#1 – WAIT
Though an official statement does not exist, it is generally recommended that a cacher find at least 100 caches before he/she attempts to hide a geocache. Spending time finding geocaches gives a cacher the opportunity to see many different ways in which a cache can be hidden. It exposes a cacher to lots of different kinds of containers, too.
If you’re new to caching, I know how you feel: you are so excited about your new hobby and you have a great idea for a cache. Wait. Trust me, and find 100 caches first.
UPDATE: Find a geocacher with more experience and talk to him/her about your cache idea. He may have some tips or tricks to share.
#2 – RESEARCH
While there are options when it comes to websites that list geocaches, most cachers use geocaching.com. Familiarize yourself with the guidelines for hiding a geocache (yes, there are rules). Also, research the geocaching.com map to see the various kinds of caches in your area and where they are located.
#3 – LOCATION
Geocaches cannot be hidden within .10 miles of another geocache. With regulations from the Dept. of Homeland Security regarding areas surrounding bridges, ports, trains, and other transportation avenues, there are more location rules than you would imagine. Though it isn’t required, think about safety. If your cache requires special equipment (climbing, scuba, etc.), let cachers know about that in the description.
#4 – GEOCACHE TYPE
Consider which type of geocache is appropriate to hide in that location. Should your location house a traditional cache? Perhaps your location has an interesting geological feature that yields itself to an earthcache. Maybe your location isn’t ideal for hiding a container, BUT cachers can gather clues at that site and use those clues to find the cache hidden a bit farther away. Or maybe your location is perfect for sitting down for a minute and stamping a letterbox.
#5 – CONTAINER
Consider the kind of container that will work best for the location. Is there room for an ammo can? Perhaps the location is just bus stop shelter, and a nano will be perfect.
#6 – WAYPOINTS
It is helpful to provide coordinates for nearby parking area(s) or restrooms.
#7 – TERRAIN
Be honest about the terrain that has to be covered to get to your cache. Is a long hike involved? Is the path paved or rough? Is tree climbing involved? Is it wheelchair accessible?
#8 – DIFFICULTY
Is your cache “evil?” Is it a “rock” in a sea of rocks? Is the camo identical to a sweet gum ball? Is it a nanocache? Be as evil as you want to be, but reflect the magnitude of evil in the difficulty rating.
#9 – ATTRIBUTES
Is your cache kid-friendly? Is it a night-cache? Is it available at all hours or only during daylight hours? Is your cache hidden on church property? If so, mention in your description that cachers need to be respectful of church meeting times and avoid finding that one when the church is meeting. Selecting the appropriate cache attributes is very helpful.
#10 – COORDINATES
Do your best to get accurate coordinates. Take several coordinate samples. Use Google maps to check the location. Make adjustments, if necessary. The closer your coordinates are to the cache location, the more your local cachers will appreciate your caches.