View Full Version : What Makes A "Quality" Geocache?

06-06-2006, 08:52 PM
Last Friday, I was at a gathering of several geocachers from across Arkansas, all of whom I highly respect. A recommendation was made that we should each hide one "quality" cache every month until the 2007 geocaching event in Clarksville. I thought I understood what was being recommended. But then, over the weekend, I started thinking about what makes up a quality cache. And I also decided this would be a good forum topic.

So, Arkansas geocachers, what, in your opinion, makes up a "quality" cache?

Try to be specific. Don't just name a cache and say it's a "quality" cache. Tell us what about it makes it a "quality" cache for you. Sharing these attributes with one another will help us all understand what pleases other cachers and maybe make all of our future caches better! -- ORR

06-07-2006, 12:38 PM
This is much easier to answer than the question about the #1 favorite cache, especially after thinking about what cache would be my favorite.

The different things that I think make a cache great are:

#1 being someplace interesting that I wouldn't likely have known about or visited if not for the cache. (ie Pedestal Rocks, Kings Bluff, Falling Water Falls)

#2 A clever hide/good camo. (ie Lil Red Overlook, The Great Seal)

#3 obvious effort to make the cache cool (ie I dream of Krispy Kremes)

06-07-2006, 07:22 PM
That is kind of tough to figure out. Each person will have things that are quality to them. My kids like cool swag and I like to go to out of the way places. I really like the interesting containers that I have found along the way. I seen to find some quality in almost every cache that I have found.

06-07-2006, 09:41 PM
One of the hardest attributes of a cache to assign is "quality". Why? I believe it's because "quality" means so many different things to different people. For example, if one prefers micros, "quality" might be defined as being easily accessible or next to their favorite place to eat.

However, it's my opinion that there are some general things that most of us can agree on that make a cache "better than average". I have a feeling that you're gonna get a long list and lots of different answers in this thread (and that's a good thing!!!) Here's my list:

1) Something different - Creative container, unique hiding technique, etc. Something that's not routine.
2) Accurate coordinates - 'Nuff said.
3) Location, location, location - A great location can turn a dull, ordinary hide in to a spectacular one!

A cache doesn't have to have ALL of these to be "quality" in my book, but it should have at least ONE of them... :)

I'm sure I've forgotten something...


06-07-2006, 11:35 PM
Yes, this is a LOT easier to answer than the one about your favorite cache.

In a micro what I look for in quality is something that makes me thing. Be it a puzzle or a very clever hide with special camo that blends into it's surroundings so well that you might make numerous visits (or have to phone a friend) to find it, then it's definate quality. My perfect example of this is the Judge in Clarksville. I have lost track of the many times I visited this place looking for this cache. At the time the hide was so different and unique that it was almost impossible for me. When I finally signed the log on that cache all I could think of was "finally" and "OMG that was just awesome".

If I'm looking for a traditional cache, location is everything. I want you to take me somewhere that I normally would never go on my own. I want to see something unique, amazing or just beautiful. If I'm looking for an ammo can it doesn't have to be all that hard. In fact a walk up and there it is, is perfectly wonderful with me, as long as there is something there that I want to see.

06-08-2006, 07:26 PM
Here we go again! We've travelled this road before from the other direction.

Quality (and lameness) like beauty is in the eye of the beholder. I personally believe that a quality cache is one that is not so difficult that a phone a friend is necessary, especially when I am a hundred miles from home and haven't the slightest idea of who to call. I'm sure that is an opinion that few others would say constitutes a quality cache.

I'm sure that people put out caches that in their own eyes are not quality but also put out others that they do consider quality caches. I'll put out what I consider quality caches and let everyone else that so desires put out what they consider to be quality caches. Let's try not to think that because someone else has an opinion different than ours that they are putting out less than quality caches. I say that only because the statement 'let each one put out one "quality" cache each month' gives the impression that there are no quality caches being placed although I do not know who said it but feel certain that they did not mean to give that impression.

That's my story and I'm sticking to it.


06-08-2006, 07:32 PM
P.S. to my previous post. Do not be inhibited from stating what a quality cache is, in your opinion.


06-08-2006, 08:04 PM
AMEN Geezer

06-08-2006, 11:08 PM
My apologies to ORR and all the posters to this thread. I reread it and I plainly see that everyone has qualified their post with "in my opinion". Perhaps - no not perhaps, FOR SURE - I should reread first and be a little slower to grab up my keyboard. Please forgive me.


06-15-2006, 07:14 PM
My apologies to ORR and all the posters to this thread. I reread it and I plainly see that everyone has qualified their post with "in my opinion". Perhaps - no not perhaps, FOR SURE - I should reread first and be a little slower to grab up my keyboard. Please forgive me.


So, Geezer, now that you have finished philosophizing :wink: , what, "in your opinion", makes up a "quality" cache??? -- ORR

P.S. Here's a summary of the attributes listed so far, so everyone doesn't have to read through every forum log. The order that the attributes are listed is based upon the number of times that particular attribute was mentioned. The number of times mentioned is shown in parentheses following the attribute.

1. Located in a scenic or interesting area (3)
2. Has unique or creative camo or container (3)
3. Hidden in a clever way (1)
4. Contains good swag (1)
5. Has accurate coordinates (1)

Keep the ideas coming and let's build upon this list!

06-15-2006, 09:32 PM
I agree with the others, A cache that takes you to a scenic place that you would never went to except for the cache. A place that might not be scenic, but something interesting there, or something historical. We enjoyed your Black Fox Cache. We learned something there.
Quality usually takes some effort and a little thought. We have found many quality caches. Some no more than a film can, or a bison tube that was very well camoed. I think Arkansas has some very talented cachers and I don't think a lack of quality caches will be a problem.
I vote for Location, unique design, and camo.

06-16-2006, 09:24 AM
Hooboy - quality being in the mind of the finder, it's a tough question, so here's my nebulous and ill-defined answer to what may even be an impossible question for a group to answer -

To me a quality cache is one that makes me laugh (as in DOH! I can't believe that - now THAT's a cool (container / location / hide method)), one that makes me glad to have found it, that I remember years later, that is discussed and admired by geocachers sitting around a campfire.

I know that doesn't help, but there it is!

06-16-2006, 07:37 PM
Well, ORR, the 5 points you listed as having been mentioned are all good. The only thing that would absolutely disqualify a cache from being a quality cache for me would be bad coordinates. Indeed, the guidelines stress getting good coordinates. Other than that, any thing about the cache that makes it memorable in a pleasant way contributes to it's quality. I can say that a scenic area or a creative container will probably add to the experience but I still can't say that's what makes a quality cache. It's a subjective thing on a cache by cache basis.

There's no way I can answer the question without philosophizing. Please don't ask me to nail Jello to the wall again.


06-17-2006, 09:40 AM
1. Located in a scenic or interesting area (3)
2. Has unique or creative camo or container (3)
3. Hidden in a clever way (1)
4. Contains good swag (1)
5. Has accurate coordinates (1)

I agree with all of the above with the possible exception of #4. Without constant maintenance, it is nearly impossible for the cache owner to control the contents of the cache. We've just about given up on trading swag unless it's a new cache.

Another one I think is important is a place to park. Please don't make me park with two wheels on the road to grab a cache at a busy intersection.

07-25-2006, 06:52 PM
Somehow we missed this topic when it was first posted. But better late than never here we go.

A quality cache make me say WOW!. That could be for many reasons:

wow! what a great location
wow! this cache was a learning experience
wow! what great execution on the part of the cache hider
wow! what ingenuity this cache entailed
wow! what an interesting container
wow! this is an interesting place
wow! I'm glad we saw that
wow! we never knew this was here
wow! what a great hike
wow! wish we had thought of that
wow! what a great idea
wow! what a great view from here
wow! this cache made me think

With a bit more thought we could possibly add some others. But we are easy, hit any one or more of these and we like the cache and consider it quality.......poppy

05-21-2009, 08:23 AM
Bumping this one up. We have a lot of people who have started geocaching since this one was first discussed, and I would love to see what the current thinking is.

06-27-2009, 01:13 PM
Since the very beginning, caching was about going places you never knew were there and/or seeing things you didn't know about. I will admit that many of my caches aren't anything special to see, but I do hope that someone had fun hunting for the sake of hunting.

I went and cached in Vicksburg, and loved it because we saw all sorts of sights in town that otherwise we would have missed. The coords weren't that important because we did see neat stuff with or without the cache.

I have been chastised a few times for poor coordinates, but I think that is part of the challenge. I want everyone to find my caches, but I also don't want them to go straight to them with their GPSr. Use your brain, think a little bit and accept that sometimes you won't find the cache.

I think it goes without saying that the above comments are my own opinion.

06-28-2009, 06:30 PM
How about hints that are actually hints to the location of the cache...
Good Luck
Not needed
No way
email me

or maybe this should be listed under 'pet peeves':)

06-29-2009, 09:30 AM
Wow, talk about bringing a thread back from the grave! But glad you did so we can chime in.

I have to agree with most everyone opinions here on what a quality cache is. We generally shy away from planting park n grabs and try and put ours in places your normally would not go. Pretty much any cache in the woods, on trails, or in parks so it takes you from a paved surface to nature.

We also love some of the creative hides, camo, and containers we have seen through the years. It's hard to forget a telephone on a tree, a nano inside some bamboo, ammo can in a log,...and the list goes on.

I think if a cache gets you out to a unique vista or somewhere unique, then the memory sticks with you. Also, any cache that you talk about around a campfire or at geo-events is a quality cache :)

06-29-2009, 11:05 AM

I my self like a Geocache that has a bit of challenge to it . One of my toughest finds was one by H-R , " Riverfront Park Reduex" GCQFZX . I looked for this to the point that I was drawing attention to myself , stalking a field piece "105mm Howitzer" after logging two DNF and being chased off by some very annoyed Yellow Jackets . I found it with some help from H-R . That's just my take on Geocaching . I just joined the Terrecaching web site and I'm getting ready to put my first Terrecache out in my neck of the woods .