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# Mystery Cache Idea

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So, I had a cool mystery cache idea, in which cachers would have to go around a town, hunting for 16 bits of paper stuck on to objects, which put together would reveal the coordinates (they would not have to move the paper). However, many people who I have spoken too about this have said that the bits of paper would probably get lost, and told me not to do it. What do you recommend?

*I know that I cannot hide now due to COVID19, this would be once the virus had died down

3 minutes ago, FootyFan123 said:

However, many people who I have spoken too about this have said that the bits of paper would probably get lost, and told me not to do it. What do you recommend?

I recommend not using 16 bits of paper stuck onto things. They will go missing.

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Use laminated stickers or other permanent items for hints. Papers will disappear for many reasons. It would be good idea to make the puzzle solvable even when some of the hints are not available.

I’ve seen something similar where each waypoint had the information taped under a strong magnet (along the lines of “A=1“).  Worked well.

Remember though, that each of these will be a physical waypoint - they’ll need to be at least a tenth of a mile away from any physical waypoints of other caches.

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I think I've done such a cache many years ago. You had a small grid (like, say, 4x4 squares), and at each stage you found a square with a few lines on it, and the square's location in the grid (e.g. "B3"). You had to copy the lines to an initially blank grid on your own sheet of paper. At the end, the completed "puzzle" formed the missing digits of the final coordinates (or some other information like e.g. "A=3" - don't remember the details). It was fun to do. Also, it has some built-in redundancy - if you don't find one or two squares, you have a good chance to guess the information from the line segments in the adjacent squares.

2 hours ago, FootyFan123 said:

So, I had a cool mystery cache idea, in which cachers would have to go around a town, hunting for 16 bits of paper stuck on to objects, which put together would reveal the coordinates (they would not have to move the paper). However, many people who I have spoken too about this have said that the bits of paper would probably get lost, and told me not to do it. What do you recommend?

*I know that I cannot hide now due to COVID19, this would be once the virus had died down

A few thoughts :

First, unless there is some puzzle on the cache page they need to solve to find the locations of those bits of information, or the information itself is a puzzle, that's probably a multi  not a puzzle .

Second, practically speaking, why 16 portions of  information ? Is that because of the length of the co-ordinate string ? Remember that the first few digits of both latitude and longitude are going to be exactly the same for a huge area, so unless your chosen site is near the border between .for e.g. , 50 north and 51 north, most smart people will skip visiting those predictable digits.  A lot of puzzles in my area give a portion of the solution on the page like this N50 0x.xxx W 000 0x.xxx.

Third, 16 (or however many) pieces of information are many times (16 ?) more likely to go missing than a single cache container, and in towns those do seem to get muggled easily. If one of your pieces is removed, painted over or whatever, you will need to maintain it. Similarly, you need to be sure your pieces of information are going to stay readable despite fading or water damage (or frost damage, or whatever your climate throws at you,  I've not checked to see where you cache ! ) As baer2006 mentions, inbuilt redundancy of some kind reassures cachers that a single missing piece of information will not mean they have to post a DNF , if you can work it in, it's very worthwhile.

Fourth, you need to ensure your pieces of information are placed in a way which causes no damage, personally I'd not ever contemplate putting a sticker or marking with paint or pen on someone else's property , or municipal street signs etc. Using a magnet (or magnetic sheet cut to size) or a magnetic fake bolt would mean no risk of damage .

You could maybe talk to some property owners in the town, a friendly small shop, cafe, museum or whatever might be happy to have a discreet sign placed in the corner of a window facing out and visible from the street .

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One way to create redundancy, without anyone having to guess missing pieces of info, is to do something like this:

Suppose, as halantow suggests, your finders just need to work out the final 4 digits of long and lat, you hide a number of waypoints that have seemingly random numbers on them, such as A=5289 or B=7103 etc. Then on the cache page you say if you've found A, B and C then use this formula to work out the coords, but if you have A, B and D then use this one, etc. It allows a cacher to dnf one or more waypoints bit still get through to the final. There are ways to present this to your finders in a less complex way, depending on your web design skills, and it is less complicated than it sounds.

2 hours ago, hal-an-tow said:

You could maybe talk to some property owners in the town, a friendly small shop, cafe, museum or whatever might be happy to have a discreet sign placed in the corner of a window facing out and visible from the street .

Some of the geotour caches I've found were set up this way. I thought it was brilliant.

I recommend using existing information, rather than "16 bits of paper stuck on to objects" (whether or not those bits of paper are laminated). That can provide a nice walking tour. Here's an example of a (now archived) multi-cache that took this approach: Downtown Campbell Walking Tour

There was a series they called it a Craze locally where you found a number of clue caches, there were quite a few, and got a clue ( A= 5, or B= 7 etc) in each cache.  You used these to complete a N50 36.ABC  W150 36.DEF on a bonus cache page to find a bonus cache.  Each A,B, C was located in more then one cache so you could complete the puzzle without having to find all of the clue caches or if one went missing.

Was a lot of fun and I ended up finding all of the clue caches even tho I didn't need to.

21 minutes ago, captnemo said:

There was a series they called it a Craze locally where you found a number of clue caches, there were quite a few, and got a clue ( A= 5, or B= 7 etc) in each cache.  You used these to complete a N50 36.ABC  W150 36.DEF on a bonus cache page to find a bonus cache.  Each A,B, C was located in more then one cache so you could complete the puzzle without having to find all of the clue caches or if one went missing.

Was a lot of fun and I ended up finding all of the clue caches even tho I didn't need to.

The final cache that is found using the clues from other caches is called a bonus cache. Here's the Help Center article: Bonus caches

Note that for a bonus cache, all the "stages" are separate caches, and must comply with the saturation guidelines (528ft/161m from each other, and from the bonus cache itself). With a multi-cache, the stages can be closer than 528ft/161m from each other, and any virtual stages that use existing information don't affect the saturation guidelines at all.

On 4/1/2020 at 11:07 AM, niraD said:

I recommend using existing information, rather than "16 bits of paper stuck on to objects" (whether or not those bits of paper are laminated). That can provide a nice walking tour. Here's an example of a (now archived) multi-cache that took this approach: Downtown Campbell Walking Tour

I used to live in Campbell so had to check this out.

Someone in our neighborhood started a scavenger hunt for kids on our local neighborhood mailing list.  She collected the addresses of those interested then each house got to pick an item or they could have an "item" assigned to them.  Items were things like a "rabbit" or "peace sign" and the idea was to put your item (some people just downloaded pictures from the internet) and put it in their window or somewhere in the front of a house where it was visible from the sidewalk.  Then she sent out a pdf file with 2 1/2 pages of items to find in the scavenger hunt.

I was thinking of something similar but using lat/long coordinates.  Several years ago there was a game which the "hider" took a photograph of something and posted it on a site with lat/long coordinates.  Then "finders" would use those coordinates, find the subject of the photo, and attempt to replicate the original as close as possible.  Finding the right subject was fairly easy.  Getting to exactly the right spot and orientation was sometimes more difficult.

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