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Thread: FTF Hounds and the Use of Munzees

  1. #1
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    FTF Hounds and the Use of Munzees

    I just learned last night that the placement of munzees in unpublished caches is being monitored by some FTF hounds to score the FTF on these caches! This was news to me, as I don't do the munzee thing.

    Apparently, when a munzee is activated at the cache location, munzee seekers are alerted and can check the munzee site to see if there is a GC code referenced. This gives them a "heads up" that a new geocache is going to be published soon, so they can be ready to dash out the door as soon as they get the alert that the cache has been published. They even know ahead of time where to go. I know of one case where the FTF hound actually found the cache the day before it was published, using the munzee system, but didn't log it as found until the day it was published. Very dishonest, if you ask me. That is, the finding of the cache before it was published and then claiming the FTF. But I guess folks play the game in different ways.

    As far as monitoring the munzees to see when new caches are coming out, I don't think that is dishonest; it just provides the FTF hound with an advantage over non-munzee hunters. But if you want to give everyone a fair chance at being the first to find on a new cache, you might wait until the cache has been published before placing a munzee in it.

    I'm curious as to what do others think of this practice.
    "Wildness is a necessity." -- John Muir

    "When you go to hide a geocache, think of the reason you are bringing people to that spot. If the only reason is for the geocache, then find a better spot." briansnat

  2. #2
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    Does groundspeak have an official stance on Munzee's in geocaches? I've heard that they're not thrilled with the idea, but don't really know for sure.

    As the munzee site has evolved, the ability to more accurately place them has become as good as on any other placement site (i.e. using a handheld GPS to get coords), which was one of the big drawbacks to the munzee game initially.

  3. #3
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    I don't do the munzees. My phone is not capable of doing them and now that I have passed so many of them by , I will not do them when I upgrade my phone. I like the fun of trying to beat someone to a cache for FTF if it is a seasoned cacher. But will hold back if there is new cachers in the area hunting as well. To each his own is the way most look at it. My own is to play a game that I feel good about. So with all that being said I guess I agree with ORR that the munzee should go in after the FTF has been found.

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by TnT View Post
    Does groundspeak have an official stance on Munzee's in geocaches? I've heard that they're not thrilled with the idea, but don't really know for sure.
    I have not done an extensive search on Geocaching.com, but here's a couple of comments from a moderator on the GC.com forums:

    http://forums.groundspeak.com/GC/ind...post&p=4796877

    http://forums.groundspeak.com/GC/ind...post&p=4799166
    "Wildness is a necessity." -- John Muir

    "When you go to hide a geocache, think of the reason you are bringing people to that spot. If the only reason is for the geocache, then find a better spot." briansnat

  5. #5
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    Thanks Frank, that second one seems to say it all. At least as of last August.

  6. #6
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    FT who?

    I think it's interesting how GroundSpeak is not really supporting this. In all honesty, if I understand the game like I should, GroundSpeak should have developed something like this a while back. It would be so much easier to log geocaches if we could just scan a QRC, type in a few words and move on. I don't play Munzee and I probably won't anytime soon (something about using a phone that barely sends picture texts keeps me from playing).

    As far as the FTF thing, I don't personally care. If using the Munzee is how you get a FTF, congrats for figuring out the system. I think the whole FTF, # of finds, etc is counter productive to the original idea of geocaching (or at least my idea of the sport) anyways.

  7. #7
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    Since I was the publisher of the cache and the munzee in question, I find it amusing how news of this has traveled so quickly and become a little skewed. So, let me tell my side of the story. The cache is a replacement in a prime real estate area of a popular park. So, when the original cache was archived the day before, naturally, those of us who like to hide them took notice. FTF hounds start picking up scent in these areas as well, in anticipation of a new hide. FTF knew I was sniffing around because I had just logged a find on a new cache of his in the park. More than coincidence, eh? He called me to say hello and to tell me he would be leaving town for the day. For all I know, he or someone else could have hidden one and submitted it for publication, and don't think that I didn't look for a new container before placing mine, to try to get that ultimate FTF prize, the unpublished cache! No luck on finding one, so I hid one, and put a munzee in it, with no intention whatsoever of using the munzee as a flag for a pre-published cache. I submitted the cache for publication, which I anticipated to occur rather quickly, and I have no idea why it took so long. I thought maybe there was a conflict with another one being published, so I waited with baited breath for a word from CW. I know that our reviewer has a life, too, and I have never expected any specific time commitment from him. I went ahead and activated the munzee after submitting the cache for publication, never really thinking anyone would notice there was even a munzee in it until they found the cache, and then...surprise! For you non-munzee hunters, THERE IS NO NOTIFICATION SYSTEM for newly published munzees*. [*I have read that one can send a FB update or tweet when one deploys a munzee, thereby potentially notifying anyone following your updates or tweets, but I don't know of anyone who has done this.] You either have to be within a certain range and pull it up on your smartphone app, or go through a tedious process of identifying something out of place on a slow, online map. Munzees can go for days or even weeks before being discovered. I recall that evening that CW was engaged with GC.com, as I got notification of a cache that he archived. I thought any moment I would get a new cache publication, either mine or someone else's, and got ready to jump if it wasn't mine. But....nothing. I thought about un-deploying the munzee, but figured the cache would be published as I slept. I was dog tired and went to bed early. Waking up the following morning, still no new cache. A little later, I received a notification that my munzee had been captured...and I assume the cache as well, which wasn't published until later.

    In all fairness, the early bird gets the worm, and the smart one at that. Without any significant insider information, and despite being out of town (and out of the competition) when the cache was expected to be published, FTF still managed to win, and I say, "Bravo. Well played."

    Now, to add more to the story....another cache was published the day after I hid mine, with a munzee in it. I had no idea that there was a munzee in it because (A) I didn't even look beforehand, and (B) the CO didn't publish the munzee. Besides the fact that I was there within fifteen minutes of publication, handicapped by pulling a pontoon boat , the cache had already been found by someone who lived really close to GZ with some special insider information (elbow, elbow; ). Imagine my frustration when I couldn't capture the munzee...because it hadn't been deployed....because the CO didn't want the munzee giving an unfair advantage. Oh, the irony of it. I naturally thought something was wrong with the munzee software itself, so I called the CO from GZ, to find that it had not yet been deployed. No big deal, I would just walk her through the process of changing the munzee coords, but she didn't convert from deg min to deg dec and the desktop program locked her out until the next day. (I have been educated.) No big deal at all to me to come back and visit and capture the munzee.

    So, just to set the record straight, I did not intentionally use munzee.com to alert anyone to an FTF. I expected the person who found it to be out of town when it was published. I have heard via podcasts that Groundspeak is antagonistic with munzee.com, even encouraging reviewers to specifically obstruct cache publication if a cache description mentions a munzee. I think it would be a boon to both services, and Groundspeak should get smart and embrace the fellowship. It would be nice to have a munzee attribute, be notified via GC.com for any new munzees located in caches, and to have a system where the two are published simultaneously to avoid unfair advantages, deployment/capture problems and unnecessarily having to return to a cache following its publication for both owners and hunters of munzees.

  8. #8
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    I really enjoy your thoughts on Munzees, Captain. I've had some trouble with Munzees, up to and including not having service to capture, but I REALLY like the fact that it is an instant capture and instant deployment. Are there Munzees in bad locations, including school grounds? Yep, but there are also bad Geocache deployments as well, through no fault of the Geocaching reviewer. The reviewer doesn't drive to said location to inspect the cache, and my understanding is they use the same outdated satellite images publicly available to us. I believe Groundspeak would benefit greatly if they took a more friendly take on Munzees. I know five people in El Dorado who for some reason don't like geocaching, for whatever reason, but LOVE to capture and deploy Munzees. El Dorado has many, many more Munzees that anywhere around as testament to this. Ultimately I feel like Groundspeak should go to a QR Code based scan for geocaches as it would really simplify the game.

    On another note the Munzee deployment map ROCKS in the fact that you can go to satellite view and instantly pick up your deployed pin and move it exactly where you want it based on the satellite view (of course assuming the satellite image hasn't changed). The days of: You are only 523, 521, 524, 525, 526, 527 etc. would be gone, but wait now you are too close to "xyz" cache so off we go again to move the cache AGAIN . This would be especially helpful while hiding in urban areas with interference from buildings, power lines, trees, etc. that really affect the GPSr.

    For the record I have found an unpublished cache in Ruston while searching for a FTC (First To Capture) Munzee. To my amazement on gc.com when I got home the cache wasn't even published yet. Therefore I did not log it as a find. Could I have waited until it published and the logged it? I'm sure I could have. Would it be right? Would this actually really matter in the grand scheme of life? Where did these games we play for fun suddenly turn into stressful and emotional drama based on what someone else thinks? What happened to just going out and claiming a smiley and getting out and having FUN wondering around in circles in the woods?

    Captain, I believe you have done no wrong here. Even if you would have added this particular cache to the letterbox website or waymarking or what ever that is called, or any other internet based hide and seek game, it is YOUR property. You OWN the cache. Should you want to buy a full page advertisement in the Arkansas Dem-Gaz promoting an area where you plan on putting a cache with coordinates- It SHOULDN'T matter. Why should you have to explain why or why not you do anything with your property? This is a game and it seems like people lose track of that simple fact... I appreciate those who give back to the game by hiding caches as I know several people who don't. For if it wasn't for people like you, this hobby would not exist.

    AFM quietly climbs off his soap-box and he is going to bed...

    Happy Cachin'

    AFM

  9. #9
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    With regard to the two previous posts, I would ask both of the posters to go back and read my initial posting that launched this thread. Nowhere in my posting did I accuse or even suggest the cache owner of doing anything wrong or intentionally providing insider information to another person to allow a cache to be found before it was published. My point of this thread is to bring to the attention of others that by placing a munzee in your unpublished cache and activating it, you may be providing an unintended advantage to those who are avid about FTFs.

    If the cache owner wants to do this or doesn't care, then that's OK with me. Heck, if the CO wants to give the coordinates of his unpublished cache to a friend so they can get the FTF before it goes public, I'm OK with that because it IS their cache. But, with respect to the munzees, I think the CO should do it with the full knowledge of what they are doing, and some cache hiders may not have been aware of the advantage provided by the munzee.

    Munzees have been around for a while now, and I only learned about this a few days ago, from two independent sources, and neither of them did not want to provide an advantage to the munzee/FTF hunter when they launched their munzees with their new caches.
    In the case of the cache with a munzee that was found before the cache was published on GC.com, the munzee was logged at 7:19 AM on the day the cache was published, while the cache was not actually published until the afternoon. And it sounds like that was not the intent of the CO, since he made an assumption about when the cache would be published when he launched his munzee.

    With regard to a new munzee notification system, perhaps I misunderstood the folks who were telling me about it, because I just assumed it was automatic, like the GC.com notification system. Like I said, I don't do munzees, so I don't know how one goes about finding out about new ones. But I was led to the impression that it can be done and IS being done.




    "Wildness is a necessity." -- John Muir

    "When you go to hide a geocache, think of the reason you are bringing people to that spot. If the only reason is for the geocache, then find a better spot." briansnat

  10. #10
    Join Date
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    Crow Mountain, Russellville Area
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    Implicitly or explicity, I do feel a small cloud of suggestive murmuring from the local community in general, but I certainly haven't worried or lost sleep over such a trivial matter. Just wanted to clear the air a bit.

    You are perfectly correct in that if I wanted to just outright give someone an FTF, I could just give them the coords and tell them there's a virgin cache there. And I've done that before with tribute caches where I wanted the honoree to also be honored with FTF. One nice aspect of the game is the relative liberty we are given to play it.

    I did indeed make an assumption about when the cache would be published. No expectations or judgments, just an educated guess. [Because my reviewer is so committed and responsive ; and yes, I really mean that.]

    I believe you have the best solution, just to return to the cache and deploy it after the cache has been published. From reading Keystone's posts in the Groundspeak Forums it is clear that an alliance is simply not on their list for discussion, and for that, they are hypocritical, but that's beating a dead horse.

    One thing I am still confused about is when you say the FTF on the cache is very dishonest. I take that you believe one should only sign a log sheet after it is published? This is an old controversial topic as well, and I stand firmly entrenched without regret on one side. I bet you can guess which side, since I think the most glorious FTF is the unpublished one, the one you really have to use your puzzle-solving skills to find. Heck, that even gives me an idea for a new cache.

    Justin, I won't say you are a better man for not claiming FTF on the unpublished cache, because I don't think it's a moral issue. I know that I definitely would have claimed the FTF! I would have been "dishonest" and proud of it. Now if I had other insider information that I felt gave me an unfair advantage (e.g., I was with the CO when he placed it), then of course I would not claim FTF. I can tell you out of the 258 FTF's I have logged, I can really only right this second remember one, maybe two that I found prior to publication. So, it is very rare. There are at least three others in which I did not get the FTF for various reasons. One was vetoed by the reviewer at a certain location, so the CO placed it someplace else. Even though the true FTF thought I had already found it, and I could have been dishonest and said that I went out at midnight to find it, I did not. I had been proud of myself for discovering it in its original hiding spot. I didn't even claim a find on it until I had gone out and found it (in the rain) in its second hiding spot. Another, a tricky puzzle cache, I figured out GZ and had all the time in the world to find the cache, but couldn't find it! (And I still had to PAF after it got published...so there is justice in the universe for you laughing right now). The third bears my name at the top of the logsheet but I have no idea which cache it is or if it has even been hidden. It was done more as a good-natured joke to the CO.

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