Mystery Caches

This form of geocache may involve complicated puzzles that you will first need to solve to determine the coordinates.









Mystery or Puzzle Caches

  • Episode Question: Decypher – trbpnpuvat ebpxf

There are two different major types of puzzle or mystery geocaches.

  • The First are the ones that use clues and riddles to find the location of the geocache.
  • The second are after finding the geocache container and then figuring out how to get the log book out of the geocache.

Graphic solving

  • Photos or Graphics
  • Items in the Graphic itself.


  • Steganography is the art and science of writing hidden messages in such a way that no one, apart from the sender and intended recipient, suspects the existence of the message, a form of security through obscurity. (Basically a graphic or text embedded into another photograph)


  • These puzzles require you to research something related to the theme of the puzzle, usually to determine the numbers associated with information provided in the puzzle. These numbers provide the coordinates for the cache. For example, a puzzle themed after a popular TV show might list episode titles from the 4th season, the 7th season, etc., yielding coordinates that start with N 47°.


  • These puzzles require you to follow the provided instructions. They often present a logic, word, or similar puzzle, and tell you how to derive coordinates from the solution. The puzzle itself might be a well-known type (e.g., a Sudoku puzzle) or it might be something unique.


  • These puzzles require you to solve a math problem. There are often multiple ways to solve the problem, some of which will be easier than others.

Hidden Coordinates

  • These puzzles require you to figure out how the coordinates are hidden before you can determine what they are. Sometimes the puzzle information is clearly identified, and you must figure out how to extract coordinates from it. Unlike research puzzles, these puzzles require you to figure out the theme of the cache, and how the provided information can be converted to coordinates. Other times, the puzzle itself may not be obvious. In a sense, before you can solve these puzzles, you must first find them.


  • These puzzles require you to decrypt encrypted information. Some will clearly identify the encryption algorithm and key, leaving you to decrypt the information as instructed. Others will leave it to you to determine the encryption algorithm, the key, or both, thus resembling hidden coordinates puzzles.

The Pocket Decoder Geocoin

  • A message that you can read that has not been enciphered is called “PLAIN TEXT”
  • When it has been enciphered and is not readable then it is called “CIPHER TEXT”
  • Sometimes a keyword is used to make a cipher more difficult to crack and is called “KEY TEXT”

Night geocaches

  • Special lights (ultraviolet, paints and inks)
  • After finding the geocache container and then figuring out how to get the log book out of the geocache.
  • Can get clue or access only certain times of the day or night.

Voice or Sound Activated

Use special equipment to get the logbook.

  • Magnetic
  • Use Water
  • Special tool is required

Monkey Puzzle Geocaches: A PVC Geocachers Nightmare!

Reverse Geocache Puzzle: Take the Geocache to the Location

Tools of the Trade

  • GCC
  • The GeoCache Calculator is a comprehensive tool for every active cacher! It contains different functions to calculate values and checksums, as well as tables and overviews for supporting your outdoor geocaching search. A tool which no cacher should miss!
  • Geochecker
  • Welcome to Geochecker, a simple tool to check coordinates for geocaching puzzle caches. It’s completely free, and it’s very easy to use!
  • HeadHardHat’s Award Winning Blog
  • Geocaching World has a board on RVNN’s Pinterest
  • Circle us on G+
  • Give us a Thumbs up on Facebook
  • Follow us on Twitter
  • RVNN is now on the Roku AND Boxee!

#GEOC on Twitter to send questions or comments to HeadHardHat!


geocaching rocks