FTF is a geocaching term that stands for ‘First to Find.’ Now this isn’t something that usually happens to us – it’s a bit of an extra game that some geocachers enjoy chasing. What is means is that you are the first person to find a geocache that has recently been hidden. This particular one had been in its secret spot for a week now, and a couple of other caching teams have had a look for it. So we didn’t necessarily expect that we would find it. However the scarey fact is that we must be beginning to think like the person who hid this one, because we found it in a few seconds.
Geocaching is at its basis a giant world-wide scavenger hunt!! Go to the right spot, find the right thing, sign the logbook to prove you were there, and that’s it. Sounds simple –right??
Ah ha – not necessarily so. The challenge of the game is that what’s hidden can only be found at a certain geographic location (or 983,726 certain locations as the case may be) and that you need (in general) to use a GPS receiver to find the right spot and the ability to think outside the square to find the hidden box . And the fun of it is there are as many deviously minded folk out there hiding these little suckers as there are deviously evil places to hide them, and the combination makes for some great adventures. Because you could be out for a simple stroll in the park with the family, looking for a lunch box sized or larger plastic container hidden under a tree, or you could be abseiling down a rock face, looking for a something the size of a matchbox hidden in a rock amongst a gazillion other rocks.
And the beauty of geocaching is that you often end up in amazing scenic spots, informative historical locations, quirky places that only the locals in an area know about, at fun artworks or intriguing old relics or any other number of interesting places that you never knew about before.
For some people the fun is in finding as many geocaches as they can, or as quickly as they can, or before anyone else (hence the FTF thing), or as many different types as possible – or any other ‘game’ they make of it themselves. For me, it’s mostly about the places geocaching takes me and the fun PB and I have together – whether we find the pesky little things or not.
Today, we ended up on a beautiful country road that we’d never been down before, and found an interesting old farming relic, and as a bonus we WERE the first to find!!
So go here: Geocaching.com and find out how many geocaches are near you. Just enter your town or postcode. And if you have a GPS go out and find one!!!