S1E4: Geocaching and Munzee

While out geocaching, I stumbled upon another type of “treasure hunt” style game called Munzee. This episode take a look at the game of Munzee, what it is, and can you do it while you geocache.

Click here to listen to S1E4

Sources
Munzee Home Page
Munzee Wiki Page
Munzee Example Hides

Cache Highlight: “Flavor of the Day

Example of a Munzee Tag on a Light Post

Transcript

I was out one day trying to get some quick park and grab caches.  I was at your typical park and grab, container under the skirting of light post, when I notice a small QR code sticker on the light post.  I thought it was odd and out of curiosity I scanned the code.  It took me to a website called Munzee: A real world gaming adventure.  I decided to look into it more latter and moved on to my next cache location.  My next cache was another park and grab and once again I saw another QR code that took me to the same website.  This time I took a closer look.

The game description read:

“Munzee is the next generation in global scavenger hunt games. Simply download the free app, scan the munzees you find, and score points. No munzees in your area? You can grow the map by simply obtaining game pieces from the Munzee store, or printing out and deploying your own. Collect points when you place your munzees on the map or when they are captured by other players. Your points accumulate and you gain levels. It’s just that easy.

Munzee has something for everyone, whether you are a casual player, an avid explorer, or a hardcore competition enthusiast. The intensity of play is up to you. With over 1 million deployed worldwide, there is bound to be a munzee hiding nearby.”

Munzees was started in 2011.  You can use the app to search for different munzees and log them as you find them.  Instead of finding caches, you find QR codes and log them on the app. Just as there are different types of geocaches, there are different types of Munzees.  There are physical and virtual munzees and those even brake down into different types.  The different types are worth different point values.  You gain points to increase your player level and global ranking.  There are also opportunities to earn different badges and there are clans that you can join and participate in clan wars.  There is a free version and a subscription version and you can even place your own Munzees that you purchase through the online store at munzee.com.  While the premises is similar to geocaching, there does not appear to be a direct link between the two from what I’m able to find about it.  There will be a link to the munzee website as well as a link to the munzee Wikipedia entry in the show notes.

While I was out caching, I decided to download the app and check out the free version.  There were 5 QR codes in the area around the cache I was after so I went around and logged them.  One of the 5 QR codes was too faded and I wasn’t able to get it to capture but the other 4 captured without issue.

I’ve tried the app at a few locations.  One thing I noticed with virtual munzees is that you only have to be within 300 feet of the posted location to be able to capture it.  So if there are a lot of virtual munzees around you can capture quiet a few without walking around.  Since I started playing munzee I have started to notice there are QR codes on lots of parking lot light post.  It’s funny how you don’t notice them until you know it’s a thing and then they seem to standout without even searching form them. 

About two weeks after I first created my account, I got an email offer for a free munzee starter pack.  The pack includes 9 physical munzee stickers and a digital credit.  The pack normally cost $10.  With the promo code, I only had to pay 75 cents for postage.  I tried to find rules for placing muzees but the best I came up with was an article that gave examples of locations of hides.  You can find a link in the show notes.  The only place were it talked about getting permission to please a munzee, was if you were placing one at a “mom and pop shop”.  This has left me feeling hesitant to place any so I haven’t placed any yet.

One issue that I have noticed with munzee is that some of the QR tags won’t scan because they are too faded from being exposed to the elements for so long.  I would say that I have had roughly 20% of the physical tags fail to scan for me.

In my area at least, munzees seem to be popular in parks and store parking lots.  I imagine that is the case for most areas.  So if you’re doing park and grab caches or find yourself goecaching at parks, you’re probably likely to find some munzees in your area if you wanted to try it while you were out.  My son really likes looking for them when we’re walking at the park.  He gets very excited when he finds one.  I still prefer geocaching over munzee.  I get more enjoyment out of search the woods for caches or trying to be stealthy around a high muggle area park and grab.  But I’ll probably still scan the QR codes when my son finds them or if I see one at a quick park and grab cache.

Warning: This part of the show contains spoilers for the cache that is about to be discussed.

The cahce that I am highlighting today is the one where I first noticed the QR code on the light post that led me to discovering munzee.

The cache was called “Flavor of the Day”

Cache ID GC5QG1E

Difficulty rating 2, Terrain rating 1

The description read:

A quick park and grab cache that should take only a few moments to find. Hidden in the parking lot which means no walking very far. Hungry Muggles will most likely be present so search carefully. Thanks to the restaurant manager for allowing me to pace this Geocache! Happy hunting! (Congrats to cachrysler on FTF!)

You’re looking for a small black container in the parking lot. It is an easy park and grab which will make it a quick find as long as everyone respects the property and puts the container back where they found it! Also be sure to avoid hungry muggles! Thanks and happy hunting! (Also a big thanks to the restaurant for letting me hide this cache!)

Hint:

I hope this hint lights the way to another find.

This cache led me to a lamp post in a Culver’s parking lot, hence the name.  It was a classic park and grab.  I was able to park right next to the light post.  All I had to do was lift up the light post skirting and there it was.  It was a small black container, like a 35 mm film canister.  There were very few people out so it was easy to go undetected.  The whole thing took less than 5 minutes total.   I was replacing the container when I noticed the QR code and decided to scan it leading me to munzee.

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