As part of a way to find the love of geocaching, I’ve taken a page out of a fellow cacher’s book.
This is something a caching pal has done for a long time. It doesn’t matter if the challenges are many miles away and that he might never get to find the final, he still tries to fill in the requirements.
It’s not a bad idea. It gives you something to shoot for and, maybe, the chance to get a cache that not many other people have found.
So, I’ve started doing it some, too.
Again, it comes down to the reality of being able to maybe get the final cache, but it’s still something to work toward.
Let me make sure I’m straight with the challenge caches. These are actual geocaches that require you to do something else to be able to log them. It’s not those silly and worthless “challenges” that Groundspeak unveiled a while back to try and make people forget about the fight to bring virtuals back.
No, these are challenge caches.
Basically, the idea is to have done something in caching and then you get this bonus cache. So, maybe you’ve found 10 5/5 (difficulty/terrain) caches and a person has put out a cache where you need to have done 10 5/5 caches to be able to claim it.
Or the DeLorme Challenges.
Or a state County Challenge.
The list is endless.
Originally, the plan was to try and scratch off a couple of these challenges with a weekend trip to the Allegany GeoBash. However, plans have changed and Mr. Economy is kiboshing those plans, so I’ll be staying closer to home and hoping to just go out and do some caching and take advantage of a great weekend.
Still, the idea of challenge caches is something I’ve become intrigued with. They are listed as mystery/puzzle caches (something I know people love) and they require you to get geocaches in certain spots or certain makeups to be able to find this challenge cache.
For example, one of the challenge caches we had looked to do this weekend was the “Our First 100 Stars Challenge – When & Why.” The cool part to this challenge is it brings you back to when you started caching.
You need to make a list of your first 100 stars. What are stars of which I speak? Each cache is listed with two sets of stars — difficulty and terrain. Each of these are ranked from 1 (easiest) to 5 (hardest). From these, you go back to when you started caching and you make a list of total stars. Once you reach 100, you have matched the requirements. Then you go find the cache and can log it.
Two of the biggest ones in many states are the DeLorme and County Challenges.
The DeLorme refers to the atlas. Each state is broken down into squares. You must find one cache in each of those squares. Once you do, you are eligible to go make the find. The plan had been to go get many of the squares I have left to find this weekend, but unfortunately, it didn’t work out. My hope is to finish the New York DeLorme by the end of 2012, but we’ll see.
The County Challenge is basically the same — find one cache in each county in New York.
I’m not too far from this, either. It basically lines up well to be able to get the counties when I get the DeLorme squares.
There’s a couple more intense challenges out there, too. So much so that there are many of these “final” caches to get, so that when someone gets it done, they might not have to travel all over the place to claim a final. These include the Fizzy Challenge (getting all 81 combinations of the difficulty/terrain chart), the Jasmer Challenge (finding a cache placed in every month since caching began, which is May 2000), and the AlphaNumeric Challenge(s), which can include anything from having caches that start with letters A-Z, or cache finds where the owner’s name starts A-Z etc.
There are also challenges where you have to finds by placed date and finds by found date. There are also the most well-rounded days, which include days where you find the types of caches, sizes of caches and the most difficulty and terrain ratings.
Here are some of my challenges and where I stand with them:
Challenges, as I’ve found, are a lot of fun in regard to being able to make caching fun in a different way. It makes you concentrate on the caches you find as it might help fill in a challenge.
There are so many of them, too. I have several I’ve already done the paperwork on and can claim, I just have to travel and get them. Hopefully, I’ll soon be able to get those final caches and claim the smileys. It’s been fun lining them up and hopefully there’s a few more!
If you have any that you’ve done or are working on, link them or leave the GC number in the comments below as I’ve love to bookmark some more and work on them on the chance that one day I can find a few of these excellent final caches!
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