CITO event week – a new souvenir beckons

We are currently in the Cito week. But what does that mean now? This year's Autumn Cache In Trash Out (CITO) week will take place from Saturday, September 15th to Sunday, September 23rd.

What does CITO even mean?

"Cache In Trash Out", abbreviated CITO, means something like "Cache in, garbage out". What is meant is that rubbish that is occasionally found in nature, left behind in nature by walkers or cachers, is picked up and disposed of in an environmentally friendly manner.

So actually a matter of course when we are out in nature anyway....

The term CITO is often associated with so-called CITO events. Here the community of geocachers, mostly locally, meets in a larger group to collect and dispose of the garbage in a defined area. There are small events where six geocachers set off to collect some garbage in a few streets. But there are also major events where 50-100 cachers come together to plant trees. There are many possibilities.

In addition to the CITO events, so-called CITO containers are a special feature. Probably best known from the pocket CITO, which you can sometimes even make on site at mega events.

By the way: After the archiving of a cache, the owner has also undertaken to dispose of the can again. Sometimes it doesn't seem so well known, but this small, personally personal Cito is also part of geocaching.

Wo sind CITO-Events in meiner Nähe?

When Groundspeak now announces a CITO week and gives away a new, special souvenir, then events are usually meant. If you attend such a CITO event and help out for a certain amount of time, you can log this event as attended and receive a souvenir in addition to the cache point. As with other types of events, the owners usually have a log book on site. CITO events, like other events, can be found via the Groundspeak map. The special sign makes them easy to find.

And yet the souvenir for participating in a CITO within the CITO week is different than other souvenirs such as Hidden Creatur or “You might be an adrenalin junkie if…..”. It is felt that these campaigns attract far more attention than the CITO week that is currently running. A glance at the map also confirms that there are significantly more CITO events being held at the moment than is usual in other weeks of the year. But you have to drive a few kilometers before you reach the next CITO. Why it is like that? Perhaps the garbage disposal after a CITO is not as easy to organize as a table in the pub for a regulars' table. Maybe geocachers prefer to look for a can instead of garbage outside in nature. It's good that Groundspeak is asking cachers to do something for the environment with their own souvenir.

How exactly does a CITO event work?

There are many different variants here. What the events have in common is that an owner – or a group of owners – has created an event listing for a CITO. On the map, this event does not appear with a speech bubble like other events, but has an earth symbol. The CITO listing specifies a meeting point and a time, usually also what accessories you should bring with you. This can be gloves, a gripper, a garbage can or bags. The owner has considered an area that should be freed from garbage and ideally also discussed this with those responsible. Foresters, street cleaners, etc. come into consideration here, as do residents and the municipal waste disposal company. Normally, CITO events are welcomed by those responsible and there is support for the issue.

At the agreed start time, the geocachers start cleaning the area assigned to them by the owner. There is usually a collection point where car tires and refrigerators that have been disposed of in nature can be taken to. A rubbish bag is usually enough to collect cigarette butts, candy wrappers, Tempos, etc.

A fixed period of time is always defined for the event, after which the action is complete. Overdrafts can sometimes occur here when the geocachers are in their element and find plenty of rubbish. The cozy part of the event often follows in the appendix. This can be a small drink (we have already seen that the mayor of the municipality donated it and also came by himself to say thank you....), it could be a visit to the local pub or a barbecue together. There are no limits to the imagination of the event owner.

In any case, the owner should have clarified the disposal of the collected garbage so that it disappears from the street in a timely manner.

What do I get from participating in a CITO event?

In the current CITO week you have even more of it than usual in the year: there is a special souvenir. But of course that's not the most important thing. As with every event, the community of geocachers is in the foreground, people talk about caches, exchange ideas and make appointments for the next actions. There are also some challenges around the world that revolve around participation in CITO events. And something else important: We geocachers also leave our mark in nature! We should all take the rubbish we produce home with us or not produce it at all. But we leave traces in the forest and in nature with our trails, walks, searching for cans. With a CITO we can give something back to nature. Perhaps the best reason to attend a CITO.

Accessories for the CITO week

Even if I found that less advertising was made for this CITO week than for other campaigns related to geocaching, there are also a number of accessories for this.

Coins, pins, tags…. Not necessarily just for this week, but all about CITO in general. We have found a rich selection at the Geocoinshop and are happy to provide you with the link: Geocoinshop accessories offer

Pocket Cito

The Pocket Cito is occasionally given as a gift, can be found in tins, and you can also craft it yourself. It's a lot of work, but it's also for a good cause. We found a nice guide to the pocket Cito here:​ Taschen-Cito

The Taschen-Cito is not an event, but a garbage bag that you should always have with you.

There is a nice explanation for a pocket Cito on the website. We hope the quote is allowed and serves the purpose of making the pocket Citos better known:

The pocket cito is a 25l plastic waste bag that is broken in a paper. There is a TB code for discovering and a "instructions" that stands on the paper banderole.
It's actually quite simple:
Take the pocket CITO with you when you find it and put it in your ECA. Use it during a caching trip in the fields, forests and fields to free the environment from debris lying around. Then dispose of the rubbish in the bag in a public garbage can. Finished.
You will then no longer have a pocket CITO in your ECA, but only until you find a new one in a cache. And who knows, maybe you'll put a bag from home in the ECA for the next tour?

What's really great is that event organizers can get these pocket Citos in a not inconsiderable amount (up to 100 pieces) free of charge. Well, no geocacher should walk through the forest without a garbage collection bag.

And there are also extra caches where you can stock up on a larger number of pocket Cito's.

In most cases, the home-of-pocket CITOs are caches with big boxes, which are filled with a large number of pocket CITOs of the respective owner.
Cachers can thus take a larger number of pocket CITOs with them then use them yourself or distribute them to other caches.

I found 11 of these home-of-bags CITO boxes spread across Germany. Here you can look out for it on your next trip.

CITO Signal

And now we from the Cacher-Reisen team wish you a particularly nice rest of the week and a great weekend, during which it pays off to go out into nature again - and of course to take part in a CITO event.

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