Help Center

HomeHide a cacheLearn about cache types → Challenge caches

2.7. Challenge caches

What is a challenge cache?

A challenge cache requires seekers to find an associated physical cache, and to find an additional set of geocaches as defined by the challenge owner. Challenge caches encourage geocachers to set and achieve fun goals. Examples of challenge caches: find a cache every day of the calendar year, or find one for every Difficulty/Terrain combination.

Required for all challenge caches

1. Type and Title

  • Challenge caches must be listed as Mystery caches and must have the English word "challenge" in the title.

2. Challenge Checker

  • Challenge cache listings must include a link to a web-based challenge checker. See this Help Center article for more information about challenge checker requirements.

3. Final Container Location

  • The container must be placed at coordinates on the listing, either as posted coordinates, or as a visible additional waypoint. (new 2016)
  • The physical cache must be findable without contacting the owner.

4. Source of Criteria

  • Challenge cache criteria
    • must come from information broadly available on such as on the statistics page, cache placement dates, types, attributes, souvenirs, etc.
    • must be verifiable through information on
  • Challenge cache owners must demonstrate that there are plenty of qualifying caches to meet the challenge at the time of publication.

5. Standard for Criteria

  • Challenge criteria must be positive and require that a geocaching goal be achieved. Criteria may not be for a negative achievement such as DNF logs.
  • The challenge requirements should be simple, and easy to explain, follow and document. A long list of rules or restrictions may prevent publication.
  • A challenge cache needs to appeal to and be attainable by a reasonable number of cachers. Your reviewer may ask for a list of cachers from your area who qualify.

6. Verification

  • Challenge owners will need to make sure that cachers can show that they have completed the cache requirements without compromising their privacy.
  • Challenge cache owners must show that they have met the challenge. (new 2016)

7. Signing Log

  • Cachers may sign a challenge cache's physical log at any time. However, the challenge cache may be logged as found online only after the log is signed and the challenge tasks have been met and documented.
  • For cache listings published after April 21, 2015 with a challenge checker, the owner can confirm the finder's qualification with the checker when the cache is logged as found. No further documentation is required from the finder. (added Mar 2017)


What makes an acceptable challenge cache?



Not Acceptable

8. Attainable

Challenge caches need to be attainable at any time.

Requiring caches to be found in earlier years, as it is not attainable by someone new to the game.

Challenges specifically excluding any segment of cachers.

9. Time-Limited

Maintaining a finds streak, at least one find per day, up to 365 days

Time-limited caching: as in some number of finds per day, week, month, or year. Example, Busy Day, 50 finds in a day, 500 finds in a month, etc. (new 2016)

Maintaining a streak, at least one find per day, beyond 365 days. (new 2016)

 Requiring finds on Leap Day.

 Specifying any element of a cache listing (type, rating, etc.) or find count (above one per day) required during a streak. (updated Aug 2016)

10. Source of Criteria

Challenge cache criteria must come from information broadly available on and must be verifiable through information on

Challenge cache criteria must be based upon caches with the seeker’s logs: Found it!, Attended, Webcam Photo Taken.

Challenge cache criteria must be based upon the type of log, not on the log content.

 Challenge cache criteria may be based upon these geographic areas: countries, states/provinces, counties (or their local equivalent).

Trackable, Benchmarking, Waymarking logs, or specifying Lab Cache finds. (new 2016)

These listing elements: cache titles, cache owner, GC Codes, publishing Reviewer or listing text. (new 2016)

 Requiring cachers to own a cache.

Requiring cachers to log caches that are disabled or archived.

 Challenges based on geographic areas other than countries, states/provinces, counties (or their local equivalent). For example, user-defined mapping polygons, latitude/longitude, radius, etc. (updated Aug 2016)

11. Specific Lists

A challenge based on caches with at least X number of Favorite Points can be published, as the information comes from

A challenge based on elements under the cache owner’s primary control is not acceptable: examples, my favorites, my caches, bookmark lists, caches by this owner, or this group.

12. All or Percentage of caches

Finding a discrete number in a specified area, e.g. some reasonable number of EarthCaches in France would be publishable.

Finding all or any percentage of the caches, or of a cache type, rating, or other allowable value within a specified area; e.g. 80% of EarthCaches in France is not publishable. (new 2016)

13. Find Date

Geocaches found before challenge was published can count towards the achievement of the challenge.

Restrictions on date of finds used for the challenge are not permitted.

14. Positive Challenge Criteria

Challenge criteria must be positive and require that a geocaching goal be achieved.

Not finding caches: design that limits or punishes any element of finding caches. Examples: Challenges that require ratios in finds; such as 10% of finds must be Attended logs, challenges that require finding only some particular type for over time, as 100 consecutive Mystery finds.

Competition rather than achievement; example, a challenge based on "First to Finds" is a competition.

Please do not submit a challenge cache in an area where a very similar or identical challenge cache already exists.

We recommend that the difficulty rating be based on the challenge, the terrain rating on the challenge cache location. (new 2016)

From the Geocache Listing Requirements and Guidelines:

Please be advised that there is no precedent for placing geocaches.


At times a geocache may meet the requirements for publication on the site but the reviewers, as experienced geocachers, may see additional concerns not listed in these guidelines that you as a geocache placer may not have noticed. The reviewer may bring these additional concerns to your attention and offer suggestions so that the geocache can be published.

Note: At this time, challenge caches published prior to April 21, 2015 are grandfathered into the game. As with any grandfathered cache, Geocaching HQ may archive caches which become problematic.

Last Updated: March 22, 2017

This page was: Helpful | Not Helpful