Many metal detectorists have already found the added excitement in using their metal detector to go geocaching. In fact, a hybrid hobby that combines metal detecting and geocaching, in which you use geographic coordinates to find caches that are buried underground. This hobby has even developed as a result of the added dimension geocaching has brought to metal detecting. Now, some geocachers have taken the hobby even further still by designing what they call “puzzle caches”.
Discover Puzzle Caches!
Most puzzle caches require you to solve some type of puzzle in order to obtain the proper coordinates to the geocache. You’ll be given “dummy coordinates” then challenged to work through a puzzle to decode them and unlock the real coordinates of the cache. The puzzle might be one you can solve at home prior to going out on your adventure, or, it may require some knowledge of the cache’s surroundings to unlock the code making it only solvable out in the field.
What Are The Coordinates?
There are some other caches where the coordinates are straightforward but the puzzle is in how to open the cache once you find it. These puzzle caches might challenge you to solve a combination in order to open a lock to find the log book for example. Although this type of puzzle cache is easier to find, it may take you a bit of time to actually solve the puzzle once you’re at the location. You never know what you will finds when you are using a metal detector while geocaching.
If you’re concerned puzzle caches may be too difficult for you, don’t worry, most are labeled with a difficulty rating of 1 through 5 with 1 being the easiest. Start out with a cache with a difficulty rating of just 1 or 2 and see how well you do with that. Most likely, you’ll be able to solve the puzzle, find the geocache, and have a lot of fun doing it. So much fun you’ll probably want to try an even more difficult puzzle cache.
Consider Taking A Friend With You
Another way you can make sure you find the puzzle cache you’re looking for is to use the buddy system. Heading out with a few fellow metal detectorists and geocachers can make finding a puzzle cache much less difficult because you can all work together to decode the puzzle. You’ll find the cache faster, and, it’s safer to go out in groups too; especially if your search takes you out into less populated territory.
Get Started on A Postive Note
If you’ve successfully found some puzzle caches already you can also have a lot of fun designing and hiding your own. Simply do your research, decide what type of puzzle you want to create, test it once it’s complete to be sure others can successfully solve it, then, post it online. You’ll have other geocachers and metal detectorists finding your cache and solving your puzzle in no time.
Some Final Thoughts
Whether you’re out searching for puzzle caches others have hidden or you decide to hide your own, this is an excellent way to get outside, exercise your brain, and bring a bit of mystery to your detecting! Don’t take our word for it though. Head out puzzle caching today and you’ll quickly see why it’s rapidly becoming a favorite activity for many metal detectorists and geocachers alike.
Michael Bernzweig manages MetalDetector.com in Southborough, MA. He has written extensively on the subject of metal detecting since the mid 1980’s. He has traveled world-wide in his pursuit of educating, exploring and advising others in the proper use of metal detectors. Outside of the business he enjoys mentoring students, being involved in the community and spending time with his family.