Geocaching Policy

The goal of Miami University Natural Area’s Geocaching Policy is to allow and encourage students and other visitors to enjoy the benefits of spending time and recreating in the Natural Areas while protecting the natural environment, especially sensitive areas and those that that are being used for research. All caches must be open to all memberships, not just premium members, and must not be buried or require other ground disturbance.

Before placing a cache, a person will need to submit an emailed request providing the Natural Areas Field Manager (feakesn@miamioh.edu) with detailed information about their proposed geocaches to obtain permission. All caches must be maintained at least twice a year, and removed by the cache owner if:

  • maintenance is not feasible,
  • resource damage is being caused by geocachers, or
  • that location interferes with research or management activities.

Follow these general guidelines when considering placement of a geocache within the Natural Areas.

Remember that caching comes with etiquette, help preserve geocachers’ reputation for a love of preserving the environment by encouraging CITO -- Cache In, Trash Out – (where cachers take along a trash bag and clean up the environment as they are looking for a cache, packing the trash out).

Respecting the environment, taking care of the resources you encounter, and cleaning up after others can help to preserve the future opportunities for Geocaching in Natural Areas with minimal regulation.

Follow the guidelines provided at geocaching.com for placement of a cache. Cache must be registered on geocaching.com.

Selecting a Proposed Location

Select your proposed location carefully.

  • Avoid proposals to place a cache in a sensitive area, such as wet areas, near fragile plant populations, in highly erosive soils; in or adjacent to exclosures, marked research areas or historical sites, or similar areas, since these are likely to be disapproved.
  • Avoid locations where searchers will be likely to endanger themselves or the nearby resources, even if they are searching after dark. 
  • Consider the management objectives of the area and the vegetation: place the cache close enough to the trail, and in such a location that persons searching for the cache will not be scrambling up or down steep slopes or destroying native vegetation in the process.

Preparing your Request

Prepare your request, providing the information about the proposed geocaching site, including location and a brief description of the setting and the resources found there, and how to get to the site. Consider taking a couple of digital photos of the area, as this can speed the approval process.

Decide what you will place at the cache, and what information you will provide other geocachers about the site. Draft your write-up prior to seeking permission to actually place the cache, so that the approving official will see the info you intend to provide. In your write-up, consider including information about the Miami Natural Areas, and/or about the individual area where the cache will be located, and notes about the geology, history, or plant communities in the area, as well as providing encouragement to other geocachers to take care of the resources. Make sure that your geocache will be readily identifiable as a geocache (i.e. mark it or label it on the outside “GEOCACHE”). Unmarked containers may be misidentified, and this may cause undue trouble and expense before they are removed and/or destroyed.

Submit your written request to the Natural Areas Field Manager, at feakesn@miamioh.edu. Provide the information that will be necessary for evaluating your request, including a copy of your draft write-up, your contact information, a description and possibly photos of the area.

You should hear back within 2 - 3 weeks.

Maintenance

Geocaches need to be maintained. Do not place a cache at a location where you (or your designated representative) cannot physically check on it at least quarterly, and log your maintenance. If you see any indication of resource damage or the beginning of a trail that might be caused by persons searching for your cache, archive it immediately, and remove it as soon as practical. If or when you will no longer be available for checking your cache, please have someone else take over its ownership and maintenance, remove the physical cache and archive the listing. Caches that do not have maintenance logged regularly are subject to removal. If you have questions, please contact the Natural Areas Field Manager (feakesn@miamioh.edu). Happy geocaching!