While traveling through New Hampshire last week I decided to stop in the town of Woodsville to have a meal and try a couple caches. I tried "Plank bridge to town GC134YW" and could not find it. The several people logged in before me couldn't find it either. I just looked and saw that the owner went the next day and reported it missing. I'm thinking that it seems unfair that I have a did not find on my record for something that wasn't there TO find. How does everyone deal with this? Suck it up?
It does stink. HOwever to me that has just become part of the game...the good and bad. DNF's to me are not a big deal! First of all they don't go on your record for all to see! I always log a DNF....this way it lets the owner know...hey you might want to check on it...ect. It has happened to me more than once when I go looking for a cache that is indeed gone. Frustrating? YES! BUT all part of this game that I love so much! :D
Another note, sometimes when I see that a cache has been DNF'd a few times and that the owner hasn't checked on it in awhile, then I DON'T go and try to find it....or I go and I write a note(to myself) not to spend to much time looking.
Caches can go missing for so many reasons. Muggles being the biggest. Mother nature is another. It just one of the hard parts of the game to deal with. Many folks don't post DNF's because it makes them look as if they are inexperienced. In reality it is important for them to be posted so the cache owner can deal with it appropriately. That's my take any ways.
If I have a DNF, I keep an eye on the cache. If nobody finds it for a while, I'll send a note to the owner asking if it should be archived.
If others find it, I will read their logs for a hint of where it is, then try to go back and "clean up" the DNFs.
DNF means you didn't find it. It does not mean you're not a good hunter and it does not mean you would not have found it if it were there.
Posts your DNFs with pride in keeping communication going throughout the game.
It's all part of the game and DNF's are just one small part of it, like it or not. I think a good cacher will post all their DNF's cause it gives the cache owner an idea that it may be missing and he can attend to it to make sure it is indeed missing. I have been notified a couple of times about DNF's on my caches and sure enough it was missing. If others don't post their DNF's then how am I supposed to know that it is gone. It's just good cache practice to post them. JMHO
I can't add too much here that hasn't been said . . . I know when I first started I didn't want to post DNFs since I thought too many would make me look like a very bad geocacher . . . now as a cache owner and seeker I find DNF posts serve a very useful purpose and I'll post my DNFs even if I look foolish (well this look comes naturally to me.)
Logged DNFs to me don't mean a whole lot . . . however as a cache owner if I see a DNF or two on one of my caches I'll go to the cache and make sure it's there. In some cases the cache has been there, but it has been a trickier hide than I intended and so I've increased the difficulty level rating based on the DNFs.
In addition, when I see cachers log a DNF on one of my own caches (and I don't always catch every single one) I'll send the cacher an additional clue to help them out the next time they're in the area. Many other cachers do the same thing -- Northwoods Explorer for example and Hollora have done so . . . Hollora even gave me her cell phone number and came out to watch me search for her cache . . . and then discovered it was missing.
As a cache seeker I use previously logged DNFs as well . . . they give me an idea sometimes of how difficult a cache might be, if the cache might in fact be MIA if it's getting lots of DNFs, etc. If a cache has received a lot of DNFs and the hider has not put up a post noting that they have checked the cache and it is in fact still there sometimes I will by-pass that cache or not spend as much time looking for it.
So in summation . . . there is no shame in posting a DNF . . . Lord knows I've posted enough of them in the short time I've been geocaching.:D
I post DNF's as well. I think it can be helpful for those who follow. If nothing else, perhaps it will generate some laughter as it likely did when I posted a number of them (hmmmmmmmmm, let's see I think 7) on Old 470 in Waterville. They can be a fun part of the game. The can also be frustrating. I recently went to a cache that had been found the day prior. I couldn't find it so I logged a DNF. The owner checked on it and it was was missing. You never know - recent finds don't mean it is there either.
I always post a dnf if we haven't found a cache . . . it is just part of the game and lets others know that someone else did not find it or that it might not be there.