Gary Brown


In past articles I have written about several different types of Geocaches. In this article I will be writing about Mystery Caches only.

A mystery cache, also called a puzzle cache, is one in which you might need to solve a puzzle to get the final coordinates, bring a special tool along to find the final coordinates, or do something in the field to find the final location of the log book. Most often the container with the log book is not at the posted coordinates. That will be noted in the cache description.

The puzzle caches can be ridiculously easy or extremely difficult, usually they are somewhere in between. Puzzles can also be obtainable in both premium accounts as well as with basic accounts. Basic accounts will only have the easier ones.

Solving a mystery cache may take special or advanced skills. You may need to be good at calculus or physics. I am not and these take me a bit longer than average, but I still enjoy them none the less. You may need to do something like a jigsaw puzzle, (known as a Jigidi), yes there are digital jigsaw puzzles.

An easy jigsaw can be solved in a very short time such as the one in Geocache GCAHBHZ, can take a long time as in GCA6C2K or can make you wonder what you did to upset the Cache Owner as is the case in GC9JPAQ. Once you solve any of this type you get the coordinates for the physical cache.

There is what is known as field puzzles. The posted coordinates will take you to a spot where you may need to answer questions to get a series of numbers that will fit into the incomplete coordinates that are supplied on the geocache page or the answer may be right in front of you.

Mystery caches are so captivating that there are events dedicated to solving some of the harder ones. Many people show up and work in groups to solve them. The beauty of the events is that you can learn new and creative ways to solve the puzzles.

Mystery caches come in all shapes, sizes and configurations. There is one called Ready Player One - GCA0NWB. It was originally located in Brandon but because of maintenance issues it was archived and reincarnated closer to the cache owner’s home town of Dauphin. It has now sat waiting for someone to solve it and claim the coveted FTF since October 8, 2022. I’m sure that this is merely a case of people trying and losing their motivation after a while. To try to motivate people I am offering a reward to the first to contact me at [email protected] with proof that they have solved it. A photo of the message that you get from the checker showing that you have correctly solved it will suffice, but please cover up enough of that so that I still need to solve it. When I have time I do like the challenge.

The reward is a year of premium membership at geocaching.com paid for. Only one membership can be claimed and only the first to send in the proof will get it. It is also not necessary to actually find it to claim the prize, so solve it, send in the proof to claim the reward and then grab the FTF.

I’m looking forward to seeing you at a solved Mystery Cache.

Gary Brown is the President of the Manitoba Geocaching Association (MBGA) and can be reached at [email protected].