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FTF Etiquette?


Find-me
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A couple of local cachers placed a number of new caches (published on Friday). These were all placed in a nearby wooded park area with hiking trails. Despite a recent heavy snowfall, I decided to see what I could find.

 

Out of 12 new caches (well done ones, I might add), I found 11 and was FTF for all of them! I must say, I feel a little guilty about it but I had a couple of GREAT days hiking the trails. With the exception of a couple of travel bugs (which will be moved along very shortly), I did not take anything from any of the caches. I wasn't really prepared for the hunt so I didn't bring anything to leave. (I need to get a stock of quality swag!!)

 

Should I hold back and leave at least some of the FTF to others?

Should I delight in the fact that I got almost all of them? - going back for the last one today.

Should one make a point of taking more travel bugs to move along? - I only took two out of 6 or 7 available.

Some of the caches had some really nice stuff and I was tempted but didn't take anything since I had nothing to leave in return. Appropriate, or did I miss out on FTF "rights"?

Should I make FTF a bit more of an event by leaving something of some value?

 

I am tempted to revisit some of these and help repay the cachers for the fun that I had finding their caches. Must get some good stuff...

 

Thanks to ACE226 and GeoSlyCa

 

Find-me

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A couple of local cachers placed a number of new caches (published on Friday). These were all placed in a nearby wooded park area with hiking trails. Despite a recent heavy snowfall, I decided to see what I could find.

 

Out of 12 new caches (well done ones, I might add), I found 11 and was FTF for all of them! I must say, I feel a little guilty about it but I had a couple of GREAT days hiking the trails. With the exception of a couple of travel bugs (which will be moved along very shortly), I did not take anything from any of the caches. I wasn't really prepared for the hunt so I didn't bring anything to leave. (I need to get a stock of quality swag!!)

 

Should I hold back and leave at least some of the FTF to others?

Should I delight in the fact that I got almost all of them? - going back for the last one today.

Should one make a point of taking more travel bugs to move along? - I only took two out of 6 or 7 available.

Some of the caches had some really nice stuff and I was tempted but didn't take anything since I had nothing to leave in return. Appropriate, or did I miss out on FTF "rights"?

Should I make FTF a bit more of an event by leaving something of some value?

 

I am tempted to revisit some of these and help repay the cachers for the fun that I had finding their caches. Must get some good stuff...

 

Thanks to ACE226 and GeoSlyCa

 

Find-me

 

Should I delight in the fact that I got almost all of them? - going back for the last one today.

 

Some of the caches had some really nice stuff and I was tempted but didn't take anything since I had nothing to leave in return. Appropriate, or did I miss out on FTF "rights"?

 

Those 2 are appropriate answers. You were the FTF. Celebrate about 11 in a row, thats a pretty good feat! Some people leave FTF prizes, and they are only appropriate for the FTF. I would have taken maybe the FTF prize, being the FTF, and revisit it later to put something of equal value back in.

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You should take all the FTF prizes since that's what they are First to Find and that was you.

 

Goob job by the way 11 of 12 incredible.

 

I didn't feel that taking anything was appropriate since I didn't bring anything to add. I am happy enough to have bragging rights. Some nice cache swag but nothing specifically designated as FTF.

 

Find-me

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I didn't feel that taking anything was appropriate since I didn't bring anything to add. I am happy enough to have bragging rights. Some nice cache swag but nothing specifically designated as FTF.

 

Find-me

 

If nothing was specifically labeled as for the FTF then you only get bragging rights as FTF. For the remaining SWAG you have to trade up or even. If you can't trade then its not for you.

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You did fine. Anyone willing to could have gone after the FTFs.

 

A few months ago a cacher placed 10 caches in a local forest, all about a mile apart.

 

We have a lot of FTF-chasers in town; caches rarely last two hours after publication even way out in the sticks, so I called a few friends and off we went.

 

On the way there we discovered that another group had formed and were also headed that way!

 

We stepped up the pace a bit and FTF1, cool, can't believe the other team's not here yet, FTF2, looking over our shoulders, FTF3, hey we've got quite a lead! FTF4 and... here they come; they started at the other end of the trail and this is FTF6 for them!

 

Fun stuff!

 

As far as the FTF prize, I leave them for the next finder. That's just me... I don't often keep stuff I find in caches, though I do sometimes trade and move the trade item to another cache.

 

I would have taken one FTF prize at most and left the rest... but that's more a personal habit than a suggestion.

 

Funny FTF story - A cache was published last week late Tuesday night way out in the boonies - a 40 mile drive, so figuring most of the locals had to work Wed. morning I didn't get in a rush. Went the next morning, found it, woohoo, opened it and - FTF was signed at 12:05. Dang, I look at my watch and, it's 12:05! Huh, he has to be here, maybe hiding behind a tree watching me! I look around, can't figure out why his car wasn't at the trail head, look back at the log... he signed it at 12:05 AM!

 

Gotta be swift around here!

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Just my way, of course . . . the only thing I take out of a cache is, temporarily, the logbook, returning it immediately, after noting my presence. FTF means nada to me, let others do that if it brings them a smile.

 

One exception was the cache by Chelinsc in the Francis Marion Swamp Forest near Charleston, where I was encouraged to get out there, by the owner, and capture the FTF coin she placed. I have it, don't know what to do with it . . . wait, why don't I place it in a new cache near her and let her FTF and capture her own coin? :laughing:

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You did great!!

 

11 out of 12 makes for some great bragging. As has been said, if it wasn't you, it would have been someone else.

 

I went out once and shot for 3 FTF's in one trip. Got all 3 of them, but one of the other local guys was hot on my heels, by only 10 minutes or so. It could have just as easily been him.

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Just my way, of course . . . the only thing I take out of a cache is, temporarily, the logbook, returning it immediately, after noting my presence. FTF means nada to me, let others do that if it brings them a smile.

 

One exception was the cache by Chelinsc in the Francis Marion Swamp Forest near Charleston, where I was encouraged to get out there, by the owner, and capture the FTF coin she placed. I have it, don't know what to do with it . . . wait, why don't I place it in a new cache near her and let her FTF and capture her own coin? :laughing:

I think you should mail it to me!

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One day there were 14 caches published in town - 9 north and 5 south. I took the south lot and cleaned up 3 before the guilts hit. I stopped and left the remaining FTF for others.

 

The big difference is that I could basically drive up to the caches or maybe a short walk. You had to hike to get them - go for them all - I would have.

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Should I hold back and leave at least some of the FTF to others?

 

No. Some people are big on FTFs and others don't give a clam's patootie about them. For those who care about FTFs, where is the glory in it if someone else "let them" get it? For those who don't care - well they just don't care.

 

Should I delight in the fact that I got almost all of them?

 

Yes, if that is important to you.

 

Should one make a point of taking more travel bugs to move along? -

 

If you can help the TB on its journey then by all means take it.

 

Some of the caches had some really nice stuff and I was tempted but didn't take anything since I had nothing to leave in return. Appropriate, or did I miss out on FTF "rights"

 

You did the right thing. If you can't trade its not right to take anything.

 

Should I make FTF a bit more of an event by leaving something of some value?

 

That is completely up to you.

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congrats! 11 out of twelve is excelent (at least for me :laughing: )! you shouldnt feel giulty for that. like previously said, if someone else wanted it, they should have gone for it first. and for the FTF prize, you can just take that, it's a prize not a trade. but as for other item's you must trade even or trade up.

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I would never take stuff without leaving stuff of equal or greater value - except possibly if there was an interesting FTF prize. Even then, I would probably go back and "replace" it with something equally interesting at a later time. Even though I have been involved with geocaching for a very short period of time, I have seen a large proportion of caches with absolute junk in them. I think I would just as soon find a cache with nothing but a logbook.

 

I'm in this for the sport, not the swag - although I get a kick out of seeing some of the stuff that people place in their caches. Geocaching isn't a shopping trip to the dollar store and I have no interest in trading to get ahead. For me, its an excuse to get outside and go places I might not otherwise see. Its been too cold lately but I expect I'll combine these treks with a little nature photography when things warm up a bit.

 

I enjoy the FTF because it gives me a chance to see the cache before the contents have been diluted by crappy trades.

 

I guess my original questions were about whether I was being greedy about the FTF (I don't feel guilty); and whether I should grab any trackable items to get them further along on their journey ASAP. Taking a couple of bugs (to drop off again within a couple of days) was sort of a compromise. The bugs are neat and I enjoy reading a little about their travels.

 

Find-me

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What do people see for FTF swag? I got 12 FTF's in a week with 7 of them being in one day. 6 were small caches and didn't have much, but at least one small item was marked for the FTF, but 4 large caches had nothing in them for FTF and what they did have was not too appealing!

 

It bugs me a little because I always add something for FTF, a lottery ticket, a Dunkin Donuts gift card, something.

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Just returned from getting the last cache in the area! (12 out of 12 as FTF.) I can't believe that nobody went for it in the last 3 days. Cold weather might have had something to do with it. I'll lay off the FTF's for the next little while. There are still MANY cache sites in town that I haven't hit and I think I'll simply focus on some of these other areas.

Edited by Find-me
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We have a couple of cachers who go after FTFs around here, me included! :blink: We all have a good time with the friendly competition. Myself, i'm not holding back when i'm after that FTF since i see it as being fair game when it gets published.. I want the legitimate FTF and i sure wouldn't want it if i knew it had been skipped over because another cacher felt guilty for grabbing it. :ph34r:

 

If the cache has a designated FTF Prize, then go ahead and take it. That's why the owner put it there. I've never seen an owner who required or wanted something left in return for this prize. Of course regular swag should be traded up or equally. Travelbugs are fine for the taking without any trade, if you can help to move them along on their mission.

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You should have nothing to be ashamed about. You did your work and should gladly claim the bragging rights to your 11 FTF. YAY!

 

Now if you really want to savor your victory, I suggest holding off on posting your FTFs for about 24 hours, so that other finders of the cache can have their FTF hopes dashed to bits when find the cache to see your name displayed prominantly above all others! :huh:

 

By all means revisit any cache you wish. I personally make a note of my favorite caches so that I can drop travel bugs, because I believe good caches deserve special attention.

Edited by adampierson
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Now if you really want to savor your victory, I suggest holding off on posting your FTFs for about 24 hours, so that other finders of the cache can have their FTF hopes dashed to bits when find the cache to see your name displayed prominantly above all others! :huh:

 

Now that's just nasty!

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You shouldn't feel guilty about being the FTF. If others want to be first then they should try harder (and they will if you keep beating them to the cache). :huh:

 

When it comes to trading you should trade up or trade even EXCEPT when there is a special prize for the FTF.

 

This is an exception to the rule and you are not expected to trade up, even or at all. The FTF prize is just that, a prize for being the first one to find the cache. If you want to leave something you are free to do so but it is not necessary.

 

At least that's the way it works in this neck of the woods.

Edited by High IQ
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No guilt! Be happy you had fun. Consider the FTF as a perk for that particular day. Some ppl will complain, however probably not loud enuff for you to hear. But so what! Everyone has different levels of drive. Not everyone wants to get a FTF at 12:05, not everyone wants to hike all day to get a string of 11 out of 12 FTFs. Not everyone is free to hunt on the same days or at the same times. What if the cache was an extreme cache, on top of a water tower, or 25 feet below the suface of a lake? Now the outlook changes, but a FTF is a FTF. I keep up with my FTFs but I do not specifically chase them. But I sure ain't going to sit around and wait for someone else to log a smiley, then deem it ok to go look for it. I am going caching when I can. That doesn't usually result in FTFs, but when it does, thats great. I'll proudly take it. As for the swag, I think you know that answer.

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Well, with the area that I live in and the job that I have, it is tough to get out to any new caches for FTF. I have my notification email set to a 40 mile radius and hardly get a sniff. When there is a new cache, it's usually during the work week and I can't dedicate 3 hours away from work to play (even though my job seems like I get paid to play at times). Congrats on the 11 of 12. I'm still looking for my 1st FTF!!!!

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How would you as a forum reader respond to an email sent to you like this?:

 

Don't take this the wrong way but you've become a FTF hog. There are

lots of beginner geocachers out there just dieing for a First-to-find

but that ain't gonna happen with you just waiting to beat everyone to them.

Don't you have enough FTF's?

Why don't you give someone else a chance.

It ain't fun checking the new caches anymore because you already beat

everyone to them.

This is the first time I've been unhappy with caching since I

started.

Edited by calkan
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I know of serious FTFers who have spent lots of money to be there first.

We're not talking PDA and instant notifications here. I know one guy that has an awesome computer setup in his car, hooked up to a cell phone for Internet. These cachers are willing to do what it takes to get that FTF. They will drop what they are doing at a moments notice. Leave work, let dinner get cold, leave the kids little league game with Billy up at bat. The way I see it, if I want to beat them I'll just have to be willing to match their obsessive behavior. I don't feel that urge.

On the other hand it sure makes it sweeter when I see the opportunity to beat them at their own game. <_<

If someone wants to complain because you got there first then call it what it is, sour grapes.

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How would you respond to an email sent to you like this?:

 

Don't take this the wrong way but you've become a FTF hog. There are

lots of beginner geocachers out there just dieing for a First-to-find

but that ain't gonna happen with you just waiting to beat everyone to them.

Don't you have enough FTF's?

Why don't you give someone else a chance.

It ain't fun checking the new caches anymore because you already beat

everyone to them.

This is the first time I've been unhappy with caching since I

started.

 

What was that all about? <_<

 

If sent to me as an email, I would not dignify it with a response at all. As it was sent in an open forum, perhaps I am supposed to publically defend myself? A brief comment and I will have no further participation in this thread. I appreciate the suggestions, encouragement and positive advice from most of the folks who responded to my original post.

 

The caches were published Friday night. I got 8 on Saturday (starting mid-morning after a heavy snowfall). I hiked almost 10 km that day through the snow over 4 hours. I went back the next day and managed 3 more with almost as much walking. Got the last a day later. Took nothing other than a couple of TB's from any of the caches. Anybody in town had the same opportunity to get at least some during the three days.

 

By the way, I AM a beginner at this; just a little more enthusiastic than some. If you (or the hypothetical writer of this email) are unhappy with Geocaching because someone beat you to a FTF, then all I can say is "Get a life!".

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What was that all about? <_<

 

I interepreted the post from callcan to mean he has gotten a lot of first finds and received this email. It even has odd line breaks which implies it was copied from somewhere else. Wouldn't be the first time I was mistaken but it's very possible that he meant you no disrespect but actually wanted to know how to respond.

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Find-Me....my entry was not in the least aimed at you. I congratulate you on your wonderful job of FTF's!!! My question was generated from a received email where a disgruntled Geocacher felt that some Geocachers are stepping on toes by getting all the FTF's. Didn't mean to shake you up, just to show forum readers that there is at least one Geocacher out there that hates FTF hogs. In my opinion, I agree with everybody above.....Go for all the FTF you can get your hands on!!! Yeah!!!

Edited by calkan
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I find that there seems to be a few Geocachers out there that forget what Geocaching is all about. Hey, we all do it for different reasons. I myself enjoy the outings and hey a FTF is an added pleasure. There aren't any hard fast rules about FTF etiquette. Those who love the hunt of a FTF have found just another exciting facet of Geocaching. I can't believe people get upset about this stuff. But it takes all kinds. Again I appologize to Find-me. My forum writing skills need a lot of polish. :-)

Edited by calkan
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I find that there seems to be a few Geocachers out there that forget what Geocaching is all about. Hey, we all do it for different reasons. I myself enjoy the outings and hey a FTF is an added pleasure. There aren't any hard fast rules about FTF etiquette. Those who love the hunt of a FTF have found just another exciting facet of Geocaching. I can't believe people get upset about this stuff. But it takes all kinds. Again I appologize to Find-me. My forum writing skills need a lot of polish. :-)

 

Calkan

 

Having said I would not participate further in this thread, I feel I should add a couple of additional comments.

 

While I suspected that the original note you posted might have been something that you had either seen or received in the past, it was not clear to me. My apologies if I mis-interpreted what you were saying. One of the problems with internet forums is that it is often difficult to understand the intent of a particular post. I now understand, based upon your latter posts and your personal note to me, that you meant no offence. <_<

 

While FTF can be a bit of a "kick", it is not a major motivation for me - I just happened to be at the right place at the right time. While I might go a little out of my way to snag a FTF, it would have little effect on my enjoyment of the activity if another cacher beat me to it. I do, however, get annoyed if I am 2nd, 3rd or 4th and find that the cache has been effectively raided - all interesting stuff taken or replaced by junk (I would be more annoyed if I was the person who placed the cache).

 

The individual who sent the note to you needs to have an attitude adjustment!

 

Find-me

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Interesting topic. Being a newbie, I figure a FTF will take a while, if it ever happens at all. And although I don't think achieving FTF will ever be a driving force for me, I wouldn't mind having the experience a time or two. :huh:

 

There are lots of beginner geocachers out there just dieing for a First-to-find

but that ain't gonna happen with you just waiting to beat everyone to them. Don't you have enough FTF's?

Why don't you give someone else a chance.

 

Although I think the OP deserved all the FTFs he got (and congratulations, well done!), I have noticed in my area the same people seem to be the FTFs quite often (log notes sometimes say "I thought so-and-so would have gotten to this one first"). Certainly I would never send someone such a snippy note like the above but I'll admit to feeling a little newbie-disappointment that its not likely I'll ever get a FTF because the same people (with 100s to 1000s of finds) seem to dash after them every time. I work and can't go out caching during the week day or get up and go out in the nite at 2 a.m. to be FTF.

 

When I was a kid, my mother often told me a story about "hot-cross buns" and a greedy kid who ended up getting punished for always be so greedy. I remember that story to this day! She taught me never to take more than my fair share. So...although I DO recognize that this is a game/sport where "the early bird catches the worm" and too-bad-so-sad if you don't dash as fast as someone else, I guess the well-pounded lesson on greed makes me feel a little like "Hey...leave a few for some other people to have the excitement of being the first to find!" I'd be happy with a couple but I don't think I could ever make it a point to have a huge list of FTFs. I would feel totally piggy and greedy.

 

FTFs certainly will not a big deal to me. Basically I am not counting on ever having that experience because I don't have all that much time to put into caching. But its OK because I just like being outside with my dog enjoying nature, looking around and saying "Woohoo...I FOUND IT!" (Or..."drat! Where is the dang thing?!"). FTF would be a surprise and a treat but its not anything I expect to happen.

 

I do have a question though. Is a FTF prize a GIFT...or is it considered a TRADE item where the finder must trade to take it? I always thought of it as a gift until I read some comments in this thread. :rolleyes: I am preparing my first cache and I consider what I put in as the FTF Prize a reward/gift. I would not be expecting or wanting a trade on that. There will be plenty of swag in the container for others. And since many FTF prizes are a little nicer than the rest, I wouldn't expect someone to have something with them of matching-or-higher value anyway. I guess I'll need to make it clear its not a trade item but a gift.

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Personally when I include a FTF prize in my caches, I expect it to be a gift to the geocacher for getting up a little earlier or making the effort to find the cache the quickest. Others may think not, but why trade for your own reward? If it is listed as a FTF prize, then it is. No need to trade.

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How would you as a forum reader respond to an email sent to you like this?:

 

Don't take this the wrong way but you've become a FTF hog. There are

lots of beginner geocachers out there just dieing for a First-to-find

but that ain't gonna happen with you just waiting to beat everyone to them.

Don't you have enough FTF's?

Why don't you give someone else a chance.

It ain't fun checking the new caches anymore because you already beat

everyone to them.

This is the first time I've been unhappy with caching since I

started.

First of all, congrats to Find-me on 12 FTFs. I hope nobody in your area is complaining, considering you waited 3 days before finding the 12th one.

 

Second, I'd say to whomever sent such an e-mail as the one above "What reward is there in an FTF if they are given to you? The only thing that makes an FTF important (to some) is the fact that they are difficult to get."

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How would you as a forum reader respond to an email sent to you like this?:

 

Don't take this the wrong way but you've become a FTF hog. There are

lots of beginner geocachers out there just dieing for a First-to-find

but that ain't gonna happen with you just waiting to beat everyone to them.

Don't you have enough FTF's?

Why don't you give someone else a chance.

It ain't fun checking the new caches anymore because you already beat

everyone to them.

This is the first time I've been unhappy with caching since I

started.

First of all, congrats to Find-me on 12 FTFs. I hope nobody in your area is complaining, considering you waited 3 days before finding the 12th one.

 

Second, I'd say to whomever sent such an e-mail as the one above "What reward is there in an FTF if they are given to you? The only thing that makes an FTF important (to some) is the fact that they are difficult to get."

 

I would try responding with this great quote: "Life sucks, get a helmet". Here in Phoenix the NBA Suns have had two winning streaks of 15 or more games this season. I assure you, they didn't decide to lose a game because they felt bad for making the other teams lose. It's part of the game. And if you decide to play the "game" of geocaching then you've got to learn to handle that. We've dealt with the same thing here in Phoenix. A good caching buddy of mine is approaching his 900th find and at the same time his 300th FTF. That's right, 1 out of every 3 caches he finds is an FTF. Sure there are some people that don't like it, but there are other guys out here that go after them also and the thrill of chasing around trying to beat them, that's a great thrill.

 

Congrats on the 12 FTFs, they're well deserved. Wear the "FTF-hog" badge proudly.

 

We had a cacher in this area place 3 new caches all along the same bike path. I'm not sure if it was something that he worked out with the reviewer or not but the caches weren't all published at the same time. There was about an hour or more between each cache being published. A good idea if the cache owner wants to give everyone a good chance at each one. A bad thing if you're like us and wasted a lot of gas going back and forth to the same place! :anitongue:

 

Jared of AZBliss02

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<snip> A good caching buddy of mine is approaching his 900th find and at the same time his 300th FTF. That's right, 1 out of every 3 caches he finds is an FTF. <Snip>

Jared of AZBliss02

 

In terms of percentages, I am doing pretty well. I have a total of 29 finds at this early stage of my involvement with geocaching and a total of 13 FTFs (44%). I suspect that this batting average will slip; especially since FTF is not a major incentive for me. The 12 in a row just happened because they were placed (all at once) in an area near where I live and a place where I like to go walking. I had already found all of the older caches in this spot. There were three caches posted on Feb 02 that I looked for today. They had not been found yet even though they were a week old. I found one of them and had to log a DNF for the other two. :anitongue:

 

A couple of feet of snow makes finding some of these pretty difficult even though I made it to the locations.

 

Find-me

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You should have nothing to be ashamed about. You did your work and should gladly claim the bragging rights to your 11 FTF. YAY!

 

Now if you really want to savor your victory, I suggest holding off on posting your FTFs for about 24 hours, so that other finders of the cache can have their FTF hopes dashed to bits when find the cache to see your name displayed prominantly above all others! <_<

 

By all means revisit any cache you wish. I personally make a note of my favorite caches so that I can drop travel bugs, because I believe good caches deserve special attention.

 

That's exactly what happened to us today. Went after 4 just posted, managed to be FTF 2 but someone beat us by a day on the other two and didn't post til after we did. Bit of a bummer but won't lose sleep over it.

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