I would like to discuss the scope of geocaching.

There are many sub-categories of questions belonging to geocaching category. Because there's a Geocaching proposal on Area51, it would be good to discuss the scope of geocaching questions on The Great Outdoors, to determine if the new site is needed, or it's fully a duplicate.

Would the following categories be on-topic here:

  • camouflaging techniques and materials
  • materials for building caches, logbooks, trackables etc.
  • recommending which surroundings have many good caches in some region
  • quiz solving for unknown caches
  • cache protection
  • geocaching etiquette (what to put into cache, how to log, when and where to create etc.)
  • geocaching portals and their usage
  • techniques of taking particular type of cache (deep hollow, hanging etc.)
  • techniques of reaching particular type of cache location (river island, lone rock etc.)
  • urbex issues (like avoiding/dealing with potentially aggresive clochards, asbestos inhalation riscs etc.)
  • I'm voting to close this question as off-topic because the Geocaching proposal failed.
    – Rory Alsop Mod
    Commented Nov 4, 2017 at 21:13

2 Answers 2


As far as I'm concerned it's all on topic, with the possible exception of "recommending which surroundings have many good caches in some region" - but that to me sounds off topic because it's not objectively answerable rather than it not being interesting.

So yes, as far as I'm concerned this site encompasses all areas of Geocaching, and the Geocaching proposal should definitely be closed and merged into this one. Considering how quiet things have been around here in general lately, I highly doubt a small subcategory of this site would be viable in its own right anyway!

  • However, what about the questions about the regions with high concentration of good-quality forest caches etc.? Commented Feb 2, 2014 at 12:50
  • @ŁukaszL. The reason I excluded that was not because of off-topic content, but because I think it'd be hard to phrase that as a specific, objectively answerable question that wasn't too localised (remember cache densities change all the time) on any SE site. If it could be phrased as such, then again I see no reason why that shouldn't be on topic here. I really do see this as a complete subset of TGO.
    – berry120
    Commented Feb 2, 2014 at 23:13

Although already the geocaching complex gives me some headaches, I can accept that as an outdoor activity and therefore accept it to be within the scope here in general.

But especially for your last point

urbex issues (like avoiding/dealing with potentially aggresive clochards, asbestos inhalation riscs etc.)

I have some real trouble. In the programming related part of the stackexchange there exists the so-called "boat programming question meme" about questions that try to fall into the context of a site by relating some random stuff to a topic that is in the focus of that site – in the cited meme this was a question asking for what is needed to program on a boat.

I think for the two urbex issues you cite, this is similar: if you can ask the same question removing the urbex context and the expectable answers won't change significantly, I would consider it a boat programming question. In the two examples cited by you:

  1. If I, for whatever reason, get into some urban area in a way that homeless persons see it as a threat to their personal "kingdom", what can I do to get the situation calmed down.
  2. How can I protect myself from the risk of asbestos inhalation when moving around in old abandoned buildings.

In both cases the question is totally fine without any reference to geocaching or outdoor activity. As already written in one comment on the first question:

…not about the great outdoors. It is a question about social interaction.

The same holds for the second one. It is about moving around in the possible dangers of old houses, no matter if it is in the context of a geocaching activity or just because it's an old abandoned house you inherited from your grandma. The answer stays the same.

  • You've run into anti-boat programming anti-meme. If we assume, geocaching is fully on-topic on the site, then the questions about urbex caches and security issues connected with them are also on topic. If they are not, geocaching is only partially on-topic. It's like a question about bear issues when backpacking. You remove backpacking and it should be off-topic because it's about human-animal interactions? Commented Apr 15, 2014 at 12:25
  • @Łukasz웃Lツ Running into a bear is way more probable when out in the wilderness than in your home town. And dealing with a bear in a remote area without buildings where you could just lock yourself into is a different thing than dealing with a bear that strayed into your street by accident. Of course, this is no sharp black-and-white boundary, but welcoming every question just because it might somehow relate to geocaching goes too far in my opinion. Commented Apr 15, 2014 at 12:50
  • It's not about question that might relate to geocaching. It's about something, that is very common issue while geocaching. You have much more chance to meet a clochard in an empty building than a bear in the forest. Commented Apr 15, 2014 at 12:52
  • "Social interactions". Well, go to Travel.SE to one of the questions about making phones from foreign country, and leave a comment that the question is about social interactions not travelling, because travelling doesn't require speaking with relatives. Commented Apr 15, 2014 at 12:54

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