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When do you log DNF's?


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When do you log DNF's? I am curious about this.

 

I had a few DNF's because my toddler started to cry and I couldn't continue to search for the cache. Should I log these as DNF even if I plan to go back and search again? Or should I only log a DNF after searching throughly for x amount of time and all areas I could think of?

 

I am not sure what the correct way is to do this and of course I don't want to create unnecessary DNF's that say stuff like "Could only search for a short time, DNF. Will be back." that might get the cache disabled or archived...

 

Thanks in advance.

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When do you log DNF's? I am curious about this.

 

I had a few DNF's because my toddler started to cry and I couldn't continue to search for the cache. Should I log these as DNF even if I plan to go back and search again? Or should I only log a DNF after searching throughly for x amount of time and all areas I could think of?

 

I am not sure what the correct way is to do this and of course I don't want to create unnecessary DNF's that say stuff like "Could only search for a short time, DNF. Will be back." that might get the cache disabled or archived...

 

Thanks in advance.

DNFs don't get a cache negative points or anything. A DNF just means you didn't find it.

 

Edit to answer the question.

I log a DNF when ever we make it to ground zero and don't find the cache.

Edited by MooseJawSpruce
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I'd log a DNF in those circumstances.

I'd add to the DNF log something along the lines of "The youngster 'had had enough' and I'll return another day."

 

Most cachers will read the log and work out if it's worth looking for the cache or not after the DNF.

 

Logging a DNF means YOU have a record of caches you've looked for but not Found.

 

The other option is to log a Note.

Cachers then know a cacher has been looking for the cache, but didn't find it -yet!

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It's up to you. Personally, if my search was terminated by circumstances beyond my control before I thought I had searched thoroughly, I would log it as a note rather than a DNF. Examples:

 

Approached this from Jerry Murphy thinking to park along the road or "above the power station by the barricade" but all the PRIVATE PROPERTY and NO TRESPASSING SIGNS caused me to rethink that plan. Maybe I'll try again from the creek/trail side, but that will be for another day.

 

Should have paid attention to the terrain rating. Without saying more than the CO wants about the hide, I'll just say that I'll have to bring help if I'm going to get this cache.

 

You should do what feels right to you.

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Diff'rnt strokes for diff'rnt folks....

 

Some when they activate their GPSr or phone to go after that cache, then don't (for any reason);

Some when they get to GZ and turn away, for any reason;

Some when they get to GZ and turn away for specific reason;

Some after spending 15+ minutes pawing, climbing and snooping at GZ;

Some after spending 15+ minutes pawing, climbing and snooping at GZ multiple times;

Some...... NEVER!

 

Some do, but are so horribly embarrassed, that when they do find it... They change their DNF to a Found -- so no one knows they DNF'd!

 

Whatever tickles ur toes...

Edited by Gitchee-Gummee
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When do you log DNF's? <<SNIP>>

When I hit "Go" on my GPSr and leave without signing the log.

 

Some of my more interesting logs are DNFs.

Zackly. ...Hey Harrald!

 

If you log the dnf just like you told us here it would tell anyone who cares that the cache is probably fine and won't need attention. It will also be as much for your records as the cache pages.

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I would log a DNF if I got to GZ and actually started searching.

If for some reason I didn't make it to GZ but got close enough to start a search but was prevented, say, by roadworks or construction in the vicinity or being unprepared for the terrain, or had a nose bleed, I would write a note.

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I would log a DNF if I got to GZ and actually started searching.

If for some reason I didn't make it to GZ but got close enough to start a search but was prevented, say, by roadworks or construction in the vicinity or being unprepared for the terrain, or had a nose bleed, I would write a note.

+1 If I look and don't find it a Did Not Find. If I get to the area and don't search then it's either nothing or a note.

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I only log a DNF if I think I did a good search and couldn't find it. If anything else I don't comment at all or write a note. If it is for a FTF or something I might post a DNF or if it is a difficult cache I couldn't find then I might also post a DNF. It is how ever you feel about that cache. There is nothing wrong with a DNF at all. I do sometimes notice after a DNF there is less action looking for it until a find so I tend not to post it unless I truly DNF it.

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If you find 90% D2 caches within 2 minutes, than 5 minutes for searching D2 cache is enough to log DNF, in my opinion.

 

It depends on your experience. And on spoiler. If spoiler is unambiguous, and the cache is not there, than it's clear it's not there.

 

Don't log DNF if you simply couldn't manage to look 2-3 times longer as your typical 'find time' for that Difficulty level.

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I've only been doing this a short time, since Tuesday may 13th, but in this past week, I have only logged DNF's when I'm tapping out, and done looking.

 

There was one cache where nature called, and I left, not because I was done, but because I had to go. I didn't log anything that day.

I had another where I lost good light. I logged a DNF with a comment that I would be coming back.

I had one where I was literally chased off by a small pack of aggressive dogs before I even got to start looking. I wrote a note on that one.

 

I have had a few DNF's this past week and a few days, but only 4 that I just plain gave up on. 3 because I suspect they are no longer there, and 1 at a camp site where the only places left to look are places I had no interest in looking (trash dumpster and bathrooms) so I walked away and chalked it as a loss.

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<<SNIP>>

There was one cache where nature called, and I left, not because I was done, but because I had to go. I didn't log anything that day.

<<SNIP>>

 

And that there is a great reason to log a DNF. I could have written 5 paragraphs on that and it would have been great.

 

Like I said, some of my best logs are DNFs. There no prize or penalty. Have fun and entertain the cache owners. It's the least we can do.

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be careful about logging a dnf where something extraneous to the cache finding caused you to stop i.e. baby crying. Some people (like me) after running a pq run a filter for the last two logs and if they are not finds delete them from the pq.

 

Not everyone reads the logs to make the decision about whether or not the dnfs are valid. With all the caches out there there is no reason to bother. I generally delete 5-10% of each PQ for this.

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My feeling on posting something other than a found it log is will what I post add to the cache and it's history. If so I post and if not I don't.

 

If I am driving to a cache and torrential rain begins falling 5 miles before I get there causing me to decide not to go does not, in my opinion, do anything to for the log or cache history by posting a DNF with a note why. A long story involving the police, a couple of strippers, your wife, your ex-wife, and 2 of your current girlfriends might at least make an interesting story but that really has nothing to do with the cache. I could find plenty of other places to tell that story.

 

If I arrive at a cache location and 1 minute after I start looking a busload of 2nd graders arrive and begin playing kickball where I think the cache is then that doesn't rate a DNF in my opinion. If it is in a city park where kids play it doesn't even rate a note for my money. Now if I'm at the top of a mesa 25 miles in the dessert and a bunch of 2nd graders arrive on a bus and hike the half hour to the top of that mesa and begin playing kick ball at GZ I would figure that deserves a note. I might even consider a DNF but likely not if I didn't really get to look before they arrived.

 

If I see a venomous snake in the hole in the tree where I see the cache, that certainly will rate at least a note and probably a DNF with a warning about the snake. I'm amazed at how many people will stick their hands in places they can't see.

 

If I give a real look and give up, that's a DNF. If I come back again and give another real look, that's another DNF. I've got a couple that I haven't found like this. One I won't bother with again since the CO seems to be getting unconcerned about NM and has had reviewers archive caches for lack of response (over 3 years in one case). The other I was the first to log an attempt to find but no one has yet found it and has just been temporarily disabled by a reviewer based on the DNFs and comments about poor coordinates and no response by the CO. Those DNFs do serve a purpose and why I prefer they have a basis in actual failure to find. I would hate to see a string of DNFs based on crying children, bad weather, and so on start to create a history to count towards archiving a viable cache.

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To me it seems pretty simple...it's a "Did Not Find" log, not a "Did Not Look".

 

If you did not LOOK for it for whatever reason, there's no reason to log a DNF. A 'Note' log is advisable, though...especially if it involves the area around the cache - muggles, construction, warning signage, etc.

 

A DNF means you looked but didn't find it. Maybe you looked but were cut short for reasons not related to caching (crying child, weather, etc.)...but you still looked and didn't find it.

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be careful about logging a dnf where something extraneous to the cache finding caused you to stop i.e. baby crying. Some people (like me) after running a pq run a filter for the last two logs and if they are not finds delete them from the pq.
You pays your money and you takes your chances.

 

The purpose of Find, DNF, and Note logs is not to help people filter their PQs like this. You're certainly free to use these logs in that manner, but the rest of us are going to continue to use them for their primary purpose: communicating/recording our geocaching activities.

 

And for the record, if I reach GZ and search for the cache, then I generally log either a Find or a DNF. I agree with J Grouchy about using a Note for situations where I didn't search for whatever reason.

 

And if I reach GZ and search for the cache, then it doesn't really matter why I called off the search: I'll log a DNF. It may have been because I ran out of time, or because I ran out of ideas for places to search, or because I need to attend to biological needs, or because the group I'm with is growing impatient, or because of something else. In practice, when I stop searching and log a DNF, it's usually a combination of factors, with the common theme that I am no longer having fun. Because that's really when I stop searching and log a DNF: when I'm no longer having fun.

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I would log a DNF if I got to GZ and actually started searching.

If for some reason I didn't make it to GZ but got close enough to start a search but was prevented, say, by roadworks or construction in the vicinity or being unprepared for the terrain, or had a nose bleed, I would write a note.

 

Yep.

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When do you log DNF's? I am curious about this.

 

I had a few DNF's because my toddler started to cry and I couldn't continue to search for the cache. Should I log these as DNF even if I plan to go back and search again? Or should I only log a DNF after searching throughly for x amount of time and all areas I could think of?

 

I am not sure what the correct way is to do this and of course I don't want to create unnecessary DNF's that say stuff like "Could only search for a short time, DNF. Will be back." that might get the cache disabled or archived...

 

Thanks in advance.

 

I log DNF any time I made a reasonable effort to find a cache and ended up not finding the cache.

 

If I look at the general area and decide I can't be bothered to even look for it (e.g. a film pot in ivy, a nano on a 200-foot metal fence or other mindlessly repetitive search) I'll either not log at all or write a note.

 

If I can sight the cache but not retrieve it because it involves some act I'm unable or unwilling to attempt (e.g. a tree climb where I decide not to climb the tree) I'll write a note to say I could see it, but didn't attempt to retrieve it.

 

If I look for the cache and decide to stop looking because it started raining or I just lost interest in looking then I'll log a DNF.

 

Don't worry about "unnecessary" logs, if you didn't find it you didn't find it. There's no shame in not finding it, and a cache isn't going to get archived just because someone couldn't find it. If several people can't find it then it's reasonable to ask the owner to check it's still there, and if they don't check then the cache should be archived.

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To me it seems pretty simple...it's a "Did Not Find" log, not a "Did Not Look".

 

If you did not LOOK for it for whatever reason, there's no reason to log a DNF. A 'Note' log is advisable, though...especially if it involves the area around the cache - muggles, construction, warning signage, etc.

 

A DNF means you looked but didn't find it. Maybe you looked but were cut short for reasons not related to caching (crying child, weather, etc.)...but you still looked and didn't find it.

 

Makes sense, although a note only works if there's something about the cache that caused you to not look.

 

If the cache is within sight of the school playground and you arrive at the same time as 450 small children, a note lets future finders know to be aware of what time they arrive. If the area is fenced off a note helps others; if the cache is a nano on a hugely long metal fence with stinging nettles growing through it a note helps future seekers know not to bother with it if they dislike repetitive searches among prickly plants.

 

If you get to the general area of the cache and it starts raining so you go back to the car because you didn't bring a waterproof, whether you log a note or not makes little difference. If you didn't even get to the looking stage but feel like writing something about the area then write a note for the entertainment of the CO and future visitors to the page. (I once wrote a note on a cache where I decided not to attempt the reach from the wet ladder to the rocky step covered in wet seaweed in the rain, and got a note from the CO thanking me for the entertainment. I subsequently found the cache on a dry day)

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I would log a DNF if I got to GZ and actually started searching.

If for some reason I didn't make it to GZ but got close enough to start a search but was prevented, say, by roadworks or construction in the vicinity or being unprepared for the terrain, or had a nose bleed, I would write a note.

+1

 

I've also placed notes where I could see the container, but couldn't reach it because I didn't have the proper equipment to retrieve it. Some people would log a find and think that's ok...NOT

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I write a DNF anytime i propose myself to find a specific cache and:

 

1) I can´t get to GZ because there is some obstacle (road closed, impossible to reach, ...)

 

2) I get to GZ and can´t find the cache

 

3) I get to GZ, find the cache bu t can´t sign the logbook (gadget cache I can´t solve, on top of a big tree,...)

 

I only write notes if something "special" happened like: was going to the cache and in the road to the cache had a flat tire or started raining and turned back...

 

Anytime I leave my house, or the previous cache, and go to a new one I always post something... Always!!!!

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I write a DNF anytime i propose myself to find a specific cache and:

 

1) I can´t get to GZ because there is some obstacle (road closed, impossible to reach, ...)

 

...

 

I only write notes if something "special" happened like: was going to the cache and in the road to the cache had a flat tire or started raining and turned back...

But wouldn't a flat tire, heavy rain, count as "some obstacle"?

 

Not hassling you, just using it as an example to show there's no hard and fast rule. Log what you think is right.

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Not hassling you, just using it as an example to show there's no hard and fast rule. Log what you think is right.

 

You are right, there is no flat rule on this situation!

 

Write a note, write a DNF... but write anything if you commit to one cache and couldn´t find it for whatever reason. This is, in my opinion, the registry of that cache´s story!!!!

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I write a DNF anytime i propose myself to find a specific cache and:

 

3) I get to GZ, find the cache bu t can´t sign the logbook (gadget cache I can´t solve, on top of a big tree,...

 

I specifically don't post DNF in cases like that because I did find the cache, I just couldn't do what was required to retrieve it or open it. The reason I don't post DNF is because it's the sort of thing that might lead people to think it's not there when it visibly is there, but equally I don't consider it a Find because I couldn't retrieve it or open it. A Note seems like the best option to say it's definitely there but I didn't retrieve it.

 

If the cache is a field puzzle and I wasn't able to open it then I'd write a note. If it was something like an ammo can (or more likely a nano, in these parts) rusted shut so I couldn't open it then I'd log a Find and also NM.

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I specifically don't post DNF in cases like that because I did find the cache, I just couldn't do what was required to retrieve it or open it. The reason I don't post DNF is because it's the sort of thing that might lead people to think it's not there when it visibly is there, but equally I don't consider it a Find because I couldn't retrieve it or open it. A Note seems like the best option to say it's definitely there but I didn't retrieve it.

 

If the cache is a field puzzle and I wasn't able to open it then I'd write a note. If it was something like an ammo can (or more likely a nano, in these parts) rusted shut so I couldn't open it then I'd log a Find and also NM.

Logging a find in a cache you didn´t open doesn´t seem right to me, but it is your call.

 

There is a great tool I use very often PROJECT-GC that checks what caches from a specific user might need attention or maintenance.

 

Notes are not counted on this but DNFs are, so this is a good reason for me for people to post DNFs or NMs in caches with problems rather than notes.

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I specifically don't post DNF in cases like that because I did find the cache, I just couldn't do what was required to retrieve it or open it. The reason I don't post DNF is because it's the sort of thing that might lead people to think it's not there when it visibly is there, but equally I don't consider it a Find because I couldn't retrieve it or open it. A Note seems like the best option to say it's definitely there but I didn't retrieve it.

 

If the cache is a field puzzle and I wasn't able to open it then I'd write a note. If it was something like an ammo can (or more likely a nano, in these parts) rusted shut so I couldn't open it then I'd log a Find and also NM.

Logging a find in a cache you didn´t open doesn´t seem right to me, but it is your call.

 

There is a great tool I use very often PROJECT-GC that checks what caches from a specific user might need attention or maintenance.

 

Notes are not counted on this but DNFs are, so this is a good reason for me for people to post DNFs or NMs in caches with problems rather than notes.

 

I just use a bit of common sense. If the cache is rusted shut (i.e. I couldn't open it because of some failure with the cache) then I regard it as a find. To me that's the same as opening it but finding I couldn't sign the log because either I left my pen behind (I have been known to leave my own pen in a cache by mistake) or the log sheet is mushy with water (in these cases I'd log a Find to show I found it, and also log NM because the cache needs attention). If the cache is a field puzzle and I can't figure out how to open it then I'd write a note to say I found the box but couldn't open it. There's no need to worry if some automated tool picks up my log if I couldn't figure out how to open the puzzle or decided not to climb the tree - the idea of the note is to say that the cache is present but also to note I didn't retrieve it or couldn't figure out how to open it.

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I now not only log every DNF, but I note the number in the logs in red so I can find my DNF logs on a page quicker. As a cache owner, I'll check a DNF sometimes as quick as a NM if it's convenient or I know it should be found. I don't advocate everybody else logging their DNFs, I just care that I do.

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Some ... are so horribly embarrassed, that when they do find it... They change their DNF to a Found -- so no one knows they DNF'd!

I never change a log type, unless I accidentally posted it wrong (and I don't remember ever doing that). If I find a cache after DNFing it, I'll usually mention the previous DNF in my "Found" log ("found on the 2nd try" or something like that).

 

If I look for a cache, and don't find it, I'll post DNF. If I can't get to GZ for some reason, I'll post a note. If I see the cache, or figure out where it is, but can't get to it, I'll post a note. If I find the first stages of a multi, but run out of time before I get to the final, I'll post a note. However, if I can't find a stage of a multi, it's a DNF. If I find what seems to be pieces of the cache, I'll either post a note or DNF, followed by a NM log.

 

In my mind, a DNF is in no way saying the cache might not be there. It just says that I didn't find it, for whatever reason. I'll explain in my log if I think it may be missing, or if it's most likely still there, and I just didn't see it.

 

A couple weeks ago, I headed for a cache, but turned around when it became obvious I'd have to wade through a watery ditch to get there. I posted a note. The next cache I looked for, I gave up on the search, then as I was driving away, I saw something just beyond where I had looked that seemed out of place. I logged a DNF, mentioned that I had noticed something as I was leaving, and planned to come back later and check it out again. I don't really have solid rules, but this is basically how I operate.

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For me it is case by case and my judgement what makes sense and is useful.

 

In the case of the child crying (or any other personal issue stopping me):

- If had already given it a "good effort" I would log a DNF

- If I had not had a chance to look properly I would probably log nothing. I'd only log a note in that case if I wanted it for my records.

 

It is not because I'm embarassed about DNFs. It is that I don't think a log which says "I arrived but couldn't look because my child was crying" is useful to any one.

 

A log which says "I looked for 15 minutes and couldn't find it. I would have looked longer but I had to stop is useful in that you know I spent some time looking for it.

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It's up to you. Personally, if my search was terminated by circumstances beyond my control before I thought I had searched thoroughly, I would log it as a note rather than a DNF. Examples:

 

Approached this from Jerry Murphy thinking to park along the road or "above the power station by the barricade" but all the PRIVATE PROPERTY and NO TRESPASSING SIGNS caused me to rethink that plan. Maybe I'll try again from the creek/trail side, but that will be for another day.

 

Should have paid attention to the terrain rating. Without saying more than the CO wants about the hide, I'll just say that I'll have to bring help if I'm going to get this cache.

 

You should do what feels right to you.

 

+1....I agree.

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I don't really log DNFs anymore since three DNFs will trigger a disablement from the reviewer. Often the cache is there and one DNF usually snowballs into more simply because it psyches out the next cacher. Some hides are difficult to find, and not everyone is going to rush out after 3 people in a row can't find it. The first 2 are a team with a dozen finds, and the next cacher posts a DNF because his car broke down on the way. A difficult swimming cache underwater was disabled in the middle of winter due to the 3 DNF rule. Most cachers don't post DNFs anyway and I suppose its a good thing. If I post one, its because I think its definitely gone.

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I always post a DNF if I made any kind of close approach that was unsuccessful for a reason that the owner or other cachers should know about.

 

For a failed approach, I'll write a note for my records and/or for the owner and other cachers. Yesterday I found a cache that we had looked at visiting a few weeks ago, but the road was really muddy. It wasn't a DNF at the time because we didn't attempt the road, but I felt it would be helpful to others looking at the listing to say that the road appeared to be impassably muddy. When I write my found it log, I'll note that the road was considerably drier and we were able to get right up to the cache.

 

I don't know about this three DNFs triggering a disable rule.

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I don't know about this three DNFs triggering a disable rule.

 

This was a very difficult to find swimming cache disabled in the middle of winter due to the 3 DNF rule. http://www.geocaching.com/geocache/GC2XN1R_scuba-steve

 

There's plenty more, but I don't have the time to dig them up. If you post a DNF for frivolous reasons around here it might be considered 1/3 of a NA. Many people are not active, or may not have the time to check on a difficult hide every time there are a few DNFs snowballing. I just checked on a paddle-to hide that more than 4 people could not find, and it was there plain as day. Once one person posts a DNF, it adds to the likelihood of more appearing.

 

This system seems to punish those who enjoy this hobby every now and then, perhaps who visit once a month, or those who hide something difficult, and it's biased towards those who log in every day and hide caches that are easy to find, or can be checked on very quickly. Unfortunately the majority of people who join, simply drop out and are not apt to log in every day. Although this system seems to encourage some people to do maintenance, the majority end up archived because the owner is not active or has lost interest. Those reviewer boilerplate notes are a bit more annoying than the ones from find logs.

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I don't know about this three DNFs triggering a disable rule.

 

This was a very difficult to find swimming cache disabled in the middle of winter due to the 3 DNF rule. http://www.geocaching.com/geocache/GC2XN1R_scuba-steve

 

There's plenty more, but I don't have the time to dig them up. If you post a DNF for frivolous reasons around here it might be considered 1/3 of a NA. Many people are not active, or may not have the time to check on a difficult hide every time there are a few DNFs snowballing. I just checked on a paddle-to hide that more than 4 people could not find, and it was there plain as day. Once one person posts a DNF, it adds to the likelihood of more appearing.

 

This system seems to punish those who enjoy this hobby every now and then, perhaps who visit once a month, or those who hide something difficult, and it's biased towards those who log in every day and hide caches that are easy to find, or can be checked on very quickly. Unfortunately the majority of people who join, simply drop out and are not apt to log in every day. Although this system seems to encourage some people to do maintenance, the majority end up archived because the owner is not active or has lost interest. Those reviewer boilerplate notes are a bit more annoying than the ones from find logs.

 

Yeah, that seems really bad.

 

If I was the owner and the reviewer was blatantly ignoring my reviewer notes, I probably would have posted a BS maintenance log and re-enabled the cache.

 

I haven't noticed this three-DNF rule in action around here. We've had some situations where reviewers who live far away don't understand that "winter" is longer in Ottawa than, say, Hamilton, and start getting snarky when winter-unfriendly caches aren't re-enabled by the end of March. Um, there's still 6 feet of snow on the ground, pal. Anyway, seems to be a little better now that there are more reviewers from our area.

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We had one here that took over 3 years of DNFs before the reviewer temporarily disabled it giving the CO a chance to repair. I've got several I've looked for that had more than 3 DNFs that weren't disabled. Is there really a 3 DNF rule? I'm not likely to post a DNF unless I really looked completely for this very reason but I haven't seen anything to indicate that only 3 will get one archived. I just don't want to start a history of DNFs when there really wasn't a serious search.

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I do the same and encourage others to log DNF as well. It's an important information for the CO if there are more DNF's in a row so he knows he should check out the cache. And it may be even more important info for those of us who are planning our caching trip and want to avoid likely missing caches.

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Can anyone tell me where that 3 DNF rule is written? I can´t seem to find it...

 

Actually it seems so strange that Groundspeak would even put out a Newsletter of a cache that had 247 DNFs and 1 Found... Here

 

Strange rule...

 

I don't think it's a rule, but it might be an informal policy with some reviewers.

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For me there is a difference between DNF (Did not find) and DNS (Did not search). So when I aboard a cache or I'm forced to stop searching I normally will not log a DNF. In such a case I will log DNF when it releates somehow to the cache and the information could be useful to the owner or other cachers. E.g:

 

  • Could not complete Multi Cache because stage X could not be reached because of construction works.
  • Only cache in a series not found because 50 school kids hat their lunch around the cache.
  • ...

 

Otherwise I will log a DNF when I was at the site of the cache, searched and could not find it.

 

If I suspect that the cache is damaged or missing and I'm not only to stupid to find it, I will also contact the owner or write an additional NM.

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Thank you so much for all your answers. I went ahead and write geocaching notes for myself on my DNF's when I have to leave because of my son crying and/or if I feel I did not look long enough. If I took time to look but did not find it, I will log a DNF and state that I did not find it and that I will return to look again. Sometimes i log a DNF stating I couldn't find it because of muggles or other circumstances that are out of my control.

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