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Multiple DNF and not need maintenance


WestSideDaddy
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I'm sure this has been discussed before but I didn't have any luck finding anything.

 

What is the right thing to do when you've looked for a cache and not found it and then when you post your DNF, the last 4 or more are also DNF? Or even notes saying "Any one know if it is still here".

 

Do you post a need maintenance? That seems to imply to me that the cache was there but needs to be fixed. Maybe it's just really hard to find (though when some of the area's top cachers have dnf you have to wonder).

 

Is this the place for "Needs Archiving"? That (at least) sounds a little harsh, or is that the proper mechanism request to the CO to confirm it's presence.

 

Is it better to just direct message the CO. Or do you need to have the reviewer involved?

 

Just looking for a little guidance. I don't want to post Needs Maintenance or Needs Archiving if that not appropriate, but I also don't like to post DNF for a cache that isn't there and I don't want the person after me to go through the same thing.

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If I look for a cache and can't find it I post a DNF. If I go and look for this cache again and see that several others have posted DNF's after I posted the first one with no intervening Found it's, I post my second DNF and a NM stating that there as several DNF's in a row and that the owner should check that the cache is still there, especially if it is a 2.5 or less on difficulty. If If after a month and there is no response from the cache owner, and especially if there are more DNF's with no found it logs I will post a NA. As per my procedure I did this to one cache and it was eventually archived. A month later it was un-archived since the CO now replaced the cache and wanted it back on line!

 

If the cache has been put on unavailable status and I get tired of seeing it on my maps after nine months to a year I'll just skip the NM and go directly to the NA.

 

I don't bother emailing the CO, they did after all get the logs in the first place and did not respond, why would they respond to another email?

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I'm sure this has been discussed before but I didn't have any luck finding anything.

 

What is the right thing to do when you've looked for a cache and not found it and then when you post your DNF, the last 4 or more are also DNF? Or even notes saying "Any one know if it is still here".

 

Do you post a need maintenance? That seems to imply to me that the cache was there but needs to be fixed. Maybe it's just really hard to find (though when some of the area's top cachers have dnf you have to wonder).

 

Is this the place for "Needs Archiving"? That (at least) sounds a little harsh, or is that the proper mechanism request to the CO to confirm it's presence.

 

Is it better to just direct message the CO. Or do you need to have the reviewer involved?

 

Just looking for a little guidance. I don't want to post Needs Maintenance or Needs Archiving if that not appropriate, but I also don't like to post DNF for a cache that isn't there and I don't want the person after me to go through the same thing.

 

My normal method for this situation where I feel a log is missing based on my own searching + many DNFs is this:

post a DNF log

immediately after post a Needs Maintenance log.

If no responses in 2-3 weeks, I post a Needs Archive log. This brings in the reviewers and lets them make the final decision to archive or not.

 

For each log I add in details needed to make an archive decision, such as how many DNFs, how long a search I personally did, and if the CO has logged in recently or not.

 

I feel the above gives the CO a chance to check on the cache before bringing in the reviewers.

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Agree with GOF that a lot depends on the cache. Also agree that this isn't a Needs Archived situation.

 

A good first step is to log a DNF. You said this:

 

I also don't like to post DNF for a cache that isn't there and I don't want the person after me to go through the same thing.

But I would suggest that your DNF would be very helpful for the people who come after you. In fact, the times that I am *most* likely to post a DNF are when I think there is a good chance that it is missing.

 

If I thought that the cache might indeed be missing, I would start with a friendly email to the CO, mentioning that you couldn't find it and noticed that the last few folks also came up empty, and did he or she happen to know if it was still in place? Obviously tone is everything etc. etc. etc.

 

If that goes unresponded to for a while (a few weeks, say) I might be inclined to post a Needs Maintenance. If that also goes unresponded for a while, I might email my local reviewer to see if they have any suggestions.

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Just looking for a little guidance. I don't want to post Needs Maintenance or Needs Archiving if that not appropriate, but I also don't like to post DNF for a cache that isn't there and I don't want the person after me to go through the same thing.

 

If the first time you look for a cache and you don't find it, how do you know it is missing? If it is a high difficulty with a spotty found it that is to be expected. If it is 2/2.5 or less in difficultly and has been found regularly and now it has several DNF's your still not sure since some "helpful" person could have changed the hide to a 4 or 4.5. This is a case for a DNF and a NM asking for the cache owner to check the cache.

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Without quoting eveyone...

 

Thanks for the clarification. From what I read, NM notifies the CO and NA notifies the Reviewer. This makes it much easier to make a good decision.

 

Many DNF are just me and there are smileys on either side of my log, I understand that it's me and not the cache. But if I look, once or more, and there is nothing but DNF from me and others, then it's time to post a NM.

 

Are people reluctant to post NM? I suppose no one wants to be the one that says NM to have the CO come back and say "Yep it's there". But at some point someone needs to step up don't they?

 

I also like the idea of asking the CO for a hint or other direct contact.

 

I can see the problem with every time you have a DNF trying to say it's because the cache is missing, but at some point, even for a > 2.5 cache, you have to start questioning if it is still there after only DNF.

 

Thanks

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I'd probably drop a note first to see if the owner might chime in. Or perhaps just put it on my watch list and see what happens. Probably send the owner a quick message with my concerns depending on the situation. Something like:

 

"Hey there, I didn't have any luck hunt for your cache and I was looking in an area that looks like bla bla bla, specifically under the big yadda yadda. I thought that maybe either it's missing or that perhaps I just wasn't looking in the right place. I'm not asking for a complete spoiler, but if you could just maybe tell me if I was in the right area and if I should have found it where I was looking."

 

Usually that, with pictures of the area if possible, will get a response along the lines of either "nope, you were nowhere near it, try over by the..." or "Yeah that sounds like the spot. You should have seen it if you were looking under the yadda yadda."

 

Where things go from there depend on the CO and happenstance.

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Without quoting eveyone...

 

Thanks for the clarification. From what I read, NM notifies the CO and NA notifies the Reviewer. This makes it much easier to make a good decision.

 

Many DNF are just me and there are smileys on either side of my log, I understand that it's me and not the cache. But if I look, once or more, and there is nothing but DNF from me and others, then it's time to post a NM.

 

Are people reluctant to post NM?

 

As you point out, NM notifies the CO. But so does a DNF. Posting a NM on the cache doesn't do anything that the string of DNF's hasn't already done.

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You're stepping into a can o' worms here...

 

Each situation is different. I've got a cache I've visited a few times and haven't found yet. It's a 4-star difficulty and will have runs of several DNF's in a row. It probably is just fine.

 

Other caches are difficult in certain seasons. Because of environmental factors (leaves, grass, snow,etc.) a cache can be relatively easy in one season with lots of finds and the become a DNF magnet when the weather changes.

 

If I come across a LPH that has had 40 'finds' in a row and then suddenly is seeing DNF's...it's probably missing and I'd file a 'Needs Maintenance'. One or 1.5 difficulty hides where the pattern suddenly changes (with the above exceptions) I'll post a need maintenance or just shoot an email to the CO. Lately, I've just been emailing the owner. If I get no response I'll file a Needs Maintenance.

 

Even if you do everything right, you still run a risk of ticking off a CO. Some owners can be very thin skinned when it comes to their caches. For example:

 

A couple of months ago we went for a 1.5 difficulty/1.5 terrain cache without checking the logs. After a thorough search we checked the logs and found that the cache had been getting DNF's for 11 months with no finds. Prior to that, the cache had 42 finds with 1 DNF over the previous 15 months.

 

Another cacher, who I know is experienced, filed a Needs Maintenance 8 months previous and the CO had not posted a response. I posted a DNF then posted a Needs Archiving since the Needs Maintenance & 11 months of DNF's had been ignored. The CO responded quickly to my logs with a VERY angry note saying that I shouldn't have posted an NA. He deleted my DNF and my NA logs. I responded with an explanation but he never wrote back.

 

I noticed this week that after several more DNF's, including two by large groups, the CO has finally disabled the cache.

 

In short, I'd start with a note to the CO. If nothing happens and you're certain there's an issue, post a Needs Maintenance. I'd recommend avoiding the use of a Needs Archive except for extreme situations.

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I strongly disagree that it would be appropriate to log an "NM" log type on a cache that has a series of DNF's. Checking on the existence of a cache is not doing maintenance. As pointed out - a high difficulty cache should expect strings of DNFs wheras low difficulty caches should rarely see a string of DNFs. Log your own DNF and fire off an email to the cache owner (if you feel the log history indicates a proplem) - then if nothing is done or said within a few weeks - log the NA.

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Without quoting eveyone...

 

Thanks for the clarification. From what I read, NM notifies the CO and NA notifies the Reviewer. This makes it much easier to make a good decision.

 

Many DNF are just me and there are smileys on either side of my log, I understand that it's me and not the cache. But if I look, once or more, and there is nothing but DNF from me and others, then it's time to post a NM.

 

Are people reluctant to post NM?

 

As you point out, NM notifies the CO. But so does a DNF. Posting a NM on the cache doesn't do anything that the string of DNF's hasn't already done.

 

It does one thing a DNF doesn't. It sets the attribute.

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i agree with the poster that said it depends on the situation. i tend to look at the cache history and the COs last sign in. If they haven't logged in in over 4 months i post a Needs Archived because they aren't meeting the requirements of a responsible CO.

 

If there's a string of DNF (including my own) i log a NM if the CO is an active player. i check back in a few weeks. If nothing has been done i log a NA whether CO is active or not.

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As you point out, NM notifies the CO. But so does a DNF. Posting a NM on the cache doesn't do anything that the string of DNF's hasn't already done.

It does one thing a DNF doesn't. It sets the attribute.

Exactly, and some reviewers regularly run PQs and that filter on caches that have the NM attribute set and ask users to check on it. If the owners don't, I've seen caches get archived for lack of maintenance.

 

Another cacher, who I know is experienced, filed a Needs Maintenance 8 months previous and the CO had not posted a response. I posted a DNF then posted a Needs Archiving since the Needs Maintenance & 11 months of DNF's had been ignored. The CO responded quickly to my logs with a VERY angry note saying that I shouldn't have posted an NA. He deleted my DNF and my NA logs. I responded with an explanation but he never wrote back.

Well, the good thing is that it got him to respond. I wonder how long it would have taken if that group had posted their DNFs and you hadn't logged a NA.

 

Also, even if the owner deletes the NA attribute and the log itself, the reviewer will know about the cache, because as soon as someone submits one, a copy goes to the reviewer, and they can respond.

Edited by Skippermark
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Depends on how grumpy I am. :laughing: And what I think of the cache owner. :laughing: And how easy the cache is supposed to be. :D And the previous DNFs, and the previous DNFers. :laughing:

I'm quite capable of tripping over a 1/1 and not finding it.

For instance, it took me four trips to find a cache that was .18 off. Obviously, the CO posted the north coords for the parking area. That made it a challenge! And I got FTF!

On the other fin, recently I hunted for a cache that is obviously .25 off. CO has not corrected that problem, though he is well aware of it. Claims to have replaced the original muggled container. If the hint has any validity, the nano has also been muggled. That one got a DNF, and an NM! An a note to the reviewer saying that there is something very wrong with this cache. And CO is very aware that the coords are very wrong! I'll wait a month and slap an NA on it. Guess that one made me very grumpy! :laughing:

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I look over the logs before I go and if DNF is being posted by experienced cachers and the rating is 3 or below I will not go after the cache unless the logs present a great experience at the cache location. I am not a great finder but love to go to great places so I pick and choose. For my caches - if do not finds are many I will go see if it is there and post what I find and make sure it is covered the way I intended.

Edited by GPS-Hermit
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I look over the logs before I go and if DNF is being posted by experienced cachers and the rating is 3 or below I will not go after the cache unless the logs present a great experience at the cache location. I am not a great finder but love to go to great places so I pick and choose. For my caches - if do not finds are many I will go see if it is there and post what I find and make sure it is covered the way I intended.

 

I think that this is my issue with the whole thing. I start to not even try looking for caches that have a number of DNF, as I am sure other people do. So strings of DNF, less people attempting to find it, but no one posting a NM or NA, the CO doesn't get any logs and another cache disappears (but not inactive) just by atrophy.

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I think that this is my issue with the whole thing. I start to not even try looking for caches that have a number of DNF, as I am sure other people do. So strings of DNF, less people attempting to find it, but no one posting a NM or NA, the CO doesn't get any logs and another cache disappears (but not inactive) just by atrophy.

We're planning a caching trip to another state, and I noticed a cache that had a string of DNFs since 2008 and a bunch of NM logs saying, "The owner really needs to check on this." There were also notes from previous finders saying the cache was gone, but the owner's profile showed they hadn't been online since 2002. If the reviewer doesn't run a PQ on caches with NM attributes, they'll never know about it, so I posted a NA note, even though I'd never even been to the cache.

 

The reviewer saw it, posted a note, giving the owner one last chance to fix it, and will likely archive it if it's not fixed.

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We went after a cache and came up empty handed. We both posted DNF logs. Subsequently, cachers with finds in the 1000, 2000 and 2500 range also posted DNFs. We returned and DNFd again. Went and bought hip waders, returned - DNF. I couldn't contact the CO for hints as the "send message" area on his profile said something about not being validated. Posted a note asking him to check if the cache was there. Nothing. Asked for advice, it was recommended I post a NM log and give it 2 months. Nothing. Hated to do it, but posted the NA, in short order the cache was archived with the CO's note "my friend is scum." That cache had no finds in 18 months.

Most times we DNF it is us overthinking the issue - we will contact the CO to see where we are going wrong, and if they want to give us a hint, we'll take it. Then we find how we were standing right next to the cache! We have even been offered a hint after the first DNF on one cache. We declined as we are stubborn wotsits and knew we weren't seeing the obvious.

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I look over the logs before I go and if DNF is being posted by experienced cachers and the rating is 3 or below I will not go after the cache unless the logs present a great experience at the cache location. I am not a great finder but love to go to great places so I pick and choose. For my caches - if do not finds are many I will go see if it is there and post what I find and make sure it is covered the way I intended.

 

I think that this is my issue with the whole thing. I start to not even try looking for caches that have a number of DNF, as I am sure other people do. So strings of DNF, less people attempting to find it, but no one posting a NM or NA, the CO doesn't get any logs and another cache disappears (but not inactive) just by atrophy.

 

I may look for local caches with a string of DNF logs. I know a couple that had developed strings just because of difficulty. But when traveling I won't go after caches with strings of DNF logs, especially if the difficulty is rated low. Unless the cache owner has posted a note that it's still there or that they've checked on it recently. I still log my DNF's though. Note any difficulties I had and usually note that it was probably just my inability to find it. I think other finders should be able to judge if they want to go for it with accurate information. If no one logs a DNF then a new person would go out there and might just have another DNF and take time away from another cache where they might have had success. I have limited time for geocaching so I appreciate the DNF logs because it weeds out the ones I will likely not have time to do and that will take away from me going after another one I probably would find.

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First of all I wouldn't go for a cache where the last 4 were a DNF. I use GSAK and the first thing I do is run the Last 2 DNF filter and delete all of them.

 

However if I did see 4 DNFs in a row and I couldn't find it (and it was of a difficulty level where it should have been found) I would go right to Needs Archived. Obviously the CO isn't responding to check on it.

 

I recently got tricked on one in Jackson Hole. It had 3 out of 4 were DNF's but the second most recent was a find so off I went on a good stiff uphill hike.

 

It was a rockpile in the open where the ammocan had been but was gone. When I got back to the RV I read the logs and it turns out the find log was "We made the hike up here so we are claiming this as a virtual" and the owner let it stand. The DNF logs went back to 2008. It was disabled by the reviewer the day after my NA log.

 

I don't think people should be so reluctant to file a NA in obvious cases. That gets the reviewers attention and action is taken.

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1. If I see a string of no finds on an easy cache I don't go look for it.

 

2. On any cache I can't find I post a DNF, period.

 

3. Too many no finds on one of mine I disable it until I do a maint. run.

 

4. On my caches, 90% of NM, NA logs are incorrectly posted and I simply delete the logs.

 

5. I feel that the NM and NA log additions were a mistake but thats me.....a note to the CO worked for years.

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