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Pooky'sParents

Mystery Cache vs Multi Cache Question placement question

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My daughter  is planning to place either a multi or mystery geocache. She would like the start point to be at a boardwalk she just built at a local nature center. However, the boardwalk is 428 ft from a traditional cache. Bu making it a Mystery Cache, can she use the boardwalk coordinates as her start point? The other two stages are more than 528 ft (.1 mile) from the two traditional geocaches in the park. She has full permission from the park board to place the caches...unlike the two that are are already there. 

 

Thanks for your help!

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The start points for multis/mysteries are not subject to the distance restriction, as long as they are virtual waypoints - ie you haven't hidden anything (physical) at the spot.

 

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From the Guidelines:

 

Quote

There is no minimum required distance for

  • Non-physical stages, including reference points, trailheads, parking coordinates, and virtual stages.
  • Physical stages within the same Multi- or Mystery cache.
  • EarthCaches and Virtual Caches as they do not have physical waypoints.

 

 

So, as lee737 said, if your starting point at the boardwalk is virtual (for example, getting numbers off a sign or counting something) there's no problem with the nearby traditional. It's only if you want to place something there, such as a tag with the coordinates of the next stage, that it becomes a concern.

Edited by barefootjeff
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Thank you! She did not want to hide anything at it :)  She just wanted to make sure the beautiful location was added along with a description of how she used a downed tree from the park to make the deck board with a sawmill for the boardwalk :) It looks like she will go the multi cache route as that might be easier for her to set up. 

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8 minutes ago, Pooky'sParents said:

Thank you! She did not want to hide anything at it :)  She just wanted to make sure the beautiful location was added along with a description of how she used a downed tree from the park to make the deck board with a sawmill for the boardwalk :) It looks like she will go the multi cache route as that might be easier for her to set up. 

 

Beautiful location is not enough. There must be something to find if it is a multi-cache.

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Do the clues on the informational sign then help the finder to determine the coordinates for a physical geocache container with a logbook?  If so, that's a multicache.  The first virtual clue stage can be less than 528 feet from an existing cache.  The physical container/logbook stage needs to be at least 528 feet away from any existing cache or physical waypoint.

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On 12/24/2019 at 3:57 PM, Pooky'sParents said:

Thank you! She did not want to hide anything at it :)  She just wanted to make sure the beautiful location was added along with a description of how she used a downed tree from the park to make the deck board with a sawmill for the boardwalk :) It looks like she will go the multi cache route as that might be easier for her to set up. 

 

Counting the number of planks in the boardwalk might be a good way to derive a set of coordinates for a mystery final.

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On 12/24/2019 at 9:18 PM, Keystone said:

Do the clues on the informational sign then help the finder to determine the coordinates for a physical geocache container with a logbook?  If so, that's a multicache.  The first virtual clue stage can be less than 528 feet from an existing cache.  The physical container/logbook stage needs to be at least 528 feet away from any existing cache or physical waypoint.

Could you clarify a bit?  We have been using the logic of:

 

If there is something physical that WE PLACED at the posted coordinates, it's a multi. Stage one could be a container with coordinates or some sort of field puzzle instructions, or even a tag or sticker attached to something.

 

If the posted coordinates are to something existing like a sign or other object that was already there and you count or make computations based on what you see in order to determine the coordinates of the next stage or final, it is an unknown/puzzle.

 

In the example you gave, I would have classified that as an Unknown. Is that not right? 

 

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11 minutes ago, JohnCNA said:

If the posted coordinates are to something existing like a sign or other object that was already there and you count or make computations based on what you see in order to determine the coordinates of the next stage or final, it is an unknown/puzzle.

 

I have seen caches list this published as multi caches and unknown/mystery.  From what I've seen it usually boils down to how difficult the computations are.    If it's simple arithmetic then  it's a mult.  Something more complex and its a puzzle.  

 

A puzzle cache can have multiple stages so placing something at the published coordinates doesn't necessarily make it a multi.  One or more of the stages could involved a puzzle.  

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Yeah a general rule of thumb I go by is that mysteries don't require something relevant at the posted coordinates, while multis do.  That relevant thing could be a physical item (placed per the proximity rule) or information to gather (no proximity rules), but what's gleaned from that location is used to determine the next location or final.  That's a general guideline, and there are obvious exceptions.

Mainly that Mystery is a kind of 'catch all', so it could provide the experience of a multi, but if that's the case then it really should be a multi; and there may be a physical cache component at the posted coordinates of a Mystery (eg, field puzzles, challenge caches, etc). If a multi has a component that doesn't quite fit the definition, then it would best be a mystery.

 

So generally - Virtual stage 1? Gather information at stage 1 to determine stage 2?  Make it a multi, following proximity rules if you decide to have a newly placed physical component in addition to the final cache.

Solve a puzzle at home to determine next stage? Make it a mystery.

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49 minutes ago, JohnCNA said:

If there is something physical that WE PLACED at the posted coordinates, it's a multi. Stage one could be a container with coordinates or some sort of field puzzle instructions, or even a tag or sticker attached to something.

 

If the posted coordinates are to something existing like a sign or other object that was already there and you count or make computations based on what you see in order to determine the coordinates of the next stage or final, it is an unknown/puzzle.

 

In the example you gave, I would have classified that as an Unknown. Is that not right? 

 

Both of your examples are Multi-caches. The "sign...computations...determine stage", is the virtual first stage of a Multi-cache.  I own a bunch of these.  See this one, for the simple form of the type.  https://coord.info/GCVW0K

If the calculations get really hairy, then maybe it's a Mystery. Good descriptions of the differences at the bottom of this Help Center article LINKY

 

Long ago (in geocaching time ;-)  the guidelines called this Virt first stage, gather info to continue,  an "off-set multi-cache".  The terminology was unfortunate,  because it caused many English speakers to suppose it had something to do with projection caches (ie, posted coords, + bearing and distance). It didn't.  Much of the time, projection caches are Mystery, because you don't need to go the posted coords, you can do the calculation at home.

 

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7 hours ago, Isonzo Karst said:

 

Both of your examples are Multi-caches. The "sign...computations...determine stage", is the virtual first stage of a Multi-cache.  I own a bunch of these.  See this one, for the simple form of the type.  https://coord.info/GCVW0K

 

I agree. I also have a few Multis. A couple require working out coords from an existing sign, a virtual stage, less than 161m from GZ. Another requires a UV light and another requires solving a 3D puzzle, both of which are physical stages > 161m from GZ..

To me, a Mystery involves working out coordinates beforehand from information in the listing.

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9 minutes ago, colleda said:

I agree. I also have a few Multis. A couple require working out coords from an existing sign, a virtual stage, less than 161m from GZ. Another requires a UV light and another requires solving a 3D puzzle, both of which are physical stages > 161m from GZ..

To me, a Mystery involves working out coordinates beforehand from information in the listing.

 

I have a cache which is almost a multi, in that it has seven virtual waypoints providing elements of the final's coordinates, but those waypoints are widely spaced over about an 8km diameter circle and I didn't want to identify any one of them as the starting point (the listed coordinates if it had been a multi) since part of the challenge is to work out a route around them that avoids too much back-tracking and that depends on what direction you start from. There are also cryptic clues for each of the waypoints so it probably goes a little beyond what you'd expect for a multi. So that one ended up as a mystery (GC62WZJ), using the catch-all nature of that type, even though there's no solve-at-home puzzle. Its bogus listed coordinates are near parking for the walking track out to the final.

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9 hours ago, NYPaddleCacher said:

I have seen caches list this published as multi caches and unknown/mystery.  From what I've seen it usually boils down to how difficult the computations are.    If it's simple arithmetic then  it's a mult.  Something more complex and its a puzzle.

There are also regional variations. Around here, the distinction is usually similar to what you've described: caches with simple substitutions, counting, and arithmetic are listed as multi-caches, and caches with more complex solutions are listed as mystery/puzzle caches.

 

But I've visited a place where even the simplest substitutions would be listed as a mystery/puzzle cache, and I've seen listings where fairly complex solutions are still listed as multi-caches.

 

9 hours ago, NYPaddleCacher said:

A puzzle cache can have multiple stages so placing something at the published coordinates doesn't necessarily make it a multi.  One or more of the stages could involved a puzzle.  

Yep. I've also found puzzle caches that were located at the posted coordinates. I think that's appropriate for a lot of field puzzles.

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16 hours ago, NYPaddleCacher said:

I have seen caches list this published as multi caches and unknown/mystery.  From what I've seen it usually boils down to how difficult the computations are.    If it's simple arithmetic then  it's a mult.  Something more complex and its a puzzle.  

Also, if the CO wants to place the final location farther than 2 miles from posted coordinates, it's a multi even if the arithmetic isn't all that simple  :bad:

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On 1/18/2020 at 2:41 AM, mustakorppi said:

Also, if the CO wants to place the final location farther than 2 miles from posted coordinates, it's a multi even if the arithmetic isn't all that simple  :bad:

 

That sounds like yet another example of gaming the system.  If the CO wants to place the final farther than 2 miles from the posted coordinates then create a multi-cache without a puzzle.  Don't create a puzzle but call it a multi to get around the guidelines.  

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9 hours ago, NYPaddleCacher said:

That sounds like yet another example of gaming the system.  If the CO wants to place the final farther than 2 miles from the posted coordinates then create a multi-cache without a puzzle.  Don't create a puzzle but call it a multi to get around the guidelines.  

On the one hand, I think cache owners should create a cache, and then create a listing that represents the cache accurately. Fudging the cache listing to work around external influences (e.g., artificially low D/T ratings so a listing is visible to basic members, or artificially high D/T ratings to hide a listing from basic members) has a bad influence on the game.

 

On the other hand, the line between multi-caches and mystery/puzzle caches is already fuzzy, and subject to regional differences. Apparently part of the difference between multi-caches and mystery/puzzle caches in Groundspeak's mind is that only mystery/puzzle caches have to be within 2 miles of the posted coordinates. Cache owners who base their cache listings on that distinction are just following Groundspeak's lead.

Edited by niraD

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My take on multi vs mystery is that a multi cache has something (virtual or physical) at the published coordinates that will get you to the next waypoint or contribute along with other waypoints to get you to the final, whereas a mystery has something to be worked out offsite, probably without a physical visit, there probably isn't something to find at the published waypoint, or something else about the cache makes it not fit the multi-cache type - note the probablys because mystery/unknown is a catch-all cache type for anything that doesn't fit the other more specific cache types.  I never considered the complexity of calculations to be a differentiating factor - I have a multi myself that has horribly confusing calculations at each waypoint and that's the point of the multi.  To me listing a multi as a mystery just because the calculations are a bit tricky would be kind of like listing a trad as a puzzle because the track to get to it is hard to follow...

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14 hours ago, NYPaddleCacher said:

 

That sounds like yet another example of gaming the system.  If the CO wants to place the final farther than 2 miles from the posted coordinates then create a multi-cache without a puzzle.  Don't create a puzzle but call it a multi to get around the guidelines.  

 

Field puzzles are specifically allowed for multi-caches. The main difference is whether there is something to find at posted coordinates or not. If a simple mystery needs visiting the North Pole it is OK even though the cache is on the South Pole.

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Remember the Mystery is effectively a 'catch all'. It's not so much that the Mystery has requirements, insomuch as if a cache type is better suited for a specific cache setup.  Say a Multi is defined as ABC. If the cache is set up as ABCD, or AD, it should be a Mystery. However ABC could be a Mystery too, but it might be recommended to be published as a Multi.

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On 1/22/2020 at 11:57 PM, funkymunkyzone said:

My take on multi vs mystery is that a multi cache has something (virtual or physical) at the published coordinates that will get you to the next waypoint or contribute along with other waypoints to get you to the final, whereas a mystery has something to be worked out offsite, probably without a physical visit, there probably isn't something to find at the published waypoint, or something else about the cache makes it not fit the multi-cache type - note the probablys because mystery/unknown is a catch-all cache type for anything that doesn't fit the other more specific cache types.  I never considered the complexity of calculations to be a differentiating factor - I have a multi myself that has horribly confusing calculations at each waypoint and that's the point of the multi.  To me listing a multi as a mystery just because the calculations are a bit tricky would be kind of like listing a trad as a puzzle because the track to get to it is hard to follow...

 

Understandable, but if there is something that has to be worked out after visiting a location in the field that is complex enough that it requires accessing the internet (either from  the field, or subsequently from home) I'd contend that it's a puzzle even if there i something to find a the published coordinates.  

 

 

 

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6 hours ago, NYPaddleCacher said:

 

Understandable, but if there is something that has to be worked out after visiting a location in the field that is complex enough that it requires accessing the internet (either from  the field, or subsequently from home) I'd contend that it's a puzzle even if there i something to find a the published coordinates.  

 

 

 

Yep I get that too... and it's definitely a grey area that you could go either way on, and no one should really have a problem either way.

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