I was going to title this post “Newbie Tip #1 – Needs Maintenance vs Needs Archived? but perhaps this isn’t just new cacher tip as you will soon see…

Early this morning, I was laying in bed when my phone started going crazy. Knowing it meant one of three things, I eagerly checked it. Turns out this activity was someone logging a bunch of my caches. My joy at someone finding them, quickly turn to surprise when I noticed a “Needs Archived” log for a cache. Now, I know this cache had a single DNF from 2 days previously and it might have needed checking, but a Needs Archive already? Really? From someone with 20,000+ finds?

So it got me thinking, when is it appropriate to log a “Needs Archived” log instead of just a “Needs Maintenance” log. Here are the two criteria I use when logging a Needs Archived, both of which must apply (which is why I very rarely log a NA).

  • There have been multiples DNF’s AND Needs Maintenance logs over a long period of time.
  • The Cache Owner hasn’t logged in, nor found a cache in a long time.

In other words, the cache is missing/damaged; the CO knows about the problem and has done absolutely nothing about it in a reasonable amount of time.

In my mind, it’s only fair to give the Cache Owner a decent chance to check on the cache and perform maintenance, before doing a Needs Archived.  We’ve all logged DNFs that were there. We’ve probably all seen a DNF log on a cache, and then cut our own search short because of it.

99% of the time, IMHO, it is much more appropriate to log a Needs Maintenance log. Cache’s can be replaced, moved, etc if there is a problem; Cache Owners might not be able to replace a container the second a DNF log comes in or you might have just missed it.  There is really very little need to ever submit a Needs Archived log unless there is a documented (via logs) long-term neglect of the cache by an absent Cache Owner.

Obviously, there are exceptions for serious cache issues, but for the majority of the time, logging a Needs Maintenance log is much better if you think there is an issue 🙂

Anyways, I’d love to read your feedback below, regardless if you agree or not. Happy caching!