DJHobby is well known around Bloomington, Indiana for his innovative puzzle geocaches. In this interview he gives some tips on how to solve puzzle, or mystery geocaches.
Some of the tips he suggests include:
- Understand that Groundspeak rules say that a cache should be no more than 2 miles away from the initial co-ordinates, which narrows down where you need to look;
- Look for patterns in the numbers;e.g. N for north.
- Puzzle designers use a variety of encryption methods including braille, morse code, the letters on a telephone dial; keyboard - numbers above the letters, etc.
- Google Earth. Use the ruler tool to look at the area within 2 miles of the posted co-ordinates;
- Try to using Fizzycalc;
- Use code-breaking websites e.g. look up code-breaking on Wikipedia;
- Look at the source code on webpages. (e.g. right click somewhere on the web page and select "View Page Source). Clues are often hidden there.
- Google is your friend. Search on terms used in the description.
Apologies for the poor quality sound. It was a rainy day and we did the interview in a noisy restaurant. I have put captions in there so that you don't miss anything.
I was at the Washington State Geocaching Association Summer Picnic in Newcastle, Washington which is near Seattle. Unfortunately I arrived late because I was in the Cascade Mountains and not being familiar with the terrain, it took longer to get back than anticipated.
It was (unusually I am told) a beautiful day with crystal clear blue, cloudless skies. Lots of people turned up from all over the state and out of state.
Various geocachers showed off their handiwork.
Mr Gadget #2 is known in the Wenatchee and Central Washington regions for his evil but ingenious cache containers. In this video he shows how some of them work. I had trouble figuring out how to open them even with him prodding me with hints. You would not want to come across one of these in the wild! Just when you you have found it, and you think it is all over, it is in fact, just the beginning.
The reason for showing videos of high quality geocaches like these is to inspire everyone to come up with creative caches themselves. Hopefully as more people put out quality geocaches, we'll all have great experiences.
Check out this video:
If you want to build a Cryptex geocache similar to this, check out this video.
I visited Bloomington, Indiana and hung out with a great group of geocachers - MonsterCatAmbush, DJHobby, ErWin and Mickey4Jes. Bloomington is famous for being the home of Hoagy Carmichael and Indiana University.
The geocachers here are concerned about improving the quality of geocaches, and go to a lot of trouble to put out the highest quality hides. They were very hospitable and showed me some of the quality hides around town. They were kind enough to give their views on video, and I'll put them soon.
Here's an amazing geocache container called a Cryptex created by MonsterCatAmbush which will be used as part of a mystery geocache. It consists of an outer container made from three concentric tubes and an inner container. You can only remove the inner container by rotating rings that form a combination lock.
You can see that he has gone to a lot of trouble to put this together. He really knows how to geocache with high quality geocaches. Check out the video.