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JL_HSTRE

Relation Between DNF Rate and Difficulty Rating

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Excluding DNFs because the cache is missing, bad coords, or similar problems what do you think should be the ratio of Finds to DNFs for various Difficulty ratings?

 

This particular seems relevant since lots of DNFs can cause a low CHS. Obviously, DNF rate is not the only reason for Difficulty rating. Other factors include: puzzles/challenges, tools required, takes more than an hour, requires teamwork. This is about the minimum Difficulty relative to the DNFs.

 

My thoughts:

 

D1 = should never get a DNF

 

D1.5 = occasional DNF from newbies, but otherwise should never be DNF'd

 

D2 = DNFs less than 25% of the time

 

(I would add thar Micros should be minimum D1.5 and Nanos D2.)

 

D3 = up to 50-50 Find to DNF

 

D4 = up to 75% DNF

 

D4.5 = Finds are rare

 

D5 = not related to difficulty; requires special tools

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Here's my list.

D1 = Rarely ever gets DNFs

 

D1.5 = 5-10% DNFS

 

D2 = 10-20% DNFs

 

D2.5 = 20-30% DNFs

 

D3 = 30-40% DNFs

 

D3.5 = 40-50% DNFs

 

D4 = 50-60% DNFs

 

D4.5 = 60-80% DNFs

 

D5 = 80-100% DNFs, or special tools required

The problem is there's so many variables, it's hard to accurately rate them like this.

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1 minute ago, lee737 said:

I've DNFd plenty of D1's!

 

Yep, same here.  May be just me, but I feel any accurate "D' ratings depend on the person before you replacing it correctly.   :)

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How many D1.5's are just the default?, ie the CO hasn't changed it for whatever reason....

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10 minutes ago, lee737 said:

I've DNFd plenty of D1's!

I have too, but I don't think any of them were actually present to be found.

Quick GSAK check on MyFinds...

OK, have only had a DNF on 17 D1 caches (out of about 13,600).

Of those, some were inaccessible (construction fence, etc.), one was buried under a mount of plowed snow, a couple had bad coordinates far from actual GZ, and most were MIA.  That said, D1.0 caches are also the most likely to be spotted by muggles, and hence, have a tendency to wander off.

 

Looks like we only really missed one, and darned if it wasn't a 30 cal ammo can!  Felt pretty silly after that find.

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26 minutes ago, JL_HSTRE said:

D1 = should never get a DNF

 

D1.5 = occasional DNF from newbies, but otherwise should never be DNF'd

 

 

I've DNFed more than my fair share of those, usually because my preconception of what I was looking for was wrong. Newbies with no preconceptions write logs like "easy-peasy" or "spotted it straight away" but to me they're invisible.

 

26 minutes ago, JL_HSTRE said:

D2 = DNFs less than 25% of the time

 

My D2 traditionals seem to get about 20% DNF-to-find ratio although there's a lot of variability. One of them should be obvious but a fair number of searchers are distracted by a nearby cave and then, when they discover it isn't there, start searching further afield and completely overlook the real hiding place.

 

Then there are all the DNFs that aren't related at all to the obscurity of the hide. Terrain can also lead to DNFs when searchers discover that it's beyond their ability, they were ill-prepared for it, the weather turns bad, the mosquitoes are hungry or they run out of time. I've DNFed a few where I've got within a few metres of the cache but have been unwilling to make the final leap of faith to reach it. Some of those I've come back with a ladder/rope/friend and converted the blue frown into a smiley.

 

Edit to add: "Muggles at GZ" is often a cause for DNFs on urban hides but is unrelated to the D-rating.

Edited by barefootjeff

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27 minutes ago, lee737 said:

I've DNFd plenty of D1's!

But were they really D1, or rated incorrectly? Number of DNFs can be a test of accurate rating.

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39 minutes ago, JL_HSTRE said:

Excluding DNFs because the cache is missing, bad coords, or similar problems what do you think should be the ratio of Finds to DNFs for various Difficulty ratings?

 

This particular seems relevant since lots of DNFs can cause a low CHS. Obviously, DNF rate is not the only reason for Difficulty rating. Other factors include: puzzles/challenges, tools required, takes more than an hour, requires teamwork. This is about the minimum Difficulty relative to the DNFs.

 

My thoughts:

 

D1 = should never get a DNF

 

D1.5 = occasional DNF from newbies, but otherwise should never be DNF'd

 

D2 = DNFs less than 25% of the time

 

(I would add thar Micros should be minimum D1.5 and Nanos D2.)

 

D3 = up to 50-50 Find to DNF

 

D4 = up to 75% DNF

 

D4.5 = Finds are rare

 

D5 = not related to difficulty; requires special tools

Love your list. I seem to remember once that the description of a 1D was something like, "In full sight, or obvious." Does anyone else recall words similar to this?

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3 minutes ago, Goldenwattle said:

But were they really D1, or rated incorrectly? Number of DNFs can be a test of accurate rating.

Most probably rated badly, poor coords, of course some missing....

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I really like JL_HSTRE's list, so I checked my caches, to see if any of my caches needed a tweaking.

3 X 1.5D. Ignoring the one which has (because of site difficulties) had a few hides and changes in rating, the other two 1.5Ds have had no DNFs. 60 & 144 finds.

 

5 X 2D

1. 82 finds, no DNFs. The extra half star is for a fiddly combination lock to open the cache.

2. 160 finds, 4 DNFs

3. 162 finds, 1 DNF (surprised so few DNFs, as it's hidden in long grass. Of course, some might not have been logged)

4. 188 finds, 7 DNFs

5. 262 finds, 6 DNFs (Maybe some of these were for a missing cache. Now onto the 4th cache container.)

 

4 X 2.5D

1. 133 finds, 3 DNFs A bison tube hidden in a tree.

2. 70 finds, 2 DNFs A two stage micro. Higher D for being a multi

3. 37 finds, 0 DNFs A 12 stage micro. Higher D for being a multi

4. 74 finds, 4 DNFs A simple puzzle. However, it's hard to judge puzzles, as I don't know how many people attempted it and failed.

 

5 X 3D

1. 81 finds 14 DNFs

2. 176 finds 0 DNFs (I thought this was a tricky hide, but now I am wondering if I should lower the D)

3. 129 finds 11 DNFs

4. 110 finds 20 DNFs

5. 168 finds 27 DNFs

 

No higher rated caches. I have now lowered the 3D with no DNFs to 2D.  This was an interesting exercise. Thanks JL_HSTRE for getting me to check my caches.

 

Added: This also got me thinking about my two multies with 10 & 11 WPs. I added half a star extra for difficulty, because of the number of WPs and took the rating to 3D for both of them. I don't think multies and especially puzzles should have low Ds, just by their nature. I did a 1D puzzle (4T) the other day. Silly; no puzzle is a mere 1D, even with the simplest puzzle, as it's an extra thing to do. My caching companion agreed with me.

 

 

 

Edited by Goldenwattle
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53 minutes ago, barefootjeff said:

I've DNFed more than my fair share of those, usually because my preconception of what I was looking for was wrong. Newbies with no preconceptions write logs like "easy-peasy" or "spotted it straight away" but to me they're invisible.

I have a cache like that. Newbies find it way more easier than experienced cachers, who often write things like they need two hands to count the number of times they've looked, or had to return several times searching. Everyone who finds the cache after logging a DNF says the same thing: How did I miss it? It's right where I looked!

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2 hours ago, Max and 99 said:

Everyone who finds the cache after logging a DNF says the same thing: How did I miss it? It's right where I looked!

I think we've all had that experience.
A common comment seems to be once found it's hard to "unsee it".

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2 hours ago, Goldenwattle said:

I don't think multies and especially puzzles should have low Ds, just by their nature. I did a 1D puzzle (4T) the other day. Silly; no puzzle is a mere 1D, even with the simplest puzzle, as it's an extra thing to do. My caching companion agreed with me.

 

I've said this for ages...

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25 minutes ago, lee737 said:
2 hours ago, Goldenwattle said:

I don't think multies and especially puzzles should have low Ds, just by their nature. I did a 1D puzzle (4T) the other day. Silly; no puzzle is a mere 1D, even with the simplest puzzle, as it's an extra thing to do. My caching companion agreed with me.

 

I've said this for ages...

 

Yep, my easiest puzzles and multis are 2D.

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3 hours ago, barefootjeff said:

Then there are all the DNFs that aren't related at all to the obscurity of the hide. Terrain can also lead to DNFs when searchers discover that it's beyond their ability, they were ill-prepared for it, the weather turns bad, the mosquitoes are hungry or they run out of time.

 

Just thought I'd back this up with some numbers from the DNFs on my own hides. Here's the breakdown:

  • 32 Searched at GZ but couldn't find it
  • 6 were unprepared (didn't realise there was no phone coverage, didn't bring required tool or weren't suitably clothed)
  • 6 couldn't solve the field puzzle so never made it to GZ
  • 5 were put off by environmental factors like snakes, mosquitoes, rain, etc.
  • 4 ran out of time before they could properly search
  • 4 were defeated by the terrain before they reached GZ
  • 1 had his batteries die
  • 1 couldn't search because of muggles at GZ.

So from that, only about half were due to the concealment's D-rating, with the 6 stumped by the field puzzle also attributable to the D-rating. The rest were either terrain-related or had nothing to do with the cache.

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5 hours ago, Goldenwattle said:

Silly; no puzzle is a mere 1D, even with the simplest puzzle, as it's an extra thing to do. 

 

Hmm, not sure about that.  I remember the puzzle with the co-ords 'hidden' in a picture, yep, in white font upside down plain as day.  Of course, it was more of a joke puzzle than anything else...

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16 minutes ago, The Jester said:

Hmm, not sure about that.  I remember the puzzle with the co-ords 'hidden' in a picture, yep, in white font upside down plain as day.  Of course, it was more of a joke puzzle than anything else...

You still had to do more than only find the cache; although admittedly in your example, not much. The difficulty in finding the cache is also a factor. Puzzle plus hide. Surely the puzzle has at least half star difficulty, so even if the cache find difficulty was 1 star, it should be at least 1.5 D.

The 1D puzzle example I mentioned finding recently was certainly nowhere close to a 1D. I had to go to two sites to solve it (after I worked out what to do) and the cache was high in a tree, so spotting the cache container alone made it more than a mere 1D. At least the 4T was correct.

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Should there be (is there) this lock-step mathematical connection between difficulty and DNF?

 

I suspect that the more difficult caches are sought out by more experienced and skilled cachers who go there expecting to spend a lot of time, and they have a better than 50% success rate because they *work* as long as they need to.

 

Yes, that same cache would probably go unfound by 75% of beginners, some of whom succumb to boredom or fatigue, and some of whom could look all day and not find it!

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5 hours ago, Goldenwattle said:

I don't think multies and especially puzzles should have low Ds, just by their nature. I did a 1D puzzle (4T) the other day. Silly; no puzzle is a mere 1D, even with the simplest puzzle, as it's an extra thing to do.

 

46 minutes ago, Goldenwattle said:

You still had to do more than only find the cache; although admittedly in your example, not much. The difficulty in finding the cache is also a factor. Puzzle plus hide. Surely the puzzle has at least half star difficulty, so even if the cache find difficulty was 1 star, it should be at least 1.5 D.

The 1D puzzle example I mentioned finding recently was certainly nowhere close to a 1D. I had to go to two sites to solve it (after I worked out what to do) and the cache was high in a tree, so spotting the cache container alone made it more than a mere 1D. At least the 4T was correct.

 

There is a fresh puzzle nearby, rated D1. Though I tried, still I am not able to solve it (and a list of puzzles solved by myself is only slightly shorter than my total finds, so I think I am not completely ignorant). The owner admits the cache difficulty is partly a joke and he wanted to point out that a solution does not need to be hidden somewhere deep in the internet or to require advanced knowledge. Although I myself had feedback about one of my puzzles that it was underrated in difficulty, I cannot agree with him. I suppose that even if the solution took me 9 minutes like it was in case of the first finder, I would still rate it above 1 regardless of the difficulty of finding the container itself.

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This is a timely thread for me as I happen to be doing some analysis on just this topic for a project. What I've found that, going strictly by find:DNF ratios, D4.5 and D5 are the easiest caches out there! :) The attached chart is what I found in July when running data on all caches logged in the previous year. As you can see, the ratio of finds to DNFs starts to trend down as the D rating increases, but then spikes up on D4.5 and D5 caches to higher levels than even D1 caches. I suspect there are a number of reasons for this: PAF, reluctance of some to even try for the harder caches unless they are guaranteed some success, reluctance to post DNFs, ratings inflation, et al.

Finds by D Rating.png

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Many D4.5 and D5 caches are Challenge Caches.  The rating reflects the difficulty of completing the challenge requirements.  In most cases, the challenge cache itself is an easy find, so few DNF's.

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41 minutes ago, The Leprechauns said:

Many D4.5 and D5 caches are Challenge Caches.  The rating reflects the difficulty of completing the challenge requirements.  In most cases, the challenge cache itself is an easy find, so few DNF's.

 

Good point; 14% of all D4.5 and D5 caches are challenge caches, and 10% of all finds posted on D4.5 and D5 caches in the past year were posted on challenge caches.

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4 minutes ago, Moun10Bike said:

Here's an updated chart with challenges removed. Not a lot of difference!

 

I wonder what this chart would look for traditional caches only, when there is no puzzle to solve, only a container to find.

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30 minutes ago, rapotek said:

 

I wonder what this chart would look for traditional caches only, when there is no puzzle to solve, only a container to find.

 

Here you go:

 

Finds by D Rating - Traditionals Only.png

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11 minutes ago, Moun10Bike said:

 

Here you go:

 

Finds by D Rating - Traditionals Only.png

 

Thanks a lot. I am quite intrigued by the shapes above D4. The higher finds per DNF ratio suggests that only a small number of most experienced geocachers attempt to find these caches, but the decreasing days between finds number suggests otherwise. Looks like either the real DNFs on the highest difficulty caches are more frequently not logged or the difficulty is mostly overrated there.

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Maybe finds on the higher D-ratings are more valued, particularly for those into grid-filling, and what you're seeing is the phone-a-friend network at play.

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13 minutes ago, barefootjeff said:

Maybe finds on the higher D-ratings are more valued, particularly for those into grid-filling, and what you're seeing is the phone-a-friend network at play.

I think some of the effect is "terrain matching" effect, where a T5 cache is rated D5 not because the the cache is actually hard to find when you reach GZ, but because you need special skills/equipment to reach GZ. Yes, the special skills/equipment to reach GZ should be factored into the terrain rating, but some owners boost the difficulty rating too. So you end up with a D5 cache that (1) is actually much easier, and (2) is hard enough to access that once you reach GZ, you're pretty determined to actually find the thing.

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59 minutes ago, barefootjeff said:

Maybe finds on the higher D-ratings are more valued, particularly for those into grid-filling, and what you're seeing is the phone-a-friend network at play.

This is what I think - people are actively seeking out D5 hides, and putting in more effort, or getting on the phone. Our toughest hide is a D3.5, it has no DNFs from 20 finds, I do know that at least 3 finders used PAFs though (I don't mind, I do it myself, but it does interfere with DNF% stats)

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1 hour ago, barefootjeff said:

Maybe finds on the higher D-ratings are more valued, particularly for those into grid-filling, and what you're seeing is the phone-a-friend network at play.

 

Also cachers are more likely to tackle higher D caches in groups, thereby increasing chance of finding even without a PAF.

 

I did a bike trail earlier this year and was thankful I did it as a group. None of the caches was evil or sneaky, but they were all micros and many had a LOT of potential hiding places. The D3 ratings (or thereabouts) felt accurate!

 

22 hours ago, Goldenwattle said:

But were they really D1, or rated incorrectly? Number of DNFs can be a test of accurate rating.

 

That's exactly the idea. A D4 that gets few DNFs may still deserve to be a D4 for other reasons. A D1 that gets many DNFs should not be a D1.

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Someone raised the question of D1 puzzles. I agree 95% of the time it should be higher. However, I have seen a few mystery caches (usually geo-art) where the coordinates are in plain sight on the cache page.

 

It would be an interesting experiment to put two identical caches with the same D/T hidden similarly in the same park, along the same trail, or otherwise equally accessible and close together. List one as a Traditional. List the other as a Mystery that, in the first line of the description, says the cache is at the posted coordinates. See how far fewer finds the latter gets. Probably better than PMO!

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25 minutes ago, JL_HSTRE said:

A D1 that gets many DNFs should not be a D1.

 

What if those DNFs are due to other factors, though, like a high terrain rating that results in searchers giving up when they find it's too tough for them? Or muggles at GZ at popular times? Or are those all invalid DNFs that the CO should delete?

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2 hours ago, niraD said:

I think some of the effect is "terrain matching" effect.

+1

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1 hour ago, JL_HSTRE said:

Someone raised the question of D1 puzzles. I agree 95% of the time it should be higher.

However, I have seen a few mystery caches (usually geo-art) where the coordinates are in plain sight on the cache page.

 

Yep. 

We've noticed many D1 ridiculusly easy "puzzles" were only made into puzzles to keep weekend n done newbs away.

We asked around at events when we realized a dyslexic old fart (me) is solving these things.  :D

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1 hour ago, barefootjeff said:

 

What if those DNFs are due to other factors, though, like a high terrain rating that results in searchers giving up when they find it's too tough for them? Or muggles at GZ at popular times? Or are those all invalid DNFs that the CO should delete?

 

Further to this, here are some of my more recent DNFs that were unrelated to the cache's D-rating:

  • GC58DH9 - there was a muggle sitting in his car directly opposite GZ. I waited for about 15 minutes but when he hadn't moved I gave up and went on to the next cache.
  • GC847NQ - it had started raining when I arrived at GZ and the mossy rocks looked too slippery to safely clamber over. I returned on a drier day and redeemed that DNF.
  • GC8K5D1 - an 11-stage Earthcache along some rugged coastline. I'd heeded the CO's warning to attempt it at low tide but there were huge seas running and I couldn't reach some of the waypoints. I returned on a calmer day to complete it.
  • GC8G5A7 - the drought-breaking rain a few days earlier saw the area around GZ so thick with mosquitoes they were going up my nostrils with each breath. I returned in drier weather and with lots of repellent to make the find.
  • GC6ZVE8 - again there'd been a lot of rain and my GPSr was pointing me to the other side of a swollen creek in a steep gully. Not wanting to slip on the mossy rocks, I DNFed it and returned on a drier day only to find my GPSr had been deceitful and I'd been on the right side of the creek all along.
  • GC8B1QV - a D1/T1 but I hadn't allowed for GZ swarming with hi-viz workers and security guards setting up barriers for the upcoming New Year's Eve fireworks display. I returned after the event to redeem the DNF and claim an easy find.
  • GC25RRP - GZ was at the end of a breakwall on Newcastle harbour but there was a muggle and his dog fishing right where my GPSr was pointing.
  • GC7B6V6 - an 8-stage virtual in Newcastle but I'd timed my visit poorly at the start of the school holidays and one of the waypoints was crowded with muggles, resulting in me getting the answer wrong. I returned after the kids were back in school and redeemed my DNF.
  • GC7GFV9 - a T4 cache that required a degree of physical contortion beyond my aging body. I returned in the company of a more nimble friend and, with the aid of a borrowed child, we were able to complete the find.
  • GC249JR - GZ was on the other side of a fast-flowing river. My caching companions were able to rock-hop across but, with my impaired sense of balance, I chickened out and stayed behind to photgraph them retrieving the cache and signing the log. I returned a few months later when the river level had dropped to complete the find and redeem my DNF.

If these are all invalid DNFs and the COs want to delete them, fine, it's their call, but they're all part of my caching history and I would hope they add a bit of depth to those caches' history beyond a whole bunch of one-word TFTC found-it logs.

Edited by barefootjeff
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1 hour ago, cerberus1 said:

We've noticed many D1 ridiculusly easy "puzzles" were only made into puzzles to keep weekend n done newbs away.

 

I've done this with two of our electronic gadgets, not ridiculously easy, but fairly straightforward puzzles... it might even work *too* well, cutting visits dramatically!

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20 minutes ago, lee737 said:
1 hour ago, cerberus1 said:

We've noticed many D1 ridiculusly easy "puzzles" were only made into puzzles to keep weekend n done newbs away.

 

I've done this with two of our electronic gadgets, not ridiculously easy, but fairly straightforward puzzles... it might even work *too* well, cutting visits dramatically!

 

I did something like that on a recent T5 cache, although for quite different reasons. It was originally going to be just a traditional but, in composing the cache page, my imagination ran wild and I ended up Photoshopping together a sketch of my imagined historical setting. I then "hid" a cache in the picture, making it an easy "Where's Wally?" type puzzle. Click on the cache once you've found it and the coordinates are revealed in a higher resolution version of the picture. I rated it D2 but that's as much the physical hiding place as it is the puzzle. But then, the checker shows 4 incorrect answers out of 17 right ones so maybe it's really harder than I thought. Out of those 17 right answers, only 4 people have paddled out to GZ to claim a find.

Edited by barefootjeff
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12 hours ago, barefootjeff said:

Further to this, here are some of my more recent DNFs that were unrelated to the cache's D-rating:

  1. GC58DH9 - there was a muggle sitting in his car directly opposite GZ. I waited for about 15 minutes but when he hadn't moved I gave up and went on to the next cache.
  2. GC847NQ - it had started raining when I arrived at GZ and the mossy rocks looked too slippery to safely clamber over. I returned on a drier day and redeemed that DNF.
  3. GC8K5D1 - an 11-stage Earthcache along some rugged coastline. I'd heeded the CO's warning to attempt it at low tide but there were huge seas running and I couldn't reach some of the waypoints. I returned on a calmer day to complete it.
  4. GC8G5A7 - the drought-breaking rain a few days earlier saw the area around GZ so thick with mosquitoes they were going up my nostrils with each breath. I returned in drier weather and with lots of repellent to make the find.
  5. GC6ZVE8 - again there'd been a lot of rain and my GPSr was pointing me to the other side of a swollen creek in a steep gully. Not wanting to slip on the mossy rocks, I DNFed it and returned on a drier day only to find my GPSr had been deceitful and I'd been on the right side of the creek all along.
  6. GC8B1QV - a D1/T1 but I hadn't allowed for GZ swarming with hi-viz workers and security guards setting up barriers for the upcoming New Year's Eve fireworks display. I returned after the event to redeem the DNF and claim an easy find.
  7. GC25RRP - GZ was at the end of a breakwall on Newcastle harbour but there was a muggle and his dog fishing right where my GPSr was pointing.
  8. GC7B6V6 - an 8-stage virtual in Newcastle but I'd timed my visit poorly at the start of the school holidays and one of the waypoints was crowded with muggles, resulting in me getting the answer wrong. I returned after the kids were back in school and redeemed my DNF.
  9. GC7GFV9 - a T4 cache that required a degree of physical contortion beyond my aging body. I returned in the company of a more nimble friend and, with the aid of a borrowed child, we were able to complete the find.
  10. GC249JR - GZ was on the other side of a fast-flowing river. My caching companions were able to rock-hop across but, with my impaired sense of balance, I chickened out and stayed behind to photgraph them retrieving the cache and signing the log. I returned a few months later when the river level had dropped to complete the find and redeem my DNF.

If these are all invalid DNFs and the COs want to delete them, fine, it's their call, but they're all part of my caching history and I would hope they add a bit of depth to those caches' history beyond a whole bunch of one-word TFTC found-it logs.

 

1. Did Not Search (DNS) should be a Note, not a DNF.

2. DNS

3. Note. DNF stands for Did Not Find, not Did Not Finish. Good to see the cache has a high D/T rating.

4. Not clear whether you didn't search because of the mosquitoes (DNS), or did search but cut the search short because of them (DNF).

5. Did not reach GZ = Note

6. DNS

7. DNS

8. That sounds like a correct DNF because you Did Not Find the correct information even though you searched for it. I have DNF'd a Virtual for the same reason.

9. Note. Couldn't not reach is not the same as Did Not Find. But again good to hear it had a properly high T-rating.

10. Note. Could not retrieve. Heck, most people would have just logged a Find here.

 

I agree with writing a log for every one of those situations, but only in 1-2 of 10 do I think it should have been a DNF.

 

Some folks are overly willing to log a DNF doesn't do any favors regarding the community negativity toward DNFs.

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12 hours ago, lee737 said:

I've done this with two of our electronic gadgets, not ridiculously easy, but fairly straightforward puzzles... it might even work *too* well, cutting visits dramatically!

 

I wish all electronic gadgets, field puzzles, and combo-locked containers were Mystery instead of Traditional.

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2 hours ago, JL_HSTRE said:

 

I wish all electronic gadgets, field puzzles, and combo-locked containers were Mystery instead of Traditional.

Single stage cache at posted coordinates, no challenge finds etc required to log find = traditional.  Means you go to the posted coordinates and do the work, no advanced preparation/tasks necessary to figure out what is is or to qualify for the find.

The 'field puzzle' attribute has always been sufficient for me.  Needs to be used by CO when appropriate, though.  Provides some warning that it probably won't be a cache and dash.

 

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9 hours ago, JL_HSTRE said:

I agree with writing a log for every one of those situations, but only in 1-2 of 10 do I think it should have been a DNF.

 

Some folks are overly willing to log a DNF doesn't do any favors regarding the community negativity toward DNFs.

 

If being defeated by the terrain doesn't count as a legitimate DNF, why does the CHS include the cache's terrain rating in its ponderings?

 

Quote

This algorithm is based on a combination of logs and circumstances, including

  • Did Not Find (DNF)
  • Needs Maintenance (NM)
  • Needs Archived (NA)
  • Caches that have not been found in a long time
  • Difficulty and terrain rating

 

Conversely, if clever concealment is the only obstacle a CO can legitimately put in the way of a seeker turning a search into a smiley, I suppose I should really just put all my caches at the parking waypoint.

 

I'd suggest the reason for any community negativity towards DNFs is the desire by some to convert DNF into a de-facto NM because of a perceived negativity towards NMs. There are many ways to not find a cache apart from it being missing.

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18 minutes ago, barefootjeff said:

There are many ways to not find a cache apart from it being missing.

 

The help center is crystal clear about DNF you need to LOOK for the cache. I agree with JL_HSTRE most of your example should have been Write Note. A feature that Groundspeak should implement is an easy way on the map to see which cache have a Write Note on it so people wouldn't log DNF for reasons not related to LOOK for the cache.

 

Didn't Find It

Use a “Didn’t Find It” (DNF) log when you look for a cache but do not find it. DNF logs are an important log type — they inform cache owners and other finders that a cache may be extra difficult to find or possibly missing. DNF stands for “Did not find”.

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41 minutes ago, Lynx Humble said:

The help center is crystal clear about DNF you need to LOOK for the cache.

If only everyone agreed on when "looking for the cache" starts.  :drama:

 

I agree that a DNS (Did Not Search) should be logged as a Note. But not everyone does. And not everyone will.

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2 hours ago, Lynx Humble said:

 

The help center is crystal clear about DNF you need to LOOK for the cache. I agree with JL_HSTRE most of your example should have been Write Note. A feature that Groundspeak should implement is an easy way on the map to see which cache have a Write Note on it so people wouldn't log DNF for reasons not related to LOOK for the cache.

 

Didn't Find It

Use a “Didn’t Find It” (DNF) log when you look for a cache but do not find it. DNF logs are an important log type — they inform cache owners and other finders that a cache may be extra difficult to find or possibly missing. DNF stands for “Did not find”.

 

I consider that I'm "looking for" a cache from the moment I arrive at the starting point, switch on my GPSr and start walking/paddling/cycling or whatever to overcome whatever challenges there are in the way of me getting that smiley. If the CO is legitimately able to set terrain and environmental obstacles in my way, then I should be able to legitimately record my defeat as a DNF. I was trying to FIND the cache, trying very hard most times, but DID NOT succeed. Isn't that what DID NOT FIND literally means?

 

If they want DNF to be a call-to-action log for COs, then they should specify that on the Maintenance Expectations page of the Help Centre and do away with the "cache might be missing" NM. This grey area where it is but it isn't only adds to confusion and community negativity towards both log types.

 

Furthermore, if they want unsuccessful finds that weren't due to either clever camo or missing caches to be logged as WN, then they should really add that high up in the list of uses for that log type:

 

Quote

 

Use a “Write note” log to add information to a cache. Some examples:

  • You previously logged and found the cache, but want to add additional information.
    “Revisiting this cache with a friend who hasn’t found it yet!”
  • You dropped a trackable into a cache previously logged and found.
  • This cache is part of a challenge cache, but you haven’t completed all the challenge tasks yet.

 

I really don't see how recording my unsuccessful attempt at finding a cache is any more just "adding information to a cache" than recording my success is.

 

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So I'm guessing this was also an invalid DNF that I logged on a D1/T4 traditional back in 2014:

 

Quote

Didn't find itDidn't find it

24/05/2014

So close but so far away icon_smile_sad.gif. I worked my way up to the top ledge, from where I could see it leering out at me from its hidey-hole, but lacked the courage to go the last couple of metres. Semi-controlled slides I'll risk, but not sheer falls when there aren't any hand-holds and there's no-one with me. Sorry.

 

Or this tree-climb challenge cache where I reached GZ, searched, spotted the cache then realised my ladder wasn't long enough:

 

Quote

Didn't find itDidn't find it

07/03/2017

I had one annoying gap in my grid, but finally solved a puzzle and went on a long drive to Pokolbin to find that elusive D/T combo. Now qualified, I took a slight detour on the way home to visit this cache, carrying my TOTT the couple of hundred metres from the nearest road while hoping the rain would hold off long enough for me to reach the cache and sign the log.

Sadly my TOTT turned out to be about a metre too short for me to safely reach the cache, so I had to call it quits. The heavens opened as I was lugging it back to the car, rubbing it in I suppose. That's the way it goes; unless I acquire a taller TOTT I probably won't be back.

 

I guess they can't be DNFs because I could actually see the cache but not reach it, and, if the ones I couldn't get close enough to see or not see aren't DNFs either, that doesn't leave much scope in between unless the cache was actually missing. I give up.

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15 hours ago, barefootjeff said:

I consider that I'm "looking for" a cache from the moment I arrive at the starting point, switch on my GPSr and start walking/paddling/cycling or whatever to overcome whatever challenges there are in the way of me getting that smiley.

If the CO is legitimately able to set terrain and environmental obstacles in my way, then I should be able to legitimately record my defeat as a DNF. I was trying to FIND the cache, trying very hard most times, but DID NOT succeed. Isn't that what DID NOT FIND literally means?

 

I disagree.    "Heading to" the cache isn't looking for it.   Once you're in the area presented by coordinates, you're looking for it.

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12 hours ago, barefootjeff said:

So I'm guessing this was also an invalid DNF that I logged on a D1/T4 traditional back in 2014:

12 hours ago, barefootjeff said:

Or this tree-climb challenge cache where I reached GZ, searched, spotted the cache then realised my ladder wasn't long enough:

 

Guessing you could see the tree climb as well, to know you were roughly a meter short...

Everyone we know would leave a write note.  You can see it.  You "found" it.  You simply can't access it to sign the log to make it valid.

 

 

 

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2 hours ago, cerberus1 said:

 

I disagree.    "Heading to" the cache isn't looking for it.   Once you're in the area presented by coordinates, you're looking for it.

IMO the hunt for a cache includes all of the approach - finding parking spots (when not supplied), finding the right trail/access path (when trails don't exist), crossing obstacles (streams, gullies, canyons, ridges, blackberry vines, etc.), finding all the multi waypoints, etc. etc. etc. - if anything included in that 'fails' then I didn't find the cache, hence a DNF log.  

 

I find all the nitpicking people do here around what is or isn't a DNF - you have to do a minimum amount (search x amount of minutes at GZ, be convinced it's missing, etc.), but not too much (such a see the cache but not reach it) to be 'able' to log a DNF, otherwise use some other log type - ridiculous.  Either you find a cache or you don't find a cache.

 

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3 hours ago, cerberus1 said:

I disagree.    "Heading to" the cache isn't looking for it.   Once you're in the area presented by coordinates, you're looking for it.

 

With many of the caches I do, the whole point of the cache is overcoming all the physical obstacles to get to GZ. Once there, locating the container is pretty trivial. There's a world of difference in the experience of spending a whole day getting to a remote T4.5 and back compared to finally seeing through a clever D4.5 camo on an urban hide, but failing when attempting either should be worthy of a DNF. I still don't get why being defeated by the camo is okay but being defeated by the terrain isn't, other than to back up the interpretation of DNF as a "cache might be missing" NM.

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