View Full Version : What makes a good hide IMHO

06-24-2004, 08:26 AM
I've always wanted to post this, and I'm on a roll today, so here I go!

1. Location! A quality cache needs a good location, something to see which a person might not bother to stop at or not know about otherwise. It doesn't have to be a great view from a mountian, it can just be a nice section of woods getting there, or a nice park, or something historical or bizzare. make sure the area is not private property, and be carefull hiding caches near RR tracks or federal buildings or bridges - most often caches in these locations will not be approved.

2. Hide! A quality cache should be hidden well, but match it's rating. it should be hidden in a manner where a cacher could find it, but geomuggles probably would not aceessing the area from an angle from which they could spot it. otherwise, it is doomed to be plundered.

3. Variety! A quality cache need not be like every other one in your neighborhood. If the area is full of 1/1's, try hiding a harder one, or vise versa. If the area is full of traditional caches, hide a multi or an unknown (i. e. puzzle) cache.

4. Properly rated! An official unofficial rating system can be found at Live it! Love it! If people seem to be finding the cache easier or harder than you originally anticipated, adjust the ratings slightly on the cache page.

5. Good Coords! GPSrs are not as accurate as many think, And a cacher will most likely be testing your coords once, so it is up to the hider to be confident his/her coords are good. The best way to do this is to revisit the cache site different times on different days before submitting the cache and average any of those which the accuracy is decent. Come back using your averaged coords as if you were a cacher and see how close it takes you. I've had good success averaging about 5 times. If cachers continually note that the coords may be off, check them again and edit your cache page with the better coordinates!

6. Effort! Nothing is more impressive than a cache which shows some effort. Perhaps some historical or other info about the cache location, either on the cache page or in the cache. A container which is camo'd or otherwise cleverly made is an added bonus. Clear and consise directions are a plus. Meeting all or most of the other criteria in this post shows effort!

7. Good Container! Container should be decent and seal well. If it doesn't seal well, expect to have to maintain it more. I like ammo boxes - They seal real well, and there is little doubt whether it is closed tight or not. Obviously, there are places when ammo boxes will not work, so just choose your container thougthfully, especialy if it's in an area where water, ice, animals, or other dangers might be a factor

8. Right size container for the area! Not very often is there a need for a micro in the middle of a million acre forest nor is it safe to hide a .50 cal ammo box in a city alley. With a little forthought, it's not hard to hide a larger container well.

9. Good Contents! You don't need to spend a fortune on contents, but there is no need for broken or dangerous items. will not approve a cache if they know there are knives, lighters, matches, alcohol, adult material, or other dangerous materials inside. And - NO FOOD OR SCENTED items! Animals can smell soap, food, scented candles, air fresheners, and such and come after your cache. Even an ammo box might not be safe from a crafty racoon or a bear. Plus if any dampness gets in the cache, it can make it really smell nasty. Many people have allergies to the candles and air fresheners, and after being closed up in a cache can make them quite potent when opened.

10. Maintainence! Check your cache on a regular basis. Obviously, caches that are found more often or that are in an area where muggles could find it, need to be checked more often. Containers that are of lesser quality or that do not have a tight seal will need to be checked for dampness or mold. If anyone reports a bad condition or multiple DNFs, check on it! And don't hide one where you can't check on it in a timely manner! Don't expect other cachers to maintain it for you. It's very gracious of a finder to help a cache out, but the responsibility is with the cache hider, not the finder!

11. Disable where needed! If a cache turns up missing or otherwise compromised and you intend to replace or repair it, disable it and post a note as to why it's disabled and when you plan to replace it. You can re-enable it yourself without intervention from an approver. We don't need cachers digging up the countryside if a cache isn't there.

12. Archive when needed! If a cache is missing or you have retreived it, or are moving to a new place and will not be able to maintain a cache, and you have no plans to replace it or let someone adopt it, archive it! Event caches should be archived shortly after the event, when enough time has been given for visitors to log it (If someone is still late, they can still log an archived cache). If you arvhive your cache, you will need and approver to re-enable it if you do replace it, so do not archive if you plan to replace the cache soon.

13. Communication! Check your emails on a regular basis. Respond to emails concerning your caches. Send emails to finders if you have questions or just want to congratulate them - if your cache is their first, send an email wecoming them to the sport. Be friendly and fair if there is a disagreement. If you are not willing to do this, don't place a cache!

14. Before placing or submitting your cache, read the guidelines for placing a cache! These guidelines can be found at and if you don't read and place your cache according to these guidelines, your cache may not be approved and it will just make more work for the approvers and yourself. Be sure to re-read these guidelines before placing every cache as they change as our national security and other factors change.

That's my input, did I miss anything?

06-24-2004, 08:49 AM
I think you got it all down Brdad. I will have to remember not to put any more airfresheners in my caches,I didn't really think about that one. Thanks. But my ammo cans are pretty tight,and the airfresheners that I have been putting in my found caches ,well I'll have to come up with something different to put in them that's all. I hopefully will have a new signature item to put in my caches soon anyway. Good job Dad!!!!!! :D

Team Trout
06-24-2004, 07:15 PM
Nicely done. I agree to most of what you have written, but I think there are exceptions to most of your points.

1. The second part of this, about where not to hide, is always applicable, everywhere. I think the first part, about where to hide, still holds true in Maine and probably will for a long time to come, where we are blessed with a area with lots of natural beauty and interesting sites and a population density that is fairly sparse. But I have been to regions where that is not the case and folks have made some excellent caches that make for a rewarding geocaching experiencing in an otherwise uninteresting location. For those, the cache makes the site interesting, not the other way around.

2. Absolutely for most of Maine's caches, but not so for urban caches or micro caches where sometimes the best, most clever hiding spot might be right in plain sight.

3. A great idea, but one that is not followed by many, especially novice hiders. And is this really necessary for the casual geocacher, or is it just a pet-peave of us die-hard addicts?

4. 100% agree.

5. I agree that posted coordinates should be as accurate as possible, but come on, do you really expect folks to spend multiple days revisiting a cache to get different readings before they even submit the cache for approval? Who could wait that long?

6. I like the part about putting in effort, but sometimes having to figure the directions on how to get there is all part of the challenge.

7. Absolutely. There is no excuse for not doing this.

8. I think this one is a matter of taste, particularly on the small container issue. A micro in a huge forest, if rated properly with sufficient clues and good coordinates might be fun to do for some folks.

9. I totally agree here.

10. I agree maintenance should be done as needed. I personally don't have the time to be regularly checking on things. I tend to not do a maintenance check unless I have some reason to suspect there is a problem. I usually get these suspicions by reading all of the logs and responding to any issues I read about.

11, 12 & 13. These all about good communications and I agree completely. I love the idea about emailing a newbie and welcoming them to the sport!

14. Yep! I agree whole-heartly to this.

There, that's my 2 cents, for what its worth. I can't think of anything else to add to the list. So... I guess I'm done.

-Team Trout

06-24-2004, 07:44 PM
I agree with all you said, Team Trout -

I still think location can have an effect even in a big city. And the less the location, the more fun the cache should be in some other manner. And yes, a clever hide can make up for location. And, there is nothing wrong with a micro in the woods... but 10 micros in the same woods by the same hider can get tiresome (Hence, the variety section) And I think even in the woods, if you can hide it in plain site - all the better!

Putting in effort does not mean giging directions or parking coords - check my logs, I have a lot of fun doing stuff wrong! I just ask that a cache doesn't appear to have been thrown out the car window at 30 MPH.

And yes, I checked EVERY one of my caches coords multiple times. And still check them almost every time I go back to check on them. I don't expect everyone to follow this rule, and in an open area it may take less. The best hides are ones where you look for 20 minutes and are right on top of it.

Maintainence schedules will vary depending on logs and cache type.

Team Trout
06-24-2004, 07:58 PM
Thanks for reading my post, brdad and for responding to it! I love this forum already!

I think taking multiple readings is a given, but doing it again and again over a course of several days seems a bit excessive in my opinion. But if you have the time and the patience to that, than go for it I say. :D I just don't think it is realistic to expect everyone else to do it.

06-24-2004, 08:08 PM
Thanks for reading my post, brdad and for responding to it! I love this forum already!

Me too! It is going to be nice to be able to discuss local issues with peers.

06-24-2004, 08:14 PM
Woo Hoo !!! Does that mean I am a local peer? J/K :)

06-25-2004, 08:49 AM
Wow! All that and no typos??? :p

Anyway, couldn't agree more. Good post.

06-30-2004, 08:38 AM
for some examples that fit your description to a T, check out Doug26's caches.

04-12-2005, 02:24 AM
Since there are so many more newbies to the site (Possibly considering hiding caches soon), and I can't sleep tonight, I thought I might force my cache hiding values upon everyone and bump this topic back into existence. :D

So, scroll back to the first post and read on!

04-12-2005, 05:38 AM
Great Thread, Thumbs up!

08-17-2005, 07:30 PM
I agree, with every thing you said brdad. I would like to add that I'm a big believer of caches that take you somewhere. A 1/4 walk down a lousy trail to a cache covered with a couple sticks is no where as interesitng to me as a 1 mile trail to a #3 or 4 hide at a spot with a fabulous view, or a 5 minuet walk to a train with a #1 hide, HeHeHe.
When I plan a cache I try to make them "worth while" not easy.
I would like to propose a new listing on caches (CTTYS) Caches That Take You Somewhere. John

05-21-2006, 04:48 PM
I have often thought about these since we have wanted to place a cache.
I really want to place one where I can easily check on it and I dont want to just throw one out just to say I did.
I have scouted a couple spots and just recently placed a micro for the Dalmations series today and will see how this one goes.
I really enjoy doing this and will be placing a regular one soon with some TB and Coins I have logged over the last couple weeks.
If anything comes up with this I will certainly post here for help.

05-22-2006, 01:11 PM
I would like to add that I'm a big believer of caches that take you somewhere. A 1/4 walk down a lousy trail to a cache covered with a couple sticks is no where as interesitng to me as a 1 mile trail to a #3 or 4 hide at a spot with a fabulous view, or a 5 minuet walk to a train with a #1 hide, HeHeHe.

I would get bored if each cache I did took me on a hike down a nice trail. I do like those, especially if they lead me to a waterfall, but I like variation. I like going out to do a few caches in a day and having some take me for a hike, some show me a view, some challenge me, and I don't even mind if one is the dreaded"guard rail micro" LOL

I try to do different things with my caches. Some are easy park and grabs, some are so hard to find you might be there an hour(or more), and some are just meant to be fun. I think it all comes down to the fact that this hobby(sport?) has something for everyone and that is one of my favorite things about it.

Brdads' set of guidlines are something every newby should read before placing a cache.