# Multi Cache without containers at each stage?

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Can a multi-cache have no physical containers at each stage, or would that be a challenge cache? My idea is such, list coordinates of historical placards or other date markers around town and have the cacher glean the coordinates for the final cache from riddles about a number contained within those markers.

So the find could go something like, "travel to xxxN xxxW, read about such and such thing that happened there on the marker, note the date/other number from marker, maybe do some math or additional bobbling with said number, use result as part of final stage coordinate, rinse, repeat.

Would this be a multi, or would it be a puzzle, or would it be a challenge? Also, if there are already traditional caches listed within 528ft of any given marker/number, could I still use the location as a waypoint if there's no physical container?

Edited by shak3zula

Yes.

It's a "Question To Answer" stage of a multicache.

(And, as there is no 'physical' stage (container) it's not part of the minimum distance from other 'physical' stages of other nearby caches!)

I've found similar caches that were listed as multis or puzzles. It's kind of a gray area. I think that if you can work your way through the cache stages with just a gps then it would be a multi. If you need other information or equations then I think it should be a puzzle. Just an opinion though. People seem reluctant to use the puzzle designation believing others won't bother with them.

Oh, hopefully a reviewer will come along and answer. I've seen it both ways. Heck, I've probably even done it both ways.

Can a multi-cache have no physical containers at each stage, or would that be a challenge cache? My idea is such, list coordinates of historical placards or other date markers around town and have the cacher glean the coordinates for the final cache from riddles about a number contained within those markers.

So the find could go something like, "travel to xxxN xxxW, read about such and such thing that happened there on the marker, note the date/other number from marker, maybe do some math or additional bobbling with said number, use result as part of final stage coordinate, rinse, repeat.

Would this be a multi, or would it be a puzzle, or would it be a challenge? Also, if there are already traditional caches listed within 528ft of any given marker/number, could I still use the location as a waypoint if there's no physical container?

I've multi-stage caches which have no physical container at each stage (except the last, of course) listed both as multi-caches and as unknown caches. To me, if you're just reading numbers of a marker/sign/whatever and plugging them into the appropriate position in a set of coordinates, I'd list it as a multi. If, however, I have to read a number off a sign/marker then perform some sort of calculation that is more complex than basic arithmetic, I'd make it an unknown cache. It depends on how complex the calculations or riddle you create is, but that's just my opinion. A challenge cache would be listed as an unknown cache and is typically a "bonus" cache that can be found after finding several (usually a large number) of caches that meet a specific criteria (i.e. a cache in each county of the state).

You *can* use a location of an existing physical cache as long as you're not using a physical container for that stage of your multi cache.

Can a multi-cache have no physical containers at each stage, or would that be a challenge cache? My idea is such, list coordinates of historical placards or other date markers around town and have the cacher glean the coordinates for the final cache from riddles about a number contained within those markers.

Just make sure the final stage has a physical container with at least a log. In our area, this type of layout typically would be a multi-cache, although I've occasionally seen it appear as a puzzle cache. It is NOT be a challenge cache.

So the find could go something like, "travel to xxxN xxxW, read about such and such thing that happened there on the marker, note the date/other number from marker, maybe do some math or additional bobbling with said number, use result as part of final stage coordinate, rinse, repeat.

When you create "Additional Waypoints" for each stage, be sure the box is checked that makes them visible to the public (for all stages except the final stage).

Also, if there are already traditional caches listed within 528ft of any given marker/number, could I still use the location as a waypoint if there's no physical container?

Yes, since they are "virtual" waypoints. If they were physical waypoints, then they would have to be at least 528 feet from another cache's physical container (including puzzles and multis, as well as traditionals). Your physical, final container, for example, must be at least 528 feet away.

So the find could go something like, "travel to xxxN xxxW, read about such and such thing that happened there on the marker, note the date/other number from marker, maybe do some math or additional bobbling with said number, use result as part of final stage coordinate, rinse, repeat.

When you create "Additional Waypoints" for each stage, be sure the box is checked that makes them visible to the public (for all stages except the final stage).

Not necessarily so.

Could be "Go to these coords N12 34.567 W001 23.456 and find some numbers, which will go in NXX XX abc WXX XX def for the next stage"

In which case they only need to be visible to the CO and reviewer...

My multis are as you describe, but our local reviewers are trying to standardize things around here, and from now on, such a cache must be a puzzle cache. If there aren't physical containers at the stages it's unknown/mystery/puzzle. In a case like this--only your final needs to be .1 mile from any other physical cache or physical stage of a multi cache.

So the find could go something like, "travel to xxxN xxxW, read about such and such thing that happened there on the marker, note the date/other number from marker, maybe do some math or additional bobbling with said number, use result as part of final stage coordinate, rinse, repeat.

When you create "Additional Waypoints" for each stage, be sure the box is checked that makes them visible to the public (for all stages except the final stage).

Not necessarily so.

Could be "Go to these coords N12 34.567 W001 23.456 and find some numbers, which will go in NXX XX abc WXX XX def for the next stage"

In which case they only need to be visible to the CO and reviewer...

Correct, in general. But for the situation shak3zula described, he'll want to make all his non-final waypoints visible to the public.

Excellent info, thanks for all the replies.

I'm thinking I would make all the waypoints visible, as the information on the plaque or sign at the waypoint would be used to get some portion of the final stage coordinates. The distinction between multi and puzzle being what you have to do with the numbers makes sense too--math or riddles make it much easier to place the final without cherry-picking numbers all over town. The final will be a traditional (decon container) cache with a log and such.

I would like to make it walking accessible along some kind of historical route around my town and tell an anecdote or two, a nice way to waste an hour or so on the weekend.

Edited by shak3zula
My multis are as you describe, but our local reviewers are trying to standardize things around here, and from now on, such a cache must be a puzzle cache. If there aren't physical containers at the stages it's unknown/mystery/puzzle.
They should have a talk with Groundspeak, rather than making up their own rules.

From Geocache Types (note the last sentence):

Multi-Cache (Offset Cache)

A Multi-Cache ("multiple") involves two or more locations. The final location is a physical container. There are many variations, but most Multi-Caches have a hint to find the second cache, and the second cache has a hint to the third, and so on. An offset cache (where you go to a location and get hints to the actual cache) is considered a Multi-Cache.

I would like to make it walking accessible along some kind of historical route around my town and tell an anecdote or two, a nice way to waste an hour or so on the weekend.
I've done a few like that. They can be fun. Here's an example: GC1EM3H

My multis are as you describe, but our local reviewers are trying to standardize things around here, and from now on, such a cache must be a puzzle cache. If there aren't physical containers at the stages it's unknown/mystery/puzzle.

If this happened to me, I would go for appeal. In my area the vast majority of multi caches has intermediary stages that are of the question to answer type and a change like the one you mentioned would mean that the multi cache type could be trashed at all. I would be angry to be deprived of the chance to distinguish between a hiking multi cache posing no intellectual challenge at all and a puzzle cache which needs hours of homework.

Cezanne

I would like to make it walking accessible along some kind of historical route around my town and tell an anecdote or two, a nice way to waste an hour or so on the weekend.
I've done a few like that. They can be fun. Here's an example: GC1EM3H

Thanks for the link, that's a great example of a very well researched and intellectually stimulating cache. This is exactly the kind of cache I'm thinking of. I've noticed there many little plaques and insets to be found around town with blurbs about the architect of a building, a historical figure, or some other tidbit of history. After doing the Friday night Art-Walk, I'm actually surprised how many of these kinds of little markers there are especially in the "Old" section of town.

My multis are as you describe, but our local reviewers are trying to standardize things around here, and from now on, such a cache must be a puzzle cache. If there aren't physical containers at the stages it's unknown/mystery/puzzle. In a case like this--only your final needs to be .1 mile from any other physical cache or physical stage of a multi cache.

That is just wrong on the reviewers to change the rules/guidelines to what they think a cache should be.

I have many multis, some have containers at stages, some use information gleaned at the waypoint.

And what is puzzling to some maybe common knowledge to others.

I would like to make it walking accessible along some kind of historical route around my town and tell an anecdote or two, a nice way to waste an hour or so on the weekend.
I've done a few like that. They can be fun. Here's an example: GC1EM3H

Thanks for the link, that's a great example of a very well researched and intellectually stimulating cache. This is exactly the kind of cache I'm thinking of. I've noticed there many little plaques and insets to be found around town with blurbs about the architect of a building, a historical figure, or some other tidbit of history. After doing the Friday night Art-Walk, I'm actually surprised how many of these kinds of little markers there are especially in the "Old" section of town.

This is one of our favourite cache finds. It's definitely not a walking tour, though...one needs to drive between each point of interest to obtain the necessary information for each stage of this multi-cache.

Check out the gallery, too.

GC9D6F Ridgerunners Bigfoot Cache of Forgotten Trails (a multi-cache)

http://www.geocaching.com/seek/cache_details.aspx?guid=c51dc93f-bc20-45bf-a40d-7e79e6c563c4

Can a multi-cache have no physical containers at each stage, or would that be a challenge cache? My idea is such, list coordinates of historical placards or other date markers around town and have the cacher glean the coordinates for the final cache from riddles about a number contained within those markers.

So the find could go something like, "travel to xxxN xxxW, read about such and such thing that happened there on the marker, note the date/other number from marker, maybe do some math or additional bobbling with said number, use result as part of final stage coordinate, rinse, repeat.

Would this be a multi, or would it be a puzzle, or would it be a challenge? Also, if there are already traditional caches listed within 528ft of any given marker/number, could I still use the location as a waypoint if there's no physical container?

A general rule of thumb is that if the GPS takes you to a location where something physical at that site (container, sign, statue) provides a clue to the next stage it's a multi. Multis can also involve things like projecting waypoints or letterboxing like instructions.

Your example, unless there was some additional aspect that I'm not aware of, would be a multi.

Of course that is a generalization and there are exceptions, and there are sometimes caches that don't fit neatly into either category.

Edited by briansnat

I would like to make it walking accessible along some kind of historical route around my town and tell an anecdote or two, a nice way to waste an hour or so on the weekend.

Thank-you for (wanting) to add to the list of quality caches out there.

Much appreciated.

My multis are as you describe, but our local reviewers are trying to standardize things around here, and from now on, such a cache must be a puzzle cache. If there aren't physical containers at the stages it's unknown/mystery/puzzle. In a case like this--only your final needs to be .1 mile from any other physical cache or physical stage of a multi cache.

First to address the CO's concerns although many others already have provided good info.

Informational signs and historical markers can be used as intermediate stages for multis. You can even mix in virtual and traditional stages if it suits your design. Only the physical stages need to be at least 528' from any other physical cache stages, but not those within your listing. I have one educational multi that leads seekers on a 6 stage 1 hour tour of downtown collecting data and then a short ride to an ammo can in a nearby park.

Second-the way I interpret the distinction between puzzles and multis is simple. If there is something to find at the posted coords, it is a multi. If there isn't something at the posted coords, and/or one must do something with data on the cache page before setting out on the hunt it should be listed as a mystery. YMMV

My multis are as you describe, but our local reviewers are trying to standardize things around here, and from now on, such a cache must be a puzzle cache. If there aren't physical containers at the stages it's unknown/mystery/puzzle. In a case like this--only your final needs to be .1 mile from any other physical cache or physical stage of a multi cache.

That is just wrong on the reviewers to change the rules/guidelines to what they think a cache should be.

I have many multis, some have containers at stages, some use information gleaned at the waypoint.

And what is puzzling to some maybe common knowledge to others.

I must have missed a Memo. I've been a reviewer in Dame Deco's home state since 2003 and this is news to me. Perhaps something got lost in translation.

Wimseyguy's definition in the post above this one is the rule I've always gone by.

I'd consider these a puzzle/mystery/unknown (take your pick); I have made several--one is archived, one is active, and one is not yet published.

This one is active:

http://www.geocaching.com/seek/cache_details.aspx?guid=826d0123-0e3a-4532-bf77-c3cb552e4a9e

DoubleBent, the only reason I'd call your example a mystery/puzzle cache is because seekers get 8 numbers, and then have to figure out how to assemble those numbers into the final coordinates. If you had specified on the cache page how the numbers were to be assembled into the final coordinates, then it would be just like a lot of multi-caches with virtual (Question to Answer) waypoints that I've done.

On the other hand, if you specified on the cache page how the numbers were to be assembled into the final coordinates, but didn't provide waypoints where the numbers could be obtained (i.e., requiring seekers to do their own research), then it's a mystery/puzzle cache again, just like a lot of GIYF mystery/puzzle caches that I've done.

I would like to make it walking accessible along some kind of historical route around my town and tell an anecdote or two, a nice way to waste an hour or so on the weekend.

Waste?

My multis are as you describe, but our local reviewers are trying to standardize things around here, and from now on, such a cache must be a puzzle cache. If there aren't physical containers at the stages it's unknown/mystery/puzzle. In a case like this--only your final needs to be .1 mile from any other physical cache or physical stage of a multi cache.

That is just wrong on the reviewers to change the rules/guidelines to what they think a cache should be.

I have many multis, some have containers at stages, some use information gleaned at the waypoint.

And what is puzzling to some maybe common knowledge to others.

I must have missed a Memo. I've been a reviewer in Dame Deco's home state since 2003 and this is news to me. Perhaps something got lost in translation.

Wimseyguy's definition in the post above this one is the rule I've always gone by.

I generally agree with that definition as well. However, in some cases, what you find at the published coordinates only gives you some information needed to obtain the coordinates for a subsequent location, and I've seen some fairly complex compilations that must be done to do that. If it's not something the average geocacher can do while in the field than I'd suggest that the multi is essentially a puzzle since one might have to take whatever information they found at the published coordinates back home to work out the coordinates for the next stage.

*

Actually, I wrote a few years ago that I *wish* that a physical container at each stage was required for a multi cache, and even though I realize that the guidelines do *not* make that a requirement and it wouldn't really be possible to change all multis which did not meet such a requirement, there would be a lot less confusion about the multi vs. unknown cache issue.

I would like to make it walking accessible along some kind of historical route around my town and tell an anecdote or two, a nice way to waste an hour or so on the weekend.

Waste?

Perhaps that was the wrong choice of word; one person's time wasting is another's quality time. I suppose you could readily substitute "enjoy," "diddle," or "spend." Either way, a bit of time spent is a bit of time spent.

All my waypoints were revealed to all users--there was no calculating the next spot with info from the last stage, etc. I'm not sure I could have mistranslated "please make this an unknown/puzzle cache."

All my waypoints were revealed to all users--there was no calculating the next spot with info from the last stage, etc. I'm not sure I could have mistranslated "please make this an unknown/puzzle cache."

Unless you translated "please make this an unknown/puzzle cache" to mean that reviewers in the area have started adopting a policy that any multi cache that does not have a physical container must be listed as a puzzle. Without seeing the listing that you submitting for publication we can only speculate as to why the reviewer may have asked you to submit it as an unknown/puzzle.

Unless you translated "please make this an unknown/puzzle cache" to mean that reviewers in the area have started adopting a policy that any multi cache that does not have a physical container must be listed as a puzzle.

The reviewer note was a paragraph long. The reviewer explained why the change was being requested in a couple of sentences, then asked me to change it. All I meant is that I don't see how I could misinterpret the last sentence--"change it," essentially.

I told you what my reviewer wrote. I can't tell it any plainer. I can't prove what the reviewer wrote--those comments were archived when the cache was published. I published my first comment in this thread in good faith--I simply told the OP what my reviewer told me. All that changed on my cache page was a reference to a puzzle as opposed to a multi--other then that, all I changed was the type.

Edited by Dame Deco
Unless you translated "please make this an unknown/puzzle cache" to mean that reviewers in the area have started adopting a policy that any multi cache that does not have a physical container must be listed as a puzzle.

The reviewer note was a paragraph long. The reviewer explained why the change was being requested in a couple of sentences, then asked me to change it. All I meant is that I don't see how I could misinterpret the last sentence--"change it," essentially.

I told you what my reviewer wrote. I can't tell it any plainer. I can't prove what the reviewer wrote--those comments were archived when the cache was published. I published my first comment in this thread in good faith--I simply told the OP what my reviewer told me. All that changed on my cache page was a reference to a puzzle as opposed to a multi--other then that, all I changed was the type.

Maybe I'm missing it but I'm not seeing where you posted what the reviewer wrote (i.e. the two sentences in which the reviewer explained why the change was requested). I can't tell from your list of puzzle caches which you have placed which cache you had to change but the two most recent appear to be very similar to multi caches that I have done. I've seen quite a few "find numbers/letters on a grave stone or translating a number or words from a sign into a number that's plugged into a set of coordinates that *have* been published as multi's.

Maybe I'm missing it but I'm not seeing where you posted what the reviewer wrote (i.e. the two sentences in which the reviewer explained why the change was requested). I can't tell from your list of puzzle caches which you have placed which cache you had to change but the two most recent appear to be very similar to multi caches that I have done. I've seen quite a few "find numbers/letters on a grave stone or translating a number or words from a sign into a number that's plugged into a set of coordinates that *have* been published as multi's.

By following these forum, I learnt that some cachers do feel that caches like the one with the gravestone (the cache from 2012) should be puzzle caches as the description is needed to solve the cache. It would not surprise me if of among this group there are also reviewers.

As I said before if someone would ask me to change the cache type of such a cache to ?, I would object and go for the appeal process.

Cezanne

All my waypoints were revealed to all users--there was no calculating the next spot with info from the last stage, etc. I'm not sure I could have mistranslated "please make this an unknown/puzzle cache."

I assume you're referring to "Sign, Sign, Everywhere a Sign." Since the finder must go to the posted coords, that most definitely looks like a multi to me. But it *could* also be a puzzle/mystery. If you're adamant about having it listed as a multi, you should have taken it to appeals. Heck, I think you still should.

Perhaps I could have taken it to appeals, but it's doing alright as is. Thanks, everyone--I appreciate the support and advice.

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