How do you make a puzzle geocache

Are you trying to make a puzzle geocache? Puzzle geocaches are a type of mystery geocache for which you need to solve a puzzle to get correct geocache coordinates or to open the geocache. 

These can often be the most difficult geocaches to create, especially if you want to create the best and challenging puzzle cache. It has to be both fun but solvable, not too hard or too easy, and also has to comply with geocaching rules. There are many variations of puzzle geocaches, so maybe this guide on how to make puzzle geocaches will help you.

Here are the steps to making a puzzle cache:

Create the puzzle

The answer to the puzzle geocache will be either it’s coordinates or clues to getting the geocache contents. The riddle that you choose shouldn’t be too easy, but it also shouldn’t be unsolvable. Here is a source about possible puzzles for inspiration.

Choose whether it will have one stage or multiple stages

If you decide that your mystery cache will only have one stage, then the posted coordinates for the geocache will be fake ones, and the real location of your geocache will be solved through the puzzle. Add a real location through waypoints. You can also use a Solution Checker, so that a geocacher can verify the solution after solving the puzzle.

If you decide that your puzzle geocache will have multiple stages, it will require a bit more planning. First, make sure to be able to differentiate between multi-cache and mystery cache so that you aren’t actually creating a multicache.

Then also add multiple stages through adding waypoints. The Solution Checker can only be used for a final geocache puzzle. You can also use external geocheckers to verify solutions from solving a puzzle for each of your waypoints, like Certitudes and GeoCheck.

Choose the fake location of the geocache, and the real location of the geocache

If you decide that the result of decoding a puzzle will be real geocache coordinates, then coordinates listed in the app and thus, the location of the geocache on the map, should be fake. The real location will be somewhere else.

However, choosing the fake coordinates is also important. They might be a start of an important trail, a convenient starting point (like the parking lot), entrance to the park where the real geocache is located.

Warn geocachers that this is a puzzle geocache

Make sure to write this in Description that this is a puzzle geocache. Even though it should be obvious to almost everybody that this is a puzzle geocache, repeating that in the geocache Description is good, so that geocachers won’t be disappointed if there is no geocache at fake coordinates.

Verify that your puzzle geocache is working and that it complies with rules

Verify that your geocache is solvable. Try to solve it yourself or ask somebody else to solve it and express their opinion. If in doubt, consult other geocachers. Also make sure that your geocache complies with the official rules of geocaching and submit it according to those rules. Check the rules for the puzzle geocache here.