DNF means “Did Not Find” in geo-speak.
If you have downloaded the cache coordinates to your GPS, followed the cache owner’s instructions and hints, and made a decent effort to find the geocache, but were unsuccessful, it is a good idea to log your DNF ‘s online.
Why? Because this alerts the cache owner that there may be a problem. Perhaps the cache is harder to find than anticipated or maybe the coordinates are off. It may even mean that the geocache has gone missing. If the cache owner receives many DNF’s, they know their geocache should be checked and that the cache possibly needs maintenance.
In the above snip, you see that RMKK couldn’t find a cache called Cedar Rim. The blue frowny face on the left of their geocaching handle is another method of communicating that not all was okay with this geocaching experience. It’s like saying thumbs down. It doesn’t necessarily mean something is wrong with the geocache, but it does indicate that the geocacher could not find the cache.
By logging the geocache as a DNF, the cache owner has a better idea of how many people are finding their geocache and how many are not. This information is quite useful to the owner when it comes to maintenance considerations. If DNF’s are not logged, the owner may have the false impression that everything is okay with their cache.
As geocaching.com says, “It’s a small way to help ensure the quality of geocaching. So maybe DNF means more than “Did Not Find” — maybe it also means “Doing (the) Next (cacher a) Favor.”‘
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