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culturalenigma

Mystery or Series Cache

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Hi all - I didn't know if this should go here or newb section. Technically I'm not a newbie, but I'm not too experienced either.  Mods please move if I'm in the wrong area.

I have hidden two traditional caches, one kept getting taken or thrown away and the other is still standing.  I've been a member for about 3 years.

I've been thinking about doing a mystery or series cache, based on a story. Something parents with kids can do, or even kids on their own, so it would be bicycle reachable.

I can't seem to figure out how to do it though, I read the information and maybe I"m missing something (or not, maybe I"m just clueless) but do I hide one cache? 3 different ones and within those, a link to the next?

What I want to do is hide a series of caches, the first one is the "bogus" one with the first part of the story ending in a puzzle you have to figure out to find the second. Within the second, the middle part of the story, and the third - the final part will be the last cache.  So I guess technically there will be only two actual caches hidden.

Is mystery the correct thing? Or should it be series?  

Thanks all,

CE

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My series is along the lines of what it sounds like you are thinking.

First cache here: https://coord.info/GC3HN42

All but the first in this series are puzzle/mystery caches. (the full lost in the bookmark to the right of page)

A series is not a cache type - were you thinking multi?  (maybe like this one : https://coord.info/GC15B1N - though it is one I haven't found)

The types multi and puzzle/mystery are sometimes interchanged.  To me though, a multi is something that I have to go out to the coords to find some information while a puzzle/mystery I can find all the information to obtain the final coord sitting at home.

Reading what you want to do, you have a few options

  • cache 1 is a traditional - the puzzle (or whatever) for cache TWO and the logbook for cache ONE are both in the box
  • Cache 2 is a puzzle.  You've been to ONE and can solve at home. The container at final coords contain the logbook for TWO and something to help find THREE
  • Cache 3 is also a puzzle. You've been to ONE and TWO and can solve at home.  etc, etc

OR the whole thing is a multi (a single cache listing)

  • WP one contains the puzzle - solve at the site, in the car, take pics and solve at home, whatever to get coords for WP2
  • WP two contains more information, another puzzle, etc - solve to get WP3
  • WP three contains the logbook

OR a combination

I'd suggest you have a look at some puzzle and multi listings around your area (maybe look for fav points) and see what others do.

Good luck.

 

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Having said that : check up on the updated guidelines.  My series would no longer be allowed as it is daisy chained!

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8 hours ago, Ruru_nz said:

Reading what you want to do, you have a few options

  • cache 1 is a traditional - the puzzle (or whatever) for cache TWO and the logbook for cache ONE are both in the box
  • Cache 2 is a puzzle.  You've been to ONE and can solve at home. The container at final coords contain the logbook for TWO and something to help find THREE
  • Cache 3 is also a puzzle. You've been to ONE and TWO and can solve at home.  etc, etc

This scenario is problematic and no longer allowed.  If one of the caches goes missing in the series, the design starts to fall apart like a house of cards.

8 hours ago, Ruru_nz said:

OR the whole thing is a multi (a single cache listing)

  • WP one contains the puzzle - solve at the site, in the car, take pics and solve at home, whatever to get coords for WP2
  • WP two contains more information, another puzzle, etc - solve to get WP3
  • WP three contains the logbook

This is probably the best, and most straightforward direction to go.  Although, depending on the placements, might be a pain to maintain.  One example of this design, is a rather epic Multi/Puzzle I did back East, that ended up requiring about 9 miles of hiking to complete:

https://coord.info/GC484C

Another one that required some offsite verification of codes to advance to subsequent Stages and the Final, took me about 2 months to complete:

https://coord.info/GC13FW3

You probably won't get as many Finds on cache designs like these, but those willing to put in the time, will likely appreciate a well thought out story like you describe.

Edited by Touchstone

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11 hours ago, Ruru_nz said:

Having said that : check up on the updated guidelines.  My series would no longer be allowed as it is daisy chained!

Yeah ...  We had a lot of offers on a series and was curious why, then found it was because that type was no longer allowed.  Odd though that one problem stage rated higher than most was almost 4 miles in (bike trail), yet folks weren't that upset about returning.     :)

Edited by cerberus1

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Sounds like a great idea, but I think making in a multicache fits what you're thinking better, even without the problems others have already mentioned about linked puzzle caches. You can set it up exactly as you're describing except that there'd only be one cache at the end where they sign a log, and so they'd only have the one cache to log as a find.

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On 2/24/2018 at 7:23 AM, Touchstone said:

This scenario is problematic and no longer allowed.  If one of the caches goes missing in the series, the design starts to fall apart like a house of cards

Just for clarification, is the below still allowed? 

4 traditional caches, each with log book and partial coordinates to Unknown cache #5. 

Unknown #5 has container and log book. There is no 'puzzle' to solve for finding Unknown #5, other than finding Traditionals 1 through 4 first. 

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23 minutes ago, JohnCNA said:

Just for clarification, is the below still allowed? 

4 traditional caches, each with log book and partial coordinates to Unknown cache #5. 

Unknown #5 has container and log book. There is no 'puzzle' to solve for finding Unknown #5, other than finding Traditionals 1 through 4 first. 

That's a bonus cache, and it is allowed. What is not allowed is chaining one bonus cache from another. From the Help Center article Mystery Caches:

"Clues for bonus caches are often hidden in one or more other caches by the same cache owner. Generally, bonus cache clues should not be placed in another bonus geocache."

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46 minutes ago, JohnCNA said:

Just for clarification, is the below still allowed? 

4 traditional caches, each with log book and partial coordinates to Unknown cache #5. 

Unknown #5 has container and log book. There is no 'puzzle' to solve for finding Unknown #5, other than finding Traditionals 1 through 4 first. 

As far as I know, that is still allowed.  Typically I've seen it done as 6 traditional caches with each one containing a card or something in the cache with a digit to make up the least significant digits of the latitude and longitude coordinates (using DDM format).  What's not allowed is daisy chaining.  A multi-cache can be used for that, where each stages includes the coordinates for the subsequent stage.  

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3 hours ago, JohnCNA said:

Just for clarification, is the below still allowed? 

4 traditional caches, each with log book and partial coordinates to Unknown cache #5. 

Unknown #5 has container and log book. There is no 'puzzle' to solve for finding Unknown #5, other than finding Traditionals 1 through 4 first. 

2 hours ago, NYPaddleCacher said:

As far as I know, that is still allowed.  Typically I've seen it done as 6 traditional caches with each one containing a card or something in the cache with a digit to make up the least significant digits of the latitude and longitude coordinates (using DDM format).  What's not allowed is daisy chaining.  A multi-cache can be used for that, where each stages includes the coordinates for the subsequent stage.  

Yep.  Still allowed.  What we had was a series of caches, with each leading to the next.  A multi-cache today.   :)

I plan on doing 3 trads with a "bonus" puzzle (partials to solve the puzzle at the end...) hopefully Tuesday.   A mud pit last week.  :D  

 

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Yep, just think of it as two levels of caches. Whatever the first level, those independet caches can each provide information for the 2nd level 'bonus'. But you can't have a 3rd level or high that requires finding a cache that can't be found without going another level below.

Series can only be two storeys high and the bottom floor can have any number of rooms :P (else it's considered daisy chained and disallowed)

Or as Touchstone put it, a house of cards.

Edited by thebruce0

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I need some advice on this subject too, please.

 

I have a number of traditional caches in the area all located on retired steam trains. I have one more steam train to hide a cache on, and I want to make it a bit more interesting than the rest (since it's the last). I was thinking that I could use certain digits in the GPS coordinates of the traditional caches to form the GPS coordinates of the final cache, using a kind of substitution code in the last cache's description. But I'm not sure how to go about it. The format of the mystery cache registration webpage has me a bit confused because it seems to be designed for some other style of puzzle. I don't want the actual final coordinates to be visible, so apparently I'm required to add a stage...but what is the stage supposed to be? A bogus, unrelated location?

 

Is there a different type of cache that would be better suited to what I'm trying to do?

 

Thanks in advance for any help.

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I think you're fine listing it as a bonus cache/unknown.  What you'd do is post some dummy coordinates for the "bonus" cache (less than 2 miles away) and then make the final location at the last train.  If you want them to locate all the traditional caches before finding the final, which I think is the case, there are two possible ways to do this.  One of the ways is to place a number inside each cache container, give it a letter, and then plug it into the "formula" for the final - N AB CD.EFG  W HIJ  KL.MNO.  You can use only 6 letters (seconds), 4 letters (minutes), or 10 letters (minutes.seconds).  This would most likely involve a bit more maintenance, solely because if the cache went MIA, you'd have to replace the cache and the number inside the cache.  Another way is to have cachers find a number at each of the trains that's unrelated to the actual cache.  In other words, if it's engine #346, you could have them select one  (or more) of those numbers to plug into the "formula" for the final stage.  This way, it's more permanent (unless they paint over the numbers) and it lets you not worry so much about the actual cache at each train.

 

The only possible drawback I see here is that if the locals know your hides revolve around the trains and also know that this is the last one that doesn't have a cache, they might leap to the conclusion that the final is located on the last train.  I'm hoping that's not the case, but there will probably be a few who might figure this out.

 

You could also provide them with a Wherigo tour of the other trains before bringing them to the final location.  RangerFox has a very easy Wherigo builder that would suit this idea pretty well.  A multi would work as well, as they'd have to visit each train to get the final coordinates, set up in a manner similar to what I suggested above.  You have a lot of options.

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10 hours ago, uberclimber said:

I have a number of traditional caches in the area all located on retired steam trains. I have one more steam train to hide a cache on, and I want to make it a bit more interesting than the rest (since it's the last). I was thinking that I could use certain digits in the GPS coordinates of the traditional caches to form the GPS coordinates of the final cache, using a kind of substitution code in the last cache's description. But I'm not sure how to go about it. The format of the mystery cache registration webpage has me a bit confused because it seems to be designed for some other style of puzzle. I don't want the actual final coordinates to be visible, so apparently I'm required to add a stage...but what is the stage supposed to be? A bogus, unrelated location?

Is there a different type of cache that would be better suited to what I'm trying to do?.

 

I see it as a bonus as well.

With these already out a while, do you feel folks would go back to caches already found, just to get the needed info for one?

I missed two for a similar set-up just recently, and I really don't have a desire to do them again (long hikes, different areas) for just another smiley.  :)

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6 hours ago, cerberus1 said:

With these already out a while, do you feel folks would go back to caches already found, just to get the needed info for one?

I missed two for a similar set-up just recently, and I really don't have a desire to do them again (long hikes, different areas) for just another smiley.  :)

^This

 

A bonus cache should ideally be published at the same time as the contributing caches. Otherwise, cachers have to revisit the contributing caches to get the necessary info for the bonus. You can certainly hide the bonus now after-the-fact, but expect to get fewer finds on it because some will choose not to revisit the caches they've already found.

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42 minutes ago, The A-Team said:

A bonus cache should ideally be published at the same time as the contributing caches. Otherwise, cachers have to revisit the contributing caches to get the necessary info for the bonus. You can certainly hide the bonus now after-the-fact, but expect to get fewer finds on it because some will choose not to revisit the caches they've already found.

 

Okay.  I asked  the CO for the codes in the two caches I'd already found.

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Surely they could look up the listed GPS coordinates for the other caches in their geocaching app without actually having to go back to the traditional caches they may or may not have previously visited?  I kind of like the idea of including the numbers on the logbooks of the traditional caches, but if someone goes to the last train geocache before any of the others, I'd still like them to be able to find it...albeit with a bit of research on their device.

Edited by uberclimber

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11 hours ago, uberclimber said:

Surely they could look up the listed GPS coordinates for the other caches in their geocaching app without actually having to go back to the traditional caches they may or may not have previously visited? 

 

If you're just going to have them use the coordinates of the other caches to determine the final location of the bonus cache, there would be no need to visit the other traditional caches in the series.  Am I understanding that right?

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On ‎10‎/‎30‎/‎2018 at 9:56 PM, uberclimber said:

I was thinking that I could use certain digits in the GPS coordinates of the traditional caches to form the GPS coordinates of the final cache, using a kind of substitution code in the last cache's description.

As coachstahly said, a puzzle in this style really isn't a bonus cache, but rather just a regular (trivial) puzzle that could be solved from home. Typically when you have a series and a bonus, finders need to collect information from each cache in the series to gradually build the coordinates (or some other process for accessing the coordinates) for the bonus, so the bonus can only be found by finding the series. With what you described, all of the necessary information would be available without ever having visited any of the caches in the series. I'm sure this would be publishable, but it probably isn't what you're wanting.

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14 hours ago, coachstahly said:

 

If you're just going to have them use the coordinates of the other caches to determine the final location of the bonus cache, there would be no need to visit the other traditional caches in the series.  Am I understanding that right?

Yes, that's right. The other caches are scattered across a pretty wide area, and since most geocachers to come here are just visitors passing through (there are NO local geocachers other than me), I think it would be best to be able to solve the puzzle in about 10mins while sitting at the dummy location and using your smartphone.

 

Thanks for the replies and help. It clarified what I was doing and I have submitted the cache for review.

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The cache was published, so I went into my geocaching app to check it out. Even though I had indicated that the final coordinates not be displayed during the creation process, you can still see them in the app. If you go to the info page for the cache and scroll down past Description, Activity etc to Waypoints, the final destination coordinates are clearly displayed...which defeats the whole purpose of the cache type, IMO. What gives?

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18 minutes ago, uberclimber said:

The cache was published, so I went into my geocaching app to check it out. Even though I had indicated that the final coordinates not be displayed during the creation process, you can still see them in the app. If you go to the info page for the cache and scroll down past Description, Activity etc to Waypoints, the final destination coordinates are clearly displayed...which defeats the whole purpose of the cache type, IMO. What gives?

 

When I view the cache listing for GC7ZQTT, I see no additional waypoints nor parking coordinates, etc.

 

It appears to me to be a typical Mystery Cache listing (without the addition of a geochecker)

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I guess you’re seeing the coords because it’s your cache.  I only see the posted coords.

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On 11/4/2018 at 4:27 PM, uberclimber said:

The cache was published, so I went into my geocaching app to check it out. Even though I had indicated that the final coordinates not be displayed during the creation process, you can still see them in the app. If you go to the info page for the cache and scroll down past Description, Activity etc to Waypoints, the final destination coordinates are clearly displayed...which defeats the whole purpose of the cache type, IMO. What gives?

 

As others have said, you, as the cache owner, see EVERYTHING.  You CAN see your final coordinates, and any additional waypoints you may have used.  I have a multi, where I can see final, and waypoint info that is NOT visible to anyone else unless they have added it as they work through the multi.

 

When I first published it, as my first cache type other than traditional, I was surprised to see all that info right there in plain sight - as you were!  I looked on my husbands account and it wasn't there, and I figured that it was because I was the CO.  It might be nice if it indicated that on the cache page (visible to CO only, italic type or something).

 

Cool idea by the way, and a good way to get people to be aware of and visit the old steam trains!

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On ‎11‎/‎6‎/‎2018 at 7:07 AM, CAVinoGal said:

When I first published it, as my first cache type other than traditional, I was surprised to see all that info right there in plain sight - as you were!

Strange, that isn't the way it works for me. When I have hidden waypoints like a puzzle or multi final, the coordinates have always been hidden even to me as the owner if I'm just looking at the cache listing. The final waypoint does show up under the Additional Waypoints section, but the coordinates are shown as "???". You actually see the coordinates there?

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1 hour ago, The A-Team said:

Strange, that isn't the way it works for me. When I have hidden waypoints like a puzzle or multi final, the coordinates have always been hidden even to me as the owner if I'm just looking at the cache listing. The final waypoint does show up under the Additional Waypoints section, but the coordinates are shown as "???". You actually see the coordinates there?

Same here.

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1 hour ago, Max and 99 said:
2 hours ago, The A-Team said:

Strange, that isn't the way it works for me. When I have hidden waypoints like a puzzle or multi final, the coordinates have always been hidden even to me as the owner if I'm just looking at the cache listing. The final waypoint does show up under the Additional Waypoints section, but the coordinates are shown as "???". You actually see the coordinates there?

Same here.

 

For my puzzles, on the website, I don't see the coords for the additional waypoint, just '???' (unless I go to Edit); but on the official app, I do get a 'Final Location' waypoint with the coords displayed.  (uberclimber specifically mentioned the app; not sure where CAVinoGal was checking, but she did mention the website...)

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6 hours ago, The A-Team said:
On 11/6/2018 at 7:07 AM, CAVinoGal said:

When I first published it, as my first cache type other than traditional, I was surprised to see all that info right there in plain sight - as you were!

Strange, that isn't the way it works for me. When I have hidden waypoints like a puzzle or multi final, the coordinates have always been hidden even to me as the owner if I'm just looking at the cache listing. The final waypoint does show up under the Additional Waypoints section, but the coordinates are shown as "???". You actually see the coordinates there?

 

3 hours ago, IceColdUK said:

For my puzzles, on the website, I don't see the coords for the additional waypoint, just '???' (unless I go to Edit); but on the official app, I do get a 'Final Location' waypoint with the coords displayed.

 

I just checked - on the app I see all my waypoints, hidden, parking, and final coordinates for my multi when I tap the waypoints.  No ???,  just the coordinates, and no indication that they are only visible to me or hidden!  That's why I was surprised when I checked the cache on the app - all the info is there!!  However, on the website, I can see them only when I edit, and it shows the ??? for the stages, the final, and parking for the final as that would give away too much.

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10 hours ago, CAVinoGal said:

on the app I see all my waypoints, hidden, parking, and final coordinates for my multi when I tap the waypoints.  No ???,  just the coordinates, and no indication that they are only visible to me or hidden!  That's why I was surprised when I checked the cache on the app - all the info is there!!

 

I checked your Multi-cache in the App, and can't get coordinates for the "hidden" points (see screenshot below).  It says "Hidden Coordinates" instead of showing a waypoint.  On my own caches, hidden waypoints are displayed, as mentioned. 

 

When you look at your own cache, it says nothing about whether the coordinates are "hidden", it shows a distance and they're in view for you. It's convenient to see them, but it can be alarming.  You can't tell from that screen if they are visible or not.

 

Screenshot_20181109-100739.jpg

 

 

Edited by kunarion

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