Basic Information On Caching

Rules & Regulations

Location Specific Rules And Regulations

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Welcome to Caching !
Wisconsin Chapter "A" is setting off to establish a new pass-time for all GWRRA Wisconsin members to enjoy!

What is Caching ?
Caching  is a modern day spin off of a worldwide game of hiding and seeking treasure known as Geocaching. A Cacher (you) can place a Cache somewhere in Wisconsin , pinpoint its location using GPS technology and then share the Cache’s existence and location online. Anyone with a GPS unit can then try to locate the Cache.

What is the meaning of the word Geocaching?
The word Geocaching refers to GEO for geography, and to CACHING, the process of hiding a cache. A cache in computer terms is information usually stored in memory to make it faster to retrieve, but the term is also used in hiking/camping as a hiding place for concealing and preserving provisions. Coordinates are normally given in Latitude and Longitude.

With signals from four satellites, a GPS receiver can get a more accurate fix that includes altitude and the exact time, as well as latitude and longitude. The more satellite signals the receiver reads, the more accurate the position it reports to you.

How do I use a GPS unit for Caching ?
In order to go Caching , you will need to understand how to enter waypoints into your GPS device. If you have any questions, try the online forums. There is always someone ready to help.
All you need is a GPS and coordinates to a specific cache location. Seems pretty easy, it is deceptively easy. It is one thing to know where a location is shown on a map; it is another to actually try to arrive at that location. The object of Caching  is to first remember to respect the environment and practice Cache In Trash Out along the way. Also remember we will usually be hunting the caches by motorcycle, so all caches should be placed in easy to get to places, but out of sight from the general public. Places like rest areas, fast food parking lots, Visitor centers, meeting places, etc.

What are the rules in Caching ?

1.If you take something from the cache, leave something of equal or greater value. Usually nothing worth more than $1.00, items like a Chapter Rally pin or small mascot toys are perfect.
2.Write about your find in the cache logbook if one is provided at the find site.
3.Send your cache location to the Chapter Director and they will have them entered into a spreadsheet on the Chapter Web site so that other members can find them and continue the fun.

What is usually in a cache?
In its simplest form, a cache sometimes contains a logbook. The logbook contains information from the owner of the cache, notes from visitors and can contain much valuable, rewarding, and entertaining information. In smaller caches, a log-sheet may be used. Larger caches may contain a logbook and any number of more or less valuable items. These items turn the cache into a true treasure hunt. You never know what the owner or other visitors of the cache may have left there for you to enjoy. Remember, if you take something, it is only fair for you to leave something in return. It is recommended that items in a cache be individually packaged in a clear, zipped plastic bag to protect them from the elements.

What should not be placed in a cache?
People of all ages hide and seek caches, so think carefully before placing an item into a cache. Explosives, ammunition, knives, drugs and alcohol should not be placed in a cache. Respect the local laws.

Food items are always a bad idea. Animals have better noses than humans, and in some cases caches have been chewed through and destroyed because of food items in a cache. Please do not put food or candy in a cache.

Where are caches found?
It is common for Cachers to hide caches in locations that are important to them, reflecting a special interest of the cache owner. These unique locations on the planet can be quite diverse. Make sure to read the cache descriptions carefully. Caches may be located in cities both above and below ground, and outside of buildings. Even the skilful placement of a small logbook in an urban environment may be quite challenging to find even with the accuracy of a GPS. Have fun and remember to share your Caching  experiences with fellow members.

Can I move a cache once I find it?
Do not move a cache from its original location. If you feel that the cache may not be located in the correct location, please email the Chapter Director (CD) directly to inform of the more accurate GPS coordinate. It is an owner’s responsibility to maintain cache placement.

How do I hide a cache?
Before considering your first Cache hide, we suggest you go to and try to find a variety of caches in your area to familiarize yourself with the activity. Geocaching is just like real estate - location, location, location! It is common for Cachers to hide caches in locations that are important to them, reflecting a special interest of the cache owner. These unique locations on the planet can be quite diverse. A prime camping spot, great viewpoint, unusual location, etc. are all good places to hide a cache.

When thinking about where to place a cache, keep these things in mind:

•Does it meet all Caching  requirements listed on the site? Make sure to review these during your research. Issues of concern include cache saturation, commerciality, solicitation and long-term cache maintenance.
•Did you consider accessibility? If it is too visible or too close to busy roads and trails, there is a good chance someone may stumble upon it by accident. It is best to place a cache just off trail to preserve the environment but keep it out of sight of people casually passing by.
•Did you seek permission from the land owner or manager?

Will the location placement cause unnecessary concern?
Please use common sense when choosing a location for your cache. If you find a problematic cache, please contact the CD directly.

What do I do if I find out that a cache has gone missing?
If you visit a cache location and the cache is missing, make sure to log the cache as one that you "Did Not Find" so the cache owner is notified. Cache owners who repeatedly receive "Did Not Find" logs should check to see that their cache has not been removed.

Location Specific Rules And Regulations

If you are unsure whether the area you plan to place a cache is managed by the State or if you don't know who to contact for a particular piece of land, consult the web pages shown on the form. Some of these links can also be found on the State Of Wisconsin Managed Land Links wiki page.

Please include the following text on the cache page for caches hidden on DNR managed land:

The Geocache Notification Form has been submitted to <NAME OF LAND MANAGER> of the Wisconsin DNR. Geocaches placed on Wisconsin Department of Natural Resource managed lands require permission by means of a notification form. Please print out a paper copy of the notification form, fill in all required information, then submit it to the land manager. The DNR Notification form and land manager information can be obtained at:


  • Vernon County Parks: Vernon County requests that the Wisconsin DNR notification form be filled out and submitted for caches placed in county parks and forests. Forms can be sent to Vernon County Parks, 220 Airport Rd., Viroqua, WI 54665. For more information, contact Rod Engh at 608-637-5485.

  • Ho Chunk Nation: Geocaches on Ho Chunk Nation land require a permit from the Tribal Preservation Officer. Should you wish to place a cache on HCN land, complete this form (PDF version) and send it to the TPO at You should wait to receive confirmation from the tribe before submitting your geocache to .
  • Private Land: If you intend to place a cache on private land, ask permission before putting it there.

  • Prohibited Locations: Caches are not allowed in sensitive areas and never in the following specific properties:

General Cache Hiding Rules And Tips

  • When placing a geocache on public lands, it is highly recommended that the land manager responsible be notified of the placement. For locations without specific notification/approval requirements, the following generic geocache notification form (PDF version) (Word version) can be used.

  • Never bury a cache. A cache is considered buried if it must be dug up by hand or by tool. Placing rocks, bark, logs etc. over a cache is not considered burial, nor is placing a cache into a naturally occurring crevice or hole. If a shovel, trowel, or other pointy object is used to dig to hide or find a cache, it's not appropriate.

  • Be responsible for your cache. There is no time limit for placement of the cache but it is recommended the cache be monitored at least quarterly.

  • Do not place a cache in an area that could cause geocachers to cross dangerous or private land during their approach. Consider from where a geocacher might approach and how they might hunt your cache. Remember that their GPSR readings could easily be off from your posted coordinates by 100 feet or more. If warranted, provide parking coordinates and notes to allow a safe and permissible approach to the cache.

  • When placing a cache, be sure that it is at least 528 feet (0.10 miles) away from any surrounding caches. This includes all waypoints of surrounding multi or mystery caches.

  • Do not place a cache within 150 feet of railroad tracks. The right-of-way along the tracks is private property. Remember the error range of the typical GPSR when placing a cache anywhere in the vicinity of a railway.

  • If you place a cache or a stage of a multi-cache hunt within a commercial location, keep in mind the prohibitions against commercial caches. If a fee, purchase, or solicitation (monetary or otherwise) is required to gain access to the cache or waypoint, the cache is not allowed. Caches placed to promote commercial, political, religious, or other social agendas are also disallowed.

  • Do not place the following items into caches:

    • Food of any kind (sealed beverages are permitted, but are not advisable during Wisconsin’s cold weather when they may freeze and burst inside the cache container).
    • Pocket knives or weapons of any kind.
    • Illegal items such as drugs.
    • Material restricted from minors: tobacco, adult publications, alcohol, etc.

  • When choosing a terrain rating, keep in mind the following guidelines:

    • A rating of 1 means that a person in a wheelchair can get to the cache location and also retrieve it. If you feel you have a cache that is handicap accessible, you can get a useful rating used by disabled cachers at
    • A cache with a rating of 5 would require special equipment to get there, such as climbing gear, scuba gear, or a boat.


What are you waiting for?
Collect a batch of Chapter or GWRRA items you are willing to part with and find a safe place to hide them. Then share the GPS location with the CD to post on the Chapters Web page for fellow GWRRA members to enjoy.

We are not ready yet to start.)


Add Date Mission Code Mission Type Cache Name Location

Sample from WGC


Completed Cache Rescue Missions

221 cache rescue missions have been completed to date


Complete Date Mission Code Mission Type Cache Name Completed By  
01/16/2010 CR1319 Verify Present Three Forests Lions Fan [details]






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