Master the 5 Ways to “Log Your Visit”

Navigating the “Log Your Visit” Options



The latest evolution of the Geocaching.com geocache details page serves up a new big button labeled “Log your visit.” And with big buttons comes big responsibility. With one click, you’ll uncover 5 different log types. Here’s a quick field-guide to help you navigate to the best option.Leaving the correct log type is all part of the geocaching experience. If you aren’t sure if you should leave a DNF or a Needs Maintenance, or you need help deciding if you should use the powerful Needs Archived option, try just leaving a note. Geocachers who have that geocache on their watchlist will see your note and will most likely be happy to help you out.


  • Found it – It’s a well-earned smiley when you choose this option. You’ve found the geocache and physically signed the log sheet. Now begin the over-sharing. What was your adventure like? Did you meet new people? Did you see a turtle? We want to know. Tell that story, upload a picture, thank the geocache owner, and you’re in business.
  • Didn’t find it (aka: DNF) – We all have these days. This is a really important option. It alerts other geocachers that this geocache might be more difficult than first thought or might not even be there. If you leave a detailed note they’ll know the whole story, like if there’s evidence of a critter making off with the geocache or too many muggles in the area to make the find. A DNF is a badge of honor and it’s easy to go back and          turn a DNF into a “Found it.”
  • Write note – “There’s serious road construction leading to the geocache.” That’s a perfect example of a nice note. It’s not a “Found it” or a “Did not find,” it’s a way to ‘note’ify (yeah, we did that) other geocachers of conditions that affect finding the geocache, like “a new bee hive is in the area, bee* careful.” (*yeah – we did that too)
  • Needs Maintenance – The logbook is full, the geocache is cracked, or the camouflage is a little tattered—these are all good reasons to log your “Found it” then, log a separate “Needs Maintenance.” The geocache owner will appreciate your help and geocachers will appreciate the insight.
  • Needs Archived – Whew, well, this is the big one. Take a deep breath and count to 10, maybe even count to 100. This is a rarely used logging option and there’s more math involved. Use this option if the geocache has many DNF’s and “Needs Maintenance” logs without a “Found it” log.

Log Type Bonus Round! There are 2 more log types for Event Caches. An Event Cache allows you to meet your local geocaching community, swap stories, trade tips and plan geocaching outings.

  • Will Attend – It’s our version of RSVP’ing. This lets the event organizer know you’re planning on adding your wit, charm and presence to the event.
  • Attended – This is the “Found it” for events. You earn a smiley and an opportunity to leave a log with a great big ol’ ‘Thank You’ for the event organizers, as well as stories from the event.
  • Ralloh

    I don’t have any geocaches of my own yet, but, I think it would irk the heck out of me to only see TFTC in the comments. I mean come on. You can’t make a little effort to say something about the find or the cache itself?

  • major134

    I say to use caution when you post “Needs maintenance.” I have had some cachers not find the cache and they log, “Needs Maintenance.” This sends up a red flag with the reviewers and every time you want to publish a new cache this is a problem. One I could not get to because of high water, but when I finally did, the cache was right where it was suppose to be. Just an observation.

  • Zekester & Simon

    Your found it description misses a significant amount of data that should be logged with each find. Each found it entry should include, at a bare minimum, the following: status of the container (is it intact? does it still seal well?); status of the log (dry? % of space left?); assessment of posted coordinates; assessment of terrain and difficulty ratings. These elements of a log entry make it easier for the cache owner to properly maintain the hide, and they also help future seekers know what to expect. Given the amount of effort it takes to place the hide and get it approved, it is not too much to expect each seeker to provide this level of feedback.

  • On-The-Loose

    As a cache owner I DO find TFTC only logs frustrating and disappointing. It gives me no information to base my next hide on, and not much encouragement, either. I do cautiously log DNFs, as I feel I have the obligation to other cachers (and the CO) to give them up-to-date info on difficulties finding the cache. I will admit irritation with COs who gloat over those DNFs does sometimes give me pause. I use the Write a Note option as often as I do the DNF one. I know many cachers look only at the number of finds vs DNFs, and don’t want to be the reason others choose not to go after a cache. So, I save DNFs for caches I can’t find after an actual search. If we had a zero visibility sandstorm, there were too many muggles, or we decided not to look for any other reason, I will convey that information in a note. A HUGE thanks to all of the cachers who DO take the time and effort to say something about their experience and/or the hide. It really does brighten my day!

  • systemfeind83

    It’s more important to teach the people how to log TB’s correctly.
    This tutorial here is ridiculous.

  • ESheppy

    Totally agree about the TB education needed.

  • AMEN!!! Starting to get old when you go find a cache and get an interesting TB with a story to tell only to see that the TB has been muggled.

  • seac2

    I think it is really important to mention that the “Needs Archive” is also appropriate if the placement of a cache, and any activity hunting for it, is damaging the environment beyond nature’s ability to repair itself. For example, there was a cache placed in Golden Gardens on a fragile hillside, and the cache description was too vague. As a result, within a few months, a huge bare patch developed on the hillside from geocachers trampling over it in their search. Multiple “note” and “needs maintenance” logs were ignored by the cache owner to resolve it, so “needs archive” was the only appropriate solution. And it WAS archived, thankfully. The hill has since recovered too.

  • Abzolut

    OK, I did go back and change a DNF to a note after reading this. I logged it DNF because it seemed to be a popular spot for city employees to take a smoke break and I couldn’t get close enough to look. Alas, I’m afraid most of my “Found It” logs don’t live up to your expectations. I tend to only note the notable, especially since I’m usually logging it from my phone, in my car, with three kids impatiently waiting for me to “get moving already.” Sorry! 🙂

  • On-The-Loose

    I should have mentioned here that I understand that not every log can be an epic tale. I can see where children, muggle spouses in tow, or trying to log over 100 caches for a day might get overwhelming. I’m grateful for every smiley logged on each cache’s page. It does give one a quick warm fuzzy, and the encouragement to go out and plant more.

  • On-The-Loose

    I recently heard from several veteran cachers that they no longer log their finds at all. THAT is disappointing, and (I think) unfair to the COs. The vast majority of cachers depend on logs to give them a clue as to the status of each cache. If it hasn’t been found in months (or years) many will give it a pass. How unfair to enjoy the cache that took work to hide, and not let other cachers and COs know it was even found! It makes me wonder how many “old” caches out there are getting finds that never see the light of day in a log. I thought this tutorial was pretty basic stuff. Apparently not.