View Full Version : Changes to Challenge Cache Guidelines

03-18-2012, 07:29 PM
I mentioned this at the breakfast event today and thought I'd post it here for those that didn't hear and don't visit the forums.

4.14. Challenge Caches

[updated 3/12/12]

What is a Challenge cache?

A challenge cache requires that geocachers meet a geocaching-related qualification or series of tasks before the challenge cache can be logged. Waymarking, Benchmarking, Challenges and Wherigo-related tasks also qualify. The additional qualification or geocaching-related tasks are considered the basis of a challenge cache, rather than Additional Logging Requirements (ALRs).

Challenge caches vary in scope and format. All challenge caches must be in the affirmative and require that something be accomplished. Challenge cache owners must demonstrate that there are sufficient available caches to meet the challenge at the time of publication. Reviewers may ask the cache owner to demonstrate that they have previously met the challenge and/or that a substantial number of other geocachers would be able to do so.

How will you know when the challenge cache requirements have been met?

Importantly, cache owners must consider how they will substantiate claims that the cache requirements have been met. The challenge criteria on the cache page must reflect this consideration, and must be verifiable through information on the website. Challenge caches relying solely on third-party software for verification will not be published. Cache owners will need to ensure that geocachers can verify that they have completed the cache requirements without compromising their privacy. Challenge cache owners may also be asked to outline a long-term cache maintenance plan.

What makes an acceptable challenge cache?

A challenge cache needs to appeal to, and be attainable by, a reasonable number of geocachers. A challenge cache may not specifically exclude any segment of geocachers. If a geocacher is required to alter their caching style or habits, such as avoiding a particular cache type to attain a specific percentage or average, the cache will not be published.

The requirements for meeting the challenge should be succinct and easy to explain, follow, and document. A lengthy list of "rules" would be sufficient reason for a challenge cache to not be published.

Additional points to consider when creating a challenge cache:

Challenge caches must contain the word "challenge" in the cache name.
Challenge caches are listed as the Mystery/Unknown cache type.
A Challenge cache must avoid undue restrictions. Specifically:
Challenge caches based on a specific list of caches, such as caches placed by a specific person or group, will generally not be published.
Challenge caches cannot include restrictions based on 'date found'; caches found before the challenge cache publication date can count towards the achievement of the challenge.
Challenge caches need to be attainable at any time while the cache is active. A cache that requires "100 multi-caches found in 2011" would not be publishable, as would not be attainable by someone new to the game.
A Challenge cache based on non-accomplishments, such as DNFs, will not be published.
One should not have to 'give up' finding other caches to achieve a challenge cache's requirements. To state that "10% of your find count needs to be Attended Logs" would require the geocacher to stop finding other types of caches and could affect their overall enjoyment of the game.
Challenge caches may not require the publication of a new cache or waymark as a challenge criteria; challenge caches must be achievable by those who do not own caches or waymarks.
Challenge caches must not require geocachers to log caches that are disabled or archived.
A challenge cache should recognize the completion of a personal achievement, rather than the winner of a competition. For example, a challenge cache based on "First to Finds" is a competition between geocachers, and is therefore not publishable.
A challenge cache must be attainable without the need to email the owner. The cache page must include the true coordinates or the means to calculate them, if a puzzle.
If a challenge cache is submitted within an area where a similar challenge cache already exists, then it will need to have a unique list of qualifying criteria (geocaches, waymarks, etc.).
From the Geocache Listing Requirements and Guidelines:

Please be advised that there is no precedent for placing geocaches.


At times a geocache may meet the requirements for publication on the site but the reviewers, as experienced geocachers, may see additional concerns not listed in these guidelines that you as a geocache placer may not have noticed. The reviewer may bring these additional concerns to your attention and offer suggestions so that the geocache can be published.

03-19-2012, 03:40 AM
So they've vastly improved them. No more "Kiss a Frog" challenges from what I'm seeing there.

03-19-2012, 05:50 AM
No, the changes to the guidelines are regarding old school challenges like the Delorme Challenge. The new "kiss-a-frog" type challenges have been changed some too, but I have not paid any attention to those.

The way read the new guidelines, many of Maine's existing challenges would not be allowed any more. I was going to hide one myself but I don't think I will now. I had just about talked myself out of it before the guidelines were updated.

03-19-2012, 03:58 PM
Oh, okay. See how closely I paid attention to either type of challenge? Not where my interest lies.

03-24-2012, 08:03 AM
Most of the challenge caches would not meet the new guidelines.

Seems they are trying harder everyday to drive people away. I wont put another challenge out just because of this. And then they wonder why other sites keep popping up.

03-25-2012, 11:18 PM
I recently placed, and had published a Challenge cache in Portland, Maine:


My original intention for this was for the cache to be an actual Whereigo AND A challenge cache. However before I submitted it, I read the Challenge cache guidelines and they state that Challenge Caches MUST be published as Mystery/Puzzle caches. And that was that

03-26-2012, 06:42 AM
I am looking forward to coming down to log that one. I like Wherigos and I'm glad to see more being developed.

03-26-2012, 06:49 AM
I've been re-thinking making a wherigo cache for a week or so now. So, it might happen. I haven't found any yet, though.

03-26-2012, 10:26 AM
Brdad: You should! I have one that is about half done...... a pretty straight forward one. I have done a few very intense ones, and Marcipanek, my caching partner down here has done a lot in Europe where they are much more common. He recently put out two down here in Portland and he has an event for Easter Sunday where his NEW one will be unveiled and the event is set up as a group Whereigo Event so everyone can do his cache at the same time!

03-26-2012, 10:27 AM
I am looking forward to you logging it. My original requirements were too stringent in my opinion so I made it more relaxed. Wanted to encourage people to go do the Whereigos in Maine and also wanted to allow people who come from out of town who already have done Wherigos, to be able to log the Challenge as well.

03-26-2012, 10:50 AM
Which builder are you using?

03-26-2012, 11:04 AM

I find it to be the most user friendly (oxymoronic phrase for building a Whereigo, I know)

I am a Mac/Apple guy so I am running it on my purely Geocaching , cheap Toshiba laptop that I use for TOPO, Street Atlas and GSAK.

03-26-2012, 12:22 PM
I wish there were more wherigo caches near by. Maybe I will put a challenge cache to CREATE a wherigo cache, that should help. If you want to create a wherigo cache don't even bother with groundspeak builder. Try either or (this one is web based)

03-26-2012, 12:42 PM
I found Urwigo to be the best. The Groundspeak one is terrible. And Earwigo is a bit cumbersome and you need to register with the owner of the site before you use it. It is actually web based. You don't have to download the software. Petr (Marcipanek) went to a Cache Event in Prague, Czech Republic last fall that was actually an 8 hour class by the writer of the Urwigo program, on how to build Whereigo cartridges.

Cano, I don't think your Whereigo challenge will meet the current Challenge Cache guidelines. I dont think you can create a Challenge that requires someone to place a cache ha ha

03-26-2012, 11:22 PM
I wish there were more wherigo caches near by.

ST is correct, you can't create a challenge cache that requires anyone to place a cache or caches.

Challenge caches may not require the publication of a new cache or waymark as a challenge criteria; challenge caches must be achievable by those who do not own caches or waymarks.

03-26-2012, 11:22 PM
I just saw the event posted and was wondering if someone can give a brief, simple, discription of what a wherigo is. thanks.

03-26-2012, 11:48 PM
Lets see if I can explain a Wherigo...

It is a GPS location based interactive game that can be run by downloading a Whereigo "cartridge" and playing it on a Whereigo capaable device. Not all GPS units are Wherigo capable. The Garmin Colorados and Oregons are. The new Montana is not. Also many Smartphones like the iPhone and the Android based platforms have Whereigo apps available. Whereigo is now owned by Groundspeak. Not all Whereigo cartridges are for Geocaches. In fact the majority are not. But Whereigos can be incorporated into a Cache by the user playing the cartridge and at the end when you complete the cartridge, it will send you to a cache which you can log on

I wasnt all that into it at first. The first one in Portland, GC1A9Y0 Portland Freedom Trail takes you around Portland's underground railroad history. A typical Whereigo will ask you questions which you must answer from your surroundings. Cano's Bangor Mini Adventure GC1WCEG is very fun.

I have done 11 so far. My favorite by far is Dunbar Dan GC2QQW4. Marcipanek and I did it after Geowoodstock this past summer. We started it at midnight in this creepy town in the mountains southeast of Pittsburgh, PA. It took us on an adventure chasing bank robbers into the mountains and to their "hideaway". It was great because there was a lightning storm and rain while we were doing it and the final location was in a cave. We literally had to climb through caves and small slot canyons in this forested mountain area to get there. We even ran into some teenagers having a bonfire and drinking out on the mountain powerline trails which we had to take to get to the cache at the end.

They are very popular in Europe and involve some wild ideas. Marcipank and Cano can tell you more about those.

I use my iPhone to play the Whereigo cartidges. I find that the iPhone app for it is very stable and works better, faster and more accurately than the Garmin devices that support it. Go to my public Geocaching profile and read my log for Dunbar Dan and look at the photos.

Ooops!I just looked at my log and I never edited after I intially logged it on my iPhone ha ha I should go do that. Here read Marcipanek's log instead....

Or read the other logs. Does that answer your question? Sorry I was so long winded....

03-27-2012, 08:13 AM
thanks for the explanation and links.

03-28-2012, 04:38 PM
They made some adjustments to the challenge caches once again today, but it seems just this line:

Note: Challenge caches published prior to the guideline update 3/12/12 are grandfathered into the game and do not need to comply with current guidelines.

03-28-2012, 04:40 PM
Sometimes it bothers me when they grandfather in certain things. Like traditional caches from years ago that are really multis or mysteries. Why can't they just change the cache types on those caches to make them fit?

03-28-2012, 04:59 PM
I guess they figure there is not enough of those to worry about. I have seen several however.

I am glad they didn't grandfather locationless and they they removed them all from the site.
I am glad they did grandfather virtuals so the existing ones could stay. I wish they just still allowed new ones!

I totally dislike that on one of my caches they grandfathered virtual stages of a multi as being able to be treated as a physical stages and then turned around and went back on their word and took it away from me. But I guess some days ya just gotta go with the flow. In the end I guess they are doing what makes sense to them, even if we would do it differently.

03-28-2012, 05:03 PM
I guess I wish whenever someone brought a cache to their attention that should be a mystery or a multi-stage, they would go and contact cache owner and offer to change it to the proper type. I encounter these more often than you'd think, mainly because my caching trips take me out of the usual caching areas that we all know so well here in Maine.

Like everything in the world, logic never prevails.... especially in Geocaching!

04-04-2012, 05:24 PM
I just activated my own Whereigo and it got published this morning. It's in Portland and called Here U Go, Whereigo!

thanks for the explanation and links.