Premium Member Only cache
A Premium Member Only (PMO) cache is a cache listed at Geocaching.com that can be viewed only by premium members. Owners of PMO caches are able to view an audit log that shows which members have viewed the page. (The audit log does not show who has accessed the cache info via pocket queries and other means, however.)
The benefits of premium membership at Geocaching.com include the ability to view PMO caches, and the ability to list PMO caches. Basic members are not able to view PMO cache listings, although they are able to post logs for PMO caches that they find (e.g., on a geocaching trip with a premium member).
Reasons for PMO Caches
Groundspeak does not state a reason for PMO caches. However, cache owners have stated various reasons for restricting their cache listings to premium members, including:
- Hiding cache coordinates from local cache maggots who have only basic accounts.
- Encouraging others to buy premium memberships, or rewarding them for doing so.
- Keeping the cache listing out of products that don't require a geocaching.com account (e.g., GPS receivers like the Geomate.jr or eXplorist GC that come preloaded with geocache data).
- Keeping the cache listing out of products that don't require a geocaching.com account with a validated email address (e.g., Groundspeak's free Geocaching Intro app for iPhone).
- Preventing search engines and unregistered visitors from accessing logs and photos posted to the cache.
- Rewarding premium members with an FTF opportunity (switching off the PMO flag later).
- Reducing the traffic to the cache, to reduce the maintenance required (e.g., replacing full logs, resetting on-site puzzles) or to reduce geotrails.
- Slowing down the initial rush of traffic to the cache site, to attract less attention from muggles or to reduce geotrails (switching off the PMO flag later).
- Limiting access to "serious" geocachers, expecting them:
- to treat the cache/camouflage/location/contents with more respect.
- to know how to log trackables correctly.
- to post better online logs.
- to have validated their email addresses.
- Hiding a mystery/puzzle cache that requires premium membership to complete, so basic members don't see it.
- Hiding a challenge cache from basic members who might not understand the need to complete the challenge before logging online.
- Hiding an EarthCache from basic members who might not understand the need to complete the EarthCache requirements before logging online.
- Hiding caches from local basic members who
- complain excessively (e.g., about caches that are "too difficult" or that cost money to find).
- post bogus Needs Maintenance or Needs Archived logs (e.g., whenever they DNF a cache).
- Using the audit log feature of PMO caches.
- Being curious about what it's like to own a PMO cache.
- Wanting to take advantage of all the features offered to premium members.
- Premium Membership (GoGeocaching channel on YouTube)