Geocaching HQ encourages geocachers to find at least 20 geocaches before setting out to hide their own geocache. The greater variety of geocaches that someone finds, the better they will understand how to create an enjoyable experience for other geocachers.

Find additional guidance about hiding caches in the Geocaching Help Center.

For publication, geocaches must follow the Geocaching Guidelines.

For caches placed in Taiwan the items listed below also apply.

Please note that the guidelines and this listing would be revised from time to time. Please check back regularly for updates. (Recent updated: 2022-08-31)

General information

When will my Geocache be published?

Your reviewer strive to begin review of geocaches within 7 days of the date that you submit your cache. Typically, it is much sooner. But reviews may take longer in the week before or after holidays and large geocaching events.

Include a complete Reviewer Note about your geocache

When submitting your cache, please provide all the details of your cache in a Reviewer Note. In your private response to me, please describe your cache container in detail, as well as how and where your cache is hidden and how a visiting geocacher finds and retrieves the cache. If your cache is attached to anything, please describe the attachment method. Be specific about how the cache is hidden and what the container is. And please do not say something like "The same as the rest". Each cache page needs it's own description.

Some examples: pill bottle in a hole in the tree in 'Name of City park', hide-a-key on guardrail on 'Name of Road', in water, retrieved by pulling up line from Name of Park fishing pier, a keyholder magnetically attached to a lamp post in commercial parking lot.

Please be specific about what the container is and the size. Just saying a "plastic container" or a 'Metal box" is incomplete. Is it a tupperware container, a film canister, a camoed pill bottle on guard rail, a 5 gallon bucket, or a pipe resembling a stick of dynamite? I want to know in case there is some question in the future by Law Enforcement or a property owner.

If you need to include a picture, please upload the image to a Reviewer Note. When the cache is publishes, the image will be archived and not visible to the public.

Caches need to be maintained / Maintenance Plan

Geocache owners must visit their caches to maintain them. Log books fill up, cache contents get wet, or the cache can disappear. If you live far away from your cache, timely maintenance is impossible. It’s best to place physical caches in your usual caching area.

If you do place a geocache far from you, or at a remote area or high D/T area, you must have a maintenance plan.

Please indicate your "Maintenance Plan" in a reviewer note. Your maintenance plan must include these information:

  • How often will you visit the cache location?
  • If there’s any maintenance issues of your cache, how soon you could check for it and maintain if necessary?

If you have someone locally set up to watch over the cache for you. Please provide the name and contact information of your local maintainer. Written consent may be requested. Information in Reviewer Notes will auto-archive on publication and will not be available to other players.

Future Publication Requests

Cache pages that are requested to be Published on a specific date should be Submitted for Review at least 10 days in advance. (It may take longer time if a series/multiple caches are to be Published concurrently, please plan ahead and be patient, be sure to include the GC codes for ALL caches in the series along with each cache in a Reviewer Note.)

When you submit it for Review, include a Reviewer Note stating when you would like it published (date and general time of the day). I will try to accommodate your requests, but cannot make any guarantees. Please keep these requests to a minimum.

Contact Reviewer

If you need any assistance for a published cache, please send an email to reviewermelos@gmail.com. The email must include GCxxxxx code and name of the cache, and explain what kind of the assistance you need.

If you have questions for an unpublished cache, or just want to know if your idea/location is publishable, please:

  1. Create your cache page. It can be blank, except for the coordinates. This reserves your location.
  2. Post a reviewer note and explain which questions you have. In your reviewer note, please state that your cache is not in place. For example, “Do not publish, this is a coordinate check."
  3. Once the reviewer note is completed, please email me a link to the cache page (or the GCxxxxx code if you don't know how to email a link). DO NOT submit the cache page for review.
  4. I will respond by placing a reviewer note on the cache page, letting you know if it's good, if there are more questions, or if there are problems.

Cache Owner Responsibilities

Please note - YOU will be the one responsible for the maintenance and upkeep of your cache as outlined in the Guidelines. If you are not going to be able to regularly visit and maintain your cache as required then please do not submit these caches. Your prompt attention to any log that indicates things could be amiss will be greatly appreciated by all geocachers. The rule is: if you can't fix it straight away then "Disable" it until you can.

You, as the Cache Owner, may NOT ask “the community” to maintain caches on your behalf. In certain circumstances, you may designate other cachers to assist in maintaining. These other cachers must be active local cachers, local to the area where the cache is placed. However – you – as the cache owner - remain primarily responsible for all maintenance.

Maintain Your Cache

To keep the online cache page up-to-date, the cache owner must:

  • Monitor logs for reported problems.
  • Post an Owner Maintenance log after doing maintenance.
  • Update the cache page if conditions or coordinates change.
  • Disable a cache page when the cache is not available or you need time to fix reported problems. A cache page can stay disabled for a reasonable amount of time - generally up to four weeks.
  • Occasionally mark trackables as missing if they are not in the geocache.
  • Delete logs that appear to be false or inappropriate.

To keep the geocache in proper working order, the cache owner must:

  • Visit the geocache regularly.
  • Fix reported problems (such as replace full or wet logbook, replace broken or missing container).
  • Make sure the location is appropriate and change it if necessary.
  • Remove the geocache container and any physical stages within 60 days after the cache page is archived.

Cache owners who do not maintain their existing caches in a timely manner may temporarily or permanently lose the right to list new caches on Geocaching.com.

Health Score

To help improve the overall caching experience, Geocaching HQ created an algorithm to calculate a hidden Health Score for each geocache.

A low Health Score provides an indication that the cache may need attention from the owner.

The goal is to improve the overall geocaching experience and avoid frustrations due to missing or broken caches.

The algorithm isn't perfect; it cannot read and interpret the text within a cache page - however it does take the following aspects of a page into consideration:

  1. Did Not Find logs(DNF)
  2. Needs Maintenance logs (NM)
  3. Needs Archived logs (NA)
  4. Last find date
  5. Difficulty and terrain rating

(warning) If the Health Score of a cache is calculated below a dynamic threshold, an automatic alert email is sent to the cache owner by Geocaching HQ.

(warning) A Community Volunteer Reviewer may follow up to perform further actions on the cache page.

Neither Geocaching HQ or the Community Volunteer Reviewer can assess the true status of a cache; it is the responsibility of the cache owneras part of cache maintenance.

If there are a multiple DNFs logs on a cache - the community may not know if the cache is missing or is simply hard to find.

If a cache page has several posted DNFs - and the cache owner knows that the cache is in definitely in place - they should reassure the community by posting a Note log.

e.g. "There have been a few DNFs, however it is a clever hide! I checked on it this morning. Check the hint!"

(warning) If a Community Volunteer Reviewer does not see a posted response from a cache owner on their cache page after several DNF/Maintenance requests, it may be Disabled.

  • If a cache owner knows with certainty that their cache is in place and ready to be found, they may Enable the cache page, with an explanatory note.
  • If a cache owner is unable to definitively confirm the status of their cache, the cache page should remain Disabled and a Maintenance visit should be scheduled.

An Owner Maintenance log should only be posted after a maintenance visit has occurred.

Only when a cache is confirmed to be in place and ready to be found should a cache page be Enabled.

The number of "false positives" flagged with this process are minimal compared to the number of abandoned caches that this process will remove from the game.

Disabled Caches

If the cache owner intends to keep the cache in the game, they should:

  • At least monthly post ongoing status updates on the cache page using a Write Note log
  • Confirm when a maintenance visit has been completed using an Owner Maintenance log
  • Use the Enable option when it has been confirmed the cache is ready to be found

A Reviewer may Archive the cache if the cache owner has not posted an update within 14 days.

Requirements for Different Cache Types


A Multi-Cache can have physical or virtual stages. When you submit a multi-cache for Review, include a Reviewer Note stating the process of how your multi-cache could be completed.

Physical stages or Virtual stages?

  • A physical stage is a waypoint where the cache owner has placed an item, such as a container or a tag. A physical stage must be at least 528 feet (161 meters) away from the physical stages of other geocaches.

  • A virtual stage is a waypoint where the cache owner has not placed an item. Geocachers gather information at virtual stages to help them find or complete the cache. A virtual stage can be within 528 feet (161 meters) of other geocaches.

Puzzle/Mystery/Wherigo Caches

I need to know how your puzzle/mystery/Wherigo cache is solvable, please include this information in a Reviewer Note.
If a coordinate checker is used and a keyword is needed to solve the mystery cache, please include this information in a Reviewer Note.

"Where am I" Caches

Image puzzles where a location can only be determined by a photo on the cache page are not publishable.

As per the Guidelines, GPS usage is an essential element of hiding and seeking caches. If you wish to hide a “Where am I” cache, please either:

(tick) design a way that could let geocachers get the final coordinates. 

(tick) or provide clues that can be used to project the coordinates for the final. 

Also, there needs to be an additional information provided that allows players to determine the location (e.g. coordinates or the name of the park, etc). This is to make sure that the cache is solvable to all players, not just for those who are familiar with the area. 

Is my cache a Puzzle/Mystery cache or a Multi-Cache?

A simple test for a multi-cache is this: If you print out the cache page and take it to the starting location with your GPS on your trip, can you find the cache with that information? Then a Multi-cache would be appropriate. Multi-caches require a visit to the starting coordinates.

If you can't because you need information from elsewhere - such as other caches, the Internet or need a computer (including a phone app) to examine a photograph or file then it would need to be a Mystery cache. If there is any sort of puzzle to solve then it should be listed as a mystery.  Generally these cache types do not require visits to the posted coordinates, but some do.

Challenge Caches

(warning) Before submitting a Challenge Cache, please click here to read the article in the Geocaching Help Center.

The challenge requirements should be simple, and easy to explain, follow and document. A long list of rules or restrictions may prevent publication.

A challenge cache needs to appeal to and be attainable by a reasonable number of cachers. The Taiwan Reviewer consider the "reasonable number of cachers" to be 5 (in addition to the cache owner); qualifying cachers must reside within Taiwan. Please provide a name list of the geocachers who qualified in a Reviewer Note.

Challenge cache owners must demonstrate that there are plenty of qualifying caches to meet the challenge at the time of publication.

(warning) Please do not submit a challenge cache in an area where a very similar or identical challenge cache already exists. Challenge caches may need to be relocated if another Challenge cache is noted to be within 30km, as measured by Google Maps shortest driving route.

Challenge caches are sometimes difficult to review for publication due to the subjectivity involved. Meaning, one person’s opinion can differ from another’s, which can cause issues in the review process. One of the major goals of the 2016 guideline update for challenge caches was to reduce some of that subjectivity. However, we can’t completely remove subjectivity from the process. 

“Very similar” is subjective so that reviewers will be able to determine what is appropriate to publish for an area or not, based on existing nearby challenges. Please work with your reviewer to make sure your challenge cache complies with the local interpretation of the guidelines.

Event Caches

Events are social gatherings of geocachers and are not just an excuse to get a “smiley". Events that are requested in areas where there are no local geocachers or only geocachers that are with the CO's party, may be declined as private events to gain a new smiley.

Event Stacking (CITO also apply)

An event must be a minimum of 10 kilometers distance or 3 hours before or after another event. This is a regional rule to prevent event stacking. A registered series of events can also be rejected as unique events, even if the distance is over 10 km, if it is essentially the same group traveling from event to event. The intention of an event is to be central; a social gathering for and with geocachers.

Event Timing (CITO also apply)

Events as state are the social aspect of caching, and events that are deemed to be at unsocial hours for the local region and unlikely to attract other caching parties, may be disallowed.

CITO Event Caches

Cache In Trash Out® (CITO) events are a way for the geocaching community to take care of the natural areas we enjoy while geocaching. At CITO events, geocachers and community groups work together to improve parks and other outdoor environments. They clean up litter, plant trees, remove invasive species, build trails, and more.

Plan Ahead

Please indicate the disposal of collected trash in a reviewer note.

CITO events require certain level of cooperation and planning upfront. You are encouraged to approach municipality office and ask them for cooperation. They may help you to identify suitable area to clean & connect you with responsible land manager to agree on details like timing, tools and resources and disposal of collected trash.

Restricted Areas

This listing is not all-inclusive as some land managers may have instituted policies we are not yet aware of or may have amended their posted policies. If you have additional information, please send an email with your contact information to reviewermelos@gmail.com.

Military Areas

No geocaches allowed on or near all military areas.

Diplomatic Missions

No geocaches allowed on or near diplomatic mission property.

School Grounds and Proximity

Geocaches that are on or adjacent to school grounds or school property will not be permitted.

However, if you have a strong reason for placing a cache within the school grounds or on school property, you MUST express written permission on file from that school administrator. A statement of permission must be placed on the cache page, along with any restrictions for that location.

Playground Equipment

Playground equipment is off limits. DO NOT place your cache on the playground equipment. Geocaches should be placed a minimum of approximately 20 meters away (approximately) from any type of playground equipment. 

It is suggested that a picture from different viewing angles be sent along with a Note to Reviewer when submitting a geocache where playground equipment exists. All pictures sent to a reviewer will auto-archive on publication and will not be available to other players.

Don't damage property or nature

Sometimes your geocache may comply with the geocaching guidelines, but placed in a manner that geocachers searching for the cache could be causing damage from their searching activity. Some typical damage caused might be walking in landscape planting, moving rocks in a drainage area and not returning them as designed, moving retaining wall blocks and not returned them correctly, or scraping the ground bare while searching for a very difficult cache. We have seen this happen. If we believe your cache placement may result in damage to an area, we may ask you to relocate it. If damage to an area from searching for a cache already published is reported, the cache will be archived. No reason to give geocaching a bad name because of our searching activities.

As per the guidelines: "Do not place caches in a location that requires or encourages geocachers to damage, deface, or destroy public or private property, especially archaeological or historical sites."

Most common issues that prevent a cache from being published

Too Close to Another Cache

Geocaches and ANY physical stages of different geocaches must be at least 161 meters apart.

You should check your location first before placing a cache to see what is there. You can use the planning map which shows you caches on a map with a 161 meter red circle around them. You won't be able to see where hidden stages are (and the reviewers won't tell you!). You'll need to go and find those caches yourself.

Click here to read the article about the planning map in the Geocaching Help Center.

Too Far from Home Location

It’s best to place physical caches in your usual caching area, as large distances have historically caused maintenance issues.

Geocache owners must visit their caches to maintain them. If you live far away from your cache, timely maintenance is impossible. If you do place a geocache far from you, please indicate your "Maintenance Plan" in a reviewer note.

Commercial Content

Commercial caches are not allowed. This means you cannot mention a business by name however trivial or even a seemingly innocent mention such as, park next to Starbucks or the path starts at the 7-11 make reference to a business. Oblique references may also not be allowed. For example, "bus stop where I'm lovin' it" is clearly a reference to McDonald. Commercial requirements also apply to non-profit businesses as well.

For Event caches, it's okay to mention the event location in the cache page.

Click here to read more explanation of commercial guidelines in the Geocaching Help Center.


Cache pages perceived to promote an agenda or highlight a cause will not be published. Geocaching is a fun, family-friendly game, not a platform for promoting a cause. In geocaching, an agenda is content that highlights a cause, promotes a cache owner's personal opinion or hidden intention. Also, cache pages cannot require or encourage players to place more caches.

In short, a cache page cannot:

  • tells geocachers how to think or feel
  • ask geocachers to do something
  • raise awareness of a cause
  • requires or encourages finders to place caches

Click here to read more explanation of agenda guidelines in the Geocaching Help Center.

No Precedent

Be aware that geocaching guidelines are subject to change. There is no precedent for placing geocaches. This means that the past publication of a similar geocache in and of itself is not a valid justification for the publication of a new geocache. If a geocache has been published and violates any guidelines listed, you are encouraged to report it. However, if the geocache was placed prior to the date when a guideline was issued or updated, the geocache is likely to be grandfathered and allowed to stand as is.

Taiwan Reviewers

About This Guide

The local laws and guidelines for geocaching placement vary from place to place. As community reviewers learn geocache placement policies for a certain location, they can add it here. This site may not be a complete or accurate list of land policies. These policies are made by the land owner or manager, they are neither the reviewer’s nor Geocaching HQ’s. This guide is just for reference, if no policies for the area you’re looking for are listed, that doesn't mean no policies exist. You must still obtain permission to place your geocache from the landowner or land manager,comply with all applicable laws, and follow the Geocaching Listing Requirements.

If you have an update, email the community reviewer(s) listed.

This work is licensed under a  Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.

 If you contribute to this wiki, you agree to provide permission to others under this license.

If you share information from this site, you must mention "These regional land policies came from the Geocaching.com Public Wiki and are licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-No-Derivatives 4.0 International License."

 And, you agree to keep content current by checking back regularly for updates.