Home Categories & Voting Hiding Finding Caches FAQ Events Download Picture Gallery Sponsors Volunteering Contact Us

Hiding Caches: Guidelines and Rules

Cache submission deadline:  11:59 P.M. MST Friday, February 14, 2020.

Everyone is welcome to search for any or all the caches with or without having hidden a cache. Our motto is "Fun For The Whole Family".  For those who do choose to place a cache (or caches), here are some guidelines:

Quality over Quantity

Our focus is "Quality Caches".  We encourage everyone to put extra thought and creativity into their hides.  Please don’t just stick a micro in a spruce tree and walk away.  Instead, place a cache that you would be excited to find!

Winter Friendly Caches

Hide caches that are winter friendly.  Caches should be hidden above the snow line.  Hide something you would want to find in winter!

Name your cache

Be sure your cache name ends with CARW2020 (Note: No Spaces!), as in "MyCache - CARW2020". Since all the caches will end with CARW2020, this will help those who use hand held GPS units with finding downloaded caches on their device and performing a Geocaching.com search online will find all the caches.

Follow Geocaching.com Rules

Be familiar with and obey all Geocaching.com Guidelines For Hiding Caches.

Choose a Location

Accurate co-ordinates are an essential part of geocaching.  Please take the time to get solid averaged co-ordinates.  Read this Groundspeak article for tips on getting accurate coordinates.

Have you found a perfect spot for your particular cache? How can you be sure it isn’t too close to a puzzle cache, a multi-cache, or another CARW2020 cache?  Ask the Volunteer Reviewer to do a “Location Check.”  First, create a basic cache listing page. It doesn’t need a complete or fancy description, but it must have your chosen co-ordinates. Then, post the following reviewer note into Step 6’s “Dear Reviewer” text box (or the old version’s “Note to Reviewer” box) and submit your cache for a preliminary review:

"This is a CARW2020 cache.  Please perform a Location Check for this cache.  If this location is acceptable, please reserve it until the CARW2020 caches are published, and disable this unfinished cache page."

Write and submit your cache page

If all goes well, then the location will be yours — as long as you don’t change the cache’s co-ordinates. And you’ll still have time to prepare your cache container and write a great listing page.

Please include the following on your CARW2020 cache page description.

1.  This CARW2020 cache will be published about 6pm on Thursday, February 20, 2020.
2.  This cache has been placed for the CARW event with the intention that it not be located prior to 9:00 a.m. Saturday February 22, 2020.  The caches for the CARW event are released early so that the geocaching community has an opportunity to plan their routes and strategies prior to the event start.
3.  Should you hunt and find this cache before the event start, it will not count for the event, and FTF points are only valid as of 9AM February 22nd.

After everything’s ready and you have hidden your cache, submit a finalized cache listing page for it's final review on or before the deadline.  Include following reviewer note into Step 6’s “Dear Reviewer” text box (or the old version’s “Note to Reviewer” box):

"This cache is placed for the CARW2020 event. Please hold it for publication with the other CARW2020 caches on Thursday February 20, 2020".

Please see the Categories page for information on submitting your cache for event prizes.


  1. All caches must be Winter friendly and should display the "Winter Friendly" attribute.  If you wouldn't hunt for it in -30° or it has to be dug out after dump of snow, it probably shouldn't be a CARW cache.

  2. Research, understand, and comply with the Groundspeak cache placement guidelines:  https://www.geocaching.com/play/guidelines .  Note that several changes have been made to the guidelines over the past 18 months.

  3. Get accurate GPS coordinates. We strongly encourage you to use a GPS unit as opposed to a phone.  Remember, Groundspeak guidelines require that a geocache search must involve (accurate) coordinates as part of the cache hunt.

  4. Caches submitted for CARW should not be “premium members only” caches. If you choose, you can convert your caches to premium no sooner than 1 week after the CARW Wrap Up event. This should be enough time for non-premium members to find and log them

  5. Focus is always on “high quality” and “family friendly” caching. This usually means medium or large cache sizes. These are also easier to open when cold, and families with children often enjoy trading swag. Medium containers can be described as:  1kg or larger Peanut butter jars (PBJ), ammo cans, etc. Large containers; 5 gallon pails, 10 gallon pails, large rubber maids, large tool boxes, etc. Micro caches and small caches are acceptable as CARW caches, but hiders might consider asking “what makes this cache special enough to be a CARW hide?”.

  6. Please refrain from using Spruce trees to hide caches, unless the tree will not be hurt when a multitude of cachers try to find the cache.  Spruce limbs are very sensitive to cold and break easily.  Also note that all trees in public spaces in the City of Edmonton are the property of the City of Edmonton, and as such the City of Edmonton does not allow the climbing of trees for cache placement or finding.

  7. Hide and confirm locations with a volunteer reviewer early so you know you have a spot. Ensuring the cache is in-place before the deadline, however.

  8. Puzzle caches are welcome and encouraged. However, puzzles should not be so difficult that they cannot be solved within the event timelines or only solved by a select few puzzle-hounds.

  9. If you do not submit your hide to volunteer reviewers by the deadline, then your cache will not be considered a CARW cache. You can still submit your cache or you can choose to delete your cache. You can choose to get the reviewer to publish it, however all late caches submitted after the midnight deadline, will be asked to remove the CARW2020 from the title and from the cache description. As has been the case over the last several years, we are again taking a zero/no tolerance for late caches. Why? In 2015 there was less than half (about 50) submitted by the deadline. After the deadline had passed over half the CARW caches (about 70 more) were submitted. Each cache takes time for the reviewer to analyze content, verify coordinates, make sure that everything complies with the Geocaching.com rules, and put into the queue for publishing. Now multiply that by 100 caches for this caching spree, and that’s a lot of volunteer time. As a sign of respect for our terrific reviewers, late caches will go to the end of the list to be reviewed, and will not be considered for CARW. Don’t miss the deadline.

  10. Early Bird cache submission! Submit your CARW cache for review before Sunday, February 2, 2020 and your name will be entered into a drawing for a prize at the wrap up. You must be present at the wrap up to claim your prize.

  11. Participate in any way you want, hide a cache or not, find only one cache or a few, only attend the wrap up event or try and find all caches and attend all events during the event.

  12. Cast your votes! See the Categories & Voting page for more information.