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+12 votes
I think it should be part of the game, to tell the community, that the "hunt" is done.

Sometimes I wonder, what the idea is, to wait for a long time to get it done?

I myself want to know it, when my own new "baby" has been spotted first time, not only because of the reason that it is done, but also because the hide is to be found.

After the first Found is done, I understand, if one does only saves an field note in order to write a good Log. But at the "hunt" itself i think it is fair thing to all the other hunters.

What do you think about that?

Feel free to answer or respond about that, or even think about it.

So Good Luck and may the next FTF be yours!!
in Miscellaneous by glastiger_and_family (450 points)
In addition to my answer - I find it amusing that many responses have said "it is good to log immediately to let others know the hunt is over" - makes it sound like the cache is no longer there to be found - no the hunt is not over - those caches are still there for others to enjoy - just because the FTF has gone does not mean others have to stop and not go out and look for it. I often go out for FTF - but if I get beaten to it - so be it - I'll still look for it anyway
Yes, that is really the right mention, but as you know, the hunt for the First to Find is over, was the intention for the writing
I generally log FTF (if possible), STF & TTF directly in the field with ".. more to come". This clarify the podest - situation .. ;-)
Sadly - I have seen many "FTF- Full log to follow" - and that is how that log has remained - it is unfortunately like many who log out in the field - the log is brief
If the cache isless than 24 hrs old then a 'write note' or 'found log' should be logged as nice etiquette. If the cache has sat there for days, or weeks then find should be logged 24 hrs after find.

Happy Caching
I'm reading comments stating what "should" be done.  These are commands.  Some people don't have smart phones, some are busy, there are many circumstances not being considered.  FTF is an unofficial side game and a game of chance.  Maybe players "should" deal with it.  Didn't they still get a smiley?
@TerraViators: If you don't have the time for a FTF fieldlog which takes about 2 seconds to send you certainly don't have time to go for the FTF in the first place.
And the "should" is not a command but a courtesy, just like you should sneeze into your elbow, not onto your neighbour.
@kamla: you misinterpret the intent of @TerraViators comment. Too many people in this game tend to tell others what they should and should not do as though their opinion is superior when in fact it is not.  Your entire comment is case-in-point.

You have the right to your opinion but so does he.  How each person plays is their business and theirs alone.  Please keep that in mind and remember that this is not a forum but simply a Q & A.  Comments are certainly welcome as long as they stay neutral and not attack others opinions.

38 Answers

+12 votes
I always try and write a "FTF full log to follow" immediately on finding it. People will often add a watch and if it hasn't gone drop everything to charge out to get the FTF as soon as possible (often late at night etc). Its can be annoying to get there to find out someone has found it hours ago but still not got round to write a log. Normally that doesn't matter but when they also have made the special effort to rush and get the FTF it seems inconsiderate. (Or perhaps that is just me). Almost all people have mobile phones and it doesn't take much data or time at all to post a short log. Though obviously there are occasions where lack of reception or batteries etc can cause issues.
by mole125 (Expert) (21.1k points)
edited by mole125 (Expert)
Several cachers still use GPSr - I am one - I will get notification at home - I'll download onto my GPSr - go out, find - get back home and then log. Generally that could be about 1 1/2 hours after notification. But it might be much longer - I will not be vilified for not logging straight away though as I always log at home not in the field
I don't think anybody is vilifying you for not logging straight away - I apologise if it comes across like that as it isn't the intention. However I'm not sure what the relevance of if you are using a GPSR or not? The majority of people have mobile phones with them, with data service to log even if it is just a place holder log. Obviously this is a special case only relevant to FTF hunting not general caching, in other cases how long you wait to log generally has no material impact on other cachers. And obviously there are times when it just isn't possible to do for many many reasons.

But as you say rushing out to get a FTF can often involve an unplanned 1.5 hour round trip, whilst the cache is still available to find the decision to go for it right now changes once the FTF has gone as it may be better to pick it up as a part of a more organised caching trip another time.
I agree with mole125
TBH you talk about time and distances - if you are willing to travel those sorts of distances then you have to be ready for disappointment if you get there and it is already found. You either sit at home and wait for the announcement that it has been found or you go out and travel for 45 minutes and find what you find - blank sheet or not - if you are still waiting for announcements as you travel are you really going to turn round 40 minutes into the journey because you get notification that it has gone ? the cache is only 5 minutes away.
Also you make that decision to start your 45 minute journey because no one has logged it, you get there and it was signed only 5 minutes before you arrived, but hasn't been logged are you really that upset that you wasted your journey. I hope not - you found a new cache, you found another cache, thats what we all do - find caches
so what that you were not FTF
If I get there and I have been beaten by a matter of minutes or so then that's not a problem, it is part of the game. And yes I have turned round/stopped putting the shoes on before leaving if the notification comes in (obviously if I'm almost there I'll keep going, if I've just left then I may consider turning round).

But as I said, that doesn't change the feeling that my time was wasted if I get there and find out the cache was found way before I had even left on my journey.
+12 votes
I generally think too many people have too many opinions about how others should write their logs.
by pinkunicorn (Moderator) (176k points)
Good answer - I get vilified for not logging until I get home - why? that is how I do it, have done for 14 years - I do however log on the same day I find caches - there are many who are very behind on their logging !!!!!!
I found this thread after doing a search for something else.  I'm compelled to weigh in.  

@Deepdiggingmole check out my answer.  I believe we agree for the most part.
+5 votes
I will log something from my phone when I am FTF (assuming, of course, there is a signal -- for a couple of them in the desert, it was not an option).

I see it as a courtesy, however, and not a requirement; I don't expect everyone to do the same thing.  I have seen logs where the second finder has been angry or irritated that the first finder didn't log in the field and they apparently felt cheated.  That to me is a sign that someone is getting a little too competitive with getting "FTF" and may in fact feel entitled to be first.
by hzoi (8.0k points)
That has happened to me and no consideration given as to why the log was done a few hours after the find
I'd agree with you here, whilst I think it is polite/kind to notify as soon as reasonable, there are many times when it isn't possible (or the emails just get delayed) and their is no justification to get angry. If someone asks I'll say I think it is considerate to other people to log promptly but that shouldn't be included as an attack in a log.
+3 votes
I am one of the many who like to go out for FTFs - however get vilified for a number of reasons regarding this activity - not logging immediately is one of them.

A recent example is a series that came out locally - a walk taking about 2 hours to complete. I did the whole series enjoying the walk that it enabled. However what I dont do because I use a GPSr and not my phone to cache with is log the FTFs immediately. I wait until I get home and then when ready I settle down to log each of those caches individually - call me old school, but that is how I do it and have done since I started 14 years ago.
We went out for the day a while ago and discovered that morning a new series was published - so we changed our plans and walked this new series - and then carried on with our plans for the rest of the day and then logged the caches once we had returned home (much as we would do with any caching trip whether there are FTFs or not)  we discovered a log on one of these from a cacher complaining that the caches had not been logged and he had wasted a trip.

Why ? - Not everyone logs in the field or should everyone be expected to do so. It should be respected that some wait until they get home and log on a computer - and should not be vilified for doing so.

I have also recently found one of those 'FTF - full log to follow' logs on a cache and 7 months later the full log never appeared.
With respect to the OP - 'telling the community that the hunt is done' is called logging your cache - that might not happen until later in the day - but there is nothing wrong with that.

Additionally I know several cachers who are weeks / months behind on their logging - I rarely fail to log on the same day even when on holiday - so to be told 'you are late with your logging' even though it is on the same day is ludicrous
by Deepdiggingmole (13.5k points)
+2 votes
The FTF is part of the game, even though unofficially. It very depends on you local community, how many people live around and how many people are willing to go for the FTF hunt.

Especially in the dense areas, the common sense after finding FTF, was to wait some time if other people show up to meet and greet with them. Once the cache has a FTF log after 5 minutes from publication, the game is over for all the others, they do not even get out nor to the place and postpone it for later (or never). But if the log is not there, they feel their chance and even though they might not get to FTF, they at least meet each other and have a great time (and log STF).

I am for logging later. It allows more people to join the game, not just the few. Especially when the cache publication is so rare these days
by Jakuje (Moderator) (116k points)
Thank you so much for your opinion.
I think you are so right with the meeting at a new cache and have fun with the "hunters" that also come up....
Therefore it is also possible to share an FTF p.e.
That is what I think about a social attitude.
But what I think about is that the people who go there and log a long time after they made the FTF are not fair and sometimes, when you read their reports then, you can imagine that they are really happy, that they have done so.
Logging 'a long time after the find' is sometimes how it is due to how far away you are - the find being part of a day out
What is a long time ?
several days - yes that is unacceptable
A few hours - that has to be acceptable in many circumstances
+2 votes
I know people who write FI right after finding the cache. Short logs like: "FTF, more at home"

On the other hand I know those who write their visits after a couple of days.

I always log my findings on the same day, FTF or not.

It's just a game and some players should be aware of it. When you hunt FTF, there is always a risk that someone will be faster and you have to count on it.
by hynous (3.1k points)
+2 votes
Usually we wait for a FTF for some time until we log on-line. If there is no log yet, more geocachers usually visit the new Cache.If the FTF has been logged prematurely, the tension or thrill is gone. So for us, it doesn't matter, if another Geocacher do it the same way and we "only" get the STF or TTF. An FTF is not an official Thing and you can buy nothing for it.

Often it turns out that we are looking for more geocaches in the area. We then log all finds when we are back  home.
by The4Hasards (3.2k points)
A new cache will be logged by the locals anyway. And visitors will plan it in on a next visit to the area, wich could take a bit longer yes... But basicly I don't see the point of not logging on the spot for just the FTF
(other founds don't buy anything either you know)
+1 vote

I found several different behavior of the regions (French) even close ... some FTF are revealed only after one or two days which actually encourage hunters to run to find that they are only STF! it's rather unpleasant but it's the game ... some others have by mutual agreement requested that the FTF does not exceed 24 hours and it seems respectful to other hunters ... this is my point of view and it can also save trips for that and take unnecessary risks ... the most important thing is to remember that this is just a game.

traduit par google du francais

j'ai constaté plusieurs comportement différent celon des régions (francaise) méme proche ... certains FTF ne sont révélé qu'aprés un ou deux jour ce qui effectivement incitent les chasseurs a courir pour constater qu'ils ne sont que STF ! c'est plutot désagréable mais c'est le jeu ... certains autres ont d'un commun accord demandé que les FTF ne dépasse pas les 24heures et cela me semble respectueux pour les autres chasseurs ... c'est mon point de vue et cela peut aussi économiser des voyages pour cela et prise de risques inutiles ... le plus important c'est quand méme de garder en mémoire que ce n'est qu'un jeu

by Chup'a (11.2k points)
24 hours !!!! - I have been blasted at for not logging after 4 hours
24 hours is more than ample time but if everyone worked to that time scale I dont think this issue would exist
+1 vote
There is no rule that will force anybody to log FTF immediately after found. I understand that lot of ftf hunters is already on the way (in lot of cases) but what changes if you log immediately? Will those people drive slowely or stop running? Maybe but lot of them will continue and log cache in any case. As geocaching is still game why not to be surprised - am I first or second or 15th? Doesn't matter... FI makes this game. I know that some people have own rules and own ftf "league" but e.g. ftf #181 is only number between millions other numbers...

And ... in some cases there is no possibility to log immediately because there are still areas without data coverage or maybe you can be abroad and you just need wait for some wifi network...
by drobec (4.5k points)
Agreed there can't be the rule, but it is politeness where possible. The issue isn't when you've spotted the email immediately and rushed out, it is when you don't notice the email to an hour later (particularly later at night), if you log immediately you prevent wasted trips/petrol. If someone beats me by minutes when I've rushed out that is part of the game, but the log notification may cause me turn back if I'm still a long way away or still getting my shoes on (which has happened multiple times).

Agree if there is no reception or you are travelling and not a local then that is fair enough, its when it is a local FTF hunter that then delays logging that it gets annoying.
It is also polite to appreciate that not everyone logs in the field and you just have to accept that sometimes you'll get there and not be FTF
On several occasions I wouldn't even got out for the hunt if it was logged. I would have planned it on another visit to the area. So yes, it does make a difference.
And it's not that demanding to log "FTF, log follows..." when you have your phone on hand and cache on screen. Takes less than 30sec :)  (The second FTF copy paste takes 15sec). So it's not hard work.
You say it is not demanding - to log in the field,
it is just that - it is telling me I should cache with a phone.
I go caching with a GPS not a phone - so to be expected to log immediately is demanding.
Whether you use a phone or GPS for locating the cache is irrelevant.

Are you saying that you don't actually carry a smart phone whilst caching?
Or can't use a small bit of data to access the geocaching website to log a message?

Otherewise I'm not sure how you can say the request is demanding? Nobody is saying you have to use the gps on your phone or even download a special app, just use the geocaching website from your phone after you've used your gps to find it.
+1 vote
I don't write my log just after the IRL "found it", by doing this, the others cachers go to the cache. I noticed the disinterest of people when the first place has already been taken. I find it a shame for the cache
by Zoidrums (1.7k points)
+1 vote
A single cache I will log in the field. If it is a series of caches, and there are still 15 to go let's say, I will log when the hunt, as a lot of people before me called it , is over. If I give away the fact nr 1 is found some others get the idea to start at 3 or 15.
by teamkkongs (280 points)
+1 vote
I always log FTF asap. Even if the cache is already open for days or weeks.
But I know there are some geocacher using real GPS and not smartphones, so they do not have the possibility to log in the field.
by fankido (2.4k points)
+1 vote
I try to log straight away unless the signal is poor. I find it very frustrating when I arrive at a non logged cache and see the FTF already gone.

But there is an argument that not logging straight away encourage s others to try to find it. That may not bother once the FTF has been claimed
by NSCR (4.5k points)
+1 vote
If at all possible I try to log a FTF in the field, especially if I head out very early in the morning so as to make other cachers aware rushing out is not needed.  Especially for those who are attempting FTF streak challenges.  I totally understand some cachers do not use smart phone and may not be able to log right away. This has happened to me several times and I accept it as part of the game. The game has evolved over the years and we all need to allow for different methods of game play.
by WanderingExplorer (6.6k points)
+1 vote
As I sometimes myself try to get an FTF I really like when I already see a note that a FTF is gone.

As I like to be informed, I log an FTF directly like FTF - more to come. Mostly direct at the cache.

I do this also as this is the best way a owner get his FTF, STF or TTF logs in the right sequence.

Within the day I change my FTF log with a mostly long found log. Doing a FTF an only log a TFTC is bad as the log is the thank for the owners effort to hide a cache.
by supertwinfan (19.6k points)
You may do that and that is fine - not all 'FTF - full log to follow' gets a full log later. many do not go back to their logs if they see a smilie already there - I prefer to do the full log at the time of logging - and as I use a GPS in the field, I do this when I get back home to my PC
0 votes
For me it is important that after the FTF a log or just a message is logged so that it is known that the FTF is through. Whether this is a real log entry or just a corresponding Fildnote, does not matter to me.
by spagg68 (1.3k points)
0 votes
I always try to log a FTF asap. But sometimes the smartphone batteries have a different opinion :)
I do that because I don't like it either when someone else doesn't.

But then again, sometimes it can turn out in your "advantage". Yesterday there where 4 new caches. A bit far from where I was, but since I didn't log a ftf yet this month I wanted to give it a go. On arrival the first one was logged an hour before (and was lonly ogged 9 hours later). By a very experienced cacher, who comments a lot on others I've noticed (on M&G's). So I decided to go for the last one -> ftf, and then the 3th -> ftf.
If he would have logged on the spot, I wouldn't even have been there... :)

I've also seen an ftf posted as a note and wich said. "A note now, will log later." This was very annoying because those caches kept appearing in GC's "newest caches" list. And this for more than 3 weeks.
by Sportilicious (1.9k points)
0 votes
Asap. Just sending a small FTF-log with the smartphone. And at home the real log
by Bluesane (220 points)
0 votes
We always try to write something in the field if we are lucky enough (in our busy area) to get an FTF, and then expand on that to give the CO a proper log when we get back home.
by GCZ Team (22.0k points)
The issue with this is - A found log in the field is what the CO will get notification of - so if it is 'FTF full log to follow' that is all his email will tell him/her.
The CO does not get notification of any amendments (a fuller log oince you get home) - so if there is an issue with the cache and (as happens a lot nowadays) a NM is not completed or its just a minor issue maybe something to do with the co-ords then the CO will NOT be aware of this - unless the CO reads all of the logs - which probably rarely happens
Understand where you are coming from, but as COs, if we get a "FTF, log to follow" notification, we DO always look at the log later to see what has been written, and pick up anything which may need sorting, if necessary.
Dare I say you are a rarity - many COs do not look at their logs and will only respond (if you are lucky) to a NM
I'd suggest though that a FTF on a log where maintenance is required is very rare (although obviously does occasionally happen). And if CO only pay attention to NM then it doesn't really make a difference - also the new interface encourages/simplifies putting both types of logs anyway. I'd also err on the side on helping the most people - so making it more convenient/life 'better' for the potentially many other watchers/FTF hunters over the one cache owner.
0 votes
I try to log an FTF as soon as possible after finding it as a courtesy to others who are watching the cache. I certainly would like to know if someone has already found it before I go out and potentially drive long ways or otherwise make a big effort to try to be the FTF. Different areas may have different customs or practices, but in our area, it's common practice to let others know the hunt is over as soon as possible.
by mmcash (810 points)