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Cache destroyed- Found or DNF?


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Situation: Out caching and upon nearing the cache you discover a fire has recently burned the area. Upon reaching Ground Zero you see a melted pile of plastic (as in it WAS a tupperware type cache) and the ring from a key chain. Is the evidence of an existing cache enough to warrant a find or must you sign the actual log in order for it to count as a find?

I've read about other caches being "mowed over" by construction equipment and I've seen logs as found and DNF in these cases. So, what is the "official" answer?

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Situation: Out caching and upon nearing the cache you discover a fire has recently burned the area. Upon reaching Ground Zero you see a melted pile of plastic (as in it WAS a tupperware type cache) and the ring from a key chain. Is the evidence of an existing cache enough to warrant a find or must you sign the actual log in order for it to count as a find?

I've read about other caches being "mowed over" by construction equipment and I've seen logs as found and DNF in these cases. So, what is the "official" answer?

It's a DNF.
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. . . must you sign the actual log in order for it to count as a find?

I’ve heard of all the following cases where the finder couldn’t sign the logbook but still claimed a find:

 

1. Found remains of muggled cache.

2. Found spot where cache had clearly been but it was gone.

3. Found cache with container and/or contents wrecked by elements (fire, water etc)

4. Found cache but couldn't open it.

 

So, what is the "official" answer?

As far as an “official” answer goes, who is the umpire?

 

http://www.geocaching.com/faq/ contains the following:

"What are the rules in Geocaching?

Geocaching is a relatively new phenomenon. Therefore, the rules are very simple:

1. Take something from the cache

2. Leave something in the cache

3. Write about it in the logbook"

 

If you consider these to be the “rules”, if you can’t sign the logbook, then no find can be logged.

(In theory they exclude TNLN, too!)

 

On a semantic point though, what you log is a “find”, not a “signed the logbook”.

I have logged a find in the case of a muggled cache, but sought the OK of the cache placer first, and emailed them photographic proof.

I have also accepted such finds on my own caches.

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Yeah, I'm with briansnat. Unless you can unequivocally state that it was indeed the cache container, and not some random garbage that happened to look like plastic, then I'd count it as a DNF.

 

Although, I'd check the plastic for part of a geocaching sticker or something. Or strewn about pieces of paper from a logbook, anything like that. Who knows, you might stumble across the actual cache :ph34r:

 

But yeah... my rule of thumb is that unless my name is written on something that goes inside something else, I count it as DNF. Although, if I DID find a completely shredded, eaten-by-bush-mulcher cache, which was obviously a cache, I'd sign a piece of my own notepad that I carry with me, and wedge it into a crack on whatever the largest piece was that I could find B). Obviously, I'd be telling the cache owner about this both in my log, and by email. If they'd want me to log it again after they replace it, I'd have no qualms with that.

Edited by Kabuthunk
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there's been one that I logged as a find when I wasn't able to log it in the log book. The cleverly concealed camoflaged micro had a log book jammed in there that I was unable to retrieve. I figure that since I touched it, I could log it. :ph34r:

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The plastic, melted or not is irrelevant, if you didn't sign the log you don't claim the find. Lets say an ammo can survives a fire but the contents are carbonised, bad luck no find. If you want to claim a find for standing close to where the cache once was then how close do you need to be, why bother get out of the car, in fact why bother to leave you home.

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So a micro which I found wedged in a crack in a wall and which unfortunately disappeared down inside it when it tried to retrieve it counts as a DNF? It certainly will for any following cachers! I notified the owner and they replaced it so I suppose I had better go back and try again.

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So a micro which I found wedged in a crack in a wall and which unfortunately disappeared down inside it when it tried to retrieve it counts as a DNF? It certainly will for any following cachers! I notified the owner and they replaced it so I suppose I had better go back and try again.

 

Yup. I DNFed the one I accidentally dropped in the river. (The paint on the bridge was a bit too rough for the magnetic keyholder to hjold properly.) (And I apologized profusely to the cache owner.) I also DNFed the one that had been hit by the lawnmower and was only shreds of paper and plastic (with a recognizable GC logo on bits).

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I had this situation a couple weekends ago. I went to find a cache that had been quite popular and supposedly an easy find. The description said it was in a magnetic key holder and the coordinates and cache name put it on a tree canopy walk that left you elevated about 75 feet above the hillside below. We searched all over and didn't find the cache up top, so I figured maybe someone knocked it down. Went down below the walkway and found the top and bottom of the container about 20 feet apart. Looked all over for the remains of a log but found only a couple of non-caching papers and one pile of paper mush. I took photos of the container, placed it (without a log) in a place for the owner to find it, and went on my way. Got back home and wrote a "found it" that included a photo of the cache container, a "needs maintenance" log, and a note to the cache owner telling him where the container could be recovered.

 

I stated in my log the reasons I was unable to sign the log and invited the owner to delete the smiley if he saw fit. If he doesn't want to consider it a find on his cache, that's ok with me. But if he wants to consider it one, I did go to the cache location and then beyond it to collect the remains of the cache. It's not like I didn't find the cache-- it was just impossible to sign the log.

 

Would it have been any different if I'd added my *own* log sheet? I've had to do that before in a cache where the old log was too wet to sign. I don't really see this as much different, as long as the owner verifies that the container I found was his destroyed cache. In either case, the log is in a condition that prevents signing (wet vs gone with the wind).

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I did go to the cache location and then beyond it to collect the remains of the cache. It's not like I didn't find the cache-- it was just impossible to sign the log.

 

Would it have been any different if I'd added my *own* log sheet? I've had to do that before in a cache where the old log was too wet to sign. I don't really see this as much different, as long as the owner verifies that the container I found was his destroyed cache. In either case, the log is in a condition that prevents signing (wet vs gone with the wind).

I log it as a "find" on a damaged cache when I found what is essentially the cache (at least the majority of the box and something to identify it as a cache, somewhere in the correct area) and reinstated it.

 

If I'm sure I've reinstated it in such a way that the next geocacher can log a routine find (so that includes adding my own temporary logbook to replace the missing one), I personally feel that it should count as a "find".

 

I've known situations where people failed to find a cache and, thinking that they have definitely found the right site, have "replaced" it with a new box. Only for the next person to find the OTHER cache, after which confusion ensues...

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had a similar incident a few years ago.

1. Went to site but container 'remains' and a few geotoys were strewn about.

2. Logged DNF and tried to contact owner.

3. DNF owner, so replaced cache (peanut butter jar) with AMMO can. Found cache :ph34r:

4. notified reviewer, began process to adopt cache.

5. Adopted cache.

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The plastic, melted or not is irrelevant, if you didn't sign the log you don't claim the find. Lets say an ammo can survives a fire but the contents are carbonised, bad luck no find. If you want to claim a find for standing close to where the cache once was then how close do you need to be, why bother get out of the car, in fact why bother to leave you home.

I'd say this is a DNF. However, if you provide a log, then it's no longer a DNF :ph34r: .

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It is up to the cache owner in the final analysis. If there is a question, the owner is the final authority. If you DNF it and he/she says to log it as a find - then it is your decision.

 

In the OP, fire destroyed the cache. Assuming this is a nice hike to a scenic area and you find the remnants of a cache but can't sign the log, IMHO it's a find. If the reason for the cache is to take me to someplace special, then the the purpose of the cache has been fulfilled. Signing the log is anti-climatic.

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Unless there is an "official" rule, I would have to go with my opinion. Realizing that my opinion will differ from others, but I can live with that.

 

If I found what was clearly the cache, and it was destroyed beyond being able to sign the log, I would add a slip of paper with my signature. That seems to be acceptable to many people around here if the log is too wet or too full to sign.

I would then send a note to the cache owner, and let him/her know what I found, (with pictures if possible). If the cache owner and I both agree the log can stand as a found, that is as official as I can get for now. :ph34r:

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I vote that it is a DNF. Yesterday I looked for a cache that someone "Found" recently. Prior to that, there were many DNF's, because the cache is missing. :ph34r: Without that "Found It" log, that cache wouldn't have even been in my GPSr, since I filter out caches that have had several recent DNFs.

 

For cachers who are caching paperless, your "Found it" might send them on a fruitless search. B)

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Yup. I DNFed the one I accidentally dropped in the river. (The paint on the bridge was a bit too rough for the magnetic keyholder to hjold properly.) (And I apologized profusely to the cache owner.) I also DNFed the one that had been hit by the lawnmower and was only shreds of paper and plastic (with a recognizable GC logo on bits).

I've dropped several caches this way. My rule - if I signed the log before losing the cache, I claim a find; but if I lost the cache before I signed the log it's a DNF. With the one exception where the cache owner was later able to retrieve the cache, I challenge anyone prove different :ph34r:

 

Assuming this is a nice hike to a scenic area and you find the remnants of a cache but can't sign the log, IMHO it's a find. If the reason for the cache is to take me to someplace special, then the the purpose of the cache has been fulfilled. Signing the log is anti-climatic.

The reason for a cache is to find the cache. If it happens to take you someplace special that's a bonus. I've gone on some great hikes with nice scenic views at the cache site and didn't find the cache at all. I log those as a DNF and usually will thank the cache owner for putting a cache there even though I couldn't find it.

 

As far as the OP, I used to log finds on destroyed caches like this but only if I could identify for sure that I found the cache. More recently my custom is to log a DNF. I had one case where the cache had been destroyed by animals and what was left of the tupperware was washed 100 ft down the hillside. But I did find the logbook sitting at ground zero. I DNF'd that one and still have the log book.

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<snip>

Assuming this is a nice hike to a scenic area and you find the remnants of a cache but can't sign the log, IMHO it's a find. If the reason for the cache is to take me to someplace special, then the the purpose of the cache has been fulfilled. Signing the log is anti-climatic.

The reason for a cache is to find the cache. If it happens to take you someplace special that's a bonus. I've gone on some great hikes with nice scenic views at the cache site and didn't find the cache at all. I log those as a DNF and usually will thank the cache owner for putting a cache there even though I couldn't find it.

 

As far as the OP, I used to log finds on destroyed caches like this but only if I could identify for sure that I found the cache. More recently my custom is to log a DNF. I had one case where the cache had been destroyed by animals and what was left of the tupperware was washed 100 ft down the hillside. But I did find the logbook sitting at ground zero. I DNF'd that one and still have the log book.

 

The part that I highlighted points out some differences of opinion. To me signing the log is anti-climatic. Finding the cache, in whatever form, is required; signing the log documents that fact. We probably agree in principle, but not in level of importance when it comes to signing the log.

Some will disagree with you about "take you someplace special that's a bonus." They feel that is the only reason for a cache. So if they take me there, why do I get all worked up over a tin box under a pile of sticks? If you don't find the cache there, it is a DNF; if you find remnants of the cache and the owner agrees, it is a find. Again, IMHO.

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Some of you said: :If i don't sign it, it is not a find". What if both your pen and the pen in the box malfunction and you have no pin with which to prick yourself to sign it with blood? Is that then a DNF?

There is always spit and dirt to make mud and leave a mark or fingerprint. A few blades of green grass munched up with spit and a stick will write ok as well.

 

Been there - done that.

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I'd say if there is something that you can absolutely identify it as the remains of a cache, then you could log it as a find.

 

Melted plastic? Nah, it's a DNF.

Yeah. I agree. However, if you see a logbook encased in the melted plastic and a little bit of heat deformed McTrash inside with it, that also counts as a find.

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The plastic, melted or not is irrelevant, if you didn't sign the log you don't claim the find. Lets say an ammo can survives a fire but the contents are carbonised, bad luck no find. If you want to claim a find for standing close to where the cache once was then how close do you need to be, why bother get out of the car, in fact why bother to leave you home.

Hoot, man. You play a tough game over there across the pond. That's a little more hard-core than the game I play. Then again, I've never come across the burnt cache situation.

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There is always spit and dirt to make mud and leave a mark or fingerprint. A few blades of green grass munched up with spit and a stick will write ok as well.

 

Been there - done that.

Note to self: Avoid caches that Starbrand has previously found...

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Hoot, man. You play a tough game over there across the pond. That's a little more hard-core than the game I play. Then again, I've never come across the burnt cache situation.

 

The point being made here is definitely knowing that what was found was the cache. A melted piece of plastic? Nope. Unless the melted GC.com logo is on it. (Though I did DNF the shredded plastic pieces.) Might have been. Might not have been.

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Situation: Out caching and upon nearing the cache you discover a fire has recently burned the area. Upon reaching Ground Zero you see a melted pile of plastic (as in it WAS a tupperware type cache) and the ring from a key chain. Is the evidence of an existing cache enough to warrant a find or must you sign the actual log in order for it to count as a find?

I've read about other caches being "mowed over" by construction equipment and I've seen logs as found and DNF in these cases. So, what is the "official" answer?

its a find. You found it and it needs maintenance. You should post both entries. In my opinion. I would work it out between the owner and yourself. There is no set "official" rule.

Edited by binghamjd
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The majority of answers here surprise me and I don't believe that this opinion is practiced by the majority out in the geoworld. Nor should it be, in my opinion. This seems too intellectualized, not very practical, and certainly not user friendly. The minority opinion, as others have noted, goes something like this:

 

1. The container is the cache. (A cache most often has a logbook inside).

 

2. If you find the container you have found the cache.

 

3. The logbook is only one form of proof that you found the container. The absence of a logbook does not mean that you must log a DNF.

 

4. Arriving at a cache site without a pen, paper, fingernail, mud & siliva, blood or anything else people have used to make a signature does not mean you forfeit the right to log a Found It. There are other ways to prove you visited the site (and you should always prove that you visited the site).

 

5. If the container is in place at or near the original location but has been damaged by fire, animals, mugglement or other misfortune and some or all of the contents, including the logbook, are missing, it still qualifies as a find as long as a preponderance of the evidence allows you to make a reasonable assumption that it is, in fact, the container.

 

In your example I would not be too quick to log a DNF because it might actually be the container. But… it also might just be someone's nearby trash.

 

As a cache owner, if I find a web page Found It but no corresponding signature in the logbook I will scan the finder's log and their activity of that time period for evidence that the visit was actually made. Finding none I have emailed the finder for a description.

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Some of you said: :If i don't sign it, it is not a find". What if both your pen and the pen in the box malfunction and you have no pin with which to prick yourself to sign it with blood? Is that then a DNF?

There is always spit and dirt to make mud and leave a mark or fingerprint. A few blades of green grass munched up with spit and a stick will write ok as well.

 

Been there - done that.

 

I haven't found one yet that was totally destroyed, but I did sign a log with the charred tip of a pine needle once . I now carry two pens AND a pocketfull of pine needles. :lol:

Edited by troutflies
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Situation: Out caching and upon nearing the cache you discover a fire has recently burned the area. Upon reaching Ground Zero you see a melted pile of plastic (as in it WAS a tupperware type cache) and the ring from a key chain. Is the evidence of an existing cache enough to warrant a find or must you sign the actual log in order for it to count as a find?

I've read about other caches being "mowed over" by construction equipment and I've seen logs as found and DNF in these cases. So, what is the "official" answer?

Doesn't the answer depend on if the point of the exercise is to increase the find count by one or to find the geocache as left by the hider? Personally, I think the situation as described is that you might have found a place close to where the cache might have been. Close, but no cigar.

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I was recently on a streak. I found 3 muggled caches in a week. If I found the logbook,I signed it and logged the find. No logbook , no find. The 2 DNFs were damaged beyond repair and a log replacement would not have worked. I felt like I earned a smiley but I don't play that way.

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Last weekend I found a cache that had been muggled. It was an ammo can 7 miles from nearest parking (the way I went in) and 500 feet off the trail. The ammo can HAD contained all sorts of expensive swag, geocoins, and of course hte log book. All of that was gone, only a Subway sandwich bag and small dessicant pack remained. I couldn't sign the missing log, but this was obviously the cache container. I left a signed log on a sheet of paper I had with me in the ammo can, took some pictures as proof I'd been there with the can and logged it as found. I was sure that, in this case, the painted camo ammo can was indeed the cache.

 

In another case, I found an urban cache that had also apparently been muggled. Only the container was there, but due to its design, I wasn't 100% sure it was the cache. Same story, left a signed paper inside. In that case, I logged a DNF because I wasn't completely sure what I had found was the cache container. Turns out it was, but I let the DNF stand.

 

So I can go either way when the log book is missing but the cache container is intact. If the cache is destroyed and there's no log to sign, it's not a find. I've found pieces of broken/muggled cache containers already, but log them as a DNF. I've seen people log a find on a piece of trash they assume is a destroyed/muggled cache only to learn later that the actual cache was just fine, sitting well hidden a few feet away.

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...or to find the geocache as left by the hider?

 

By that thinking, when the logbook is missing, should one be logging a DNF? And when the cache has simply degraded to a bunch of trash?

Although I find myself in disagreement with poohstickz that the reason people might log some trash is just to increase their find count by one, I do agree that the point is about finding a geocache as intended by the hider to find.

 

I had one case where I found the lid of a tupperware container about a 100 feet or so from ground zero. I didn't know if this was from the cache or not. Closer to ground zero I found some mud covered trading cards. Were these swag from the cache? Again I couldn't tell. Right where my GPS zero'd out, behind a rock as described in the hint, I found only a log book. The cache had obviously beed destroyed or taken. I suppose I could meet the requirement "sign the log = a find" by signing the log and leaving it where I found it. But instead I took the log boog and logged a Needs Maintenance online.

 

In another case, I found the altoids tin, right under the lamppost skirt as hinted at by the clue. There were a couple of baubles but no log or pencil. I didn't have a replacement log sheet so I left a scrap of paper with my name. But if I didn't have a scrap of paper, I would probably have still logged a find after checking with the cache owner to confirm that I did find the cache.

 

My suspicion is that few people will log a find just because they looked. People log a find when they believe they have actually found the cache. Their level of comfort may vary. Some people find velcro at a cache site and will claim a find. Some people won't claim the find unless there is a log book in the cache to sign. I would only point out that from experience you learn that sometimes that velcro is just a decoy and the cache is still near by. Sometimes the trash is just trash and not the remains of the cache.

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Heck, in the instances the OP mentions I'd probably go with SBA. It's not a viable cache, there's no logbook to sign, you don't know the random trash is part of the cache, etc. How do you know it wasn't a decoy destroyed or someone's drug stash? Is it that important to increment your find count?

 

Borderline cases were there is a logbook, swag, etc., I'd sign the log, gather the contents the best I can, and call it a find.

 

I'd go with an SBA and if the owner repairs the cache I'd return for a find that isn't shaky.

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Does it really matter? I geocache for a fun recreational activity not because it is a game. Games have lots of rules.

 

I log the physical log in the cache container because it is fun to leave your mark and log it on the website for personal bookkeeping reasons. I also like writing log entires about my adventures to share with others. And it will be fun to go back and read what I wrote years from now.

 

To me, logging a find is not to claim an "award of merit" but is used as a tool. When I query for caches, I want to get results that do not include caches I have already found. As long as I am 100% sure that I found the cache I'll log it as a find because that is what I came out to do. I found it, had fun, time to move on to the next. If I think I found a destroyed cache but I am not sure, I'll leave a note for the cache owner. If I find a cache but the logbook is completely soaked and I don't have any scrap paper, I'm going to log it as a find. I found it. It doesn't matter to me if I do not provide proof to others.

 

I now only log DNFs for caches that I can't find, would like to try again in the future, and wouldn't mind a hint. Right after I logged my first DNF, the cache owner sent me an email telling me exactly where it was when I didn't want to know. It wanted to try again as I didn't know all the 'hiding' techniques yet. So I now only log DNFs when I don't mind the chance of getting an unsolicited hint. If I DNF and want to try again later without a hint, I leave no log entry. If I DNF because I didn't like the area or don't feel like returning, or is a DNC (did not care), I leave no log entry and just add it to my ignore list so it won't show up in queries (or anywhere at all). This has not happened, but in the event a cache owner deletes my log because I didn't properly log it by some "rule", I'll just add it to my ignore list. Simple enough.

 

I go out to have fun, to get much needed fresh air and some exercise, and to discover new and interesting places. Everything else is secondary.

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I largely agree with my neighbor, Hose502 (I currently live in Jessup, but feel more like a Laurelite), other than I think one should always log a DNF online as an aid to the owner and other cachers.

 

Of course it doesn't matter in the grand scheme of things, but what would we do with these forums if we didn't endlessly debate things that don't matter. :rolleyes:

 

I don't get the folks that claim that, NO MATTER WHAT, if you don't sign, spit on or muddy up the physical log in the cache, it must be a DNF. If that's your personal preference, fine, but some seem to question the ethics of those that don't take such a stringent stand.

 

I do think that if there is any doubt as to the authenticiy of the suspected remains of a muggled cache, you should confirm with the owner, but that it would be a find if it was, in fact, the cache. Of course, an NM log should be done, as well. An SBA is probably premature until you give the owner a chance to fix it up.

 

Happy trails,

 

Dave

 

<sidebar>

Hose502, maybe I'll see you on the trails. Keep an eye out for my CRV TB around town. Next time your over in Savage, check out my "Only a Lad" cache (my first).

</sidebar>

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If there is something that identifies it as an actual cache then I would log a Find followed immediately by a "Needs Maintenance". If there was a chance that it was just a random plastic container that was in the same area then it is a DNF all the way.

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