Terms of Use

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Terms of Use

  1. This document sets the conditions of use of "Opencaching North America" also referred to as "OCNA" - a voluntarily operated Internet geocaching service available at http://www.opencaching.us (hereinafter referred to as the "Service"). Each person registering an account (hereinafter called a "User") agrees to observe the rules of these terms and conditions, starting from the beginning of the registration procedure.
  2. The Terms of Use enter into force on August 1, 2010 and are effective from that date for all Users of the Service. The Terms of Use can be changed as deemed necessary by the Service.
  3. Throughout this document, a Geocache is understood as any geocache of any type that is registered with the Service.
  4. The Service operates in the United States and is subject to US law. Nullity of any section of the Terms of Use does not limit its validity in other areas. In matters not governed by the Terms of Use, the provisions of US law and common sense prevails.

OC Team

  1. The Service is monitored and supervised by a group of volunteer supporters, hereinafter referred to as the OC Team. The OC Team is not responsible for the content posted by users on the Site or for damages resulting from the use of information from the Service. Any information obtained or derived from the Service shall be used at the user's risk. In particular, the OC team does not guarantee that the caches are secure, nor that it does not infringe the law. You must always check and evaluate the information before the start of the search. Any content published on our site is for informational use only.
  2. OC Team keeps compliance with the Rules of Procedure, make its binding interpretation to resolve any disputes, and its provisions are final. In order to ensure a smooth, safe and legal operation of the Service, OC Team may limit a user's access to the Service, to delete log entries, block the user's account (temporarily or permanently) and suspend or archive geocaches.


  1. Registering an account with the Service, a User agrees to comply with these Terms of Use. Minors or those not having full capacity to act may use the Service only with the consent of and under the supervision of parents or legal guardians, who bear full responsibility for any damages arising from these acts or omissions.
  2. The Users who use the Service, take part in the game, and hide and seek geocaches do so entirely at their own risk and responsibility. In particular, each User bears the full civil and legal responsibility for their actions (including harm done to users, third parties and damage to property). The OC team does not bear any responsibility for any damage arising directly or indirectly from the activities of users.
  3. Registration is free but is required to use the service. During registration the user provides an email address, which will be used to communicate with the user. The user agrees to keep the email address updated on the service.
  4. You must ensure that information published by you on the Site does not violate US law or the provisions of these Terms of Use. In particular, the content published by the user may not violate the copyright of third parties. All content (including descriptions of the caches, illustrations and all their entries in the logs) made available by publishing them on our site, users are licensed under Creative Commons BY-NC-SA version 2.5, whose complete content is available online at http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/2.5/legalcode. Public domain content is also admitted. The user is responsible directly to the copyright holder for any violations in this area associated with him published by the content on our site.
  5. Content published by you on the site may not contain vulgar expressions, offensive, abusive, or illegal content. This applies in particular to the selected user name when registering an account, geocache names, elements of their names and web log entries in the caches (the so-called logs).


  1. The person who registered the Cache in the Service, the "geocache owner" is responsible for all the contents contained in the Cache's description in the Service. The geocache owner bears full responsibility for compliance in the establishment of their Caches with the law and the rules of the service, as well as for any damages that may arise in connection with its establishment. The geocache owner is required to maintain the geocache and keep the contents in good condition, and keep their description on this site up to date.
  2. The geocache owner is solely responsible for obtaining sufficient permission for the establishment of the geocache. When registering a Cache with the Service, its owner has a duty to put in unencoded description of the full details of any potential dangers that may arise from time to time in searching for, and any information necessary to identify the cache, including information about any query, with the necessary skills and possibly the required specialized hardware. In addition, when determining the type, size and level of difficulty caches during its registration, the owner is required to comply with the definition of these parameters governing the Site. In the case of caches, which the search may be associated with danger, the cache must be marked to advise the special attribute.
  3. The cache can not contain explosives, flammable, corrosive or other dangerous objects, perishable items (e.g. food), as well as objects of an illegal nature. The logbook contained in the geocache must contain contact details of the geocache owner.
  4. Without authorization, caches can be established only on publicly accessible areas, such as permanently or temporarily available to the public. Caches may also be placed inside a publicly accessible building or other object, but in the case other than virtual caches then it is necessary to obtain the prior written consent of the administrator of that part of a building or facility, which will be hidden. Such consent must involve both the fact of placing caches and its subsequent exploration by third parties.
  5. Caches may not be placed in facilities and in areas which forbid trespassing or which forbid placing traditional geocaches. This applies in particular to strict nature reserves, federal parks, national parks, national forests or private property. Caches may not be placed in a way that could result in a damage of a historical or architectural area during the search. In addition, other than virtual, caches may not be placed directly in birds nests and tree hollows suitable for habitation by birds, also outside the breeding season, in monuments, and in their protection zones. Caches at cemeteries or places of worship may not violate the peace of the places. It is strictly forbidden to bury a cache in the immediate vicinity of a tomb. Caches must be clearly labeled so that if the container is reported to authorities, it can be quickly and easily identified as harmless. Caches are not to be placed in locations where they may cause alarm or cause the general public to contact authorities about a suspicious container.
  6. If a cache has 2 or more consecutive "Did Not Find" or DNFs, it will be flagged as Temporarily Unavailable so that the cache owner may check on it. It can be reactivated by the cache owner when they post a comment on the cache listing verifying that cache is intact and in place. This is a measure to prevent muggled, abandoned or orphaned caches from continuing to be listed.
  7. Caches may be placed by and within businesses ONLY if they contain the AD attribute. If located inside a business, the hider must specify in the cache description that permission has been granted by the business owner and the business owner's name and phone number must be shown. Caches marked with the AD attribute may contain advertising, advertising promos, coupons, gift cards, etc. Any cache found to contain advertising without the associated AD attribute will be archived by us and the hider risks losing the privilege to submit new caches. Utilizing the AD attribute allows users to filter out, or specifically search for, this cache type.
  8. Any geocache that violates the law or is contrary to the Opencaching.us guidelines (see below) may be suspended or archived by the OC Team. Any user who has more than TWO caches removed or archived for rules violations will be banned from submitting new caches to the site. The OC Team may suspend or archive a geocache at the request of the Police or other Civil or Military Authority. In summary, the rules for placing a geocache are as follows:
  • Caches may not be used for business advertising or solicitation of any kind unless assigned the AD attribute.
  • Ensure the cache container is clearly marked, stating that the content is harmless and giving the placers email address or other contact method.
  • Only items that would be deemed safe and acceptable for an unaccompanied child to find should be placed in a cache.
  • No cache should be placed in such a way as to risk damage or disturbance to any Site of Special Scientific Interest, Scheduled Monument or Historical Place.
  • A cache should not be placed within 300 feet of an existing cache (excluding virtual or guest book caches).
  • When placing a cache, the onus is on the placer to seek the permission of the landowner.
  • Caches should be placed in a way that they will not be accidentally found by non-geocachers (muggles).
  • No items of food or drink of any kind should be placed in the cache.
  • USB caches may not contain pornographic material, illegal content or malicious content
  • Caches should not be buried. Holes should not be dug in order to place a cache.
  • Caches should not be hidden in animal holes or runs.
  • Fences should never be crossed (other than through a gate or by a stile) when placing or seeking a cache.
  • Maintenance of the cache is the responsibility of the placer.
  • When leaving the cache site, after hiding or placing a cache, there should be no visual sign of disturbance.
  • No cache should be placed in or on a dry stone wall.
  • Please do not bring geocaching into disrepute, never drive your car anywhere other than on roads, and always park legally.

Virtual Caches

  1. Virtual caches are a specialized type of cache that does not have a container or log book. The purpose of a virtual cache is to highlight a particular location/structure where it is impossible or forbidden to have a physical container. Virtual caches should only be created at a spot of significant importance. Some locations might include a geological feature, monument, historic building or any number of locations. When placing a virtual cache, the “hider” should ask themselves, “Is this somewhere I would want to be brought to?” or “Why would somebody else want to come here?”
  2. Virtual caches must take a user to a specific GPS location. At this time, we do not accept "locationless" caches where users find an item without regard to a specific location.
  3. Virtual caches will not be accepted if they reference a business or commercial location. For example, we will not accept virtual caches that ask you to visit a McDonald's, Walmart, etc. We do allow virtual caches that reference a business if that business is located in a historically significant structure.
  4. We do not want the number of virtual cache listings to exceed the number of traditional cache listings on this site. We ask that for every virtual cache you submit, you also submit a traditional cache. If the number of virtual cache listings exceeds a certain ratio, we may temporarily suspend the ability to add new virtual caches.
  5. The proximity rule of 300 feet is not enforced on virtual caches. Of course, if there is an available spot nearby for an actual container, the hider might want to consider incorporating information on the site of interest in the cache description. Without a log book, there must be some other form of verification that the finder has actually been to the location. This can be done a number of ways. The most common way is for “hider” of the virtual cache to require a picture to be taken at the location with the finder, GPS or both. Another method is the answer to a question. The “hider” can pose a question that can be answered from information found at the site of the virtual cache. This answer can in turn be used as the password to unlock the cache for logging. The use of the password feature is highly recommended to prevent what is commonly referred to as “arm chair logging”. This is when a cacher logs a find without actually visiting the cache location. Requiring a password makes it less likely that they will log a fake find but you must make sure the answer to your question cannot be found using Google or any other online or printed resource!

Guest Book Caches

  1. As of April 2021 Guest Book Caches are published as "Other" type caches with the Guestbook icon. Please refer to the Guest Book Cache page for more details
  2. The Guest Book cache is a cache that shows the location of an existing guest book (or you can create a new one). Guest Books are often found in welcome centers, hotels, etc. The guest book should be open to the public so visitors can sign it. The guest book should not be temporary such as at a wedding, funeral or special event.
  3. When submitting a Guest Book cache listing, you should include the coordinates, the hours that it is accessible and details about the location that it is in. Be sure to select all appropriate attributes when submitting the cache. To log the cache, the guest book should be signed then recorded here as a Find.

USB (Dead Drop) Caches

  1. As of April 2021 Dead Drop Caches are published as "Other" type caches with the USB icon. Please refer to the Dead Drop Caches page for more details
  2. A USB cache is simply a USB thumb drive attached to or embedded into a wall, building, curb, etc. It must be accessible to everyone and in a public place. It may be placed indoors but cannot be in a place with an age or sex restriction (bars, bathrooms, etc). Permission must be granted by the property owner before you permanently attach a USB cache. Wikipedia
  3. Each USB cache is installed empty except for a readme.txt file and a logbook.txt file. The readme.txt is a file explaining the project and the logbook.txt file is where you sign your name and leave your comments. See Downloads.
  4. You may share data via USB caches, however it is expressly forbidden for USB caches to contain commercial, pornographic, illegal or malicious content. All content must be suitable for all ages! If you find a USB cache with inappropriate content, you are encouraged to delete that content immediately. Do not delete the readme.txt or logbook.txt files, though they may be freely edited if they contain inappropriate content.
  5. When submitting a USB Cache, be sure to specify the capacity of the USB drive. For example, 512MB, 2GB, 4GB, etc. Also, please remember to assign all pertinent attributes to the cache.


  1. Use of the Opencaching US site constitutes acceptance and agreement with these Terms of Use.

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