February 10, 2008

First To Find (FTF)

Does it seem like whenever a new cache becomes available in your neighborhood, that somebody has already found it, before you even knew it existed? And does it seem like it's always the same people that are the "first to find" these caches? Well, more likely than not, these people are using a little tool available to premium members on Geocaching.com called, "Instant Notification Service". This feature allows you to monitor a specific area for certain types of cache logs that are posted to the geocaching.com web site, including newly published cache postings near you. You can set up the service to notify you by email whenever a new geocache goes "live" in your neighborhood.

To get started, go to the "My Account" section of Geocaching.com, then click on the link to "Set Up Notifications", and finally, click on "Create a new Notification". Here, you'll be presented with various subscription options to choose from, starting with the type of cache to watch. Let's choose "Traditional Cache" to start with, as an example:

Next, you need to choose what type of cache log you wish to monitor. For new cahces, select "Publish Listing":

Finally, enter the latitude and longitude coordinates, or the zip code, of the area you wish to monitor for new caches (presumably, your neighborhood), and the radius in miles from that point you wish to monitor. By default, the service will send you an email notification to the email account on record, but if you want to use a different email address, you can enter it here. Click on the "Create Notification" button, and you're done.

At this point, you may want to go back and create additional notifications for other cache types, such as multi-cache, webcam cache, earthcache, etc., to make sure you get notified any time a new cache, of any type, is hidden in your neighborhood. I am not aware of any limit on the number of notifications you can create.

Now, all you have to do is monitor your email, and before you know it, you'll be the one logging an "FTF"!

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