Whilst working my way round the Chiltern Hundreds I DNFd a few caches. I bookmarked those caches to a “DNF” list which has a watch on it. That way I can keep tabs on future visits, I get notified when (or if) subsequent cachers find them. There are a few which have lots of DNF logs on them so imagine my surprise when someone logged a “found”. In a couple of cases this cacher found the cache the same day I failed to find it.
Or did they?
When I looked at the logs I found that although they were marked as “Found”, the cacher had left notes on their logs such as “No luck here” and “This one has gone“.
(a) they are inexperienced at logging DNFs, i.e. an honest mistake but look, it’s not really that difficult:
(b) they are claiming the find anyway, perhaps reasoning that they looked hard enough in the correct place and they would have found it if it had been there.
Oh well, rant over. 😉 If they want to cheat they are, to coin a phrase, only cheating themselves.
Personally, I have always thought that the correct etiquette was “No signy, no findy”.
Some geocachers set “Unknown” caches which require a puzzle to be solved to obtain the coordinates. As a rule of thumb, if one comes up near me I’ll have a look at the cache page and pretty quickly decide whether the puzzle is something I can solve. If I think it’s unlikely I will probably leave it there. After all I’m not short of unfound caches. 😉
Anyway my point is this; if you acquire the cache coords without solving the puzzle yourself, should you claim it as a find? Looking at the logs on a bunch of puzzle caches, it appears that some cachers have logged them as found without solving the puzzle. Either they tagged along with a cacher who had solved the puzzle and obtained the coords, or they had someone else solve it and give them the coords.
I suppose, in the grand scheme of things, it’s no big deal but it seems like cheating to me. A cache owner sets a cache with a difficulty level reflecting the work involved in solving the puzzle to get the coords, in order to find the cache and sign the physical log. If a cacher gets the coords from a friend who happens to be good at solving that sort of puzzle and they then find the cache without solving the puzzle themselves (thus proving that they can solve it and are therefore legitimately entitled to go for the physical cache) then I think that’s poor etiquette at the very least. Speaking personally, if I can’t solve a puzzle I don’t believe that getting someone else to do it for me is fair and I will just leave that particular one unfound.
Anyway, that’s my view and apparently it’s not shared by everyone.