How Do I…? 11 Useful Navigation Tips For

Below are some answers to How Do I…? questions that I have seen asked several times on various geocaching social media pages. Note that any questions marked with * are premium member only features.

1. How do I… get notifications of new caches?*

On the right-hand sidebar of your geocaching home page, scroll to premium features and click on set up notifications.

instant notifications

Choose a name for your notification. If you’re planning on setting up notifications for more than one area, you might want to name it like ‘Dublin – Traditional’. Choose your cache type. Note that if you want notifications for each cache type, you need to set up a separate notification for each type. Enter the coordinates you want to use as the basis for your search. You can ignore the postal code search if you’re outside the US as it won’t work!

FTF log -

Set up your distance, also known as, how far you’re willing to go in the name of an FTF! The email address you have listed on your settings on will automatically appear and you have the option to send to more than one email address. This is handy if your family member/friend doesn’t have a premium membership.

Finally, check the box to enable notifications and click on Create Notification. The nice thing about this is, you can set up notifications for an area you visit say, once or twice a year, and just disable them when you’re back home.

2. How do I… prevent someone from grabbing my personal geocoins/trackables?

If you have a trackable stamp or sticker, or tattoo, or dog…. basically something trackable that you don’t want anybody to ‘grab’ from you, then you have the option to make the trackable discoverable only.

move to collection collage

The first thing you need to do is make your trackable collectible. Click on Edit This Trackable. Under the drop down menu for State/Province, there is a check box for Make this Trackable collectible. Once you choose this, a new item will appear under ActionsMove to Collection. Once you have moved a trackable to your collection, the option for people to grab it from you will no longer appear when they search for the trackable code.

3. How do I… put a cache up for adoption?

In order to place a cache up for adoption, visit and enter the GC code of the cache you want to adopt out. You can also place a trackable for adoption here, by using the public trackable code (TBXXX).

adopt out

Once you enter the GC code, the next page will request the geocacher’s name you want to adopt the cache and there will also be space to write a message, if you need to (this is not a required field).

adopt out 2

Once you have sent the adoption request, you will receive an email confirming it has been sent. When the person has accepted your request, you will receive another confirmation email.

adopt out collage

4. How do I… adopt a cache?

Firstly, you can only adopt a cache with the permission of the current cache owner. If a cache owner is inactive and is not responding to your emails or to needs maintenance/archived logs, then you won’t be able to adopt the cache. If the location deserves a cache, you can always set up a new one when the unmaintained cache gets archived (provided it wasn’t a cache that was grandfathered in, like a virtual or webcam).

If the cache owner initiates the adoption process, you will receive an email notification like this:

adoption request

All you need to do is click on Accept this adoption request. The cache will appear in your list of owned geocaches. If you want to acknowledge both the original owner and the fact that you adopted it, you can change the Placed By field when in edit mode, to something like this:

adoption name

 5. How do I… edit my log?

There are many reasons you might want to edit your log: typos, forgotten anecdotes, the wrong date, or even the wrong log type: you wrote a note instead of a found it!

Go to the log in question and click on View / Edit Log / Image. When your log appears, click on the pencil icon to go in to edit mode.

date change collage

You will then be in edit mode, as if you are logging the cache for the first time, so you can change the type of log or the date, the text or any trackable visits.

date change

6. How do I… create a bookmark list? 

Bookmark lists are a handy tool that can be used to collate caches for a variety of reasons. For example, I have a bookmark list of my FTFs and also a bookmark list of puzzles I have solved but not yet found. I also create bookmark lists if I’m planning a trip, so I can gather together caches I want to target. You can create pocket queries from bookmark lists too.

On your profile, the first item on your Quick View is Lists. This is where you can view the list of caches you have favourited, your watchlist and also your bookmark lists.

bookmark list collage.jpg

Click on Create New Bookmark List. Choose a name for your list and write a description if you so wish. If you want to keep the list for your eyes only, don’t tick any of the options. To make the list readable and searchable by others, you need to tick both boxes to share the list with others and also to make the list public. Clicking on the notify me box will add each item on the list to your watchlist.

bookmark list 2

To add caches to your newly created bookmark list, you have two options. When you’re on a specific cache page, you can click on Bookmark underneath Log your visit and then choose which list you want to add it to before clicking on Create Bookmark.

bookmark list collage 2

Alternatively, when you use the search function, there are check boxes beside each cache that appears. You can click on these individually and add them to a list, or select them all and add them.

bookmark list collage 3

7. How do I… log a premium member only cache as a basic member?

Groundspeak have left ‘back doors’ open for non-premium members to log premium member only (PMO) caches. This is useful if you cache with your family, as there is little need to buy premium memberships for children, or indeed adults, who are uninterested in the other great features of premium membership.

There are a number of ways you can log a premium member only cache as a basic member. The premium member can open the post a new log page and then log out. If the basic member then logs in, without closing the window, the same post a new log page will appear and they can go ahead and log it.

Alternatively, the premium member can copy the URL in the address bar for the cache when on the post a new log page, and then send it to the basic member (via email, for example). Once the basic member pastes the URL in to their address bar, the post a new log page will appear and they can log their find.

Finally, armed with the GC code for the PMO cache you want to log, you can go to This is where Geocaching Quick Links is located. You can enter the GC code and click on Log and you get to the post a new log page. If you enter the GC code and click on Go To, you will be told that it’s a PMO cache and you can’t view it, but you’ll be able to log it if you just click Log from there instead.


8. How do I… mark one of my trackables as missing? 

It’s a sad fact that travel bugs and geocoins go missing. If the cache your trackable was placed in went missing, or it just hasn’t been seen in the cache it should be in for a long time, you might want to think about marking it as missing (unless the cache owner has already done so). If the trackable shows up after it’s been marked as missing, it’s still possible to ‘grab it’.

You can mark your trackable as missing by choosing Mark Item Missing in the Actions drop down menu on the trackable page.

mark as missing

 9. How do I… access the field notes from my GPSr?

If you are caching with a smartphone, a lot of apps will allow you to save your logs offline for later, which is useful if you’re finding a lot of caches and want to make a note of which ones you’ve found and in which order.

A very handy feature on most GPSr devices is to save field notes and upload them later to I find this very useful on a big numbers day, and also when I’m on a longer holiday when I want to wait until I get home to write up my logs.

I am using my Garmin Oregon 600 as an example but you can do this with most GPSr devices that support geocaching (my previous eTrex 10 also has this function). When navigating to a specific cache on your GPSr, click on Log and then choose between Found, Did Not Find, etc. You have the option to enter a comment too. I find this helpful if I want to remember to give a favourite point or to mention that the log is wet, and so on.
field notes collage

When you’re back home, plug your device in to your computer. On the right-hand sidebar on your profile, you will see the Field Notes section. Click on Access Your Field Notes and then Upload my Field Notes. From your GPSr folder, choose the file named geocache_vists.txt

field notes collage 2

Once successfully uploaded, the number of records found will be displayed. Click on it to access your list. Once you log each of the caches on the list, they will disappear. If you can only log some and leave others for later, you will see a reminder that there are field notes pending on your profile page, which will stay there until you log them all, or delete them from the field notes list.

10. How do I… find out what events are coming up in my area?

There is a quick link on the search home page to Find nearby events. This returns all events based on where you are logged in from. You can then sort by distance to show the closest to you.

An alternative way of searching for events near to home and not just in the entire country, is to use the advanced search. Use your home location as the base for the search, then Add Filters. Deselect all cache types and reselect events. This will return all event cache types.

event search collage

Note: Basic and premium members can filter searches by cache type but most of the advanced filters are available to premium members only.

11. How do I… remove a cache from my map that I never plan on finding?*

This is what the ignore button is for! Maybe there is a challenge cache you don’t (and possibly will never) qualify for, or you have no interest in ever attempting a tree-climb cache. Well, you can remove such caches from your search map by using the ignore button.

Clicking on the ignore button for the first time and confirming you want to ignore it, will automatically create an Ignore List bookmark list, so you can keep track of all the caches on your ignore list.

ignore collage

If you decide that you no longer want to ignore a cache, just click the Ignore button once again and you will be able to ‘restore’ it.

If there’s anything else you were wondering how you can do, let me know in the comments and I’ll be glad to help.

Happy caching!


© 2016 | Sarah Murphy | All Rights Reserved


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