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FTF ! How far?


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I have just returned home from a drive to get a FTF on a cache, and it got me to wondering. How far have you driven just to get a FTF on a cache? I don't mean that you are on holidays many miles from home, and see a new cache come up and go and get it, I am talking about an intentional drive just to get the chance at the FTF. I just drove 75 miles each way, with 65 of that on pavement and 10 on gravel/backroads. Any body else do this? <_<

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I guess there are pros and cons to living in certain places. Here in the GTA we are lucky to have an endless supply of caches, but when a new one gets published there is usually a stampede heading towards it -- literally in minutes, regardless of the time or weather. The only FTFs I manage to get are within 5km of home base and even then it's a question of getting there within a hour of the publish time. We have quite a few BlackBerry-enabled, alarm-activated FTF hounds here. :(

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Anybody else do this? :huh:


Not me!


Last FTF I got (a few weeks back) was published at 10:00am on a Saturday, and I got the FTF at 12:00 noon the next day. But I got it just in the nick of time! I picked it up because I was travelling by on my way to another area.


The only time I did anything remotely "silly" ;) for an FTF was when I saw a 6-stage multi published at a large park near me which was the site of my first ever find. My son and I rushed out in the dark and got the FTF, but we also got in trouble. Well, *I* got in trouble... it was a school night and he was supposed to be finishing a project for the next morning.

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Unlike the 'downtown' city areas, once you've done most of the available geocaches in your own general area; you get interested in the FTF's available in neighbouring areas. As a husband and wife team of retirees; we have often read a newly published cache; dropped everything, and headed out to 'raid' the next county. Other than caching while on holiday; we now regularly drive 50 to 150 km. each way from home, to see if we can get another FTF.


So far at 43 FTFs over 369 caches; we're pushing 11.7%, and proud of it. What's your FTF percentage ?

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I have just returned home from a drive to get a FTF on a cache, and it got me to wondering. How far have you driven just to get a FTF on a cache? I don't mean that you are on holidays many miles from home, and see a new cache come up and go and get it, I am talking about an intentional drive just to get the chance at the FTF. I just drove 75 miles each way, with 65 of that on pavement and 10 on gravel/backroads. Any body else do this? :huh:


While on a business trip to Spain in May 2005 I drove 900km in a day to get 2 FTFs in Portugal and one in Spain.


DP3 - Next Stop....Bruçó!


Water Mills




Vega de Tera


I also drove about 500km in one day earlier this year to get 2 FTFs in Poland and one in Lithuania


Between willows


Skombobole manor




Ciurlionio Micro


My longest HIKE for an FTF was 15km for Lättfots lya in Sweden


Two other FTFs that I found as part of multi-hundred km driving days (but the drives were not primarily for the purpose of getting the FTF, they were to find a lot of interesting caches including the FTFs) were


Mikawa Lake in Japan




Domaine d'Abbadia. in France

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FTF don't excite me. What will make me rush out for a new cache is depends on who owns it and if the cache sounds exciting that I just have to go and find it. However I have more than enough opportunity to get hundreds of FTF since I have the ability to go out for a cache whenever I want.



90/3266 = 2.75%

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Never that interested in FTF's and they account for 2.7%. Most have been accidental FTF's, going to a cache and being surprised it was still FTF after a couple of days. Our first is also the furthest at about 60k and it was entirely accidental.



Edited by JDandDD
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Once I got an FTF, I stopped trying for them. Since I don't use any of that fancy tracking stuff that many people do I go by memory... I'm almost at 1000 finds, and I think my FTF count is about 4 if I include group FTF's... that like what 0.4% ?


I see the attraction to FTF, it's just not for me. I even turned off Insta-Notify.... I just don't need to know that badly cause I cannot just go when one comes in.

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Some geocachers even avoid FTFs; perhaps because they want others to verify and prove that the listing is correct, etc. before they try it. Perhaps they also avoid the new car models, until that new gizmo has been proven out. Don't we all do this when a new GPSr comes on the market ?

We prefer to seek out the untried and untested FTFs, perhaps to test ourselves without the advance knowledge that all is well. In four such FTFs we were actually able to assist the cache placer to correct blatant errors that the reviewer had overlooked (The originally posted longitude co-ord of one such cache was 6.2 km. off track!). We see FTFs as a challenge to geocachers, not so much for the number count; but for the chance to attempt original and as yet untried caches. I suppose we all have different motivations for this great sport of geocaching ? What's yours ?

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We don't usually race for FTF, but sometimes a cache just calls and you have to go. We drove about 100km, then snowshoed for half an hour through really deep snow to be FTF on a cache on an island. Amazingly the first place we dug in the snow was where the cache was hidden. It wasn't a FTF race, though, as almost two years later we are still the only cachers to try for that cache. OTF = only to find?

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:) Can I tell a FTF story here?

My goal up until a couple of weeks ago was to reach 100 FTF's and then back off. That was my target. Any after that would be nice but not priority.

I have the 100 so I'm good now.

As you will see I don't go night caching these days. ;)


On Sept 7 new cache alarm sounded at 10:15 p.m. or so for GC14JB0 - ACGA Official Geocache-NB-Fredericton .

I figured it was dark but that was okay since it was a nice evening and I didn't have to get up early the next day. :)


Here's the rest of my story. I placed a cache at the exact location GC161N2 - Tim's Tumultuous Time of Tremendous Terror .


"Hello, my name is Tim and I am a cacheaholic."

Some stories are just too bizarre to be believed. If I didn't have Sportsman01 and Ace226 as witnesses you wouldn't believe me.

Note that the time now is about 1:30 a.m. on Sept. 8. This begins at about 10:15 p.m. the night before. What happens in between is the big story.

I've never been one to shy away from a rambling, especially for Dustywalker caches.

I got the notice that the cache had been published.

I am trying to get 100 FTFs by year's end. I'm at 84 or so.

Cher Bear is going away tomorrow leaving me with The Handsome Monkeys and Sungmu our Korean visitor. I knew I would not have time tomorrow so I thought "hey, it's a nice night."

So I told Cher Bear and off I went. Note that I took our van instead of my usual Silver Bullet.

I got down to the area where the trail leads toward the cache. It was still pretty far away. I thought "I'll go down the trail a bit with the van and walk the rest".

I travelled and then parked the van. I walked a few hundred metres to the cache area.

My GPS was only getting between 10 and 15 metres accuracy. It took a while. I found the cache though. (Sorry I didn't get any pictures Dusty.)

As I walked back to the van I looked at the trail thinking how nice it was and almost like a real "road".

When I got to the van I started to travel in reverse. I couldn't see a thing! The lights did nothing.

After a pause to think (not the best think I've ever done as you will see). I decided it would be safer to travel forward to the roadway that crosses the trail. At least I could see ahead of me and there was nowhere to turn around.

I ground and crunched my way until I was less than 50 metres from the roadway. But, up ahead of me was a slope with a turn in the trail with the roadway uneven from one side to the other.

To try and go back now would be too dangerous in reverse.

I decided to drive the high side and try to do it fairly quickly.

As I started down the hill I realized that my idea was stupid so I hit the brakes hard. It was too late. I slid down the slope and to my right was a drop of 30 feet or so straight down.

I saw the drop coming at me and couldn't do a thing.

I don't know what I did or said but I know what it should have been.

Before I went down into the drop of death the van hit a small tree just up on the passenger side and stopped right there. It was just like you see in the movies.

I sat there shaking and sweating profusely for a few minutes. I didn't want to move. I didn't know what to do.

Then I saw an accident scene in my head. The first people I imagined were the firefighters. Ace226! I called him at home. Right in the middle of watching UFC fighting too. I don't think I sounded too good but I gave him my co-ordinates and he said he was on his way.

Then I thought of a truck and I guy who knew how to do stuff and get things done. Sportsman01! I called him. He was still up.

He was on his way with his magic truck and stuff.

I opened the van door very slowly and got out. I lay on the ground shaking for a while.

Ace arrived first and couldn't believe what I had done.

Sporty came soon after and they both couldn't believe what I had done.

Ace scolded me for my stupidity.

I'll make the story shorter here.

Sporty came down the trail from where I had come and tied onto the van. Ace steered it since I was starting a fear of getting back into the van.

The van was pulled out with no problem. We were worried that the front end would go into the pit but it didn't happen.

I turned the van around in an opening that Sporty had made in the trees and followed him out.

We checked the van. There was no structural damage underneath.

Lots of scratches everywhere though.

Wait until I try and explain this to Cher Bear in the morning...

Thanks for another adventure cache Dusty.

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We frequently travel around 50-60km for a FTF, on my commute down the 400 corridor I'll redirect to a cache, but that doesn't count :sad:


We'll try it if we get the notification and leave right away, but the Barrie bunch have a tendency to beat us there. that said, like Danoshimano mentioned above, sometimes people don't go for days!

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I have many stories, but the one that sticks out in my minds is Where's Waldo by Capt'n Kirk and McDee.

It is 292.4km south east of my home, and I never had the opportunity for sometime to get this one, drove by it likely three times, flew over it likely 6 or 7 times dreaming of the FTF in it's hide.

Then just before I changed jobs I just had to stop and get this one.

Wheres Waldo

So I would assume I traveled back and forth over 3600 klms before stopping to get this one.

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Went and did GC153CG Treasure of the James Creek Frog. Did 120km round trip on forestry roads in an 03 cavalier.


Also did GC15VTH Road to Faulder and went 85km round trip in the same car over forestry roads.


Both were FTF. I had 241 find and 5 FTF's at the time so that makes 2%

Edited by anakerose
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Any opinions why my cache -- in the middle of town -- has not had even one person attempt to find it after a month? Yeah, okay, so it's a little unconventional, but it seems to me it should be well within the capabilities of an experienced GPS user.


C'mon, try and find it -- I dare you.



LOL I'd love to come try that one, but I'm 2700ish KM away.

Edited by anakerose
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I bet I can claim the shortest distance traveled.

Was at a camp (PJ07) and the group I was with went on a little overnight excursion (I was a little disappointed to go at the time given because I had insider information that a cache was most likely to be published) But on our return, we were dropped off at the main gate and I saw a fella I knew who had a blackberry so I asked to borrow it and of course there was the new cache listing with no finders yet. So onwards to the cache I went and approximately 7 meters latter I was at the cache being the first to sign.

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I'm along the same lines as Blue Quasar.

Once I found my first FTF, I didn't really care about them anymore. I could officially say that I have a FTF, and that's all that mattered to me.

Sure, I have found more FTF's since then, only one of which was intentional.


Out here in Ottawa, there are a few cachers who seem to live for FTF's. It seems that the interest in the cache is only there if it's a virgin logbook. If it's been signed by anyone, then the desire to find the cache is very low on the priority list.


To each their own, I guess...

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