First to Find
It is a bit like being the first to ride a roller-coaster; there is a special thrill to being the first, but just about everybody will enjoy the ride!
For some cachers, being First To Find (FTF) of a new cache is an extra bonus, beyond the regular thrill of the hunt. Many cachers keep a separate count of their FTFs, and regional caching groups often have competitions for who has the most FTFs within a geographic area.
Although the person(s) who physically find a cache first may not be the first to log their find online, by definition, the FTF honours belong to the person(s) whose name is at the top of the logsheet. Cache listings sometimes immortalise the FTF cacher by adding their name to the cache listing for posterity. Terracaches take it a step further and offer a separate code to confirm who was the First To Find.
Some caches include a special swag item for the FTF person. With a little creativity, this can be done in all sizes of containers. An example might be a microcache placed near a new movie theatre with a $5 gift certificate to the theatre as the FTF prize.
In populated places it is not uncommon for the FTF to be claimed on a new cache within minutes of publication. FTF seekers, sometimes referred to as FTF Hounds, often use mobile internet and/or SMS notifications to alert them to new cache listings.
Sometimes you will also see the terms FTFAP (First To Find After Publication) or FTFP (First To Find Published). These terms are sometimes used when a cache found has already been found (and its logbook signed) before it was published. (There are several ways to find caches before they are published, some devious and some not.) The term FTFP was coined by NotThePainter who started using it in the Manchester, NH, area.
- First to Find, in Czech with English subtitles (GoGeocaching channel on YouTube)