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FTF prize ideas

#1 User is offline   csaws 

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Posted 01 June 2009 - 07:15 AM

We are placing our first hide and are struggling to figure out a FTF prize. What do you normally use?

#2 User is offline   redjada 

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Posted 01 June 2009 - 08:07 AM

View Postcsaws, on Jun 1 2009, 07:15 AM, said:

We are placing our first hide and are struggling to figure out a FTF prize. What do you normally use?


I have a pile of bicentennial silver dollars I like to add for the FTF. But keys to a new car is always a good FTF prize. :P :D :D

#3 User is offline   briansnat 

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Posted 01 June 2009 - 08:32 AM

View Postcsaws, on Jun 1 2009, 11:15 AM, said:

We are placing our first hide and are struggling to figure out a FTF prize. What do you normally use?


Usually nothing. With 270+ hides I've placed a FTF prize in maybe a dozen of them. I've never encountered one in my roughly two dozen FTFs. In many areas FTF prizes are neither common or expected, but a nice touch. The only prize that most geocachers want is a blank logbook.

I usually suggest forgetting the FTF prize and using the money you would have spent on it to raise the level of all the swag.


That said, the few times I have left a FTF prize I used:

A hydration backpack (I had to hide it away from the cache with instructions how to find it)
Geocaching.com hats
Binoculars
Unactivated geocoins
Siver Certificate dollars
A Petzel Tikka headlamp
Platypus Hoser hydration bottles

#4 User is offline   SwampGirl & BugBoy & TAG 

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Posted 01 June 2009 - 11:07 AM

I have found and left unactivated Travel Bug tags as FTF prizes. Not to long ago we found a cache with a $10 Lowe's gift card as FTF prize, that was a nice little surprise.

#5 User is offline   geodarts 

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Posted 01 June 2009 - 11:18 AM

I am not one to use FTF in a log even when I am first to visit a cache -- for reasons that I am sure are the subject of a number of other threads. Therefore, I usually consider that the first person to find the caches I place has the pick of a cache that contains a number of worthwhile items and the ability to use the initials in the log.

When I have wanted to leave something special in a cache for a particular finder, I have usually gone with at least third to find. The first has the glory of signing a blank log and the choice mentioned above. The second might have been expecting to get all of the above. But the third or later finder came there for reasons other than using those three initials or saying "Yahoo." Therefore, if I am going to reward somebody, it might as well be them.

I have sometimes used a game spinner and then asked that an item remain in the cache until the number of finders reach the number that came up. It adds a certain mystery to things because I don't tell people the number that will be the lucky one.

But to get back on thread, those items have included everything from unactivated geocoins to a Crushers bobblehead (a collector's item!).

This post has been edited by Erickson: 01 June 2009 - 11:24 AM


#6 User is offline   Knight2000 

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Posted 01 June 2009 - 11:32 AM

Unless it is a substantially difficult find or grueling trek give 'em what they deserve. :P

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#7 User is offline   csaws 

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Posted 01 June 2009 - 01:15 PM

Fair enough, it will be a rather easy find and we will keep it stocked as the stuff depletes.

#8 User is offline   csaws 

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Posted 01 June 2009 - 01:16 PM

Fair enough, it will be a rather easy find and we will keep it stocked as the stuff depletes.

#9 User is offline   rocky is a very good doggie 

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Posted 01 June 2009 - 01:31 PM

I have tried to leave for the first finder a prize that fits the theme of the cache.

For a hide that highlighted some beaver damage, I included a toothbrush. For a "Game of Life" cache I left a box of Life cereal. For my "Film-Can Multi-cache, I left a disposable camera." For a cache involving a maze; a book of mazes. For a cache involving a downtown district; a gift certificate for a local establishment.

When a prize cannot be found to fit the theme, folks get a gift card to a donut shop, an unactivated coin, or a set of travel bug dog tags.

Once, I had a spoon engraved for an FTF prize. Once I made a custom trophy.

#10 User is offline   geodarts 

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Posted 01 June 2009 - 01:32 PM

View Postcsaws, on Jun 1 2009, 02:16 PM, said:

Fair enough, it will be a rather easy find and we will keep it stocked as the stuff depletes.


I tried to keep my initial caches well-stocked, but it was a losing proposition -- as as you place more, it will probably get harder and harder to do. Although there are some themed caches that I try to maintain, keeping the others stocked presents more of a problem. The other thing I was warned about after placing my first cache was that cache maintenance can be a drag at times. But my old caching friend likes to remind people that placing caches is half the game, so good luck on your first.

#11 User is offline   Singletree Expedition 

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Posted 01 June 2009 - 01:34 PM

We enjoy finding a FTF prize. Typically, our favorites have been geocaching related items such as unactivated geocoins/travel bugs, pathtags, buttons, etc. We also enjoy finding unique coins/currency.

We always leave a FTF prize in our caches. For lower effort caches, we have left geocaching patches, arrowhead points, large shark’s teeth. For high-effort caches, we have left a painted ammo can and on at least three occasions we have left a custom-made patch made especially for the cache.
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#12 User is offline   AZcachemeister 

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Posted 01 June 2009 - 05:30 PM

Giftcard (Starbucks?), Geocoins, and as previously mentioned, a blank logbook in every one!

#13 User is offline   Colonial Cats 

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Posted 01 June 2009 - 06:37 PM

We give a genuine original non-trackable Colonial Cats geocoin for FTF prizes in caches larger than a micro. Posted Image

#14 User is offline   GumshoeTully 

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Posted 01 June 2009 - 06:52 PM

In my area there are only a few avid cachers that race to a new find. We have a $2bill that has the finder and cache name on it for all of the caches it has visited. Eventually it ends up as the FTF prize in the next new listing, gets some new writing and on and on.

#15 User is offline   HD-Dude 

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Posted 01 June 2009 - 09:07 PM

I was putting new zippo lighters with the name of the cache engraved on them.These were really popular.

#16 User is offline   fizzymagic 

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Posted 01 June 2009 - 11:28 PM

Unless there is something special about your cache, I don't recommend a FTF prize. Don't encourage the FTF hounds, who already make the rest of us suffer them.

#17 User is offline   BareFeat 

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Posted 02 June 2009 - 01:04 AM

For our large multi we left a brand new 1gig mp3 player *(7.95 on woot.com) stuffed full of phish's reunion shows from march @ hampton va. with a note that said, expand your horizons and check out some new music, or feel free to delete and add your own.


I could care less if its a so called FTF hound, we dont put anything special in our regular caches. Believe me they earned it on the multi ( one almost vertical trail involved, some bushwacking, and all the assorted bugs and things you could imagine-- hell bigfoot might live in there) of course some people may find my sons favorite item to leave "special". Whoopie cushion $1.00 @ your local dollar store

:D

(~)}]

#18 User is offline   va griz 

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Posted 02 June 2009 - 04:05 AM

View PostColonial Cats, on Jun 1 2009, 06:37 PM, said:

We give a genuine original non-trackable Colonial Cats geocoin for FTF prizes in caches larger than a micro. Posted Image


I'm proud to say I have one of those. My cats are jealous now and want their own coin!

A short list of some more common items:
two dollar bill
lottery ticket
gold dollar
coupons for lunch

#19 User is offline   WatchDog2020 

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Posted 02 June 2009 - 04:19 AM

View PostHD-Dude, on Jun 1 2009, 09:07 PM, said:

I was putting new zippo lighters with the name of the cache engraved on them.These were really popular.


AWSOME - and if it's not filled it's with in the 'rules'. I so wish I thought of that for one of my caches.

#20 User is offline   TheAlabamaRambler 

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Posted 02 June 2009 - 04:52 AM

I hide what I like to find, so my caches are expensive, which is why I don't hide that many.

I mostly use a Sportsman's Dry Box (Academy Sports), similar to a large ammo can but nicer, with something like a fishing reel (~$30.) as the FTF prize and ten trade items with average value of $5.

You might be surprised at the number of useful items you can find for $5 in WalMart and other big-box retailer's sporting goods.

Add gas to go hide the cache and I might spend $90 to $100 to place a cache.

I also build caches like that and donate them at events as door prizes. The winners truly appreciate them and almost all soon are hidden, which has the added bonus of giving me another cache to find!

It didn't take long for word to get around that my caches had decent swag in them and cachers took equally nice trade items to exchange, so while the swag does eventually deteriorate for several months after placement they contain kewl stuff.

The exception has been coin caches. For whatever reason coins bring out the worst in people, and all three of my coin caches into which I put top-quality trackable personal coins that I had traded my personal coin for very quickly devolved to non-trackable and coin-of-the-month-club dreck, and two were emptied, one of them twice. My little foray into coin caches cost me over 60 coins, so I won't be doing that again.

This year has been a bit tight for me, so I haven't been able to place nice caches, nor restock my existing caches with quality swag, so I adopted most of them out.

I have ten ammo cans and a bunch of dollar-store-type swag that I have accumulated but I just can't get interested in hiding that kind of stuff... I will wait until I can buy some nice swag that I will be proud of.

Anyhoo, just telling you what makes me happy, not advising that you spend that much on your caches... but if you do your community will certainly appreciate it and, my experience has shown, for the most part do their best to trade up or even.

As to the "FTF Hounds", we have a large and active FTF community in central and northern Alabama. A new cache will likely be found within hours by one of them, but they usually don't take the FTF prize, they leave it for the STF. Only once has one of the FTF regulars taken one of my FTF prizes, a pair of FRS/GMRS radios he wanted to use with his son while camping, and he contacted me to make sure that taking them was okay!

Some folks may think it is futile and silly to try to make a difference in the game by hiding and trading nice things... they rant about the guy that took a $5 item and left a quarter, and I do feel that pain, but nice swag begets nice swag, and we can make a difference if we stick to that.

As I said at the start... hide what you like to find! :D

#21 User is offline   TeamFiestyMidgets 

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Posted 02 June 2009 - 05:24 AM

I love the idea of leaving something for the third or beyond people. This makes me happy because we do not seek FTF's personally and I would like to leave something for someone other than our aggressive FTF hunters. THanks for the idea!

#22 User is offline   Luckless 

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Posted 02 June 2009 - 05:56 AM

I haven't used many FTF prizes. The person who first finds my caches does have a pick of the swag which sometimes is good and sometimes is recycled leftovers from archived caches (what goes around comes around). I'll stop by my caches when I'm in the area and usually add and maybe remove any junk and broken stuff so at least there is always stuff to find in my caches. I'll also add stuff to any cache I find that needs it and clean out and organize the cache. Most people around here don't take anything. I, on the otherhand, always like taking home a "trophy" (a figurine, a toy, a TB) from my hunt which sits on an endtable until I add it to the swag in another cache.
My first puzzle cache went several months before someone found it so I was hoping that an FTF prize might encourage people to look for my second puzzle cache sooner. I bought a five dollar gift certificate from a nearby icecream parlor so they could stop and have an icecream cone after doing the hunt. (I hope that the gift certificate was still good because I couldn't get the cache in place that year and so it was a year later when I was finally able to get things in place. I called the store and asked if the certificate was still good, but didn't really get a straight anwer, yet it seemed like it was still good (I always wondered about that). ) Anyway, The first finder loved the cache so much he took the FTF and left $10 so the second finder actually made out better. Go figure. Most people who did it loved the cache. I try to make fun caches and hopefully what they take away are fond memories and fun times with their friends and kids.

#23 User is offline   knowschad 

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Posted 02 June 2009 - 06:48 AM

View Postcsaws, on Jun 1 2009, 07:15 AM, said:

We are placing our first hide and are struggling to figure out a FTF prize. What do you normally use?


Why would you feel the need to have a FTF prize? They are rarely seen in caches placed by experienced cachers. A good cache with an empty log is all the prize they need. I've actually left FTF gifts behind when I've been the first one to the cache... feels wierd to take it...too much like a bribe to get me to the cache.

#24 User is offline   ArcherDragoon 

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Posted 02 June 2009 - 07:40 AM

View Postknowschad, on Jun 2 2009, 09:48 AM, said:

View Postcsaws, on Jun 1 2009, 07:15 AM, said:

We are placing our first hide and are struggling to figure out a FTF prize. What do you normally use?


Why would you feel the need to have a FTF prize? They are rarely seen in caches placed by experienced cachers. A good cache with an empty log is all the prize they need. I've actually left FTF gifts behind when I've been the first one to the cache... feels wierd to take it...too much like a bribe to get me to the cache.

Though I tend to leave First-to-Find prizes in most of the caches I place (usually Unactivated Travel Bug Tags or Geocoins)...I usually don't take any First-to-Find prizes...

#25 User is offline   TeamFiestyMidgets 

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Posted 02 June 2009 - 10:10 AM

View Postknowschad, on Jun 2 2009, 06:48 AM, said:

View Postcsaws, on Jun 1 2009, 07:15 AM, said:

We are placing our first hide and are struggling to figure out a FTF prize. What do you normally use?


Why would you feel the need to have a FTF prize? They are rarely seen in caches placed by experienced cachers. A good cache with an empty log is all the prize they need. I've actually left FTF gifts behind when I've been the first one to the cache... feels wierd to take it...too much like a bribe to get me to the cache.



Knowschad...I usually agree with your posts, but I have to respectfully disagree this time. I think that is your opinion. Which you are whole heartedly entitled to, but I have met several geocachers that have thousands of Finds and lots of FTF....they leave and take FTF prizes. I also know where you are coming from. But, I think it is a personal preference but I would not generalize the entire experienced community of geocachers by saying they don't like to find a good FTF gift.

As to OP....I say do what you feel is fun and prevelant to the cache. NEVER over extend yourself for a cache. If you can't put a FTF prize in...it is ok.

Here are some FTF prize ideas I currently am doing.

I am working on a multi that has a series of 5's in it...so the prize is a Five Dollar Footlong!

I place one the other day that had a magnetic keyholder for the FTF to place another cache.

I like you am trying to think outside the box and come up with creative FTF prizes....but we also give that much thought to the SWAG (shiver me timbers) has all pirate items. eyepatches, pencils, coins...blah blah blah and the regualr booty.

Our night cache we are working on will have a FTF prize of a headlamp! Just fun stuff! :P

#26 User is offline   MTGeoPirates 

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Posted 02 June 2009 - 06:40 PM

We usually try to stick with the theme of the cache when we leave FTF prizes (which we have on all but one of our regular size caches). For our cache at a ghost town we left a book about the history, for one near a copper mine we left a copper nugget magnet. A FTF pin from Geoswag makes a nice little prize as well, especially for smaller caches.

#27 User is offline   knowschad 

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Posted 02 June 2009 - 07:25 PM

View PostTeamFiestyMidgets, on Jun 2 2009, 10:10 AM, said:

View Postknowschad, on Jun 2 2009, 06:48 AM, said:

View Postcsaws, on Jun 1 2009, 07:15 AM, said:

We are placing our first hide and are struggling to figure out a FTF prize. What do you normally use?


Why would you feel the need to have a FTF prize? They are rarely seen in caches placed by experienced cachers. A good cache with an empty log is all the prize they need. I've actually left FTF gifts behind when I've been the first one to the cache... feels wierd to take it...too much like a bribe to get me to the cache.



Knowschad...I usually agree with your posts, but I have to respectfully disagree this time. I think that is your opinion. Which you are whole heartedly entitled to, but I have met several geocachers that have thousands of Finds and lots of FTF....they leave and take FTF prizes. I also know where you are coming from. But, I think it is a personal preference but I would not generalize the entire experienced community of geocachers by saying they don't like to find a good FTF gift.



Actually, very little of that was opinion. Most of it was based on my local experience. I'd guess that fewer than, say, 5%, if that, of our new caches have any sort of FTF "prize" in my neck of the woods.

#28 User is offline   d.c.e.edmo 

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Posted 02 June 2009 - 07:43 PM

I did my first hide today and left an LED flashlight for the FTF and let my young daughters put the rest of the swag in. The FTF left the prize, which is fine with me, but I kind of like the idea of leaving something a little special. The hide was fairly simple, with a nice walk, so just starting out and hope to do some more challenging hides as I play the game more.
P.S. Hey knowschad, I am in the south metro of your neck of the woods. :P

#29 User is offline   d.c.e.edmo 

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Posted 02 June 2009 - 07:46 PM

Double post, sorry!

This post has been edited by d.c.e.edmo: 03 June 2009 - 06:43 AM


#30 User is offline   csaws 

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Posted 02 June 2009 - 08:51 PM

Ok guys, it was placed June 1 and found within two hours. I did not place a FTF as this one was placed with community service in mind. If you knew where it was and what I do you would understand. If ya want to try to guess it is GC1T52F

#31 User is offline   Lloyd & Harry 

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Posted 15 June 2014 - 02:23 PM

we usually leave 1 or 2 dollar lottery tickets since its better than just giving a toonie or a loonie.

#32 User is offline   SUV2003 

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Posted 16 June 2014 - 01:46 PM

I like to leave unactivated geocoins as a FTF in my larger caches.

For micro containers I leave a two dollar bill, you can get them at your local bank.

#33 User is offline   copperisblue 

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Posted 16 June 2014 - 05:22 PM

I put a First and Second prize in a theme cache. The cache is a joke on swing music and is at a really awesome swing hung from a branch of a 100+y.o Beech tree in the middle of some woods near my house. The cache description says to make some music and have a swinging time, and so I do my best to keep the cache filled with kazoos. FTF and 2ndTF got bigger, nicer (LOUDER) kazoos that were still pretty cheap.

My point, I prefer something to add to the fun, rather than of worth.

#34 User is offline   popokiiti 

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Posted 16 June 2014 - 06:54 PM

We used to leave something for the FTF, the ones that spring to mind were gift certificates to Tim Hortons - coffee/doughnut (and more now) cafes to our non-Canadian friends. In a couple, the prize was for the third to find, as FTF had the honour of the blank log.

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