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DNF Protocol


Melor
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You went looking for the cache and Did Not Find it. Sounds like a DNF log to me. They are not a demerit - just a tidbit of useful information.

 

Agreed. Some people seem to think they are some sort of a black mark. DNFs are just a log type that notes the result of your hunt. The reason you didn't find it is irrelevant.

 

It could be argued that leaving a DNF there if the cache is missing is more important because it will prevent others from wasting their time on the cache.

 

The DNF is now part of your caching history and the history of the cache. No point in deleting it and changing

the history.

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I DNF'd a cache. The cache was later determined to be missing. Should I keep it listed as a DNF, or change it to a comment? Not that I am expecting a prize or anything, but I hate to keep a DNF on my record if it wasnt there to find.

 

This is the cache

http://www.geocaching.com/seek/cache_detai...86-e0d1e5f6dc49

 

Thanks for the advice.

 

Paul

 

I'd change it to a note and in that note I'd explain exactly why I posted it as a note and not a DNF. This way it might not be as upsetting to future visitors to the cache page. :P

 

No wait, I'd post it as a note. That I originally thought that a DNF was correct is the concern of no one. :P:P:P

 

A geocache that does not exist, cannot be found nor not found. It does not exist.

Edited by Team Cotati
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You went looking for the cache and Did Not Find it. Sounds like a DNF log to me. They are not a demerit - just a tidbit of useful information.

 

I guess that's my problem, It feels like a bit of a demerit.

 

Paul

 

I have 136 DNFs at last count. If it's a demerit I'm in biiiig trouble. Actually some of the most fun I've had while geocaching resulted in a DNF. No way would I delete those logs.

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You went looking for the cache and Did Not Find it. Sounds like a DNF log to me. They are not a demerit - just a tidbit of useful information.

 

I guess that's my problem, It feels like a bit of a demerit.

 

Paul

A DNF if the cache is actually missing is definitely not a demerit. You provided useful, important information. :P Now, I guess I could look at most of my DNFs as demerits, since it seems they were actually in place . . . :P However, I still don't change my DNF no matter how many people after my DNF write, "Easy find. TFTC!" :P

 

:P

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Wear your DNF as a badge of honor! I agree with others who say leave it as it is. To say a missing cache "can't be found or not found" is unsound logic. But it's not as bad as this actual "found it" log I saw recently: "Can't log this as a DNF, cause it wasn't there to be found!" NOT entered as a note, but as a find!

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I agree with the last few logs; a DNF is nothing to be ashamed of. It may be frustrating at the time, but is often useful because a few in a row will alert a cache owner that his cache may be missing. If you really feel terrible about a DNF, wait awhile and try again just after a maintenance visit or another find is made, so that you won't doubt that the cache is there. One final note: some caches are just really hard on purpose, and often require several visits and some hard thinking to figure out. (Alluvial Material springs to mind -- 61 finds and 41 DNFs, plus a handful of DNF-equivalent notes.)

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You went looking for the cache and Did Not Find it. Sounds like a DNF log to me. They are not a demerit - just a tidbit of useful information.

 

I guess that's my problem, It feels like a bit of a demerit.

 

Paul

 

Yeah I feel that way as well. I went out today to find a cache, I was looking for about 20 mins and couldnt find it for the life of me. It was a micro in a light pole that I was looking for. So instead of logging a DNF I just emailed the owner for some help.

 

I take it that was ok^?

 

Scuba

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You went looking for the cache and Did Not Find it. Sounds like a DNF log to me. They are not a demerit - just a tidbit of useful information.

 

I guess that's my problem, It feels like a bit of a demerit.

 

Paul

 

Yeah I feel that way as well. I went out today to find a cache, I was looking for about 20 mins and couldnt find it for the life of me. It was a micro in a light pole that I was looking for. So instead of logging a DNF I just emailed the owner for some help.

 

I take it that was ok^?

 

Scuba

No official "rule" or anything but I personally would log a DNF. If I Looked and Did Not Find - log the DNF. If I find it later - I log a "find" type log.

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I DNF'd a cache. The cache was later determined to be missing. Should I keep it listed as a DNF, or change it to a comment? Not that I am expecting a prize or anything, but I hate to keep a DNF on my record if it wasnt there to find.

 

This is the cache

http://www.geocaching.com/seek/cache_detai...86-e0d1e5f6dc49

 

Thanks for the advice.

 

Paul

 

I'd change it to a note and in that note I'd explain exactly why I posted it as a note and not a DNF. This way it might not be as upsetting to future visitors to the cache page. :P

 

No wait, I'd post it as a note. That I originally thought that a DNF was correct is the concern of no one. :P:P:P

 

A geocache that does not exist, cannot be found nor not found. It does not exist.

 

Just thinking that the cache exists causes the cache to exist. Just because someone says it doesn't exist doens't mean you can't play the game however you want. If you want to hunt non-existent caches, you have every right to do that and post DNF's on them.. Play how you want to play.

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You went looking for the cache and Did Not Find it. Sounds like a DNF log to me. They are not a demerit - just a tidbit of useful information.

 

I guess that's my problem, It feels like a bit of a demerit.

 

Paul

Yeah I feel that way as well. I went out today to find a cache, I was looking for about 20 mins and couldnt find it for the life of me. It was a micro in a light pole that I was looking for. So instead of logging a DNF I just emailed the owner for some help.

 

I take it that was ok^?

 

Scuba

If you look at your logs for caches as a sort of online "journal" of all your caching experiences, successful, and not so successful, you will want to log that as a DNF. Even if you go back the same day and find the cache, you visited that location twice with a different outcome each time. Being able to look back at your Geocaching logs, providing you write more than "TNLNSL" or "Couldn't find it." will provide great entertainment someday. :P

 

Your DNF log will also be helpful to successive finders. When they read "I looked for 20 minutes and couldn't find it so I decided to give up and email the cache owner for a hint.", they will know what they are up against.

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...but I hate to keep a DNF on my record if it wasnt there to find...

 

I don't understand this sentence.

 

Most people hate DNFs "on their record" if the cache is there to find, because it makes them look foolish saying that they could not find it, when it was there all along.

 

What ends up happening, is that a DNF is only posted to imply that the cache is not there, but thats just silly, as it is a good reference point for time and effort spent.

 

In actuality, the true purpose of a DNF log is to psyche out all future seekers, and to make their humble efforts seem futile, so they give up the search more easily.... And so that eventually someone can come along and find the cache very quickly and make them all look stupid!

 

In case you were wondering...

 

:P

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You went looking for the cache and Did Not Find it. Sounds like a DNF log to me. They are not a demerit - just a tidbit of useful information.

 

I guess that's my problem, It feels like a bit of a demerit.

 

Paul

 

Yeah I feel that way as well. I went out today to find a cache, I was looking for about 20 mins and couldnt find it for the life of me. It was a micro in a light pole that I was looking for. So instead of logging a DNF I just emailed the owner for some help.

 

I take it that was ok^?

 

Scuba

 

OK, I guess. At least the owner knows someone was looking and had problems. But nobody else will know.

The next person may come along and see no DNFs, figure it should be easy and give up quickly. If however they see DNFs among the logs they will know that they may have to put more effort into the search.

 

Your DNFs are important information to all cachers, not just the owner.

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I suppose there are no hard and fast rules on this matter. Personally I think of a DNF as a challange to make right. I don't have a problem with indicating DNF as long as it is there to find. When I first marked the location as DNF, I assumed it was there to find. Now that I know it isn't I will change my DNF to a comment. Later if and when the location becomes active again, I will re-hunt it. At that time I will restore the DNF or, hopefully the find.

 

It seems to me that you cannot indicate DNF OR Found if it isn't there.

 

Paul

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For me if I get out of the car and don't sign the log it is a DNF

 

Did not find....because the cache was gone

Did not find....because I couldn't cross the river

Did not find....because I am a wimp and couldn't put my hand in the spider filled hole

Did not find....because I couldn't find it, even with hints from the owner.

Did not find....because I got tired of walking

Did not find....because I don't like digging through trash behind the dumpster

Did not find....because my wife said it was time to come home.

Edited by webscouter.
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I leave my DNFs --I figure it means I did not find the cache. It really doesn't matter if it was there or not, I looked for it and I didn't find it.

 

I've heard people say they won't leave a DNF unless they are sure the cache is missing. That mystifies me. How do you know it isn't there if you've never found it and don't know where it's supposed to be?--I've even had people email me to tell me I need to go replace my cache because they looked for it and couldn't find it (Yeah, I went there, I looked, the cache was still there after all --they just didn't find it).

 

"DNF" is an acronym for "Did Not Find" ~after all, it's not DNF for "It wasn't there"

 

Here's my take:

You don't know if a cache is there unless you find it. If you look for it and don't find it, it may be there or it may not be there, but in either case, it's groovy to log a DNF. It's fine to leave the DNF there if you learn the cache really was missing and that's why you couldn't find it. It's also fine to leave the DNF on file even after you go back and find the cache.

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As an owner of a paddle (or wade through waist-deep water) cache that occasionally goes missing following a big storm, I felt bad when someone went to the trouble of kayaking out and found nada (the cache difficulty is rated 1; it's getting there that's the trick). I was grateful the cacher notified me, and I'm fine with it being posted as a comment. The person clearly was right on the intended spot. But whatever.

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I suppose there are no hard and fast rules on this matter. Personally I think of a DNF as a challange to make right. I don't have a problem with indicating DNF as long as it is there to find. When I first marked the location as DNF, I assumed it was there to find. Now that I know it isn't I will change my DNF to a comment. Later if and when the location becomes active again, I will re-hunt it. At that time I will restore the DNF or, hopefully the find.

 

It seems to me that you cannot indicate DNF OR Found if it isn't there.

 

Paul

 

There are no hard and fast rules in this sport. There are what are considered to be common practices and logging DNFs if you don't find a cache is one of them. The reason is immaterial. If it isn't there, you didn't find it. If you didn't find it then it's a DNF log.

 

Changing it to a note will only confuse future seekers. A DNF log will catch their attention and may prevent them from wasting their time hunting a missing cache. In this case the owner disabled the cache promptly, but that doesn't always happen, so DNF logs are important information for other geocachers.

 

You asked what the protocol is and that is to log a DNF if you don't find a cache. It's not a rule, but it's what most people do.

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Don't get me wrong about the DNF. I have no problem marking a DNF. Currently I have one DNF out there - after converting the one mentinoed at the top of this thread to a note. It will stay a DNF until I either find the Cache, or the owner tells us it's missing. I understand a DNF is good to tell the hider that it's possibly missing, or tell other hunters it may be a tough one!

 

A DNF tells me to go back and try again, and I don't need that marker to tell me to go look for a missing cache.

 

I am new here, and am very pleased to see how much user interaction there is, and how decent everyone seems. Cool. Some of these internet boards are rouigh, glad to see all seem friendly here.

 

Paul

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Don't get me wrong about the DNF. I have no problem marking a DNF. Currently I have one DNF out there - after converting the one mentinoed at the top of this thread to a note. It will stay a DNF until I either find the Cache, or the owner tells us it's missing. I understand a DNF is good to tell the hider that it's possibly missing, or tell other hunters it may be a tough one!

 

A DNF tells me to go back and try again, and I don't need that marker to tell me to go look for a missing cache.

 

I am new here, and am very pleased to see how much user interaction there is, and how decent everyone seems. Cool. Some of these internet boards are rouigh, glad to see all seem friendly here.

 

Paul

 

The great thing about geocaching is that you can play the game your own way, regardless of how most people play it.

 

But why come here and ask what the "protocol" is if you fully intend to play your own way no matter what everyone else says?

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You went looking for the cache and Did Not Find it. Sounds like a DNF log to me. They are not a demerit - just a tidbit of useful information.

 

Agreed. Some people seem to think they are some sort of a black mark. DNFs are just a log type that notes the result of your hunt. The reason you didn't find it is irrelevant.

 

It could be argued that leaving a DNF there if the cache is missing is more important because it will prevent others from wasting their time on the cache.

 

The DNF is now part of your caching history and the history of the cache. No point in deleting it and changing

the history.

 

Well said.

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Don't get me wrong about the DNF. I have no problem marking a DNF. Currently I have one DNF out there - after converting the one mentinoed at the top of this thread to a note. It will stay a DNF until I either find the Cache, or the owner tells us it's missing. I understand a DNF is good to tell the hider that it's possibly missing, or tell other hunters it may be a tough one!

 

A DNF tells me to go back and try again, and I don't need that marker to tell me to go look for a missing cache.

 

I am new here, and am very pleased to see how much user interaction there is, and how decent everyone seems. Cool. Some of these internet boards are rouigh, glad to see all seem friendly here.

 

Paul

 

If I log a DNF it is there to stay. If I go back and find it then that is a new log, it does not mean that I didn't look for it the first time. Once again people THIS IS JUST A GAME

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I suppose there are no hard and fast rules on this matter. Personally I think of a DNF as a challange to make right. I don't have a problem with indicating DNF as long as it is there to find. When I first marked the location as DNF, I assumed it was there to find. Now that I know it isn't I will change my DNF to a comment. Later if and when the location becomes active again, I will re-hunt it. At that time I will restore the DNF or, hopefully the find.

 

It seems to me that you cannot indicate DNF OR Found if it isn't there.

 

Paul

 

You can't find what's not there. You can not find what isn't there to be found. That's a DNF. It's a DNF because if you actually did know it wasn't there you would not look to begin with. It clued the owner to check the cache.

 

As for the challenge it works like this.

 

1/1/08 DNF! Looked High Looked Low. No cache.

1/2/08 DNF! Looked Medium. No cache.

1/3/08 DNF! Looked Behind and Before. No Cache.

1/4/08 DNF! Looked Through and Beyond. Still No cache.

1/5/01. Ha! Found it in the last placed I looked!

 

The 1/5/08 log is your vindication, and challenge met. The other logs tell the story that this is no easy cache to find.

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I DNF'd a cache. The cache was later determined to be missing. Should I keep it listed as a DNF, or change it to a comment? Not that I am expecting a prize or anything, but I hate to keep a DNF on my record if it wasnt there to find.

 

This is the cache

http://www.geocaching.com/seek/cache_detai...86-e0d1e5f6dc49

 

Thanks for the advice.

 

Paul

 

If I try to find a cache and do not find it, it is a DNF (Did Not Find). Makes no difference if the cache was really there or not as I was still *trying* to find it.

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I don't see DNFs as demerits or signs of failure, they don't take away from your found it score. The most important thing about a DNF is that it indicates to other cachers and particularly the cache owner that there may be a problem with the cache. Logging a DNF is actually doing a good thing for the caching community. I'd be really angry if there was nothing untoward on the cache page, I spent time trying to find a cache I didnt know was missing, then later found out that other cachers had failed to find it but not notified anyone via the cache page!

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I don't see DNFs as demerits or signs of failure, they don't take away from your found it score. The most important thing about a DNF is that it indicates to other cachers and particularly the cache owner that there may be a problem with the cache. Logging a DNF is actually doing a good thing for the caching community. I'd be really angry if there was nothing untoward on the cache page, I spent time trying to find a cache I didnt know was missing, then later found out that other cachers had failed to find it but not notified anyone via the cache page!

Exactly! That is very frustrating. A while back two of us searched for a cache hidden in an Italian cypress tree. There were several trees in a row beginning to look very ragged where people had been searching for the cache. :yikes: Even with an explicit hint, we couldn't find the container . . . but there were no previous DNFs. :santa: However, there had also been no finds for a few months.

 

That should have been a clue that the cache was missing, but DNFs would have been much more helpful. :yikes:

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My DNF rate is probably higher than most cachers (roughly 10%), and they get logged. Of my 168 DNF's 117 of the caches were in place when I couldn't find them, 10 were probably there but as of now are "status unconfirmed", 2 are probably gone and 39 have been confirmed as missing. My oldest still unfound entry is from September 2003. I've made at least three trips out to that spot and still can't make the aerial photo make sense. I did eventually find 61 of the 117 that were there during my first visit.

 

During my first few months of caching I edited my DNFs to Founds, but then realized that the owner doesn't necessarily notice the edits and may make a needless trip to check the cache. And as others have said, leaving them in place gives a more accurate cache history for anyone ready to give it a try. I personally will avoid a cache that has a string of 3 or 4 separate DNF's unless the owner has checked and confirmed it's existence.

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I personally will avoid a cache that has a string of 3 or 4 separate DNF's unless the owner has checked and confirmed it's existence.

I will avoid a cache that has two consecutive DNFs from experienced cachers.

 

I've also noticed that whenver I cache with a large group of cachers, whenever we DNF a cache typically only 2-3 people will log a DNF for that cache because the rest must figure that the owner gets the point.

Edited by TrailGators
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As an owner of a paddle (or wade through waist-deep water) cache that occasionally goes missing following a big storm, I felt bad when someone went to the trouble of kayaking out and found nada (the cache difficulty is rated 1; it's getting there that's the trick). I was grateful the cacher notified me, and I'm fine with it being posted as a comment. The person clearly was right on the intended spot. But whatever.

 

Uh, I believe if you need a boat to get to the cache you're supposed to rate it a 5......

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As an owner of a paddle (or wade through waist-deep water) cache that occasionally goes missing following a big storm, I felt bad when someone went to the trouble of kayaking out and found nada (the cache difficulty is rated 1; it's getting there that's the trick). I was grateful the cacher notified me, and I'm fine with it being posted as a comment. The person clearly was right on the intended spot. But whatever.

 

Uh, I believe if you need a boat to get to the cache you're supposed to rate it a 5......

That's for terrain rating. :yikes:
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DNF's are good it forces the huy who placed the cache there to do a bit of maintenance on the cache. If it is indeed there then note it for those who had a DNF to think about it again. Some times people just give up too easily. Also if you DNF a cache put it on your watchlist so that you will know if someone else didn't find it or did for that matter.

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I don't log most DNFs, but that's beacuse I am lazy, not because I am ashamed of them! I only log them if I have ben there before and know where it should be and can't find it close by (I often play tour-guide for lots of cachers to caches I have visited many times).

 

Trust me, EVERYONE has DNFs, logged or not!

 

I have found a bunch of caches, yet I DNF them fairly regularly - I would have missed two Saturday if one of the women with us wasn't so sharp-eyed and diligent (both were nano-cache dislodged and in the grass 5-8' from where they were supposed to be... I had found them before, when they couldn't find them I looked and they were gone... I would have filed a DNF on those but Searching4Fun kept looking till she found them)!

 

I regularly cache with very experienced cachers, even some with the highest find counts in the world, and we DNF some on every cache run!

 

It's certainly not a black mark on anyone's ability or history, just a natural part of the game!

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I guess that's my problem, It feels like a bit of a demerit.

 

Paul

 

Thank you, Paul! You just gave me the inspiration to add the following to my profile stats:

 

DNF LOGS: 56 (and still going strong!)

 

I appreciate DNFs just as much, if not more, than finds. Some of the more entertaining caching moments for me have been on DNFs!

 

So, this probably serves as an answer to your OP. There are no hard-fast rules, but I would recommend leaving DNF logs - even for caches that were not there and have been archived. As Starbrand pointed out, a "did not find" is one regardless of the cache - you did not find it.

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I guess that's my problem, It feels like a bit of a demerit.

 

Paul

 

Thank you, Paul! You just gave me the inspiration to add the following to my profile stats:

 

DNF LOGS: 56 (and still going strong!)

 

I appreciate DNFs just as much, if not more, than finds. Some of the more entertaining caching moments for me have been on DNFs!

 

So, this probably serves as an answer to your OP. There are no hard-fast rules, but I would recommend leaving DNF logs - even for caches that were not there and have been archived. As Starbrand pointed out, a "did not find" is one regardless of the cache - you did not find it.

 

Wow, this one sure prompted a lot of discussion :unsure: How about if you find the cache container with no lid and a laminated card next to it that appears to be the stash note? There was no log to sign but I logged a find and emailed the owner that it had been damaged and moved. Was this the right way to handle this situation?

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Wow, this one sure prompted a lot of discussion :unsure: How about if you find the cache container with no lid and a laminated card next to it that appears to be the stash note? There was no log to sign but I logged a find and emailed the owner that it had been damaged and moved. Was this the right way to handle this situation?

 

Sounds good to me. My most extreme case was finding a pile of swag and a wet glob of paper that used to be a log.. no container at all. They wanted the ammo can. I took it all home, emailed the owner.. dried it out.. trashed the junk and mailed the rest to the owner to start a new cache. Oh yes.. and claimed a find.

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If you can be sure that what you found was the cache, or part of it, and you had to add a new log and rehide, you can count that as a find. You found it, even though it wasn't intact.

 

Two situations for you to ponder.....1] I found a cache on the ground, but it would not return to it's hiding place because the tree was rotting further. I moved the cache to another spot for safety and emailed the owner the new coords and a description. Claimed a find. 2] Wife and I found a cache, but it didn't quite match the description. We claimed a find, and logged with a question mark. Received an email from the owner. We had found a placed but never published cache just feet from the hide we were seeking. Not the cache, log was changed to a DNF, FTF not claimed, and we still have a cache to seek there. The geolitter was later removed.

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Wow, this one sure prompted a lot of discussion laugh.gif How about if you find the cache container with no lid and a laminated card next to it that appears to be the stash note? There was no log to sign but I logged a find and emailed the owner that it had been damaged and moved. Was this the right way to handle this situation?

 

Some people will say that it's not a find unless you signed the log. I think that if there is enough of the cache there that you can be CERTAIN that it is (or was) the cache, then it's OK to log a find. You did find it.

 

People have been known to log finds on Velcro strips and screw holes. I think that's a bit cheesy, but if there is a container and stash note, then you can be reasonable certain you found the cache.

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I don't log most DNFs, but that's beacuse I am lazy, not because I am ashamed of them!
I am lazy too. That is also one of my big reasons for not logging some. I don't even log all my finds anymore. It seems pointless to log caches that I can't remember a week later. When I'm caching I only mark my founds in my GPS. I don't mark DNFs. So I can easily forget about them a DNF when I sit down to log my finds. It would be helpful if the GPS had a DNF button too. If I spend a lot of time looking for a cache and don't find it I will remember and log it to give the owner a heads up. I filter out caches that have two consecutive DNFs, so that helps me avoid a lot of DNFs. I will even avoid caches that have one DNF depending on who DNFed it. I don't enjoy wasting my time on those when there are so many caches to find with no DNFs.
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