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PRL JAM
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Hello fellow cachers

 

I am new to this game, but have been hooked for about a week now and am closing in on my 30th cache. Trying to get all the caches available in my area wih the basic free app before I get the paid one so I can find the rest.

Anyway, there was a cache showing on my map that I searched for the other day but could not find it. I logged a DNF and left a note and everything. Today I want to being my girlfriend to the same spot to help me look but the same cache is now greyed out on my map and says it is only available on the paid app. I cant afford to buy it yet but am certainly doing so very soon. By why are some caches open to me some days but not others?

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For reference, see the Help Center article What is the difference between the Geocaching Free app for Android, the Full Featured (Paid) app, and Geocaching Premium?

 

The free app with a free membership is limited to traditional caches, with difficulty and terrain ratings up to 1.5 stars. At one point, the free app with a free membership was also limited to caches with no reported problems; I don't know whether or not that is still the case.

 

So one possibility is that the cache listing was edited by the owner, and the difficulty/terrain rating was increased from 1 or 1.5 stars to 2 stars or higher.

 

Another possibility is that someone submitted a Needs Maintenance log, and the app won't show the cache again until the owner submits an Owner Maintenance log. Or perhaps the owner temporarily disabled the cache, which would also hide it from your view.

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For reference, see the Help Center article What is the difference between the Geocaching Free app for Android, the Full Featured (Paid) app, and Geocaching Premium?

 

The free app with a free membership is limited to traditional caches, with difficulty and terrain ratings up to 1.5 stars. At one point, the free app with a free membership was also limited to caches with no reported problems; I don't know whether or not that is still the case.

 

So one possibility is that the cache listing was edited by the owner, and the difficulty/terrain rating was increased from 1 or 1.5 stars to 2 stars or higher.

 

Another possibility is that someone submitted a Needs Maintenance log, and the app won't show the cache again until the owner submits an Owner Maintenance log. Or perhaps the owner temporarily disabled the cache, which would also hide it from your view.

 

There was also a condition about DNFs, could be his dnf was enough to tip this cache over the threshold of not being suitable for a beginner.

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Yep, the intro app is limited to traditionals , and won't show any above a certain D/T combo. Needs Maintenance on a cache , or a Did Not Find will remove it from your view too.

 

If the D/T was raised by the CO, I believe the intro app would call it an "advanced" cache.

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Possible that the DNF log itself is the cause of it not being "suitable for beginners" anymore? Try deleting your DNF log and see if that helps.

 

I did this while on site of the cache and it actually worked. The cache came back on my map. Too bad we were still unable to find it again this time.

 

Thanks for all your advice everyone!

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Ah... noticed that you solved the riddle as I was typing (with a break to retrieve java).......

 

There are a number of reason this could happen. Most of it has to do with the app. Remember -- use of the app is not the same as sitting at a desk using a computer, nor is the app the geocaching.com website.

 

I left my response below ↓↓↓

 

[How close was the app to your location when you used the app to search for it (the second time)?

If a few miles away, it may have been outside of the search parameter. As you move about, closer to where the cache is located, it MAY show up.]

 

 

Again, don't confuse the app with the website itself. It is not the website. It is a misconception that many fall prey to.

Edited by Gitchee-Gummee
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Possible that the DNF log itself is the cause of it not being "suitable for beginners" anymore? Try deleting your DNF log and see if that helps.

 

I did this while on site of the cache and it actually worked. The cache came back on my map. Too bad we were still unable to find it again this time.

 

Thanks for all your advice everyone!

 

It's too bad that the app responds in this way when a dnf is logged. It seems counter-intuitive to me.

 

How is the cache owner supposed to know that there might be issues with his/her cache, if logging a dnf does this and that users are deleting dnf's to get the cache to reappear in the app?

 

How are app users supposed to know that the cache is either in trouble or more difficult to find than the D/T rating would indicate?

 

I hope that you leave your most recent dnf log in place, and made note of the fact that this was your 2nd dnf for this cache.

 

B.

Edited by Pup Patrol
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I fear that if I leave another DNF note, the cache will disappear again and that is not something I want to happen for me, or anyone else in the area who might want to look for this one. So I am leaving no notes on caches any more unless they are found or need maintenance.

Edited by PRL JAM
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Again, don't confuse the app with the website itself. It is not the website. It is a misconception that many fall prey to.

 

I don't use the website.

 

The app is where the cache originally appeared as well as where it disappeared.

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I fear that if I leave another DNF note, the cache will disappear again and that is not something I want to happen for me, or anyone else in the area who might want to look for this one. So I am leaving no notes on caches any more unless they are found or need maintenance.

 

That is a definite failure of the app, then.

 

How about this? Instead of logging a "dnf", you log a "write note" instead, to advise the cache owner and other cachers that you couldn't find the cache on that date?

 

It's insane that one can't log a cache properly because of this silly "beginner" criteria of the app.

 

B.

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I don't even see the need for reporting caches unfound. Is there an actual purpose or is it just to let the hider know how good their cache is hidden?

 

Yes, a DNF log serves two purposes, primarily:

 

1.) it alerts the cache owner that there might be a problem. The cache might be missing.

 

2.) it alerts other cachers that there might be a problem.

 

A string of dnf's, by different people, can be cause for the cache to be disabled, or archived.

 

Our cache was missing for a while, but no one had posted any dnf logs. When we were finally alerted to the problem, we went out and replaced it.

 

After we replaced it, someone posted a "found it", saying that they had looked for the cache a number of times without finding it.

 

argh.

 

So, yes, DNF logs are very important. And helpful to the rest of the caching community, including the owner.

 

B.

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I don't even see the need for reporting caches unfound. Is there an actual purpose or is it just to let the hider know how good their cache is hidden?

 

IMO the best purpose for a DNF log is to give other seekers (as well as the owner) a heads-up that it might be missing. When geocaching was internet-based this was only a good thing; the more that geocaching becomes app-based, the more good things turn bad.

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But couldn't that just mean that it is very hard to find? Isn't it better that the hider just routinely check it to make sure it's there and in good shape? Then you wouldn't need DNF at all.

 

But, as a cache owner, if cachers dont post DNF logs, how can I tell the difference between cachers looking for the cache and not finding it, and nobody has been looking for it recently?

 

No cache owner wants to go out to check their cache every week/month.

Especially as some are not that easy to get to!

 

:)

 

Maybe it's time to become a Premium Member? (Or get the paid for app... )

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But couldn't that just mean that it is very hard to find? Isn't it better that the hider just routinely check it to make sure it's there and in good shape? Then you wouldn't need DNF at all.

 

Nope. And nope.

 

"DNF" means that people are not finding the cache. It could be missing, it could have migrated, the coordinates might be off, or if it is properly rated as a D3 or higher, it might be hard to find.

 

Doesn't matter. You looked for it, you did not find it, log is "DNF".

 

If I don't hear of any problems from finders, why should I go out and check on the cache?

 

If finders are posting "dnf" or "needs maintenance", I'll be out there as quickly as I can to deal with it.

 

On a related note, if a cache has not been reported found in a while and the owner is not responding to inquiries about it, what is the process for requesting it be deleted or archived?

 

Two separate issues jammed together.

 

"not found in a while"...so what? That proves nothing. If there was a string of dnf logs, then there might be an argument for disabling or archiving.

 

You need to be very careful before posting a "Needs Archived" log. Those logs go to the Reviewer. There are situations where a NA log might be appropriate, but just because a cache hasn't been found in a while is not one of them.

 

If you have contacted a cache owner and they haven't responded, then there's not much you can do.

 

Help Center

Finding a Geocache → Logging a Geocache

 

http://support.Groundspeak.com/index.php?pg=kb.page&id=534

 

4.2. What log type should I use?

 

Found It

Use if you found a geocache and physically signed the log sheet. Share your story and pictures. You can help future finders out by letting them know if the coordinates were off for you (because of trees, building bounce, etc) by stating where it was that you found the geocache (ex: 30 feet NW of GZ), or that you replaced a full log book for the cache owner, or that the container or place you found it didn't quite match the hint, or that you had the most amazing pie right across the street from the geocache - this is all stuff that will help future finders.

 

Didn't Find It (aka: DNF)

Use if you looked for a geocache and you couldn't find it. Share your story and let others know if you were able to see evidence of a critter making off with or destroying the geocache (half eaten lids), muggle activity (swag all spread out outside the geocache), or if you were just off your "caching game" for the day. It's best to remain humble in a DNF log - because we've learned that the geocache is most likely there...staring at you, mocking you, and waiting for you to come back and try again.

 

Bad example of a DNF: It's not there - I looked and looked...geocache is gone.

 

Good example of a DNF: Bummer! We looked and looked for this one today. Guess we'll have to come back and try again another day.

 

It is important to post a DNF. If a cache owner sees a string of DNFs on the geocache page they will usually check to see if it is still there.

 

Also, it will alert other finders of the possibility that the geocache either is missing or super tough to find.

 

Write Note

There are many reasons to write a note, including:

 

You are a cache owner and just checked on your geocache to make sure it is there. (some cache owners prefer to use a Owner Maintenance log for this, instead)

 

You visited a Challenge Cache that you don't yet qualify for and signed the log, but are not allowed to log a 'Found It' on it yet. You can let others know that you visited the geocache, signed the log, and are excited to log it as 'Found' someday.

 

You are dropping a Trackable into the geocache, but you have already logged a find on it.

 

News or relevant information. (ex: "wildfire in area - you may want to disable this geocache for now", "beehive next to geocache - we left without looking for it", "road closed", etc.)

 

Needs Maintenance

Use along with a 'Found It' log to report a geocache that needs a little love from it's cache owner. Cracked geocache, log is mush, etc. Many times other geocachers will help out and replace a log, but sometimes you get caught empty-handed and need to let the owner or future finders know.

 

This may be used with a DNF log, sparingly, to let a cache owner know that you and others have been to the location MANY times and that there is a string of DNFs..."It seems like a bunch of people are having trouble with this one lately. Would the cache owner mind checking on it, please?" is an appropriate way to phrase the request when posting a Needs Maintenance log with your DNF log.

 

Needs Archived

 

Use super RARELY under these circumstances (a flippant/fake NA log can be offensive to cache owners):

 

If you have found a geocache that was placed illegally on private property, without permission, and/or the property owners or law enforcement expressed concerns to you during your search.

 

If you have found a geocache where aggressive searching activity is causing damage to the surrounding area or the geocache placement damages or defaces property.

 

If a geocache already has MANY DNFs, Needs Maintenance logs (with no cache owner response), and is without a genuine find for a very long time.

 

A Needs Archived log will alert both the local volunteer reviewer and the geocache owner to the issue.

 

Will Attend

Use to let the cache owner of the event know that you plan on attending - it's an RSVP of sorts. Mention how many will be with you and if you have kiddos that will be attending. All of this information helps the Event Cache owner plan.

 

Attended

Use as a "Found it" log for an event that you have attended - a great opportunity to tell the event planners "THANK YOU" for planning a fun event.

 

Webcam Photo Taken

Use as a "Found it" log for a Webcam that you have successfully captured a photo on.

 

For additional information regarding log types for geocache owners please see the article on Managing Your Geocache Listing

Edited by Pup Patrol
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But couldn't that just mean that it is very hard to find?
And that's another reason for DNF logs. They give the owner (or future seekers) an idea of how hard the cache really is to find.

 

The owner may think it's easy (after all, he knows where it is), but if half the logs are Finds and half the logs are DNFs, then maybe it isn't really all that easy.

 

Or the owner may think that it's incredibly difficult, but if there are more than 10 Finds for every DNF, then maybe it isn't all that challenging.

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On a related note, if a cache has not been reported found in a while and the owner is not responding to inquiries about it, what is the process for requesting it be deleted or archived?

 

Ahhhh, now you see the point of posting a DNF. A cache that has gone unfound for a long time (I found one that hadn't been found for 5 years) is NOT a problem and you should not concern yourself with it. A cache that has a long string of DNFs may or may not be a problem depending on the D rating. A D4 or D5 will often garner many DNFs. A lot of DNFs on a D1 or D2 might mean the cache is missing. Since you have only been caching for a few days you should not be requesting that a cache needs to be archived.

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But couldn't that just mean that it is very hard to find? Isn't it better that the hider just routinely check it to make sure it's there and in good shape? Then you wouldn't need DNF at all.

 

If a cache is really hard to find and those that don't find it post DNF logs, it may tell other cache seekers that it's really hard to find. It may also tell the cache owner that perhaps the difficulty rating should be increased, which will also tell cache seekers that it's going to be hard to find.

 

 

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A DNF is also part of your own personal log of caches you've spent time looking for (which the website keeps a record of). Sometimes, especially when you're just starting out, it can be fun and interesting to go back to look at the logs for the caches you've found and those you couldn't find. Make your DNF log interesting, even funny if you like. Cache owners and other cachers like and appreciate a good log whether it's a found it or a DNF. And you can look back and see how much you've improved at finding them later. For now, why not just use the "Write Note' option as has been suggested to log your "adventure"

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The "Intro" app now does everything the paid app does, and a lot of things the paid app doesn't do. Now its limitations are because of free membership status versus paid membership-- free membership apparently triggers a "beginner mode." So there's really no incentive to buy the paid app anymore. If you have an Android, try c:geo.

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What I do is if I am sure it's not there like it was an obvious cache with an easy rating I would do a NM. If it was a higher rating and I'm not sure then I will post a DNF and say something like " It maybe there but I couldn't find it"

Some DNFs can scare off another cacher from finding it if I may have over looked it.

Edited by jellis
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The "Intro" app now does everything the paid app does, and a lot of things the paid app doesn't do.

Which platform are you referring to? iOS, Android, or Windows Phone? I have both the Intro and full apps on iOS, and the Intro does not have the following functionality provided by the full app:

  • Trackable searching
  • Trackable logging
  • Pocket queries/saving offline
  • Search by GC code or location/Advanced Search
  • Saving logs as field notes
  • Submitting the "Needs Maintenance" or "Needs Archive" log types
  • Adding a Favourite Point
  • Viewing attributes
  • Viewing or editing a Personal Geocache Note

There are probably more.

 

If you have an Android, try c:geo.

This is not something you should be posting in these forums at all, let alone the "Getting Started" forum.

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To the OP, since you already know where ground zero is what difference does it make if it doesn't appear on your free app. You can still go back and search the area. If you logged the DNF you would then have a record in your profile of the GC code so if you do find it you could then post your Found It log. Maybe, if posting a DNF that is an accurate representation of your caching activity on that cache is causing you to much trouble, this isn't the hobby for you.

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Maybe, if posting a DNF that is an accurate representation of your caching activity on that cache is causing you to much trouble, this isn't the hobby for you.

 

I wouldn't go that far. There are lots of ways to play this game, all of them valid. Some folks view DNFs as a failure of sorts when IMHO it's just another aspect of the game. Whether or not they post their DNF has little to do with whether they enjoy playing. It's beside the point anyway. The OP's concern was that posting a DNF, which he did twice BTW, caused the app to eliminate the icon from his view. Personally, I'd prefer the convenience of seeing that elusive icon on my screen too, if for no other reason than to remind me that's it's still unfound. Given a choice between posting a DNF and losing the icon and not posting and keeping the icon, I'd probably opt for the latter myself.

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