When Should You Archive A Geocache?
Geocaches were never designed to be a permanent fixture in the landscape. Of course it’s fun to find a cache that’s been around for years (especially one that gets a lot of traffic!) but at some point you need to think about archiving it.
And archiving doesn’t JUST mean archiving it on Geocaching.com – you also need to go pick up the cache container and deal with it!
Here are three ways you know it’s time to archive a cache:
1. The only container that will fit there is also prone to damage.
I have a great pill-bottle cache. It’s the ONLY size container that will fit in this spot. But it leaks! It’s fine February – June when we get little rain, but come monsoons… The cache turns into a soggy mess. It’s time to either pony up for an expensive cache container or archive the geocache.
2. You no longer are living in the area.
I got special permission by the developer of my subdivision to place a geocache in the nearby park. But now that I’m moving to the other side of town, I’ll be archiving the cache and removing it. Sure I COULD ask another close-by geocacher to adopt it but the developer gave ME permission and only me.
3. You’re tired of maintaining it.
There was a series of three caches a friend placed for me – and then made ME take care of them. One of them was ALWAYS getting muggled. And I just got tired of dealing with it. So after the last time it was stolen, I just archived it and called it good!
Geocaches really aren’t meant to survive forever. It’s okay to decide they’ve had their day and it’s time to archive it.
As the cache owner, when do YOU archive a geocache?
May 5, 2015 @ 5:23 pm
I’ll archive a cache mainly when I get tired of it or, most likely, lack of visitation. I’ve had a few caches out for about 4 years and had maybe 10 visits. Do to their distance from home, and one was destroyed; one was stolen; one was replaced so as to be hard to retrieve, I just archived them. Of course, then there are those that get destroyed by a brush fire – I may/may not replace. Usually lack of visitation will be the deciding factor
As to your list, what gets under my skin are those cache owners that move a significant distance from the general area of their cache placements and they DO NOT maintain and/or archive their caches. That annoys me to no end. If you are not in the area no longer, please archive your caches, OR see if someone will adopt them.
November 8, 2016 @ 7:03 pm
This is amazing advice. I completely agree. In the last 2 years since your post things have gotten worse. Most caches, especially in dense cache areas are hidden with no intention of maintaining those caches. And very few people care. A abandoned mess of a cache is as good as a well-maintained cache because the bottom line is we get a smiley and our find count goes up a point. It’s nice to read that at least 2 cachers in the world feel archival is the responsible thing to do. “Geocaches really aren’t meant to survive forever. It’s okay to decide they’ve had their day and it’s time to archive it.”
As a cache owner your list of criteria matches mine. Especially, #3. When I’m tired of maintaining a cache, it’s time to retrieve it and archive it. That usually happens between 3-5 years.