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November 19, 2013 05:04 PM CST

How Not to Hide a Cache – Part 3 – Sensitive locations

Reviewer's Words

Author: NL_Admin. 176 Reads
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How Not to Hide a Cache – Part 3 – Sensitive locations

So, have you ever tried to find a cache only to discover that it is located inside the Madison offices of the Wisconsin DNR?  No?  How about one under the steps of the Brown County Jail?  Not there either?  What about one located inside the secure areas of Mitchell International Airport?   Believe it or not, all of these locations have been submitted for geocache locations in Wisconsin.  (Hopefully we haven’t actually published anything like this!)  The reality is that there are certain locations that are inappropriate for geocaches.  Usually, the issues are related to the disturbance that might be caused by the presence of searchers or the discovery of the cache by muggles (often resulting in bomb scares and other law enforcement contacts).  Other times, the locations are considered potential terrorist targets or are just prohibited by law or regulations.  The sections below will provide you with some guidance on areas that you will need to avoid. 

Back to School

Generally, elementary schools, middle schools, junior high schools, and high schools are not appropriate locations for caches.  If you are affiliated with the school, we will require that you have permission from the school administration and ask that you take reasonable precautions to avoid law enforcement issues.  Note that “administration” means the principal or district administrator, not the janitor, groundskeeper, bus driver, random teacher, or the kid smoking a cigarette in the bed of a pickup in the parking lot.   Note also that this applies to private and parochial schools, not just public schools.

Planes, Trains, and…well, Buses

All these are considered likely terrorist targets and are off-limits.  Now, you are probably thinking that no self-respecting terrorist is going to attack the Rhinelander Municipal Airport, but even the smallest airports are controlled by the FAA and TSA.  You don’t need the headaches and neither do we. 

Dam It!

Getting too close to water towers, flood control and hydroelectric dams can be a problem.   Again, these are considered terrorist targets.  Note that you don’t have to be miles away, but caches on or immediately adjacent to dams or water towers can’t be published. 

At the Cop Shop

Police Stations, Sheriff’s Stations, Prisons, Jails, and similar facilities are not suitable locations for geocaches.  The people working in these facilities don’t need to be bothered by guys in camouflages wandering around outside their doors and windows.  As you might guess, this is the best way to provoke an encounter with local law enforcement. 

Workin’ on the Railroad

This is actually a private property concern.  Virtually every railroad is private property and virtually no railroad company will give you permission.   Generally, if there are tracks in place, it is still railroad property, even if the grass is 8 feet high.  Occasionally, we run into a situation where the land has been sold very recently to a government entity before the tracks are removed.  In that case, work with your reviewer to provide confirmation that the transfer has indeed taken place. 

Fishheads, Fishheads….

The US Fish and Wildlife Service has decided that geocaching on their lands is not allowed by their charter.  Now, some of you will probably tell me that you have found caches on their land hidden by the rangers.   What can I say?  They make the rules. 

Highway to Heck

Limited access highways (where pedestrians and bicycles are banned) are not acceptable locations for geocaching.   Note that this also includes the inside of cloverleaf interchanges and other ramps.  Now, I hear you saying “What kind of idiot would hide a cache there?”  You can tell that to the people who submit them almost every week. 

Send me a Letter

Mailboxes, post offices, and other property of the US Postal Service are protected by laws regarding “Tampering with the Mail”.  Unless you want a visit from the FBI, just stay away. 


So, where CAN you hide geocaches?  Parks, recreation areas, bike trails, walking paths, monuments, public squares,libraries, town halls, etc. are all great public property.  Roadsides, Park and Rides, bus stops, and generally anywhere that the public can be expected to be are also ok.  If you have permission, caches on private property are fine.  Basically, any public location can work, but it is always best to talk to the appropriate land managers to be sure there aren’t any special requirements for your location. 



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Category: 2013 Winter Newsletter
Tags: Reviewer Hiding Permission
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