Barb - It's too hot to go barking mad - Tygress)
Folks have different approaches within the freedom of the game of geocaching. And feel pretty strongly with really good reason about them. All ways.
TattooBarbie has said it's ok to replace her South Austin EASY caches in kind if you're sure they're not there. Other cachers also give permission (especially for remote caches where it's 50 miles to replace a film can zipped to a fence) -- but CHECK THE CACHE PAGE. Or, if you know the owner, call and ask. [We've been known to employ email from the field -- don't you love technology?!?] But NEVER *assume*!
Yes, I have replaced caches WITH PERMISSION. Or if I find the mangled remains (those vertical mowers are BEASTS). [And ALWAYS fess up in the log.] But I have also seen where people replaced caches with the original still there -- the funniest was 2 pill bottles zipped 8 inches apart. The sad are when a really elegant hide gets trumped by someone's lame substitute because they figured they were doing a 'favor' (or couldn't bear a blue frowny). Or the next person who comes along and finds the substitute gets their hindquarters chewed royal and log deleted by the angry cache owner. It happened to me -- how was *I* to know the cache I found wasn't the cache? But MINE, coming along innocently the next day, were the ears boxed. Thanks for setting me up, Impatient Cacher before me.
I don't care how experienced you are, JUST BECAUSE YOU DIDN'T FIND IT DOES *NOT* MEAN IT WAS NOT THERE TO FIND. Even our remarkable HiDude_98 posts DNFs (and employs phone-a-friends) -- near as I can tell, we're all mortal. Heck. I'll still whiff an obvious one. And you've seen my count. [Especially those black key holders -- I *SUCK* at those. And I think I'm going to give up searching Cabooses entirely.]
DNFs are NOT the end of the world -- everybody sings the blues sometimes, consider logging sad a challenge -- and useful information. [And, in this August madness, it's not like Austin is short of caches. Well, at least not for some of us.] I know BigGuy will award a smilie to the first DNF if she's convinced the cache is actually missing, because she's grateful for the information.
Tougher hides will not always respond to a DNF -- I have a tough one that gets 1 DNF in 3 hunts. So I'll wait for a string of no finds before checking. Because I *expect* people to have trouble. Yes, perhaps I'm mean bordering on evil, but the difficulty stars are there for a reason.
So. There's your rule of thumb. And, while you may not agree, a little thanks is due Toni for attempting to be gracious; especially if her caches are having problems. [It's summer and little bored muggles are out in force, folks! And don't MOVE a cache, either. You got a better way to hide a cache? Go find your own spot and do it. Don't 'improve' my hide -- even if you ARE right in your brilliance -- it makes owner maintenance a PITA. And I don't get to claim finds on my own now 3-star diff cache....
On the other hand, most of us are VERY grateful if a full or damaged log gets replaced. Note it on the cache page -- the owner may or may not want their paper mache or filled up scratch paper back.
So that's my dollar fifty on the matter. Can we shake hands and call our points made, if not aggreed?
I'd like to add to this thread. Another good thing for new cachers to do is DNF...like said before. DNF is better than a "Needs Maintenance" just because you couldn't find it. I've had that before. I've seen "Needs Archived" just because it wasn't found. It should have been a DNF. Also, if you truly didn't attempt to look for it...don't mark it "DNF". You can write a note, but not a DNF. I noticed that today too!
I recently saw a DNF on one of my caches and checked on it...it wasn't there. I maintained it. Nothing personal, but if I see someone with 30 finds that marks it DNF...that is part of learning how to hunt. I will probably not go check on that one.
But, most importantly...enjoy the game! It's FUN!
from BarbJ = *PLAY* on = Tygress
The ET Highway and like power runs are special cache cases, and the replacement/swap down the line is recommended by the CACHE OWNERS. Right there on the cace page (or in prep materials). That said, on the associated (same area) ABC run, in more than one spot we found multiple caches. Though, to be fair to those who came later, those hides were film cans chucked in chamisa bushes, not nice little URPs that squirrels and cattle like to raid. ["Film cans.... yummy."]
HOWEVER, and here is to my point, there are caches in the areas of Power Runs that are treated as if they are part of the series and they are clearly NOT. Their pages say SPECIFICALLY not to swap containers/logs, etc. But people blow them off. Some because they're only looking at GC#s/Names and not the cache page, some because they don't care. They also drive routes that they are specifically and adamantly told to walk. That's ill-considered caching, and the sort of thing that gets us banned.
As finders we all have over eager moments. And I've made that lecture before.
Every cacher is different; every hider is different.... and while we know how we got to OUR count, it's ill-conceived (not to mention fruitless) to worry about others'.
A modicum of tolerance, and, more, compassion -- which is to put yourself in the other cachers' shoes, or the local muggles, for that matter -- goes the long way. [And we're GOOD at the long way.]
You don't have to agree to let folks have their play -- we're ALL judgemental.
BUT, while the CO isn't God, the CO is the final arbiter on their cache -- sensible to you or not.
So, again, I say to newcomers and everyone: know your CO. Just because one allows something (like replacing) doesn't mean another will.
When in doubt, DNF -- and believe me, I hate those blue frowns as much as the next person. They represent MORE work -- takes me a LOT longer NOT to find something, and I still give good log -- not to mention the possibility of a total oops/geosense fart, and, come on, the ego wants to be a super hero.
Be nice. Nice is good.