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"special Equipment"

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Let's say I'm placing a cache in a suburban park. It's a nice easy walk to the cache location, but the cache itself is hidden with a twist. Say it's hidden in a location out of reach, and out of sight. You'd need a flashlight and a telescoping magnet to retrieve the cache......You don't need to the equipment to get to the cache area, so it doesn't seem right to raise the terrain to a 5, but at the same time, I don't want people racing out thinking it's a quick easy find, only to not have what they need once they get there.


Suggestions? Comments? Ideas?

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Most experienced cachers are going to carry a flashlight, so I don't think I'd consider that special equipment. A telescoping magnet, however, is less likely to be in everyone's standard pack!


I'd tend to agree with Gretch and rate the terrain appropriately, and up the difficult rating. I'd also add something to the description about needing a tool, like a telescoping magnet, to reach it. That way people can come prepared (or skip it, if they don't have the required tool).

Edited by Kai Team
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...I'd also add something to the description about needing a tool, like a telescoping magnet, to reach it. That way people can come prepared (or skip it, if they don't have the required tool).

I might not let everyone know to bring the magnet. The cache is easy to access and searchers will know that something unexpected might be needed due to the difficulty rating.

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I'd say that once you're actually at the cache site its the difficulty rating that comes into play, so I agree with those who say that you should crank up the difficulty. That way searchers will know that its not a slam dunk and they may have to make more than one visit.

Edited by briansnat
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I would up the difficulty. Not neccessarily to a 5, but definately up the difficulty.


I wouldn't come right out and say that they need a telescoping magnet though. Because then, not only will they have it the first time they go, but they'll no to be looking for a place where they'd need a telescoping magnet...

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If special equipment is truly required, 5 is appropriate.

Yep, by the book.


Special equipment rates a 5.


Keep in mind that new cachers probably don't carry flashlights so I think it's appropriate. Could be frustrating for some to come only to realize that they don't have what they need.

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Keep in mind that new cachers probably don't carry flashlights...

Tis true!


The first time I went out late in the day for some caching, the sun went down on us as we were out & about.


Found a couple after dark, but one in particular we looked all over a structure that we knew the hide was on and couldn't find it.


Run our hands in every crook and crevace, but it was no go.


Went back a few days later in mid-day and it was a VERY easy find.


Just because we could see.

If I'd had a flashlight with me the first night it would have been a FIND for sure.


Now a flashlight is required equipment in my backpack, plus a telescoping mirror used by auto mechanics. (Great for someone with bad knees!!)


D-man :D

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Perhaps I'm the only one, but something about a cache where you need to use a telescopic magnet to retrieve just doesn't seem like difficulty 5 to me.


No, I don't normally carry a telescoping magnet while caching, but I know a few people who do. I just wouldn't call a telescoping magnet special equipment. Surely something else could be rigged to get the cache... plus those tools are sold at pretty much any auto store for a few bucks, or even in many people's garages. To me, special equipment refers to tools which would require substantial resources (time and/or money) to have. Would you call a cache that requires a wrench or hammer a 5-star? Most folks probably don't carry one with them while they cache, but they probably have pretty easy access to one.


If it were my cache, I'd probably rate the difficulty in the 3-4 star range. Enough to let people know it's not a typical hide.



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it's hidden in a location out of reach, and out of sight.  You'd need a flashlight and a telescoping magnet to retrieve the cache...

If the cache is out of reach and out of sight I'd rate the difficulty pretty high... maybe about four stars. I think most people would spend some time searching the area before they decided to shine a flashlight in tiny hiding spots. (...unless there really aren't any other hiding spots in the area and there are only a limited number of spots a micro could be hidden.)


The four star difficulty rating would also cover the bit of inventiveness that is needed to retrieve the cache once it's spotted.

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You could make it a multi with the first container containing the magnet with specific instructions that the finder HAS to return the magnet to the first box after finding the second.


Or you could just let people figure it out on their own.


Bubblegum on a stick would work, and everybody has those.


The rating is up to you, depends on the hints you give, If you let people know what to bring, then the rating (In my book) go down. If they have to figure out how to retrieve the cache AFTER they get there, the rating goes up.



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Maybe this is a dumb question, but if a magnet is required to retrieve the cache, how does one go about replacing it?  Do magnets come with on/off switches?  :ph34r:

If the cache was located deep at the bottom of a hole in a tree or a rock, you could retrieve it with the magnetic device, then just drop it back into the hole to replace it.

Gotcha. There I go again, trying to make something harder than it is. :rolleyes:

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It is tough but I don't think it is truly a 5 as stated in the guidelines. I agree that maybe you should hide one near by or make list that tell what equipment maybe need. Maybe an elusive hint etc.... But it does not warrent a 5 difficulty. I made a cache I thought could be retrieved one way well folks have shown me lots of other ways to do it. Maybe instead of a magnet a piece of gum on a stick etc. there is more then one way to skin a cat


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We have officially reached the most illogical and perverse use of the "special equipment" guideline for terrain rating.

I agree that if special equipment is needed to negotiate the terrain of a cache location, like climbing gear, or even *sigh* a boat, the terrain should be rated a 5. But now we are using the terrain rating as a warning to cachers that a magnet on a stick might be needed? Good night! Keep that in the difficulty rating where it belongs. The terrain rating is meant to rate terrain. If the terrain is a 1.5, then rate it such. If the difficulty is elevated because you need a magnet, add a point to the diffuculty, or maybe half a point, and list the "special equipment" on the page.


The terrain rating is not a "this is an unusual hide" indicator! It's a "Maybe you shouldn't even attempt this one, grandma!" indicator.


On a side note: I'm willing to bet my wife can get your cache without a magnet. She can get chips from the bottom of a pringles can.

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Ummm, I think it was established that IV made a typo when he mentioned the terrain rating instead of difficulty rating in the first post.  :)

Doesn't look like a typo to me.


He clearly states that he is conflicted about rating the terrain a 5 since it is not too difficult to actually get to the cache site, being in a suburban park. On the other hand, he wants to give some kind of warning about the difficulty to prevent people from being stymied at the site.

Also, there is no "special equipment" guideline for difficulty, if i remember correctly.

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Yeah, wasn't a typo, I meant terrain up there. I was forgetting "special equipment" was also listed on the "difficulty" side.....seems pretty simple now....


Oh well, I was posting the question for someone else, so as not to "tip off" that person's local cachers to the hide, and I think someone else beat that hider to the area and placed a cache within the .1 distance, so neither of us will be hiding the cache the question originated about, anyway.....


Thanks for all the answers anway. :D

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