Over the years I’ve watched how people enjoy geocaching and I think you can break them down into four types of players.   There is not “right” way to play the game.  It’s an individual choice.  Play it however you want so that you can get the maximum enjoyment out of it for you.   Knowing how someone prefers to play the game will help you understand why they like certain kinds of caches.

  1. Challenge Cacher
  2. Puzzle Cacher
  3. Numbers Cacher
  4. Casual Cacher

This doesn’t mean that a player has only one method of playing.  There is certainly crossover.   This diagram does a better job of describing what I mean:

Geocache Player Venn DiagramCasual Cacher:  This is someone that will make caching part of an activity but doesn’t really go out of their way to geocache.  Maybe they’ll take the GPSr on vacation or when they go on a road trip.  These folks are not a real discriminating cacher.  They are just looking to have a little fun without too much work.   Prefers 3/3 or less.

Numbers Cacher:  Anyone that has found more than a few hundred caches will from time-to-time find themselves in this category.  There are some people however that are just numbers mad.  These cachers don’t care how lame a cache is they just want the numbers.   Prefers 2/2 or less but they’ll do anything if they can.

Puzzle Cachers:  Don’t like to be stumped?  Then you are probably a puzzle cacher.  These cachers thrive on the intellectual challenge of a cache.   Maybe they like to solve the puzzle that holds the clue or maybe they like a good camouflaged container.   Either way these cachers will spend a lot of time planning their geocaching outings.   Lots of 4-5 difficulty but lower terrain.

Challenge Cachers:   It is with these kinds of cachers that you’ll find the most crossover from other pursuits.  You might find rock climbers, boaters, scuba divers or people that like some kind of physical challenge.   That challenge might just be geocaching at night.  That is a whole different experience.   A good day for this kind of cacher is a 5/5 or a 5/4.

Does it really matter how you play the game?  Not at all.  As long as you are having fun.  How do you play the game?


I have been writing the cachemania blog since 2008. I'm interested in the development of geocaching and the many ways that people play the game.

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