Geocache logs, this topic can bring some strong emotions to the table, usually regarding “bad logs”. When you hear “Cut N Paste” describing a log do you think of anything good? For most it bring up thoughts of “TFTC” or even worse the paragraphs of text from a story 100% unrelated to the find being logged. Cut n paste logs don’t have to be bad, boring, tedious, or plain out junk. You can leverage “CNP” to make your logs better and be a asset to the general Geocaching community.

“CNP” can make logs better? That is crazy talk. You’re lowering the bar waaaaaay to low.  How can that be? Take a moment to think about what you check previous logs for when your hunting a cache? What would you like to see in logs on caches you place? Clues, red flags, notes that problems might be happening, notes that problem have been fixed, all of the above?

General Logging

Let’s start with general logging. This is for all the caches you log a find on. Here is a template to start you out.

Condition Report:
General Status:
Log Status:
Other Notes:


Thanks for hiding this and adding to the fun of the day!

– I start out with a heading. “Condition Report” clearly identifies this portion of the log as an update on the cache.

– “General Status” Here I describe the condition overall. Examples: Cracked container, sealed well, water in the container, moldy, great SWAG, no issues, good condition.

– “Log Status:” This is specific to the log book. Most common note here is wet/dry. I also like to include a fullness update. Examples: 50% full, only 1/2 way down the first page, starting to sign on the back of the second page, it’s full time to replace

– “Other Notes:” This is the place you would give additional information as needed about that condition. I also like to include fun experiences. Examples: We saw deer on our way in, a homeless person is camping nearby, really muddy on the way in, sneaky hide, this is my find 1, 367. This also opens a prompt for you to share anything you want to remember.

– The “Thank You” line. This does what it says, thanks the CO for putting in the work so you can have the fun. Practicing gratitude makes your life better and you a happier cacher.

The best part about using a template is you can use this both as a phone logger or a computer logger. If you use Cachly you can set up a “Text Template” to pre-populate your log with the template. At home I keep a Notepad file with all my CNP templates. 

Trackable Template:

Condition Report:
General Status: (Examples) Found as reported, all parts still attached, just the tag toy no longer attached, Keychain broke in half (post a picture if you can!), added a key ring to keep parts attached.
Trackable Code Readability: (Examples) Super small print, hard to read, easy to read, code also on goal sheet
Other Notes: (Examples) no goal sheet, goal sheet still attached, printed new goal sheet, no bag, put in new bag with goal sheet, I think someones dog chewed this.

Thanks you for sharing this trackable!

Challenge CNP

The next kind of CNP templating  is progress tracking for Challenge caches. I personally love working on Challenges. The bigger and harder, the better. So that means I need to track my progress. One way I started to do this is in the logs I write. As I began I started to see I needed to keep list for some older Challenges (I’m looking at you I Love Ohio Cemeteries Challenge (GC4V5HH)). I just could not remember all the caches in cemeteries. So when I logged, I would include that I used this cache towards that Challenge.

Over time I learned that I should be adding more information.Have you ever read a log that vaguely referenced being part of a challenge. What is it for? Date placed, cache type, cemetery, pyramid days, county challenge, it could be almost anything. At events there would be chat about a find. Someone would say “Oh I did that Challenge” only to later find out they assumed it was a different Challenge. That prompted me to start including the GC of the Challenge I was working on. It is a service to other cachers who are either working on the same Challenge, but helping to show this cache works towards the goal or here is a new Challenge that you may be qualified for. Not least when you look back at your logs it will help you remember more of the fun you had that day.

This is the format I use for this section of the log, along with several examples:

I’m using this find toward a few Challenges/Souvenir goals:

– This is part of my 3,2,1 GO! Souvenir Promotion.

– I’m working to finish the Pyramid Challenge – Level 15 (GC36XB3), needing 14 (x7), 15 (x10)

– I Love Ohio Cemeteries Challenge (GC4V5HH)

– (GC5CRR3) Doctoral Degree in Geocaching. It will help me earn the “credit” Chronos III.D – Find geocaches on at least 365 consecutive days.

– my (GC5CRR3) Doctoral Degree in Geocaching. It will help me earn the “credit” for Matrix II.D Find at least 100 high-difficulty geocaches (4-, 4.5-, and 5-star difficulty ratings)

– 50 Letterbox Challenge GC855DW (2 Needed to finish)

Trip Logs

The final type of CNP is the one you probably see the most often. I like to think of this as the intro or context of the day/trip. It is used when going a a group caching excursion or muti day Mega event. I like to start with where you started (home location) where your traveling to (the goal cache, event, or other purpose), the people your caching with, (if logging later) trip stats.

Example:

Instead of being frightful the weather is delightful! So that means a geocache run!! Today MrMarkEagle,N8GLP, CLBRocker, EKB13, MrsWigglesworth and I piled in to the Eagle one van and headed to Crawford county to work on the Allegheny GeoTrail Coins. Today we signed all our logs as “CAMELS” We are Chris, April, Mark, Evelyn, Lillian, and Steve. Get it?

To pull it all together. Intro, Challenges, and Condition.

One of my actual logs:

Our family, CLBRocker, AHollyS, EKB13, MrsWigglesworth is on a quest for the 366 streak. We have been very grateful that the weather has been fantastic since we started. So this is day two for us hunting this cache. Pour planning struck us before. This time I have the battery pack, the cable and we started where we left off so we had extra time. As promised in previous logs Mama Bear was the shyest. We did manage to find her. From there we made it to the final with out trouble.

I’m using this find toward a few Challenges/Souvenir goals:

  • (GC5CRR3) Doctoral Degree in Geocaching. It will help me earn the “credit” Chronos III.D – Find geocaches on at least 365 consecutive days. This is Day 24.
  • GC5CRR3 Doctoral Degree in Geocaching. It will help me earn the “credit” Non-Traditional Geocaching II.D – Find at least 100 Multi-caches. I only need two more now!

Condition Report:
General Status: Good/In Place
Log Status: Dry/ Plenty of room remaining on the log for future signers
Other Notes: All stages in place.

Thanks for hiding this and adding to the fun of the day!

Statistics for this log (according to Microsoft Word):
Words 191
Characters (no spaces) 886C
Characters(with spaces) 1.074
Paragraphs 6Line 1

If your chasing a Challenge to have XX average word length logs, want to write more interesting logs, or just want to simplify the logging process with some short cuts, I hope you can implement these easy to use ideas.

Happy Caching!

Do you use copy and paste logs? What tactics might you use that AHollyS suggested? Have you seen cachers use this format or similar one before?

April Holly Smith (aka AHollyS) has been a registered member of Geocaching.com since 09/08/2001,  finding her first geocache until December 2007. She is currently on an epic quest to earn her Geocaching Doctoral (GC5CRR3). [It’s huge have a look.] She is currently a stay-at-home mom. In addition, she enjoys volunteering with Girl Scouts, and as Geocaching Coordinator for Stan Hywet Hall and Garden in Akron, Ohio. April can be contacted on Instagram @AprilHollySmith .

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