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never placed a multi-cache


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There is probably a million thread on this subject but.......


I am thinking of put out a mult, so what are some of the do's and don'ts from experience multi-cache owners and hunter. I currently do not hunt mult because my three year old twin boys would get tried of it quick, but one day it will be about the hunt for them to and not the McToys. If you have read the thread "your opinion" the cog idea is really cool being a mechanical engineer and all, but the maintains sounds like it could become a nightmare. I was thinking of doing something along the same line except the cacher would have to sovle a tavern puzzle to open the cache to get the clue. What do you think and/or have you seen a cache like the one I am thinking of placing? Any comment and suggestion will be appercaited.



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First - find a good location for the final or intermediate steps. Somewhere interesting and worth visiting. Second, don't forget that all steps of the multi need to be at least 528 feet from all other caches and the midpoints of all nearby multis. Third, if you have to solve puzzles or do math - find a "lab rat" to check it out before you publish it to make sure it works out ok. Finally, have fun while putting it together......

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All of my Multis are within a close area. You park once and hike to all the waypoints. Not required, just my preference.

The waypoints should be of material that will last. Mine are mostly brass or aluminum tags that I stamp with coords and hints. (numbers and letters that you stamp with a hammer.) They will last many years. I have seen ink on paper that lasts days. I like to nail the tags to wood posts, epoxy to steel posts, use wire cable (crimped wtih ferrules) around tree branches (loosely.) Small micro containers with hints will eventually disapear.

You should take care in marking the waypoints. I use two different brand GPSrs and go back on three different days and compare the results and use what looks the best. This is important for projections/ distance and bearing hints. Specify using True or magnetic north.

I like the final cache container to be regular size, preferably ammo can size.

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A finder's perspective--

I just don't hunt multis that don't tell me up front how many stages there are and about how far I will have to go to find all the stages. I want to know if I can finish it that day, or if it will need multiple trips. I also like to know if I'll be walking or hopping in and out of the car. That's especially important to me when I'm away from my local area.


And I have quit in the middle of multis that have too many identical stages--you know, walk a while look at a tag, walk awhile look at a tag, walk awhile look at a tag, etc. If the views are that great, I'll be gawking at them anyway. I like multis that either keep it down to just a few stages or give me a different kind of hide at most of the stops just to make it interesting!

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When I hide a multi I like to place them in a loop, with the final cache near the parking. That makes maintenace easier, being that the actual cache is more likely to require a maint visit than the interim stages. Also, I think many geocachers appreciate being back near their car at the end of the walk.


Starbrand makes an important point. Make sure your stages aren't too close to an existing cache.


Make sure there is a point to your multi, other than just sending the searcher on a goose chase. By that I mean find someplace of interest for each stage, or at least have the multi bring the searcher along on a pleasant hike.


If you want people to try your multi, don't make it too many stages. The more stages it has, the fewer attempts you will get. I think that 2-4 stages are good numbers.

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Not trying to hijack your topic but I've wondering about a related issue: Does a large difference in difficulty/terrain ratings allow you to fudge the proximity rule?


Here's a few more dtails about what I had in mind


I was thinking of doing a multicache that requires you to go into several tunnels, large drainage pipes, culverts and similar dark and creepy areas. It would have a high difficulty rating (4 or 5) based on the fact it would be little dangerous and may require some special equipment (all this would be in the description). HOWEVER, two of the intended stages are very near easy (1 & 2 star) caches. Would 'most' reviewers let me run with this or should I keep on looking?

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One thing I don't like about multis are multis that really don't need to be multis. For instance, you start off and find one micro which is in the middle of nowhere, nothing to see, no reason for it, and then brings you to the final. To me, there is no reason to make this a multi.

I like multis that are done for a reason. For example, there is one not too far that is a covered bridges cache that leads you to three covered bridges in the county. To me, this has a reason. Also, the cache listing says that the stages are all over and will require driving. Yes, these three could all have been separate caches, but I see the reason for the multi.

Another good example of a multi is one where there are many trails in a park. The multi stages could be placed strategically to lead you through the trail system. Although, sometimes I like the hunt and trying to traverse the trail system myself, I can see how this is not a bad multi.

One of the best mulits I have done was a two stage that led you into a gully where the GPS reception was poor at best. The first stage was near the parking lot and inside, which gave coordinates to the final, but more importantly, it gave laymen directions to the cache. There would probably be MANY DNFs on this one if it weren't for the directions.

My two cents.

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When I hide a multi I like to place them in a loop, with the final cache near the parking. That makes maintenace easier, being that the actual cache is more likely to require a maint visit than the interim stages. Also, I think many geocachers appreciate being back near their car at the end of the walk.


That is my philosophy on multis as well. I try to always lead them back in, and am currently planning one with a friend that will cut 2 odd miles off of a 14 mile trail now. THAT one should be appreciated :huh:

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A fair number of my caches are multis and I often go to that form because it's easier to direct the visitor to see or interact with a particular feature of the landscape with a multi than it is with a traditional.


Here is an example, hidden near a really neat motor-themed playground. Rather than hide a micro on the playground that would be a headache for me to maintain and a pita for someone to look for, the features of the playground are clues and the cache is about 600 feet away, on an accessible undeveloped ridgeline that is part of the park. It even has a view. This example walks you through a park opposite a series of houseboat docks near downtown San Francisco.


The multi form can also be used to bring people to cache sites that cannot support physical caches. Sutro Baths and Industrial Light & Magic are both on NPS land that does not allow caches. The physical caches for these multis are hidden elsewhere on city-owned land.


To hide one of these, scout the area that contains the clues, then look for a nice traditional area nearby and hide the cache as you would normally. Then go back to your 'clue' area and find the features people will look for to come up with the final coordinates. The initial coordinates (and secondary waypoints) are of your clue area(s). Make certain that the clues are unambiguous. Write it all up and you're done.


I've only hidden one multi-stage cache with coordinates in each stage. It was way too much trouble to maintain and I archived it.

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I like Multi-caches that take me on a path of a story.


I also think Multi Caches should have a good size cache at the end so that TBs and Geocoins can be put where people have to work for them.


I not only like the idea that the multi leads them back to thier car after a hike, but having fun with the irony that it was right next to them from the start if they had strong geosenses.


I agree that each step/WP shoudl be unique in some manner.


I HATE ones that require me to get back in to my car to get to the next WP if the distance is not mentioned up front -- wich still can be a problem if I am just using WPs in my GPS only without a print-out.


I think multi-caches' greatest strength is that WPs can be designed to me muggle proof. You can have people go to an eduactional site with lots of muggles for WP1 and maybe have them get some data off of a sign or something. Then lead them to somewhere hidden so they can actually get the cache without muggles. I like it sometimes when I can tell people I am geocaching and not worry about if they know what I am doing!

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I agree completely that the best strength of a multi is that it can be educational, tell a story or be placed in an area where a single-stage cache would get muggled.


I only have one multi so far, and I hid the first of two stages in plain sight, but in a very muggly area. The coords for the next stage can be gotten without arousing a single suspicion, and the ammo-can final is only a hundred yards away, but WELL hidden.


I also hate "surprise" multis in which you find one micro or nano after the other with no idea how many more or how far you'll have to go. I've abandoned ship on more than one.


It is permissible (in a REALLY tough area) to reveal half the coords in one stage, and the other half in another. This almost gurantees a muggle-free final stage - assuming the final is hidden well and off the beaten track.


I tried to do something in my first stage that I'd never seen before, and got lots of "How clever!" comments. Multis are a wonderful opportunity for this, as there's no requirement for a log in the intermediates. I vow to do the same if and when I ever place another multi. Might be a fun idea for the rest of us.

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