caches in places that will get worn down over time, like decorative rock walls, or ornamental shrubs. Although there are some very careful cachers out there, you can ensure that there are enough that do not exercise the level of care required to reassemble a rock wall properly, or to not damage shrubs while grubbing through them.
  • Don’t hide poor containers and expect the community of cachers to maintain it for you. If you place it, expect to maintain it. You can lessen your maintenance requirements by selecting durable containers, and taking the advice of this show about how not to hide caches 🙂
  • Louis Caplan: Sticking a piece of paper in a plastic bag, and putting the bag in a crook of a downed branch. No, it wasn’t a missing container, the FTF found the bag/paper.
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  • GRC – (GuardRail Cache) used in the description on where a cache may be hidden-via the Geocaching Wiki.