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Max and 99

8 tips to write a great log (according to cache owners)

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Writing a great log can take a little extra time but is well worth the effort. It takes dedication, planning, and creativity to hide a geocache. Writing a personal and detailed log is a way to make a cache owner’s day. Here are 8 tips to make a log great according to cache owners.

  1. Don’t leave a generic log: We’ve all seen them, the generic TFTC (Thanks for the cache) log. To a geocache owner, writing a thoughtful log conveys that you had a memorable experience and it wasn’t just another find.
  2. Appreciate the thought and work that went into the geocache: A lot of work goes into hiding a geocache, especially the ones that are extra special. Take the extra time to tell a cache owner what you appreciate about finding the geocache!
  3. Write about the experience to get to the geocache: Sometimes it’s all about the journey. Cache owners have many reasons for choosing a location for a geocache. Tell them about your adventure leading up to the find.
  4. Leave a photo: A photo is worth a thousand words, or so they say. Visually showing part of your experience is fun for a cache owner to see. But don’t make the mistake of posting a spoiler photo that gives away the hide!
  5. Give details about the geocache: Did you spot the geocache right away? Is the geocache in good condition? Is the logbook full? Good or bad, cache owners appreciate knowing the status of their geocaches. 
  6. Share what you left behind. Did you trade any SWAG or move any trackables? Let the cache owner know!
  7. Consider leaving a Favorite point. Did the geocache stand out to you for any reason? If so, consider leaving a Favorite point* and writing about it in the log.
  8. Describe what made the geocache fun to find. Whether the cache leads you to an amazing view, a clever container, or a creative puzzle to solve, leaving a great log can be very validating to the cache owner. Future seekers who read the logs can also get a better idea of whether they would also enjoy the cache.

Leaving thoughtful logs doesn’t just give back to the cache owner, it also inspires them for future hides. What tips do you have for writing a great log?

*Favorite points are a Premium only feature

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Posted (edited)

I like this list!

Regarding #1: I'd rather get a generic TFTC than a cut-and-paste 3 page itinerary of your trip.

Edited by Max and 99
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Source: https://www.geocaching.com/blog/2019/08/8-tips-to-write-a-great-log-according-to-cache-owners

 

My first thought when I read "...according to cache owners" was "which cache owners?"

 

Then, when I read through the list, I realized many sounded familiar. Sure enough, it seems that they used parts of this discussion as inspiration for this list. For example, compare #8 to what I posted in that other discussion:

Quote

Describe what made the geocache fun to find. Whether the cache leads you to an amazing view, a clever container, or a creative puzzle to solve, leaving a great log can be very validating to the cache owner. Future seekers who read the logs can also get a better idea of whether they would also enjoy the cache.

 

On ‎7‎/‎16‎/‎2019 at 1:13 PM, The A-Team said:

If you found a cache enjoyable, explain why. Unless you're avoiding spoilers, don't just say "this cache is great!" Say something more about the parts that made it great, whether that's a view, a clever container/puzzle, the journey, etc. Future seekers who read the logs can then get a better idea of whether they would also enjoy the cache.

 

I guess they liked what we came up with.

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On 8/14/2019 at 10:54 AM, The A-Team said:

Source: https://www.geocaching.com/blog/2019/08/8-tips-to-write-a-great-log-according-to-cache-owners

 

My first thought when I read "...according to cache owners" was "which cache owners?"

 

Then, when I read through the list, I realized many sounded familiar. Sure enough, it seems that they used parts of this discussion as inspiration for this list. For example, compare #8 to what I posted in that other discussion:

 

 

I guess they liked what we came up with.

Hmmm..... copy/paste LOL

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Sensible list and I basically what I am trying to follow. I always try to describe fairly extensively my experience. But that only works for caches that are interesting or require some effort. Simple park and grab caches... there's usually not much to write about. For me, there's a correlation between how much fun I had with the cache and length of the log. And as an owner, my two difficult mystery caches have long logs, but traditionals mostly the usual short TFTC logs.

 

So it's a two-way street: Try to write interesting logs and also try to make interesting caches.

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19 minutes ago, mandevil said:

the usual short TFTC logs

I don't think I have ever written just "TFTC". Not even in Quebec when I was struggling to write my logs in French. (I don't speak French.) They might have been short with the basic, such as wet log; beautiful view, good cache and the like, but never only 'MPLC'. If I ever did that (which I haven't), it would be for an insulting reason. Such as a disagreement with the CO and I couldn't bring myself to write a decent log. Otherwise I usually like to write reasonable logs. Even on many power trails I have written individual logs (although maybe with a copied opening comment). I do this on my computer; not from a phone. Phones are lowering the literacy level of geocaching it appears. 

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On 8/13/2019 at 3:36 PM, Max and 99 said:

I like this list!

Regarding #1: I'd rather get a generic TFTC than a cut-and-paste 3 page itinerary of your trip.

 

Agreed. Nothing wrong with a long log, unless it contains completely uninteresting information that only the writer is interested in. Why do people always think others are interested in hearing every gory detail of their vacations? We're not. 

 

Speaking of unnecessary info, somebody logged one of my caches recently and puts this at the end of the log. :rolleyes:

 

Quote

Vielen Dank für den cache - thanks for show and hide - gracias por mostrar y ocultar - merci pour afficher et masque - dankie vir die vertoon en wegsteek - شكرا لإظهار وإخفاء - göstərən və gizlətmək üçün təşəkkür - Дзякуй за паказ і утойванне - দেখাচ্ছে এবং লুকানোর জন্য ধন্যবাদ - hvala za prikazivanje i skrivanje - Благодаря за показване и скриване - Gràcies per mostrar i amagar - 感谢显示和隐藏 - hvala za prikazivanje i skrivanje, díky za ukázání a ukrytí - tak for at vise og skjule - kiitos Näyttää tai piilottaa - grazas por mostrar e ocultar - დიდი მადლობა და იმალებიან - ευχαριστίες για την εμφάνιση και απόκρυψη - દર્શાવે છે અને છુપાયેલા માટે આભાર - mèsi pou ki montre ak kache - תודה על מראה והסתרה - दिखा रहा है और छुपा के लिए धन्यवाद - kösz megjelenítése és elrejtése - takk fyrir að sýna og fela - 表示と非表示に感謝 - ತೋರಿಸುವ ಮತ್ತು ಅಡಗಿಕೊಂಡು ಧನ್ಯವಾದಗಳು - obrigado por mostrar e ocultar - takk for å vise og skjule - Спасибо за показ и скрытие

 

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2 hours ago, Goldenwattle said:

I don't think I have ever written just "TFTC". 

There was a cache around here a few years ago that (sarcastically) encouraged people to "save the photons" by not writing long logs - not even "TFTC."  So, I did the next best thing - I added a picture of a 1000 word log I wrote.  Because a picture is worth a thousand words.  (But that begs the question - is a thousand words worth a picture?)

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2 hours ago, GO Geiger said:

There was a cache around here a few years ago that (sarcastically) encouraged people to "save the photons" by not writing long logs - not even "TFTC."  So, I did the next best thing - I added a picture of a 1000 word log I wrote.  Because a picture is worth a thousand words.  (But that begs the question - is a thousand words worth a picture?)

Obviously a phone geocacher :laughing:

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21 hours ago, Goldenwattle said:

Obviously a phone geocacher :laughing:

Nope - never used a phone for caching (well, teamed up to do some Wherigo's and used someone else's phone, so I've been in a group where a phone was used).B)

The CO in question is known in the area for going after FTFs, enjoying hikes in the woods, and creating some awesome multi's.  (And some of the most awesome logs I've ever read.  Occasionally a touch of sarcasm.)  There are 3 of his multis that instantly come to mind: one that used a different method of hiding coords at each stage, one that involved 7 (or more) creek crossings, and one fairly long one that showed off some parts of a local county park I had never seen before.  (No idea if he uses a phone for caching, though.)

 

In the same county park as the last cache I mentioned above is a Monty Python and the Holy Grail themed cache - I logged that one from the viewpoint of King Arthur.

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Please can the next blog entry be "Seven ways an interface for computer users can be made fit for purpose with reference to feedback from actual users / customers" ,  with a bunch of copy/paste from the threads here about the maps, amongst other things  ...

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1 hour ago, GO Geiger said:

Nope - never used a phone for caching (well, teamed up to do some Wherigo's and used someone else's phone, so I've been in a group where a phone was used).B)

The CO in question is known in the area for going after FTFs, enjoying hikes in the woods, and creating some awesome multi's.  (And some of the most awesome logs I've ever read.  Occasionally a touch of sarcasm.)  There are 3 of his multis that instantly come to mind: one that used a different method of hiding coords at each stage, one that involved 7 (or more) creek crossings, and one fairly long one that showed off some parts of a local county park I had never seen before.  (No idea if he uses a phone for caching, though.)

 

In the same county park as the last cache I mentioned above is a Monty Python and the Holy Grail themed cache - I logged that one from the viewpoint of King Arthur.

:) I was making a joke about the short logs. Since phones have become commonly used, logs are often short. I'm waiting until 'thanks' is considered,.. like, too much effort and it becomes 'ta'.

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1 hour ago, Goldenwattle said:

:) I was making a joke about the short logs. Since phones have become commonly used, logs are often short. I'm waiting until 'thanks' is considered,.. like, too much effort and it becomes 'ta'. TY

FIFY

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13 minutes ago, K13 said:

FIFY

I don't understand. What is TY and FIFY?

Ta is a short form of thanks.

 

"ta!", slang, Exclam. Thank you! {Informal}, an expression of gratitude.

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1 hour ago, Goldenwattle said:

I don't understand. What is TY and FIFY?

TY - Thank You

FIFY - Fixed It For You

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11 hours ago, niraD said:

TY - Thank You

FIFY - Fixed It For You

:huh::huh:

I used to wonder what FAQ meant and didn't know how to find out.

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8 hours ago, colleda said:

:huh::huh:

I used to wonder what FAQ meant and didn't know how to find out.

 

I remember seeing GIYF for the first time.  I googled it...

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1 hour ago, IceColdUK said:

 I googled it...

I googled FIFY from above. Google didn't assist me.

 

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3 hours ago, IceColdUK said:

I remember seeing GIYF for the first time.  I googled it...

There's also LMGTFY...

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I don't like the enormous nothing-about-the-cache logs, either, but ...

Quote

 

  • Log Type: Found it
  • Date: 08/25/2019
  • Location: [location]
  • Type: Traditional Cache

Log:
F

 

 

What the "F" ? ;)   Very efficient log.

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On 8/16/2019 at 9:45 AM, Goldenwattle said:

"ta!", slang, Exclam. Thank you! {Informal}, an expression of gratitude.

 

I got you on that one :)  Parents (British) said it all the time.

 

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14 hours ago, VAVAPAM said:

I don't like the enormous nothing-about-the-cache logs, either, but ...

Quote

 

  • Log Type: Found it
  • Date: 08/25/2019
  • Location: [location]
  • Type: Traditional Cache

Log:
F

 

 

What the "F" ? ;)   Very efficient log.

 

My caching partner mentioned getting a few logs recently that consisted simple of "." (not including the quotes). The app must not be sufficiently explaining the purpose of the log content. Sure, sometimes there isn't much to say about some caches, but surely anyone can come up with more than ".".

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On 8/15/2019 at 5:21 AM, The_Incredibles_ said:
On 8/13/2019 at 6:36 PM, Max and 99 said:

I like this list!

Regarding #1: I'd rather get a generic TFTC than a cut-and-paste 3 page itinerary of your trip.

 

Agreed. Nothing wrong with a long log, unless it contains completely uninteresting information that only the writer is interested in. Why do people always think others are interested in hearing every gory detail of their vacations? We're not. 

 

Speaking of unnecessary info, somebody logged one of my caches recently and puts this at the end of the log. :rolleyes:

 

Quote

Vielen Dank für den cache - thanks for show and hide - gracias por mostrar y ocultar - merci pour afficher et masque - dankie vir die vertoon en wegsteek - شكرا لإظهار وإخفاء - göstərən və gizlətmək üçün təşəkkür - Дзякуй за паказ і утойванне - দেখাচ্ছে এবং লুকানোর জন্য ধন্যবাদ - hvala za prikazivanje i skrivanje - Благодаря за показване и скриване - Gràcies per mostrar i amagar - 感谢显示和隐藏 - hvala za prikazivanje i skrivanje, díky za ukázání a ukrytí - tak for at vise og skjule - kiitos Näyttää tai piilottaa - grazas por mostrar e ocultar - დიდი მადლობა და იმალებიან - ευχαριστίες για την εμφάνιση και απόκρυψη - દર્શાવે છે અને છુપાયેલા માટે આભાર - mèsi pou ki montre ak kache - תודה על מראה והסתרה - दिखा रहा है और छुपा के लिए धन्यवाद - kösz megjelenítése és elrejtése - takk fyrir að sýna og fela - 表示と非表示に感謝 - ತೋರಿಸುವ ಮತ್ತು ಅಡಗಿಕೊಂಡು ಧನ್ಯವಾದಗಳು - obrigado por mostrar e ocultar - takk for å vise og skjule - Спасибо за показ и скрытие

 

 

I received a few of these logs, as well. I read through all the thanks, and had to think for a while about how I felt about it. :anibad:

 

 

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51 minutes ago, Ambrosia said:

 

I received a few of these logs, as well. I read through all the thanks, and had to think for a while about how I felt about it. :anibad:

 

You could write a message along the following lines:

Quote

I am not impressed by your efforts to pad your average log length in order to qualify for a higher badge or for a challenge cache.  No estoy impresionado por sus esfuerzos para rellenar la longitud promedio de su registro para calificar para una insignia más alta o para un caché de desafío.  Je ne suis pas impressionné par vos efforts pour remplir votre longueur de journal moyenne afin de vous qualifier pour un badge plus élevé ou pour une cache de défis. Ich bin nicht beeindruckt von Ihren Bemühungen, Ihre durchschnittliche Protokolllänge aufzufüllen, um sich für ein höheres Abzeichen oder einen Herausforderungscache zu qualifizieren.  Etc. etc. etc.

Of course, you won't do that, because you're a nicer person than I am.

 

I am known for writing "story of my roadtrip" logs.  However, I take care to only tell a particular cache owner that background story ONE time.  Later logs to a cache owned by the same CO skip the travelogue.

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1 hour ago, The Leprechauns said:

I am known for writing "story of my roadtrip" logs.  However, I take care to only tell a particular cache owner that background story ONE time.  Later logs to a cache owned by the same CO skip the travelogue.

 

That's good of you. However, more than just CO's read logs. Quite often I cache in an area with a number of caches and I've seen group-day-reports on all the various caches, causing me to end up skipping any logs from that day on all caches in the area, if I'm ever reading back other people's comments on said caches.

But I do understand the difficulty of being terse with a relevant contextual report along with comments directly relevant to the cache in question.  At worst, I might right a longer log on the first or best cache, then link to it on subsequence logs. Or more likely I'll just write a brief mini-paragraph then get to the relevant stuff asap.  Multi-paragraph full-day logs generally are not interesting past the first read if at all, and they also mask any cache-relevant comments that the vast majority of people will be scanning for when reading logs.

 

IMO, even a disclaimer separating directly relevant content from day-of contextual content makes a big difference, if one must add in extensive report.

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5 hours ago, The A-Team said:

 

My caching partner mentioned getting a few logs recently that consisted simple of "." (not including the quotes). The app must not be sufficiently explaining the purpose of the log content. Sure, sometimes there isn't much to say about some caches, but surely anyone can come up with more than ".".

 

I guess the dot is just to stop the app complaining about an empty log content field, when all that matters is the smiley and on to the next one.

 

The other one that irks me is the "full log to follow" log that's never updated. To me, a log like this says this cache was so boring I forgot I'd done it by the time I got home.

 

I can understand a temporary field log like this when going for FTF on a new cache, and it's something I do myself if there's mobile data access at GZ, then flesh it out when I get home, but on a cache that's been there for yonks surely it'd be better just to use field notes drafts to dog-ear the find for later embellishment if that really is the intent.

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7 hours ago, The Leprechauns said:
7 hours ago, Ambrosia said:

 

I received a few of these logs, as well. I read through all the thanks, and had to think for a while about how I felt about it. :anibad:

 

You could write a message along the following lines:

Quote

I am not impressed by your efforts to pad your average log length in order to qualify for a higher badge or for a challenge cache.  No estoy impresionado por sus esfuerzos para rellenar la longitud promedio de su registro para calificar para una insignia más alta o para un caché de desafío.  Je ne suis pas impressionné par vos efforts pour remplir votre longueur de journal moyenne afin de vous qualifier pour un badge plus élevé ou pour une cache de défis. Ich bin nicht beeindruckt von Ihren Bemühungen, Ihre durchschnittliche Protokolllänge aufzufüllen, um sich für ein höheres Abzeichen oder einen Herausforderungscache zu qualifizieren.  Etc. etc. etc.

Of course, you won't do that, because you're a nicer person than I am.

 

:laughing:  Oh, that's good. 

 

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18 hours ago, The A-Team said:

 

My caching partner mentioned getting a few logs recently that consisted simple of "." (not including the quotes). The app must not be sufficiently explaining the purpose of the log content. Sure, sometimes there isn't much to say about some caches, but surely anyone can come up with more than ".".

 

Like leaving the dinner table with nothing more than a belch.

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1 hour ago, VAVAPAM said:

 

Like leaving the dinner table with nothing more than a belch.

Which in some cultures is a compliment to the cook...

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We get joking mails from others that don't understand critters n crops take precedence to the hobby.

Now it's something as simple as finally having the opportunity to mow the "lawn" (we don't live in town...), or medical issues.

Playing along, lately most my logs  start with mentions of "Grass unable to be baled (mowing not an option), decided I might as well take a walk..." or similar as the opener.    :)

 

Similar to Keystone I guess, I'll mention things seen/done well-before I finally head to that cache.  Coyote crosses the road, I'm using it !  :D

If a couple by the same CO, I just continue from the last cache.

We thank all COs, even when it's a POS.  Sometimes something as simple as an exclamation point makes the difference...

So far we're the only ones around here that still mentions trades, or leaving swag.  We say what we swapped (or left) too.

There's a few who now mention trackables in their logs (discussed at events  ;-).  We still mention which ones.

 

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20 hours ago, The Leprechauns said:

I am known for writing "story of my roadtrip" logs.  However, I take care to only tell a particular cache owner that background story ONE time.  Later logs to a cache owned by the same CO skip the travelogue.

 

I'm guilty of using the same story on each log regardless of the owner, but I always keep mine to no more than one or two sentences. Usually, it's simply a single sentence that describes the purpose of the trip and the countries/states/provinces I was visiting. I can't stand the people who use the same three-paragraph story for every cache find in a day, even when it was basically an uneventful Saturday within a few miles of home.

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On 8/27/2019 at 1:22 PM, The Jester said:

Which in some cultures is a compliment to the cook...

:lol: Even then, gracious words are uttered upon departure.

 

I'll alter it, then, exchanging 'belch' for 'fart', given it starts with the letter offered in my log.

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On 8/13/2019 at 3:36 PM, Max and 99 said:

I like this list!

Regarding #1: I'd rather get a generic TFTC than a cut-and-paste 3 page itinerary of your trip.

 

I despise those!!

 

But I will admit, sometimes it's tough coming up with good logs on all the caches we find. I will sometimes cache with 1, 2, or even 3 of my kids, all of whom have their own accounts.... Sometimes I encourage the kids to write their own logs, but other times it's just not a reality. Or so I've told myself. Perhaps I'll rededicate to having the kids write better logs themselves. Thank you for this list.

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I've got 3 fairly mundane caches between my house and the town centre and don't expect amazing logs on them. But (as per point 3 in the OP) I enjoyed some recent logs from 2 cachers who found them on the way into town for an after-work burger. Simple thing but it just painted a picture. As a finder, when I find a cache in a motorway service station or railway station, I say what my journey that day was and it's interesting to read where other people were going. 

I don't mind brief / generic logs on my easy trads, but it's a bit sad when I get the same on one of my multis or puzzles that take a bit of effort and still I get a pasted log. I don't let it spoil my day though.

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