Deleting a DNF Log: Yes or No?
Any geocacher worth their salt has a bunch of DNF (did not find) caches under their belt. (And those that don’t are either brand new or lying!) Often times, those DNF will just nag and nag at a cacher until they go back and find the cache.
Like my most famous ‘did not find’: ‘Summer Lovin” Not only did I not find the geocache, I lost a $40 piece of equipment, the whole adventure is on YouTube! That cache will bother me and keep me awake at night until I go back and get it.
But once I go find it, what is the etiquette around changing the DNF into a found?
A Piece of Caching History
When a cacher logs a DNF on a cache, that log becomes part of the cache’s history. It can signal to the cache owner and future cachers that the cache might have been muggled. In some cases, the ‘did not find’ log entry shows that the cache owner is one-cool-dude for placing such a hard to find cache.
For example, Crooks Grand TB Hotel is an example of a cache that had logged 7 DFN by the time I found it in December 2009. It had nothing to do with a cache being missing or muggled, just a well-hid cache.
A Piece of YOUR Caching History
Don’t look at a DNF as a failure, but look at it as a badge of honor. Every time you can’t find a cache and log it, you’re joining the ranks of distinguished cachers who aren’t afraid to say that the cache got the best of them. This time!
If you don’t log the DNF you’re doing yourself and other cachers a disservice by not being honest that either the cache is really hard to find OR that it just isn’t there!
Did Not Find Tells A Lot About The Cache
If I’m heading after a cache and I see 100 finds and 30 DNF entries, it’s a clue to me that this is a tough hide. It might take a few tries, a lot of time, and I may need to read the logs for clues.A DNF is a part of a #geocache history! Click To Tweet
Taking a look at the DNF to find “ratio” is especially important because difficulty ratings are often inaccurate. Plus, the number of ‘did not find’ entries on a cache can let the cache owner know that they need to change the difficulty rating of their cache OR go out and look to make sure it’s still there!
Now I’ve Found It!
Once you go back and find the geocache, for heaven’s sake don’t edit the DNF listing! (See caching history, above)
Besides skewing the data for finds to DNF logs, when you edit an entry, the cache owner doesn’t get a message that says the cache has now been found. This is especially important when it is back-to-back DNF, I found it logs because the cache owner might be planning a trip to check on the cache and wouldn’t know that it’s now been found without checking the cache page.
If you convert a DNF into a found then post a new log on the cache.
DNF on Extreme Caches
As somebody who occasionally DOES go after extreme caches, I really hate the type of logs that say:
Well I thought about it but decided not to.
That log really doesn’t tell me anything and it is really frustrating having to sort through 5 or six of those logs before I get to one that actually lets me know more about the cache. If you are thinking of going after an extreme cache but decide against it, post a Note on the cache rather than logging a DNF.
After all, you didn’t look for it and not find it; you THOUGHT about looking and decided not to! (Can you tell I’m a bit passionate about this?)
How Can I Keep Track Of Caches I Want To Look For Again?
A lot of caches will keep looking for a DNF until they are successful in locating it. Of course, when you start to rack up the DNF logs it can be a trick to sort through them and decide if they are STILL a ‘did not find’ or if you have found them now.
The easiest thing to do is to add each DNF to your watch list. Once you’ve found the cache, remove it from your watch list. That way you have a running total of the ‘did not find’ caches that you want to go after again.
Readers Weigh In:
- Do you edit or delete your DNF entries once you’ve found the cache?
- How do you keep track of the DNF caches that you’d like to try again?
- Do you keep trying a cache until you find it? Or is it a “one-time-shot” philosophy?
Find Your Geocache
October 8, 2010 @ 1:05 pm
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October 9, 2010 @ 8:09 am
Some great advice. There is one more tip to consider. When adding any item to your watch list, you will automatically get e-mails every time a log is posted to it. If you build a watch list of all your DNF’s, that can quickly turn into a lot of e-mails. One way around this is to use Bookmarks. In your last screenshot, it’s the bottom option. A bookmark list of DNF’s allows you to keep a list of all your DNF’s but without having to receive all the e-mails. Plus, you can also make a Pocket Query of your Bookmark Lists, allowing you to quickly pull down a list of DNF’s if you want to go on a DNF-Cleanup run. You can also quickly go to the list and get to any item on the list if you want to see if it’s been found since you last were there.
October 9, 2010 @ 12:38 pm
I don’t edit or delete DNF logs. I figure it’s part of the cache’s history and should stay as a historical record of the cache. I don’t keep track of my DNFs. There are some that don’t bother me that they are DNFs – no big deal. Then there are others that nag you to no end. Finally locating one of these gives you great personal satisfaction when found.
October 9, 2010 @ 4:03 pm
Nobody likes the frown faces, but they are important. But the smiles are so nice. 🙂
October 9, 2010 @ 4:31 pm
We almost always log a DNF – it’s rare for us not to. I use the DNF list as our challenge list. But then when I find it, I log a find and I DO edit the DNF but change it into a note and add a note at the end saying “removed from dnf”. This way I keep my list clean of DNF’s and still retain the record of what originally happened. Lots of cachers in my area do it this way as well
October 9, 2010 @ 7:04 pm
Well, I was a naughty one. I used to change my DNF’s to write note, then logged the find. Now, I leave my DNF’s for our local DNF challenge. As long as we get a smiley eventually, we are happy. There is only two DNF’s that we have not gained a smiley on. One has not been found in forever and the owners have not even done anything. The other, we just have not made it out to find it again, BUT we know where it is now 😀 So, we leave our DNF’s, and we love seeing them on our own caches now. Having your own cache DNF’ed shows what it feels like and it feels GOOD!
GC Addicted (Paul in St George, UT)
October 10, 2010 @ 8:36 am
When I see a cache that has a long string of DNF’s without a find I tend to pass it by because I have been burned on what is beginning to be MANY occasions over caches that have been muggled. I think that there ought to be a DNFY button for “Did Not Find YET” for serious cachers who are losing sleep over not getting the find YET, like I did on GC29TEJ A Place to Pray. Like they say… 6th times the charm!
October 10, 2010 @ 12:57 pm
I’ll just about always log a DNF, afterall I was trying to find it. Hopefully, the owner is reading the DNF logs and eventually will go out and ensure that the cache is still in existance. Here where I am at, there are some owners that will not do anything until there is a certain amount of DNF logs – sometype of ego trip I guess. Most of the time the caches have been muggled.
Yes, I will CONTINUE SEARCHING for that all-elusive DNF until I find it. Had one cache that I was searching for for 6 months. I would periodically search for it from time-to-time and also log the DNF. Finally found it – could NOT believe how simple it was!! Another cache I was searching for for about 3 months and finally found it about 40 feet from GZ.
Once I find a DNF, I will edit my origianl log-I will keep the original date(s) and add the new log. I think at least editing the original DNF log date is exceptable, it still maintains the original history of the cache.
I have deleted a few DNF logs, but that was in the very beginning.
November 12, 2010 @ 10:23 pm
I log my DNF’s and keep a eye out for DNF’s at my cache’s because it triggers a reaction where if I see several in I row I’ll go check on my caches and do the maintanace at the same time.
March 28, 2015 @ 11:53 am
Watch out for the geocaching police DNF around the south tend to cause our officer to close your cache because your ignoring maintenance not because it is there just hard to find.