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To DNF or not to DNF!

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I have seen quite few logs coming through where people log a DNF, where I think they should not have logged one.

Lets say, in a hypothetical situation there were to many muggles around the area to allow a good search, I think it is wrong to log a DNF.

Lets say in another (hypothetical) situation the gate to some park was locked. I again think logging a DNF is not right as you did not get to look for it. So one did not even attempt the F in DNF.


I personaly will only log a DNF, if we looked for it at ground zero and for more then roughly 5 minutes. I think this gives a true-er indication to the next cacher that the cache might not be there.


With the (hypothetical) scenarios above, the gate might be open for the next cacher, and the Bar Mitzvah held at the hall, with the lots of muggles, wont happen on the Monday afternoon, when the next cacher goes out to look for it.


As a side note, when I go caching in an area, I generaly take a center cache, with all caches in a 10 km radius, and then remove all caches that have a red block (a DNF) for the last find, as my time is limited. The exception would be for a cache which I want to specificaly do.


I am to stricj with my definition of DNF?

How do you feel about it?

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I can appreciate the frustration of trying to use the quick graph in GSAK to determine whether it might be worth hunting for a cache or not. For me it depends on how I feel at the time. I always try to qualify my DNF Sometimes one needs to comeback - so I guess you have to take into account the experience of the cacher logging the DNF and the wording they used.


Sometimes I log even if I know I have not been able to really look for it - like too many muggles - all depends on the effort level to get there!


With your database wizzardry could you not create a query that weights DNFs from cachers with higher finds and lessens the value for novice cachers.


Case in point - I have been to Looney Tunes 3 times without finding the cache - I know its there but I just thought logging 3 DNFs would be excessive so I did not log any of them - I am actually off to look for that one now when there should be no muggles about.



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Yes, I agree pretty much. If I give a good look at a site and can't find it, then I will log the DNF. If I'm not able to get to the site, or if I'm not able to give it the look that I think I should have (I'm only there a minute when someone comes into view and I leave), then I will log a note or not at all and try to come back to give it another try.


When one cache took me 7 tries to find, I logged the first DNF then sent notes to the owner for the remainder, but didn't log anymore DNFs. (It turned out that the coordinates were wrong, and when the owner was finally able to get out there and fix it, I found it right away on my next visit).


I think the DNF is a great tool for the owner, and for prospective seekers!

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My rule of thumb is pretty much the same as Anton. If I have LOOKED for the cache at GZ and cannot find it despite the thorough search I will DNF it. However, if the search was superficial due to muggles or whatever reason, I will write a note so that the owner - and others - know that an attempt was made at least and that I will be back again to search more thoroughly.


My 2 dirhams worth. :unsure:

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In our experience some cache owners do not react for instance to a 'locked gate or private property' log if you just write a note. One would like to be told if you have the okay to jump the gate, not just dead silence.

So depending where in the country we are or who the cache placer is, we decide on which one to log - Write note or DNF.

Some of these people you can post 'needs maintenance' and for months nothing will be done to remedy the situation.

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My view is that the DNF log is as much for my records as it is for the other cachers out there. If I attempt a cache and when I get there I am unable to find it because of a locked gate, a raging river, a wild baboon, or whatever, then I log it as DNF... after all I DID NOT FIND it. I have effectively been looking for a cache from the very moment I first program my GPS with the cache co-ordinates and head off in it's direction. Logging a DNF allows me to see that I have attempted this cache before. I can then read the log and see what the issue was previously.


With others it seems to be a matter of drawing a line and then only logging a DNF if you cross this line eg after searching ground zero for five minutes. It could just as easily be argued that this "limit" should be set at 10 minutes, or why not an hour of searching before being allowed to log a DNF? Who decides when enough effort has been put in? Why not jump over that locked gate? My line is that if I set off looking for a cache and cannot find it (or get to it), for whatever reason, then I will log it as a DNF. My logs always explain the reasoning for this, and I cannot be blamed for someone not reading these logs.


Personally, I never allow one previous DNF to put me off searching for a cache. In fact I see a DNF, logged just prior to my search, as a challenge to then get out there and find it myself! Even if a cache has four previous DNFs I will give it a go if it is in the area I am searching for caches but I will keep in the back of my mind that it may in fact be missing...


Anyway, just my opinion...

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I generally agree with Damhuis (the OP) - I only post a DNF if I have physically looked at GZ and my search was not thwarted by unusual causes such as muggles or weather. I do write logs and read logs, so I do not rely on the symbols alone on which to base any judgement.

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Wanneer ek by 'n plek kom en dis met kettings en slotte gesluit dan vermeld ek dit so in my "logging". Nota word geskryf. Dit beteken nie ek beskou dit as 'n DNF nie want ek was nog nie by die GZ punt nie en kon nog nie daarvoor soek nie. By twee cache die afgelope maand gekom waar daar by beide heinings gespan is. Nuwe heinings opgerig is. Dit is nie die cache eienaar se skuld dat die heinings opgerig is nie. By een was 'n "Private Property" ook opgerig. So dis duidelik dat ons nie die draad gaan spring en dalk in die moeilikheid kom nie. Wil nie Geocaching 'n slegte naam gee nie.


By my word 'n DNF geregistreer wanneer ek verseker is dat daar geen cache is nie. Ek by die GZ punt was en kan sien dat die houer weg is. Opening in grond met rotse wat gestrooi is weg van punt. Die blote feit dat ek nie die cache kan kry nie beteken nie ek moet hom 'n DNF status gee nie. Wees nederig en erken ruiterlik dat hy bo jou vuurmaakplek was en dat jy weer sal probeer. As jy onseker is vra dan die eienaar om na te gaan of een van die ou hande (manne/vrouens met ervaring) die plek sal besoek en seker te maak.


Ons kan nie alyd alles die eerste keer elke keer kry nie.

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And how would you log the reverse scenario- when you find the remains of a cache? I found two remains: one of a Boer-block cache near Tulbagh and the cache in Platteklip gorge, table mountain GCWA1Y. Both I have documented with pictures, and there was no doubt, i.e. the ZA-Landyman sticker in the remains of a lid. I have logged them as a maintenance log, but not as found-its. But don't they actually count as finds?

Edited by Cism
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And how would you log the reverse scenario- when you find the remains of a cache? I found two remains: one of a Boer-block cache near Tulbagh and the cache in Platteklip gorge, table mountain GCWA1Y. Both I have documented with pictures, and there was no doubt, i.e. the ZA-Landyman sticker in the remains of a lid. I have logged them as a maintenance log, but not as found-its. But don't they actually count as finds?


I think it is up to the owner of the cache to say if you found it or not.


(1)We logged this one as found, after we found the remains, with permission of the owner (GC137D8).


(2)At this cache, GC12NRP, we also found the remains, and phoned the owner to see if we could log it as a find, but he said the container we found was an older one, and the new container was a different colour. He had replaced it the week before we did the cache. So us finding the container, and wanting to log it, was not right.


(3)And at this one GC1341 we also found the remains of the cache after a velt fire, but this one, as it is on my list of the 25 oldest caches in SA, I really wanted to *sign* the log book. Luckily we met up with the owner that night, and then replaced the cache with him the next day.

I find it interesting, that even though I found the remains just as in (1), in this case I specificly *sign* the logbook, as it was on my 'special' list. So it seems I am bending my own rules a little at times.


I think I nice check is asking the owner, if one can log the cache, as he should know it best.

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When GerhardoosMPsa and I did the Tugela Mother of all caches series we got stuck at the Old Pump and searched for ages in every part of the said pump. We never found the cache and to us the only obvious place we could think of was void of the cache. As reception was virtually non existent on the cellphone we could not contact the owner of the cache to find out if we were looking in the right place. I took a spare micro I had with me and left it hidden in the pump with the intention to find out from the owner where the cache was hidden. As we progressed through the caches we noticed the trend in containers and based on this the hiding spot became more obvious. The containers used would have fit in there perfectly.


Later we spoke to the owner as well as the farm foreman who both confirmed the pump and the type of container as well as the hiding place. The cache had surprisingly been muggled.... quite possibly a herder had seen the owner around the pump at the time the cache had been placed and went to investigate.


The owner of the cache accepted the replacement Micro as we had correctly described the type of container as well as the exact hiding spot of the original cache. This is not just a series that you go and do on the spur of the moment. There is considerable planning involved as it requires the use of a 4x4 just to get to all of the caches in this series. For anyone to return for just one cache would be unfair. To do the entire series is a day long venture and missing out one because it was muggled unexpectedly can be a damper on a very enjoyable hunt.


So under some circumstances with enough information regarding the search and confirmation from the owner, some DNF's can be logged as a find. I had placed the Micro there as proof that we were indeed on the right spot and should the owner not have accepted we would then log it as a DNF, no questions asked.


I think that mutual agreement and confirmation on missing caches and permission to replace the cache with a new one are good grounds for logging a find. The owner can always go back later to confirm if the original was indeed missing and if it was then decide if they want to remove your "Found" log.

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From a cache owner's perspective, we prefer a "DNF" log when the cacher has attempted to find the cache at GZ. Then we know to make a plan to check it out and confirm whether it is actually gone or not. Otherwise, we think it is fine to log a note, when no attempt has been made to find the cache due to muggles or whatever.


From a cache finder's perspective, we check "DNF" logs to see whether they were due to no access or muggles or whether they were not found after looking at GZ. Then we make our decision as to whether we go looking for the cache or not. If we see a string of DNF logs after experienced cachers did not find the cache, then we may give it a miss. But having said that, there is a cache that was not found by very experienced cachers over a period of a few months and it was still there!! We asked the cache owners to check up on it for us, due to our recent Event nearby and low and behold it was still there - it was just a good hide! For those that are interested it is the AROMERC-EHCAC (GC1PKEJ).

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