Recent revisions to the Indiana Department of Natural Resource’s geocaching
policy aim to achieve a better balance between outdoor recreation and
Geocaching is a sport in which participants search for “caches” using a GPS
unit and coordinates listed online. A cache is a small container with a
logbook and a few small trinket items. Some caches, known as “containerless
caches,” do not have containers and are only coordinates to a location.
The revisions open more DNR properties to geocaching and allow more caches
at properties where the sport is permitted. But the caches are also subject
to new location restrictions intended to protect sensitive natural areas.
A more detailed explanation of the DNR geocaching policy is at
The revisions were approved in September by the Natural Resources Commission
and went into effect this month. They were made with cooperation from the
geocaching community and with Groundspeak, the company which owns
As the DNR implements the new revisions, it is also taking action to
eliminate unlicensed caches on its properties.
Starting when the geocaching policy first went into effect in 2005, all
caches with containers located on DNR properties have required a license
from DNR. Still, thousands of unlicensed caches have been placed on DNR
properties and their coordinates posted on Geocaching.com
On Nov. 6, Geocaching.com will archive and temporarily remove all listings
for container-style caches on DNR properties—licensed and unlicensed. Cache
owners will then have 30 days to apply for a license. If the license is
approved, the cache listing will be republished on Geocaching.com;
otherwise, the cache will be permanently removed from the website.
Information on license application is also at geocaching.dnr.IN.gov
Existing containerless caches, which are not subject to licensing, will not
be removed unless they violate any new policy limits.