A geocacher lies across a park bench and reaches underneath it to try and find a geocache.

Overcoming DNFs

A search for a cache that ends in a DNF log can be a frustrating experience. You search and search all around the coordinates, looking under every rock and on every tree branch, but there’s not a logbook in sight. However, with a little perspective shift, logging a DNF becomes the first chapter of an epic geocaching story instead of a single episode of caching frustration.

Logging a DNF does not have to mean defeat. Instead, think of it as setting the stage for an inspiring comeback in the future where you find the cache and turn that blue frown into a beaming yellow smiley. We asked geocachers on Facebook to tell us about their stories of avenged DNFs and are sharing a few here. Read the stories below.

A 5/1 cache was published on May 4, 2017 fairly close to my home so I thought I would get the FTF on it. I did get the FTF but it was 6 months later on Nov. 11, 2017. My caching buddy and I figure we have spent at least 25 hours in the excruciatingly painstaking search, cataloging all the things that were not the cache. The STF was 10 months after us.
-Mary E.

A cache deep in a remote Scottish forest, not found for 5 years and DNF’d by me 3 years before. Bit of an ill conceived revenge trip really … left the car late in the afternoon with barely enough daylight to get there and back, no rations, no drinks, no extra clothes, no torch … just me, my dog and my phone with no signal, just the downloaded cache data. A maintenance trip by a friend of the CO (Cache owner) let me know the cache was still there and 3 years more caching experience made it a reasonably quick find, so I got back to the car about 10 minutes before total darkness.
-Kevin S.

Reminder: always be prepared when geocaching with water, layers, and someone who knows where you are!

GC2F4VJ – Pilot Peak. Defeated by Mother Nature the first time just short of the summit. Came back a month later to finally get the find. It had been placed almost 2 years earlier. The crazy things we do for a FTF. Three other people have logged it since we did. The last person to log it was in 2018 if someone is looking for a lonely cache.
-Tim P.

Our first big hike in Scotland. The first day we didn’t make the summit. Second day we took the long route around, and we did make the summit and the find. Beautiful experience.
-Kevin R.

What are your tips for making a find on a second try? Have you ever avenged a DNF? Share in the comments below!

Genevieve
Genevieve is a Marketing Associate at Geocaching HQ.