When placing or seeking geocaches, I will:
Not endanger myself or others (examples)
Observe all laws & rules of the area
Respect property rights and seek permission
where appropriate (examples)
Avoid causing disruptions or public alarm
Minimize my and others' impact on the
Be considerate of others (examples)
Protect the integrity of the game pieces
Help Raise Awareness of the
(brochure, signature cards, etc.) are available on the
Creed is a voluntary set of guidelines that describes
how geocachers in general act. It is not affiliated
with any organization or listing site. See
the Creed was Developed
The Geocachers' Creed is designed to help orient new
players to the ethos of the geocaching community and to
guide experienced players in questionable situations, so
that everyone can enjoy geocaching!
Further Explanation: Following are examples of how to apply the Creed. These
are only examples and not part of the Creed - not every
contingency can be spelled out. If something is not
specifically listed in the examples, you should consider
the intent expressed in the main tenets in making a
...Not Endanger Myself or
...Observe All Laws and Rules of the Area
- Like any outdoor activity, geocaching involves
some inherent risk and many geocachers enjoy
manageable risks. Minimize inordinate risks.
- When creating a cache, describe any hidden
dangers and, if possible, arrange the hunt to
minimize these dangers.
- When seeking a cache, know your limitations and
be aware of your surroundings. Don't attempt
anything beyond your abilities.
- A cache you own, or one you're trading out of,
could be found by children or even a prisoner work
crew - consider the location of the cache and those
likely to find it when deciding what to leave as a
...Respect Property Rights and Seek Permission Where
- Donít break the law or rules of an area, or
encourage others to do so, when placing or seeking a
- Don't leave illegal items in a cache.
...Avoid Causing Disruptions or Public Alarm
- Check if permission is required before placing a
cache on private property, and respect the
- Check if public land has a geocaching policy and
respect existing policies.
- Promptly remove your cache if the land manager
or steward asks.
- Do not damage, or interfere with the function
of, buildings, structures, or signage.
...Minimize My and Others' Impact on the Environment
- Donít place a cache near schools or government
buildings unless the administration and staff are
fully aware of the placement.
- Use caution where children play. Parents are
understandably concerned when strangers are near
- Donít place a cache near critical infrastructure
that might be considered a terrorist target, or
create a cache that could be mistaken for a
terrorist device (e.g. a pipe bomb).
...Be Considerate of Others
Leave No Trace ethics whenever possible.
- When seeking a cache, practice "Lift, Look,
Replace" - put all stones or logs back where you
found them. Leave the area as you found it or better
(e.g. pick up litter).
- Obtain the best possible coordinates for your
cache to reduce unwarranted wear on the area.
Recheck and correct your coordinates if finders
report significant errors.
- Do not abandon a cache.
- If you stop maintaining a cache, remove the
container, archive its listing and explain the
disposition of the cache in your archive note,
or put it up for adoption or rescue.
- If you de-list a cache on one host, but keep
it on another, make sure you mention this in the
archive note to prevent rescues of active
...Protect the Integrity of the Game Pieces
- Treat other geocachers civilly - in the field,
in the forums, or wherever your paths may cross.
- Don't spoil the hunt for others - allow them to
experience the cache as its owner intended.
- Avoid leaving tracks to the cache. Do not
disrupt the cache area or mark the hiding spot.
- Minimize giving unsolicited clues that
reveal the cache (i.e. "spoilers").
- Don't provide any hints if the cache
description asks you not to. In all other cases,
be cryptic or encrypt any hints or spoilers you
enter in online logs.
- Edit your log if the cache owner requests
that you remove spoilers.
- Promptly alert the owner of any issues with
their cache. Make minor repairs if you can, it will
save the owner a trip.
- Cache owners appreciate feedback - write an
online log, send an email, or otherwise let the
owner know about your experience with their cache.
- Only place caches you can maintain and respond
promptly to problem reports.
- If you exchange trade items, trade kindly:
Consider what future finders would like and leave
something equal to or better than what you take.
- If you place a traveling item into the game,
attach a tag that describes its goal, so that others
can help it along. If you pick up a traveling item
with a tag describing its goal, move the item toward
its goal if possible. Contact the owner if you hold
a traveling item for more than a couple of weeks or
- Obtain permission from the originator before
copying unique themes and techniques, adding to an
existing series of caches, or placing a cache close
- The owner entrusts you to not damage or
jeopardize the cache. Try to ensure the cache is
ready for the next finder and is as good as or
better than you found it.
- Make sure the container is properly closed to
prevent the contents from getting wet or destroyed.
- Be inconspicuous in retrieving, signing in, and
replacing a cache to avoid vandalism.
- Put the cache back where you found it and hide
it well. Donít move a cache - if you suspect the
cache is not in the intended spot, hide it the best
you can and alert the owner as soon as possible.
- Donít collect traveling items meant to stay in
the game. This is tantamount to stealing.
- Donít tamper with or involve a game piece in
"alternate" games without the ownerís permission.
Last Update: May 1, 2005
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