Geocaching Challenges Now Seven Days Old … And Still Here

Geocaching challenges have now been with us for seven days. Like a newborn baby, they are still heavily dependant on their mama. The first seven days have been a turbulent time with a brief fairytale beginning, a strong backlash from a vocal few and then voices of reason hitting back.  😉

The feedback forum ran hot with new topics requesting all sorts of weird and wonderful challenge responses. Some will disagree here but I feel that Groundspeak did a pretty fine job of weathering the storm and responding to that feedback. Of particular note is the work they are doing to enable people to remove a challenge from their profile and the separation of challenge completions from finds in the profile box at the top of the screen.

You’ll also remember they pretty quickly removed the unpopular ‘Kiss a Frog’ challenge after the geocaching community seriously voted that toad down. It was the right response from Groundspeak, but I was still a little disappointed. I thought the challenge was fun and a great way to begin. Maybe one day they could bring it back for a short time, Signal’s birthday perhaps?

But we can now report that mother and baby are doing well. The crowd have settled down and it seems that many are getting involved in the challenges. Groundspeak have produced some excellent worldwide challenges, including:

I thought the 10,000 Fewer Pieces of Litter challenge was particularly insightful. Even if only half of the people who completed the challenge actually picked up the 10 pieces they needed to get then 10,000 pieces of litter have been picked up. That’s awesome.

What’s even better is that the worldwide challenges that are now with us are being strongly supported by the community. If you take a look at the worldwide page, you see that all have double the number of thumbs up compared to thumbs down. I think that is a pretty strong endorsement that the challenges are liked and certainly on the right track.

From my personal experience, I’ve found myself thinking about what challenges I can do whilst I’m out finding other geocaches. I completed three of the worldwide challenges on a wee outing in the last few days – I found a nice tree to climb for the Be a Kid Again challenge, I was taking a hike so made sure I remembered to stop and take a photo for the Take a Hike challenge and I also found a nice example of a New Zealand plant to share in Ecosystems Around The World.

I found that the challenges added a lot more to my geocaching outing. It was more than just a nice walk in the bush to find a cache (a worthy activity on its own I’ll point out) but a trip with a few more interesting stops along the way. In their own way, these challenges truely added value to my caching experience.

It is still to be seen how local challenges will fair. Uptake here in Dunedin has been slow, but we do have some quality challenges. I’ve not seen anyone commenting on local happenings elsewhere, so I can only assume all is generally well.

*How have you found challenges in your area? Let us know in the comments below.



  1. robnzh

    I noticed one today that is a few hundred metres from an existing cache. What’s the point? I think a lot of people will do challenges where before they would have put caches, why do all that hard work of planting when you don’t even have to go there yourself!

  2. Freekacher

    I like them. I miss the old virtuals but if this is the offering then I’ll take it, I was never a fan of the Wherigos being a replacement of same. A lot of people around here really aren’t into them. I hear a lot of the newer cachers trying to sound like “old souls” saying that this isn’t caching. Please, you’ve been caching a year. I wasn’t here in cachings infancy but I was here for it’s toddler years (don’t go by my profile, I’ve had several handles) and although I count you as a cacher whether you’ve found 1 or 10,000, you don’t know everything. Neither do I.

    I can see this as a tool to get us where we couldn’t go before. Places where hiding a physical container were not allowed, ecologically sensitive areas, any number of options.

    Just give them a chance,

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