Lesson #2 for new cachers
To log FTF’s from the field or not to log FTF’s from the field? -that is the question.
If you are a new cacher, you may think that it is a requirement to log a FTF from the field. You may think that you are being helpful to your fellow cacher by logging from the field. Knowing about some history of geocaching might be helpful.
Before people started using their phones to find and log caches, people used their GPS. Some people would go immediately home to log their FTF, some people would do some other caches in the area and then go home and log it, and then some people would purposely not log the FTF.
Since cachers didn’t know that a cache was found, more people would go out to look for them. There were many times that 15 people would show up or trickle in to GZ. The cachers would hang out a bit, share the FTF and a story or two. If a series came out, a whole group would be going from cache to cache. Sometimes you’d meet a group that just finished the other half you were just about to do. There was anticipation when you unrolled the log- would you be the FTF or did you miss the FTF by just 10 minutes? (Read some FTF logs from 2010 and before.)
The fun, to many, was in the mystery of it all. Sure there were lots of, “Oh, man. He beat us to it again.” But there were plenty of caches found hours later after publishing that brought a smiley FTF too.
The anticipation of walking a mile in the woods, just not knowing, was fun for a lot of cachers. It was all we could do because we only had a GPS and maybe a Blackberry with no internet.
Now, as soon as you read the log from the field that the cache has been found, there is no reason to go after it. It is over. Done. Go back to sleep.
You may say that you wouldn’t have wasted your time going after a FTF had you known that it had been found, as I have had this explained to me several times recently. It is unfortunate that they have not had the chance to experience the wonderment of anticipation, mystery, and comradery that FTF’s used to bring.
So, I am not telling you what to do. Do whatever you like- there are no rules. If you are one that likes to log from the field, go right ahead. If you are one that likes to wait until they get back to their computer, go right ahead. I can only hope that people won’t criticize a cacher because they don’t play the game like you do.