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Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Where Have All The Geocaching FTF (First To Find) Hounds Gone?

HeadHardHat Back in 2008
I have been recently going through my blog's (GeoCache: I'm NOT Obsessed... Right?) archives and found myself all the way back to 2008 where I found a post of my first FTF or in geocaching terminology a First To Find.

How exciting it was learning of the new posting and actually getting to the geocache before anyone else. I remember opening the geocache with my heart pounding in my chest. Nervously examining the log book and realizing that there were no other signatures - CLEAN SHEETS - oh joy, rapture! Then to discover the coolest of the cool, a FTF Prize, which consisted of a bunch of military navy memorabilia that I still hold dear as a collectible.  How cool is that?!?  As my obsession grew with FTFs I had incorporated alerts which immediately went to my email if a new geocache was published in my area. Then an assessment had to be made of me actually getting there first and what the consequences would be if I left at that moment to obtain it. For example, how mad my wife would be because it was 1:30am or my boss because it was during a work day; decisions, decisions. I can't tell you how many times I have bumped into law enforcement officers in the wee hours of the night with flashlight in hand and looking in small crevices via strange locations. All part of the the FTF fun.

 Then there were the FTF hounds. Those are the dozen or so geocachers in a local area that all love getting the FTF before anyone else. Which then makes it a race and potential bragging rights for the winner and sad disappointment for the rest - nanners. Of course that just added a whole new level of excitement for FTFs.

Those were the days.

Now in 2012 I really don't hear so much anymore about FTFs, at least not with the same fervor I used to. In my career I have over 100 under my belt but I have to admit they have lost the sparkle they once had for me and I am curious if that is the same for the geocaching community or is it just my perspective?

In years past FTFs for many it was a competition for bragging rights in the geocaching community but if it has lost it's zing then why? I don't hear about FTF prizes anymore either. For many of the geocaches that I have placed I would always have some sort of FTF prize waiting. Even purchased FTF geocoins to go to the winner. As stated, don't hear about them as much anymore - pity.

So the big question is how do we get people motivated again for FTFs? Why are FTFs loosing their appeal and how can we correct it? What are your views? Let me know so I can spread the word. Would love to hear from you.


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professorbenson said...

Anything exciting becomes a bore with time. I haven't achieved too many FTF's yet, so the newness hasn't wore off. Yet. My second FTF turned out to be an LPC.

Anonymous said...

In my town in the UK there are a group of us who still go for FTFs in a competitive way. Maybe it's just where you live.