Back to the FAQ

Back to Markwell Website Home
GeocachingTeam Markwell LogoGeodashing For the basics of Additional Waypoints CLICK HERE

Adding "Additional Waypoints" to existing caches? CLICK HERE

I received a GPX file (from a Pocket Query or from the cache page) and it has a separate file. What is this, and how do I use it? CLICK HERE
How do I add "Additional Waypoints" and what are they for?

This document was copied the Getting Started FAQ on and this post by Keystone

Since January 2006, it's been possible to record Additional Waypoints on your cache pages. Volunteer cache reviewers are beginning to require all multicaches and puzzle caches to have their coordinates posted as hidden waypoints using this new feature. The reviewers have features available to work with the additional waypoints, making the processing of reviewing your cache far more efficient for them. It also helps you from losing the scraps of paper where the coordinates for your multicache are scribbled! And some cache seekers will really appreciate having publicly posted coordinates for parking spots, trailheads, and points of interest.

Here are step by step instructions for placing Additional Waypoints on your cache page:
  1. Sign in to your account on

  2. Display your cache page.

  3. There is a Navigation section at the top right of the cache page where a "waypoints" link will be seen; click on that link.

  4. First, you may choose a waypoint type - Final Location, Parking Area, Question to Answer, Stages of a Multicache, and Trailhead.
    1. For a complex cache, you could have entries for the parking area, trailhead, questions to answer, stages of a multicache, as well as the final location.
    2. For a traditional cache, you might want to enter the parking area and/or the trailhead.
    3. For a puzzle/mystery cache or a multicache, it will be necessary to make an entry for each stage and for the final cache location.
  5. After choosing a waypoint type, you may enter a name for it. This can simply be parking, stage one, stage two, final, or whatever you choose.

  6. Next is an entry field for a waypoint lookup code. As it says on the Waypoint Collection page, STAGE2 or FINAL are good names for the lookup code. You may use anything you want, but each entry must be unique - you cannot have two waypoints with STAGE2 as the lookup code.

  7. After that there is an entry field for a prefix code. This could be an abbreviated version of the lookup code, like S2 for STAGE2 or FC for FINAL Cache.

  8. Next are the entry fields for the waypoint coordinates, which are completed in the same manner as the coordinate entries on the edit cache page.

  9. Finally, there are three choices for how the waypoint should be displayed.
    1. Show all information for this waypoint, including coordinates - this should be chosen for parking waypoints, trailheads, and in those cases where the geocacher is being sent to a location to gather information or to answer a question that may be required to determine the final cache location.
    2. Show the details of this waypoint but hide the coordinates - perhaps to indicate how many stages a multicache has, without giving anything away.
    3. Hide this waypoint from view except by the owner or administrator - this should be chosen for intermediate stages of a multicache or a mystery/puzzle cache, as well as for the final cache location.
  10. When you're finished inputting all the waypoint information, press the "Create Waypoint" button. Do not press the "Archive Waypoint" button unless you want everything to disappear. To hide the information from public view, follow instruction 9c.

  11. You do not need to duplicate the cache page's posted coordinates as an additional waypoint. Example 1: If a multicache begins at the posted coordinates, do not create a duplicate waypoint called "STAGE1." Example 2: If a puzzle cache starts off with an information gathering stage from a sign at the posted coordinates, you do not need to create an "Question to Answer" waypoint called "SIGN." The feature is programmed to reject additional waypoints which match the cache's posted coordinates.
If everything is done correctly, your cache page should look like this under the "encrypted hint" area
What it should look like
Note that the hidden waypoints have little "no" symbols over the "eye", meaning that only the owner and the reviewer will see these points.

Back to the Top
Thoughts on adding Additional Waypoints to existing caches
In a request to cachers in the New England area, several of the reviewers lead by GPSFun have asked that if you have an existing multi-stage or puzzle cache, that hiders go back and add the additional waypoints (hidden or visible) to these caches as well. Here's a short excerpt:
Do you own multistage or mystery/puzzle caches that were published more than five or six months ago? If so, the parking, intermediate and final stage coordinates may be in reviewer notes, e-mail messages you sent to the person who was your reviewer at the time, or perhaps just in your personal notes if the cache was published before 2003-2004 when we started looking beyond the coordinates at the top of the cache page.

There's now a new feature on your cache page - a way to document the waypoints associated with your cache, in addition to the obvious posted one. You can add waypoint coordinates to help other geocachers - like a parking area or a trailhead. For the paperless caching crowd those additional waypoints can be magically downloaded to a PDA and GPS. Pretty cool.

You can also add coordinate waypoints to help us - your cache reviewers. That would include the final coordinates of a mystery cache, and the intermediate and final coordinates of a multistage cache. This category of added waypoints can be set to be only be visible to you and to an administrator/reviewer like myself using a new reviewer’s tool.

While having your coordinate information documented with your cache page can be helpful to you, your reviewers will probably gain the greatest benefits. And what helps your reviewers also helps you, but we will get to that a little later.

Here's why we ask that you do this:

Whenever we review a new cache submission we have to be sure that it's not too close (less than .1 mile, or 528 feet) to another cache, or to the intermediate stages of another cache. We are not so concerned with the ficticious posted coordinates of a mystery cache, but we don't want your container being found while someone is searching for another one. When a new cache is submitted in a cache-rich area we have to check for the nearest caches, then open as many as a dozen nearby cache pages, retrieve that "note to reviewer" and compare the new cache's coordinates to those of the old cache. It's very tedious and time consuming.

The "waypoints" feature has been added to help the cache reviewers. With this plus a new reviewer tool, we can click on a link that will show the reviewers at a glance how close the new cache is to the starting and ending coordinatess of all other caches in the area. It's a great help, but it relies on those waypoints being recorded to provide a comprehensive view.

So how does this help you as a cache owner?

First, it provides you with a convenient place to store the details of your multistage and mystery caches. No more random scraps of paper or extra waypoints stored on your GPSr.
Second, it will help prevent cache placements that conflict with or overlap one another.
Third, it will help the volunteer reviewers perform a more thorough assessment of potential cache proximity issues.
Fourth, it will help to get new caches published more promptly for you to hunt. (OK; this one is a bit lame, but I needed to say someting to make you smile at this point.)

If you could help us out by updating your previously published caches, it will be greatly appreciated.

Thank you.

-gpsfun, MadMin, and POFE
Volunteer Reviewers for New England
(With thanks to erik88l-r for his similar article in the GGA forums.)

Back to the Top

I received a GPX file (from a Pocket Query or from the cache page) and it has a separate file. What is this, and how do I use it?
The Additional Waypoints, as illustrated above, can serve many purposes. One is to show stages of a multi-cache to a reviewer, but another use is for parking coordinates, trail heads, points of interest, etc. If cache owners have put this information into the system, when you get a GPX file from, it will have TWO files - one of JUST the cache data, and a second of these Additional Waypoints.

The WinZip file to the right has additional waypoints. The file contains one file that has a numeric name and an extension of GPX. The second file is the same number, along with -wpts and the extension of GPX. The one with the -wpts is the file containing these additional waypoints.

If you open this second file in EasyGPS or GSAK or Watcher, it will act like a regular file with a bunch of waypoints, ready to load into your GPS. The problem with EasyGPS, is that there's no way to tell which parent cache these "child" waypoints belong. GSAK does a pretty good job of matching them up, though.

Back to the Top

Last Update: Aug 2 2006