The Cache Listing Requirements / Guidelines have been updated today. Please take a moment and look at them before submitting your next cache. To make it a bit easier to see what has changed, I'll point out the major changes below.
- Additional Logging Requirements are no longer be allowed. The following text has been stricken from the Guidelines:
Caches with mandatory requirements in addition to signing the logbook should be listed as mystery caches. Examples include sending the cache owner a verification codeword found inside the logbook, performing some task at the cache location and taking a photograph, or writing the online log in a format or with content that satisfies the cache requirements. The mystery cache designation assists finders in identifying that something extra is required in order to log a find.
- Also stricken from the guidelines:
Caches that require the geocacher to do something beyond finding the container and signing the logbook generally do not qualify as traditional caches.
- A section called Logging of All Physical Caches has been added to the guidelines.
If it is appropriate for your cache location or theme, you may ask the cache seeker to accomplish an optional and simple task, either close to the cache site (normally within 0.1 miles or 161 meters) or when writing their online log. For example, wear the goofy hat inside the cache container and upload a photograph. Cache finders can choose whether or not to attempt or accomplish optional tasks. Cache owners may not delete the cache seeker's log based solely on optional tasks.
This guideline change applies immediately to all logs written from April 4, 2009 and going forward. Older caches with "additional logging requirements" (ALRs) are not grandfathered under the older guideline. If you own an existing cache with mandatory additional logging requirements, we request that you:
- Cease deleting logs based on additional logging requirements.
- Review your own cache listing to see if the ALR can be made into an optional and simple task, or whether it must be removed altogether.
- Adjust your geocache listing by editing the text then contact a reviewer to change the cache type, if appropriate.
A "simple" task is one that should generally take no more than 10 minutes to accomplish.
The wording of a cache page should not suggest that the task is anything other than optional.
The optional and simple task should respect other cache listing guidelines. For example, the optional tasks will not invite the seeker to enter a business, trespass on private property or engage in activities which might be perceived as promoting an agenda, etc.
Caches with an optional task retain the same type as they would without the optional task. If your cache was listed as "Mystery" solely because of the ALR, then, once you have changed the wording to remove the ALR altogether or change it into an optional simple task, please contact your reviewer to have the cache type changed to its "natural" value.
Code word verifications are included in this: they too are an ALR which should not prevent someone who signed the log from claiming that cache as Found.
EarthCaches, remaining virtuals and remaining webcam caches are not affected by this guideline change. They do not have a physical container. They will continue to require some form of verification.
Also, a Wherigo cache owner can continue to require a completion code.
We have made this change because, over time, the ALRs attached to a rapidly-growing number of caches have devolved to have little or nothing to do with geocaching: the act of finding a unique container/location using latitude and longitude. Many ALRs now only distort the spirit of the game. We regret that a few really cool ideas may be lost as a result, and we apologize to the cache owners concerned. Groundspeak has decided that the number of ALRs which approached and even reached the absurd had grown large enough.
4. The following section about Challenges has been added to the Mystery/ Puzzle section:
Thank you very much for taking the time to be aware of these changes.
(edited to specify a Wherigo detail)