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Dnf's, Maintenance, And Wasted Time


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I am in no way suggesting that routine maintenance visits are a waste of time. Still, with the points raised about false find logs leading to cachers wasting time on missing caches, I thought it might be interesting to explore the opposite side of the coin.

 

On a recent trip to MS for some caching with friends, we were unable to find two micros. We logged them as DNF's (of course) and that was that. The owner of the caches checked on their status after seeing our DNF logs, and as it turns out, the caches were indeed there, just very well hidden.

 

A few days ago, a visiting cacher DNF one of our caches. It was the third such log on that cache, so we went out to check on it and sure enough, it was still there.

 

When is it better not to log a DNF? The first instinct is to log one no matter how long you search. However, when you consider that cache owners are using DNF logs to gauge when to do maintenance, it becomes more complicated. I would hat to cause someone to waste time checking on a cache just because I didn't look hard enough, or spend more time searching. I also don't want to deprive them of information they can use to maintain their cache. Perhaps it would be best when logging DNF's to explain how long and intense your search was. I usually DNF because nearby muggles make me feel uncomfortable. While it's true that I looked and didn't find it, it's also true that the cache is likely to be intact.

 

There's a difference between "did not find it", and "stopped searching". Many people will say "just post a note", but then you will have the other camp complaining that you looked and DNF, so that's a DNF.

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If I looked and have given up looking because I'm stumped I'll log a DNF. If I quit looking, too dark, disgusted at how blind I am, etc. I'll post a note.

 

A DNF is a wake up call for the cache owner. You really have to use your judgment on the DNF. A DNF from a newbie with 4 finds on a hard cache won't make me take as much notice as a DNF from someone wiht 500 finds. Not that stats are useful in any way...

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I usually only post DNF when I really think the cache is gone, when I have a story to tell. If I have the time though I will post all of them but I make it clear that I didn't look very hard or that a muggle scared me off. I am in the boat that you should always log a DNF but I don't always have the time to post 20+ DNF when I am driving through town and merly slow down the car(or more frequently my bike) and look without getting out and carfully looking.

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A DNF from a newbie with 4 finds on a hard cache won't make me take as much notice as a DNF from someone wiht 500 finds.

Yep, I do the same thing. When one of our areas heavy cacher's logged a DNF I immediatly went out to look, but It ended up being fine. I spent hours reshaping the top of a hill to hide the cache and made it kinda hard (but not too bad, at the time I only had 2 finds myself and he probably thought it would be easier than I had posted, and one of my other caches he looked for WAS missing so he probably thought darn n00b, 2/3 of his caches are missing)

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The times I have logged a DNF, the caches were actually there. I posted in my log that I was pretty sure they were there but I just couldn't find them.

 

As a cache owner, I don't do maintenence runs based on one DNF. One cache we own has plenty to DNF's. After two people posted DNF logs, I went and checked on it. It was still there. :blink:

 

If one gets a DNF, I'll keep an eye on it. If the next person finds it, everything is cool. If they don't find it either, that raises some flags. I hate to have 2 people not find a cache after looking if it really is gone. But I won't go check on it if just one person logs a DNF. Sometimes it's a brand new cacher having trouble...sometimes you just picked a really good hiding spot! :bad:

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I log a DNF when I didn't find the cache. I think that's the point of the DNF icon. The DNF icon doesn't mean the cache is missing, it means that the hunter didn't find it. Period. A responsible owner will go out to check on the cache after a certain number of DNF's and that's their job as a cache owner. There is no "I didn't find it, but it is probably still there because I didn't look hard enough, so don't you worry about it and make a special trip to check on it" icon anyways (and if there was, I'd hate to see what it looked like).

Edited by briansnat
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I log a DNF when I didn't find the cache. I think that's the point of the DNF icon.  The DNF icon doesn't mean the cache is missing, it means that the hunter didn't find it. Period.  A responsible owner will go out to check on the  cache after a certain number of  DNF's and that's their job as a cache owner.  There is no "I didn't find it, but it is probably still there because I didn't look hard enough, so don't you worry about it and make a special trip to check on it"  icon anyways (and if there was, I'd hate to see what it looked like).

ROFL! It would probably look like this... :blink:

Edited by Bloencustoms
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All my DNFs are detailed enough for the owner to figure out if they ought to go check it out. As yet, I think I've only searched for 2 or 3 caches that weren't really there.

 

When I post a DNF, I don't really consider that my way of telling the owner something is wrong. I consider it my way of telling the owner that he/she gave me a reason to go to a particular location and spend some time, whether I found the cache or not. It's also my way of documenting my geocaching activity and a way to indicate that the cache isn't just a gimme. A lot of DNFs mean a well-hidden cache.

 

I don't expect an owner to come following behind my every DNF to double check.

 

Jamie

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When I log a note it is because I didn't really start searching and I have no reason to think the cache is missing. I explain that in the note. For example, maybe I started out, but something stopped me before I actually looked for the cache.

 

I log a DNF when I actually looked for the cache and could not find it. That holds whether I looked for a few seconds or a few hours. I also explain the circumstances in the DNF. So, if I felt that it could be there and I just gave up too early, I say so. If I think it is gone, I say so. Same with in between.

 

I figure the info comes across appropriately.

 

For example, here is a note that I posted, as opposed to a DNF that I posted (look below my later found log).

Edited by carleenp
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I would say that logging a DNF for me requires:

 

1. Having been in the right area (ie my gps said I was this close)

 

2. Making a search attempt in said area and giving up as a result of my own stupidity :blink:

 

If I get chased away by a muggle before I have a chance to check everything I want to check, then I would post a note saying in my best Arnold voice "I'll be back!"

 

If a DNF appears on one of my caches I consider a couple things before running out to check it. 1. which cache was it? I have several within/along the route that I run regularly. If it appeared on one of these, then I'll just check it on my next run.

 

2. If its one of the cache that requires I get in the car and drive to it, I might wait for another DNF or two before checking it unless I happen to be working in that area before that happens.

 

So log DNFs if you have one, but maybe explain yourself. If you aren't sure, post a note. Either way, explain what happened and let the owner decide how to handle it.

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Be specific in why you didn't find it. I've DNF'd a cache that had too many people around, and DNF'd one that I spent a long time searching. Neither means it's not there.

 

Like others have said, use the DNF's as a guide, but don't go running out there after one DNF log, regardless of the level of cacher who logged it. Sometimes a cacher can miss the obvious, even though they may not admit it. :blink:

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We post a DNF if we looked and Did Not Find no matter the reason for giving up.

 

I remember one cache that took more than one trip because we were looking on the wrong side of the road for access! (Dumb, I know, but who would have thought the trail went under the road?) I'm sure the owner got a good laugh.

 

Now, if it's reasons like got a flat tire, bummed, didn't feel like it, or things along those lines, I don't post anything as it has nothing to do with the cache.

 

If I get a DNF on one of my caches, I try to determine were the failure is and then act accordingly. I've got one cache that gets a few DNF and it's in a high risk area. So obviously if they've gotten to ground zero and DNF, I'll check.

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I log a DNF if I plug in the coordinates, hit go to on my GPS and don't come up with the cache. I do this because I consider the trip to the cache site...looking for parking and trail access, etc... all to be part of the hunt.

 

I'm not saying that those who use other critera for their DNFs are wrong, but that's just the way I play the game. In my book, you're fine as long you log something. It annoys me when I get a log on one of my caches saying "Found it on my third try" and there are no previous DNFs from the guy. C'mon, where are the logs? I want to hear your story!

Edited by briansnat
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Unless I did an exhaustive search the first time I usually wont log a DNF until the 2nd try. My personal pain in the backside was a micro hidden in a clump of boulders.. first try no luck spent about 20 mins looking.. 2nd try nothing spent an hour looking.. I logged the DNF on that one explained it was my 2nd search yadda yadda yadda. I finally went back spent another hour and finally found it after giving up. I sat to fume that a simple micro was killing me, looked down at my feet and found it. Yay oh the joy, the Angles were singing and milk and honey were flowing thru my soul. But I digress lol

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It seems that a few people here don’t like to see frowny faces. If you looked for the cache and didn’t find it, it’s a DNF. Whether you think you’ve looked hard enough is of no consequence.

 

Post what you did. You looked and Did Not Find the cache. This is one of the basics of this thing we do. This is not a competition. There is no shame in not finding a cache.

 

If I see a DNF log on a cache I’ve placed. Then I determine on a case by case basis if a maintenance check is needed. I have hidden a micro that I can check from my car on my way to work. If I see a DNF log, I’ll drive by. Other than that one it depends on the cacher, the time of year and my schedule.

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Sometimes in a DNF log, it is useful to describe the location you were searching, giving as much detail as possible. Sometimes the additional information can help a cache owner determine whether a maintenance run is necessary or you were just stumped.

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It seems that a few people here don’t like to see frowny faces. If you looked for the cache and didn’t find it, it’s a DNF. Whether you think you’ve looked hard enough is of no consequence.

I'm sorry, but in my mind there's a difference between Did Not Find and Have Not Finished Looking Yet.

 

I will post a DNF when I'm done looking, thank you very much. In the meantime if I'm just taking a break I may choose to post a note.

 

Yesterday I completed a short multi that's taken me 5 months. The thing should be completed in a single visit but I've never had the time. For the most part I've had enough time to hit one waypoint and then play in the playground with my child whenever I happen to be in the area.

 

Another long multi I've been working on has involved stops here and there around town on 7 different days. I would find a waypoint, write down the information, and caculate the next waypoint for some other day, and now and then I'd have to go back and fix dumb mistakes.

 

None of those days were DNFs, just because I started to look for the cache. I knew I wasn't done and I hadn't imposed some imaginary rule that says I have to do the whole cache in a single effort. So as far as I was concerned, there was no need to post a DNF. I'll post that at the end of the journey. It's just that my end of the journey won't be today.

 

I see no shame in posting a DNF. My logs are littered with them. But I'll post them only after I've failed to find the cache and if I'm coming back tomorrow then that won't be today.

Edited by bons
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<<SNIP>>

Yesterday I completed a short multi that's taken me 5 months. The thing should be completed in a single visit but I've never had the time. For the most part I've had enough time to hit one waypoint and then play in the playground with my child whenever I happen to be in the area.

 

Another long multi I've been working on has involved stops here and there around town on 7 different days. I would find a waypoint, write down the information, and caculate the next waypoint for some other day, and now and then I'd have to go back and fix dumb mistakes.

 

<<SNIP>>

Point taken. I was speaking of traditional caches as were most of the previous posters. The thought of multis never crossed my mind.

 

*edit* for spelling error

Edited by Harrald
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It's *DID* not find not can not find or is not there. If I go and don't find it I post a DNF. Even if I plan on going back later.

 

Maybe it shouldn't be a frowny face because sometimes you just stop in the middle of a hunt or multi and it's not necessarily a frowny occasion but I still didn't find the thing.

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Well, I guess everyone has an opinion. I like posting DNF when I don't find a cache because I want to share my story. One particular micro I tried 4 times before I found it. I posted 3 DNFs and then FINALLY I was triumphant and posted my find. It all makes a great story for me to share. :blink:

Edited by Cannonlaw
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