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DNF'd or not?

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When we are out caching and do not find a cache, I usually make a point to:

1. Log the DNF.

2. Put a watch on the cache for a while to see if others have found it after me.


I'm not sure if I am right in saying this, but I do think that there are a couple of cachers in SA that do not go through the trouble of logging a DNF. It might be because they think the next cacher will do it, or it might be that they think it doesn't matter or it might be that they are afraid that the might look like a ninny for not finding a cache... I don't know.


How this came to my attention is the caching spree myself and GreenJaM did on Good Friday. We decided to concentrate on a specific area and see how many caches we could get on the day. Now all the caches we found had been found recently by other cachers, except the one's we DNF'd on. The last time most of the caches we DNF'd on were found was towards the end of 2007 and had no DNF logs after that date. This in itself is not suspicious until you look at the map.


What we found is that there would be, for instance 4 caches in a 1.5km radius, three of these caches had been regularly found recently. All three would have been found by the same cacher on the same day, yet cache number 4 reports that it was successfully found up to end of 2007 and then nothing after that (no logs, especially not DNFs). What is more interesting is that cache number 4 would be closer to cache number 3 than say 1 and 2 would be... Most cachers I know will go after a close cache if they reach the first cache they went after and see that there is another cache close by.


My question is thus as follows: Is it just coincedence that more or less 4 completely different cachers would cache in the above, not mentioned, area and all of them would just ignore cache number 4 if all of its logs are found logs??


In my opinion, logging a DNF does not reflect badly on a cacher logging it as it helps other cachers, planning to visit the area, to plan their caching for the day. Secondly it assists the owner in maintaining his cache as cachers now have the oppertunity to confirm whether a specific cache is indeed is in need of replacement or repair.


I don't know... Any thoughts on this?

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If I've feel I've had a good look proportional to the cache difficulty then I will but if (like on a trip back from CT recently) I was jammed for time, briefly looked but could not find then I dont. Was just as well as was found the next day but someone else.

Edited by Gerald
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If I've feel I've had a good look proportional to the cache difficulty then I will but if (like on a trip back from CT recently) I was jammed for time, briefly looked but could not find then I dont. Was just as well as was found the next day but someone else.


I'm not referring to drive-by, quickly checking if you can find it under a minute (except if cache is D1T1, but you have touched on this already) type of caches when you're already late for a meeting. I mean people setting out to do a caching day and searching hard for the cache and upon not finding it also not logging a DNF. I mean all the caches around said caches have been found many times in the last three months, but said caches have got zero logs. No Finds, No DNFs, No Notes, Nothing and it is practically next to (walking distance) one of the frequented caches.

Edited by eragonSaphira
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A DNF is just as important to the owner as a find in my books. Lets the owner know that their cache is first of all been searched for and active or not. I make a point of logging all visits to caches be it to find, DNF, write a note during a return visit or maintenance on my own caches. It certainly helps to see when a cache is still available. Should you be on your way to go find it. If time allows I often revisit caches I have found before just to see if they are still there and ok. Maintain if need be and trade coins or tb's if any are in the cache. I am sure that the cache owners of some caches are quite happy to see that I return to their caches to log a note. I made a slight detour into the berg the other day to check up on a DNF where the owner is no longer in the country. He was very happy when I confirmed that the cache is indeed still there. With this check it was ensured that the cache had a visit the following week. If it was not for me checking the cacher who found it was ready to give it a miss due to the previous DNF. So watch them DNF's and if you know where it is just check up on the cache and state if the cache is indeed missing or not. This way we can lessen the chances that the caches are logged as DNF's.


A DNF is not bad. We all have to get one sometime or another. I have logged up to 3 DNF's on a cache before. Sure it means I couldn't find it. But it also lets the user know that their might be a problem or he just hid it well.


I think I have 2 or 3 outstanding DNF's to attempt again. But I keep an eye on them. Next time I am there again I hope to find them. If not, I will log the DNF. No shame in that.


Just my thloughts on the issue.

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A DNF is just as important to the owner as a find in my books.


Fully agree. You're doing the cache owner as well as the caching community a disservice by not logging it. Notes are just as important. It allows owners and fellow cachers to know what's going on at a cache and that it is still active or there is potentially a problem.


Personally, only log a DNF if I've had an opportunity to search properly and am convinced that there is a problem. Else, I'll still log a note to say I was there but didn't have time or opportunity to do a comprehensive search. Even a detailed note may indicate to an owner that there's a potential problem or not at the site and perhaps trigger a maintenance visit, e.g. NOTE- hunted around the fallen tree but wasn't able to search all the hidey holes - Cache owner thinks... wait a minute, the tree used to be upright...must go check on cache!

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I think your observation could be flawed although I also believe that are people that is not logging a DNF.


During our last Pretoria raid we passed a lot of caches very close to us. An observer could easy say that we did visit the caches but is not logging the not finds. However there is a reason behind this madness.


However to understand why some caches are missed I would like to publish our technique of researching possible finds. We determine a specific point, our last trip in Pretoria was easy – we use the place we stayed as a reference point. We then set a target of 20 caches per day with a safety limit of 5 which give 25 caches/day. If the total time available is 4 days we will select a radius which will give us a total of 100 possible finds. We then adjust the radius to accept another safety margin and we then end up at about 140 caches as an initial target.


We then use GSAK to update the logs and we research the possible caches. The first scan we do is on DNF’s. This is easy with GSAK. Just go to the little red blocks on the left which represent a DNF. We then read that specific listing. If there is more than 2 DNF’s we remove this specific cache from our list of possible finds. If there is a DNF but a newbie was doing it we could keep it on the list. However, if an experienced cacher is saying we searched everywhere and we could not find it then the cache will be deleted from our list as a possible find. We then search for the too easy ones or the too difficult ones or the ones that need more than an hour to get it – this is also deleted. We then keep an eye on the entrance monies and if this is exceeding our budget it will be deleted from the list of possible finds.


With this technique we carry on until we are back at the original target of 100 possible finds. With other words we eliminated 40 caches from the original list. We then export this to Map source and we look at the final layout. If it is obvious that if a cache is too much out of the way we delete that cache as well. We then read all the logs and we ensure that the final list is acceptable.


During our last trip to Pretoria we deliberately missed the one cache with about 50 meters. If I remember correctly it was a cache from cache fan. When we arrive at the site we notice that some repair of the rocks next to the road were in progress and there was a possibility that the cache was on the other side of the fence. We do not climb fences and we drove straight pass the cache without visiting it. If one take our finds and log it one will notice that several caches were close.


Same in MP. We bypassed a lot of caches on our way, but there is a reason behind it and a method. For the casual observer it could be seen as “He does no like my name or my caches, or he is finding them but do not log the DNF’s”. But we will come back at a later date for them.


The lesson learned from this is that cachers must do their maintenance, if a DNF is recorded he must attend to it or else he will limit the visits.

Edited by gerhardoosMPsa
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Planning.... Pha....


I drive and see a cache show up on the GPS I go for it..... I find out later if it is archived or not when I go to log the DNF. After all a cache is supposed to bring me to a place that is going to be visually rewarding even if there is no cache there anymore..... Or so I am led to believe... LOL.


It is all about the place not the box full of trinkets....


Hardcore caching is what it is all about. DNF's are the best. Especially if you got that worthwhile feeling of why it used to be there..... LOL.


Be not afraid to log the DNF it is not a shameful thing to do, we as the caching community will not think less of you for your inability to find a cache disguised as that empty Coke can, you know, the one you threw away. We appreciate the effort you put into stopping next to this wonderful waterfall admiring the view that we did too. And for spending the best part of the morning looking for the cache, all the time getting in some fresh mountain air and enjoying nature instead sitting round at home and rotting away on the couch watching some junk on the TV. Your DNF means a lot to me, it tells me that you got to experience a part of my life. A scene or trip that I at one stage enjoyed. Thank you for been there and sharing the experience although it be through a little container you could not find.

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I understand that people sometimes decide to skip a cache for various reasons... But in this case, I personally think it was a worthwile cache and it has not been found in six months. Now statistically it is possible that this one particular cache falls thourgh the caching crack for all cachers visiting the area, but I'm just not convinced that this is the case.


All I guess I'm trying to say is that there is more to geocaching than just logging a "Found It". Personally I think that the "Write Note" is also a worthwile log, and not just for dropping travel items.


My motto is that if I attempted a cache and for some reason could not complete it, at least do something. If I could access the site and search for the cache, I'll log a DNF. If I couldn't get access to the site/area where the cache was placed, I'll write a note letting the owner know that I did attempt his cache, but for reason X,Y or Z I could not get close to the cache (like the shop is closed on public holidays).


But I have to agree with Wazat, not all my caching is planned. If Saphira is with me in the car and a cache pops up, Eragon pulls over :laughing:

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I admit to one or 2 unlogged DNF's but in all those cases I have been back to try again within a week or two to try again. If I don't find it I will post a DNF and admit to previous failures! In general I log all DNF's (even "quickies"). I too place them on a watchlist. I also try keep a vauge track on caches I was last to find as I hope that I hid them well enough that they should not be muggled. DNF's from cachers after my find have promted me to do a quick cache check when I am in the area, taking some of the burden off the owner. Recently a micro on Boyes drive had about 5 DNF's after my last visit and I had to check it out.....still there!

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