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Does a DNF really mean a cache needs maintenance?


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This was prompted by a recent automated email from Groundspeak suggesting one of my caches might need maintenance after a DNF had been logged on it (which was redeemed a week later when the DNF'er found it). I started wondering how many of my own DNFs were due to a missing cache (as indicated by either a subsequent OM log replacing it or its ultimate archival) compared to how many where I was simply outwitted by the hide or the camo. These are the results from my 74 DNFs (not counting multiple DNFs on the same cache):

 

Still there: 49

Misplaced or missing: 21

Uncertain: 2

 

So in two thirds of my DNFs, the cache was still there and no owner maintenance has been required. Does this mean:

  1. I'm overzealous in logging DNF when perhaps WN might have been more prudent (I've been logging DNF when I've looked for the cache but couldn't sign the log FOR ANY REASON),
  2. I'm exceptionally poor at finding well-hidden caches, or
  3. DNF really is a poor indicator that a cache needs maintenance.

Thoughts anyone?

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Obviously, 3 is correct.

 

I have been proven "wrong" on DNFs many times as a cacher. I now word my DNF logs very carefully so as not to look the fool when the cache is actually still there.

 

My husband and I often take a flyer on "missing" caches. More often than not, they are there.

 

A single DNF means that a single cacher didn't find it. That's all. It is foolhardy to extrapolate any more meaning from it than that.

 

Even a string of DNFs is no sure thing. Subsequent DNFers may give up more easily, or there may be groups of cachers logging.

 

This log type has had so much needless negativity attached to it for as long as I have been playing. It is frustrating to see it being weaponized against good cache owners.

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I've been told by veterans that a DNF means just what it says: the searcher didn't find it. Any number of reasons could contribute to a cacher DNFing a cache that's actually there.

 

Yes, some local reviewers have started using tools which generate automated maintenance messages on caches with recent DNFs. It's a well-meaning response to the problem of caches that seem to have gone missing, yet cachers don't want to make NA logs that would bring the cache to the attention of local reviewers. Whether those automated messages have had their parameters adjusted to flag only problematic caches and not merely difficult caches ... well, that's a matter of some debate.

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A DNF is just that... did not find. It serves two purposes:

1. It lets the cache owner know that the cache is being searched for even if it wasn't found.

2. It's a record for you to keep track of caches you searched for but were unsuccessful in finding.

 

A string of DNFs (3 or more) in a row is a good indicator to the cache owner that maybe maintenance is needed, but not always as D4+ caches are going to be tricky to find. But a single DNF should not be an indicator of immediate maintenance.

 

I log all of my DNFs, mostly to fulfill #1. As a cache owner, I like to know when my caches are being searched for. If it's a cache that should be easy to find, I might go out and check on it after a DNF log. Then again, if the DNF comes from a new cacher with less than 10 finds logged, I'm also likely to ignore it. But at least I know my finds are getting some attention.

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I agree with Narcissa, but do feel that a CO should probably check on their caches after a string of DNFs. One, to check the cache, and to double check the coordinates. I think DNFs can promote other DNFs, in that once a cache has a couple, I know we spend less time looking for it before we call it a DNF, if we stop to look at all....

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This was prompted by a recent automated email from Groundspeak suggesting one of my caches might need maintenance after a DNF had been logged on it (which was redeemed a week later when the DNF'er found it). I started wondering how many of my own DNFs were due to a missing cache (as indicated by either a subsequent OM log replacing it or its ultimate archival) compared to how many where I was simply outwitted by the hide or the camo. These are the results from my 74 DNFs (not counting multiple DNFs on the same cache):

 

Still there: 49

Misplaced or missing: 21

Uncertain: 2

 

So in two thirds of my DNFs, the cache was still there and no owner maintenance has been required. Does this mean:

  1. I'm overzealous in logging DNF when perhaps WN might have been more prudent (I've been logging DNF when I've looked for the cache but couldn't sign the log FOR ANY REASON),
  2. I'm exceptionally poor at finding well-hidden caches, or
  3. DNF really is a poor indicator that a cache needs maintenance.

Thoughts anyone?

 

Really?

I'd ignore a message like that.

A DNF just means someone didn't find it. Nothing more.

If it's more than there are other log forms to use, like NM or NA.

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Tough question. I've logged 714 DNFs in the last twelve years. Over 400 have been archived. But some I found after one or two DNFs. Some were obviously missing. Some had many finds after my DNF.

A little concerned that two of my DNFs from last weekend prompted a 'Temporarily Disables' from the reviewer. One had three DNFs including two of mine. The other had three DNFs since October. One of mine. Owner not signed on since June.

If I have that type of reputation, I may stop logging DNFs. I can trip over a 1/1 and not find it!

And I see caches nearby with no finds in years and lots of DNFs, with an inactive CO. And those are still listed. I'm not looking for it with those DNFs. Oh, that's been disabled as well.

So, I agree with all three of your points.

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This was prompted by a recent automated email from Groundspeak suggesting one of my caches might need maintenance after a DNF had been logged on it (which was redeemed a week later when the DNF'er found it).

[/Quote]

So just as we're saying to take a DNF lightly, we should take the GS message lightly.

 

Those is the forum probably have good maintenance habits. This message is geared towards other cachers who might benefit from a gentle tap on the shoulder which says, "Hey, are you sure all your caches are okay?"

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I agree with wmpastor. We try to take good care of our caches and really wouldn't ignore a string of 3 or 4 DNFs on any of our caches. If we were to get one of these messages then we'd accept that it's been triggered by an algorithm (e.g. a bunch of four cachers out caching together generating four DNFs in a row for a single visit) and just carry on using our own common sense about when a maintenance visit was required. We also have some caches locally where the owner really just doesn't do maintenance at all. Email to them will be ignored as all other DNFs and NMs are.

 

Target audience is those in the middle who need a bit of a reminder. That key word 'might' really is the big thing.

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This was prompted by a recent automated email from Groundspeak suggesting one of my caches might need maintenance after a DNF had been logged on it (which was redeemed a week later when the DNF'er found it).

[/Quote]

So just as we're saying to take a DNF lightly, we should take the GS message lightly.

 

Those is the forum probably have good maintenance habits. This message is geared towards other cachers who might benefit from a gentle tap on the shoulder which says, "Hey, are you sure all your caches are okay?"

 

I'd take a single DNF lightly, but a string of DNFs possibly indicates a problem. I don't know the algorithm the automated emails use to determine that a cache *might* need maintenance, but it by itself will not result in any sort of reviewer action on your cache. A reviewer will look at the history and determine if the cache *might* need maintenance before the naggy note is posted or cache is disabled.

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This was prompted by a recent automated email from Groundspeak suggesting one of my caches might need maintenance after a DNF had been logged on it (which was redeemed a week later when the DNF'er found it).

[/Quote]

So just as we're saying to take a DNF lightly, we should take the GS message lightly.

 

Those is the forum probably have good maintenance habits. This message is geared towards other cachers who might benefit from a gentle tap on the shoulder which says, "Hey, are you sure all your caches are okay?"

 

The issue with the algorithm that caused a T5 cache with one DNF to be emailed has hopefully been resolved, but I'm more interested in whether my statistics (only one DNF in three is due to a maintenance issue) is representative of experiences generally or is just a local quirk. I realise that in some regions posting NM or NA has become taboo and DNF is now the de facto NA (and going by the Found It = Didn't Find It thread, Found It has become the de facto DNF), while around here those N logs are still regularly used for their intended purpose, so I'm sure that'd skew the results. Maybe that's the issue that really needs to be addressed, but don't ask me how.

 

If I get a DNF on one of my hides I'll generally make a mental note to push its priority up a bit in my rough schedule of routine checks, depending on the content of the log, but it also depends on how much effort that checking requires. It's a lot easier to check on one that's a five minute drive away than one requiring a half day hike through rugged terrain.

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I agree with Narcissa, but do feel that a CO should probably check on their caches after a string of DNFs. One, to check the cache, and to double check the coordinates. I think DNFs can promote other DNFs, in that once a cache has a couple, I know we spend less time looking for it before we call it a DNF, if we stop to look at all....

 

It depends on the circumstances. Some caches are legitimately difficult. Some cachers are legitimately bad at finding caches. The cache owner knows the hide and the history.

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In the past four months, I have found two caches that had been presumed missing, the container was replaced, but I found the original container. Thus, the replacement container should not have been placed, because the cache never went missing. Several cachers couldn't find these caches, so the cache owner requested that another cacher replace the container, but it was unnecessary to do so.

These caches were Purgatory (GCK149) where I found the original container on Sept. 10, 2016, and Where's My Keys (TB Hotel)? (GC156AR) where I found the original container on Jan. 2, 2017.

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In the past four months, I have found two caches that had been presumed missing, the container was replaced, but I found the original container. Thus, the replacement container should not have been placed, because the cache never went missing. Several cachers couldn't find these caches, so the cache owner requested that another cacher replace the container, but it was unnecessary to do so.

These caches were Purgatory (GCK149) where I found the original container on Sept. 10, 2016, and Where's My Keys (TB Hotel)? (GC156AR) where I found the original container on Jan. 2, 2017.

I think it would also be appropriate to add a NM log in addition to your find log on GC156AR. The CO may not be taking notice of found logs but may take action on a NM.

Edited by colleda
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On my caches, a DNF mean its more likely missing.

 

Why? I give away dead on hints. <_<

 

Save me alot of trouble.

 

Interesting. Across my 27 hides, I've had a total of 43 DNFs, none of them due to a missing container or maintenance issues. One was logged on my Earthcache but the geological feature was still there when I checked, thankfully there were none on my events.

 

Actually I'm more inclined to check on a cache after a find than a DNF as finders sometimes don't rehide the container very well.

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Yes, some local reviewers have started using tools which generate automated maintenance messages on caches with recent DNFs. It's a well-meaning response to the problem of caches that seem to have gone missing, yet cachers don't want to make NA logs that would bring the cache to the attention of local reviewers. Whether those automated messages have had their parameters adjusted to flag only problematic caches and not merely difficult caches ... well, that's a matter of some debate.

This is not how it works. As I've posted in prior threads, and as Sapience Trek alludes to in Post #10 to this thread, Community Volunteer Reviewers do not initiate the automated "Your cache might need maintenance" emails. These come from Geocaching HQ, where specially bred hamsters crawl through the listings and then run on their exercise wheels to power the server that sends out the canned messages.

 

Any action taken by a Community Volunteer Reviewer (disabling a listing or archiving a listing due to maintenance concerns) requires human judgment and conscious human action to initiate those logs. (Or canine judgment and canine action, where applicable.)

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Here are my DNF stats:

 

Misplaced or missing, or some form of CO action required: 40

Still there: 37

Unknown state: 5

 

11 were archived by the CO shortly after our DNF

19 were archived by the reviewer shortly after our DNF

(These were all either needing maintenance or unknown state in the stats above)

 

So just going by that, slightly over half of the DNFs we log were actually issues with the cache that the CO needed to remedy.

 

I also log DNF when I've reached the coordinates and begin to look. I very rarely do Write Note logs. I do, however, do plenty of NM logs and NA logs when they're warranted (NM logs if there is a string of DNFs, NA logs if there are DNFs and previous NM logs that have gone unanswered, especially when the owner is inactive).

Edited by TriciaG
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I don't have access to GSAK right now to look at my DNF statistics, but I'm guessing it will probably be split about 50/50. I'm also really bad at logging DNFs though too, so that would probably skew the results.

 

Looking at twelve of the caches I own, there are twelve DNFs and none of them were due to a missing container.

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I thought a DNF indicated that I personally didn't find the cache and nothing more. It's up to the cache owner to interpret my DNF for themselves.

 

This is my sentiments exactly. There are a handful of CO's in my area that are very clever in their hides. When they rate some of them at 3* difficulty or above, I know before hand that it will take me, more than likely, more than one visit to find it. I like it this way, there are hiders that more clever than finders. I see it as a learning experience. I post my DNF and say I'll be back. :D

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The importance of a single DNF varies a great deal based on the cache: history of Finds vs DNFs, difficulty of hide, experience of DNFer, time since last Find, etc.

 

As a CO, this quote above is how I see it. Most of my caches are easy to find (especially with the hint), so even a single DNF might make me want to check it out. Others I will wait to see what happens next.

 

when I'm finding.. I've not done a detailed analysis, but I think in 50% of the cases or more, the cache is there, I just couldn't find it. My DNFs simply mean I didn't find the cache. I hardly ever suggest it might be missing, the only time I might do this is if the hint was very explicit. E.g it says "under red block of wood", and there is a red block of wood which is hollowed out so a cache could be there, and the container isn't. In which case I'd say something like "Found the hint object but no container".

 

So no, a DNF doesn't mean a cache needs maintenance. But as a CO, DNFs give an indication that a cache MIGHT be missing. 10 consecutive DNFs on a cache which previously had 100 finds without a DNF indicates strongly that something has happened. It might not be missing, but should be checked.

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So no, a DNF doesn't mean a cache needs maintenance. But as a CO, DNFs give an indication that a cache MIGHT be missing. 10 consecutive DNFs on a cache which previously had 100 finds without a DNF indicates strongly that something has happened. It might not be missing, but should be checked.

 

Exactly, so DNF number 11, or better still one of the previous 10, should log an NM. That's what NMs are for and that's pretty much how it works around here. There's no grey area with an NM, even if the cache is okay the CO should visit and log an OM in response, and the system is geared around that with the red wrench thing.

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So no, a DNF doesn't mean a cache needs maintenance. But as a CO, DNFs give an indication that a cache MIGHT be missing. 10 consecutive DNFs on a cache which previously had 100 finds without a DNF indicates strongly that something has happened. It might not be missing, but should be checked.

 

Exactly, so DNF number 11, or better still one of the previous 10, should log an NM. That's what NMs are for and that's pretty much how it works around here. There's no grey area with an NM, even if the cache is okay the CO should visit and log an OM in response, and the system is geared around that with the red wrench thing.

 

I think that a couple of IMM's Shelter caches got well over 100 DNFs before the first find. The logs also included several by the CO after visiting the cache and confirming it was right where he placed it.

 

 

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So no, a DNF doesn't mean a cache needs maintenance. But as a CO, DNFs give an indication that a cache MIGHT be missing. 10 consecutive DNFs on a cache which previously had 100 finds without a DNF indicates strongly that something has happened. It might not be missing, but should be checked.

 

Exactly, so DNF number 11, or better still one of the previous 10, should log an NM. That's what NMs are for and that's pretty much how it works around here. There's no grey area with an NM, even if the cache is okay the CO should visit and log an OM in response, and the system is geared around that with the red wrench thing.

 

I try to look back at my DNFs every once in a while. If I notice that a cache has accumulated a few DNFs I will log a NM but I am careful to state that the request is for the cache owner to confirm the cache is in place, and NOT an accusation that it is missing.

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I thought a DNF indicated that I personally didn't find the cache and nothing more. It's up to the cache owner to interpret my DNF for themselves.

 

^^This^^ is exactly how I feel too. I post DNF's any time that I make it to GZ and spend more than 30 seconds searching but don't find the cache. I expect the CO will interpret my log. As a CO I will react to a DNF on my hides based on the text of the log and the experience of the logger.

 

But as Keystone pointed out in post #17 there's also an HQ algorithm that recognizes when we as a community have posted a series of consecutive DNF's. Perhaps the CO isn't active any more, or perhaps they just do not take cache maintenance seriously? Either way these automatically generated nag notes can help the volunteer reviewers keep up with keeping the inventory of active caches cleaner. And that makes for a better playing field for all of us.

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So no, a DNF doesn't mean a cache needs maintenance. But as a CO, DNFs give an indication that a cache MIGHT be missing. 10 consecutive DNFs on a cache which previously had 100 finds without a DNF indicates strongly that something has happened. It might not be missing, but should be checked.

 

Exactly, so DNF number 11, or better still one of the previous 10, should log an NM. That's what NMs are for and that's pretty much how it works around here. There's no grey area with an NM, even if the cache is okay the CO should visit and log an OM in response, and the system is geared around that with the red wrench thing.

 

This seems reasonable, though I don't do this. My thought is that I raise a NM only if I have some new evidence of an issue. If it simply that I didn't find it, I just log a DNF. I figure it is up to the CO to decide when a cache needs checking based on DNFs. Who am I to say if you should check on it after 1 DNF, or 3, or 10...

 

I also find the Help Center on this confusing. 3.7. I found a geocache that needs maintenance. While it says "e.g", it doesn't say anything about raising a NM due to multiple DNFs. But it does say:

 

If the geocache has not been found for a reasonable amount of time and the cache owner has not reacted to a "Needs Maintenance" log, it is time to post a "Needs Archived" log on the listing. A "Needs Archived" log will alert the geocache owner and local Reviewer that the cache needs Reviewer attention.

 

Which implies cachers should log first NM "If the geocache has not been found for a reasonable amount of time". Which doesn't mention DNFs. I have a cache which hasn't been found for 9 months. It doesn't have any DNFs. Should cachers raise a NM if they think that is too long?

 

But you are right, that in practice, it is common to raise a NM as well as a DNF if, in the DNF-ers opinion, there is enough of a track record of DNFs that the CO should take action.

 

I don't agree with "There's no grey area with an NM, even if the cache is okay the CO should visit and log an OM in response". If someone raises a NM on one of my caches which I think is unwarranted, I would clear it by an OM log without visiting. E.g. a NM based on a single DNF, with no evidence of any issue. My OM log would state the truth, e.g : "I'm not checking this cache at this time based on I checked it just 1 month ago and there is only 1 DNF. However I will monitor and check if I see more evidence of a possible issue".

 

Of course NMs can be raised for issues which do not require a visit. The last NM I got the cacher had problems accessing a URL needed to solve the puzzle. The issue was specific to that cacher; his provider blocked the link; others can access it. Still, I created an alternate way, changed the listing, and performed OM. There was no need to visit the cache.

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My thought is that I raise a NM only if I have some new evidence of an issue. If it simply that I didn't find it, I just log a DNF. I figure it is up to the CO to decide when a cache needs checking based on DNFs. Who am I to say if you should check on it after 1 DNF, or 3, or 10...

My thinking is exactly the reverse: I logged an NM if I think there's a reason to. My DNF might be the one that tips the balance. Other times, I don't even look for the cache and file an NM without DNFing the cache when the evidence already in the log has led me to conclude that it would be a waste of time for me or anyone else to look for it. Then I leave it up to the CO to reject my NM if he thinks no check is needed. After all, a reasonable CO will say...

 

If someone raises a NM on one of my caches which I think is unwarranted, I would clear it by an OM log without visiting.

Although I'd be disappointed if I posted an NM that wasn't warranted, I don't worry about the possibility because the CO can cancel my NM with an OM if he considers that the appropriate response, and I'll appreciate the explanation in the OM correcting my misinterpretation of the available evidence.

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My thought is that I raise a NM only if I have some new evidence of an issue. If it simply that I didn't find it, I just log a DNF. I figure it is up to the CO to decide when a cache needs checking based on DNFs. Who am I to say if you should check on it after 1 DNF, or 3, or 10...

My thinking is exactly the reverse: I logged an NM if I think there's a reason to. My DNF might be the one that tips the balance. Other times, I don't even look for the cache and file an NM without DNFing the cache when the evidence already in the log has led me to conclude that it would be a waste of time for me or anyone else to look for it. Then I leave it up to the CO to reject my NM if he thinks no check is needed. After all, a reasonable CO will say...

 

There's a local caches with six DNFs since early 2014. And a note suggesting maintence might be necessary from late last year. CO inactive since the middle of 2015. I'd contemplated an NM, but I was not going to look for it, so I decided against that. The reviewer seems to be cleaning up the area, and disables it.

 

If someone raises a NM on one of my caches which I think is unwarranted, I would clear it by an OM log without visiting.

Although I'd be disappointed if I posted an NM that wasn't warranted, I don't worry about the possibility because the CO can cancel my NM with an OM if he considers that the appropriate response, and I'll appreciate the explanation in the OM correcting my misinterpretation of the available evidence.

 

Then again I got NM on an MKH because

Nothing is in the little magnetic box just paper for id and paper is filled with names so there is no room for anymore names

Within walking distance, so I checked it out, and there were still 40 lines available for signatures. Newby cacher's first find. He quit after two months caching.

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There's a local caches with six DNFs since early 2014. And a note suggesting maintence might be necessary from late last year. CO inactive since the middle of 2015. I'd contemplated an NM, but I was not going to look for it, so I decided against that. The reviewer seems to be cleaning up the area, and disables it.

2 years with nothing but DNFs? Unless it's rated very difficult, why wouldn't you post an NM?

 

It's nice that the reviewer cleans up your area for you, but it's easier and quicker if the locals report problems via NMs and NAs when they spot them instead of posting notes suggesting maintenance might be necessary and deciding against filing NMs when they're clearly warranted.

 

Then again I got NM on an MKH because

Nothing is in the little magnetic box just paper for id and paper is filled with names so there is no room for anymore names

Within walking distance, so I checked it out, and there were still 40 lines available for signatures. Newby cacher's first find. He quit after two months caching.

The lesson I get from this example is that even the most completely unwarranted NM typically causes no problem at all.

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There's a local caches with six DNFs since early 2014. And a note suggesting maintence might be necessary from late last year. CO inactive since the middle of 2015. I'd contemplated an NM, but I was not going to look for it, so I decided against that. The reviewer seems to be cleaning up the area, and disables it.

2 years with nothing but DNFs? Unless it's rated very difficult, why wouldn't you post an NM?

 

It's nice that the reviewer cleans up your area for you, but it's easier and quicker if the locals report problems via NMs and NAs when they spot them instead of posting notes suggesting maintenance might be necessary and deciding against filing NMs when they're clearly warranted.

Because I don't know that it needs maintenance because I never looked for it? And the last log was a note suggesting maintenance should be done. I wasn't going to look for it after the CO's nearby cache was noted for having bad coords, and I DNFed it.

I notice that the reviewer is disabling many caches with three DNFs. I guess that's part of the clean-up program? Including one by an active CO:

Didn't find it 12/17/2016

:( No smiley for me. Will have definitely watch this and go back again after someone else logs a "find" to be sure its still there. :)

 

Didn't find it 11/10/2016

I couldn't find the cache, but I did find a penny. Will try again sometime. A lage truck was backed up to GZ. I felt a little funny poking around.

 

Didn't find it 11/05/2016

yea no luck for us today

 

Seemed odd to disable that one.

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I notice that the reviewer is disabling many caches with three DNFs. I guess that's part of the clean-up program?

 

This is a catch-22. As a preventative measure against at least one maintenance issue, when hiding my caches I try to choose a place where the cache is completely out of sight and is somewhere muggles are unlikely to go poking their fingers. This sometimes results in DNFs, particularly by newbies or out-of-town visitors. Luckily my new Neptune's Cathedral cache (GC6Y0R7) only got two such DNFs before those with a bit more of a cache-sense (or familiarity with my hiding style) started finding it.

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Because I don't know that it needs maintenance because I never looked for it?

If the logs suggest that no one's ever going to find it again, then I don't need to look for it myself to know it needs maintenance.

 

I guess two different basic scenarios in which a NM can be logged.

 

One is that you personally have some new evidence of a problem. That could be seeing a damaged container, or it could be you believing it might be missing when you couldn't find it. You might take information in the logs as input as well (e.g. don't log NM if you are the first DNF but do if many before you).

 

The other is JUST by looking at the logs. In this case you are not introducing any new "evidence" - the evidence is already there in previous logs. You are just saying "Based on the history of the logs I believe it is appropriate that this cache is marked as needing maintenance."

 

I think both are valid. Some only log NM if they personally visited. The danger with the second scenario, especially if one cacher does this a lot, is being seen as the "cache police".

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The danger with the second scenario, especially if one cacher does this a lot, is being seen as the "cache police".

 

As a rule I reserve NM and NA for caches where I have actually been to GZ and usually where I actually found the cache.

 

Seeing a lot of DNF's on a cache I know should be an easy find, for example, allows me to say with some confidence, without returning to GZ, that the cache is probably not where it should be and therefore NM. Under these circumstances I might well log an NM for a cache I found some time earlier, especially if I know the CO has thrown in the towel.

 

On rare occasions I've posted NM/NA on caches I haven't found. I might be scoping an area I'm planning to visit to do some caching, see a cache that has loads of DNF's over an extended period of time and no obvious CO attention and stick a log on it. I like to imagine that those local to that cache who might be too cache-owner-wrath averse to post such a log themselves breathe a sigh of relief when an outsider helps them out :laughing:

 

EDIT: If that makes me caching police then I'm cool with that. Popularity in circles which throw such terms around in the mistaken belief that it makes them somehow superior or clever isn't a thing I crave B)

Edited by Team Microdot
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Because I don't know that it needs maintenance because I never looked for it?

If the logs suggest that no one's ever going to find it again, then I don't need to look for it myself to know it needs maintenance.

 

I guess two different basic scenarios in which a NM can be logged.

 

One is that you personally have some new evidence of a problem. That could be seeing a damaged container, or it could be you believing it might be missing when you couldn't find it. You might take information in the logs as input as well (e.g. don't log NM if you are the first DNF but do if many before you).

 

The other is JUST by looking at the logs. In this case you are not introducing any new "evidence" - the evidence is already there in previous logs. You are just saying "Based on the history of the logs I believe it is appropriate that this cache is marked as needing maintenance."

 

I think both are valid. Some only log NM if they personally visited. The danger with the second scenario, especially if one cacher does this a lot, is being seen as the "cache police".

 

The other danger with the second one is that someone might come along and point out that coordinates are a bit fuzzy and the cache is actually still there, just not in the place the DNFers were looking. That just happened on a cache I searched for over the summer. I eventually posted NM and then NA because the cache owner was not responding to the DNFs piling up. I'm not bothered that the cache was archived, because it had been abandoned by the cache owner, but I'm glad my logs didn't claim the cache wasn't there!

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The other danger with the second one is that someone might come along and point out that coordinates are a bit fuzzy and the cache is actually still there, just not in the place the DNFers were looking.

 

A cache where the coords are so bad that it causes several DNFs needs an NM in any case.....

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The other danger with the second one is that someone might come along and point out that coordinates are a bit fuzzy and the cache is actually still there, just not in the place the DNFers were looking.

 

A cache where the coords are so bad that it causes several DNFs needs an NM in any case.....

 

Yeah, it's kind of weird. Nobody seemed to have trouble with it until the string of DNFs at the end. I never went back, so I don't know how bad the coordinates actually were.

 

I think it's more likely that after two DNFs in a row, people started to have less confidence and didn't look as hard. Given how frequently it was found before, I assume that the coordinates are just fuzzy enough that there's a bit of ambiguity about where to look at first. I don't think it was on the other side of the park or anything.

 

People around here have no qualms about pointing out really bad coordinates and posting their own to help others.

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I guess two different basic scenarios in which a NM can be logged.

 

One is that you personally have some new evidence of a problem. That could be seeing a damaged container, or it could be you believing it might be missing when you couldn't find it. You might take information in the logs as input as well (e.g. don't log NM if you are the first DNF but do if many before you).

I don't consider my personal visit any more valuable than any other visit reported in the log. So I don't see this case as an entirely different scenario, just as the special case where what I found on my own visit is what tipped the scales.

 

I think both are valid. Some only log NM if they personally visited.

Well, I hold nothing against anyone that doesn't log an NM for whatever reason, but that's mainly because in my area there's a critical mass of people that will post NMs, so I don't have to worry about one never getting posted. But I disagree with the logic behind not posting an NM without a personal visit because I've seen too many logs where it's really clear no one should bother to visit and relatively clear that no one has visited for a while. When it's obvious that no one, not even me, is going to ever personally visit, following that no-NM-without-visit logic will insure that an obviously bad cache will stay on the books forever -- well, or until a reviewer takes charge even though he's never personally visited GZ either.

 

The danger with the second scenario, especially if one cacher does this a lot, is being seen as the "cache police".

There's no danger of being legitimately considered the cache police as long as your NM is warranted, and I'm not myself worried about someone illegitimately considering me the cache police. If anything, I want to do what I can to bring into the light any CO that complains about a warranted NM so they can be educated. But again, admittedly, I can have that attitude because I know an unreasonable CO will be in conflict with many people in my area, so I don't have to worry about having to go mano-a-mano with anyone.

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I think it's more likely that after two DNFs in a row, people started to have less confidence and didn't look as hard.

This certainly happens, and it can become chronic. In fact, as the DNFs pile up, people can stop coming to look altogether even though the cache is in good shape and where it should be. I consider this an important case: even if the cache is still there, it's still reasonable for someone to point out via an NM that the CO might want to go to GZ and confirm it's still in place in order to stem the tide. The fact is that even my personal visit might do nothing except continue the trend. The CO's the one that knows where it is, so it makes sense to ask him to go look to see if it's still there.

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I think it's more likely that after two DNFs in a row, people started to have less confidence and didn't look as hard.

This certainly happens, and it can become chronic. In fact, as the DNFs pile up, people can stop coming to look altogether even though the cache is in good shape and where it should be. I consider this an important case: even if the cache is still there, it's still reasonable for someone to point out via an NM that the CO might want to go to GZ and confirm it's still in place in order to stem the tide. The fact is that even my personal visit might do nothing except continue the trend. The CO's the one that knows where it is, so it makes sense to ask him to go look to see if it's still there.

 

Yes, as mentioned, this was a case where I followed my usual process. Visit, DNF, wait a few weeks, NM asking for a check with no accusation that cache is missing, wait a few weeks, NA. I wouldn't log an NA on a cache based on a string of DNFs without looking for it myself first. DNFs do not convince me that it isn't there or that I shouldn't look for myself.

Edited by narcissa
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I don't consider my personal visit any more valuable than any other visit reported in the log. So I don't see this case as an entirely different scenario, just as the special case where what I found on my own visit is what tipped the scales.

 

I think this is where there is a discrepancy in process. Unless I know another cacher very well, I place very little value on someone else's DNF. I trust that they didn't find the cache, and that's it. My own visit is substantially more valuable because I know how much effort went into my search, and I know how much to trust my own experience.

 

I would place equal, or possibly greater, value on a DNF by a cacher I know and trust.

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I don't consider my personal visit any more valuable than any other visit reported in the log. So I don't see this case as an entirely different scenario, just as the special case where what I found on my own visit is what tipped the scales.

 

I think this is where there is a discrepancy in process. Unless I know another cacher very well, I place very little value on someone else's DNF. I trust that they didn't find the cache, and that's it. My own visit is substantially more valuable because I know how much effort went into my search, and I know how much to trust my own experience.

 

I would place equal, or possibly greater, value on a DNF by a cacher I know and trust.

As a CO, I wouldn't put any faith in my own DNF logs as an indication the cache needs maintenance. As I said at the beginning of this thread, in two thirds of my DNFs, the cache was sitting there untroubled, I just didn't find it.

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I don't consider my personal visit any more valuable than any other visit reported in the log. So I don't see this case as an entirely different scenario, just as the special case where what I found on my own visit is what tipped the scales.

 

I think this is where there is a discrepancy in process. Unless I know another cacher very well, I place very little value on someone else's DNF. I trust that they didn't find the cache, and that's it. My own visit is substantially more valuable because I know how much effort went into my search, and I know how much to trust my own experience.

 

I would place equal, or possibly greater, value on a DNF by a cacher I know and trust.

As a CO, I wouldn't put any faith in my own DNF logs as an indication the cache needs maintenance. As I said at the beginning of this thread, in two thirds of my DNFs, the cache was sitting there untroubled, I just didn't find it.

 

Same here. That's why my process is like this:

 

Visit, DNF, wait a few weeks, NM asking for a check with no accusation that cache is missing (if other DNFs have piled up), wait a few weeks, NA.

 

If I DNF and there's no action from other cachers on the cache for a really long time, I usually just forget about it. I wouldn't NM on the basis on my DNF alone.

Edited by narcissa
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When I download my GPX files to GSAK (all of New Jersey, and anything within 65 miles), and arrange by "Last Found", I get six pages that look like this. None have been found since 2011. (Okay. The top one is waiting for FTF.) None of these get put into my GPSr (Gupy). I have no interest in them. (The one that I mentioned earlier is somewhere on that list. I only brought it up because it is relatively close.)

I could be Cache Police and file NM on alll three hundred of them. But, you know, I've got better things to do with my time!

 

139b5eec-5491-46a2-a01e-5b5650cb9358.jpg?rnd=0.3145537

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DNFs do not convince me that it isn't there or that I shouldn't look for myself.

Really? D1 cache, hint "under the light post cover", found twice a week for 2 years, then 5 DNFs in a row by seekers with thousands of finds each followed by a month of nothing. If you want to go look for that cache, be my guess, but I can tell it's gone and I'll post an NM without bothering to go there and look under that light post cover for myself.

 

I'm mean there's not trusting someone else, and then there's considering them complete incompetents. Me, I don't think I have any special ninja skills when it comes to seeing a cache that's supposed to be in a known obvious location.

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DNFs do not convince me that it isn't there or that I shouldn't look for myself.

Really? D1 cache, hint "under the light post cover", found twice a week for 2 years, then 5 DNFs in a row by seekers with thousands of finds each followed by a month of nothing. If you want to go look for that cache, be my guess, but I can tell it's gone and I'll post an NM without bothering to go there and look under that light post cover for myself.

 

I'm mean there's not trusting someone else, and then there's considering them complete incompetents. Me, I don't think I have any special ninja skills when it comes to seeing a cache that's supposed to be in a known obvious location.

 

If it's a lamp post traditional cache in an urban area, I am probably not going to read the past logs before looking for it. If it's still active it will be in PQ and I'll look for it if it's in my path. I'd chime in with a DNF and follow my usual process for following up on DNFs.

 

If for some reason I noticed and the string of DNFs was enough to convince me the cache probably isn't there, I might skip it. But that would be unusual, and I wouldn't log a DNF or an NM because I haven't seen the cache or visited the GZ myself.

Edited by narcissa
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If it's a lamp post traditional cache in an urban area, I am probably not going to read the past logs before looking for it. If it's still active it will be in PQ and I'll look for it if it's in my path. I'd chime in with a DNF and follow my usual process for following up on DNFs.

It doesn't matter to my story why you didn't go there. The point is that you don't need to go there to know the cache is missing.

 

If for some reason I noticed and the string of DNFs was enough to convince me the cache probably isn't there, I might skip it. But that would be unusual, and I wouldn't log a DNF or an NM because I haven't seen the cache or visited the GZ myself.

I have no problem with you deciding not to do anything about it, but surely you can see that the logical conclusion is that it Needs Maintenance.

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If it's a lamp post traditional cache in an urban area, I am probably not going to read the past logs before looking for it. If it's still active it will be in PQ and I'll look for it if it's in my path. I'd chime in with a DNF and follow my usual process for following up on DNFs.

It doesn't matter to my story why you didn't go there. The point is that you don't need to go there to know the cache is missing.

 

If for some reason I noticed and the string of DNFs was enough to convince me the cache probably isn't there, I might skip it. But that would be unusual, and I wouldn't log a DNF or an NM because I haven't seen the cache or visited the GZ myself.

I have no problem with you deciding not to do anything about it, but surely you can see that the logical conclusion is that it Needs Maintenance.

 

I can't be 100% certain that the cache is missing if the cache owner hasn't commented on it. If I did decide to skip a cache, my only opinion about the cache would be "looks like people are having trouble with it, not going to spend the time today." Sometimes I make the same decision about a cache that is high difficulty, high terrain, or just some ways off the beaten path. The decision to skip a cache is not worthy of a log at all, let alone an NM.

 

I just don't know if a cache Needs Maintenance or not if I haven't looked for it. Without visiting the site, the data I have is far too limited for me to make a call one way or another. I'm not a reviewer, so scrutinizing listings and asking for maintenance on caches I haven't visited isn't part of the game for me.

 

If I do search unsuccessfuly, and my DNF is one of many and the cache owner doesn't address them within a month or two, or if there are conditions at the site that suggest an issue, I will eventually log NM in hopes that the cache will be confirmed or replaced so I can search again.

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