One would think that someone smart enough to use a computer, the internet and a GPS to searched for geocaches, would also be smart enough to avoid causing a bomb scare.

The recent rash of bomb scares that turned out to be geocache containers, is a serious blow to the geocaching hobby. These reports not only give the wrong impression about geocaching, but could lead to a ban on geocaching. Some cities are considering laws and ordinances that limit, and in some cases ban geocaching because of the repeated bomb scares.

Recent headlines:

  • Geocache Causes Bomb Scare In New Zealand
  • Charges not likely after geocaching bomb scare
  • "Geocaching" Web Game Leads To Bomb Scare
  • A suspicious package attached to a pole forced the closure of Riverside Drive and a section of Ottawa’s bus Transitway for several hours yesterday.
  • An Internet treasure-hunting game sparked county-wide panic Friday night and resulted in a bomb squad from Harrisburg being called to Waynesboro to detonate a suspicious device.
  • GeoCache Game Creates Bomb Scare at Dog Beach - San Diego
  • BOISE -- Tuesday’s closure of Highway 55 has brought a lot of attention to something called geocaching.

Are laws limiting or prohibiting geocaching an over-reaction to a simple issue, or a reaction to the alarming increase in the lack of good judgment shown by a small percentage of Geocachers?

Why are geocaching container bomb scares a problem?  Not only does an emergency evacuation cause massive disruption, but can cause thousands of dollars to be spent by responding emergency personnel. If a bomb squad is deployed for a suspicious package, the cost of the emergency responders can top $10,000 for only a few hours.  Many cites are considering charging Geocachers for these unnecessary expenses.

As a group that enjoys geocaching, we must collectively police ourselves and discourage others from using geocache containers that may appear to be a bomb or suspicious package.  If you find a cache that could be mistaken for a bomb, report the cache to the owner and to the site that listed the cache (such as

Here are some tips to avoid any potential problems:

1. Do not hide a cache in an area that can cause immediate suspicion: avoid under bleachers, near intersections, under bridges, near schools or public gathering spaces.

2. Always use an external waterproof sticker on the cache that identifies it as a geocache container.

3. Use a clear container so the contents can be clearly visible to emergency responders that may be called.

4. Don't use a container that looks like a bomb. Incredibly, some Geocachers use bad judgment and make containers that look identical to a bucket bomb or pipe bomb.  What were they thinking?

The below geocaching containers were mistaken for bombs:

Official Geocache Sticker - Small
Official Geocache Sticker - Small $2.99
Time Remaining: 2h 5m
Buy It Now for only: $2.99
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Official Geocache Sticker - Large
Official Geocache Sticker - Large $3.99
Time Remaining: 2h 5m
Buy It Now for only: $3.99
Buy It Now
Official Geocache Sticker - 5 Pack
Official Geocache Sticker - 5 Pack $8.99
Time Remaining: 2h 5m
Buy It Now for only: $8.99
Buy It Now
Official Geocache Sticker - Medium
Official Geocache Sticker - Medium $2.99
Time Remaining: 2h 5m
Buy It Now for only: $2.99
Buy It Now
3 x Geocaching Medium geocache stickers. GPS.
3 x Geocaching Medium geocache stickers. GPS. $2.35
Time Remaining: 21h 8m
Buy It Now for only: $2.35
Buy It Now

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