How to create a cache that tells a story

There’s nothing quite like the feeling of escaping into a good story, turning the pages of a book and forgetting about your actual surroundings as your mind sinks into the story’s plot and setting. While this sensation is typically associated with reading a book, it can also come from searching for a geocache. Plus, when a geocache has a story, you get to take the lead characters’ role and explore the outdoors as you search for the hide. Adding a narrative to a Multi-Cache, Mystery Cache, or Adventure takes what might feel like a straight-forward scavenger hunt and turns it into a captivating experience. Read on for tips on how to create a cache based around a story.

Pick your cache type
With the option of multiple stages and locations, Multi-Caches, Mystery Caches, and Adventures are all great frameworks for telling a story. Pick the right cache type for your story based on the mood and tone you want to set. Is the story a spooky tale or a mystery? A Mystery Cache might be a good call, then. Are you telling a story about local history by taking geocachers to important local sites? That type of experience might be a good fit for a Multi-Cache or an Adventure.

Plan the plot
The easiest way to plan out the different stages of your geocache is to first outline the beginning, middle, and end of your story. These three parts of the story will be the first draft of the first stage, second stage, and final coordinates of your geocache. Once you have that sketched out, take a closer look at your story and see if more stages are needed between those three points. If there are important scenes that happen between the beginning and the middle or between the middle and the ending, add those in an order that makes the most sense.

Choose your locations
Now that you have the number of stages figured out, it’s time to choose the locations for them. If possible, pick locations that have a setting that matches your story. Start off by thinking of the general type of setting for your story. Is it in the country, the city, a small town, a forest? Once you’ve decided that, explore the area of your chosen backdrop. See if there are any spots that really stand out or match moments of your story. It’s also helpful to see if those areas have spaces that would be convenient for hiding cache containers. Make sure to take notes and record the coordinates of any good location so you’ll be all set to return to them later, or submit your cache for publication!

Have you found or created geocaches that tell stories? What stories would you want to see a geocache based on? Share in the comments below!

Genevieve is a Marketing Associate at Geocaching HQ.