What does a geocache look like?

If I ever mention geocaching to a non-geocacher, one of the first things they ask is “what exactly is a geocache?” I go through all the details of how geocaching works (head here if you would like an explanation) but I’m usually interrupted. “No, what is it. As in, what does an actual geocache look like?” Ah, well that is the big question. It can look like anything, which is why it can seem a bit tricky when you first start out. You know you’re looking for something. You know exactly where you’re looking for it. But you don’t know exactly what you’re looking for. So how do you find something, when you don’t know what you’re looking for? Maybe these hints and tips will help.

Use all the information on the app
The first thing I do is get as much information as I can from the details on the app or website. Each geocache should have a size recorded. This will tell you if you are looking for something really tiny, or something a bit bigger. 

If I’m still struggling I go to the “Hint”. Not all geocaches will have a hint, but many do. Some of the hints are a little cryptic, others just tell you exactly what you’re looking for and where it is.

If I still can’t find it, I check out the “activity” section. Here you can read the comments left by other people who have found this particular geocache. Sometimes you can’t find much information but you can see when it was last found, and sometimes people do attach photos which can be handy.

Examples of geocaches we’ve found
As I’ve said, geocaches can come in all shapes and sizes. We’ve now found 57 in total, so I thought I’d include some photos of different ones we’ve found. I’ve obviously not included the locations so hopefully no real spoilers amongst these.

1) This geocache was hidden inside the post for this signage board. The black container was attached to a grey cap by string, the black container dropped inside the post, and the cap was popped over the top of the post.

Micro geocache
2) This geocache was an old Top Trumps container, attached to the back of a sign with a cable tie.

Micro geocache

3) This was a nice geocache - a large ammo box, but decorated like a treasure chest on the inside with gems and jewels.

Treasure box geocache
4) This is a typical “micro” geocache. This one was on a keyring, and we have seen others which are magnetic - often attached to railings and signs.
Micro geocache
5) Another example of an ammo box geocache
Small geocache
6) This was a sneaky one. A magnetic shell, with a tiny log to sign rolled up inside it.

Snail micro geocache
7) A fairly standard small geocache.
Small geocache
8) This type of Tupperware container is pretty standard for a small geocache, but it was cleverly hidden inside a log.

Small geocache inside a log
9) Our only book geocache so far, hidden inside a public library.

Small geocache inside a library book
10) This one worried me. The container was hidden in the wall of a church, behind a loose brick. I removed the brick very tentatively keeping everything crossed that it was indeed the location, and not just a broken wall that was going to tumble down around us!

Small geocache hidden in a wall
11) We found this one quite early on in our geocaching days, and it took a couple of attempts to find it hidden behind a magnetic sign.
Micro geocache
12) One of the first Tupperware type geocaches (covered with a camouflage bag) we found with things for the children to swap.
Small geocache
13) A fake rock with a micro geocache hidden inside.

Fake rock geocache

Micro geocache inside fake rock

Hopefully this gives you a bit of an idea of the kind of things you might be looking for next time you head out in search of a geocache. There really is a lot of variety out there, and we love it when we find something a bit different. What’s the best geocache you’ve ever found? Let me know in the comments, and happy geocaching!

What does a geocache look like?