View Full Version : Replace anothers cache

03-26-2010, 06:24 PM
I have noticed that a local cache has gone missing. The cache is GCGFQ5. The owner has not logged on since 2006, so this cache has a very high probability of being archived. This is a very early cache (2003) and my first cache ever found. I would like to see it keep going. I visited the cache today and it is indeed missing. Are there any suggestions on how to keep the cache alive. I am willing to take this cache over and maintain it, but do not know how to go about doing this.

03-26-2010, 08:07 PM
You are going to find that there are two schools of thought about this. I'll try to fill in a few holes. The easiest way to continue the cache is to simply replace the container and put the cache on your watch list. That way you can monitor the cache just like one of your own, It just won't be listed as placed by you. If it's a cool location or a cache you feel strongly about, this is a quick fix. rules don't provide an adoption process for abandoned caches. Adoptions usually take place when someone is moving and makes the trade before they go. Another way to handle this is to notify Maine Publisher that the cache is missing and possibly abandoned. I may be a little off, but I think he tries to notify the owner and after a certain amount of time, archives the cache. You can then place a new cache in that location. I did this last fall in Benton. It was the site of my first DNF. After I noticed that it was on Brdad's list of archived caches, I went out and planted a new one. I also found the old container and emailed the owner, who graciously allowed me to re-use it in a new cache. They have been too busy to cache lately and I think liked the idea.

I may be a little off on some of these points, If I am someone please clarify! :D:D:D Good luck and Happy Caching!!!

03-26-2010, 11:39 PM
I have adopted three caches where the owners had not been on for years. When I sent them an e-mail they responded right away.

In some rare situations, a geocache is no longer able to be maintained by the owner. A geocache adoption can be processed using the Geocaching Adoption Service without intervention from Groundspeak.
Steps for transferring ownership of a geocache:
The current cache owner logs in and visits: (
Enter the waypoint (GCXXX) and click 'Lookup.'
Enter the username of the new owner and click 'Go.'
Click on 'Send Adoption Request.'
The new cache owner will receive an email. They should log in to the site and follow the adoption instructions provided.
If the original geocache owner is inactive on our site and/or will not use the Geocaching Adoption Service, the interested new party must ask the original cache owner to give Groundspeak written permission. The owner should inform us at ( from their Geocaching email account that this cache can be adopted to the new party with their permission. If the cache owner is unresponsive and the cache needs attention, you may write a Needs Maintenance log or a Needs Archived log to the cache page, as appropriate.
Groundspeak will not process a geocache transfer without written permission from the geocache owner. Individual geocaches are owned by the person(s) who physically placed the geocache and/or submitted the geocache listing to
Grandfathered cache types cannot be transferred to a new owner. Neither the adoption tool on the website nor Groundspeak will be able to make the transfer for Virtual, Webcam or Locationless caches. Archived caches cannot be transferred, either.
Many thanks to Volunteer Cache Reviewer Keystone for initially writing this article.

03-27-2010, 12:10 AM
I adopted one cache where the owner hadn't done any maintenance in a while, and he was not responding to e-mails. I contacted the reviewer at the time (GPSfun) and was allowed to adopt the cache. I don't remember all the details that went into the adoption process, as it was back in 2003, although I doubt I'd be able to adopt a cache the same way again.

03-27-2010, 07:40 AM
Great job Ekidokai! That is the current adotpiong process. Caches are the property of the cache containers and web page are the responsibility of the cache owner. Groundspeak cannot give what it does not own.

Groundspeak does archive listings that do not meet the guidelines, such as the maintenance guideline. "In the event that a cache is not being properly maintained, or has been temporarily disabled for an extended period of time, we may archive the listing."

The two most common ways to "take over" a cache is through the adoption link or to place a new cache after the first cache is archived.

The adoption process can be very fast if you can contact the cache owner. Posting a note on the cache page can be a good way to get the cache owner's attention.

Waiting for the cache to be archived can take time. Unless an obvious legal issue is present, Groundspeak gives the cache owner ample opportunity to work out guideline issues.

03-27-2010, 02:52 PM
I was going to attempt to email the cache owner, but instead of an email address it states "The "send message" feature is disabled because this email address has not been validated by the user." The last login from this user was in 2006, so there is a good chance that something happened to them.

So It looks like my options are to place a cache in the same spot, and maintain it as mine. Or to let the cache be archived, then place a cache in the same spot. I would rather have this cache not archived so it will keep the date placed.

I am thinking that the easiest thing is to do what FIN said and just replace the cache for the owner, that way the date of placement and the name stay the same.

03-29-2010, 09:18 PM
Personally, I'd rather see the cache archived. Obviously if the cache owner hasn't been online for 4 years, since 2010, they are either not Geocaching anymore, in prison, or deceased. Or they just don't care. I have run into a lot of caches that the cache owner just doesn't care and will ignore any contact you attempt with them. I usually try to get the cache archived in that case by the local reviewer. Cachers who place caches need to realize that placing and owning a cache is a responsibility. I realize that it would be nice to keep a cache's date of placement especially when it is such an old cache, but .... when it comes down to it.... does it really matter? If it is such a great location, archive the cache and let someone place a new hide there to maintain under their name!

03-29-2010, 10:43 PM
I placed a new container here the other day. But today I realize that this was prob not the right thing to do. Like said above the cache owner does not care, why should I. Now I have to maintain that cache for a while or remove the new container. If I do not, then I am just placing trash in the woods. This leaves a bad image for non geocachers that stumble upon neglected caches. The location is not spectacular. The only real thing that made me want to keep this cache alive was that it is the first cache that I had found.

This brings up a question. When the cache is archived, does anyone go out and gather the now trash. Or is this up to the deadbeat cacheowner who obviously will not go out and gather the trash. If you find a badly neglected cache, to the point where you consider it a bunch of trash. Is it right to CITO the cache then contact the cache owner and offer to give the contents back?

03-30-2010, 05:34 AM
This brings up a question. When the cache is archived, does anyone go out and gather the now trash. Or is this up to the deadbeat cacheowner who obviously will not go out and gather the trash. If you find a badly neglected cache, to the point where you consider it a bunch of trash. Is it right to CITO the cache then contact the cache owner and offer to give the contents back?

In a perfect world, the cache owner would check the cache site out and remove any trash before or soon after he archived the cache personally. Unfortunately, this will never happen with deadbeat cache owners and sometimes does not even happen with active cache owners. Sometimes it's because they don't care, and other times it's because the cache has been moved to the point they didn't see any remnants to trash out.

I think if you come across a cache that is trashed, it is good practice to trash it out and report in your log what you have in your possession (pictures are great), and if you want to be nice, offer to return anything left that is usable to the cache owner. I did just that at Bear's Den ( (GCKFM5) by Trailmasters II 2004 ( (2/2.5).

I used to manage a section of this website called Cache Rescue. The goal was to have cachers verify that archived caches had been removed so there was no geotrash. Sometimes this meant just verifying it with the cache owner, other times it meant visiting the cache site. I gave it up due to lack of interest and way too many caches being archived to follow. So I m guessing there is a fair amount of geotrash out there now. :confused: So if you get the chance, trash out these caches!

Regarding whether to be nice and replace a cache placed by a deadbeat cacher depends on what the cache is worth to you. I have repaired a few, I have left even more to be archived.

03-30-2010, 10:32 PM
I have found active caches, so badly damaged (flattened film cannister) that I replaced the whole thing! Film cannister and log.

03-30-2010, 11:05 PM
After I made my above post, I looked at the cache listing and noticed that HikenFish had replaced the cache. Even though I wouldn't have done so, and would have done my best to get it archived, I admire that integrity. I just talked to another cacher, whom I have never met but who's local cache has gone missing due to the fact that the object that the cache was located on, is gone now! ha ha Anyhow, he disabled it and I told him that I would visit the spot and make a judgement call on placing a replacement cache for him. Now THAT is how caching is. He is a cache owner who is not in the area to maintain the cache BUT he disabled it and asked for my input on the situation.