Challenges are dead and Munzees live- Is this good for geocaching?

challenge logo
Farewell Challenges

I think it could greatly improve the game. Let me explain.

Groundspeak has officially killed the aspect of geocaching known as Challenges. There stance is that it is not in line with the game of geocaching and they no longer think that supporting the endeavor is a good idea.

Challenges were controversial among many hardcore or traditionalist Geocachers for a few reasons. They were being constantly compared to the “old virtuals” and were said to have no accountability. I have read these two complaints at least a hundred times, conservatively, on the different forums. Enough so that I was tired or reading people complain about them – and apparently so was Groundspeak – because they deep-sixed the project.

Does anyone care? Probably not a whole lot but there were some that liked them. I don’t think anyone will quit geocaching over it though. I will be curious to see if those of us that did complete them will get to keep our stats? Anyway…

My real question however is this: Does this make way for Munzee to take over the smart phone geolocation portion for us adventure seekers? 

Munzees are neat because they are quick and can be done on the spur of the moment without any extra equipment except for your droid or iPhone (no pen is needed). For now, geocaching doesn’t have that. Maybe that’s a good thing and it will help set the two apart. It wouldn’t be the worst thing if this created a distinction and Munzees were made for instant gratification and geocaches moved to being elaborate adventures.

In fact, I think that is how it should be.  Maybe this will put an end to the geocache that is nothing more than geo-litter. After all why would you go for an LPC or another nanotube hanging off the back of a stop sign if you could be grabbing a Munzee and gaining points.

Munzees can satisfy the number hounds and Geocaches can be for when there is time to complete an interesting family adventure. My plan is right along these lines. Grab the Munzees on the fly and reserve my geocaching runs for those that involve Puzzles or an off road adventure.



15 thoughts on “Challenges are dead and Munzees live- Is this good for geocaching?

  1. It’s all personal taste. Some people absolutely love vanilla, while others will swear by chocolate. I am personally sad to see Challenges go away. I had 151 Challenges completed, being at the top of the list in the entire Seattle area. Only a handful of other cachers were above 50, and 2 other cachers (that I knew of) were above 100.

    To me, it added something to the experience. Wherever I cached, I would look up the Challenges in the area and complete them before returning home. I’m not shy about getting my picture taken (which was what 99% of the Challenges required from you, proving you completed it), but many of my friends hated having their picture taken. Others I have talked to didn’t like the Challenges because you didn’t personally own them like caches, thus not being able to delete someone’s entry if they didn’t comply. Others didn’t like it because it didn’t count toward their find count.

    As for Munzees, I don’t see them as taking over. I occasionally go find Munzees as well, but I’m not suddenly going to find more of them now that Challenges are gone. Because Munzees have already been around, I don’t really think anyone’s opinions on them are going to change either. Just like Challenges, you either like them, or you don’t.

    I’m curious to see what the next big thing is that Groundspeak comes up with. But no doubt, whatever it is, you will have people on both sides that like it, or won’t.

    1. I don’t think Munzee will take over either and I don’t want them too. I hope that they will both exist and hopefully people can use the difference to make their hides better for everyone. I guess I’m just easy to please. I like having a bunch of different things to do.

      We created 14 challenges and completed 44. We liked them and we weren’t shy about having our pictures taken either. Sad to see them go but I hope something else will be added. We are a sucker for good clean fun so we say being them all on.

  2. Munzee are in my eyes not to stay. The base idea is good and I whished that GS offfered QR codes as a way to log geocaches. I would prevent fuss about legit logs.
    The main problem about munzees are the points. This results in the fact that munzees aren’t attractive since a lot of munzees are (illegally) sticked on a traffic sign at an unattractive place. There seems to be a kind of laziness amongst munzee people too, if I look at all the fuss about the min. distance between munzees.
    Furthermore, munzee seems to have the same attitude as GS and are not willing or able to give the features in their tools users want and give stuff people don’t need.
    If we look at the challenges debacle, we know where that ends.

      1. As said, skip the points system, at least for deploying munzees. One is now encouraged to deploy munzees as much as possible in order to receive more points. On top deployers are now only deploying munzees which are easily captured since the munzee player doesn’t seem to want to do any effort for capturing them. The only thing that matters is gathering as much points as possible in as less time as possible. So deployers that make the effort to deploy munzees at interesting places which aren’t that reachable are left with munzees that are hardly captured and leave the game disillusioned.

      2. Yeah, I’m new to Munzee but I definitely see how that happens. I know it’s not a solution but we are going to hide our geocaches away from the city. We are lucky enough to live in Colorado and have easy access to the mountains. That’s where our caches are going. Admittedly, each new cache in the mountains will have a Munzee too.

  3. Points are pointless, but I’m putting munzees, and required codes for logging, in all my caches being moved to and .com.

  4. Hmmm,

    I guess I didn’t know the challenges were terminated. I did a couple. It was an interesting twist and it was another GPS based activity. I guess I fall in the camp of “to each his own”.

    As for finding another LPC or magnetic on a sign, I’ve done plenty too. I enjoy doing these more as a way of clearing off my GPSr of all those caches in the area where I live. For those “purists” among us who believe a 3×3 or higher is the only true cache, chill out. Would you preclude people who are older or restricted to a wheel chair from having some fun too?

    As for Munzees, they look interesting but I can’t play because I have a Blackberry. For those among us who believe iOS and Android are the only real smart phones out there, think again.

    I would add another controversy, power trails. Once again, I say to each his own and enjoy the sport of geocaching in the way you see fit.

    Cache on!


    1. I think that is the big thing that we try to remember when we are out – to each his own. We all like different aspects of the game so it stands to reason that others do too.

  5. I am way late in seeing this post or replying to it, and I have no idea what Challenge caches were or what a munzee is. 🙂 We just decided that yes, there is a benefit to the super quick park and grab film canister caches that are anywhere and everywhere, but we want to see more caches with some real thought behind them. Whether it is a container that is out of the ordinary, or it’s an adventure to find the cache, or something else that sets it apart. We also haven’t found all THAT many yet so we aren’t very good at finding the hard ones. We figure that if we can put out some caches that are like what we want to see, then maybe it will help inspire other cachers in the area to make sure that quality is more important than quantity. Enter the Zombie cache and the Zelda series 🙂

    1. We have done both the Zombie and Zelda series. I hope you keep putting out caches of that quality. They are great and exactly what geocaching should be. I hope you get time to do Black Betty 2. You should enjoy the container – its pretty unique.

  6. Love geocaching, sighter, letterbox, munzee and any GPS game or hunt game that is a stand-alone game (original). I GeoCap (FB-GeoCapper), hide munzee like a cache, but it is not a cache. Search and hide with a little thinking involved. Maybe it will catch on as a munzee subculture, maybe not, but I’ll have fun with it regardless. If someone doesn’t like munzee, don’t it, but leave us people alone that do. Have fun with it and meet new people.

    1. We like Munzees too. We have started incorporating them with out geocache hides. In fact, we are designing a Mega-Power Trail through Colorado that will be for both Munzee and Geocaches. We say do what you enjoy doing.

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