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What do you leave as a first to find prize?


black_cat1
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On 1/24/2021 at 10:10 AM, NYPaddleCacher said:

 

Winter tip.  Don't hide a cache just after a snowstorm.   Finders will just follow your tracks directly to the cache.

Follow up tip -- if you are not the FTF, you can follow the tracks of those who have gone before.

 

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1 hour ago, fuzziebear3 said:

Follow up tip -- if you are not the FTF, you can follow the tracks of those who have gone before.

 

During a Cache Machine in winter 2003, six inches of snow fell during the day.  At some of the stops we had fun laying false trails thru the snow.  Such as walking past the cache and stepping back thru the tracks to get the cache, or leaving multiple trails and voids under trees looking for a hanging cache. :P

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On 1/24/2021 at 8:22 PM, colleda said:

I would not recommend leaving cash in a cache as a FTF prize. It could lead to a situation where it may become expected, or even considered the norm, then you could get FTFrs moaning if they find a cache with nothing for their "effort"(?)

 

That's a good point all in all. I purchased a few new geo-trinkets so an FTF prize won't be an issue. (which  included trackables*)

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I will at times put out an unactivated geocoin of ours, if the cache is big enough. If I'm putting more than one cache out in the same area, I only put out one coin, because I figure the same FTF hound(s) will get FTF on 'em all, and if there's more than one, they can fight amongst themselves who gets it.

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Early in my caching career, I once put out 4 caches at once, and asked the reviewer to hold off publishing 3 of them for a day or two.  In the one that was published, I left 3 envelopes, marked for 1st to find, 2nd to find, and 3rd to find finders.  FTF had the names and coords for all 3 of the others;  2TF had 2, and 3TF had one.  I figured I'd give the first finder a chance for a stack of FTFs if they wanted them.

 

At that time, there were a lot of people chasing hard after FTFs.  There was a lot of chatter about it in the logs about leaving home at 10 PM to go make the find, or being late to work that morning, and so forth. 

 

I haven't done this again, though.  First, it was more work than it was worth, IMHO.  Second, after a while, it seemed like there were 5-6 cachers who seemed to collect an inordinate number of these, making it hard for the ordinary cacher to get them.  I realized that what I had done contributed to that.

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When I first started geocaching there was a small  local group that was challenging each member of that group

to rack up more FTFs than the others.

They would race out in the middle of the night no matter what the weather in their PJs, bedroom slippers and  bathrobes to get a first to find before the others.

They would sign the top of the on-site physical logs with date and exact times that they were the first to find.

Then they would NOT log online for a day or two to trick the others into thinking that the cache had not been found yet !

 

It was nearly impossible for “normal” geocachers to get a first to find on any new local caches.

It took me a year of caching to finally get my first “First to Find”.

And then, it was just by raw luck because I was driving about three blocks away from GZ when the cache went live !

 

Thankfully, most members of that group have either stopped caching or moved away from the area.

So that nonsensical activity has stopped.

For sure, local geocachers (including me) still strive for the FTFs, but it is usually during reasonable hours and weather .

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For my own new caches, I like to leave a first to find prize just to reward the first to finder for their accomplishment.

 

Things I leave have small or little value other than to the first to finder as memorabilia.

I have left:

Write in the rain pens

Ready to hide geocaching containers (handmade or purchased)

Blank new log sheets or small log books

Low cost un-activated trackable tags

A spanking brand new 1 dollar bill or sometimes a fiver if the cache has higher terrain or difficulty stars

Some really strong cool neodymium magnets

If the FTF prize is too large for the geocache container I just give or have cachers solve for the location where the FTF prize is hidden.

-------------------------------------

Examples:

For a puzzle cache:  

FTF prize is hidden on the ground in the fence corner near GZ under an old wooden board at:

The solved North coordinates minus .016

The solved West coordinates plus .039

------------------------------

For conventional caches:    

First To Find prize is attached about 2 feet off the ground with black electrical tape to the north eastern corner of an old rusty iron apparatus at:

N 48 09.052 W 114 17.904

----------------------------

First to Find prize is hidden in a black bag near a big fallen log under bark and sticks at :

N 46 45.186  W 113 43.044

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18 minutes ago, Ajax One said:

For my own new caches, I like to leave a first to find prize just to reward the first to finder for their accomplishment.

 

Things I leave have small or little value other than to the first to finder as memorabilia.

I have left:

Write in the rain pens

Ready to hide geocaching containers (handmade or purchased)

Blank new log sheets or small log books

Low cost un-activated trackable tags

A spanking brand new 1 dollar bill or sometimes a fiver if the cache has higher terrain or difficulty stars

Some really strong cool neodymium magnets

If the FTF prize is too large for the geocache container I just give or have cachers solve for the location where the FTF prize is hidden.

-------------------------------------

Examples:

For a puzzle cache:  

FTF prize is hidden on the ground in the fence corner near GZ under an old wooden board at:

The solved North coordinates minus .016

The solved West coordinates plus .039

------------------------------

For conventional caches:    

First To Find prize is attached about 2 feet off the ground with black electrical tape to the north eastern corner of an old rusty iron apparatus at:

N 48 09.052 W 114 17.904

----------------------------

First to Find prize is hidden in a black bag near a big fallen log under bark and sticks at :

N 46 45.186  W 113 43.044


I once forgot to include an FTF certificate, so I placed it nearby, and the FTF cacher returned and picked it up.  I’ve also had a couple of well-hidden stash sites where a couple of us locals could take and place things for ease of managing nearby caches, but the stashes weren’t in fact Geocaches.

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On 1/25/2021 at 9:58 AM, lee737 said:

Funny - years ago (5.5 actually, just looked it up), we were out caching on a new series - we found the first cache, and there was a medal in there - a plastic FTF medal. Samuel (aged 5 then) was thrilled to grab it, even though we weren't FTF on that cache.

 

FTF price ignored by the person making the FTF? That is my experience with placing FTF prices. I had a few in my early caches but they were totally ignored. Same thing with tradable items, they stay forever. I have stopped placing these extras, they are not meaningful.

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4 minutes ago, Ragnemalm said:

 

FTF price ignored by the person making the FTF? That is my experience with placing FTF prices. I had a few in my early caches but they were totally ignored. Same thing with tradable items, they stay forever. I have stopped placing these extras, they are not meaningful.

Yes, but a plastic gold medal with FTF handwritten on it - would hardly appeal to the average cacher around here.... my son loved it.

 

My little story was cut short in your quote, misrepresents it a bit.....

Here is the full, unsnipped version....

Quote

Funny - years ago (5.5 actually, just looked it up), we were out caching on a new series - we found the first cache, and there was a medal in there - a plastic FTF medal. Samuel (aged 5 then) was thrilled to grab it, even though we weren't FTF on that cache. Up the series there was a (presumably) hard cache, because as far as we knew then, FTF hadn't been claimed, there had been two DNFs, from rather accomplished finders too (now friends of ours). We strolled along, I think Samuel was riding his Thomas the Tank Engine Bike, and I was pushing my youngest (not quite 3) in his push-bike. We did manage FTF on the hard one, our first FTF.... and to this day it remains our best FTF..... 

So, my point is - sometimes, those crappy little FTF prizes make a little boys day, and are remembered long after.....

 

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11 minutes ago, lee737 said:

Yes, but a plastic gold medal with FTF handwritten on it - would hardly appeal to the average cacher around here.... my son loved it.

 

My little story was cut short in your quote, misrepresents it a bit.....

Here is the full, unsnipped version....

I know that your son liked it. My point was that it had been ignored by the person it was actually intended for.

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I used to leave a FTF prize like a lottery ticket or a fiver, but nowadays, as others have said before me, the blank logbook seems enough. If I happen to have an interesting doodad laying about (an arrowhead or metal pirate coin for example) I'll throw it in, but no longer advertise it as an official FTF prize. I load my new hides with kid-friendly swag when I place them, and consider that enough.

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14 hours ago, Max and 99 said:

I saw something today that had me scratching my head. The first to find prize was an activated coin. 

 

We see that once in a while.  On one, it wasn't even their trackable.   :huh:

There's a few posts in the forums asking if they should do that.  Not sure what the reasoning is...

We tell people it's not a "prize" if it doesn't belong to the person who's FTF.

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1 hour ago, cerberus1 said:

 

We see that once in a while.  On one, it wasn't even their trackable.   :huh:

There's a few posts in the forums asking if they should do that.  Not sure what the reasoning is...

We tell people it's not a "prize" if it doesn't belong to the person who's FTF.


If I happen to be in possession of a trackable when I put out a new cache, I’m likely to drop it in the cache to continue its journey.  For my puzzles, I really don’t see it as any extra incentive, but I know some people do like finding trackables.  I certainly don’t advertise it as a prize.

 

I’ve also left unactivated tags as FTF prizes a few times, but I don’t advertise them either - I just hope it’s a nice surprise for those that pick them up.

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