While talking to many geocachers at different places I learned that most of them do not log DNFs. I always take the time to explain to them why it is important to log it. The most important part is that there is nothing to be ashamed of.
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What is a DNF?
DNF is an abbreviation used in the geocaching world for Did Not Find. Many are ashamed to log such thing but they should not so I encourage you to start logging them.
A perfect and clear example of a DNF is seen on the above photo I just took yesterday. I was on the way to a hotel due to my work. It is boring to drive all the way on the highway so I do some short detours to stop and discover my country. This was one of those places.
Why to log a DNF?
Help other geocachers have a better experience
When you started playing what was the most annoying experience? A DNF I am sure so that could make the difference between an addict and a one time geocacher.
When we started playing with my wife we went and searched. And we also did not find all of them at first and at second but many of the geocaches did not have DNFs logged. If they had we would have skipped those so log them please. Like on this day with 2 DNFs and a single find I might have helped a beginner with avoiding him/her to come and search for this while it is obviously not there.
Help the CO
Another really important thing is to inform the cache owner that there might be a problem with his/her geocache. After I started to hide at the beginning I checked all my geocaches every three months so I was more or less sure it is there. Then I started to have more and more geocaches so checking them became a bigger challenge. Nowadays I do the random checks walking around in different routes each time I am on my hiding ground. The most important thing is that I always come prepared on these trips to check the ones that have DNFs logged. I bring replacement containers extra logs etc. DNFs are helping me focusing on the ones that might be really missing.
Please help those who make this game so much fun for all of us.
Wait a second! How does it help me? You would be surprised but by logging it you will know when to return and find it. Previously I logged a few and when I visited the same area again I saw they were DNFs on my map so I checked the logs. I found that the CO went out and either replaced, restored the geocache or checked and reported it is still there so I knew I have a better chance this time.
I know not all geocachers are the types who goes back and tries again so good news for you as well. If you have it marked you know you do not want to revisit as you did not find it earlier.
What did you get even with a DNF?
What is geocaching really about? Did you think about it? Are you only after the statistics? Do you take the time to look around you?
Geocaching is a lot more than matrixes and stats and souvenirs. It takes you to places where you would probably never go without it. To places that are hidden or not a popular tourist destination. It shows you small gems of our beautiful world so go and explore. Right?
If you take a look at all the photos I share on this post you will see the first DNF was at an old graveyard. Spooky? I would say part of our history. Who visits these graves? Many generations are went underground since they are standing here. Just stop for a second and ask yourself this:
When did you last visit a grandparent or a great grandparent you never really knew?
Let me guess. Most of you many years ago or never ever visited them. The last time for me was with my parents many years ago driving them to the graveyards where for example my father’s mother is resting in peace. I could never have met her as she passed away when my father was really young.
What is my point? These people were important to someone for some reason they also deserve the respect and the visit. Just read some of the text on those stones and take a few pictures for the next generation to come so they can see how we changed over time.
What more you get from a DNF?
Besides the places you see even if it will become a DNF you will also get a chance to go back and search again. Yes, a new chance to experience a different scenery! It is spring now. My next visit to the area will be in summer so the trees will be all green. All those photos will share a completely different atmosphere at that time.
Oh yes, there is more to it. If you are an easy guy like myself I am sure you will meet people at most places so just say hi to them. Do not be afraid they are mostly humans and will say hi back to you.
Many places the locals know exactly what you are after or if not yet they are curious as they see more people stopping by digging into those trees and bushes and then leaving. If you talk to them they will learn about the game and they might help you with more hints as well.
This time it was a bit different. While I wanted to take a photo of the statue above a mother with a baby and a small girl passed by. They of course looked curious so the little girl asked the mother: What is he doing here? I smiled. The mother just said: Maybe just visited the park. And then the little girl waved at me and I waved back smiling and said: Have a nice day. She waved a few more times as they passed by.
And one more DNF for the day
Here I go again. From the previous obviously missing geocache I headed to this one. I was here earlier. I did not have a chance at that time as they were reconstructing the castle so it was closed for the public. Shame on me. That time I did not log the DNF! Wow after all this above? I did not? Yes, I could tell all my excuses how that happened but I won’t. It just happened so.
It is still under construction and I saw people finding it. Maybe they asked to get inside and found it. I could not find the security this time so I just moved on.
The castle is getting nicer each time I stop by here. You see there are tons of reasons to come by and try again.
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