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I'm 73 yo now!  Started caching in "08" and in "16" took a 4-year hiatus, returning to Geocaching a month or so ago!

 

Interested in you opinions:  Regardless if you are the FTF on a new cache or the 20th finder, we still only get one "smiley face"!!  So why do some of us exert so much effort to be "FTF"

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Posted (edited)
12 minutes ago, Cherokee Bill said:

I'm 73 yo now!  Started caching in "08" and in "16" took a 4-year hiatus, returning to Geocaching a month or so ago!

 

Interested in you opinions:  Regardless if you are the FTF on a new cache or the 20th finder, we still only get one "smiley face"!!  So why do some of us exert so much effort to be "FTF"

 

Because if you're not first, you're last. :P

 

The sweet thing is, the side game can be completely ignored if it doesn't suit your fancy.

Edited by bflentje
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3 minutes ago, bflentje said:

 

Because if you're not first, you're last.

 

 

No.  Some are 2nd, 3rd, 4th...

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20 minutes ago, Cherokee Bill said:

I'm 73 yo now!  Started caching in "08" and in "16" took a 4-year hiatus, returning to Geocaching a month or so ago!

 

Interested in you opinions:  Regardless if you are the FTF on a new cache or the 20th finder, we still only get one "smiley face"!!  So why do some of us exert so much effort to be "FTF"

I do it for the thrill. Especially if I'm not even sure if the coordinates are right.

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3 minutes ago, Pontiac_CZ said:

I do it  for the fun. And for the FTF mini-event. :)

 

 I think I've been FTF about 10 times.  I've never run into another geocacher when I was FTF, or found a cache shortly after it was published.  

 

The FTF game is highly regional.  In some areas, it seems to precedence over everything else. I other places, nobody really cares who finds a cache first.

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Just now, NYPaddleCacher said:

 

No.  Some are 2nd, 3rd, 4th...

 

Perhaps start a new thread about platinum membership instead of replying to my posts.

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Posted (edited)

We were new and night shifters, so it was natural that we'd be FTF a lot of times.  

Didn't hurt that there were actual prizes inside most caches, to draw cachers to them (there weren't many of either).

A competitor, the other 2/3rds got hooked after a a local cache group asked for the constantly-bragging  "FTF king"  to be knocked down a few pegs.   :D

She eventually became a FTF monster, and we became PM just so she could have notifications.

She finally burned herself out, tired of "beta-testing" for no-find noobs, and quit for a while.

 

I like FTF simply because that's the only time anyone will see the hide as the CO intended.

 

 

 

 

Edited by cerberus1
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47 minutes ago, Cherokee Bill said:

Interested in you opinions:  Regardless if you are the FTF on a new cache or the 20th finder, we still only get one "smiley face"!!  So why do some of us exert so much effort to be "FTF"

 

26 minutes ago, NYPaddleCacher said:

The FTF game is highly regional.  In some areas, it seems to precedence over everything else. I other places, nobody really cares who finds a cache first.

 

Yes, and that "local culture" does influence our thinking and behavior when it comes to FTF.  In my neighborhood, it IS a thing - there are some BIG time FTF hounds, some who will go for it if it happens to be within, say, 5 miles and we can drop everything to go for it (that's us), and others who don't care.  There's a local event built around "FTF" where your FTF count and stats earn you bragging rights and sometimes prizes.  You can join in the fun or not, but the event host is SERIOUS about his FTF's!!  So we'll go for an FTF now and then - it's fun to be the first and sometimes meet other cachers on the hunt - we'll share it!  The thrill of being the first one to sign a blank logsheet/logbook is something some get, and some don't.  It's OK either way - a lot of folks just don't get geocaching either!!

 

We realize it is just a side game with no official recoginition, and our stats mean nothing to anyone but us.  And it's fun when you succeed, and you don't have to do it if it doesn't appeal.  The smilie is still awarded when you DO go find it!

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Posted (edited)

I live in a medium-sized city, and have been playing for 15 years.  In those years, there have always been one or two or three hard-core FTF hounds, who would sometimes practically collide over GZ.  :lol:  The faces would change over the years, but there'd always be a small handful in friendly competition, or sometimes collaboration.  ("I'm here, you coming?")  I think they must back into their parking spots at home, and leave the engine running.

 

Some people like the thrill and the challenge, I suppose.  Perfectly fine with me.  (I'm into FTFs too, but only if they're well aged.)

 

Edited by Viajero Perdido
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3 hours ago, Cherokee Bill said:

So why do some of us exert so much effort to be "FTF"

 

It's the thrill of finding it first! 

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5 hours ago, Cherokee Bill said:

I'm 73 yo now!  Started caching in "08" and in "16" took a 4-year hiatus, returning to Geocaching a month or so ago!

 

Interested in you opinions:  Regardless if you are the FTF on a new cache or the 20th finder, we still only get one "smiley face"!!  So why do some of us exert so much effort to be "FTF"

Some players are competitive by nature and this FTF side game suits them. For others its "meh".

I'm now closer to the "meh" than I used to be, but that's not to say I wont have a shot at FTF if the timing or location suit, just for the heck of it.

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3 hours ago, colleda said:

Some players are competitive by nature and this FTF side game suits them. For others its "meh".

I'm now closer to the "meh" than I used to be, but that's not to say I wont have a shot at FTF if the timing or location suit, just for the heck of it.

 

Us too.  :)

We stopped "counting" FTFs some time ago,  and neither of us rush out all hours anymore.

The few times I'm FTF now is just because the container's probably more than a half-mile from parking.    :D 

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I don't keep track of my FTFs or go out of my way to get them, but it adds a bit of spice if there's a new cache published close to home or a more remote one that hasn't enticed any takers. Sometimes, though, it seems I'm more likely to be first-to-DNF than first-to-find, like the EarthCache I DNFed just before the lock-down started. When the travel restrictions here are lifted at the beginning of next month, I'll pick a day with low seas and favourable tides to have another crack at it. The FTFs I enjoy most are those where I know the CO.

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There are "destination" FTFs that work the imagination.  That old one in Belize, now claimed.  That old one in Venezuela, still waiting.  There was the one I attempted (and failed) in Nicaragua; it required three planes, two boats, and a walk with locals carrying machetes.


And one where I succeeded, deep in the mountains.  I let out a W00T so loud it would've brought down avalanches, but there were no humans within miles to notice my excitement.  It was an old, lonely FTF-in-waiting, and it made my day.  The harder the target, the bigger the thrill.

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Posted (edited)
44 minutes ago, Viajero Perdido said:

There are "destination" FTFs that work the imagination.  That old one in Belize, now claimed.

Yes, right, another one of THOSE warm climate vacation caches:

"Due to the nature of the place, the proprietor is holding the cache. Please see Ricardo for information."

And of course, no reviewer would ever allow a cache that required interaction with the owner of a business.  Right.  I find them frequently on my travels to the 'south'.  I get a chuckle out of the reviewer note of 1/23/09, long after it was evident from previous logs that the 'proprietor' was holding the cache.

 

Never mind.  I don't want to restart that thread for the tenth time, but the examples keep showing up too often in these threads.

 

Edited by ecanderson

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11 hours ago, Cherokee Bill said:

Regardless if you are the FTF on a new cache or the 20th finder, we still only get one "smiley face"!!

 

I get more that a smiley face when I find a cache, the experience (or the FTF experience if I am fast enough). Smileys on the map are only a tool to avoid visiting the same cache too often. Ten years ago, FTF hunting was the way to meet other geocachers because events were rare and finders tend to wait a while for other players.

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11 hours ago, Cherokee Bill said:

Interested in you opinions:  Regardless if you are the FTF on a new cache or the 20th finder, we still only get one "smiley face"!!  So why do some of us exert so much effort to be "FTF"

If you only find caches because of the smiley face, then you'll never understand the FTF game.

 

And it's the same amount effort, FTF or not: in either case, you go to GZ and find the cache.

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5 hours ago, barefootjeff said:

The FTFs I enjoy most are those where I know the CO.

 

Good to see this.  Over the years, I've  heard a lot of griping about COs giving their friends some sort of advantage in the FTF race.  Maybe this does happen in some places, but I've never given anyone a head-start, yet I'd say about 80% of my caches have been FTF'd by friends.  I've not been quite so motivated by FTFs of late, but I'd be far more likely to be tempted by a friend's new cache.

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15 hours ago, Cherokee Bill said:

So why do some of us exert so much effort to be "FTF"

 

Human nature, I guess - even if you're not highly competitive, it's nice to be first, once in a while.

 

And, for me, there is an undeniable adrenaline rush, as you open the log, to see if you've been pipped at the post.  Yes, maybe a tinge of disappointment if I've come in second, but a definite surge of elation for the win.

 

This was probably my favourite: Γκαμήλα - the cache had been placed three and half months before our walking holiday to the area, and I'd been monitoring it with interest.  After five hard days walking, I doubt we'd have made this looong detour on our final day if not for the unclaimed FTF - sometimes you just need a bit of extra motivation!

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I don't care for FTF and had just 7 of them since 2006. The first one was on holiday in Japan where we found a cache 4 days after publication.

4 others were within a few 100 meters from home. One other (mystery) was found after 6 days and another one we found as FTF 5 days after publication while on holiday in Reunion.

Our last FTF was just weeks ago in February where I got the notification of a new cache while getting ready to go outside. I would not have gone out for the FTF otherwise but since we would have passed the cache within 50m we got it anyway.

Normally caches around here are found within 30-60 minutes of publishing, so getting them means it has to be close and the minute the mail comes in you have to dash. I've even seen caches where someone already logged FTF at the time I get the notification (yes, "instant" notifications are not always "instant") and take a look at the cachepage..

 

One of the reasons we don't FTF is the same we don't like events.... to busy

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33 minutes ago, IceColdUK said:
6 hours ago, barefootjeff said:

The FTFs I enjoy most are those where I know the CO.

 

Good to see this.  Over the years, I've  heard a lot of griping about COs giving their friends some sort of advantage in the FTF race.  Maybe this does happen in some places, but I've never given anyone a head-start, yet I'd say about 80% of my caches have been FTF'd by friends.  I've not been quite so motivated by FTFs of late, but I'd be far more likely to be tempted by a friend's new cache.

 

Although there's often some advanced warning of a new cache on the local FB groups, I've never jumped the gun prior to publication. On Saturday's group outing, one of our team hid a new SideTracked multi along the way which was published mid afternoon on Sunday. On Monday morning I headed out on the train, and even though I knew where the cache was, I still stopped at the station to note down the answers to the questions and calculate the coordinates. I was half expecting one of the keen cachers from northern Sydney to have beaten me to it, but the logbook was still empty when I reached GZ and even now, nearly a week later, I'm still the only finder. FTF races are quite rare here except on the more urban hides. But it was good to break my 61-day COVID-19 slump with an FTF on a friend's cache.

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20 hours ago, Cherokee Bill said:

I'm 73 yo now!  Started caching in "08" and in "16" took a 4-year hiatus, returning to Geocaching a month or so ago!

 

Interested in you opinions:  Regardless if you are the FTF on a new cache or the 20th finder, we still only get one "smiley face"!!  So why do some of us exert so much effort to be "FTF"

 

Because you get to find/log the cache first, before anyone else (although there have been enough times I've not logged online first due to my wanting to log from my desktop).  It's an extra thrill that you normally don't get the opportunity to experience.  We all know what finding caches is like, from the mundane to the thrilling.  There's just this little extra added jolt of adrenaline you get when you have the opportunity to be the very first one to find it that you don't get for caches that have previously been found by others.

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Posted (edited)
20 hours ago, Cherokee Bill said:

I'm 73 yo now!  Started caching in "08" and in "16" took a 4-year hiatus, returning to Geocaching a month or so ago!

 

Interested in you opinions:  Regardless if you are the FTF on a new cache or the 20th finder, we still only get one "smiley face"!!  So why do some of us exert so much effort to be "FTF"

 

As Max and 99 said, you don't know if the coordinates are right.  So there's a little mystery to a brand-new cache.  It hasn't been spoiled yet (with some log like "never expected to be 'Stumped'!"), and there's no Geotrail directly to the spot.  The whole area hasn't been Scorch Earth pummeled into mud.  The cache is found just about as close to how it was intended as it may ever be, such as that fragile "way cool artistic camo" which falls off immediately, is found fully intact.  It's got that New Cache Smell. The cool contents haven't been raided, and the neighbors haven't found out where the cache is.  The log sheet/book is clean and dry.  Plus the locals that always get FTF don't get this one!  Ha!  Snooze ya lose!  Wait... I mean, it's fun to sign the blank log.  That's what I mean.

 

 

Edited by kunarion
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Where I live getting a {FTF} is relatively easy as there is a limited number of cachers in the area, so when a new cache is published in the area I can wait for a week or two and still get there first. It was quite funny returning to my home town of Toronto seeing the fierce competition for them. People would set alarms to tell them about new caches and  scramble to the site within minutes.

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Posted (edited)

I do it for the $100 bonus that headquarters gives you. You have to ask for it, though. If you were away for four years maybe you missed that.

 

 

OK, just kidding!

I have maybe a couple of dozen FTF's over the years, but only a few have been "jump up and run out of the house" events. Back when I started caches could actually go two or three days before the first find. In my home area the locals were not very competitive about this. There was a guy for a while who used to get FTF's and then taunt us that nobody could beat him. When he realized that nobody cared he left the game.

 

This guy also used to not log online until someone else found it so he could gloat. 

Once I wrote this online log: "FTF!!  I ripped out a bogus sig that must have been in the logbook from a previous use. Couldn't read it anyway."

 

The guy went ballistic. Reported me to Groundspeak. That was fun once but I didn't do it again.

Edited by hukilaulau
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9 hours ago, IceColdUK said:

Over the years, I've  heard a lot of griping about COs giving their friends some sort of advantage in the FTF race.

Dunno why anyone would gripe. If I knew a CO gave someone else preliminary information so they could get the FTF, I'd just reject that "FTF" -- it's really more beta test than FTF -- claim the FTF for myself. It's not as if the CO can stop me.

 

48 minutes ago, hukilaulau said:

I do it for the $100 bonus that headquarters gives you. You have to ask for it, though. If you were away for four years maybe you missed that.

 

 

OK, just kidding!

(*Whew!*) Good idea to pretend you were kidding. I don't want too many people to know about the $100 bonus. Shhhh....

 

49 minutes ago, hukilaulau said:

This guy also used to not log online until someone else found it so he could gloat. 

Once I wrote this online log: "FTF!!  I ripped out a bogus sig that must have been in the logbook from a previous use. Couldn't read it anyway."

 

The guy went ballistic. Reported me to Groundspeak. That was fun once but I didn't do it again.

Often the people who most like to razz others are the least tolerant to being razzed back.

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44 minutes ago, dprovan said:

Often the people who most like to razz others are the least tolerant to being razzed back.

Absolute truth. Most often they can dish it, but can't take it.

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On 5/21/2020 at 3:03 PM, Cherokee Bill said:

I'm 73 yo now!  Started caching in "08" and in "16" took a 4-year hiatus, returning to Geocaching a month or so ago!

 

Interested in you opinions:  Regardless if you are the FTF on a new cache or the 20th finder, we still only get one "smiley face"!!  So why do some of us exert so much effort to be "FTF"

 

The first time I was FTF my heart was racing as I went out in the dark and rain to find that cache before everyone else.  Each FTF afterwards has become a little less thrilling, to a point where I pretty much ignore new publications until whenever I feel like finding them.  But that first one was a huge thrill, to get to that cache before everyone else.  Truth be told, no one else even looked for it until the next day, though in my mind the entire local geocaching community was on its way to get there before me, at least until I read the logs a couple days later.  

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3 hours ago, dprovan said:
12 hours ago, IceColdUK said:

Over the years, I've  heard a lot of griping about COs giving their friends some sort of advantage in the FTF race.

Dunno why anyone would gripe. If I knew a CO gave someone else preliminary information so they could get the FTF, I'd just reject that "FTF" -- it's really more beta test than FTF -- claim the FTF for myself. It's not as if the CO can stop me.


My point is that people gripe because they *think* that the CO’s mates must have an unfair advantage.  In my experience this hasn’t been the case.  Ymmv.

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Posted (edited)
On 5/21/2020 at 3:03 PM, Cherokee Bill said:

So why do some of us exert so much effort to be "FTF"

 

There was a long-running internet practice (which has finally died out I think) where the first response to any YouTube video was inevitably some version of "First!"

 

Humans have always been obsessed with firsts. In history class you learn about who first sailed around the world or summited a particular mountain. 

 

Some people are highly competitive. Some will brag about any accomplishment, no matter how trivial.

 

There is some value in FTF though as you are going to sometimes be the only person to experience the cache precisely as the CO placed it.

 

In theory, FTF hunts are relatively harmless. The two main exceptions being:

 

1. People who break laws to seek FTFs, like night caching at a park closed after dark.

 

2. General wastefulness. This is also often a problem with maintaining a streak, if done honestly. How far is it reasonable to go out of your way to find one cache? Not even a special cache in a special place, just a random cache to claim FTF or extend your streak by one more day. Would you drive a mile? 5 miles? 10 miles? An hour each way? At some point the value of your time and the transportation cost must exceed the value of finding the cache - not just in personal satisfaction, but also in every person's inherent obligation to be responsible and not wasteful. 

Edited by JL_HSTRE
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For me, going for a FTF is based purely on the opportunity of the moment. My work schedule is not FTF compatible, so if the moment arises when I have free time and I see a new cache post, I will sometimes go on a FTF hunt. Putting ink on a brand new unsigned log is thrilling and I love the disappointment when the Infamous FTF hounds show only to claim the Second to Find.

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