Mystery Caches come in many different styles – but today we want to hone in on a classic: the Puzzle Cache. The posted coordinates for a Puzzle Cache are usually bogus coordinates. Geocachers must solve a puzzle on the cache page to learn the actual location of the geocache.
If you love solving Puzzle Caches, you might have thought to create your own. Puzzled on how to get started? Don’t worry, we’ve got you covered. Here are four ways to inspire you to create a Puzzle Cache to adore.
Share what you love!
Are you a fan of a band, a tv show, a local sports team? Use your knowledge to quiz others, or add hints of your favorite topic throughout the cache description. Make clever use of the number of a song in an album or use jerseys of your favorite players to spell out the coordinates.
Use mystery language
Use ROT13, Caesar shift, or Morse code, Semaphore signals, the maritime flag alphabet, or other codes to spell out cache coordinates in creative ways. You can even create your own spy language, by using words on pages of your favorite book.
Hide and hide again
Hide the cache, then hide the coordinates on the cache page. This can be in an inconspicuous spot in a picture, using invisible ink (white text on a white web page), or counting off items in a poem just to name a few options. Just like geocache hiding spots, the possibilities to cleverly conceal the coordinates on the cache page are endless.
Effort over guesswork
There are many a ways to make geocachers work for the coordinates leading them to the final. You can make a classic crossword puzzle, have them play sudoku, find their way out of a labyrinth or find geocaching terms in a word maze. There are many online resources that can help create those to help geocachers pass time in style on a rainy day.
Whichever direction you choose to create a lovely Puzzle Cache, do a test run. Just because you made the puzzle doesn’t mean it’s straightforward to solve. To make sure it can be solved, test your assumptions with a friend or two.
Pro tip: Before you submit the cache page, post a Reviewer Note with an explanation of how the puzzle is solved. Reviewer Notes are automatically deleted when the cache is published.