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Stages of a Multi - How far apart is too far?


cbearw
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My apologies if this has been kicked around before but I read through the guidelined and couldn't find anything. Also did a search but again no luck. I did a multi the other day and the stages were miles apart and sent me criss crossing from one side of town to another a few times. Great camoed hides but ........ :-(

I think I read somewhere that the stages shouldn't be too far apart to avoid scenerios like that described above. Any comments or is the sky the limit as far as the distance different stages of a multi can be apart?

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I recently did a multi, stage one to two was about 300m, about the same for the next stage, but the next stage was over 1.8Km away. It was disproportional and off putting. I had to mull over whether to walk back to the car and drive to the next stage. In fact it was on a path I always wanted to walk so I walked it anyway.

 

So my guidelines for distance between stages of a multi should be no more than 500m apart.

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I think it's really up to the cache owner to decide how far apart you want the stages to be. As long as you can maintain them then what's the harm? I know people who'll drive 50 miles just for one cache...My philosophy is if you're going to make it a challenge/difficult, then make it worth their while. I.E. each stage should have a container of decent size to promote travel bugs/geocoins/swag to be traded instead of just a "tag" with new coords put on it.

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the sky the limit as far as the distance different stages of a multi can be

 

Yes, the sky is the limit on the distance between stages of a multi-cache. There are trans-Atlantic caches.

 

There is a 2 mile restriction on the distance between bogus coordinates of a puzzle and the actual cache. Not related to multi-caches, however.

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I think it's really up to the cache owner to decide how far apart you want the stages to be. As long as you can maintain them then what's the harm? I know people who'll drive 50 miles just for one cache...My philosophy is if you're going to make it a challenge/difficult, then make it worth their while. I.E. each stage should have a container of decent size to promote travel bugs/geocoins/swag to be traded instead of just a "tag" with new coords put on it.

 

Huh? Although I haven't found that many multis I've never seen one where a any of the stage except the finale were intended to have any swag/trackables in them.

 

How far apart you place the stages for a multi might be determined by how often you want the cache found. A multi with more than 2 stages and/or stages that are a mile or more apart may be found by some of the local caching community but someone visiting the area from out of town (even when out-of-town is only 30-40 miles away) is likely going to ignore it if there are other caches in the area to be found.

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I've recently placed a multi here in South Wales (United Kingdom) where the stages are between 300 yards and 3 miles apart. There are 15 stages in total and the ultimate journey is about 30 miles (one way) - I just let people know in the short description to expect this one to be a long haul.

 

What's more, none of the coordinates of the VCs are actually in a format that's easily usable or makes initial sense (though the cache title is a massive hint) making it a mystery cache to boot as you have to first understand the relationship between the codes published on the cache entry and the VC locations.

 

As mentioned previously by someone else, I fell foul of the 2 mile restriction for the final cache/published coordinates as I intially used a location roughly at the half way point but once this was done, it was published and found the next day! I fully expect this to be a slow burner found by locals and new local cachers and not a visitor friendly cache. I've placed plenty of them too so not too worried. I also have a multi that hasn't been found for over a year to date - again - not a worry as I expected it to be another slow burner.

Edited by Eclectic Penguin
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I did a multi the other day and the stages were miles apart and sent me criss crossing from one side of town to another a few times.

I cannot understand why a CO would do this, surely a multiple of traditionals and a bonus cache would be more appealing.

 

Appealing to most cache hunters, perhaps. But there are cache hunters who enjoy long multis and difficult caches!

I've got a five-stage mystery/multi that's about a mile hike, uphill both ways. Beautiful area! Of course, it hasn't been found in a year and a half. Oh, well. It's there for those who are into such things.

 

Longest distance I've seen on a multi was five miles (as the Gupy flies).

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Appealing to most cache hunters, perhaps. But there are cache hunters who enjoy long multis and difficult caches!

I disagree with you. With a series of traditionals and a bonus cache you are giving finders more choice. More choice gives customers a better experience. Cache 'n dashers can pick out those caches near a parking bay; wheelchair users can see (or investigate) which caches they can pick out in terms of accessibility; similar approach for mountain bikers; finders who only like going downhill; finders who have a limited time; low energy levels; only like difficult-to-find caches; only like easy-to-find caches; visiting from out of town; and finders who enjoy a long hike.

 

The best multi's I have done have equal and short distances between stages, and guide you through a trail. One multi that comes to mind was in a local park and it took you around the park to parts of the park you would just normally pass by.

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There are major differences in listing guidelines and aesthetics. Just like if you don't like lame parking lot caches in trash heaps you can skip the multis that are too long for you.

 

My personal preference are multis that you can complete once you leave the car. If you have to drive around, then split them up into a series. It's only really for ease of tracking progress and nothing more for me. A larger multi with well organized children would do just as well, I suppose.

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We have a multi, 4 stages to get to the final, roughly a 5 mile walk through beautiful woodlands, takes about 2 - 2½ hours. It's been out for nearly 3 years and has had 29 finds.

 

As far as we can judge from the logs, I'd say it's in the top 3 three of our "most enjoyed" caches.

 

I think one of the most important factors for such a multi is to make sure that you give a clear indication in the description how long it's likely to take, or the approximate mileage.

 

MrsB

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My apologies if this has been kicked around before but I read through the guidelined and couldn't find anything. Also did a search but again no luck. I did a multi the other day and the stages were miles apart and sent me criss crossing from one side of town to another a few times. Great camoed hides but ........ :-(

I think I read somewhere that the stages shouldn't be too far apart to avoid scenerios like that described above. Any comments or is the sky the limit as far as the distance different stages of a multi can be apart?

 

I personally prefer to manage my own time and distance. I welcome multi-caches that are up front in their descriptions. I have found myself at the point in my caching life that while I want to keep track of the numbers (I'm a stat freak), accumulating them in a hurry is not that great of an issue. In other words, I have no problem spending an entire day seeking out a multi in the mountains, as long as it it is clear from the cache description, that is what I will be doing by seeking a particular cache.

 

The point of my reply is that I realize that some people use multicaches to create a challenge and increase the difficulty of their caches. I have no problem with that. In most cases, I'll accept that challenge. Just give me a time/distance frame so I can plan accordingly.

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Huh? Although I haven't found that many multis I've never seen one where a any of the stage except the finale were intended to have any swag/trackables in them.

 

It's certainly rare now, but there are in fact multicaches where each stage is a swagged ammo can. Local to me Where the Green Fern Grows has (from memory) 7 stages, 6 of which are swagged 50mm ammo cans or larger. I own a multicache with 4 ammo cans among the 7 stages.

 

I prefer multicaches myself - rather than the traditional, traditonal, traditional to bonus idea mentioned above (if you're going that route, forget the "bonus" and just do them all as traditional!).

Though like CoyoteRed, my preference, for the most part, is to park once and then do the cache as a hike/bike/paddle. I think it's a courtesy to let people know about the mileage.

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I welcome multi-caches that are up front in their descriptions.
IMHO, that's the key. As long as the multi-cache makes it clear at the beginning that the final is 20mi away from the first stage, or that you'll need to drive about 100mi total to collect the information from all the stages before you grab the final, or that the final is 1000mi away from the first stage (yes, these are real examples), then it's up to the cache owner to decide what kind of experience the cache presents. And with that information, everyone can decide on their own whether to try to find the cache.
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I am new to geocaching but had an idea that I am not sure I even want to try! I am also a runner and thought it would be a neat idea to place a multi or a series at (or near) the start and then the next mile of the local marathon course. This would make a total of 27 urban caches. My thought was to publish the coordinates of the start and then have each cache have the coordinates of the next inside of it (no puzzles, this is already long enough!). I would also like to include a prize for finishing. My thought there was to have the first 10 or 20 people to finish it go into a drawing for the prize. The prize I am considering is a bronzwe ancient Roman coin (closest I can get to an ancient Greek item).

 

However, after reading the above, it seems like maybe this should just be a series, listing each cache separately. (I am also not sure I want to maintain 27 of caches!)

 

Opinions?

 

Thanks,

Joe

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However, after reading the above, it seems like maybe this should just be a series, listing each cache separately. (I am also not sure I want to maintain 27 of caches!)

 

Opinions?

Apart from the separate cache pages (which don't have to be long) you will have to maintain the 27 caches of a multi anyway. This biggest problem with a 26 mile multi is if a stage cache is muggled the finders cannot go any further, some finders will post this on-line but others won't. If you replace that stage cache you may find out from more online logs that another stage cache after that one is also missing, and so on… I'm sure even the hardened geocacher may get fed up after two failed attempts.

 

With a series a muggled cache gets alerted and the finders can carry on with the others. You get to see which caches are the problem ones, and you can home-in on them instead of running the 26 mile to see if all the stages are in place. It's less maintenance in the long run.

 

You could also ask (Alternative Logging Suggestion) that anybody running the route could log their time (or steps on a pedometer) on the online log. You could collate the statistics for fun (if that floats your boat).

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Most cachers expect stages of a Multi-cache to be within walking distance.

As observed by Stephen Wright: Everywhere is within walking distance...if you have the time.

 

As previously noted, there are caches where the stages are on separate continents.

 

At this phase in the development of Geocaching, I think we can safely say that all stages must be on planet Earth.

Edited by AZcachemeister
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Since there are no "rules" against it ;) , I have been think of making the worlds largest Multi staged cache. I'm think of doing it just because I can. Most of the WP will be Virtual, that way maintaining it will be easier, but it will have between 100-200 steps and cover most of western Washington State, here in the U.S. The working name for the project is "The Journey".

 

I'm not sure when or if I will do it, since my wife doesn't really care for the idea :anicute: , but I'm not giving up hope just yet. :D

 

Tobias

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I am new to geocaching but had an idea that I am not sure I even want to try! I am also a runner and thought it would be a neat idea to place a multi or a series at (or near) the start and then the next mile of the local marathon course. This would make a total of 27 urban caches. My thought was to publish the coordinates of the start and then have each cache have the coordinates of the next inside of it (no puzzles, this is already long enough!). I would also like to include a prize for finishing. My thought there was to have the first 10 or 20 people to finish it go into a drawing for the prize. The prize I am considering is a bronzwe ancient Roman coin (closest I can get to an ancient Greek item).

 

However, after reading the above, it seems like maybe this should just be a series, listing each cache separately. (I am also not sure I want to maintain 27 of caches!)

 

Opinions?

 

Thanks,

Joe

You'll also have some people who figure out that you've tied it to the race course and head to the final area and search thereby skipping twenty-some stages.

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..

However, after reading the above, it seems like maybe this should just be a series, listing each cache separately. (I am also not sure I want to maintain 27 of caches!)

Joe

You'll also have some people who figure out that you've tied it to the race course and head to the final area and search thereby skipping twenty-some stages.

 

You could solve that: make each stage contain part of a puzzle for the final coordinates. There will always be those that cheat (dunno why, takes all the fun out of it).

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I can think of several multis that run through VF National Park, ending outside the park boundaries. They took me to places in the park that I didn't know existed, even living on its border all my life.

Another I am putting off takes you to all the covered bridges in the county. The final is near the last one (assuming you do them in order). I say I am putting it off because the locations would be best viewed and photographed (imho) when the leaves turn in the autumn.

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Since there are no "rules" against it ;) , I have been think of making the worlds largest Multi staged cache. I'm think of doing it just because I can. Most of the WP will be Virtual, that way maintaining it will be easier, but it will have between 100-200 steps and cover most of western Washington State, here in the U.S. The working name for the project is "The Journey".

 

I'm not sure when or if I will do it, since my wife doesn't really care for the idea :anicute: , but I'm not giving up hope just yet. :D

 

Tobias

 

just be aware a good percentage of folks after the eventual FTFer will be just making up good stories in their logs but just taking the final coords from their buddies.

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there's one that starts in my town that is a couple miles to stage 2, and another 30 to the final stage. Doesn't get found often...but it's there.

 

I applaud the CO for placing something different...not something catering to "most" people or the lowest common denominator or whatever.

 

I have a multi that could involve a mile or two of walking or biking, but I know for a fact that some folks have driven between stages.

 

Just be up front about the distances between stages and overall distance traveled so they can plan appropriately. Although I might understand why someone would not want to reveal that info.

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The more stages (or further apart stages are from each other) the fewer people will attempt a multicache. This keeps most multicaches within reasonable limits.

 

Criss-crossing town? I'd just mark the next waypoint on my GPSr and if I got close to it another day I might find the next stage, repeating that process until I got to the end.

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I was wondering if there were any multis that required one or more nights of overnight camping?
IIRC, there are some traditional caches in California that require at least a day's hike in from the nearest trailhead, and then an equally log hike back out. And IIRC, there is a multi-cache along a European hiking/backpacking trail that crosses multiple countries.
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I guess I wonder "who cares how far apart, as long as the CO can maintain it?" There are loads of caches out there, of all kinds. If the stages are too far apart, then people won't do it. I think, though, that the CO ought to be up front about the distances in the description, unless the point of the cache is to challenge. I'm getting ready to publish a 5/5 mystery with stages. Total distance is about 4-5 miles. Each stage is difficult, and honestly I don't expect many people to make it through to the logbook. But then again, I live in an area that is full of D/Ts that are less than 3/3, and not many more than that. There are some local cachers who will do this one, and I've hidden it for them. I think they'll have a great time.

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Used to have one that had stages 1 and 3 on one side of a lake and 2 and 4 on the other. Only found about 3 times in the year or so it was out before the lake ate it. Probably a good 1.5-2 miles between stages by boat. 15 driving. That's how I intended it. I wanted a big challenging cache for adventurers. Plus each stage required .5-1.5 mile hikes one way.

 

Also am currently waiting on the publication of a multi that is just over 400 miles long. It's a tribute to I-70 through Kansas and has 6 stages no less than 60 miles apart. Only have to get out of the car on the final and it's a park and grab. Each stage is a "permanent" marker representing something about I-70 and/or Kansas that you have to find clues from for the next stage. I'm looking forward to seeing how often that gets found. Might be easier for cachers from out of state. Helps break up the monotony of the trip through western Kansas.

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Used to have one that had stages 1 and 3 on one side of a lake and 2 and 4 on the other. Only found about 3 times in the year or so it was out before the lake ate it. Probably a good 1.5-2 miles between stages by boat. 15 driving. That's how I intended it. I wanted a big challenging cache for adventurers. Plus each stage required .5-1.5 mile hikes one way.

 

Also am currently waiting on the publication of a multi that is just over 400 miles long. It's a tribute to I-70 through Kansas and has 6 stages no less than 60 miles apart. Only have to get out of the car on the final and it's a park and grab. Each stage is a "permanent" marker representing something about I-70 and/or Kansas that you have to find clues from for the next stage. I'm looking forward to seeing how often that gets found. Might be easier for cachers from out of state. Helps break up the monotony of the trip through western Kansas.

Ooo, I'll keep an eye open for that one. If I go visit my parents, I have to drive all the way across on I-70.

 

Oh, and "Go K-State!" :D:ph34r:

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I have done several multis in my area (many by the same owner) which have at least 3 stops and may be miles apart. They were actually what got me hooked on caching. They usually also involved clever puzzles at some stages, which sometimes required a stop at a library to look things up. (We didn't have smart phones then). They're not for everybody, but some of them are awesome!

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Also am currently waiting on the publication of a multi that is just over 400 miles long. It's a tribute to I-70 through Kansas and has 6 stages no less than 60 miles apart. Only have to get out of the car on the final and it's a park and grab. Each stage is a "permanent" marker representing something about I-70 and/or Kansas that you have to find clues from for the next stage. I'm looking forward to seeing how often that gets found. Might be easier for cachers from out of state. Helps break up the monotony of the trip through western Kansas.

 

That sounds very cool. It might even induce me to drive through Kansas. ;)

 

Actually, I will keep an eye out for it. Sounds like one for the "Favorites" file.

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At this phase in the development of Geocaching, I think we can safely say that all stages must be on planet Earth.

 

Except for those that aren't.

:ph34r:

Sadly it got locked for sarcastic notes. An active locked cache. How sad. :unsure:

 

Not to mention that it ISN'T a multi-cache.

 

 

It is a multi. For some reason it's listed as a traditional, but it's not.

 

The published coordinates take you to the Baikonur Cosmodrome, which is the starting point for the cache search. From there, you can get to the ISS to find and log the cache.

 

Sounds like a multi to me!

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I can't seem to find any examples now, but there are actually a few caches out there that have several stages on different continents. I remember seeing one where the first container was in the UK, the final was in NZ, and one where you had to start in Portugal and there were stages in places like Australia, South Africa, etc. So doesn't seem like there's really a limit. :)

 

(For those wondering, it appears that such caches are usually done by groups of cachers who arrange via the Internet to get a stage, and then all parties involved get the smiley.)

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