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Logging Missing Caches As 'found'

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I know this is a contentious issue which has probably been discussed before, but I'm going to raise it here again.


There is a growing tendency to log missing / stolen caches as 'Found', and I want to question this practice. How can one log a find if the cache container has been stolen or moved? You haven't found it, you've only found the spot where it was hidden. Last weekend vespaxvespa and I 'found' TV&M's Sea View cache using the old clues, which lead us to an empty pile of stones. Visiting the web page again, we realised that the original cache had been muggled, and a new one placed in a new spot. We both logged DNF's, but if finding the original hiding spot qualifies us for a find, then I'm going to log it as such.


Come on, guys! The quest for scoreboard points shouldn't compromise our ethics in this game/pastime. Be honest and log a DNF (there's no shame in it), and if the cache is replaced, go out again and find it.

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I have on a few times been TEMPTED to log a Found when you know you are so close to the cache that you can smell it, but just cant find it; that or have driven rather far only to be disappointed.


We did not create the ranking site so that people could change the way that they play the game. If we (or should it be I, don’t want to get part 3 in trouble) could we would deduct 1 million -_- points from people the log DNF as Finds or multiple Finds just to up their score. Unfortunately we can’t, and are therefore reliant on cachers to be honest…


though this in itself is not a bad thing…

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Here, Here


I would venture to say I have a 20% DNF rate. and I'm not ashamed of it. -_-


The point is to explore. I love it and geocaching gets me to more places than I could otherwise. Finding the plastic container or trading swag is secondary to the experience of a place.

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We believe that one should always log a did not find, if you did not find the cache.

I do know that while in the UK we were told that if a cache is missing and you send a photograph of the correct place where the cache should have been, most cache owners, after checking and discovering the cache gone, will then email you asking you to log it as a find, if they cannot replace it immediately. This is not common practise though, and nor should it be. After all, the very reason we go out hunting is to be rewarded with that container at the end!

We have just had a wonderful trip and did 65 caches - 60 finds and 5 DNF's, which we have logged as such.

Whether one logs DNF's as finds, or repeatedly log the same cache, we are only cheating ourselves and surely that defeats the object totally!

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I'm with QFC on the 'tempted-to-log' point. So many times you just cannot find the cache, but you have come so close and the temptation is to just log it. I think this point has been discussed a lot , and ultimately, it is down to your own conscience. I can be a policeman and point out to a fellow cacher that he has logged a cache incorrectly, but if the cacher wants the find to stay, then what ? I have logged a raided cache as a find, but I tried to re-instate it as best I could, and I felt it was OK. Others might not. Two cachers have logged a cache near Piet Retief as a find with no container. (I use this as an example of a cache I did not even bother to log but was tempted to log it as the cachers before me logged it as finds) Many cachers have logged multiple finds on the Locationless caches in clear violation of the rules, but if you are going to fret about that then you will forever be mailing cachers and trying to rectify a situation that is not going to change. I cache because I enjoy it. I cache because it brings me places. And as far as other cachers go, let them cache their way.

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What is the point of logging the cache if you did not find it. After all by logging a did not find the cache owner should go and check if the cache is still there so that people dont keep on going to the same cache rpeatedly as in gchd5j or gcb61a. i was planning to do these in a couple of weeks but now wont because it is clear that the cache is missing.

Clearly a DNF means either the cache is missing or the person did not find it so by logging a find the cache owner will never know that it is missing.

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We believe that one should always log a did not find, if you did not find the cache.


What if you absolutely know the cache is gone? For example, today I went to check on "Just Call Me Stumpy". I know the cache container was hidden in a crack in a large stump from an email from the last person to find it. That stump has been wash away during a flash flood as I thought it would. Should I log it as a DNF? I don't feel bad if I don't becuase I know for sure it is missing. I did log a note.


I searched for a cache that the last several logs were DNF's and did not find it. I talked myself into not logging it at all. Three weeks later I logged it as a DNF, I figured I knew the last several logs were DNF's and I could have chosen not to look for it and since I choose to look for it anyway I should log it as a DNF.


My numbers only mean something to me, so I log my DNF's as such. My big question is, is it really a DNF if it is truly missing?



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Some good points raised here. And it's good to see most people feel the same way about 'finding' scraps of paper where they think the cache was. There are some other bizarre practices doing the rounds too. To boost numbers? Strange!


But the great thing about caching down at this end of the planet is that most folks know who follow those unwritten (but well-known) rules, and who don't! Ha!



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Sometimes the temptation is (very) great to log a find in stead of a DNF.

A few weeks back I made a round trip of about 200 Km and couldn't find a cache. My wife and I spent more than half an hour walking around, waiting for the satellite constellation to change sufficiently. My GPSr kept taking me back to the same spot time and again however. Eventually I took a photo and called it a day.


Turned out that the published cache co-ordinates were wrong and that the actual position was 112 metres (straight line) away.


I could have logged a FTF if the co-ordinates were correct. Being so out of my normal travel area this will mean another trip. So, yeah, the temptation was definitely there to log a find!


Happy Hunting

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Its really simple for me. Did I find the cache?

Yes - then log it as such. No - then its a DNF.


If you want to post a log for finding a position only, then play Shutterspot.


If you cant find it for whatever reason, you still did not find it. The only time that I dont post a DNF, is if I have to break of the search, but know that I will be back to hunt for it soon (next day or 2). If then, I dont find it, it is a DNF.


One of my first DNFs, if not the first, was Loodsberg Pass, and it was far from home, so I search for more than 90 minutes. Boy was it frustrating and disappointing, but I did not find the cache - so a clear DNF.


But, this is a recreational activity, so no need to get the blood boiling, to each his own.

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Just wondering how other cachers feel about the new trend to log Virtual caches that are overseas without leaving South Africa and googling the answers that are required.

We always thought that one had to actually go to the spot and find the answer to what was asked!

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Ja, I also can't quite see the point of logging a virtual without actually visiting the site!? Does anybody actually do this? I thought getting there was all the fun. I mean none of us are in this for the contents of the cache, its to get there and seeing new parts of our great planet.


I thought one only did this with locationless caches, and even then you have to get out and find a specific position.

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I guess that all depends on how the cache owner has set up the virtual or locationless cache. In many cases, the seeker is encouraged to make use of the Internet or other resources to find the answer, thereby enabling them to log the find without having to visit the site. Others would require that you visit the site to obtain information not available anywhere else. I don't have a problem with this, if the conditions set by the cache owner have been met.

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No, one certainly cançt log virtual caches overseas, even if you have been there before and know the answer. One actually has to go there afresh in order to log it, as far as I know, otyherwise i would well be scouring the net for virtual caches I could add from my previous overseas trips.´´


As for the temptation of logging a find for a cache which is clearly missing, nothing could be more tempting to do so than when you have taken 3 planes to get to Rio, another 3 planes to get to Bolovia, 2 extremely long and unpleasant bus trips, plus an overnight train trip, followed by a 3 day 4x4 trip in the worlds largest salt pan, only to come up with 2 DNF,s which were not found by previous searches either.

Not t mention gasping for breath struggling up a hill at 4000m above sea level. :)


Luckily, I havemanaged to resist the temptation to log these as findsª

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MEA CULPA ... MEA MAXIMA CULPA!!! :D and I'm very ashamed :cry:

I thought about this one for very long and very hard, and decided to change a log for one that I did not find but logged as a find.


Consider these thoughts of mine for a moment:

1) To log a find when you've not really found the cache is just unsportsmanlike - that just not cricket. I think to brand someone as unethical is just not proper and a bit harsh, especially if you do not know that person at all or for that matter very well. Geocaching still is a sport/game/pastime and in every sport/game/pastime people sometimes err - just help him/her gently to learn the finer tricks of the trade - and there are gentle means to do this in our sport/game/pastime. If it is obvious that the player does this regularly just to garner a few points (and you know him/her well enough on a personal level - then fire away with a few harsher words!)


2) If there are no hard and fast rules to consider - written down somewhere - there always are chances for doubt or even misinterpretation. For me a find is when you can put your hand on the log book and add your own name to it (after my learning experience quoted above) - in the case of a traditional cache. In the case of virtuals the finder should consider whether the cache was meant to be found/visited "virtually" (ie by means of research on the internet or whatever means of research - for example GCC349 International Space Station - where no mere human being without the right contacts can ever pay a visit) or if you should pay an actual visit to count objects/get a date or info, etc (for example - GCGA0Z - Kloofnek Historical 12P - where it is clear that the owner wants you to visit). Still there are the grey areas as people look at different things from different points of view.


I've got better things to do than brood on the past ... let's go caching, who's coming along!!! :)

Edited by Wolkynou
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Just wondering how other cachers feel about the new trend to log Virtual caches that are overseas without leaving South Africa and googling the answers that are required.

We always thought that one had to actually go to the spot and find the answer to what was asked!


IT'S WRONG! A virtual cache has a real location. I can think of 3 or 4 virtual cache in places I have been to 30 or more years ago. I know I could answer the questions to count it as a log. Should I count them as logs? NO! Finding the answer as to log it without visiting defeats the purpose of geocaching.



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I think to brand someone as unethical is just not proper and a bit harsh, especially if you do not know that person at all or for that matter very well.


Yes indeed, you are quite correct and I'm sorry for offending people by questioning their ethics. It was an unfortunately harsh choice of words taken in the heat of the moment. My apologies for that, then.

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OK, now for our five cents worth .... !

There are virtual caches and there are definite armchair caches - both are logged as virtuals, but are totally different from one another.

Virtuals are those caches you go to and find something, see something or photograph something and then have to email the owner with the answer. In other words, there is no cache container to be found and no log book to sign.

An armchair cache is something else again. Haggis Hunter - a very well known and knowledgable cacher from across the sea - has bookmarked these caches and right at the top of the first page, he states these caches are ones that can be completed from the comfort of ones home and are perfect for when one is ill or injured and unable to leave ones home. Probably also ideal for those countries who have extra long dark winters and snow galore - after all, life must be pretty boring at times like that when one cannot get out of doors.

Now the question is ...... in our ranking system, should these caches that require very limited effort, actually count as many points as those that require our navigational skills, expense and lots of hard work to achieve? For example, perhaps they should only count one point instead of two or perhaps there should be a completely different ranking for armchair caches, which would enable the elderly and perhaps infirm, to compete amongst each other. How one would actually separate them into a different point category though, is quite beyond us, but may be someone has some bright idea on this subject!

But, in the end, what really counts is that we are all having fun and enjoying ourselves, no matter how we cache.

Regards to everyone,


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Did we post "Found It" logs last summer that stated the cache needed to be archived because it is not there anymore?


Hope not! Sorry, I just noticed now how prevailant this practice is!


I noted to each his own, and I still stand by this to a degree, but this logging practice does not help anybody (except maybe the logger to score points).


There, its off my chest. Goosefaba to all!

Edited by perdix
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