Skills & Techniques

Cache In, Trash Out

Susy Alkaitis - August 30, 2018

Seattle, WA: Calling all geocachers! It’s time to Cache In, Trash Out (CITO).

Twice a year, Geocaching highlights worldwide CITO cleanup events, where geocachers can give back to the trails and protected lands they love to explore. You can join this effort on Sept. 15-23, 2018, when geocachers and community groups work together to improve parks and other outdoor environments. Find a few geocaches in your neck of the woods, then head out into the literal woods for a day cleaning up litter, removing invasive species, building trails, and more.

If you’re new to this, geocaching is a digitally-enabled treasure hunt. Players look for hidden caches by following clues and GPS coordinates. It’s as accessible as owning a smartphone and as fun as your favorite adventure movie. Caches can be anywhere, from the center of Manhattan to the top of a mountain. Chances are, wherever you’re reading this, you’re within a mile of a hidden treasure only geocachers know about.

Many geocachers are hyper-aware of their environmental impacts, and how they can practice Leave No Trace while they’re out exploring. If there’s a trail forming to a cache, participants can ask the owner to move its location. If they have to lift a rock or sticks to locate a cache, they’re taught to put everything back exactly as they found it. And most of all, they CITO.

Responsible geocachers CITO every time they are out, but CITO events are an opportunity to think bigger and maximize the effort. Since it started in 2002, CITO has involved 240,000 volunteers in 11,000 clean-up events. That’s a lot of positive impact! Join a Cache In, Trash Out event in your area at,.

Want to add some extra discovery and exploration to your next outdoor adventure? Learn more at

Leave No Trace's Joe and Joe are part of the 2018 Subaru/Leave No Trace Traveling Trainer Program that provides free, mobile education to communities across the country. Proud partners of this program include Subaru of America, REI, Eagles Nest Outfitters, Deuter, Thule, Taxa, and Klean Kanteen.

Images courtesy of

Let’s protect and enjoy our natural world together

Get the latest in Leave No Trace eNews in your inbox so you can stay informed and involved.