Jump to content

The lost art of logging


Recommended Posts

I started adding something to my logs recently. If I post a picture on a Cache page or a Trackable page I add that to my logs. That way if the owner is just looking at the e-mail they will know that there is a new picture posted.


As for the length of the logs, I had to split one log into two once. I posted the last half first as a note, then the first half as a find. That way the log stayed in proper order. I tried to take the 986 word log, and shorten it, but just couldn't, so I had to make the split.


The cache owner called me and thanked me for the log.


It was for GC1DE8R if anyone cares.

Link to comment
We go as a group (children and adults) and sometimes it is hard to remember all that happens in the hunt. I will try to do a better job of posting logs from this point forward. I totally understand what you are saying and will remember it.


When I first started geocaching I found out that when I went to log my Fnds and/or Did Not Finds, I couldn't remember what I took ot left, let alone what we did there. So I started taking notes after that. Sometimes I write these in my GPSr and other times I scribble in my notebook. I need to do a better job of noting where I have taken pictures too. I try to take pictures every time I go geocaching and then I upoad some of these too.

Link to comment

I'll have to admit most of my logs are pretty weak in the log book but better online. I find that I write more when I cache with others and simply have a blast of a day. My logs when I go alone or with my kids vary in length often depending on how much time I spent looking for the darn thing and how cool the hide location was. The long it takes and the better the location the more I tend to write about it.

Link to comment
... But they took the time to find my cache...and that was the purpose of me putting it there.
My money's on, they just looked for your cache to add a number beside their name.


And double-or-nothing on, if it hadn't been yours it would've been someone else's.



Your post read like it was contradicting mine and the portion you snipped of TheTexasGringo's, when in fact it did not. His stated purpose for the cache was for a cacher to come and find it. If a cacher found the cache, he met the cache's stated purpose no matter what his reasons were to go geocaching. \


Your attempt to add snark to the issue did not serve your purpose, in my opinion.

Link to comment

This is a *great* list, thank you so very much! Many people who place caches love to read the logs of those who have found them, know that someone has appreciated their hard work.


In general, the shorter my log, the less I enjoyed the cache. I don't know whether or not that's true of others!


I hope that many many many people read your post and take your suggestions to heart.


-- Jeannette (angevine)

Link to comment

I will admit that when I started caching I was guilty of leaving the "TFTC" as the only log. It's what I saw on the previous logs, so that what I used for all mine. It seems that the more I cache, the longer my logs become. After placing my own caches, I began to truly appreciate those cachers who take the time to write at least a few sentences for my caches.

Link to comment

My 8yr old Daughter and I just started a few weeks ago. We had about 2-3 weeks to read over the forums and guidelines before we started. We knew that this was already an issue for people, so we have been making sure to have a semi-decent log after a find or a DNF.


We could still improve, but we've never logged a "TFTC SL!" haha So far, we've spent two complete Sundays geocaching. Before that day comes, I take the time to write down each cache in our notebook. I write down all the important details in a line or two, then leave room to write down what we took, what we left and any other quick notes that will help me remember our experience. Not only that, we take lots of pictures.


I've even started a blog about our experiences, because I know this is going to be our obsession for a long time. I was already like a big kid before we started geocaching. Now that's only grown to be more true. I get just as excited as her when we find another cache or see a bald eagle flying over the river. We try to make sure to log all of that stuff.


I agree it only adds to the excitement to both the finder and the CO.

Link to comment
... But they took the time to find my cache...and that was the purpose of me putting it there.
My money's on, they just looked for your cache to add a number beside their name.


And double-or-nothing on, if it hadn't been yours it would've been someone else's.



Your post read like it was contradicting mine and the portion you snipped of TheTexasGringo's, when in fact it did not. His stated purpose for the cache was for a cacher to come and find it. If a cacher found the cache, he met the cache's stated purpose no matter what his reasons were to go geocaching. \


Your attempt to add snark to the issue did not serve your purpose, in my opinion.

I've noticed that MANY of your posts are critical of other posters, & have little or nothing to do with the subject being discussed, as mine did. I believed what I said, else I wouldn't have said it....and I said it in a humorous vein. If you want to read something into it that was not intended, I certainly can't stop you; but then again if you don't like what I write, you can always stop reading my posts. Plain enough for you?


Hoping you feel better about yourself,


Link to comment

you know, for what it's worth, when i'm far from home and i meet other cachers, invariably when they tell me how they've always wanted to meet me someday, they do not mention my prodigious cache total, my ability to poach caches without coordinates, my massive puzzle solving skills, or my ability to find many caches in a day.


what makes them happy to meet me is that they have read my logs.


writing nice logs has thereby also given me pleasant dinner companions, convenient accommodations, and places to shower.


and lovely gifts. i like presents.


writing good logs pays in the end.

Link to comment

<My money's on, they just looked for your cache to add a number beside their name. >


You might have won the money...but, they Looked For My Cache....And That Was The Purpose Of The Cache...someone finding it.


If someone wants to write a Thesis...fine. If they just log "Found" or "TNLN"...that is fine. For "ME", just getting an email that someone went to my cache...is the reward of putting it there.


And...if someone tried and didn't find it...I usually email them with a better hint.

Link to comment

Some friends and I have just started geocaching...so we are new to this. I had never thought about how to sign log. We try to keep cache log short...KISS. We have done alot of micro/small caches lately that have been TNLNSL...and that is what we posted. We do try to put a lil bit of info in...great hunt, etc. Your post now has me thinking about the online logs...guess I will be doing a better job of posting. We go as a group (children and adults) and sometimes it is hard to remember all that happens in the hunt. I will try to do a better job of posting logs from this point forward. I totally understand what you are saying and will remember it.


My motto is "Never let the truth get in the way of a good story." Start out by ID'ing who got to the cache first. Then come up with an excuse why you ddin't get to it first. If there is a large group (4 to 9), all the better. You can single out one of the group and highlite them in every one of your logs. If they are truly in this for the fun, they will get a good laugh out of what ever your write. Just don't make them a butt of a joke, just comment on how long it took them to find it or if they were first to find and how the group as a hole made the find. I usually mention how one person pretty much carried me all day making the finds when i could not. constantly thanking them for making the find (for you of course).

There is a website called It's not about the numbers. You can post your cache stats on the website and it will give you all kinds of good info, including the number of words in your shortest and longest posting. I am on a mission to boost my average number of words above 75. I am at 66 right now.

There are still days when a short group of letters is all I really want to post. For those, I usually have a beef wtih the fact I just found a micro where and army tank could have been hidden. Two log options; 6 letters or a huge dig about how a micro was hidden were an army tank could have been hidden. Better yet, I post my gripe about a cache on the next 3 or 4 that I find, usually referencing the fact is was a crummy hide and could have been much better if it was really worth finding.

Hope this helps you with your writters block.

Link to comment

I have to agree I hate to get a log for one of my caches that has been found with just the TNLNSL TFTC logging. I love to write a little story about the day for both my benefit and the benefit of the cache owner. For me because there are times when my memory isn't that great and I go through my logs and think what happened at that cache, as something always happens when out geocaching. For the cache owner because I know myself and my geocaching partner almost always have a tale to tell as we tend to make geocaching more difficult then it needs to be. We always have a great time exploring wherever the GPS has led us that day but usually theres an easier or cheaper way to get there. lol :) So yeah I think that alot of geocachers out there need to step up with their logs and give us the whole story. WADDLE ON!!!

Link to comment

<Off topic, just want to mention that some will appreciate the hint, others prefer to find it themselves. Why not e-mail to ask if they want a better hint instead of giving it to them?>


In the email I tell them there is a hint way down at the bottom...and I put a bunch of blank lines in the message to where they would have to scroll down to see it.


They don't have to if they don't want...but if they do...the hint is there.

Link to comment


"TNLNSL - TFTC" isn't an acceptable log on a cache that's on many people's favorites list.



Of all the categories to make the Top 10 in at "itsnotaboutthenumbers.com", I take pride in the fact that this is the one I landed in. :)




I thought I might have you. My average log is 240 words... though in reality it's slightly bigger than that, since several times I've run into the log-length limit and had to split my log into two parts and post the second half as a note.


What's cool is the Team Sprout is a cacher local to me.



Link to comment

I've just started this great activity of geocaching and to be honest I've logged all my finds on the site but I've tried to keep things simple because I've thought I'd bore everyone with my writing. But after reading the posts of caches I've been preparing to find I hate short posts lol. So with that in mind I'll be writing really nice, long, and hopefully good posts.

Thanks! :)

Link to comment

I too started with the monkey see, monkey do abbreviation laden, short logs. I'm trying to move away from that though. It's a bit tough because you want to express something interesting about your experience but sometimes you drive up and find the cache... I don't think i could write that much about that. I DO need to chronicle my experiences better, especially in proportion to the time/effort it took me to find the cache. Doing this is respectful to the cache owner and also, like others have mentioned, provides a memory jolt when you're going back looking at your finds. Thank you for an interesting topic and thanks to everyone for their thoughtful responses.


The only "long log" issue that I have is the way that paperless caching sometimes is a character based thing... While searching for the cache, I like to read posts germane to to finding the cache; sometimes a long log can take away from that. In all though, I would prefer that people be more expressive rather than lean on the crutches of abbreviations and shorthand :)

Link to comment

To those looking to write a little more in each log, here's how I approach it.


When I write a log, not only am I writing for the benefit of the cache hider and anyone else who might be interested, but it's also a journal or sorts for myself.


So, when I write a log, I try to write it knowing that I might come back in five or ten years and reread about my experience. I try to write with enough detail that I'll remember the hunt based on my log. I also try to post at least one picture per cache hunt. Though sometimes I forget, or I don't have my camera, or none of the pictures are worth publishing, I think my rate is around 80% of my logs have at least one picture.


I've even got some lame micros I found six and seven years ago where I can go back, read my log, and remember the cache hunt. The pictures help too.



Link to comment

One of my favorite parts of hiding caches is (or was) receiving emailed logs from the cachers that have found or not found my caches. My enjoyment of this part of the game has diminished over the last couple of years due to the increasingly poor logging practices of my fellow cachers.

Yes, I know, an LPC doesn't deserve a 100 word log and that's not what I'm talking about (I don't hide those anyway). What I'm ranting about today is the poor quality of online logs on quality caches.

"TNLNSL - TFTC" isn't an acceptable log on a cache that's on many people's favorites list. Many newbies seem to start off logging with the dreaded acronyms and never get away from it unfortunately.

I've asked some cachers that write turd logs why they do it and for the most part they say "I can't think of anything to write", or "I'm not creative". I'm not looking for a witty, creative, Kurt Vonnegut-type log, just something descriptive of your time hunting the cache. Its really not hard and only takes a few seconds longer than the "TNLNSL - TFTC" carp.


Here's a short list of things you can comment on if you can't think of anything to write in an online log:


* what was the weather like?

* see any animals, pretty flowers, nudists, etc?

* condition of the cache?

* logbook full?

* condition of swag?

* easy to find? tough?

* coordinate accuracy - good or bad?

* accuracy of terrain and difficulty ratings

* travel bug inventory

* history of the area

* memories of previous caches in the area

* comment on the state of the cache's camo, or lack there of

* did you like the cache?

* any park weirdos?

* talk to any muggles or LEO's?

I could go on and on!


Don't get me started on put-and-paste logs... :D


As a newbie looking the postings of others. I thought short and sweet was what was more liked. Thanks for the freedom to let the world know more

Edited by docspidey
Link to comment

:D I have noticed a few people wrote they can't remember what happened at all the finds they do in a day. :) I am one of these people. :D Well Groundspeak has a solution to this! They gave us the ability to text to our field notes.:D I now send a text from every cache, and I also have it set up to Twitter this. Now the wife can keep track of where I am on top of what is going on.:D I leave notes about each cache, and when I go to write my logs it is a big help. I get the order I did my caches, as well as what happened. :D


Now I am truly paperless, and since I forget a lot this helps me remember all the fun we had.:anicute:


On top of that I have made a pact with Geoguin to never use TFTC again. This is just us. I always say everyone caches differently, and that's what makes it fun.


Do what you want, and enjoy what you do.

Link to comment

Ok, we (Bugaboo and I) are fairly wet behind the ears with this whole geocaching thing. We have knapsack with our notebooks (each potential find, listed by name and any additional information I feel would be helpful when we get to the spot to start searching), our bags of stuff to leave, a bag for the stuff we take, gloves, and other things we may need, and of course the camera.


I log anything I want to remember about the search in our notebook, along with the date and time we found the cache. I sign the log in the cache with our monikers and the date. Nothing more.


I log into the site when we get home, or later in the evening and write a quick (acro-free) found it log, noting anything I feel should be known (dry cache etc..) some small tidbit to make it personal (it was our first, we had fun looking, Bugaboo was ecstatic, etc..).


I logged one we didn't find it (not all of them, as we plan to try again as we get better at finding what it is we are looking for), merely because I know whose cache it was, and I knew they would find the log humourous.


Am I doing something wrong?

Link to comment

After 1000 logs it's just hard to be creative. Most caches blur into the background. The ones that don't, the ones that have something else interesting happen while on the way, or even if something is in the news get better logs.


Quality caches also blur. "Yes the waterfall was nice. So were the other 200 I have seen before this one. We got wet."


I always take my little notebook or clipboard and write phrases next to the GC# so that when I sit down at the Mac to log visits, I have something to write about. I recently spent time going back through my previous logs and have discovered them to be a reflection of my journey. It is fun to scroll back through my logs and revisit great memories. :(

Link to comment

Whenever I log my visit online, I always try to write at least a few sentences. I've just always preferred doing that instead of simply "TFTH". I like to share what my hunt was like and details surrounding me searching like what led up to me searching for it. And I like to mention in the log if the given cache is now one of my milestones.


Like my first out of town find, which was Stoneville Cemetery


In that cache, I mentioned what time I found it, what I did immediately after (checked out an angel statue seen in a gallery photo) and the fact that I decided to come look for it while the rest of my family was setting up my three year old niece's party stuff (don't worry, the cache only took a few minutes. The rest of the time I spent my time there). I even mentioned the fact that several cars drove by in the somewhat remote area and that I probably seemed odd walking along a fence in a cemetery.


My point is, if I'm going to find the cache, my log is going to be much more than a single word or acronym. If I'm going to find it, I want to share my experiences. If not for anyone else, but just for me to remember down the road. I want to add to the history of the cache, I guess.

Link to comment

:( I have noticed a few people wrote they can't remember what happened at all the finds they do in a day. :(


If that ever happens to me, I'll stop caching. I'm serious about that.


if i quit things because i couldn't remember them, i'd have nothing to do.


i can't remember all the caches i've done (it's a brain damage thing), so i use the calendar feature on the GPS to record the order i found them in and i take a lot of pictures. typically i read the description, the first several logs and the hint, because anything i have available will help me jog my memory later on.


in many cases my geocaching logs represent the only memory i have of a lot of my days, so i try to tell what happened.

Link to comment

I might have a hard time thinking about what to say about a lamp post hide on a day when there has been a number of finds. But if I can't remember the cache, there may be something about the trip that is worth a line or two.


Some of my favorite logs that I have written have nothing to do with the cache itself. The title of the cache or its location may bring a story to mind. But I am glad I noticed this thread because I have not been very creative of late -- the nature of my work extinguishes a certain amount of creative spirit -- and I should try to recapture that in my logs.

Link to comment

I'm really glad to have run across this topic because I feel like I've been logging novels - but each cache is a total adventure for us! That and I tend to be rather loquacious. I love to hear the sound of my own typing :(


We're not big fans of micros or PnGs because I usually have my little boys with me (ages 3 & 4) and the only reason they put up with walking around in circles with me is because there is bound to be a prize at the end. Also, I like caching for the excuse to get out and about and get some exercise, so I choose caches with some walking and figuring. These situations tend to combine to create good log stories. I'm glad that you all prefer them, I will continue to write them :(


Nericksx & Fam

Link to comment

As you can see from my logs, I'm not a TFTC type of guy. Just about every log that I have written has a story behind it. Even my first ever find had a story.


What I do is take a notebook with me when caching. On each page is the GC number, cache name and a space for me to write "Found" or "DNF" and any TB's that I drop in.


I get home, look at the notebook and enter the GC number for each cache and type my experiences. I have a good memory, even after a day of finding 20+ caches as I just did the other day. I still remembered each one of them.


I'm not saying that I remember each one of my 136 finds, but I will remember my most recent finds and log them as such.


Even an LPC Cache in a Walmart parking lot has a story behind it. Short, but sweet.


Many more to come.

Link to comment

I find this log to be stunningly simple in its zen like simplicity - sometimes less is most definitely more. Sometime mere words are not powerful enough to express a cachers feelings - this log really makes you think.


I look forward to the day when one of my humble caches is deserving of such an accolade.


Zen Like Log


Seems like he's one of those morse code guys for sure but I'm confused by the message of "e" :)

Edited by mrbort
Link to comment

I definitely fall under the category of using the acro's when I first started. I saw other people from around our area that seemed to be the "cool" people, and they always left nice logs talking about all their experiences while out for the day. Since I want to be one of those "cool" people, I started lengthening my logs, and talking about my thoughts or experiences while out for the day. I've got to the point now, that i actually have started looking around as I am looking for each cache specifically to see what else is going on around me just so I can have something cool to log. I think that's actually part of the concept of Caching in the first place. Get out to new places you wouldn't have seen before, and find something cool, and while you're there, actually look around at those new places. See what's in your surroundings that you wouldn't have seen otherwise. I really appreciate it when I go looking for a cache and the hider has put some thought into it to make sure that people have gotten a good look around tem. There is one specific hider in my area that I was thinking of that purposefully makes people hunt down Multi's that make you traverse entire parks so that you see the entire park. That much effort in my mind deserves a log that does it justice.


My pet peeve is when there are people that go out hunting and you see their physical log signatures, but they never log their finds. I know that people can do what they want with the whole thing, and I don't lose sleep over it, but for some reason that one really bugs me. To go out and hunt down someone's cache, sign their log, and mess with it, but not actually tell them about it. I guess I just don't get that one. Oh well. Thanks for reading my little mini-novel here.


Good hunting out there.

Link to comment

Hello to all,


This as you can see is my first post (but hopefully, not my last) ;)


After reading the first five, and the last four pages of this thread, I went straight to my first log and edited the entry.


When someone takes the time, effort and expense to find a location for a cache, and asks for no reward, other than a response from the seeker - then a few words of praise and encouragement are a small price to pay.


I would like to thank the whole Geocaching community for introducing my Wife and I to an exciting new experience.


Our first day started with a new GPS, resulted in a find, and ended with a resolution to be a participating member of this great community.


I will not be party to the "So long - and thank you for the fish" school of appreciation.


Captain Spherical.....

Link to comment

When I started geocaching, the containers I found -and their notepad-size logbooks- were larger. So I would easily fill out a logpage to share my thoughts with the following finders. More recently, I fell frustrated when I have to squeeze my geotag and logdate in a itzi-bitzi printed square. There's not even enough space to write down my swag. I confess, sometimes I rebel against the format and I will use many "squares" to log my find and share my experience :)


On the website, I write my logs for the CO and myself. They are reminders of my treks, who was with me, what region was I visiting, and if possible, what made this find special.


Most finds do not stand out. But it's the fact that I took time to look for the geocache that needs to be noted. If a find does stand out (viewpoint, camouflage, group outting, special serie of hdes, etc), I will take the time to share my experience with the CO.


This said, I'm -to this date- 363 backlogs late :mad: I need to get logging!

Link to comment

Count J & i in as two newbies who thought brief logs were just how it's done. Physical logs especially have seemed to be brief. A name, the date, and maybe an acronym or two. We try to do a few sentences with some more detail in our online logs, but it took a few finds and some time on the forum to realize that anyone cared one way or another what we wrote.

I'm glad I stumbled on this thread, it's given me some things to think about when we're writing logs in the future. I'll also try to remember this when we hide our first caches. I think it's fair to say that people's logs are more of a reflection on them than the cache about which they're writing. Not that it's necessarily a bad reflection; people likely have their reasons for being reticent. Some, like us when we very first started, might just not know any better.

But now that we do know better, we'll try to write better logs!


Link to comment

I've decided to become more poetic in my log for GC15EXZ which is described as "A non-descript, boring and pointless cache that could be done as a cache and dash if you can find it ..."

:) Loving it! Perfectly done! This creative log proves we can have fun geocaching whatever the situation :mad: And isn't it the purpose!




i was just thinking of you yesterday!


how are you?

Very well, my friend!
Link to comment

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

  • Create New...