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All about making a cache

Introduction

It's quite easy - try it!

If you have a place in mind, suitable let's say for an evening ride or a day trip, why not share it with other bikers? You only need to know a place and figure out what to tell about it. The rest is easy with help of these instructions. There is a lot of tips for making a good cache.

When your cache has been published, you can read what other bikers write about it after they have visited the place.

What kind of location is suitable?

Actually, the cache location can be any place, where you want other bikers to ride (as long as it is within the rules).

Cache can be for example one road section that is great for riding. It can also be some nice coffee shop, a vantage point or any other place as long as you think that is worth riding to.

What do you hide then?

In general: nothing - unless you particularly want to. In motocaching the idea is that the roads and places themselves are found. If you want that the visitor stops and gets to know the place a little better, you can add a question to your cache. The visitor needs to find an answer before he or she can make a ‘found it’ log entry.

As the maker of the cache, you can define what is required to mark the cache found. However, it’s good to remember, that it is the riding itself that is most important to most bikers and they may not like to do a lot when wearing riding gear.

What to do before making your first cache?

Before making your first own cache it is worthwhile to get to know caches made by other bikers and read some log entries. It's also recommended that you find some caches too in order to get the idea of motocaching.

Before making a cache you should also review the rules and terms of use. It would be unfortunate if you put your effort on a cache that can not be published.

In the Terms of Use (which you have accepted when using motocaching service) it has been specified that you as a creator of a cache are the publisher of the cache information and that you are responsible for the content so that it is not against e.g. proprieties or laws. Please keep in mind also Copyright! Below you can find more information on, what is the importance of intellectual property rights with respect to the motocaching service.

Copyright - plea of the moderators in order to avoid offenses

When publishing photos and texts (= adding to the motocaching site) it is important that you do not violate any copyrights. Do not e.g. copy a picture, if you do not have the permission to publish it. Rather leave the cache without a picture.

Note that you are not allowed to use e.g. Google StreetView photos. Wikipedia articles and images also have their own licensing terms, within which they can be used (usually they can be used but the lisence must mentioned - not just the source).

The matter is of significance for motocaching.net service, even if you personally might not get any penalties.

E.g. in 2014 May about 25,000,000 copyright infringements were reported to Google. Even if a large part of these are about sharing of music etc, also copying photographs and texts play a role. Based on these notifications Google adjusts how the reported site can be found by using Google search.

From the point of view of motocaching.net it is of utmost importance, that the site and caches are displayed in Google search results. Otherwise we do not get many new bikers interested in motocaching who could create new caches.

We all hope that the sparse resources can be allocated to the development of the service instead of sorting out copyright issues.

Saving your data and publishing

When you are making a new cache, you can also save an incomplete cache before all mandatory information has been added. Just click the 'Save and continue' -the button. Then program does not check cache information (except for values that are too long to be stored). It is highly recommended to save information often, because with a browser there are many ways to loose the information you just typed.

When you want the program to check the values, click 'Save and return' button.

Mandatory information will also be checked when you want to preview the cache to be published.

When the cache is ready, click 'Save, preview and publish" -button. In the preview, you can should check the cache information. If everything looks as intended, click "Ready to publish" -button. After this, the cache is sent for review by other users. After the review, the cache will be published and it is shown among other caches to be searched.

Note that, the purpose of reviewing is, that in addition to yourself someone else will also check the cache information and may find something, you have not thought about. Note that the reviewers are, however, not responsible for content that you publish.

Types of Caches

There are three types of caches: Location, Route, Event.

When making Location and Route caches you should remember that the cache location markers displayed on the map (the start point of route or the coordinates of a location cache) must be at least one kilometer (about 0.6 miles) away from each other, for symbols not overlapping too badly.

Location

Location type caches are a fixed targets, that can be defined using coordinates and an address. It can be an attraction or a place worth a visit.

Cafes and eateries are also location caches. If you make a cache about a Café, a grill or a restaurant (which are not located near an attraction), read the guide for "Cafes and Restaurants', where some tips have been given. Otherwise you can follow the instructions for Location-caches.

If possible, the address for a place should be chosen in such a way that it can be used in a navigator device.

As a creator of a cache you define the conditions under which the cache can be marked as found. Finding of a cache can be based on a visit "according to you conscience" or e.g. answering a control question.

It’s not recommended to make caches that require requesting a permission from the cache creator (e.g. via e-mail) in order to log a find.

Note that you can also connect a route map as a hint of good winding roads nearby your Location cache (see. a link to the Route cache).

Route

The route cache means that there is a specific route or stretch of road that one must ride before he or she can log the find.

Think of route caches as building blocks for rides. Riders will plan their own trips and visit other caches too. So keep them short and simple - easy to make and easy to include in a ride plan.

A route consists of at least two end points. You can also define intermediate waypoints for a route if necessary.

Please remember to tell about the route more closely in the cache description. What kind of road is it? Are there any places that can be dangerous? If the direction of travel matters, please mention it (one-way streets, etc.). If you don’t separately state a mandatory direction, the route can be ridden in either direction.

Similarly as with other cache types, the cache author may choose on what basis the cache can be marked as found. Please note that you must not require performing any tasks while riding such as counting the number of mailboxes. In addition, the route cache may not have a time limit, etc (see the rules for more details).

If you want to attach a control question to the cache, you need to define a place where to find the answer to the control question (either as an end-point or as an intermediate waypoint). However, it's good to understand that many bikers concentrate on riding and they may forget to find an answer to the control question. It is recommended that a control question is set for a route only if there is an interesting place worth visiting.

The length of the route is under your decision, but you will get most visitors for a route, which can be ridden as a part of an evening ride or day trip. It’s better to split longer routes to two or more parts (e.g. routes that take more than one hour).

Defining the route is described in a separate chapter in this guide.

Event

Event caches are events organized for motocachers. Participation is required in order to mark it as found.

For an event the address and coordinates are given in a similar way as for a Location cache. Similarly the cache author defines the conditions for ‘Found it’ log entry. One convenient way is that during the event the answer to the control question will be told to the participants.

If you arrange an event with a limited number of participants, please provide updates on how many people can still participate in the event (you can do this in the cache description). Registrations can be collected as comments posted in the cache log.

The time of an event, which is a date, must be entered in a date field. The value of the date field is used only for listing events in chronological order on the event page. The date and time of the event must be written to the cache name.

When caches are displayed in different contexts, the cache name is always shown. In some cases the text in 'Short Description' field is also shown. Short description is not displayed without the cache name. For this reason the time of the event is added to the cache name (not the 'Short description').

If the event is a multi-day event, the date in the 'Event Date' field should state when people should arrive at latest. You need to put the start date as well as this last date of arrival in the cache name.

Please consider what the visitors need to know depending on the length and nature of the event. For example is water, refreshments or food available? Are are there any toilets?

After the latest changes in the rules, it's not required that an event is organized for motocachers. However, the event should be organized for motorcyclists or it should be something that makes a nice destination for a ride.

Cache information

Mandatory fields are marked with an asterisk (*) in this document.

Cache language *

First you need to select the language in which you are going to write the cache description. Please, double check your selection before clicking the Continue button. There is no way to change the language selection afterwards.

It is mentioned in the motocaching rules that the cache texts must be written in the selected language. Thus caches with incorrect language selections should never be published.

Later the cache can be translated to other languages and this language information is used to selecting the correct version of the cache description according to the user's language preferences.

Name *

A name for the cache. Best names are short and describe the cache in some way.

In case of an event cache, the name must include the date and time of the event.

If the place is a coffee shop or restaurant, please make it clear already in the name of the cache (e.g. "Cafe Fountain" instead of just "Fountain").

The cache type *

Select the cache type from the list (see ‘types of cache’ above)

Event Date *

In case of an event cache you need to enter the event date. Please note that this date is used only to identify coming and past events (the date field value is not shown on cache page). Other users get the time and date information from the cache name (and description when appropriate).

If the event lasts for several days, enter the last day when people can arrive.

Road *

Select an option from the list that best describes the road that leads to the cache or the road on the route.

1 - Asphalt all the way means in practice that it’s a good paved road suitable for street bikes and also for inexperienced bikers.

2 - Mainly paved road – maybe some graveled road that is usually in good condition. This option tells, that the road to the cache (or on the route) is quite good, but there is also something else than just paved road. For example the parking lot may be graveled or part of the road is dirt road but is usually in good condition and suitable for street bikes. This is the right option if an experienced rider would think that the road is quite good but some beginners might not feel comfortable.

3 - Mainly graveled or dirt road, some parts possibly in bad condition. This option means, that the road is (in your opinion) worse than what the average street bike rider usually would like to ride.

4 - Not for street bikes -classification means that the cache is not suitable for street bikes or street tyres.

Note: According to the rules, the cache must be accessible using roads that are clearly meant to be used by everybody.

If you select option 2, 3 or 4, please describe the road in more detail in the cache description to help others to better estimate if the road is suitable for them.

Walking *

This describes if walking is required.

1 - Drive-in no need to leave your bike. It is possible to ride to the destination without breaking any rules and the cache can be found without leaving the bike out of sight.

2 - Short walk (max 10 min). Choose this option if it’s necessary to park the bike and walk for a relatively short distance. Normally the walk to the destination and back should not take more than ten minutes.

3 - Longer walk, hills or something else that may be a little heavy. Visitors should be prepared to walk more than 10 minutes, climb small hills or something similar. Choose this option if you think that reaching the destination may require something that riders don’t feel comfortable doing in riding gear.

Please, note that in cases 2 and 3 visitors will appreciate it if you tell more details in the description text.

Is coffee or food available?

Good for a coffee break and a snack - check this option, if the place is suitable for having a cup of coffee, some soft drink or eating a sweet bun or bread roll.

Restaurant services (meals or buffet) - check this option if food is available (more than just hot dogs or French fries).

Note: Choose both options if appropriate.

Short description

Short description tells the idea of ​​the cache in a few words.

The short description is shown on the map pop-up screen and in most cache listings (e.g. latest caches and coming events).

The short description is never shown without also showing the cache name. Therefore there is no need to include the cache name in the short description.

Description *

The cache description is a presentation of the place, route or event..

Just riding to the cache and finding a new place can be a memorable experience but you can make it even better by telling something interesting about the place. Maybe there was something interesting in the history of the place or perhaps you have some nice personal memories that you could share?

With a good description, you can sometimes make a place worth a visit even if it would be otherwise quite ordinary and uninteresting.

If you search for information from the web, please use your own words to describe the place and do not violate copyrights. If you want to include text written by someone else, then please, add a link instead of unauthorized copying (note that even Wikipedia pages have licenses – some allow copying but you need to add a link to the license - and please note that the license is not the same as link to the source page).

Here is a checklist of things that you can consider to include in the description (of course depending on the type of the cache):

  • Instructions to find the place if it’s difficult to find.
  • Is the address accurate enough to find the place or should the visitor take a closer look at the map or perhaps use some landmarks to find the right place?
  • Directions for walking from the parking lot to the destination?
  • Tips for parking?
  • Tips for good nearby roads?
  • Is fuel available nearby? (good to mention if the nearest petrol station is far away)
  • Event caches: Should participants let you know in advance that they are coming? Is water, refreshments, food etc. available? Are there toilets for visitors? Anything else worth mentioning? 
  • Anything specific about the time when the place should be visited (opening hours for example)?
  • Road classification 2, 3 and 4: A more detailed description about the road conditions.
  • Walking option 3: How long does it take? What kind of terrain to expect?
  • How long time should be reserved for visiting the place?

Address and coordinates *

General

This chapter tells you how to define the addresses for location- and event caches. For route caches the making of the route is explained in the following chapter "Definition of the route".

Cache address should be given to all location and event caches.

Note that in motocaching the coordinates are needed for showing the cache on the map. The coordinates are not used similarly as in geocaching which is based on searching caches with a GPS. The coordinates of the cache are not displayed to the cache seeker, but instead the location is shown on the map.

The main rule is that the address and coordinates should define a place where the visitor should ride to. If possible, define the address in such a way that is easy to use a navigator. 

Note that the street address and cache location on the map (coordinates) are two separate things. If the street address and the coordinates differ from each other, please add directions how to find the place (in cache description).

All the places don’t have an address, but with these instructions you can find a useful address for most of them. If it is not possible to define the street name or the house number there are still different possibilities. Please have a look at the following chapter "Street Address".

Picking up the address and coordinates from the map

For picking up the address and coordinates you can use the map on cache details page which utilizes Google's address service:

  1. If the map is not visible, bring up the map by clicking a link below the State/Province field or Longitude field.
  2. Move the map by dragging it with the mouse to a right place (Tip: you can also write the address and/or the city to the fields in question and then click "Show address on the map..." -link. The map opens up in the right place if Google maps recognizes the address you have typed).
  3. Zoom the map to sufficiently accurate level.
  4. If the placeholder is visible, you can drag it to the desired place. If it is not visible, click on the map for creating a new placeholder and then drag symbol to the right place.
  5. When the placeholder shows the location of the cache accurately enough click on the links "Get the coordinates from the map".

At the same time you can pick up address by clicking on the 'Get address from the map’.

In some cases the Google service doesn’t return the correct name of the street. Instead it may give the road number or the name of a bridge. Most likely the cache seeker is not able to use it in a navigator. In such case, please type the address in the field (see chapter Street Address below).

Many places have their own web sites (e.g. cafes, ports, points of interest...). For these locations you can use the web site to find an address.

Street Address

A street address (road name and address number / house number) which helps in finding the place.

Primarily a street address is intended for navigator use but for paper map users you can also add a road number to an address like this (for example if the road name is Curvy Road and the road number is 1234):
       
        Curvy Road 10 (No. 1234)

If exact street address doesn't exist, consider one of the following:

  1. Use a junction for the address/place (Road names followed by the word crossing/junction and explain the details in the description).
  2. Select the end of the road for the location and type into the address field e.g. like this, "Lake Road (road number 2825) southern end"
  3. Enter a description with few words (e.g. "at the foot of the tower at the north end of road 1234 ", "center of the village ").
  4. If necessary, you can give directions in the cache description and write in the address field "See the description text".

City/Area *

The name of the city, town or area.

Try to select a name that works as well as possible in the following cases:
a) For use in a navigation system
b) Sufficiently accurate but also well-known name for a place so that is recognized in cache listings.

If necessary you can add some clarifying information or another name in parentheses.

For example something like this: "Pusula (Lohja)" where Pusula is a smaller area that is inside a more widely known city Lohja.

Tips for using Google Maps to find a suitable name:
- Check out the address of some local business
- Right click the cache location and select "What's here?"

Country *

Select the country for the cache location. For USA/Canada you also need to select a state/province.

Latitude and longitude *

If the coordinates of your cache have no other specific significance, you can set the coordinates to point at the same map point as the address (see above Address).

You can define the location very accurately with coordinates. This can be done e.g. then when the address is not sufficient to show the correct position.

If necessary you can define the coordinates to point e.g. to a corner of a building or even to a crossing of a footpath. If it's important to use the exact map location to find the right place, you should mention it in the cache description because otherwise people wouldn't know it (most caches have just approximate coordinates).

For details about picking up the coordinates from the map see chapter 'Picking up the address and coordinates from the map' above.

How to define a Route

Quick checklist (things that are most commonly missed)

  • Think of route caches as building blocks for rides. Riders will plan their own trips and visit other caches too. So keep the route caches short and simple - easy to create and easy to include in a ride plan.
  • In most cases it's better to split a long road into shorter route caches (short routes get more 'Found it' logs).
  • Shorter routes give more freedom of choice and are also suitable for short rides when time is limited.
  • Add intermediate waypoints to make sure that Google maps or a navigator doesn't guide to another road that's faster.
  • By adding extra waypoints you can make the route to be drawn more accurately on the overview maps.
  • Rules: The starting point (A-point) should be at least 0.6 miles or 1 km from nearest location cache or A-point of another route to avoid overlapping cache symbols on the map.
  • It's not recommended to make a difficulty level 3 route (people often forget to look for the answer when they focus on riding).
  • It's a good idea to add instructions to cache text if there are intersections where one can easily take a wrong turn.
  • If you start and end your route about 0.3 miles from the intersection, it's easier to identify adjacent routes on the map.
  • End points require addresses. If 'Get from map' button doesn't give a proper address, just type it.
  • Remember to press 'Save waypoint' button when you have made changes to a waypoint.

You can find more detailed instructions below.

General

Motocaching has it's own tool for creating a route. It has several advantages but there are some limitations too. For example the maximum number of way points is ten. However, you should define the route using this tool in motocaching.net whenever possible. If your route is long and requires more way points, consider splitting it into smaller parts. Then it's also easier to actually ride it and log a find.

In some cases the route may require something that motocaching route editor doesn’t have (map layers for example). In these cases read the paragraph "Indicative route" (later in this document).

Motocaching route editor can be used only for route caches. If you want to add route information e.g. to a  location cache, use a link to the route that is described on another website - for example Google maps (see chapter Route Link below).

You can add new waypoints to a route by clicking on the map or using the search function. If you add a third waypoint previous waypoint automatically becomes an intermediate waypoint (i.e. the added waypoint will always become an end point). If you click on the map by mistake you can delete the unwanted waypoint easily with the x-button.

Choosing the starting point (A-point)

It's recommended that the starting point (and endpoint too) is set a few hundred meters or about 1/3 mile away from the intersection where the road starts. This makes it much easier to identify adjacent routes on the main overview map.

According to the rules, the A-point must be at least one km or 0.6 miles from the nearest cache marker (location cache or A-point of another route). Otherwise the cache markers overlap on the map.

The choice of the starting point is significant if you make a route which leads to somewhere interesting where you or someone else might make a another cache. Therefore choose the starting point (A point) at the less interesting end of the route. The overview map shows the cache symbol at the A-point and it is not possible to make another cache there without overlapping symbols.

If you set the starting point too close to an attraction (or otherwise great place for a location cache) without mentioning that attraction as part of your route cache, administrators may move your starting point.

Defining a route is often easier if you add all of the waypoints first and check that they are in their final position and then fill in addresses. This way you can avoid defining the address several times if you have to move the waypoints (if you move the waypoint more than a hundred yards, program clears the address fields so that the waypoints don’t have misleading addresses after making changes to the route).

Generally, it would be desirable that the waypoints are located exactly on the road belonging to the route (the location of the answer to the control question can be elsewhere if necessary). The magnification glass buttons in the route editor zoom to the waypoint.  The reason why waypoints should be on the road is that some navigators do not understand the waypoint as visited, if it is not located exactly there where you have ridden (downloading of routes and places to GPS is coming in a later version).

Endpoints should be given a street address (or equivalent description - see below), a city or a locality as well as a country. This information is important when the end point of the route is searched with a navigator based on the address.

If the cache has a control question, please check the "Control Question" box for the corresponding waypoint where you can find the answer and give the address (or description) even if the waypoint is an intermediate one. Please note that difficulty level 3 is not recommended for route caches. See chapter 'Route' in the beginning of this document.

For other intermediate waypoints you don’t need to define an address, unless you want to. When you save the route, program fills out the empty fields of the waypoints, if it is possible.

Definition of address (or description): First select a waypoint from the list and set the address either with the "Get from map" button or by typing. Please remember to press "Save waypoint" button! Note that this button stores the data of the waypoint to the memory of the browser, but it doesn’t yet save the cache data to the server.

If the selected waypoint doesn’t have road name and address number, please select one of these:

  1. Move the waypoint to a location, which has an address.
  2. Sometimes Google service doesn’t find the street name or address i.e. house number even if it exists. Moving the waypoint may then help (sometimes it helps that you move the waypoint to the edge of the road for picking up of the address - it is important to move the waypoint back on the road after picking of the address if you want to upload the route to your GPS).
  3. Type a junction description as an address/location (road names followed by the word crossing or junction).
  4. Select the end of the road as a location and type it into the address field e.g. like this, "Lake Road (number 2825) southern end"
  5. If none above is not possible, enter a description with few words (e.g. "At the foot of the tower located at the north end of road 1234", "centre of the village" or something like this).
  6. If necessary you can also give more instructions in the cache description.

If Google's address service offers just the road number or name of a bridge instead of the road name, please type the road name in the address field. For paper map users it's a good idea to put road number in parentheses after the road name.

City and country: See the previous chapter "Address and coordinates".

Displaying the route on the overview map of the caches

The routes are displayed on an overview map for caches (and also on the cache page) by drawing only lines between the waypoints. The cache page has a link to open a route map to a new page where the route drawn using the Google directions along roads. The main reason for displaying the routes as straight lines is that it is significantly faster than the paths along actual roads. On the other hand the overview map is not intended for navigation but it merely shows where location caches or endpoints of routes are and thus helps to plan trips.

Sometimes it can be a good idea to add an additional intermediate waypoint (or two) to a route just to make it look better on the overview map. For example when the route seems to take a shortcut across a big lake. Or perhaps the route should be plotted as a big arc and you want to highlight that there is a location cache near the arc.

Indicative route

You can define up to eight waypoints to your route in addition to the end points. If you want to make a route which can’t be made with motocaching route editor, you can describe the route using some other tools and put a link to the route map field of the cache(e.g. a link to Google maps).

In this case, check the box "Indicative route". You need to add the endpoints to the indicative route in order to show it on the overview map and to also fill in the addresses. You also need to add an intermediate waypoint for finding a control question answer that can't be found at either end point.

Because the program can’t calculate the length of the indicative route you need to provide a length estimate of the route. If you define the actual route using Google maps, you can get the length from Google maps.

Cache picture

You can add a picture to the cache page if you want. The picture is displayed at the top of the cache page. It is by no means necessary, but if you have one, it adds a nice touch to the cache page.

You can use any of your JPG images, but it is recommended to use a landscape oriented image because the picture will be scaled to maximum height of 300 pixels on the page ("The portrait pictures” will therefore look quite small).

Please keep in mind when adding a picture the cache page that you are copying and publishing a picture. If you haven’t taken the picture yourself you must have a permission from the copyright holder. If you don’t know how copyright infringements can damage motocaching.net service, please read the copyrights chapter at the beginning of these instructions.

If you don’t have a picture, for which you have the necessary rights, do not copy and upload it.

If you want people to see a picture on another website, add a link instead of copying.


Motocaching supports only JPG-files. If your picture is in another format, please convert it to JPG format using any image editing program. The maximum size of the image to be uploaded file is 5 MB.

Picture uploading is done on its own page (use buttons on cache details page to open the upload page).

Uploading is simple.

  1. On the upload page: press "browse" (depending e.g. on your browser language).
  2. Select the JPG file on your hard disk (or e.g. on tablet’s photo gallery).
  3. Push the upload button.

The upload functionality scales the pictures automatically for different purposes. For example the picture on the cache page is always small in size and doesn’t slow down viewing of the cache data even if the original picture you have uploaded is significantly larger in size.

Link to more info

You can add a link pointing to a web site that has more information about the place (for example a wikipedia page).

If the cache is a coffee shop or restaurant try to search on its web site to add a link. Preferably find the page which shows the opening hours. It's a lot better than adding the opening hours to the cache description by yourself becase the keeper of the place will keep the opening hours up to date.

Page address:  Page address, where you can find more information about the cache. Please remember to put http:// or https:// in the beginning of the address (in general this is automatically included if you copy the address from the browser).

Link text: The visible text of the link, where you can tell reader what to find behind the link. If you leave this field blank, address is shown.

Route Link

If you want, you can add a link to a route that is depicted elsewhere (e.g. in Google Maps).

Need for a route link is required for route caches with indicative route. I.e. when you can’t define a route using the motocaching route editor.

You can use this also on location caches to give tips on good winding roads near your cache.

If you make the description of the route in Google Maps, please make your own shared map. Do not use the directions function because the map is often not visible to the viewer e.g. when using a mobile device (i.e don't click the get directions button to get the map).

Example of a shared Google route map https://mapsengine.google.com/map/embed?mid=zMmnX_uhR_6Y.kPuVJea13giE

Difficulty *

This chapter describe the three difficulty options.

For routes, we recommend difficulty 1 or 2 (see chapter 'Route' at the begininng of the document).

1 - Easy - no task or question - visiting or riding is enough

This type of cache doesn't have a control question. However, you need to type a "condition for logging the find". It tells others what you want them to do on the cache site.

Here are some examples:
  • "You can mark the cache as found after going to the hill to look at the scenery. It's not necessary to climb to the tower"
  • "You can mark the cache found after you ridden the route from one end to the other end."
  • "It’s enough to just visit the parking area."
  • "Write in the log entry if there were any other bikers."
Please remember that to find a motocache does not require buying a product, paying of an admission fee or similar.

For example in the case of a restaurant you can put a condition "If you eat something, tell in the log entry if you liked it". But this is not acceptable: "Eat something and tell...". 

2 - A bit of searching (multiple-choice question). 

Visitors need to answer to a multiple-choice question. The essential thing about  difficulty level 2 is that the answer may also be found by trying the different options in the control question. Thus the finder can mark the cache as found even if there was some misunderstanding or if you have forgotten the answer.

A Multiple Choice Question is good way to guide the visitor "to come and see the place" and for example to explore the information panel of the place.

To raise the bar for misusing the possibility of guessing, the amounts of guesses are monitored statistically and they can be intervened if necessary. But you really don't need to worry about it (unless you decide to climb to the top finders list without actually visiting caches).

See below the multiple-choice question.

3 - Requires some searching or thinking (possibly the answer can not be guessed)

Caches, in which you really have to look for or to think about. In difficulty level 3 caches the seeker needs to answer a question by writing a reply. Depending on the question it is possible that the correct answer can’t be guessed. In other words, unlike with difficulty levels 1 and 2 it is possible that the visitor may not find the correct answer.

See details below verbally answered question (you really need to think about the question and answer before using this option).

Multiple Choice Question

Difficulty level 2 caches have a multiple choice question.

It is easy to make these because you don’t need to worry about seeker figuring out the correct format of the answer (e.g. "1" vs. "100cm "vs. "1m"). Another important fact is that you don’t need to be completely sure that there is not "another correct answer" (e.g. second sign which has other year that is different from the one you are asking). To find the correct answer it's also easier because the cache seeker sees the reply options in which case he/she knows in general that he/she has found what you meant.

The cache page shows a title "Question to be answered" on top of your question. Therefore you only need to write the question itself (no need to add "you need to answer this...").

You need to give at least 2 answer options. Visitors reply using radio buttons so you don’t need to write anything like a), b) and c) to the reply options. A simple answer text is sufficient.

It is recommended to have 3-5 answer options. Preferably such that it is not obvious which one is correct without actually finding the cache (this makes it possible for an  administrator to notice it if someone wants to climb up to the top finders list without visiting the caches at all).

One response option needs to marked as correct. I.e. you shouldn’t put many correct answers because the program accepts only that one you have marked.

Verbally answered control question (difficulty 3)

This is not recommended option for route caches – most motocachers concentrate on riding and forget to look for the answer. Fairly general opinion is that it should be sufficient just to ride through the route. If you, however, want to pay attention to something along the route it's much better to use difficulty option 2 with a multiple choise question (makes it easier to "find" the route even if the rider forgets to stop).

Note that making an unambiguous question such that when visiting a cache the visitor knows that he/she has found the correct answer, is surprisingly difficult. Thus, the verbal question includes a possibility to fail. It can happen that when coming back from the trip one notices that the answer is not accepted even if the right place was found. We have seen that this is quite frustrating and that usually the reason is a badly designed question and/or answer.

If your cache is a significant place and difficult to re-visit for majority of visitors (e.g. Alpine Pass) please consider the question with great care. It is not purposeful in motocaching that after visiting a place one can’t mark the cache as found.

The verbally answered control question for difficulty level 3 cache works in a following way:

  1. The user makes a new log entry
  2. When the user has chosen “Found” as the type of log entry, your question and a text field for a reply will be displayed
  3. The log entry can made only when the text in the answer field is exactly the same as what you wrote as a reply in the cache data page (it doesn’t matter whether you use upper or lower-case letters).

In the cache page a title, which tells that this is a question to be answered, is added automatically above the question. I.e. it is sufficient just to write the question to the question field.

The question should be presented in such a way that the answer is unambiguous so that there are not several correct answers.

An example of a problematic question: "There is a fairly big metal ball at the cache. what is the diameter of the ball?" (imagine that there is a sign next to to the ball saying that the diameter is exactly one meter). When making the log entry, the visitor may remember the answer, but actually there are many correct answers: 1m, 1 m, one meter, one metre, metre, 100cm, 100 centimetres... Even though the question sounds straightforward, the finder of the cache can have difficulties in guessing the right format of the answer.

You can make it easier in the following way:  "There is a fairly large metal ball at the cache. How many centimetres is the diameter? The answer is an integer number without a unit".

If you want to give hints about the options you can do it in the following way: "How many sentimetres  is the circumference of the tank? 300, 310, 320... , 400?" (Such a way can be utilised e.g. when you want to make a cache where you need to calculate or to think a little bit more but you want, however, to show the format of the answer).

There are often signs or text at the places that can be used. For example "There is sign next to a fairly large metal ball which describes the origin of the ball. What is the first word in the sign?" or "What year is mentioned in the sign referring to the year of manufacture of the ball?"

In some cases generally known animal and tree species are good questions topics:

"What animal is in the picture... (3 letters)?" - cat

"What tree grows... (7 letters)? – juniper

In the case of event caches you can to use a "password" in the control question which is told during the event. Good topics for questions may also be house numbers, number of flagpoles or last 4 letters of some text.

Also consider the length of the answer. With long answers it happens quite often that the answer is not accepted because of a typing mistake and the find is not logged because the finder thinks that he or she doesn't know the right answer.

The maximum length of a question is 300 characters. If you want to make a question with a longer text you can type it in the cache description text and put some clarification as the question e.g. this way, "What is the solution for the mystery of the cache description (five letters)?".

If your cache is a place that may also interest visitors from other countries, consider if your question and answer can also be translated (or rather use difficulty level 1 or 2).

After making a cache

When you have made a cache, you should also maintain it if needed. From log entries and especially from the maintenance requests in your "own caches" page you can see, if something is wrong.

If something has happened and the cache can't be found anymore (or it's not safe), please archive your cache.

After archiving the cache it doesn’t appear on the overview map for the caches you have time check the situation.

If you can update the cache data you can make the necessary changes to the cache data and published it again. However, do not move the cache substantially to a new location (hundreds of meters) because many seekers may have already found the current place and their log entries are about the orginal location. You can of course leave the cache as archived and make a new one nearby.

Cache maintenance has its own instructions document that is worth reading. It tells about maintenance of a cache in more detail.