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question about FTF...

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D@nimal has a cool certificate.....


Seriously, anything you want to put in is fine. A FTF prize is NOT required and neither is a certificate.


If you WANT to put in a FTF prize then a lot of people seem to like unactivated geocoins. An unactivated travel bug tag would be cool tool. Really whatever you think is reasonable will do though.


Just don't think that you have to offer a prize just because you may have heard talk about it or come across one yourself. It is entirely optional.

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Whatever you want! I've found new "gold" dollar coins, a certificate for a home-made bottle of wine (age verified, of course, if you want), I've seen unactivated coins, caching-handy items (head lights, grabber arms, first aid kits, etc). And I've seen absolutely nothing but the crisp smell of a new log book.


it's entirely up to you, and don't let the haters get you down. :)


If people are anti FTF prize, they can just bequeath it to the STF when they get there.

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Some times, I just send an email congratulating them on the "FTF"....In my opinion, that is reward enough. The biggest reward of course is the log book they must date and sign....Now, if you only have 2 or 3 caches or planning on just a few more....Then go for it and and have good time with the "FTF" items that will make you feel good and the "FTF"er, also, I don't think the "FTFer" really care about a prize...they just want that "FTF" and will do almost anything to get it....honorably, legally, ethically, and morally justified. I say "more power to them" Just be quick and keep your eye on the computer at all times. In my area you can't even go to sleep or you might miss a "FTF"....As for me ,I have 2 or 3 and they were a mistake....Happy caching, etc....

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We are about to establish our first cache and we were wondering....what are some ideas for a good FTF prize?

Basically any trade item that worth more than the rest. You don't have to wrap it in a pretty bow or anything. Just place a high(er) dollar item, maybe new, in there for the FTFer's option to take. If they don't then it goes to someone who comes after.

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If the FTF prize is a high value item then the FTF finder must of course swap it with one of a similar value. O what a dilemma.

We did a FTF and there was a watch but we felt we could not provide a valid swap item!! We left it but it did not spoil our enjoyment of achieving the FTF.!!


Uhh.. what? No. The FTF prize is not swag, it's a _prize_, as in, "you found it first, this is yours!"

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If the FTF prize is a high value item then the FTF finder must of course swap it with one of a similar value. O what a dilemma.

We did a FTF and there was a watch but we felt we could not provide a valid swap item!! We left it but it did not spoil our enjoyment of achieving the FTF.!!

Not true. It seems to be generally believed, and it is my understanding as well, in both theory and practice, that an FTF prize (and any 2TF or 3TF prize as well) is a prize, that is, a gift, from the cache owner to the community, and thus no trade of swag is required.

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Thanks for your input....its much appreciated.....but being its our first cache we hide I think I may take your advice and include an unused TB....thanks for the advice


That is a great idea for a FTF prize. As the cache owner the FTF prize is completely up to you. Do whatever you feel comfortable with. If you want to put one in, great. If you don't, that is great too. You're hiding a cache for others to find. That is usually the biggest reward of all.


Of the 3 caches I've hidden I've put FTF prizes in 2. In both instances I left a $10 gift card for a local hardware store (I figured it could help someone with caching supplies) and I left a $5 coffee gift card. For me it was something I was comfortable doing and completely within my budget. I leave the gift cards in an envelope clearly marked 'FTF' and I place it in the ziploc bag with the log. I don't expect a trade item for the FTF prize.


Do I expect a prize when I'm FTF? Nope. It's a nice treat when there is something but the little thrill of a clean log book can be just as rewarding.

Remember the main thing is just to have fun playing the game.

Cheers! :)


Edited by ace862
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FTF prizes are neither required, particularly common or expected. I've never found one in a cache where I was FTF and out of nearly 250 hides I've probably put one in maybe a dozen.


Some things I've used have been unactivated TBs and geocoins, a geocaching.com hat, a day pack (had to hide it outside the cache wrapped in several layers of plastic bags), binoculars, a Petzel head lamp and hiking pants (for the FTF with a 30" waist and 32 " inseam)

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My cache logs are all printed with this at the top:











all bow down



MEFF = most esteemed first finder


finding that empty virgin log is all the prize most MEFF hounds really want

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We consider anything specifically listed as a FTF prize to be fair game and an equivalent trade is not required -- similar to trackable items, except we keep the prize (or "re-swag" it in one of our own caches).


Things we have done or seen used as FTF prizes:


-- Acknowledgement on the cache page for the FTF.

-- Special certificate or finder's card

-- Flashlights or other swag of value greater than what is normally in a cache

-- Gift certificates

-- Cash

-- Unactivated coins or TBs

-- Handmade greeting cards featuring images taken while caching (What we call a "BVPete special" -- very nice.)

-- The unadulterated adulation of other cachers. (OK, not really!)


While an FTF prize or bonus is a nice touch, it certainly isn't required and shouldn't be expected. When I was into the FTF-thing, it didn't make the difference between enjoying the experience or not.

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I go after FTFs mainly for the challenge and "honor" of the win. But if it is in the middle of a snowstorm, or an extremely difficult cache, I'm more likely to attempt it if there is a prize. Otherwise, I usually stick to FTFs within 5 miles of home.


Several of the best FTF prizes I've ever won were found in very difficult caches. The biggest of all was a $30 gift card! This was a cache that took two days of kayaking to get to.


I've found several gift cards in the $5 range. I've also won geocoins and TBs, or just my choice of any one swag item.


However, most FTFs had no prize. Maybe 1 in 20 has a prize?

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A well placed cache in a great location is its own reward.


Having ftf'd over 100 caches, I'll stress that first line, but I almost always leave the ftf prize if there is one. Geocoins I'll always move along, and the aforementioned starbucks card I'll always take. Ocassionally something that's goofy or just plain weird will strike my fancy - I have a very nice scholastic regional clay target medal that was a ftf prize that I really like.

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Theres a nice FTF Certificate that I include in all my caches in addition to something nice like a Coin or Lotto Scrtach Ticket. It's been linked many times on these forums, and probably could be found with Google too.


On the Certificate I write "Good for 1 Drink On me". Yesterday someone contacted me to redeem 2 of them, so we went out for pizza and beer and had a great time for 3 hours chatting it up about local cache stuff. It's a great way to give an excuse to get together and socialize.

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