New caches are the way the sport of Geocaching grows and stays Interesting and exciting . Most cachers succumb to the lure of having a cache with their name on it, this is good for all if done correctly.
What to hide
One of the first things to consider is ‘what should I hide’. Many caches live for years, a good cache container needs is weatherproof. ‘ammo can’ is probably the most weatherproof container but they are large and not right for all caches and are no allowed in some parks. For smaller caches some plastic containers are popular and easy to find, one brand used by many is “Lock-n-Lock”. The characteristics that make these popular that they are watertight and relatively low-cost and come in many sizes. Thin lightweight plastics like Glad Ware do not seal tight enough to keep out the weather, especially the freezes of winter, they become quite brittle and do not stand up to lots of handling when cold. I have seen some of them that showed evidence on small rodents chewing on them.
Other popular containers are Peanut Butter Jars, and similar plastic containers. But make sure that they are clean so as not to attract wildlife foraging for food. In addition to that, don not leave anything in a cache that has an aroma that may attract wildlife, no candy, jerky or even hand or suntan lotion.
Where to hide it
The next to consider is ‘where to hide’. Cache difficulty ranges from. Easy to Hard. Easy hides are obvious to cachers but not to the public, known to the caching community as muggles. Hollow tree stumps or fallen trees make great hiding locations, but some of them could be home for animals or nasty insects.
How to hide
Closely allied with What is ‘Where To Hide’ is How to hide. Keeping with the idea of keeping the cache out of sight, hiding a cache in a natural or semi-natural occurring piece of camouflage is ideal. Keep in mind that in urban and suburban settings Landscapers will be raking or blowing leaves and pruning bushes a couple of times a year. In settings like this under stone cairns sometimes work but it should be something the Landscapers would leave untouched.
How to list it
Now that it is hidden, and if you have a willing experienced ‘Beta Tester’ that will find it, and give you feedback, can you send it to the reviewer. This tester should not log a find until it is published and other cachers have made a FTF and even 2ndTF. For your next hide use a different tester so the first one has a chance for a FTF. Be sure that tester finds the cache at the coördinates you think you placed it at. I find that the best way to do that is to fill out the cache listing form, being sure that the ‘Yes, this listing is active’ is NOT checked. Then print out the cache information and use that to find the new cache. Make sure that the cache placement on Google Maps (Satellite View) looks right. On a couple of my early hides I forgot this step and found that I had transposed digits when I moved them from my GPS to the computer and one cache was about 60 miles away. Another time I was looking for an FTF on a very cold and rainy day, The Cache Owners emailed me later to say that his listing was over 6,000′ in error – the same kind of mistake.
Ok now that it you have placed and tested, and not before can the listing be submitted for approval. This is important, is MUST hidden before it is approved! Remember that FTF finds are what some cachers live for and that one (or more) could be within 5-minutes of your cache and eager for a find no matter what time of day or night or the weather.
What to do next
Now is the time to go back online and check the “This Cache is Active” box, this submits the listing to the reviewer. Sit back and wait. If he/she hs any questions or concerns you will get email, If this happens, fix it and submit it again. Otherwise just wait for Found logs to come pouring in. They can be almost immediately, or if you have a particularly challenging cache it may take a few days for the first find. I have been FTF on two caches that were over 2 weeks old. They were not especially difficult, just a challenge to get to, over 3 mile kayak paddle.