How to Make a Geocache Puzzle

Written by james barbeau
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How to Make a Geocache Puzzle
A common geocache (Geocaching-Box image by Heiko Appelbaum from Fotolia.com)

Geocaching is a treasure hunt that can be as fun for the hider as it is for the seeker. Any given treasure, known as a geocache, has specific coordinates of longitude and latitude to which seekers must travel in order to locate the treasure. The coordinates of a good geocache are encoded within a puzzle that challenges the seeker without driving him to the point of frustration. There are a variety of ways to make a geocache puzzle, such as through encrypted codes, riddles, word games or number games.

Skill level:
Easy

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Things you need

  • GPS
  • Geocache container
  • Content for container
  • Logbook

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Instructions

  1. 1

    Determine where to hide the geocache. Using a GPS, note the exact coordinates of the hiding spot or of a nearby landmark that the seeker can easily notice.

  2. 2

    Encrypt your code. Through encryption, a code could be used to obfuscate the location of the geocache. A very basic form of encryption is the Caesar Cipher. To do this, shift every character in the message forward by a set number. In a Caesar Cipher of 3, the word CAT becomes FDW, and the number 32 becomes 65. This is a basic encryption method, but the process can become very complex with some effort.

  3. 3

    Create a word game. Word jumbles, such as those found in most newspapers, involve mixing up a variety of letters that need to be put into the correct order. Certain signified letters in each mixed-up word, when put into the correct order, can create a message that can then be used to discover the location of the geocache.

  4. 4

    Devise a riddle. Riddles are an excellent way to identify a geocache. Write a riddle whose answer provides clues as to the general location of the geocache. Some possibilities include riddles remarking on the landscape, riddles remarking on landmarks or riddles that provide the coordinates.

  5. 5

    Hide the geocache with a logbook and some content inside. Also remember to put it on the official Geocache website. It is imperative that the geocache be kept well maintained, so check on it regularly to assure that it is still in the proper location.

Tips and warnings

  • Do not hide a geocache on private property unless you have permission from the landowner.
  • Avoid hiding geocaches in dangerous locations that risk injury to the seeker, such as treetops or high ledges.
  • Make sure the geocache is not in an area that will raise unnecessary concern in passersby if they find it.
  • Ensure that the geocache is well hidden enough that people not playing the game will not easily locate it

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