View Full Version : Logging DNFs



benandtina
06-23-2009, 09:20 AM
In the Pet Peeve thread people are talking about logging a find without signing the physical log and it got me thinking about something Ben and I discussed this weekend.

We have noticed that we seem to log a lot more DNFs than we see on other profiles. We have 70 finds and 9 DNFs. Plus, we've seen logs where people say "I searched for this last month and couldn't find it, got it today" but had never logged the DNF. We did that once because we forgot to log the original DNF, but the rest of the time we try to log it unless time constraints forced us not to give ourselves a fair amount of time to find it.

Other than personal stats, is there any stigma with logging a DNF? I like to log them because it serves as a reminder for us to go back and try again... plus at least two DNFs that I have logged ended up being caches that were actually missing and the cache owners took action.

The only negative I can think of with logging a DNF is it may discourage people from searching for a cache. I know that if I am far from home and see a log where the 2 or 3 most recent posts are DNF I will not choose to search for that cache. Is there something else that I am missing?

Haffy
06-23-2009, 09:33 AM
I think you pretty much summed it up quite well. I like to post my DNF's for the simple reasons you posted. It gives the owner some idea the cache might indeed be missing and they need to probably check on it to make sure it is still there. How else would they know if something might be wrong?

TRF
06-23-2009, 09:37 AM
There is a stigma for some people. I log all my DNF's even if they occur consecutively. Besides admitting that I'm a terrible geocacher it lets others know what the issues I faced, even if the issues don't affect others experiences, while I searched for the cache.

firefighterjake
06-23-2009, 12:01 PM
. . . but the rest of the time we try to log it unless time constraints forced us not to give ourselves a fair amount of time to find it.

Other than personal stats, is there any stigma with logging a DNF? I like to log them because it serves as a reminder for us to go back and try again... plus at least two DNFs that I have logged ended up being caches that were actually missing and the cache owners took action.

The only negative I can think of with logging a DNF is it may discourage people from searching for a cache. I know that if I am far from home and see a log where the 2 or 3 most recent posts are DNF I will not choose to search for that cache. Is there something else that I am missing?

I think you pretty much hit the nail on the head . . . I think a lot of newbies to geocaching do not realize you can log DNF or falsely think it is a black mark against them when in fact as you have mentioned it is actually a rather useful tool -- as a hider if I see a number of DNFs I will often go check the cache to make sure it is there and where and how I placed it . . . and as a searcher when I see a cache with lots of DNFs and the owner has not confirmed the cache is there I am more prone to pass on the cache unless I know it may be a particularly challenging cache to find (i.e. in Firefighterjake's Cache Dictionary you will find examples of Laughing Terry's caches listed as examples of "particuarly challenging cache" . . . along with BRdad's Old 470 cache.)

I know when I first started I didn't want to log DNFs out of some misplaced fear that other veteran cachers would think I was an idiot . . . now I realize after finding many caches and logging many DNFs as well that it doesn't matter how many DNFs I log . . . other cachers still think I am an idiot. ;):D

Like you, about the only time I search and do not log the DNF is if I feel the search was just a cursory search . . . I didn't put any real effort into looking for it or spent too little time (i.e. due to time constraints for example.)

benandtina
06-23-2009, 02:57 PM
I know when I first started I didn't want to log DNFs out of some misplaced fear that other veteran cachers would think I was an idiot . . . now I realize after finding many caches and logging many DNFs as well that it doesn't matter how many DNFs I log . . . other cachers still think I am an idiot. ;):D

Haha, that was one of the reasons Ben came up with for our many DNFs. "Maybe we're just much worse at this than everyone else?"

Good to know there is no other negativity associated with logging a DNF... I guess we'll keep doing this the way we have been!

brdad
06-23-2009, 03:02 PM
We have noticed that we seem to log a lot more DNFs than we see on other profiles. We have 70 finds and 9 DNFs

I may be reading your statement incorrectly, but just in case - you will not see other cacher's DNFs on their profiles, you can only see their finds.

I had to check with GSAK, I have logged 13 DNFs on caches on my found list. A couple of those are DNFs on caches I had previously found but revisited to find it missing. I still have several outstanding DNFs in Maine and other states which I have not returned to find. I would guess there are between 5 and 10 of those.

I gave myself a general rule early on to give myself 24 hours to find a cache after starting to look for it. So, If I am out of town and DNF a cache at sunset, If I go and find it in the AM I will just log the find - but also state in the log I had looked previously.

I like to log my DNFs if for nothing more than to have a personal record of my attempt.

benandtina
06-23-2009, 03:10 PM
I may be reading your statement incorrectly, but just in case - you will not see other cacher's DNFs on their profiles, you can only see their finds.

Oops! No, I misspoke (mistyped? lol). I've noticed some people have special statistics on their profiles (when they find caches, where they find them, who placed them, etc.) that they generate with GSAK and I think I have seen DNF stats on those. My thought that we have more DNFs than others is based on that and the actual cache logs... not the gc.com profiles. Sorry about that :)

fins2right
06-23-2009, 05:25 PM
I use them to keep track of those I've missed and want to try again. I will also check each cache I load up and if I see 3 or 4 DNF's in a row, I'll avoid it, or not load it.

Team V3
06-23-2009, 05:31 PM
The best way to look at a DNF is that its a frown you can later go back to turn upside down. :)

Team V3
06-23-2009, 05:31 PM
Trust me, sometimes I feel like I am the KING of DNFs :)

shuman road searchers
06-23-2009, 05:39 PM
When I first started it was the thought of not finding the cache that so many had already found and having that " black mark " by your name. After only a few weeks and many conversations with Dubord207, I realized the importance that DNF's have for the owner and the future cache finders. As a finder I log all of my DNF's and appreciate it when others do also. I usually will not skip a cache because of DNF's but I may shorten my search time. As an owner I usually wait for 3 DNF's on a cache before I will check on it. I just recently DNFed( is that a word) a 1/1. I guess for that I should have a "blackmark"!

dubord207
06-23-2009, 05:39 PM
I log them all. Last weekend I did a Centum, had 12 DNF's and logged them all. For those that place caches, a bunch of DNF's in a row should raise questions regarding maintenence or whether the cache is underrated in terms of difficulty. Not logging a DNF on a real hard find likely has the effect of lulling some into a false sense that a cache is easy to find when it's not. I've finally learned the hard way not to suggest a cache is "gone" just because I didn't find it, something mapachi "taught" me.

But I will confess that I do put all my DNF's on my watchlist to see what happens to future seekers. I have a handful of caches that I've logged upwards of 5 DNF's...guess that's either being stubborn or blind determination!

Team V3
06-23-2009, 05:42 PM
I do that sometimes too. I like to watch to see who finds ones I don't. Sometimes their logs gives you a new way of looking at things.

fins2right
06-23-2009, 05:54 PM
I log them all. Last weekend I did a Centum, had 12 DNF's and logged them all. For those that place caches, a bunch of DNF's in a row should raise questions regarding maintenence or whether the cache is underrated in terms of difficulty. Not logging a DNF on a real hard find likely has the effect of lulling some into a false sense that a cache is easy to find when it's not. I've finally learned the hard way not to suggest a cache is "gone" just because I didn't find it, something mapachi "taught" me.

But I will confess that I do put all my DNF's on my watchlist to see what happens to future seekers. I have a handful of caches that I've logged upwards of 5 DNF's...guess that's either being stubborn or blind determination!


Any by Laughing Terry by chance? :D

dubord207
06-23-2009, 06:09 PM
Any by Laughing Terry by chance? :D


Who else could post such diabolical caches.....but once found I tout him as the greatest.:)

Team2hunt
06-23-2009, 06:11 PM
My thought that we have more DNFs than others is based on that and the actual cache logs... not the gc.com profiles. Sorry about that :)

I have 32 logged DNF's, still unresolved 10 in Maine, 10 in Vermont, and 12 in NH. I too like to return to those I have not found, and I will watch the cache to see if it has been found after my visit. I remember being told when I first started that I had to log my DNF's or the caching God's would get me...:p. So far so good.

My only rule is: If you have exited the vehicle, once your feet touch the ground, and you have a GPS'r in your hand. That constitutes an attempt to find the cache and if you have not signed the log. That's a DNF!

hide_from_the_kids
06-23-2009, 09:46 PM
i posted two dnf's this weekend and one note. the cache owners promptly checked and found that the cache was missing and posted on their cache page that they replaced or will replace so now the next time i am in the area i will bag them. so posting does help.

FFFarmer
06-23-2009, 09:55 PM
But I will confess that I do put all my DNF's on my watchlist to see what happens to future seekers. I have a handful of caches that I've logged upwards of 5 DNF's...guess that's either being stubborn or blind determination!

I like the idea of the watchlist! Never thought of that. I have no problem logging a DNF (although we recently searched for one we really wanted and we decided to quit the search due to conditions and nightfall, we posted a note to that fact, however we WILL go back and either find it or we will log a DNF if we don't). We had a cache that muggled a couple of times and it was nice getting the DNF logs so we could get it corrected in a timely fashion.

Mainiac1957
06-24-2009, 05:18 AM
If you use GSAK there is a check box for placing a cache on watchlist. I often watch a cache I DNF just to see if it was me or whether other are having a hard time as well.

Mapachi
06-24-2009, 07:48 AM
I have days where I log more DNFs then finds! All is fun though. Sometimes it's the search that is fun, and the find sometimes becomes anti-climatic!
Log em all.....sometimes the cache owner knows something you don't and will sometimes e-mail you and tell you to go ahead and log a find, because you were looking in the right place but the owner new it was missing and had not disabled it yet.

fins2right
06-24-2009, 10:15 AM
My only rule is: If you have exited the vehicle, once your feet touch the ground, and you have a GPS'r in your hand. That constitutes an attempt to find the cache and if you have not signed the log. That's a DNF!

I use the same rule. This week due to heavy rain I didn't get within 106 feet of a new cache in Waterville. I DNF'd it anyway:


http://www.geocaching.com/images/icons/icon_sad.gif June 20 by fins2right (http://www.geocaching.com/profile/?guid=7270870b-3670-4421-a758-7a99c5e2df0d) (480 found)
I probably shouldn't log this at all. After discovering that Laughing Terry beat me to the first, I shrugged my shoulders and plodded on. I started into the jungle and saw what could have been 3 inches of water or 3 feet of water between me and the cache. At this point I decided to try it later. I'll be back!!!



Did I mention that Laughing Terry emailed me and described the cache as under water and that he looked like a wet dog on the way out. Oh the things we do for a FTF. Perhaps I made a good choice that day..... :D:rolleyes::D

WhereRWe?
06-24-2009, 01:47 PM
Did I mention that Laughing Terry emailed me and described the cache as under water and that he looked like a wet dog on the way out. Oh the things we do for a FTF. Perhaps I made a good choice that day..... :D:rolleyes::D

Sheesh! There have been so many new members lately, I'm gonna post a picture of the cache I volunteered to be responsible for - before I found out where it was located!

(The cache disappeared the first winter, and has been relocated nearby.)

(The person who got FTF managed it without going in...)

fins2right
06-24-2009, 10:00 PM
Sheesh! There have been so many new members lately, I'm gonna post a picture of the cache I volunteered to be responsible for - before I found out where it was located!


:D:D:D:D:D:eek::D

softball29
06-26-2009, 01:03 PM
I log DNFs every time. I don't feel it's a bad thing, rather good. I also like to be able to turn those away if I get back to actually find them.

Sometimes the DNFs really help owners -- other times cachers. There's one cacher in our area who never checks his stuff. The containers get ruined, go up missing etc., and he never does anything. So all the DNFs help future people realize that these are bad caches to go for.

It's also a challenge to me -- if there are several DNFs but someone confirms its still there -- to go get it if I can!

robt
06-26-2009, 01:48 PM
it can also give people an idea if a needs archived or needs mainenace note should be posted if there is enough DNF's without a responce from the owner.

LaughingTerry
06-30-2009, 09:47 PM
Did I mention that Laughing Terry emailed me and described the cache as under water and that he looked like a wet dog on the way out. Oh the things we do for a FTF. Perhaps I made a good choice that day..... :D:rolleyes::D

It wasn't under water but I was. LOL Well, actually I went into water well past my knees more than once but when I finally found it it was 6 or 8 inches above the water. The way it's been raining I'm not sure that is still the case.

Don't worry though. She did something very cool. She tied it down so if the water gets too high it won't be washed away. Tandemstoker is going to be on the same list as Mapachi, me, and the other hiders who like hide devious caches.

On one of her other caches I fell in the river head first. I thought maybe it was on the backside of a stump so I leaned on it to look behind it and it broke off sending me for a swim. That one I looked like a drowned rat heading back to my car. (empty handed)

brdad
07-01-2009, 06:04 AM
What about challenge caches? It seems to me if you attempted a challenge cache like the Delorme Challenge while on vacation in Utah, and you failed and may never come back or it may be a long time, that a DNF should be posted. I think I would. I can see the point some may make that they had not yet looked for the final, but at the same time I think it gives you a record of the attempt for yourself plus it lets the cache owner know people are attempting the cache.

I understand, if you live in Maine and are working on the Maine Delorme Challenge, that it would be silly to log a DNF every day until you logged it. But there are times when you know it will be a while before you can come back or conditions for the challenge exist which would require you to start over.

Mainiac1957
07-01-2009, 07:00 AM
I ask, is this a case of not finding it since it wasn't actually looked for? Or more a case of did not attempt? I go to caches that for one reason or another I don't even try. Such as a long trail that I don't have time for, or high water, or whatever. I will only log a DNF if I have looked at GZ and was not able to find it.
After all the F in DNF does stand for find. This is just my way of playing. Not trying to force my way on anyone else.

Sudonim
07-01-2009, 12:33 PM
I ask, is this a case of not finding it since it wasn't actually looked for? Or more a case of did not attempt? I go to caches that for one reason or another I don't even try. Such as a long trail that I don't have time for, or high water, or whatever. I will only log a DNF if I have looked at GZ and was not able to find it.
After all the F in DNF does stand for find. This is just my way of playing. Not trying to force my way on anyone else.

I agree with this. IMO a DNF is one of two things:
Their hide was better than my search or
the cache is missing, or replaced in the incorrect spot or incorrect coord post.

If I am in a hurry, get to the start of a long trail and decide not to go further, I don't consider that a DNF. If I get to a rough/rocky spot with MANY hiding places and give it the quick once over, but decide to come back when I have more time (or sunlight, or less bugs), I won't post a DNF. If I feel that I gave it a good search and don't find it, that's a DNF (to me, your play may vary).

pm28570
07-01-2009, 01:27 PM
Guess I'm kinda in line with this as well. For me, it's not a DNF until I give up, which may mean several trips to the coords to look. There's been several that I've gone back up to 4 times to look, finally with success. However, who is to know if you are the first one to be looking for a cache that just went MIA.....kinda a toss-up.



I agree with this. IMO a DNF is one of two things:
Their hide was better than my search or
the cache is missing, or replaced in the incorrect spot or incorrect coord post.

If I am in a hurry, get to the start of a long trail and decide not to go further, I don't consider that a DNF. If I get to a rough/rocky spot with MANY hiding places and give it the quick once over, but decide to come back when I have more time (or sunlight, or less bugs), I won't post a DNF. If I feel that I gave it a good search and don't find it, that's a DNF (to me, your play may vary).

Waterski
07-01-2009, 04:29 PM
I don't post a DNF unless I go and feel like I have put in what I consider a fairly thorough search , and just can't find it. If is a quick look due to time restraints it would not be a DNF for me, as the owner and other cachers may think it is missing in that case when it was not really seached for very well. I do appreciate those of you that have looked for one of my hides that has been muggled three times and logged the DNF so that it could be replaced. One person just emailed me instead, so that is the way they dealt with it, but that was also very helpful to get it replaced quickly.

Waterski
07-01-2009, 04:33 PM
brdad- Do you think it would be fine instead on the Utah Challenge to just post a note instead of a DNF- stating you are in the process of completetion, so the owner would know you had started the challenge and not finished? I would not think a DNF would be in order myself unless the search was made.

brdad
07-01-2009, 09:48 PM
brdad- Do you think it would be fine instead on the Utah Challenge to just post a note instead of a DNF- stating you are in the process of completetion, so the owner would know you had started the challenge and not finished? I would not think a DNF would be in order myself unless the search was made.

I can see where that would be quite acceptable. It isn't a real DNF, but I think it is nice to give some mention of it, and as I said, I like to have a personal record as well. Much of it depends on if you wanted to call what you did an attempt at the cache. Many of us just plugged away at maps for the Delorme Challenge while caching elsewhere and living our normal lives. But for myself, If I made a special trip to Utah to do the challenge and failed, I would probably call that a DNF.

Waterski
07-03-2009, 04:46 PM
Yes, I can understand that if you never planned to go back, it could be a DNF.

squirrelcache
07-07-2009, 04:40 PM
In my limited experience........I don't hesitate a DNF if I remember to take it from GSAK to online...because rating the difficulty is a matter of perception. And often the cacher has a much different perception of how hard it really is... so why not pile em' up and let the C.O. re-think a rating. :)

lexmano
07-12-2009, 11:55 AM
Our experience seems to be that our rate off DNFs does not decline with experience. In fact we are more likely to log a DNF now because as owner's of quite a few hides, we know how helpful it is to let the cache owner know there might be a problem.

Nothing more frustrating than to be told by someone they have looked multiple times, when if they had simply logged the DNF you could have clarified the matter and spared them, and others, fruitless searches.

squirrelcache
07-12-2009, 09:31 PM
Actually..... I sharpen my pencil for a More than likely DNF on 1.5s Those are the ones that give me a hard time.