Logging a cache
In addition to signing the paper log in the physical cache container, you should log your find online:
- To provide feedback and information to the cacher owner and other geocachers
- To keep a record of your adventures for historical or statistical purposes
Your textual log allows you to record whatever you like, but you should at least mention what swaps you made (if any) and optionally:
- What time you found the cache
- Other statistics for your own interest (how many caches that day, for example)
- Who you were with
- What you thought of the location, container, hide etc
- A GAFF rating (or similar) to record the level of assistance used in finding the stash
- A comment on the condition of the cache and whether it needs maintenance
- A story of the adventure (being careful not to included any spoilers)
- Any trackables you took or left
- Thanks to the cache owner
Remember to be polite and respectful, and that your log will be available to everyone (including children). Some people write verbose logs; others are brief and use acronyms like:
- TNLN: Took Nothing, Left Nothing
- TNLNSL: Took Nothing, Left Nothing, Signed Log
- TFTC: Thanks For The Cache
Online logs are emailed to the cache owner (and anybody who has the cache on their watchlist). Receiving and reading logs of finds is one of the most rewarding aspects of hiding a cache for many people.
You may also wish to upload photos with your log.
Blank / Short Logs
With the rise of the "App/iPhone Caching" there has been a habit of Blank, TFTC, and "Sent from my Mobile Device" logs creeping in a lot. Sharing your experience with the cache owner and community is one of the best parts of our hobby. Including some of the details listed above is not only good cache etiquette, it encourages people to maintain a high quality of hides. Blank or short/generic, ("TFTC only") logs are a sure fire way to discourage the people going to the effort to make creative, well thought out caches for your enjoyment. Some new cachers are simply unaware of good etiquette and the people behind the hides. If you are receiving these types of logs and want to help educate the new cacher, why not try adapting this email template for your own use and encourage them to give back to the community. Blank / Short Log Reply Email Template
Where to log the cache
- "GA" or "TP: Log it on Geocaching Australia
- "GC": Log it on Geocaching.com
- See Waypoint ID for a complete list.
Logging a cache on Geocaching Australia
- Go to http://www.geocaching.com.au
- Log in
- Go to the cache that you want to log. This can be done by entering the waypoint or cache name in the search box
- Go to the Actions menu and click Log this cache
- Enter your log.
- Click on Add to add your log!
- If you want to attach a photo, click the camera icon next to your log http://geocaching.com.au/pics/icon_camera.gif.
Adding A Photo To A Log
To add a photo to an existing log, simply find that log on the cache page by scrolling down to the logs section and click on the camera image on the right hand side of the screen. (Looks like this +http://geocaching.com.au/pics/icon_camera.gif). This will open up the page whcih allows you to add in a photo.
Logging a Moveable Cache
As moveable caches can be quite creative, please check the cache page for special logging requirements. With a normal moveable cache, follow these steps to log your find and move.
First Step: Log your find with a 'Found' log (this will give you your smiley!)
Second Step: When you have moved the cache to its new location, log a NEW 'Moved' log, adding the new co-ordinates and even a hint in the hint box if you wish. The hints box will update the main hint for the cache so that it will update in GSAK and the like.
GCA log tokens
- *Recommended* - to flag the find as a Recommended cache
- *Overall Experience: n* - to record a Rating from 1-5
- *FTF* - to claim the First to find
(You must included the asterisks, but the text is case-insensitive.)
A FTF, Rating or Recommendation will ONLY be applied ONCE. It will ONLY be applied the FIRST time a log is loaded.
This stops the potential issue of: A cacher giving a rating of 3. Coming in and editing the rating directly, changing it to 4. Someone else loading an old GPX file which would change the rating back to a 3.
So even if you edit a log on GC, because the log has already been loaded, the FTF, rating or recommendation will not be applied as we cannot guarantee it's not going to overwrite a manual update.
Cache Management Log Types
There will be 6 new log types available from the evening on 30-Jun-2008. Published, Retracted, Disabled, Enabled, Archived and Unarchived.
From the announcement date, when you create a new cache and save your listing it will automatically be saved with a status of Draft. This means that you can continue to edit your cache description, etc. without the cache being made available to the general community. When you are happy with your cache listing, you make your final save. You then go back to the cache listing and proceed to the "log this cache" section (found on the right hand side navigation bar).
As a cache owner, you will see the 6 new log types listed.
To release your cache to the general community, use the Publish log type. Geocaching Australia has a unique function which enables you to list a cache and have it automatically made available to the community at a given future point in time. e.g. Say you are holding an event on the weekend and that today is Wednesday. If you place the date of Saturday as the "hidden" date on your cache and use the Publish log type, the cache will be marked in the database to only become available at 00:00:01 on that future date. i.e. You don't have to wait up until Saturday morning to publish the cache. The system will do that automatically for you. If the "hidden" date is today or earlier, when you use the Publish log, it will become available immediately.
If you find that you want to "unpublish" your cache, use the Retract log type. This will place the cache back into Draft mode and will not be available for anyone to see. Please note that if you have "found" logs on your cache listing, they will NO LONGER appear in the finders list of caches found. If you subsequently Publish the cache again, these found logs will automatically reappear. Use the Retract log judiciously. It is intended for you to Retract the listing very shortly after you Published it in the event that you discover a disastrous mistake in your listing.
If you want to mark your cache as "temporarily unavailable" use the Disabled log type. This ensures that people aren't chasing down caches that may be off line for maintenance reasons.
If you want to mark your caches as available after being "temporary unavailable" use the Enabled log type. This puts the listing back into the system available and ready for finding again.
If you want to archive your cache listing, use the Archive log type. Pretty simple use really. Use this if your cache is dead and you aren't going to replace it.
Sometimes you archive a cache and then it gets found again (haven't well all done maintenance and failed to find our own cache, but someone else does?). You can use the Unarchived log to reactivate your cache listing back from the dead.
The log types are the same ones that external programs such as GSAK are already prepared to handle, so GPX files created from Geocaching Australia will continue to work with your external programs.
You are free to edit the log type or delete the log entirely. This will NOT undo the change to the cache status.
e.g. If you submit an Archive log type and then edit the log and change to it a Disabled or delete the Archived log, the cache will remain archived. As the order of logs is important in setting the status of the cache, we can never be certain that you are editing or changing the latest log so we leave the cache status as is and ask you to submit a new log type to make the appropriate change. You will be provided with a warning should you change a log type or delete a log which had a action associated with it.