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We have had a most unfortunate experience, where a newbie cacher has removed a special geocoin (a planisphere compass geocoin) that we put into a new cache. He also destroyed a travel bug - pulled the ring that was attached to the dog tag and left the dog tag in the cache container.


We have been trying to contact this cacher for the last three weeks, and he has not responded to any of our emails. We can only email him via the Groundspeak website, so we cannot see if he is actually getting our emails or not.


It seems at first hand that he does not know about trackable items, but we have explained this in our emails many times. We have also had three other well established geocachers, who have also tried to contact him, without any response either.


It is very sad to know that there are cachers out there who do not have any regard for trackable items. Even if they are ignorant, after having received various emails from various other cachers, surely the light would be switched on in the brain? We still believe that the trackables were removed on purpose as keepsake items.


How many cachers in South Africa have been a victim to geopiracy?


Interestingly, I have read a number of cachers in the USA that have been terribly affected by geopiracy. There are people out there that specifically go out and "steal" geocoins and travel bugs, but more so the coins. Why on earth people would want to hold onto a coin that is clearly marked as a travel item, we do not know.


It is disheartening for us as geocachers to place geocoins and TBs into caches, as we are concerned they too will get stolen. These geopirates are spoiling the fun for all the honest geocachers out there.


When we started out as geocachers and found our first TB, we were excited and we made sure to read about trackables and did what was required to make the TB move along its mission. It doesn't take rocket science or an einstein brain to do this - it just takes respect and compliance to the rules of geocaching - something which seems to be lacking in other geocachers.

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I know exactly how you feel - of the eight travelers I have put out there is only one that I know is still safe - a newbie (2 finds) logged out a coin in the cache log, but not on the web page, also no reply to my mails - one TB has been held for over a year - no reply - two gone with caches that have been muggled and two that according to the cache pages are still there, but nobody has spotted them at all! So I have decided to not put out any more coins or bugs.


Don't know how you are going to solve the problem as there are many cachers with travellers that have been going for years and don't seem to have too much problems with them dissapearing!

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Geopirates are an unfortunate part of life. :lol: They do exist, with and without a Groundspeak account. My advice is to forget South Africa as a safe place for Geocaching, it ain't! But if the opportunity arise to send Geocoins with a friend to Europe you will find a inherent respect with those Geocachers. Sorry, but I omit USA on purpose. Don't let it touch ground in South Africa or go through Customs in a suitcase - it will be stolen.


There are the Geocachers that I call my friends, and a lot that I don't even know but respect, but Geopiracy is only a small part of all the criminal activities in a sick South Africa.

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Same problem! Of my TB and coins I only have two left in the field! Rest all gone.

Same story, a newbie cacher! I even went so far as to ask the one guy if I could come and pick up the TB. Then I never heard anything from him again. If I look at hs profile he is no longer a active cacher.

Does not even help to "name and shame" them because most of these guys do not log into the forum. With the price of a TB and geocoin this is not funny anymore.

One positive was the mysterious return of a geocoin in one of my caches. A coin went missing out of my blockhouse cache and when I complained on the forum it reappeared in the cache!

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Wow!! You guys have had unfortunate experiences with your travellers. We've got about 250 in the field, and lose about 2% per month - which we feel is an acceptable loss rate.....


Regarding which countries are good and which are bad - SA's not that bad. We've had acceptable losses in SA, generally more so in muggled caches and less through inactive cachers than elsewhere. Europe is good, the USA is fine, but the best is the Czech Republic!!! They are mega-respectful with travellers - just a mission reading the logs and cache listings.. :lol:


Here's where our travellers are now -

SA-Eastern Cape - 13

SA-Free State - 7

SA-Gauteng - 25

SA-Kwazulu Natal - 21

SA-Limpopo - 6

SA-Mpumalanga - 8

SA-Northern Cape - 3

SA-North west - 6

SA-Western Cape - 7

SA Total - 96


Australia - 15

Austria - 3

Belgium - 4

Canada - 4

China - 1

Czech Republic - 2

Finland - 2

France - 4

Germany - 15

Greece - 2

India - 1

Ireland - 1

Italy - 2

Luxembourg - 1

Mozambique - 1

Namibia - 3

Netherlands - 6

New Zealand - 5

Portugal - 2

Qatar - 5

Slovakia - 2

Sweden - 3

Switzerland - 3

Swaziland - 2

United Arab Emirates - 2

United Kingdom - 38

United States - 25

Total Rest of the World - 154


We get a lot of pleasure from our travellers, and if we compare the cost of our losses versus other caching costs like fuel, accom, etc, we're quite happy that we get a good return on our investment in travellers. :)

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It is due to this fact that I have a slight hesitation on dropping my own TB's. I currently have two TB's in the field. One in. the current race and the other hopefully still safe in a cache down in the Durban area. I have one with me that gets logged on all my cache visits and one in reserve for when I find something to attach. But the constant thought of them going missing is a bit of a bother. But if it happens it happens. It is a general risk we all take. I will hold on to a coin or TB beyond the 2 weeks as I am not wanting to drop it in just any cache. Need to see that the cache is seemingly safe from muggles before placement. And then there is Beaky the duck who I have in some way adopted to travel with me. His owner has no problem and really enjoys my quirky logs on the travels of the little duck. I am afraid though that things must come to an end and beaky will have to mlove on as he has seen most of KZN. Hopefully the little guy will travel well. And visit as extensively as he did with me. I think it has over 12000 km just with me, which is good distance...


I believe every traveller must be handled as if it was your own. Take care in which caches it ends up leaving your hands in. High muggle zones are no place for travellers..... But not every cacher thinks like this so you will loose one eventually live with it....

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Hi again


Well I don't know if it was a coincidence or whether all our combined energies did something out there, but the newbie cacher contacted us today re. the "stolen" geocoin and TBs!! We had almost given up on him, but it turned out that he had registered with a "Hotmail" email account which he clearly only checks once a month.


One of the TBs he took but did not log out, made a trip to Spain already and we are still waiting to hear about our geocoin and the TB that was separated from its toy/goodie.


At least we have his direct email addresses, so communication should be better improved.


Thanks so much for everyones replies and opinions - it means that we all seem to experience similar things and we are not alone! Thanks Fish Eagle for your feedback. We didn't mean to come across that South Africa was full of geopirates, as we know we are not that bad! Just looking at what goes on in the States, is an eye opener in itself. Wow, we can't believe you have so many coins out there - you truly are addicted. But we can honestly say that if our budget allowed it, we would be purchasing loads more geocoins than what we have.


Let's hope the geopiracy keeps to a minimum around here and that everyone's beautiful coins can make it from cache to cache, cacher to cacher and rake up the kilometers!

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Just something from the UK forum worth repeating:


The best advice is:


* Whatever you send out, don't make it too desirable or someone will nick it (Gold plated iPods don't last long as travel bugs)

* If your bug has a mission, print it out, laminate it and attach it to the bug. It may then have a chance of being taken in the right direction.

* If your bug has a destination, don't get too disappointed when it ends up going in completely the wrong direction.

* Be prepared to wait ages while your bug languishes in a 5/5 cache at the top of a mountain which can only be accessed with a helicopter.

* Be prepared to wait ages while your bug languishes in a random cacher's caching bag.


But other than those downsides, it's a fun thing to watch to see where your bug has got to, and I think most of them do last a fair while traveling around.

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I have about 18 trackable items - I have only set free two coins and will NOT set any of the rest free - I take them to events and people can discover them so they get the icon. I am just not willing to set coins free they are to shiny and pretty and tempting to people :) I have been really lucky with all my TBs - all of them have pretty much been kept on the move except for one really. In the begining I used to get frustrated cause they took so long to move but now i realise not everyone lives breaths eats sleeps caching and dont always go straight to another cache :) I think the rule dont ever put something you dont want to lose on a tb is the best one :)

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I like discovering or retrieving coins and TBs. Placing them in caches of my own, new caches or excisting, or caches in places I'm visiting often.


While doing maintenance on my caches I saw that some of the coins/TBs that is indicated in the inventory, are not in the cache and nobody in the logs made any mentioning of taking it. Most of the time only 1 coin/TB was taken when there were more to take but still nothing was logged and only the one item was taken.


What can the owner of the cache do to try to find out what happened to the missing coins/TBs and is it realy his problem, or can he just report it missing from the cache? And for how long must you wait before you report it missing? And can you report lost coins/TBs in another's cache.


I like coins/TBs in my caches because sometimes they attract other cahers to them. But I don't like them to disappear from my caches into a pirate's private collection.

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* Be prepared to wait ages while your bug languishes in a 5/5 cache at the top of a mountain which can only


Fish Eagle is your 5 Star cache OK up Mt Memory Sterkhorn, it is in the right place... we just need some cachers to get up there to find it... It would seem that that coin is gonna be there for a while. Rhino had a hard time deciding if it should stay or go... But we looked at it this way... It is a 5 star cache and should be left for cachers to discover... taking it is another story... Where do you take it from there... It belongs in 5 star caches... And though there are a few in the area... who will go from one to the next... I doubt that there are gonna be many... So yeah, have a 5 star coin, keep it in a 5 star cache... I know fish Eagle likes his coins to move but he also likes them to be in good places... I am sure this coin is right where he would like it...

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Hey Wazat, no stress with Sterkhorn - it's a "5-star" coin, so that's where it's meant to be. :unsure:


Bouts, I don't know how long it's been since the coin went missing, but it happens frequently that they get picked up by visitors, especially overseas tourists, and only get logged weeks afterwards. So, if it's less than a month, I'd still be hoping that it'll turn up somewhere far away..... If it's more than a month, my advice is to then mark it as missing - which only the coin owner or cache owner can do.

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Sorry, but I omit USA on purpose. Don't let it touch ground in South Africa or go through Customs in a suitcase - it will be stolen.





Not even customs. Domestic baggage also gets TB's taken.


I am really upset as I had a bunch of TB's and coins taken from my bags between Joburg & Cape Town on an SAA flight.


Reported it to SAPS and SAA - have a case number - but the RWALLY SAD thing is that after these pirates took them - I am sure that they ended in the rubbish bin as they are "worthless" to muggles.

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