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Awesome Challenge Cache ideas wanted

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I have hidden (and found) many Challenge caches over the years.  I recently had to archive one and am looking for a challenging and somewhat unique replacement.  So I am interested in hearing from you.  What are your favorite Challenge caches you have done, own, or are working on?  Thanks in advance [:)]

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I've done a one-year streak challenge, and a "puzzling month" (one-month streak of mystery/puzzle caches) challenge.

 

I'm (slowly) working on a local USGS quadrangle challenge, but it's grandfathered. The closest current alternative would be a county challenge.

 

I'm also (slowly) working on a "bingo" version of a well-rounded cacher challenge, which basically lets you pick any row, column, or diagonal of 5 challenges, and you can complete those 5 challenges to qualify. I have no idea whether a new challenge of that style would be allowed.

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I love working towards challenge caches, and I'm closing in on finding 300 of them, including nine of yours (so far).  My current challenge goals include finishing up the 360 Degrees of Ohio Challenge and the Ohio History Challenge.

 

One challenge cache I enjoyed finding recently is a Continental Expansion Challenge.  To qualify, you have to find at least as many caches in a state as the order in which that state was admitted to the Union.  (Delaware, find one cache; Hawaii, find 50 caches - and you need 13 qualifying states.)  I don't think that Ohio has one, and it would be a nice compliment to your Signal for President Challenge.

 

If you hid this, I'd find it soon, as I will be in the general area of most of your challenge caches in order to score a find I need for the Ohio History Challenge.  Thank you for hiding challenge caches!

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37 minutes ago, niraD said:

I'm also (slowly) working on a "bingo" version of a well-rounded cacher challenge, which basically lets you pick any row, column, or diagonal of 5 challenges, and you can complete those 5 challenges to qualify. I have no idea whether a new challenge of that style would be allowed.

 

New "Bingo" challenges are still allowed.  The most important things to remember are that each individual square needs to be a qualifying challenge all on its own (so no trackables, no cache names, etc.) and that you must demonstrate that enough people in your area already qualify or are close to qualifying for the challenge (to prevent "look at all the quirky things that only I have done in combination" bingo challenges).

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I've seen a few 'traveler' challenges:  finding caches in all the counties I-5 passes thru from Canada to Mexico; finding caches in states that form a connection from Pacific to Atlantic Oceans; finding caches in the four corners of the lower 48.  I have a couple of ideas of my own...

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35 minutes ago, The Leprechauns said:

I love working towards challenge caches, and I'm closing in on finding 300 of them, including nine of yours (so far).  My current challenge goals include finishing up the 360 Degrees of Ohio Challenge and the Ohio History Challenge.

 

One challenge cache I enjoyed finding recently is a Continental Expansion Challenge.  To qualify, you have to find at least as many caches in a state as the order in which that state was admitted to the Union.  (Delaware, find one cache; Hawaii, find 50 caches - and you need 13 qualifying states.)  I don't think that Ohio has one, and it would be a nice compliment to your Signal for President Challenge.

 

If you hid this, I'd find it soon, as I will be in the general area of most of your challenge caches in order to score a find I need for the Ohio History Challenge.  Thank you for hiding challenge caches!

 

Unfortunately, the checker for Signal for President seems to include Locationless Caches.  The only caches I've found for Texas were Locationless.  I've never actually found  a cache in Texas.

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4 hours ago, geocat_ said:

What are your favorite Challenge caches you have done, own, or are working on?  Thanks in advance [:)]

 

I've only completed five challenges so far but they were all interesting, with the caches themselves in challenging locations. My favourite though is GC6QQPE which requires 24 finds of caches with a D/T rating of 2/4. At the time it was published I only had 4 qualifying finds under my belt and it took a full year to reach 24, with that journey taking me to some amazing caches in their own right. The cache itself for that one lived up to its D/T rating, being out on the end of the Dutchman's Stern, a cliff-lined spur with magnificent views of the valley far below.

 

19d14c39-f4fb-49e9-9766-5747a76f3b8f_l.j

 

On the other side of the coin, I've created two challenges of my own. The first, the Slow Cooked Aussie Challenge, requires 20 finds of caches in Australia with the "takes more than an hour" attribute, in other words the antithesis of P&Gs. The cache itself takes more than an hour to get to and is atop Scopas Peak in Brisbane Water National Park. The second, published just a couple of months ago, is The Nemophilist Challenge, requiring qualifying caches with a mix of attributes corresponding to the "qualities" needed for the journey to the cache (agility, endurance, sure-footedness, watchfulness and awe).

 

Edited by barefootjeff
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44 minutes ago, Max and 99 said:

That one violates a Challenge Cache guideline.

 

It is approved by HQ. How do you think it is violating guideline?

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Just now, arisoft said:

 

It is approved by HQ. How do you think it is violating guideline?

 

Well, the cache page contains an impermissible logging requirement (posting the output from the challenge checker).  For post-moratorium challenges, it is up to the challenge cache owner to use the geochecker for validating the finder.  But, that is a minor detail.

 

By saying "approved by HQ," are you saying that someone appealed to Geocaching HQ and received a favorable answer for the challenge design?  If so, then that's great! 

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For cache pages published after April 21, 2015 with a challenge checker, the owner can confirm the finder's qualification with the checker when the cache is logged as found. No further documentation is required from the finder.

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24 minutes ago, The Leprechauns said:

Well, the cache page contains an impermissible logging requirement (posting the output from the challenge checker).

 

Fortunately this is not part of the challenge. FTF finder didn't add any additional proof. Is it possible that the description has been changed?

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2 hours ago, Max and 99 said:

For cache pages published after April 21, 2015 with a challenge checker, the owner can confirm the finder's qualification with the checker when the cache is logged as found. No further documentation is required from the finder.

 

I never understood that part of the guideline that the CO needs to check qualification. Why the extra burden? It's easy for the finder to do a copy/paste of the qualification output.

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I came up with an idea where the challenge was to have your finds "cover" more than 10% of the Earth's surface using the convex hull of the finds: see this thread.  Unfortunately I was too lazy to implement it in lua for a challenge checker.  Maybe I should get off my rear and do it.

 

I like the "chain of finds" idea, though I think it would be more interesting to do with a minimum cache-to-cache distance rather than a maximum. It would be an interesting proxy for total caching distance, which is poorly estimated using existing data.

Edited by fizzymagic
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45 minutes ago, fizzymagic said:

I came up with an idea where the challenge was to have your finds "cover" more than 10% of the Earth's surface using the convex hull of the finds: see this thread.  Unfortunately I was too lazy to implement it in lua for a challenge checker.  Maybe I should get off my rear and do it.

 

I like the "chain of finds" idea, though I think it would be more interesting to do with a minimum cache-to-cache distance rather than a maximum. It would be an interesting proxy for total caching distance, which is poorly estimated using existing data.

 

The cache chain checker can also check the convex hull and also concave one but HQ denied the area challenge because it looks like a polygon and polygons are bad?!?

 

It is quite interesting to see your geocaching territory like this one https://project-gc.com/Challenges//31104

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1 hour ago, Lynx Humble said:

 

I never understood that part of the guideline that the CO needs to check qualification. Why the extra burden? It's easy for the finder to do a copy/paste of the qualification output.

 

Maybe the assumption is that players are not able to do even simple tasks except signing the logbook. Anything else must be optional.

 

I am still waiting what happens when a player who has denied access to the challenge checker database is going to find a challenge cache and the owner can not verify that the challenge requirements are met by using the checker. I suspect that there is some procedure for this situation but I don't know what it is.

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5 hours ago, arisoft said:

 

The cache chain checker can also check the convex hull and also concave one but HQ denied the area challenge because it looks like a polygon and polygons are bad?!?

 

It is quite interesting to see your geocaching territory like this one https://project-gc.com/Challenges//31104

the link take you to a disabled checker...

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2 hours ago, The Jester said:

the link take you to a disabled checker...

 

Thanks, now it works.

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10 hours ago, Lynx Humble said:

I never understood that part of the guideline that the CO needs to check qualification. Why the extra burden? It's easy for the finder to do a copy/paste of the qualification output.

 

But the CO may want to verify that the output you pasted is genuine and you haven't invented a couple of finds. The checker allows them to confirm it with a couple of clicks, otherwise they might need to trawl through dozens/hundreds of finds you've listed to make sure you did find them on the day you claim and that their D/T/Attributes/etc.  are all as you described.

 

 

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17 hours ago, The Leprechauns said:

 

New "Bingo" challenges are still allowed.  The most important things to remember are that each individual square needs to be a qualifying challenge all on its own (so no trackables, no cache names, etc.) and that you must demonstrate that enough people in your area already qualify or are close to qualifying for the challenge (to prevent "look at all the quirky things that only I have done in combination" bingo challenges).

 

Yes indeed.  I already had a new, more challenging "bingo" creation made.  I forgot about needing to have a checker.  So I would basically need a checker for each box on the bingo card.  Not happening.  

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14 hours ago, arisoft said:

 

Maybe the assumption is that players are not able to do even simple tasks except signing the logbook. Anything else must be optional.

 

A cache owner cannot require a finder to register at another web site, provide personal information to another web site, or use a specific app.

 

It is in the guidelines.

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1 hour ago, msrubble said:

A cache owner cannot require a finder to register at another web site, provide personal information to another web site, or use a specific app.

 

If the finder doesn't have opportunity to verify challenge the CO can not verify it either. This can't be the reason.

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8 hours ago, MartyBartfast said:

I never understood that part of the guideline that the CO needs to check qualification. Why the extra burden? It's easy for the finder to do a copy/paste of the qualification output.

 

This is not different than signing a traditional cache where the CO must check the logbook to determine if the log is valid.

 

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Sure wish someone would put out an "Interstate 40 Challenge" along the lines of Blue Blazes old interstate challenges now adopted by 'Borreal Walker"

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28 minutes ago, Mausebiber said:
8 hours ago, MartyBartfast said:

I never understood that part of the guideline that the CO needs to check qualification. Why the extra burden? It's easy for the finder to do a copy/paste of the qualification output.

 

This is not different than signing a traditional cache where the CO must check the logbook to determine if the log is valid.

 

Eh? I never said that...

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Sorry, I quoted from above and the system added your name, unfortunately I didn't catch the error.

NO, you have not said the sentence above.

Edited by Mausebiber

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1 hour ago, humboldt flier said:

Sure wish someone would put out an "Interstate 40 Challenge" along the lines of Blue Blazes old interstate challenges now adopted by 'Borreal Walker"

 

These are fun, provided that there isn't a silly restriction like having two qualifying caches within X miles of each other and on opposite sides of the specified Interstate.  That wouldn't be allowed anymore.  But finding a cache in each state that  a major Interstate highway passes through is quite an achievement in and of itself.  For example, I-70 runs from Maryland to Utah, and runs across all of Ohio.  As someone who relies on Interstate 70 for monthly visits to geocat's home area, I would love to find an I-70 Challenge Cache.  Ohio doesn't have one - just the Boreal Walker Version with the now disallowed restriction.  (Hint, hint, geocat.)

 

Speaking of I-40, I found my most epic Interstate Challenge Cache ever down in North Carolina, in a spot overlooking I-40.  For that one, you need to find caches in states where EVERY primary Interstate highway passes through.  geocat, I know you qualify!

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I kind of bagged a two-for while finishing the I-95 Challenge (caches on either side) turns out I could have had Massachusetts caches for both the I-90 and I-95 had I elected to go that route.  Being the purist I am I never dropped that particular hammer.

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On 12/15/2019 at 7:35 AM, geocat_ said:
On 12/14/2019 at 2:15 PM, The Leprechauns said:

One challenge cache I enjoyed finding recently is a Continental Expansion Challenge

 

Oooooooooh....I like that!

 

My first instinct on reading that is it seems borderline "bookkeeping" which is a no-no. Neat that it was approved though.

 

--

If you're looking for challenge ideas, I have bookmark lists of all Ontario challenges pre- and post-moratorium, and there are quite a variety (though there are some in this thread I haven't yet seen in Ontario!)  PRE / POST

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20 hours ago, The Leprechauns said:

 

These are fun, provided that there isn't a silly restriction like having two qualifying caches within X miles of each other and on opposite sides of the specified Interstate.  That wouldn't be allowed anymore.  But finding a cache in each state that  a major Interstate highway passes through is quite an achievement in and of itself.  For example, I-70 runs from Maryland to Utah, and runs across all of Ohio.  As someone who relies on Interstate 70 for monthly visits to geocat's home area, I would love to find an I-70 Challenge Cache.  Ohio doesn't have one - just the Boreal Walker Version with the now disallowed restriction.  (Hint, hint, geocat.)

 

Speaking of I-40, I found my most epic Interstate Challenge Cache ever down in North Carolina, in a spot overlooking I-40.  For that one, you need to find caches in states where EVERY primary Interstate highway passes through.  geocat, I know you qualify!

 

What determines if an interstate is a primary interstate?  I-81 runs from the Canadian border to Tennessee but isn't recognized on a couple of interstate challenges.   I've lived near both ends of I-80 but haven't traveled on most of it.  

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2 hours ago, NYPaddleCacher said:

 

What determines if an interstate is a primary interstate?  I-81 runs from the Canadian border to Tennessee but isn't recognized on a couple of interstate challenges.   I've lived near both ends of I-80 but haven't traveled on most of it.  

"Primary" Interstate routes end in zero for east-west routes, and end in five for north-south routes.  Detailed requirements are specified on the linked challenge cache page:

 

Quote

Major Interstate routes are designated by one- or two-digit numbers. Routes with odd numbers run north and south, while even numbered run east and west. For north-south routes, the lowest numbers begin in the west, while the lowest numbered east-west routes are in the south. By this method, I-5 runs north-south along the west coast, while I-10 lies east-west along the southern border. The east/west interstates are 10, 20, 30, 40, 70, 80, and 90. The north/south interstates are 5, 15, 25, 35, 45, 55, 65, 75, 85, and 95. To qualify for this cache you must have found a total of 17 caches in states where one of the major interstates listed above passes though.

For example to claim a find along Interstate 5, you must have found a cache in either Washington, Oregon or California.  For Interstate 10, you must have found a cache in either Florida, Mississippi, Louisiana, Texas, New Mexico, Arizona or California.  You cannot use one state for two different highways - so you could not use California for both North/South and East/West.  However, because I45 is only in Texas and I30 is only in Texas and Arkansas, you can use Texas twice for both N/S and E/W. That will be the only duplicate state allowed. Only Interstate Highways that end in either 0 or 5 will be used. 

 

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17 hours ago, The Leprechauns said:

"Primary" Interstate routes end in zero for east-west routes, and end in five for north-south routes.  Detailed requirements are specified on the linked challenge cache page:

 

 

 So it's just the numerical designation that makes it primary.  I-81 goes through New York, Pennsylvania, Maryland, West Virginia, Virginia, and Tennessee. 

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6 hours ago, NYPaddleCacher said:

 So it's just the numerical designation that makes it primary.  I-81 goes through New York, Pennsylvania, Maryland, West Virginia, Virginia, and Tennessee. 

Yep. That matches the federal highway system documentation.  Also, Wikipedia has an interesting page listing all of the Interstate Highways, and what state(s) they traverse. 

 

How about a challenge based on the last digit in the interstate number? A cache in a state that has an interstate that ends in 1, another in a state that has an interstate that ends in 2, etc.

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I'm partial to one of my unique challenges. Find a Top10 favorite in 50 counties challenge GC7R26B

 

Shout out to arisoft for creating the checker.

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7 hours ago, MNTA said:

I'm partial to one of my unique challenges. Find a Top10 favorite in 50 counties challenge GC7R26B

 

Cool.  Does it work for county-level areas outside the US, or just US counties?

 

edit: whoah, seeing some odd results in the checker for that.  I'll send you a message with the details.

Edited by hzoi

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6 hours ago, MNTA said:

I'm partial to one of my unique challenges. Find a Top10 favorite in 50 counties challenge GC7R26B

 

Nice.  But it probably should not include Locationless or Moving caches.  

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https://coord.info/GC5MPR7 - fill the calendar grid with 41 days where you have found caches on anniversary days.

Took me 11 months from finding the container (when I was on about 11/41) to getting the extra 30 days.

 

A few of my other favourite ones are in the "wouldn't be allowed any more" category,eg

Find twenty different NON Traditional caches whose first letter of the name spells out
A L T E R N A T I V E C H R I S T M A S (in order!)

 

Two I'm SLOWLY working on are "find a cache in each increment of 5 miles from home up to 250 miles" (all good up to I think 125.1-130) and "find a cache in 181 km squares of Ordnance Survey map 181" (there are loads of these in the UK) - I've done the 3 nearest to home, but this one is in the 30-60 miles away zone. On about 130/181 I think.

 

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2 hours ago, hzoi said:

edit: whoah, seeing some odd results in the checker for that.  I'll send you a message with the details.

 

Indeed :o zero favorite caches included in many counties. Is the favorite situation so bad or something wrong with the checker?

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44 minutes ago, arisoft said:
2 hours ago, hzoi said:

edit: whoah, seeing some odd results in the checker for that.  I'll send you a message with the details.

 

Indeed :o zero favorite caches included in many counties. Is the favorite situation so bad or something wrong with the checker?

 

Unsure.  I'll follow up with you separately.

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5 hours ago, hzoi said:

 

Cool.  Does it work for county-level areas outside the US, or just US counties?

 

edit: whoah, seeing some odd results in the checker for that.  I'll send you a message with the details.

It used to work across all countries. But a recent change by GS required a country to be included in the checker. 

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On ‎12‎/‎14‎/‎2019 at 11:53 AM, geocat_ said:

I have hidden (and found) many Challenge caches over the years.  I recently had to archive one and am looking for a challenging and somewhat unique replacement.  So I am interested in hearing from you.  What are your favorite Challenge caches you have done, own, or are working on?  Thanks in advance [:)]

My favorite was in front of a geocacher's home. He built it himself. It had a few compartments you had to figure out and then once opened, figure out what to do with the balloons hidden in the compartment. It took a few popped balloons but finally we figured it out...place the balloon backward in the hole and blow air into it. The balloon expanded inside the wooden house and opened the front door where the log and swag were hidden! We almost gave up. Took about 20 minutes to figure it out. The owner was gracious enough to have a bench in front of the cache to rest while figuring it out. LOL  

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25 minutes ago, HunterandSamuel said:
On 12/14/2019 at 11:53 AM, geocat_ said:

I have hidden (and found) many Challenge caches over the years.  I recently had to archive one and am looking for a challenging and somewhat unique replacement.  So I am interested in hearing from you.  What are your favorite Challenge caches you have done, own, or are working on?  Thanks in advance [:)]

My favorite was in front of a geocacher's home. He built it himself. It had a few compartments you had to figure out and then once opened, figure out what to do with the balloons hidden in the compartment. It took a few popped balloons but finally we figured it out...place the balloon backward in the hole and blow air into it. The balloon expanded inside the wooden house and opened the front door where the log and swag were hidden! We almost gave up. Took about 20 minutes to figure it out. The owner was gracious enough to have a bench in front of the cache to rest while figuring it out. LOL  

 

I think you're referring to a field puzzle cache. A Challenge Cache is different - it's a normal cache but you can't log it found until you've accomplished (and can prove) a statistical qualification.

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33 minutes ago, thebruce0 said:

 

I think you're referring to a field puzzle cache. A Challenge Cache is different - it's a normal cache but you can't log it found until you've accomplished (and can prove) a statistical qualification.

Ah, okay. Thanks!

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In another thread, hzoi wrote:

 

Quote

It's not in a historic location, it's in an evergreen in a business park.  It looks like a nice business park, one that I would have no problem visiting for a cache, but one that would otherwise not invite a hide to showcase the location.  The point of the cache is the challenge.

 

While perhaps not its intent, this caused me to ponder whether the physical cache of a challenge should really be just something mundane, since the point of the cache is the challenge. My exposure to challenges is pretty limited, having completed just five and created two, but they all have their physical caches somewhere pretty impressive, and I think it's even better when that location is themed to the challenge in some way.

 

ChallengeLocations.jpg.af6e7100f2ee9bb80838b6a4df47a38c.jpg

 

I suppose it could be argued that, if you have a spectacular location you want to highlight with a cache, making it a challenge cache is restricting potential visitors, but if the two can work together so that the final is the grand finale of the challenge, it makes it a much more memorable experience.

 

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My philosophy is the best challenge caches have a container that's directly related to the theme of the challenge. They don't have to NOT be mundane, nor do they have to be amazing. They just have to be findable like any other cache. But it's extra special when you complete the challenge, then lock it in with just one more; or the best challenge of the bunch; or just something that wraps up whole themed challenge nicely.

But I don't have anything against a 5/5 challenge cache being a 1/1 LPC final. The closure just feels less rewarding.

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On ‎12‎/‎14‎/‎2019 at 11:53 AM, geocat_ said:

I have hidden (and found) many Challenge caches over the years.  I recently had to archive one and am looking for a challenging and somewhat unique replacement.  So I am interested in hearing from you.  What are your favorite Challenge caches you have done, own, or are working on?  Thanks in advance [:)]

This was a challenging cache for my husband and me. Very unique when you put everything together at home! https://www.geocaching.com/geocache/GC3EQNZ_special-equipment

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