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Rewards, prizes, incentives, certificates


Kit Fox
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I've frequented these forums for four years now, and i've noticed a constant supply of new threads regarding incentives to find new caches. What ever happened to the days of geocaching when cachers were happy to find geocaches?

 

Why do geocachers need to be baited into finding caches, with the promises of great prizes? Is this the result of geocaching's surge in popularity, and perception that geocachers need a reason to find your geocache, when there are thousands of nearby caches waiting to be found?

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I've frequented these forums for four years now, and i've noticed a constant supply of new threads regarding incentives to find new caches. What ever happened to the days of geocaching when cachers were happy to find geocaches?

 

Why do geocachers need to be baited into finding caches, with the promises of great prizes? Is this the result of geocaching's surge in popularity, and perception that geocachers need a reason to find your geocache, when there are thousands of nearby caches waiting to be found?

 

I think you may be looking at this the wrong way. :) The FTF prize is only a recognition for the first cacher who gets there. It adds a little spice to the game (addiction?). Certainly there is no expectation that the cache owner must provide a prize. It is entirely personal preference. Also, the prize need not be that great in value. We usually give our signature coin as the FTF. Like travel bugs, this is just another variation to the game (craziness?). :D

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I don't think it has anything to goad people _into_ finding caches. I think it's from the other side of the equation.

 

I don't know about your area, but we have some SERIOUS FTF hounds out here. When you place a cache around here you KNOW it will be hit. The only question is whether it's within minutes, or hours, of it being published.

 

I think most of the people who put FTF rewards in em just do it as a "giveback" to the community, and I don't really see a problem with that. It's not required, it's not even suggested, it's just a nice gesture by the people who spent the time to stake out, figure out, hide, publish, and monitor the cache to the people who make that effort mean something.

 

Just my take on it.

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I don't think it has anything to goad people _into_ finding caches. I think it's from the other side of the equation.

 

I don't know about your area, but we have some SERIOUS FTF hounds out here. When you place a cache around here you KNOW it will be hit. The only question is whether it's within minutes, or hours, of it being published.

 

I think most of the people who put FTF rewards in em just do it as a "giveback" to the community, and I don't really see a problem with that. It's not required, it's not even suggested, it's just a nice gesture by the people who spent the time to stake out, figure out, hide, publish, and monitor the cache to the people who make that effort mean something.

 

Just my take on it.

 

Then the owner gets rewarded with a log that states "5th FTF today. Took prize."

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I don't think it has anything to goad people _into_ finding caches. I think it's from the other side of the equation.

 

I don't know about your area, but we have some SERIOUS FTF hounds out here. When you place a cache around here you KNOW it will be hit. The only question is whether it's within minutes, or hours, of it being published.

 

I think most of the people who put FTF rewards in em just do it as a "giveback" to the community, and I don't really see a problem with that. It's not required, it's not even suggested, it's just a nice gesture by the people who spent the time to stake out, figure out, hide, publish, and monitor the cache to the people who make that effort mean something.

 

Just my take on it.

 

Then the owner gets rewarded with a log that states "5th FTF today. Took prize."

 

And that's fine too. I think each person who puts out the cache makes their own decision. And we get about one new cache every two weeks or so, so it's not quite _that_ rampant.

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I've frequented these forums for four years now, and i've noticed a constant supply of new threads regarding incentives to find new caches. What ever happened to the days of geocaching when cachers were happy to find geocaches?

 

Why do geocachers need to be baited into finding caches, with the promises of great prizes? Is this the result of geocaching's surge in popularity, and perception that geocachers need a reason to find your geocache, when there are thousands of nearby caches waiting to be found?

Well, as I have said before, I do place FTF and some times 2TF prizes in some of our more extreme Psycho caches, but I do not do so to attract visitors to the cache, but rather, to give yet one more reward to anyone crazy enough to go to the trouble to find the darn thing! So, the FTF and 2TF prizes (and, in the case of Psycho Urban Cache #13, at 3TF prize as well...) are a gift to the geo-community, and, from my perspective, certainly not offered as a lure or incentive to get people to visit the cache!

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I don't think it has anything to goad people _into_ finding caches. I think it's from the other side of the equation.

 

Yeah, I'll join the chorus, I don't think it has anything to do with goading people into finding the caches.

 

Whoa, the old-school use of _ _ to emphasize words. I'll bet you joined the internet shortly after Al Gore invented it. :D

 

 

I think most of the people who put FTF rewards in em just do it as a "giveback" to the community, and I don't really see a problem with that. It's not required, it's not even suggested, it's just a nice gesture by the people who spent the time to stake out, figure out, hide, publish, and monitor the cache to the people who make that effort mean something.

 

 

Of course it's not "required", or "suggested", The Powers that be have made it quite clear "FTF" is not, and will never be an officially sanctioned activity, and it exists only in the minds of people who are into that sort of thing. Now when people expect, or ask, for a reward for being the first one to stumble across a meaningless piece of Tupperware in the woods, that's a different story. And I have a funny feeling this is why this thread was started. :)

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I've frequented these forums for four years now, and i've noticed a constant supply of new threads regarding incentives to find new caches. What ever happened to the days of geocaching when cachers were happy to find geocaches?

 

Why do geocachers need to be baited into finding caches, with the promises of great prizes? Is this the result of geocaching's surge in popularity, and perception that geocachers need a reason to find your geocache, when there are thousands of nearby caches waiting to be found?

I have this same reaction whenever I read someone on the forums claim that geocaches are are supposed to take you to a special place, or give you a nice view, etc. Some people have even gone so far as to leave a log that says something like, "Why did you bring me here?" :D

 

Why isn't it acceptable to want you to find a cache just because it's a cache? What ever happened to the days when cachers were happy to find geocaches?

 

Why do geocachers need to be baited into finding caches with the promises of great views?

 

:)

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Of course it's not "required", or "suggested", The Powers that be have made it quite clear "FTF" is not, and will never be an officially sanctioned activity, and it exists only in the minds of people who are into that sort of thing. Now when people expect, or ask, for a reward for being the first one to stumble across a meaningless piece of Tupperware in the woods, that's a different story. And I have a funny feeling this is why this thread was started. :)

 

I've repeated my premise in many past threads that the true reward to geocachers is to hide geocaches in nice areas, or share some unique or historical spot that you know of. Of course Mushtang disagrees with me on this idea.

 

I think the reward is the hunt, and the find, not the trinkets in the container.

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-//- but rather, to give yet one more reward to anyone crazy enough to go to the trouble to find the darn thing! So, the FTF and 2TF prizes (and, in the case of Psycho Urban Cache #13, at 3TF prize as well...) are a gift to the geo-community-//-

nice gesture, but what about all the other cachers crazy enough to go to the trouble to find the darn thing?

 

i dont do xTF prizes; might do a 100TF prize :-)

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I think your premise is wrong.

 

...What ever happened to the days of geocaching when cachers were happy to find geocaches?

 

Why do geocachers need to be baited into finding caches, with the promises of great prizes? ...

 

Just because cachers come here and start threads about great prizes doesn't mean that cachers "need to be baited into finding caches". Most of those threads (as I recall) are self promoting hiders using these forums to advertise their great hides/prizes.

 

Quote wimseyguy's sig line; "You're apparently confusing the forums with the geocaching community. That's kind of like confusing society with talk radio and editorial pages."

 

Just because Vinny starts threads about soul capture trades for smileys, it doesn't mean that there are souls trapped in his caches (obviously, because he's using the wrong containers for one thing).

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The way I see it, geocaching is pretty much a stripped down treasure hunt. I got into it for the feeling of beeing a treasure hunter, beeing led to places I didn't know existed to find a hidden object. I am a hunter searching for something unknown, and if I'm the first to find it, I'm the first to explore this unknown object. A part of the charm is knowing there could be anything inside it for me to discover. 99% of the time (or more) there are regular objects of trade in the cache, but sometimes there is something more. I never expect to find something great, and I never get dissapointed over what I find, but I DO ENJOY finding something out of the ordinary. Geocaching isn't about finding treasure, but the treasure hunter in me loves finding treasure in a geocache.

 

I did a multi that required the cacher to visit historical places where swedish opera singer "Jussi Björling" had been, to find the cache. I gave the first three finders free entry tickets to the Jussi Björling museum as a price. It wasn't a big deal, but it was aprechiated by those who found it. In general, I place something for the first 1, 2 or 3 who find the cache, but I never advertise it beeing there, because I don't want anyone to visit the cache only expecting to find something valuable. To summerize, geocaching shouldn't be about prices, but putting a price in a geocache is an easy way to make someone happy.

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I've frequented these forums for four years now, and i've noticed a constant supply of new threads regarding incentives to find new caches. What ever happened to the days of geocaching when cachers were happy to find geocaches?

 

Why do geocachers need to be baited into finding caches, with the promises of great prizes? Is this the result of geocaching's surge in popularity, and perception that geocachers need a reason to find your geocache, when there are thousands of nearby caches waiting to be found?

 

I think those days are still present right now. I don't think we need any more baiting than the simple "NEW" icon that appears next to a listing. I think of like a gift. We usually wrap them in pretty (and usually expensive) paper, ribbons and bows. Is it necessary? Of course not. Is it nice? Absolutely! A FTF prize is just a nice way of presenting a new cache for the first time to the community. If you get there first you get to be the one to "unwrap" and claim that FTF. :)

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I think that I've only had one really good FTF prize and that was a customized hiking stick. It was for a good reason, my 200th cache hide, which I wanted to be extra special in all ways.

 

Some folks go crazy with FTF prizes and within a month, that ammo can is still filled with broken McToys, pinecones, golf balls and rocks.

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I love being taken to new places, discovering well constructed containers, etc. But why shouldn't there be nice items for swag as well? Everyone in our area finds caches placed no matter if theres good swag expected or not, but it sure is nice to not see broken toys, used hand warmers, and bottle caps. There are certain hiders in our area that leave very little, and others who leave very nice things. And the same folks who always go after caches still go, regardless of the expected resulting find.

 

In addition, when someone empties out their junk drawer to use as swag, it only fosters a feeling in newer folks that this "treasure" hunt is more like a garbage hunt, and I've seen the logs to prove it.

 

By your stance it pretty much sounds like you would prefer junk left or nothing at all, since it should only be about the hunt. That pretty much equates to why bother leaving a container other than to harbor a logbook. After seeing so many posts about Mcjunk left in caches, this one is a bit of a surprise really.

 

The location is part of the overall experience, the hunt is part of the challenge, the swag is part of the fun as well.

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... Is this the result of geocaching's surge in popularity, and perception that geocachers need a reason to find your geocache, when there are thousands of nearby caches waiting to be found?

 

I think you have it.

 

Back in the day I could find every cache within 200 miles...Now I can't. Sheer numbers temp some folks to pimp their caches like ho's. Finders are busier than ever. It's not the finders causing the change.

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I love being taken to new places, discovering well constructed containers, etc. But why shouldn't there be nice items for swag as well? Everyone in our area finds caches placed no matter if theres good swag expected or not, but it sure is nice to not see broken toys, used hand warmers, and bottle caps. There are certain hiders in our area that leave very little, and others who leave very nice things. And the same folks who always go after caches still go, regardless of the expected resulting find.

 

In addition, when someone empties out their junk drawer to use as swag, it only fosters a feeling in newer folks that this "treasure" hunt is more like a garbage hunt, and I've seen the logs to prove it.

 

I've found a "junk drawer" cache and thought it was terrible, even though I rarely make trades.

 

By your stance it pretty much sounds like you would prefer junk left or nothing at all, since it should only be about the hunt. That pretty much equates to why bother leaving a container other than to harbor a logbook. After seeing so many posts about Mcjunk left in caches, this one is a bit of a surprise really.

 

This is where we differ. Caches hidden in easy to get places quickly downgrade to worthless trinkets regardless of what is originally stocked in the caches. Most will agree with me on this premise:

 

Caches requiring a decent amount of effort (hard puzzle, a decent to long hike) consistantly have the best trade items. I only stock my high effort caches with better items. Most of my easy to get to caches are small to micro sized (with trade items geared towards kids). Almost all of my high effort caches are ammo cans (with trade items geared toward hiker / outdoorsman types) Most of my caches are big enough for trade items.

 

The location is part of the overall experience, the hunt is part of the challenge, the swag is part of the fun as well.

 

The swag is low on the priority list for me, I cache for the outdoor experiences (sights, sounds, and smells), the excercise, and the solitude.

Edited by Kit Fox
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This is where we differ. Caches hidden in easy to get places quickly downgrade to worthless trinkets regardless of what is originally stocked in the caches. Most will agree with me on this premise:

 

Caches requiring a decent amount of effort (hard puzzle, a decent to long hike) consistantly have the best trade items. I only stock my high effort caches with better items. Most of my easy to get to caches are small to micro sized (with trade items geared towards kids). Almost all of my high effort caches are ammo cans (with trade items geared toward hiker / outdoorsman types) Most of my caches are big enough for trade items. .

 

How is it that we differ? I stock my tough caches with very nice items, usually including a unactivated coin or something else special for FTF since we have a bunch of fun folks who are hounds like me. The easy ones get more standard swag for the exact reason you point out, they get pillaged. But in your OP the wording would indicate you feel that swag is being used as a lure. I feel that swag is just one part of the experience, as noted in the response. Guess the point of your OP is lost somehow in your reply since we do not differ at all from what I can tell.

 

The swag is low on the priority list for me, I cache for the outdoor experiences (sights, sounds, and smells), the excercise, and the solitude.

 

Yup, thats one of the experiences, just like the hunt for the container is part of it. And as you mentioned before, further making my point, finding junk inside a cache lowers the experience, "thought it was terrible" you said. I also rarely trade, but my girlfriend almost always trades or at least leaves something nice. For her thats fun, to me I could care less generally speaking. (I'm looking for sig items personally)

 

Bottom line is swag is part of caching. From your post it reads that you feel it's being used as a lure. Can't it simply be folks are stocking nice items rather than junk and your seeing as a lure, rather than just part of the caching experience?

 

Theres more than one aspect to caching. A child wants to hunt and see what "treasures" are inside. A numbers whore wants fast easy finds. A hiker wants a nice walk with views. Some folks want to be challenged mentally with puzzles, others hate them. Caching is mutli-faceted and by dismissing swag thats unfair to the folks who enjoy that part of the game.

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-//-

There's more than one aspect to caching. A child wants to hunt and see what "treasures" are inside. A numbers whore wants fast easy finds. A hiker wants a nice walk with views. Some folks want to be challenged mentally with puzzles, others hate them.

-//-

 

inspirational ! that would wrap up many ongoing threads !

this should also be posted on the GC site in the "What's Geocaching?" section.

that way when the next thread about "colors and flavors" rears it ugly head it can be chopped off by linking to that quote.

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mudsneaker,

 

You and I agree on almost every point. My original post was referring to all of the threads dealing with FTF prizes, certificates, etc. It wasn't specifically referring to trade items.

 

Ah, my mistake in misunderstanding. Rereading it I see that post #4 by CBT69 really sums up my feelings then. It was a later post that the translation of the topic was lost to me so I replied. I'm a FTF hound and I never expect a prize, but it's sure nice when there is one. Last night I got FTF and #1700 after one was published near me. No prize but the great cache, a new shiny logbook, and me grinning ear to ear while bushwacking in the dark and rain. A prize would have only icing on the cake, not needed, but I'd have enjoyed the sugar. :)

 

Anyway, I'm glad some cachers enjoy adding a bonus as much as I do. Even knowing that with or without a prize, the cache will still be found and enjoyed by many people who will never even know if there was a FTF prize or not.

 

-//-

There's more than one aspect to caching. A child wants to hunt and see what "treasures" are inside. A numbers whore wants fast easy finds. A hiker wants a nice walk with views. Some folks want to be challenged mentally with puzzles, others hate them.

-//-

 

inspirational ! that would wrap up many ongoing threads !

this should also be posted on the GC site in the "What's Geocaching?" section.

that way when the next thread about "colors and flavors" rears it ugly head it can be chopped off by linking to that quote.

 

:huh:

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My nephews are 3 and 4 and I like to take them on "treasure hunts" to find the caches where they can trade one of their small toys with another and they love it.

 

Now when they are not with me I go and find the Micros and well any other in the area I am in.

 

So in some situations I think the prizes are a neat thing and good for kids and what not (also I like to see signature items because I think they are cool) but I also like to just find caches for the hunt of it!

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My nephews are 3 and 4 and I like to take them on "treasure hunts" to find the caches where they can trade one of their small toys with another and they love it.

 

Now when they are not with me I go and find the Micros and well any other in the area I am in.

 

So in some situations I think the prizes are a neat thing and good for kids and what not (also I like to see signature items because I think they are cool) but I also like to just find caches for the hunt of it!

 

My kids love "treasure hunting" also. A cache filled with cheap plastic toys keeps them entertained, until they start arguing over the same trade item. :)

 

inspirational ! that would wrap up many ongoing threads !

this should also be posted on the GC site in the "What's Geocaching?" section.

that way when the next thread about "colors and flavors" rears it ugly head it can be chopped off by linking to that quote.

 

I see you have tried very hard to categorize my thread into your neat little group.

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-//-

inspirational ! that would wrap up many ongoing threads !

this should also be posted on the GC site in the "What's Geocaching?" section.

that way when the next thread about "colors and flavors" rears it ugly head it can be chopped off by linking to that quote.

 

I see you have tried very hard to categorize my thread into your neat little group.

:) nope, side product of your interpretation :huh:

your thread was about hiders feeling the need to lure cachers with prizes and certificates. where i FULLY agree with you : its not "needed",

but if some want to spend the dosh or reckon that it NEEDS it for some reason, so be it, their cache, their cash. but it cannot become the norm.

 

the above inspirational quote would be good to end those

LPC vs top of the mountain view discussions

about the numberwhores vs experience-cachers

about the urban vs rural caches

about the micro vs regular caches

 

ok? :huh: no hard feelings?

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I have this same reaction whenever I read someone on the forums claim that geocaches are are supposed to take you to a special place, or give you a nice view, etc. Some people have even gone so far as to leave a log that says something like, "Why did you bring me here?" :huh:

 

Why isn't it acceptable to want you to find a cache just because it's a cache? What ever happened to the days when cachers were happy to find geocaches?

 

Why do geocachers need to be baited into finding caches with the promises of great views?

 

:)

 

Haven't I apologized enough for that already? I'm sure that there was something fantastic about the nano on the garbage dumpster in the alley behind the supermarket. I only posted "Why did you bring me here?" out of frustration for not finding the nano on the garbage dumpster. I'm sorry that the cache got archived! Now I'll never know what was so fantastic about that dumpster! :huh:

There! I've admitted that I hunted for it! Are you happy now? I'll hunt for almost anything! But I would really prefer the pretty view! Found the nano on the garbage can. Found the one in the abandoned men's room. Found the one under the mail box in front of the post office. Some places just don't have great views! Hey. I'd never been to a supermaket with parking on the roof, and an elevator to take your shopping cart to the roof! That was exciting!

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I hide most of my caches because they are beautiful, enriching places to be, not worried about swag. Usually I use a micro, nothing even to trade. I am bringing you there to see spectacular views, or experience a great hike.

<~~who wouldn't want to go to a place like this?

Never have offered a FTF, just a great place to visit, and another smiley on your map.

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Could be worse, KF. We had a local FTF hunter who assumed that, as FTF, he was entitled to take an item from the cache without leaving anything, whether or not there was a designated prize!

 

I cache for the outdoor experiences (sights, sounds, and smells), the excercise, and the solitude.

 

There's a great desert perfume that develops during the rainy season--almost compensates for the damp heat. The smell of damp earth. High-altitude caches, there's juniper and pine scents. When you get to the cache, there's that strange, spare-tire-air aroma of eau de ammocan when you pop the lid...

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Could be worse, KF. We had a local FTF hunter who assumed that, as FTF, he was entitled to take an item from the cache without leaving anything, whether or not there was a designated prize!

 

I cache for the outdoor experiences (sights, sounds, and smells), the excercise, and the solitude.

 

There's a great desert perfume that develops during the rainy season--almost compensates for the damp heat. The smell of damp earth. High-altitude caches, there's juniper and pine scents. When you get to the cache, there's that strange, spare-tire-air aroma of eau de ammocan when you pop the lid...

 

I have a new fondness for damp Creosote bushes here in the desert. The combination of the "smell of rain," and damp creosote is quite nice. I also enjoy the pines above 8000 feet. Sage is pleasing to the sniffer also.

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