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bigjim4life

I Didn't Have A Pen!!??!!

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Does this irk me as much as it does other people?  "I didn't have a pen"... then why are you out geocaching?  If a requirement of finding a physical cache (not an Earthcache, Webcam, or Virtual) is that you have to sign the log - should you always try to have a writing utensil with you?  Is it just me, or is that incredibly annoying, that people will go out, without a pen/pencil/marker/crayon/calligrapher and expect to get credit just by saying that you "found it, but didn't have a pen, so couldn't sign it"?

 

Sorry, I needed to rant for a moment.

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This isn't really a Getting Started topic. It might be more appropriate in the What Irks you most? thread.

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It doesn't really bother me if they say something about the cache that leads me to believe they actually found it. If it is just "found it,  Didn't have a pen to sign"  Then I kind of roll my eyes.  If it says "found it I really like the way the container opens,  didn't have a pen to sign it" or something like that and I can get the feeling they found it then it doesn't really bother me as much.

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I've been caught short of a pen or pencil on at least four occasions when I've been without my usual well-stocked caching backpack, but was able to improvise. A twig or a gum nut can make a bit of a mark in the logbook, enough to scratch BFJ and something resembling a date, and I post a photo of that as well in case it fades. That method might be difficult on a nano scroll though!

On another occasion, when I realised my predicament, I put the cache back in its hiding place and went walking off to try to find a shop that sold pens. Two kilometres later I did, then returned and signed the log. Another time I was sure I'd brought a pen, but when I reached GZ and went to sign the log, my backpack was empty. After improvising with a gum nut, I hiked all the way back to the car only to find the pen sitting in the back where it'd fallen out of my pack.

Another local cacher, who's always forgetting to take a pen, has a reputation for signing the log in charcoal. It's become something of a standing joke between us.

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I moved this topic from the "Getting Started" forum.

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Meh. It's not as if I would have ever looked at the signature if they'd had a pen. I agree it shows a lack of preparation, but it doesn't bother me.

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5 hours ago, bigjim4life said:

Does this irk me as much as it does other people?  "I didn't have a pen"... then why are you out geocaching?

No.

Sometimes people lose pens, or leave them in the last cache, or they run out of ink. Sometimes people don't go out geocaching, but they happen across one while doing something else and so aren't necessarily armed  with a pen.

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So many excuses... :rolleyes:

"Normal" geocaching tools here include 3 pens on me, 3 "backup" pens in my backpack, 2 pens in the car (just in case I need to fill out an accident form). No pen while caching? Never, just as I don't "forget" my GPS.

 

 

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Sometimes happens. But there are alternatives. The times that have happened to me have always taken a photo of the logbook (without showing the container) for the online log, if i cannot find anything to mark it. If it's a cache that stays near my usual routes, then I'll wait until another day when I come with pen.

Sometimes you do not plan to do geocaching and suddenly you see yourself with time and a smartphone. In these situations it is normal that you do not have a pen handy. Especially if you're paperless like me,that I use pens just for geocaching.

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1 hour ago, anpefi said:

In these situations it is normal that you do not have a pen handy.

I have always a pen. Always! There is at least one in the car, and if I'm out w/o the car, I have a small one in a pocket. Probably related to the fact, that I didn't own a smartphone for my first 4 years of geocaching ;) .

As a cache owner, I generally accept "No pen! Made a photo" logs. Exceptions are difficult to reach caches, where the photo doesn't clearly show the logbook.

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Has happened to me twice.

The first time was after a long day of geocaching. We forgot the pen in the car, and I was too tired physically and mentally to go back for it. We photo-logged. The CO turned out to be absentee anyway.

The second time, it fell of my bicycle as we were riding, and I didn't notice. I think I photo-logged that one, too. That memory is more vague.

*shrug* it happens (except to on4bam, apparently). As a CO, one person said they smeared goldenrod pollen on the log as their signature in one of my caches. I was curious, so I checked. Yep - there was the yellow streak! :lol:

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4 hours ago, MartyBartfast said:

No.

Sometimes people lose pens, or leave them in the last cache, or they run out of ink. Sometimes people don't go out geocaching, but they happen across one while doing something else and so aren't necessarily armed  with a pen.

This.  I've had all of those examples happen to me.  I've lost pens along the way.  I've run out of ink.  I've been out with my family somewhere...a park or out to eat or on a road trip and have realized there was a cache close by that I could grab.  Not planned, but convenient, so a pen wasn't handy.  I mean, I have a freaking life and I'm a human being with flaws.   Who the heck are you folks to get all twisted up about it?  If this happens to me, I always snap a photo.  I've also never had my log deleted because of it...because the COs tend to be reasonable people who understand and don't come into the forums to gripe about stuff like this.

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At worst (if you really need to have evidence they found it), ask what the cache was like and how it was hidden (even though this could still be given by word of mouth, but by then something else may be amiss). It seems odd that someone might be finding a geocache with GPS capability with zero method of signing a logsheet, taking a picture of the logsheet, or remember what the cache was.  But, it can happen. If it does, you just need to ask yourself what's most important in that particular case.

IMO, if it's a relatively simple find and there's little chance they didn't find it, then I really wouldn't make a big deal.

But if it's a very hard cache, high D or T, and there may be alterior motives to logging a find without finding, or there's a chance that it wasn't found and I want the log history to remain accurate (not misleading someone to think it's findable either with ease or without a maintenance required), then as a CO, you do have every right to delete a Find log if there is no evidence that their name is in the logsheet - despite how bent out of shape some people may get over it.  That's important to keep in mind; it's in the guidelines.  (If it's so important that someone can get angry over something 'so small', then it clearly wasn't as insignificant as they imply; if you go to find a cache you really really want to log, make sure you take a writing utensil, or be ready to go back with one, because even if you take a picture, the CO can still delete a log without a signature if they desire)

Edited by thebruce0
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I agree with you OP, in most cases. A pen or pencil should generally be one of those things a cacher ought to always bring along.

But I do understand there are reasons why somebody might not have one; because I have been in that situation once or twice myself. Once I found the cache, reached into my bag and - no pen! What happened? I usually carry two! Then I remembered. My mom borrowed one the other day, it stopped working/ran out of ink and so she had to borrow the second one and apparently didn't give it back.

Another time I had a similar mishap as the one Barefoot Jeff mentioned, where I discovered the pen was not in my bag where it should have been. I walked all the way back to my car to find it had fallen out of my bag and rolled under the seat. I retrieved the pen and trekked all the way back to sign the log.

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11 hours ago, bigjim4life said:

Is it just me, or is that incredibly annoying, that people will go out, without a pen/pencil/marker/crayon/calligrapher and expect to get credit just by saying that you "found it, but didn't have a pen, so couldn't sign it"?

I don't mean to leave my pen in the car/hotel/whatever.  But of the 7400 or so times I've logged a physical cache over the past ten and a half years, there have been a few instances where it's happened.  I'm glad to see that it apparently hasn't happened to you yet.  I hope you remember this thread when it does happen -- because chances are, it will eventually.

I also don't mean to leave my GPSr at a cache, but that's happened, too.  Last time I had to backtrack a mile...ugh.

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The part of "I didn't have a pen" that I don't understand is why post it in your log that you did not have a pen so you didn't sign the log. As a cache owner, I delete those logs that state they did not sign the log.

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When a local cacher forgot their pen when trying to find my cache the other day, they took a photo of the container that completely spoiled it. However, they didn't put it on their online log, they sent it to me via Geocaching Messages. I find that a great idea because no one will see it other than me, so the secret is safe!   

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One time, I had a pen but it ran out of ink and I was several miles from my car.  So, I "borrowed" a crayon from the previous cache I'd found and made a haphazard effort to sign my remaining finds with that.

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39 minutes ago, Manville Possum said:

The part of "I didn't have a pen" that I don't understand is why post it in your log that you did not have a pen so you didn't sign the log. As a cache owner, I delete those logs that state they did not sign the log.

I sometimes forget to take a pen with me. I'm still used to finding a container and having a pencil there to write, usually one of those IKEA pencils. I'm starting to notice that most containers don't have anything to write nowadays... I do try to hang around with a pen... usually my wife saves me! :rolleyes:

But when I don't write on the GC log I still log the find on the site. After all, statistically it's correct to do so at least...

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58 minutes ago, Manville Possum said:

The part of "I didn't have a pen" that I don't understand is why post it in your log that you did not have a pen so you didn't sign the log. As a cache owner, I delete those logs that state they did not sign the log.

I think I've found a cache twice in 10 years when I opened it up only to discover that I didn't have a pen *and* there wasn't a pen/pencil in the cache (remember when most caches weren't micros and cache owners would put a pen/pencil in it?).  In one case the cache was near a small pond so I was able to dip a stick in the mud and scrawl my geocaching initials onto the log book.   The next person to find it was kind enough to trace over that almost illegible muddy "signature" with a pen.

 

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21 minutes ago, rui_curado said:

But when I don't write on the GC log I still log the find on the site. After all, statistically it's correct to do so at least...

 

If I can't meet simple logging requirements I won't claim a find.

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35 minutes ago, rui_curado said:

I sometimes forget to take a pen with me. I'm still used to finding a container and having a pencil there to write, usually one of those IKEA pencils. I'm starting to notice that most containers don't have anything to write nowadays... I do try to hang around with a pen... usually my wife saves me! :rolleyes:

But when I don't write on the GC log I still log the find on the site. After all, statistically it's correct to do so at least...

We might have a reason why containers "don't have anything to write nowadays" ...  folks steal 'em.   Every ammo can cache we have is completely empty of all pencils and sharpeners for them every time we do maintenance.

A cacher thought he was gonna be a smart alec once, dropping an entire pack of pencils in one of our hides, after seeing a note I wrote of "stop stealing them and they'd be there..." as a reply to "no pen in cache".  Two months later stopping by, every pencil had disappeared...

I don't know what "statistics" have to do with it, but we check most our hide's logs.  It's "correct" for me to delete your online log if your sigs not there.   :)

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1 hour ago, NYPaddleCacher said:

I think I've found a cache twice in 10 years when I opened it up only to discover that I didn't have a pen *and* there wasn't a pen/pencil in the cache (remember when most caches weren't micros and cache owners would put a pen/pencil in it?).  In one case the cache was near a small pond so I was able to dip a stick in the mud and scrawl my geocaching initials onto the log book.   The next person to find it was kind enough to trace over that almost illegible muddy "signature" with a pen.

 

If you're only option is to smear mud on my cache log, I'd just prefer you didn't sign it at all.  

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Ok - thank you to everyone that has replied so far.  I posted this thread originally late last night, when I was a bit tired and cranky.

There are times, I agree, when a pen runs out of ink, or you leave it in the car after a long day of caching - experienced cachers will note this and either somehow find another way to sign the log, or document somehow that they found it.  I've had plenty of occasions where I've said that I couldn't sign the log due to it being absolutely knackered and mostly destroyed.  In that case, take a photo of the log, and send it privately to the CO in addition to marking it as "found" - this way the CO knows that you did indeed find the log, but physically could not sign the cache.

But I've also seen so many times when a person has 4 finds, 9 finds, etc. that have said they didn't have a pen, but signed the log.  I've also seen a few logs where someone with 1200+ finds say that they found the log, but their pen broke, etc.  As a future CO, is there a solid line that says "ok, you're new, I'll give you a break", or is it (like so many things with geocaching) up for interpretation and leniency?

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I've lost so many pens out geocaching it's unreal! It's as of my jacket pockets eat them. But if I don't find an alternative for signing the log then I lot a DNF once I get home. Easy.

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32 minutes ago, bigjim4life said:

But I've also seen so many times when a person has 4 finds, 9 finds, etc. that have said they didn't have a pen, but signed the log.  I've also seen a few logs where someone with 1200+ finds say that they found the log, but their pen broke, etc.  As a future CO, is there a solid line that says "ok, you're new, I'll give you a break", or is it (like so many things with geocaching) up for interpretation and leniency?

I don't care about it, so as long as I don't have any reason to doubt they actually found the cache, I'm not even going to think about deleting their logs.

At the other end of the spectrum, they have so sign the log, so technically you can delete their log if they didn't. They'll likely be mad at you, but if you're intent on being a hard-nose, I think you'll win if the deletion's appealed. (I'd recommending checking the cache log, though: it would be embarrassing to delete a found log based on an "I had no pen" comment but then have it turn out that they did sign the log but were just confused about where they lost their pen.)

If you're going to be hard-nosed about it, it's up to you how much leeway you give newbies. Personally, though, if I felt like I had to police my logs that strictly, I'd be more likely to give the leeway to the old timer: the old timer's more likely to have made a one-time mistake but the newbie may need to learn that he should try harder to remember his pen (although that implies you're going to accept it as a mentoring opportunity and send him mail explaining why you deleted his log).

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50 minutes ago, bigjim4life said:

As a future CO, is there a solid line that says "ok, you're new, I'll give you a break", or is it (like so many things with geocaching) up for interpretation and leniency?

The only solid line is that the guidelines say, "Caches can be logged online as "Found" after the geocacher has visited the coordinates and signed the logbook."

So if they sign the physical log, then you cannot delete the online log (with the one exception of Challenge Caches where the challenge requirements have not been met).

Other than that, it's all "up for interpretation and leniency" (as you put it).

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56 minutes ago, bigjim4life said:

As a future CO, is there a solid line that says "ok, you're new, I'll give you a break", or is it (like so many things with geocaching) up for interpretation and leniency?

Nope.

It's your call.

You always have the right to delete a Found It log if there's no signature on the logsheet (and can't when there is), but whether you choose to is entirely up to you.

As a cache finder though, I will say that I prefer to see a log history that is reliably accurate to the cache status, and if there are unconfirmed/unconfirmable Finds, that may lead to a search that ends up fruitless if there are false finds and a problem with the cache.

Ultimately, the choice is yours (unless the log is signed).

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Well... this has turned into a sour topic... I am a truck driver, so I always have a pen.

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8 minutes ago, TeamBaconZillah said:

Well... this has turned into a sour topic... I am a truck driver, so I always have a pen.

 

Yep. One of the TOTT that I use in real life. I carry a Fisher. :)

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1 hour ago, J Grouchy said:

If you're only option is to smear mud on my cache log, I'd just prefer you didn't sign it at all.  

So if I find your cache and shouldn't sign it if I don't have a pen but if I find a Mannville Possum cache, and I don't find a way to sign it my log will be deleted.  How's a geocacher supposed to keep track of every cache owners preferences?  

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1 hour ago, terratin said:

I've lost so many pens out geocaching it's unreal! It's as of my jacket pockets eat them. But if I don't find an alternative for signing the log then I lot a DNF once I get home. Easy.

My jacket pocket ate my pen when I was geocaching in Helsinki a week ago.  It poked through a hole in one of my pockets then worked it's way around the back of my jacket.  I didn't notice until I went to sign the log on a cache and couldn't find my pen.  Fortunately, that cache had a pencil in it (actually, it had a couple) As I was making my way to the next cache I was able to move my pen back through the hole in my pocket and put it into my other pocket.  As I did that I realized that I had inadvertently put the pencil from that last find into my pocket.  I'm thinking of making a TB out of it and sending it back to Finland.

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13 minutes ago, NYPaddleCacher said:

So if I find your cache and shouldn't sign it if I don't have a pen but if I find a Mannville Possum cache, and I don't find a way to sign it my log will be deleted.  How's a geocacher supposed to keep track of every cache owners preferences?  

Life's a gamble.

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Has anyone mentioned the possibility of signing the log with blood or with bug guts yet? ;)

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10 minutes ago, niraD said:

Has anyone mentioned the possibility of signing the log with blood or with bug guts yet? ;)

Umm...I'd say definitely skip my cache if you plan to turn it into a significant biohazard.

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3 hours ago, J Grouchy said:

Sheesh.  We've been down this road on a number of occasions and it appears unanimous:  it's inexcusable to be a human being.

Haha!

Yep, I'm raising my hand as one who has forgotten or lost a pen. I signed with a leaf once (claimed that as a find) and another time I didn't bother to walk the 120ft back to my truck or post a "found it" log online.

 

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2 hours ago, niraD said:

Has anyone mentioned the possibility of signing the log with blood or with bug guts yet? ;)

 

I have signed in polk berry ink and soot before. Whatever it takes to make my mark on the log.

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18 hours ago, terratin said:

I've lost so many pens out geocaching it's unreal! It's as of my jacket pockets eat them. But if I don't find an alternative for signing the log then I lot a DNF once I get home. Easy.

If you found the cache and couldn't sign the log, why do you log a dnf?

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2 hours ago, justintim1999 said:

If you found the cache and couldn't sign the log, why do you log a dnf?

 

If a cache is found and you can't sign the log for whatever reason, which is correct? Claim it as a find, write a note explaining why it could not be signed, or log it as a DNF ?

I would post a not and log a NM.

 

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Oh man...not this again...

 

 

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7 minutes ago, J Grouchy said:

Oh man...not this again...

 

 

This is a geocaching forums, and I asked a question. Please refrain yourself if you don't want to take part in the discussion.

Thank you.

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15 minutes ago, Manville Possum said:

 

This is a geocaching forums, and I asked a question. Please refrain yourself if you don't want to take part in the discussion.

Thank you.

Honestly, it's off-topic for this thread.  This thread is not about whether to log a note or a dnf.  Perhaps YOU should refrain from digression.

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1.  I think that discussing whether a DNF is the correct log for someone who forgot a pen is an on-topic subject for a thread about forgetting to bring a pen.

2.  I think the thread could do with a little more J and a little less Grouchy.

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<baleeted>

Edited by thebruce0
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Thank you Keystone.

I have been geocaching for around 10 years and I'm seeing many changes to this game. I would think that if I could not sign a log for whatever reason then I should just post it as a note on the cache page and I would likely send the CO a photo through the message center.

 

 

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34 minutes ago, Manville Possum said:
3 hours ago, justintim1999 said:

If you found the cache and couldn't sign the log, why do you log a dnf?

 

If a cache is found and you can't sign the log for whatever reason, which is correct? Claim it as a find, write a note explaining why it could not be signed, or log it as a DNF ?

I would post a not and log a NM.

 

On my caches the people posting "Found It, I had no pen" logs have not included an "NM" log.  But they practically do.  The logs often point out that it's pretty much my fault (The Cache Owner's fault), that there's no pen in the box.  I have never seen someone post a "I had No Pen" log that was anything but "Found It".

As for penlessness specifically, I go back to my car and get a pen. I own more than one pen, saved up for them, bought two. "Found It, signed the log".  To me, that feels more like how Geocaching works. 

The guy with no pen who makes a point to pronounce "no pen", seems more like he's leaving the hobby.  He has deeper problems than pens.  I wonder if he also left the lid off the cache.  And didn't re-hide it.  I'd better go check.

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43 minutes ago, Manville Possum said:

If a cache is found and you can't sign the log for whatever reason, which is correct? Claim it as a find, write a note explaining why it could not be signed, or log it as a DNF ?

I would post a not and log a NM.

Did you actually mean to say "NM" and not "DNF"?  Because logging a NM for forgetting a pen is...  whut?

 

This makes more sense:

5 minutes ago, Manville Possum said:

I would think that if I could not sign a log for whatever reason then I should just post it as a note on the cache page and I would likely send the CO a photo through the message center.

However I would still claim the find (and send the photo, or at least have it ready if the CO asks).

Edited by thebruce0
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9 minutes ago, thebruce0 said:

You would log a note and a NM if you forgot a pen? (for "whatever reason"?)  A note I could understand, but a NM, uh no.

 

If the log can not be signed for non-pen related reasons. Wet, missing, ect. Sorry I was not more clear.

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