Don’t be afraid to reach out to a cache owner.

When and how to reach out to a CO and how it benefits the greater geocaching community. 

Many years ago when I was training as an engineer, it was commonplace to see technical drawings stamped ‘If In Doubt Ask!‘. Most seasoned cachers believe in this adage and will message Cache Owners (CO’s) for advice and guidance when stuck on a puzzle or at a particularly evil cache hide. CO’s are usually very willing to provide a “nudge” and it isn’t uncommon for them to be so eager to help that they will jump in their car and race out to meet a cacher in distress!

To contact the CO, go to the top of the caching page for that GC number and click “message this owner”. The Message Center page will open automatically and will start your message by showing the Title and GC number for that cache. Don’t forget to scroll down to the bottom of the page and hit the “Submit” button after you type your message.

A slightly different approach is required for Adventure Labs (AL’s) as you will need to identify the CO from the opening page of the Adventure in the app on your smart phone. Type that name in the Message Center at the top of the page in the box marked “To: username”. A dropdown list will appear listing all registered caching names containing the one you typed – make sure that you select the correct one! You will need to reference the Adventure title when you make your request.

Recently Geocaching HQ has added the ability to report Adventure Lab stages indicating “Can’t complete stage” and asking you to select a possible reason and to optionally provide your email address. While this will provide some feedback, it is strongly recommended that you reach out to the CO first via the Message Center as described above. If there is no response (which will be a rare occurrence) then it would certainly be appropriate to make the report via the phone app.

Up until recently, AL’s have been self-administered and the last thing we want now is to increase the workload of our incredible volunteer reviewers. Please communicate with the CO on your concerns and let’s try to benefit the whole geocaching community. Have fun and attend events whenever you can to build relationships with your fellow cachers.

Leave a Reply