2.2. Mystery Caches
Mystery Cache designs
Mystery Caches can have many different designs. Here are the most common ones.
The posted coordinates are usually bogus coordinates. Geocachers must solve a puzzle on the cache page to get the coordinates for the first stage or the final container. All clues needed to solve the puzzle must be on the cache page. Before you submit the cache listing, post a Reviewer Note with an explanation of how the puzzle is solved. Reviewer Notes are automatically deleted when the cache is published.
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.
Challenge caches encourage geocachers to set and achieve fun goals. The seeker has to find a set of geocaches defined by the challenge owner before they can log their find. The container must be placed at coordinates on the listing, either as posted coordinates or as a visible additional waypoint.
Beacon caches include a wireless transmission device at one of their stages.
Geocachers use a flashlight or UV light to follow a series of reflectors to the final location.
Stages and coordinates
Like all geocaches, Mystery Caches must involve GPS use. Like Multi-Caches, they may have multiple stages, but are not required to.
The posted coordinates of a Mystery Cache may be any one of these:
- Bogus coordinates
- Parking or trail head coordinates
- The first stage
- The final stage
If the posted coordinates are not for the final stage, the final coordinates must be added as an additional waypoint. The final stage cannot be more than 2 miles (3.2 kilometers) from the posted coordinates. This allows the cache to show up in nearby searches.
If the cache includes a projection, the projection may be calculated based on the posted coordinates without visiting the location.
A key difference between Mystery and Multi-Caches is that Mystery Caches require additional research that goes beyond reading the cache page.
The information needed to find the cache
- Must be available to the general caching community.
- Can require geocachers to do research on public websites.
- Cannot require geocachers to email the cache owner for information needed to find the cache.