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When to log a DNF?


Penguin_ar
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This may seem obvious- you log a DNF if you don't find the cache. But should you always log a DNF?

 

For example, what if I am out walking with my twins and the dog, and I bring the GPS for a bit of geocaching fun. Due to my hangers on, I might not be able to spend more than a few minutes looking for a cache, and thus might miss even a very easy one. Especially when I am only getting used to the GPS system and to geocaching! Logging a DNF in that case could be missleading to the cache owner, and kind of wrong for me too, as I didn't have a chance to search properly.

 

Or what if I know there is a cache in a large parking lot from the description, and I am waiting for a friend, so I search for it. I might spend quite some time looking, but I don't have my GPS with me so cannot pinpoint the area.

 

I am kind of tempted to only log finds, not DNFs, for the first few months, until I am reasonably confident in my ability to use the GPS system and find caches...

Edited by Penguin_ar
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I would mark them anyways as DNFs. Eventually you will have a short list of DNFs that just plain happen. Every once and a while you go back and try to take them off the list. Very satisfying when you do.

 

For example, I had a 4/1.5 that I had been trying to figure out for the better part of a year. I must have tried five or six times with no luck. This last weekend I finally found it! Was geeked all day.. So they server there purpose and you will get less and less of them as you gain experience.

 

-HHH :)

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I have a related question.

 

There is a cache that I tried to find today -admittedly, probably a bit tough for a newbie- and I did not find it. Should I log that DNF and try again? Is it commonplace to need more than one attempt to find a cache, especially as a newbie? I want to maintain the integrity of the game, but I also hated to give up after one attempt.

 

Thanks!

 

Stormy_zen

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I have a related question.

 

There is a cache that I tried to find today -admittedly, probably a bit tough for a newbie- and I did not find it. Should I log that DNF and try again? Is it commonplace to need more than one attempt to find a cache, especially as a newbie? I want to maintain the integrity of the game, but I also hated to give up after one attempt.

 

Thanks!

 

Stormy_zen

 

Hey Stormy_zen,

 

Keep in mind you cannot tarnish the integrity of the game so take that pressure right off. Sure I recommend you log the DNFs. You may take 2, 3, 4 or more tries on a particular geocache. No shame in that at all, happens all the time no matter what the experience.. Above all - have fun! Even when it's frustrating fun.

 

-HHH :)

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This may seem obvious- you log a DNF if you don't find the cache. But should you always log a DNF?

 

For example, what if I am out walking with my twins and the dog, and I bring the GPS for a bit of geocaching fun. Due to my hangers on, I might not be able to spend more than a few minutes looking for a cache, and thus might miss even a very easy one. Especially when I am only getting used to the GPS system and to geocaching! Logging a DNF in that case could be missleading to the cache owner, and kind of wrong for me too, as I didn't have a chance to search properly.

 

Or what if I know there is a cache in a large parking lot from the description, and I am waiting for a friend, so I search for it. I might spend quite some time looking, but I don't have my GPS with me so cannot pinpoint the area.

 

I am kind of tempted to only log finds, not DNFs, for the first few months, until I am reasonably confident in my ability to use the GPS system and find caches...

 

It's really up to you. I've not always logged a DNF. If it's a harder cache, I usually will because I think the CO gets a sense of accomplishment if they've got a tricky hide. I think it's also good if you really looked for it and you couldn't find it. If a cache gets a long string of DNFs, the CO will know something may be up with their cache.

 

It also helps let other cachers in the area know you're around and helps build the sense of community. I've met a few cache buddies through DNF logs of mine. They offered to help me out as I was starting out - which meant getting me near the cache and watching me look around:) There were a few owners in my hometown who took great pride in their hides and it was nice to meet them. They'd read all my DNF logs, so they knew a little about me.

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I have a related question.

 

There is a cache that I tried to find today -admittedly, probably a bit tough for a newbie- and I did not find it. Should I log that DNF and try again? Is it commonplace to need more than one attempt to find a cache, especially as a newbie? I want to maintain the integrity of the game, but I also hated to give up after one attempt.

 

Thanks!

 

Stormy_zen

 

Hey Stormy_zen,

 

Keep in mind you cannot tarnish the integrity of the game so take that pressure right off. Sure I recommend you log the DNFs. You may take 2, 3, 4 or more tries on a particular geocache. No shame in that at all, happens all the time no matter what the experience.. Above all - have fun! Even when it's frustrating fun.

 

-HHH :)

 

I recall with glee some of the early caches I couldn't find. Fanugler and I went out after a 7 stage level 4 with barely ten hides under our belts. Not a great move, but we were so very happy when we made that final find. I miss it a little now since the area I'm currently in doesn't have the most original hides. But there's been a few.

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There is a cache that I tried to find today -admittedly, probably a bit tough for a newbie- and I did not find it. Should I log that DNF and try again? Is it commonplace to need more than one attempt to find a cache, especially as a newbie? I want to maintain the integrity of the game, but I also hated to give up after one attempt.

 

I definitely wouldn't give up after one attempt. I've had quite a few caches in my limited experience so far that have taken me several times to find. Logging a DNF and then triumphantly logging the find a week later is pure pleasure. Re-reading my DNF log and remembering the bitterness of defeat makes the find that much sweeter.

 

rtreit

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I definitely wouldn't give up after one attempt. I've had quite a few caches in my limited experience so far that have taken me several times to find. Logging a DNF and then triumphantly logging the find a week later is pure pleasure. Re-reading my DNF log and remembering the bitterness of defeat makes the find that much sweeter.

 

rtreit

 

HHH and rtreit, thanks for the support. I am definitely not giving up on this one- it's a micro and it was recently found, so I'll be back. I suspect it was me over-thinking it. :)

 

And really, it's all good- after the DNF, I had my first find! So a 50% success rate on my first foray doesn't suck!

 

Stormy

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I am kind of tempted to only log finds, not DNFs, for the first few months, until I am reasonably confident in my ability to use the GPS system and find caches...

 

When you set out after a cache there are two possible results. You find it or you don't. There is a log type to cover each possibility.

 

You have to remember that it's a Did Not Find. Not a "DNF because I'm not confident in my ability", or a "DNF because I didn't search hard enough", or a "DNF because I'm going to search again soon".

 

Every log is valuable information to the owner and caching community. A 1 or 1.5 star difficulty hide should be an easy find whether you are new or a veteran cacher. If the owner sees that novices aren't finding his 1 star difficulty cache, then he will know that he rated it wrong and will adjust the rating accordingly. He won't have that information if you don't log your DNF.

 

A single DNF, particularly from a novice, won't set alarm bells off with the owner. But if the cache is actually missing and you don't log a DNF, it will take longer for a string of DNFs that the owner looks for to develop, and may delay a maintenance trip.

 

Say you don't log your DNF. Then Cacher B comes along and doesn't log DNF because he "didn't search hard enough". Cacher C then looks and doesn't log a DNF because plans on coming back soon. Next, Cacher D looks and is skunked and does log a DNF. Now there were 3 DNFs which will tell most owners that there may be a problem, but he only knows about one.

 

So log your DNFs.

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I wondered the same thing as the original poster. I wondered if I wasn't experienced enough yet to find caches and was hesitant to log a DNF even after a second trip to one site. Then I when I checked the logs for that cache a couple months later, I saw that it was under repair and was missing. So, I wish I'd have logged my DNF earlier, and perhaps alerted the cache owner there was a problem. And, maybe saved some people trips who also may not have logged DNF's...

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This may seem obvious- you log a DNF if you don't find the cache. But should you always log a DNF?

 

For example, what if I am out walking with my twins and the dog, and I bring the GPS for a bit of geocaching fun. Due to my hangers on, I might not be able to spend more than a few minutes looking for a cache, and thus might miss even a very easy one. Especially when I am only getting used to the GPS system and to geocaching! Logging a DNF in that case could be missleading to the cache owner, and kind of wrong for me too, as I didn't have a chance to search properly.

 

Or what if I know there is a cache in a large parking lot from the description, and I am waiting for a friend, so I search for it. I might spend quite some time looking, but I don't have my GPS with me so cannot pinpoint the area.

 

I am kind of tempted to only log finds, not DNFs, for the first few months, until I am reasonably confident in my ability to use the GPS system and find caches...

I agree with you. If my search is incomplete and I'm not done looking then I won't log a DNF until I'm done looking and give up. Some will agree and some will disagree, but that's how I've always done it.
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This may seem obvious- you log a DNF if you don't find the cache. But should you always log a DNF?

 

For example, what if I am out walking with my twins and the dog, and I bring the GPS for a bit of geocaching fun. Due to my hangers on, I might not be able to spend more than a few minutes looking for a cache, and thus might miss even a very easy one. Especially when I am only getting used to the GPS system and to geocaching! Logging a DNF in that case could be missleading to the cache owner, and kind of wrong for me too, as I didn't have a chance to search properly.

 

Or what if I know there is a cache in a large parking lot from the description, and I am waiting for a friend, so I search for it. I might spend quite some time looking, but I don't have my GPS with me so cannot pinpoint the area.

 

I am kind of tempted to only log finds, not DNFs, for the first few months, until I am reasonably confident in my ability to use the GPS system and find caches...

I agree with you. If my search is incomplete and I'm not done looking then I won't log a DNF until I'm done looking and give up. Some will agree and some will disagree, but that's how I've always done it.

 

i agree. if i just looked for a minute or two and while doing something else, i wouldn't log a dnf. if i gave it a proper go and only stopped cause i just couldn't find it that time, i would log a dnf.

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Here's how I do it. If I get out of the car and begin a search for the cache I will almost always post a DNF if I didn't find the cache and sign the log.

 

The exceptions are cases where I really didn't make a fair attempt *and* there really isn't anything that I can add to the log that will benefit the cache owner and/or subsequent searchers. I am, however, pretty generous about what I might consider useful information for subsequent searchers. If my time is short, and there is a significant amount of snow on the ground, I would probably post a DNF because that fact that there was significant amount of snow on the day that I searched would be useful to someone considering searching for it the next few days.

 

Fo example, I once posted a DNF log on a cache that was on a very steep hill, and when I arrived at the location discovered it was covered with a foot of hard pack snow. My DNF log indicated that I didn't even attempt to climb down the hill due to the risk of falling into the gorge (the cache was called Rescue). Oddly, the CO deleted my DNF log.

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apparently its not good to dnf on a friends cache lol. im new and i did that and he got kinda mad at me.

 

This is an internet game. But unlike the rest of the internet, there is a small measure of honor involved here. If your friend wanted you to lie about your hunt on his cache, then his intentions might not be as honorable as you think.

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It's kind of like when you were in school and the teacher handed you a test to take. Then you signed your name and only answered the first question when you suddenly had to run to the bathroom and get sick. Should you take an "F" in this case or come back and finish the test when you are able? I think most teachers would agree that you really didn't have a chance to complete the test and they would let you complete it later.

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Well, Im in the same position, and I agree with Darkboy; if I've only had a short-lived hunt w/o success, I don't log it a DNF until I've atleast come back another time and really given it another attempt. - I feel it's "fair" for me, as some caches have my GPS #s bouncing around (makig a micro-cache especially difficult)...That's my opinion, anyways. :)

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There is no rule that says you have to log a DNF (or a found). OK, there is a rule - in the Geocaching FAQ under What are the rules in Geocaching? it says:

3. Log your experience at www.geocaching.com.

 

But, of course there is no way to enforce this. When you look for a cache you may want to share your experience online. You have a few options:

If you found the cache you will probably want to use a 'Found It' log. You might also post a second 'Needs Maintenance' log if the cache is in need of some owner maintenance.

If you didn't find the cache you will probably want to use a 'DNF' log.

If you are not sure what log to use you can always use 'Write Note'.

 

Leaving an online log serves multiple purposes. It leaves a record for you of all your caching adventures. It lets the owner and other cachers know either whether the cache has been found or might be missing and whether there are any maintenance issues. It lets you thank the cache owner for hiding the cache. Other cachers can get an idea of whether or not the might enjoy the cache based on what you have written and any pictures you might post with your log. Still there are many people who don't log online or only log their finds.

 

apparently its not good to dnf on a friends cache lol. im new and i did that and he got kinda mad at me.

Since one possibility of a DNF is that the cache was missing, your friend might have just been upset that his cache might be missing or just that he now has to go check to see if it is there. Also some cachers will filter out caches that have a recent DNF and not search for these, and perhaps your friend feels that this might happen to his cache. Unfortunately caches going missing are part of the game, and cachers not finding a cache that is there is also a part of the game. Nobody should get mad at anyone for not finding a cache or for reporting this with a DNF. Your friend, who knows how his cache is hidden, has to make a decision whether to check on his cache or wait to see if others have trouble finding it.
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It depends and my DNF's are case by case.

 

If you really didn't get a chance to search at most I'd write a note detailing the story. I wrote a few of these mainly due to my gps being faulty during my first couple of weeks.

 

If you have searched and you strike out post a DNF. It lets the cache owner and other seekers know a lot of useful information from appropriate difficulty to a possibly missing cache. That being said after logging the first DNF I may not log a second(or more) unless it contains new and useful info or a good story.

 

But no matter your DNF policy do not be ashamed to mention how many tries it took to find in your found it log. (Example: 'Found on my third try!')

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I am kind of tempted to only log finds, not DNFs, for the first few months, until I am reasonably confident in my ability to use the GPS system and find caches...

 

When you set out after a cache there are two possible results. You find it or you don't. There is a log type to cover each possibility.

 

You have to remember that it's a Did Not Find. Not a "DNF because I'm not confident in my ability", or a "DNF because I didn't search hard enough", or a "DNF because I'm going to search again soon".

 

Every log is valuable information to the owner and caching community. A 1 or 1.5 star difficulty hide should be an easy find whether you are new or a veteran cacher. If the owner sees that novices aren't finding his 1 star difficulty cache, then he will know that he rated it wrong and will adjust the rating accordingly. He won't have that information if you don't log your DNF.

 

A single DNF, particularly from a novice, won't set alarm bells off with the owner. But if the cache is actually missing and you don't log a DNF, it will take longer for a string of DNFs that the owner looks for to develop, and may delay a maintenance trip.

 

Say you don't log your DNF. Then Cacher B comes along and doesn't log DNF because he "didn't search hard enough". Cacher C then looks and doesn't log a DNF because plans on coming back soon. Next, Cacher D looks and is skunked and does log a DNF. Now there were 3 DNFs which will tell most owners that there may be a problem, but he only knows about one.

 

So log your DNFs.

 

This pretty much says it for me. It's really not a complicated issue!

 

As a hider, it is always good to hear that someone is at least looking for the cache! Even if you decide after arrifving that you aren't going to look after all, for whatever reason, it is good to get a note about that fact. Maybe the reason is something I need to address as cache owner (like difficulty levels, etc.). If you don't log a dnf in a case like this, that's your decision, but at least a note is warranted.

I always log any cache I get involved with whether I made a real attempt to find it or not after arriving. Sometimes dnf, sometimes just a note, and hopefully a found it! This is one small way I try to say thank you for the cache!

 

BC

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This is how I have approached the 2 DNF's. "right, wrong, or indeferent" The first one we were out shopping and the cache was right around the corner, it was getting dark but made the attempt anyway, it had taken longer then I thought and now was pitch dark with no flashlight, I wrote a note stated this and that I would return to make the grab which I did.

The next DNF was the other day, had the day off so I thought I would make the grab. So my 2 1/2 year old and my 9 month old set out on our adventure. I had her in the backpack. we got within 20 feet of the cache and there was some bushwacking involved, well I tried to get my 2 year old to head up the small trail, but was not having it. I wasnt able to do in myself, I didnt want branches smaking the 9 month old in the face. So I left a note stating the cercumstances. I was looking at it as Not that I DNF it but not having a second set of hands with the kids I was unable to make the grab.

If I made every attempt with no outside distractions, And was still unable to find it that is when I would mark it DNF.

But thats just me If you would like to start marking these DNF I will.

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Our basic rule is if we get out of the car and look then we log a DNF. Doesn't matter if we look for 2 minutes or 2 hours, we got out of the car. Only exceptions are when we park some distance away and never get near GZ but that has only happened once. It was about 10 degrees outside. We parked 1/4 mile from the cache and then realized that 1/4 mile was up and over a mini-mountain. We re-read the description and realized that the recommended way to reach the cache was a 3 mile round trip walk around the base. None of us were willing to do that in the middle of winter!

 

As a cache owner I love seeing DNF's. They either alert me to a possible problem or in the case of some of our tougher hides they give me a good chuckle. But I hate it when someone logs a DNF with a bad attitude or implies it's my fault they couldn't find the cache.

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