Geocaching is a wonderful hobby that everyone should try! Yet this doesn’t mean that you can do anything you want anyway you want …
… Indeed, there are a number of rules (also referred as ‘code of conduct’) that you should stick to, not only to make sure you and others are safe while practicing this hobby, but also to give a good impression for others who may want to try this activity in the future!
If this sounds good, then let’s dive in.
1. Avoid danger at all times
Always consider your safety when out on a hunt. If you feel the hunt is not safe, stop then regroup!
If you ever at any point do not feel safe looking for a cache you should immediately stop. No cache is worth risking your safety.
Muggles, wildlife, risky areas are all good reasons to quit the hunt. Above all else, your safety is the most important factor when it comes to geocaching. Suspicious areas should be avoided along with suspicious people.
Be aware of your surroundings at all times. This tip alone will keep you safe. Always be on alert, no matter how safe you might think a location is. Anything could happen while out on a hunt.
2. Obey the law
What does this mean exactly when pertaining to geocaching? Trespassing.
The GPS on your phone is accurate up to around 15 yards – give or take. Once you factor in trees, these numbers become even more unpredictable. With that being said, be aware of where you are looking. You might be in an area where you don’t belong.
People hiding caches are not going to put them in places that you are unable to access. Keep this in mind when you are unsure of where a cache might be. It definitely won’t be where you don’t have access to.
3. Respect property
Coming off the previous code, you should respect property at all times. Whether it is public or private land.
Sometimes parks blend in with private property. Be mindful of where you are hunting and try to keep your volume down if you are walking the fine line between public and private land.
This is especially true for parks and people’s backyards.
Again, be mindful of your surroundings. Avoid holding up others so you can look for a cache. Considering a cache could be hidden anywhere, you might be in the way of someone trying to go about their day.
Respect the property you are on and try to be as unnoticeable as possible.
4. Do not draw attention
Being unnoticeable should be your goal. You do not want to draw attention to yourself and equally important the cache.
You may not be approached while discovering a geocache. Once you leave, who’s to say someone won’t come behind you and find the cache you just put back? Also, you do not know whether or not they’ll put back what they found.
Less attention means less likely a muggle will disturb a cache.
5. Minimize your impact on the environment
As tempting as it might be, avoid destroying the environment during your pursuits. This means do not cut down bushes to make it easily accessible to a cache. Or, breaking tree limbs to get closer to a cache.
Always clean up after yourself. Day long hunts will take a toll on you. Snacking while hunting is fine, but be sure to throw away any trash you bring along with you.
Try not to harm the environment you are exploring at all costs. You never know if you are disturbing the habitat of animals as you search deep into areas looking for your treasure.
6. Think of others
Consider where you are at all times. Are you blocking people in any type of way? Did you pull your car over to look for a cache, and while doing so another person can’t get past you?
Think of others while you are out there. Be mindful that muggles are everywhere. You have to consider whether or not you are being inconvenient to them.
On top of all this, also think about being seen while discovering a cache. You might be giving away a location for a muggle to come take the treasure.
7. Respect the game
You are playing the largest game of hide and seek – while in secret. You are part of an exclusive club that most people do not know exists. Clean up after yourself and respect others. These two will help you respect the game tremendously.
If you become someone who hides caches, sit down and think hard of where you are hiding the cache.
By doing so, you are giving players a challenge and still make it possible to find the geocache. If not, no one will find the cache and it takes the fun out of the game.
8. Leave the area cleaner than you found it
Always clean up after yourself. Plus, do everyone the favor of cleaning the area where you hunt. Pick up litter as you hunt.
Even a few pieces of trash makes a huge impact. If every player picked up a few pieces of trash then a major impact on public places would occur.
The problem is the average person would not think to pick up trash they find. You are not average, you are a treasure hunter.
Every time you pick up trash you make the play area just a little bit cleaner for the next hunter and the general population.
9. Always put your find back where you found it
This is highly important. Always put back geocaches where you found it. Not only for other players, but for the person that has initially hidden the cache. If not, they are unable to maintain the cache.
Maybe they need to replace a log or add more trinkets for sharing, either way these people need to be able to find their cache.
Or, you could run the risk of making it easily visible for a muggle to come and take a cache.
10. Have fun
Besides safety, having fun is one of the most important aspects of geocaching. You should always be having fun while out on a hunt. If not, there’s no point in doing it.
You could find new ways to make the game fun, such as only hunting in certain areas. Try to keep the hobby fresh by adding limitations to your hunting.
Another way to keep having fun while geocaching is to invite friends. Share the hobby with others and you’ll keep having fun.
You could be the guide on hunts.
Also, don’t get frustrated when you can’t find a geocache. You never know whether a cache is actually still hidden. With that being said, if you can’t find what you are looking for, then move onto the next.
Frustration will ruin the fun of the hobby. Never let this happen.
Final Thoughts …
Hope those elements I’ve shared above have resonated with you! People who don’t respect geocaching code of conduct are those who usually give a bad impression about the hobby.
Finally, if you have any questions or not sure about something, just let me know!