In Defence of TFTC | The Geocaching Junkie

Most people have the same mix of anticipation and excitement when they place their very first geocache: waiting impatiently for that first ‘found it’ log to come in and discover what the finder had to say about your pride and joy. You might have spent an age deciding on the perfect spot, making a creative cache or researching the history of the area for your description. Then the log comes in:


Is that it? When I started hiding what I felt were clever caches, in nice locations or interesting multis with lots of history, I was severely disappointed when all I got in return was a ‘TFTC’. In fact, I came to loathe that little acronym so much, that I vowed never to use it in my logs, opting instead to type out the full words – thanks for the cache – after endeavouring to say something nice about the cache, the location, or the effort put in.

It’s not the worst thing

As time has gone on, I have come to realise that TFTC is really not the worst log you can receive on your caches. There are far, far worse things that people can write, and I’m not even talking about a full stop (period), or a random letter, or even a space – which looks like a blank log.

The Geocaching Junkie - In Defence of TFTC: why it's not the worse log you can receive on your caches

I’m talking about unnecessarily mean logs. The old adage, ‘if you have nothing nice to say, then say nothing’, comes to mind. So you hate micro caches in busy urban areas? Then don’t seek it out, find it and log it telling the CO how much you hate their cache. You found dog poo near the cache? That’s unfortunate and all, and by all means let the CO know, but it’s not actually their fault that an irresponsible dog owner decided not to bother cleaning up after their pooch took a dump at GZ.

What ever happened to being polite? 

At the end of the day, if cache owners didn’t hide caches, there would be no game for us all to enjoy. The very least a CO deserves for taking the time, effort and money to place a cache for you to find is a simple ‘thanks’ and in geocaching, TFTC can be that thanks.

The Geocaching Junkie - In Defence of TFTC: NOT the worst log you can receive on your geocache

Without question, you should report a soggy log or possibly dodgy coordinates (small note: 5-10 metres ‘out’ does not substandard coordinates make!), but for the love of all things geocaching, just try to be nice. It won’t kill you, contrary to what some folk might think. After all, it’s not a robot reading your logs, it’s a person. A real person who went to the trouble of placing a cache for you to find and earn another smiley. At worst, the owner could be a child or someone who might inadvertently take the criticism to heart and never hide a cache again.

I don’t want to make it a habit to deliver tirades about stuff that irks me, but this has been in the back of my mind for a while and just writing this post has been somewhat therapeutic.

The Geocaching Junkie - In Defence of TFTC, why it's not the worst log you can receive on your ucache

Finally, for all those people who let negative logs get in on them: take a deep breath, mutter some profanities (optional but really helps me) and move on. Choose to ignore the negativity and instead dwell on the positive logs you receive. Most people appreciate your cache ownership so TFTC!

Happy Caching!


© 2017 | Sarah Murphy | All Rights Reserved

13 thoughts on “In Defence of TFTC | The Geocaching Junkie

  1. So so true – the other day my son and i went to find a cache and on the way he slipped, it wasn’t until we got to the cache that we realized he slipped in dog poop. It was all over his pants and shoe. Well he wrote his whole log about it, and I kept saying really don’t. But he did and submitted it. Anyway, I ended up logging in on his account and calming down on his negativity on his log, for those finders after him who may read the log. But really being positive is so important. A week later he is still talking about it, I keep trying to remind him its not the dog, its the owner.

    1. I know – incidents like that can cloud your mind when you’re writing your logs but I always try to think how the CO would feel. I’ve been on the receiving end and it’s not nice 🙁

  2. Good thoughtful blog Sarah. My son hid his first cache last week and has based it on a pigeon carrying a message (which is a film pot). It is dangling over a bridge. So when the logs came in saying things like quirky, fun, made me smile, he has been well rewarded. A simple TFTC will not do!

    1. TFTC is definitely disappointing to receive on its own – especially for kids – but in comparison to the nasty things some people feel the need to write, it really isn’t the worst! Your son’s cache sounds really clever and one I’d love to find!!

  3. One must first know the history of TFTC logs. I challenge the Blogger to find a significant amount, if any, TFTC logs that were posted 2009 or earlier. TFTC logs pretty much appeared out of nowhere in the “smartphone era”, in which people apparently have an overwhelming urge to post their logs from the cache site on their smartphones with their thumbs. They are thanking people, yes. But TFTC logs are also known as the definitive example of smartphone “lame logs”. For every TFTC, there is a “Got it”, or “found it”, or the 6 exclamation points find log I received for one of my caches today.

    1. I appreciate what you’re saying about ‘lame logs’ and I do get that – but my point was that while they’re ‘lame’, they’re a hell of a lot better than the spiteful and nasty stuff some people take the time to write. No comment is better than a nasty one imho!

      1. True that! There is some spiteful and nasty stuff out there. You can definitely stay away from the drama by posting Tftc. Lame as many, including myself, feel it is. 🙂

  4. Lovely article. It would be interesting to survey the TFTC’s to see what fraction are left by cachers who have never placed a cache.

    The other one I do not like is “log to follow” when it is there for days weeks or months.

    The only solution for cache owners is to read all the other logs and see that most cachers appreciate the caches

    1. It’s too easy to dwell on negativity and forgot all the nice things lots of people say. I do think lots of people who leave TFTC only logs are people who have never hidden a cache themselves, though. Thanks for the comment (TFTC 😉 )

  5. TFTC tells us (the CO and finders nothing). It’s important to help each other. We can do this in a polite manner. If it’s a nice walk in the woods but the container is cracked and the contents are in rough shape I want to know about it. A matter of fact type of log is good. “Nice walk in the woods. The margarine tub container is cracked and the contents are in bad shape. The logsheet is wet and full. I was able to find a small spot to leave my initials using a sharpie pen.” The log is factual. It helps the cache owner, it helps the next finders. I can make an informed decision about whether I’d rather skip it and spend my time on a cache in better shape.

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