# Need help submitting a backpacking challenge cache series

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I have a question for my fellow geocachers and I hope y'all can help me. I am designing and working State Park & National Forest park rangers on a backpacking geocache series. I want to make this series a challenge. 14 out of the 30 caches placed on the trail will have a code inscribed on the lid of the cache. Such as A=3, B=5,etc until the cacher can fill out the below coordinate formula.

AB CD.EFG

HI JK. LMN

I have scouted out and measured a spot for a bonus cache, which will correspond to the completed coordinates in the formula above.

How do I get the 30 caches along the trail published with the 31st cache (being the bonus) not having it's coordinates published? I am wanting those who attempt and complete the challenge to get 31 smileys as a result...and a really nice patch I am designing as a reward for finding all 30 caches - figuring out the coordinates and finding the bonus cache.

I thought I had thought about everything...but as I was on the last mile of the trail taking the coordinates of the last few hiding spots, I wondered how to do this? Can you help me figure this out?

Do I submit 30 traditional caches (the one's on the trail) and the 1 Puzzle cache (for the bonus) with instructions linking this puzzle cache to the 30 traditional caches with instructions on what to do with the codes found on the caches on the trail?

Again...I am hoping to have 30 traditional caches published (so they show up on the map) and the final cache coordinate hidden. I also want those who complete the challenge to receive 31 smileys!

Do I submit 30 traditional caches (the one's on the trail) and the 1 Puzzle cache (for the bonus) with instructions linking this puzzle cache to the 30 traditional caches with instructions on what to do with the codes found on the caches on the trail?

Pretty much. The posted coordinates of the puzzle would generally be the parking area or trail head, with the instructions on how to solve it. You don't need to link them all together - people will figure it out from your profile.

Such as A=3, B=5,etc until the cacher can fill out the below coordinate formula.

AB CD.EFG

HI JK. LMN

Unless you have already talked to your reviewer and gotten a preliminary ok for your final, I wouldn't approach your series this way. What happens if you go out and place all 31 caches and find out your final is in an area you can't place it (for example, too close to the final of a multi.) Then you have to revisit all 30 caches and correct the clues written in them. Make sure your formula is changeable without having to go back and visit all your other placements!

I have a question for my fellow geocachers and I hope y'all can help me. I am designing and working State Park & National Forest park rangers on a backpacking geocache series. I want to make this series a challenge. 14 out of the 30 caches placed on the trail will have a code inscribed on the lid of the cache. Such as A=3, B=5,etc until the cacher can fill out the below coordinate formula.

AB CD.EFG

HI JK. LMN

I have scouted out and measured a spot for a bonus cache, which will correspond to the completed coordinates in the formula above.

How do I get the 30 caches along the trail published with the 31st cache (being the bonus) not having it's coordinates published? I am wanting those who attempt and complete the challenge to get 31 smileys as a result...and a really nice patch I am designing as a reward for finding all 30 caches - figuring out the coordinates and finding the bonus cache.

I thought I had thought about everything...but as I was on the last mile of the trail taking the coordinates of the last few hiding spots, I wondered how to do this? Can you help me figure this out?

Do I submit 30 traditional caches (the one's on the trail) and the 1 Puzzle cache (for the bonus) with instructions linking this puzzle cache to the 30 traditional caches with instructions on what to do with the codes found on the caches on the trail?

Again...I am hoping to have 30 traditional caches published (so they show up on the map) and the final cache coordinate hidden. I also want those who complete the challenge to receive 31 smileys!

Publish the first thirty as regular caches and the final as a puzzle cache. You could make the posted coordinates for the puzzle cache the parking coordinates or event the start of the trail. Some may still manage to find the puzzle either through dumb luck or dedication to cracking the puzzle. I would recommend not putting a checker on the puzzle to avoid people finding it without doing the trail. Sounds like a great cache series though, I only wish you lived closer to Ohio so I would have a chance to go after it. Oh just curious, is this a trail that can be done in a day or will it require camping along the trail?

First, you are using two different terms for the same thing, and they are not. The term "Challenge Cache" is not related to what you are doing and I would avoid using it when discussing the caches and in the cache descriptions as it can cause a lot of confusion. What you are doing is known as a "Bonus Cache". Use the Puzzle/Mystery/Unknown, (whatever they are calling it now), as the cache type and set the coordinates to the parking spot or trailhead that the adventure starts at.

Make sure your formula is changeable without having to go back and visit all your other placements!

Excellent advice from ChileHead. You can put letters or codewords in a certain number of caches, and have a formula on the Bonus cache that turns those into coords.

That allows you to rework the formula if the final has to move at any time, and have some duplication of the info for that Bonus, so that losing a cache in the group doesn't make finding the bonus impossible, or force you to hustle out make a fix (this will always occur at the least opportune moment).

I recently found a series with a bonus. Coords for the bonus come from clue cards in some, but not all, of the caches. There are duplicate clue cards, ie you'll find the same clue twice. This makes that bonus findable even if a number of caches in the group get burned up, dismantled by bears, or lost in some other way. If he needs to move the final, he can fiddle with the way the clue cards generate coords.

I placed 4 caches with bonus early in my caching career. I put partial coordinate data in each cache of the group - a huge pain, as the final was found by Boy Scouts, and had to moved. Which meant revisiting and reworking the other caches to the new coords. One of the other caches burnt twice, one was lost to flooding, and the final burnt - had to moved, no cover on the burned ground.

And then burnt again.... each move required revisiting and reworking the data in the other caches.

I'd NEVER set up a cache series this way again. Ever. Never ever, ever.... ;-)

Edited by Isonzo Karst

Be sure to mention the fact that there is a code needed for the bonus cache on each of the preliminary caches, so people will have the best possible chance to notice them and write them down.

Also, put the numbers for the degrees as well as the hundredth and thousandths places in the caches closer to the trailhead.

Thanks so much for all of the advice you have given me! You guys have made me think about things I would not have thought about before asking for help! I will ponder on all of these suggestions and incorporate them into the final product.

How would you guys design the actual physical caches? I NEED them to be maintenance free. I cannot afford 31 ammo cans...so I am open to all suggestions!

Shaved Ewok...

The trail is meant to be done over two days and one night. It has two primitive camping areas located on the trail. You could even make it a 2-nighter very easily! We wished you lived closer as well!

Thanks for the GREAT advice about the bonus cache! I have my bases covered...the area is WIDE open! Not a cache anywhere near it, nor are there any multis or puzzles either. Great advice though...I appreciate it greatly.

However, after thinking about what you said...I will triple check and shoot my reviewer the coords for the final...just to make 10000% sure!

Thanks for the GREAT advice about the bonus cache! I have my bases covered...the area is WIDE open! Not a cache anywhere near it, nor are there any multis or puzzles either. Great advice though...I appreciate it greatly.

However, after thinking about what you said...I will triple check and shoot my reviewer the coords for the final...just to make 10000% sure!

If the reviewer tells you that the spot is clear, then create a new listing with the coordinates, but make sure that "ready for review" is not checked. This will reserve the spot for you. If someone tries to list a cache too close to it, the reviewer will contact you first to verify your intentions before he/she will publish the other persons cache.

PVC storm water pipe makes a reasonable container you simply buy a screw end and a cap and make the container using the appropriate PVC primer and glue. Remember storm water pipe is also good for keeping water in.

PVC storm water pipe makes a reasonable container you simply buy a screw end and a cap and make the container using the appropriate PVC primer and glue. Remember storm water pipe is also good for keeping water in.

EVERY one of these I ever found has leaked.

The threads are not intended to be watertight...and they aren't.

Lock n locks are probably your cheapest, yet most trouble-free choice that are readily available.

I wouldn't recommend PVC either. PVC caches aren't cheap. And if they are tightened enough to be weatherproof, then you need tools to open them. If they can still be opened without tools, then they leak. There are better options out there.

Lock & Lock containers can be reasonably inexpensive, especially if you buy them as a set. But plastic can still degrade when exposed to the elements. Be sure to take that into account.

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