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What should new geocachers know about trackables?

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I've been caching for about a month now and I just picked up a TB. I hope I did the right thing.

 

I logged the find on the TB's page

I mentioned it on the cache's log as well

 

I also didn't know when I was going to drop the TB because I don't specifically hunt for TB sized caches so I left a message in the TB's page indicating that I was going to drop it the following week. Was that OK?

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I buggered up my first attempt at logging a tb :( Instead of selecting retrieve, I selected something else so when I realised this was wrong I went back, deleted the entry under the illusion I could just log it again but it won't let me! it's not on my trackables page and my entry is not on the tb's page. what do I do?

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thank you for taking the time to explain.

 

hi, I just got in today and I really appreciate all the nice clues and info available.

 

may not have the best skill yet but I can assure you I will be there in time.

 

And thanks again, to all the people that made this site possible.

 

well done, well done indeed.

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I buggered up my first attempt at logging a tb :( Instead of selecting retrieve, I selected something else so when I realised this was wrong I went back, deleted the entry under the illusion I could just log it again but it won't let me! it's not on my trackables page and my entry is not on the tb's page. what do I do?

If you still physically have the TB, you can make a "Grab" log so it's back in your Inventory.

 

If you've placed it into a cache, make a Note log on the TB page and on the cache page, explaining the situation. Is it possible that someone else picked it up? If so, they have a problem similar to yours. But if there are no logs since you placed it, you can still do the Grab log and then go to its cache page and do a Drop log, if you still know the Tracking Number.

 

Don't delete logs. Make corrections. Then there's a paper trail, which makes things simpler to follow. Even if the TB logs are completely scrambled, it's OK to place it into a cache rather than leave it in limbo. If the next finder is utterly confused by its log options, he should also place it into a cache anyway. A Note log will help. Somecacher will straighten it out someday, until the logs get scrambled again. :anicute:

Edited by kunarion

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I'm excited about TB and just ordered some from the store. Should I be selective as to what kind of cache I start them off in? Would a cache with a higher difficulty rating be better? I would expect that more difficult caches would be discovered by experienced people who would be more likely to log them and pass them along, rather than someone (like me) who is only doing this casually.

 

I am a super newby who just started searching for caches two weeks ago, so I probably don't have the skills to find the more difficult caches. Should I wait to place my dog tagged items until I'm more experienced? I am very exciting about living vicariously through silly little items and have a thousand ideas for 'missions' for them.

 

Takk,

 

Lulilac

Edited by Lulilac

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I have a question.

 

If I make a personal/vehicle trackable, can I only make it visit/dip caches I find after activating it? Is it against some rule to dip/visit a cache I've found before getting the trackable without revisiting the cache itself physically? I have one thing that has been with me at almost all caches I've found and I would like to "make it official". At the time I've mentioned it in my logs sometimes or put a symbol after my nick in the logbook in the container.

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Can anyone enlighten me as to whether multiple articles with the one trackable number are legitimate please? See :-

 

Polyvinyl Chloride to the 5th Power (TB2A34K)

 

GeoHolden Mobile Travel Bug (TB4ZNAZ)

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Can anyone enlighten me as to whether multiple articles with the one trackable number are legitimate please?

No. It's one item per Tracking Number.

 

Many Trackables like that have gotten "locked" pages. All logs get removed, no new logs are allowed. I think you can still edit the Trackable's page. Maybe it's no big deal if you did release a lot of the same Tracking number, if you don't really mind if its page gets locked.

Edited by kunarion

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If you find a TB, and can't figure out what to do, place it into a cache soon, and type a log stating "sorry I can't figure out how to log this". But do not publish the TB numbers.

 

Or contact a local cacher, or the TB Owner, or the Cache Owner, and ask. Or check here in the Forums.

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I'm very much a newbie (3rd geocache find today) so excuse me if this question has been answered somewhere that I can't find. Today I found a cache that had a tiny square of paper with a smartphone QR code on one side, and a code number on the other side. Does this count as a TB? I wrote down the number but didn't take the paper with me. Would I log this as a "discovered" TB? Thanks!

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I'm very much a newbie (3rd geocache find today) so excuse me if this question has been answered somewhere that I can't find. Today I found a cache that had a tiny square of paper with a smartphone QR code on one side, and a code number on the other side. Does this count as a TB? I wrote down the number but didn't take the paper with me. Would I log this as a "discovered" TB? Thanks!

 

Did you scan the QR code? What happened when you scanned it? It's possible that it may have been a "munzee", which is a different game entirely, however sometimes cachers integrate it into their geocaches.

 

Anyway, the number on the back, is it an actual TB code? If it is a 6 digit code and comes up with a trackable when you search, then yes, you should log that one as discovered! :-)

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I would like to ask a question about trackables. I apologize in advance if this was already addressed. I didn't have time to read all the comments.

 

I was wondering if it's alright to "discover" trackables in previously found caches. If somebody drops a trackable in a cache that I've all ready found, would it be "proper" for me to go to the cache and get the tracking number to discover it? I haven't done this yet, but there are a couple of caches within a few blocks of where I live, and they occasionally have trackables in them. I don't see why it would be an issue, especially if I just discover them and don't retrieve them. But I wanted to double check first. Thanks!

 

Absolutely!! Obviously you can't claim the find of the cache twice but there is no reason you can't go to the cache to discover or even retrieve the TB or coin.

I have a list of TB hotels around the country that I frequent all the time trading TB's and Coins. If I visit the cache I simply leave a note on the webpage

letting everybody know what I've done (Dropped a TB, Picked up a Coin etc).

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This week I found a TB in one of my first caches. I read all of the guidelines, so when I went home, I tried to Log the TB. I discovered it was not logged into the cache I found it in. So I grabbed it from the person that had the tb. A day later I got an totally pissed email, the guy told me he could not log the tb as dropped in the cache because he was on holiday. I should have written him an email before I grabbed it and that he was pissed off with people who grabbed a TB within two days after he dropped it. He told me that I should have been patient untill he logged the tb as dropped and that in holiday season this could take up to 3-4 weeks.

I read all of the guidelines again and could find nothing about this. I got a little discouraged with his email. So what should I do in situations like this?

 

Thanks

Renske

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Renske - you do what you want. You could log it right away, or wait a week or so. Waiting 3-4 weeks is unrealistic; the TB needs to travel, not wait for someone on holiday to get around to logging it. ;)

 

You could research a little, see if the last holder of the GB logged the cache find for the cache you found the TB in, and maybe send him a note asking about the TB. But in the end, you did the right thing by logging it, IMHO.

 

Others' opinions will (and DO) vary. There's a discussion elsewhere about how long to wait to log it; no one agrees. So do the best you can and reject the insults from the email.

Edited by TriciaG

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This week I found a TB in one of my first caches. I read all of the guidelines, so when I went home, I tried to Log the TB. I discovered it was not logged into the cache I found it in. So I grabbed it from the person that had the tb. A day later I got an totally pissed email, the guy told me he could not log the tb as dropped in the cache because he was on holiday. I should have written him an email before I grabbed it and that he was pissed off with people who grabbed a TB within two days after he dropped it. He told me that I should have been patient untill he logged the tb as dropped and that in holiday season this could take up to 3-4 weeks.

I read all of the guidelines again and could find nothing about this. I got a little discouraged with his email. So what should I do in situations like this?

 

Thanks

Renske

 

Possible silly question but if he has got notification that it has been grabbed and managed to send off an irate email then why could he not log it for another month?

 

Sounds like ignore it and continue on with life as it was and not worry about it.

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8. Do I have to trade when I take a Trackable?

No, no, no, a thousand times no. Travel bugs and trackable geocoins, that have been set out to travel, are not trade items, you do not have to put something in the cache to take a Trackable item, and you should not take something from a cache in trade for a Trackable item. If you should take something from a cache, you should make a trade, and you can place/take the Trackable item.

 

 

I am new to this, so bear with me. I purchased 2 travel bugs and want to release them. Since I'm just starting out, I don't want to create my own cache just yet and thought I'd place my bug in someone else's cache. . . . But what you're saying seems to contradict itself. (1) You said trackables aren't trade items, so don't take something in place of leaving one. But (2) You said if you do take something, you can place a trackable item. Did you mean if you take something from a cache you should make a trade, and then place/take the trackable item? I just want to follow etiquette. Please clarify.

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Trackables have nothing to do with swag.

 

If you take swag, leave swag. Trade even or up.

 

Trackables (geocoins, dog tags, cachekinz... anything trackable on the website) you can drop in a cache without taking anything, or you can take them from a cache without replacing them with anything.

 

If you should take something from a cache, you should make a trade, and you can place/take the Trackable item.

I think this might better be phrased this way:

 

"If you should take something that isn't trackable from a cache, you should make a trade. You can place/take a trackable item at any time, without trading."

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Travel bugs and geocoins have nothing to do at all with trade items in the cache. You don't need to hide a cache to place you new trackable. You can place it into any cache that will fit it. Happy travels!

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I would like to ask a question about trackables. I apologize in advance if this was already addressed. I didn't have time to read all the comments.

 

I was wondering if it's alright to "discover" trackables in previously found caches. If somebody drops a trackable in a cache that I've all ready found, would it be "proper" for me to go to the cache and get the tracking number to discover it? I haven't done this yet, but there are a couple of caches within a few blocks of where I live, and they occasionally have trackables in them. I don't see why it would be an issue, especially if I just discover them and don't retrieve them. But I wanted to double check first. Thanks!

That is perfectly acceptable. You could make a note on the cache page if you would like also stating that you just dropped by to discover the trackable in the cache. That tells the cache owner and others that the trackable is actually in the cache. All info helps. If the trackable gets "stuck" there and the cache is not being visited it is also acceptable for you to retrieve the trackable and move it somewhere else to perhaps get it moving again. In that case PLEASE make a note on the cache page that you stopped by and picked up the trackable to get it moving again. Lets everyone know the status of the traveler.

Edited by baack40

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Groundspeak is interested in finding ways to better educate new geocachers on the proper etiquette for handling trackables. I am personally aware of many incidences of trackables going missing - not through any malice on the part of the bugnapper - rather by simply being misinformed about this one aspect of the game. There is a lot to learn when first starting out, so please help everyone by answering the question:

 

What should new geocachers know about trackables?

 

Thanks! :D

I think eartha pretty much covered it in his post. I have one missing right now and there's a good possibility that a new chacher grabbed it and is keeping it. I emailed him and he won't answer my email. I really hated to see this one go missing to, it is one of the survivors of the great train race and had somewhere around 35,000 miles on it. The bad thing about the whole thing is there is nothing I or Groundspeak can do about it.

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There are just a handful of things newbies need to know about trackables:

1) How to log them.

2) Where you can and cannot place them

3) You can't hang on to them, they're someone else's property.

 

That's all.

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21. What's virtual logging and why do I get a talking to whenever I post a picture of coins I find or include the tracking number in the logs or in the forums? (Thank you, Droo)

If you log a bogus virtual log on a TB, or offer your own TB up for virtual logging you will risk having that TB page locked forever. This means, if you never saw a bug, but got the bug number and you log it, that bug is in risk of being taken out of the game. Don't do this to TB owners who inadvertently might post a photo, or someone else posts a photo, of their TB number. Don't log it virtually. It's considered abuse of the system. And it's not fair play.

 

And lastly, always teach your newbies well. If your going to show them the ropes, show them all the ropes.

 

Thanks for this long list of answers which are really helpful. I have a two questions on point 21 (virtual logging). I have a number of TB/Coins for which I allow virtual logging (as is allowed by GS if I understood the "etiquette guide" correctly). That's why I have a few questions when reading your answer on question 21.

 

(1) Why would virtual logging be "an abuse of the system". Virtual logs (which I assume should always be "discoveries" and not "grab" or "retrieve" logs) do not add to the mileage of the TB so how does it "abuse"? I simply find it fun to share my TB/Coins with people I've met and/or start a contact with other cachers who simply like to make comments about the TB/Coin.

(2) If I allow virtual logs (only discoveries) I am still at risk that the TB page will be locked?

 

I consider a TB/Coin a nice way to share something with fellow cachers, especially kids who just are too happy to discover them, rather than a "posession" you should try to keep secret at all cost.

Could you clarify a litle more on this topic?

Thanks.

Edited by spockske

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Is there a limit (in terms of etiquette, not official rules) on how many trackables should be in your inventory at one time? I have a road trip next week so I started gathering trackables from local caches to take with me a few days ago. I plan to bring back other trackables to replace them when I return.

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Is there a limit (in terms of etiquette, not official rules) on how many trackables should be in your inventory at one time? I have a road trip next week so I started gathering trackables from local caches to take with me a few days ago. I plan to bring back other trackables to replace them when I return.

Take only as many as you can easily handle. For many Geocachers, that number is zero. You need to be able to log them all properly from a Retrieval to a Drop, which involves at least reading the Mission, logging them out of caches (and adding any other useful info in the cache log itself), then logging which cache each one is placed into. If you grab a whole bunch, then get overwhelmed and never get around to placing them into caches, that's beyond the "limit" that should be in your inventory.

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Why dont you reprogram the travel bug map, so that it counts travel distance in a more logical way (the shortest way). If i fly from japan to USA, its very rare that I cross the whole asia, europe and the atlantic ocean. Mostly I fly, crossing the pacific ocean. In case many travel bugs competes in longest travels distance, this pacific trip will be logged as 4 times longer than it actually is.

Edited by svennung

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1. How to log a Trackable, can the info be placed in plain view?

Information can be found here,

and here, and here, and here.

 

2. Is it OK to start my Trackable in my own cache?

Yes, any cache at all.

 

3. Is it OK to revisit a cache for a Trackable?

Absolutely, as long as you can help it move, or towards its goal, go ahead, just post a note to the cache page and not another find. Check out this thread for more comments.

 

3. How does a vehicle TB work?

Just like any other Trackable, but you only get discoveries, unless you're willing to hand over your car to be moved to another cacher. Don't be surprised if you don't get a lot of logs on it.

 

4. How long can I hold onto a TB?

Two weeks is the suggested maximum, but not everyone can go out and play that often, so if you have it longer, it is common courtesy to email the owner and update them on the status.

 

5. How long should I wait before contacting someone holding my Trackable?

If they've logged it, wait at least three weeks, and always be friendly. Nothing gets a trackable thrown out faster than a nasty email. If it wasn't logged, do some research on logs from the last time it was seen.

 

6. What do you do when someone steals your Trackable?

Cry, stomp your feet, and THEN do some research by searching cache logs and make sure it is really stolen. Most often, it was merely taken by someone who didn't know how to log it (which is why this thread is here). There are thieves out there, and if your Trackable is truly gone, be it thief, muggled cache, fire, flood, death of a cacher, tornado, whatever, so if it's gone for good, you can send out the copy (in the case of a TB, it comes with two tags) or you can make a replica (in the case of a geocoin) but do not delete any previous logs, or you take credit away from anyone who helped move it along. This upsets people when their logs are deleted.

 

7. What's the oldest Trackable?

Hard to say, some people had sent items out, requesting they be moved from cache to cache, long before there were tracking numbers. I don't have this answer, maybe Groundspeak does.

 

8. Do I have to trade when I take a Trackable?

No, no, no, a thousand times no. Travel bugs and trackable geocoins, that have been set out to travel, are not trade items, you do not have to put something in the cache to take a Trackable item, and you should not take something from a cache in trade for a Trackable item. If you should take something from a cache, you should make a trade, and you can place/take the Trackable item.

 

9. Why isn't my Trackable mileage showing up?

It's a glitch, you can wait and it will eventually, or you can go to your trackable page and in the top right corner, in the drop down menu choose "Recalculate mileage". Sometimes it takes a little while for the system to catch up with the TB.

 

10. I logged it wrong, can I fix it?

Yes, you can. Blue Deuce's instructions on how to correct a TB history when mislogged:

this is when the bug is sitting in a cache.

 

1. Retrieve the bug from the current cache.

2. On the orig/previous cache, log a note POST DATED and drop the bug. ( you can just say "logging bug")

3. Retrieve the bug from that cache POST DATED.

4. Post a note on the current cache and drop the bug.

5. On the current cache logs delete the note that says you dropped the bug

6. On the Bug Page, delete both the logs showing that you retrieved and dropped the bug in the current cache. This will leave it in the cache and show the last cacher was the one to drop it.

(Or contact the current holder and ask them do a back drop.)

 

11. What do "grab", "retrieve", and "discover mean"?

1. Retrieve it from "Cache name"

This is used to pull the TB from the cache you found it in.

2. Grab it from somewhere else

This is used when you've found a TB in a cache but it's listed as being in another cache. Or when you take it from another cacher.

3. Write note

This is used when you want to post a note to the TB page, but are not moving it. You do not need the tracking number to just post a note.

4. Discovered it

This is used when you are logging, but not moving, a TB that you see at an event, or one that someone uses as a personal TB and is not passing it off to you. Also used for logging a TB that you find in a cache, but cannot take or help it on its way, and you wish to log it. This also helps the cache owner, TB owner, and future finders know the bug is alive and well and still in the cache.

 

12. Why does it say my tracking number doesn't match?

You most likely typed in the number wrong. Check the number closely, don't mistake 1 for I, 0 for O, 5 for S, 8 for B, etc....

 

13. How do I mark my Trackable missing?

Log in, go to the trackable page, and in the drop down menu in the top right corner clcik on "Mark as Missing". Trackable owners can do this for their own items, and cache owners can do it if the item is missing from their cache, but shows as being there. Getting it back into circulation is just a matter of "Grabbing it" back.

 

14. What is dipping? And can I do it with someone else's Trackable?

Dipping is logging a TB into several caches. Say you go caching all day long, you visit 3 micros, a virtual, and then finally an ammo can. You can log the Trackable through all those caches if you want to show where it's been. You need to drop and retrieve for each cache. Dipping is fine, no problem. Just don't dip forever, eventually you have to let the Trackable go, so someone else can have fun with it.

 

15. How long can I hold on to a Trackable?

Oops, I already answered this one.

 

16. What kinds of caches can I log a Trackable through?

Traditional (any size, just don't ever leave a Trackable in a cache if the lid won't close tight with it in there), Virtual, Multi, Letterbox Hyrbrid, Puzzle, Event, CITO, APE, and GPS Maze Exhibit. You can't log them through webcam caches, or Earthcaches.

 

17. I found an unactivated Trackable, now what?

First make sure you haven't typed the # wrong. Then check the logs, see if someone mentioned leaving it. If something as attached to a TB tag, and it's not activated, the owner probably didn't know they were supposed to activate it. Try to find them. Post notes to the cache page and ask. If you never find the owner, you can ask Groundspeak for the activation code by sending an email to contact at geocaching dot com.

 

18. My Trackable met its goal, now what?

You can give it a new goal, but do not delete any previous logs, see #6.

 

19. How does a personal Trackable work?

Just like a non-personal one, only you keep it with you. You can let people discover it, and you can log it into every cache you visit with it, to keep track of your own miles. Only you can decide if you want the extra work it will take to keep up with it.

 

20. I need help with an activation code for my Trackable, where do I get it?

contact at geocaching dot com. The activation code for Travel Bugs comes on the packaging, don't throw it out until you've activated it and know it's correct. Geocoins are different though. We have a thread called the Activation Code Clearing House You can search that thread, or ask in the forums, or write to the company/person you got the geocoin from.

 

21. What's virtual logging and why do I get a talking to whenever I post a picture of coins I find or include the tracking number in the logs or in the forums? (Thank you, Droo)

If you log a bogus virtual log on a TB, or offer your own TB up for virtual logging you will risk having that TB page locked forever. This means, if you never saw a bug, but got the bug number and you log it, that bug is in risk of being taken out of the game. Don't do this to TB owners who inadvertently might post a photo, or someone else posts a photo, of their TB number. Don't log it virtually. It's considered abuse of the system. And it's not fair play.

 

Thanks to Castle Mischief for the following questions:

 

22. Do I have to attach the "dog tag" to an item to make it a trackable? Can I engrave, write, or otherwise brand an object with the tracking code?

No, you don't have to, but then you run the risk of people, especially newbies, not recognizing it as a Trackable item, and leaving it in the cache, or worse, keeping it as swag. Make sure it is easily identifiable as a travel item.

 

23. How may objects can I display the code on? Can I have a car TB and put one of the matching dog tags on another object?

Just one. Otherwise, you've got abuse of the system and risk the trackable page getting locked. If you lose the sticker, you can release the tag, if you lose the tag, you can release the copy tag.

 

24. What should I do if I see a "collector" at an event? The coins/TBs are not his yet he brought a ton of them?

Violence is never the answer. You should see if you can find someone who knows them well enough to explain how it works, or do so yourself in a very friendly manner.

 

25. What should I do if I see somebody passing around the tracking codes of coins/TBs?

Please explain to them that this is virtual logging and those trackables will be at risk of being locked. They should especially not be doing this with other peoples tracking numbers. Also, say "No thank you, I do not virtual log, it's abuse of the geocaching.com system, and it's wrong! Wrong, I tell you! Wrong!"

 

26. Are USB thumb drives acceptable as a travel bug?

Yes, but don't expect anyone to actually stick it in their own computer.

 

27. Are human remains (ashes/bones) acceptable as a travel bug?

Here's a thread on the subject. Some people will be freaked out, others will show compassion for the dearly departed.

 

28. Can travel bug/coins have a social/political agenda on their listing page?

Trackables are not regulated with a lot of rules and they do not go through a review process. While people do add them, not everyone is going to care about it the way you do. Don't be surprised if you get no help at all, not everyone will even read the whole page. All they want to know is the goal of the TB. Geocaching is meant to be fun, it's best to leave agendas at home when you go out to play.

 

29. Can a travel bug/coin be used as part of an advertising campaign?

They have been, Jeep and Unite For Diabetes, and Garmin all had promotions through Travel Bugs. But if you want to do that with more than one trackable, you should go through proper channels. This website was not put in place for others to abuse. Read the Terms of Use, the guidelines, etc....

 

30. Can I have have a TB tattoo with the tracking numbers?

It's your skin. How committed are you?

 

31. Should coins/TBs be placed in remote or seldom visited caches?

Any cache is a good cache for a TB as long as it fits, but are you helping the TB towards its goal? If it is in a race, NO, if it wants to visit remote locations, YES. Are you prepared to be asked to go back and get it, when it ends up stuck?

 

32. Does somebody at Groundspeak review the listings for coins/TBs?

No. But if someone posts something nasty and against the Terms of Use, Groundspeak reviewers, Lackeys, and Eartha, the volunteer TB and geocoin forum moderator, can edit that out.

 

And lastly, always teach your newbies well. If your going to show them the ropes, show them all the ropes.

 

This was very useful for a newbie like myself. Thank you!

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That travel bugs are not trading items. And that listings of tb-hotels with trading rules are abusing travel bugs.

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Not exactly answering the question that was asked but I wish there was an easier way to thank people who've taken your trackable far and wide. I email each person through the private message system. I find it rude not to thank someone for moving my trackable along and am quite amazed that people haven't thanked me especially when i'd specifically gone out to find trackables to take overseas.

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Not exactly answering the question that was asked but I wish there was an easier way to thank people who've taken your trackable far and wide. I email each person through the private message system. I find it rude not to thank someone for moving my trackable along and am quite amazed that people haven't thanked me especially when i'd specifically gone out to find trackables to take overseas.

 

I have 275 travel bugs out in the fields. For me it would take too much time to send a thank you e-amail for every move of a travel bug.

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25. What should I do if I see somebody passing around the tracking codes of coins/TBs?

Please explain to them that this is virtual logging and those trackables will be at risk of being locked. They should especially not be doing this with other peoples tracking numbers. Also, say "No thank you, I do not virtual log, it's abuse of the geocaching.com system, and it's wrong! Wrong, I tell you! Wrong!"

 

There is an exception. If someone is handing out geocoin codes for DISCOVERY at an event, it could be that the coins belong to that person. Many people like to collect the different geocoin icons on their page. At Discovery tables, I often have a collection of handouts with a list of all my coins that people can take. This avoids having to sit down and go through every coin to identify & write out every tracking number. Usually, this is only done with geocoins. So if you see someone at a table at an event with a collection of coins, a good way to inquire about it is to ask, "Is this the discovery list for your personal collection?". If yes, then it is acceptable. If no, then Earth's above response would be a good response.

 

Thank you for clarifying this! We just went to our first event, #gbp2014 & met some very nice people who explained the trackables table to us and gave us their list of trackables to discover. I had never heard of virtual logging before and was sad to think I had done that! But it's nice to know that discovering in this way ( which they all were personals of these people) is okay! Whew!

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I am a newby and I *still* have a couple of questions about etiquette.

 

1)If I don't have any trackables in my possession / haven't purchased any yet, can I go to a nearby TB Hotel cache (or any cache that has several) and retrieve all of them? Or is it more polite to, say, only discover one and not retrieve it (leave one in the cache so it won't be empty), or to take only one, or maybe a certain percentage of them, or ....???

 

2)I have tried retrieving and placing one TB so far. I took it from a cache that was not for only premium members, and that was an easy find, but not quite a park-and-grab, and within the hour I moved it to the nearest cache which was also a general, not-for-only-premium-members. This cache I placed it in was a small park-and-grab at an interstate rest area. I came home and logged my actions that same day. I feel really bad that the TB seems to have vanished, even though the cache doesn't seem to have been otherwise compromised.(It's been over a month, with plenty more logs of "found".) I suppose it is better to leave them in a more isolated cache -- or, say, a TB hotel (since most of them seem to be muggled less)? Or was this just as likely to be a coincidence of bad luck?

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I am a newby and I *still* have a couple of questions about etiquette.

 

1)If I don't have any trackables in my possession / haven't purchased any yet, can I go to a nearby TB Hotel cache (or any cache that has several) and retrieve all of them? Or is it more polite to, say, only discover one and not retrieve it (leave one in the cache so it won't be empty), or to take only one, or maybe a certain percentage of them, or ....???

You CAN take them all. However, it is probably more polite to leave a couple/few for others to take.

 

2)I have tried retrieving and placing one TB so far. I took it from a cache that was not for only premium members, and that was an easy find, but not quite a park-and-grab, and within the hour I moved it to the nearest cache which was also a general, not-for-only-premium-members. This cache I placed it in was a small park-and-grab at an interstate rest area. I came home and logged my actions that same day. I feel really bad that the TB seems to have vanished, even though the cache doesn't seem to have been otherwise compromised.(It's been over a month, with plenty more logs of "found".) I suppose it is better to leave them in a more isolated cache -- or, say, a TB hotel (since most of them seem to be muggled less)? Or was this just as likely to be a coincidence of bad luck?

Once the TB is out of your hands, it's out of your hands. It stinks to have them taken and not logged, but that'll happen in PMO caches, self-designated "TB Hotels," etc too. This is just a case of bad luck. Unfortunately, bad luck seems to happen more and more. :(

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ALL geocachers, again, ALL geocachers need to learn and understand that travel bugs are NOT collectibles. "Grabbed" or retrieved travel bugs need to be returned to circulation just as soon as possible.

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ALL geocachers, again, ALL geocachers need to learn and understand that travel bugs are NOT collectibles. "Grabbed" or retrieved travel bugs need to be returned to circulation just as soon as possible.

While I agree, there is an option to "visit" and for some odd reason, has become quite popular.

Why some grown man would want to lug a pocket full of My Little Mermaid TBs around is beyond me though...

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1. How to log a Trackable, can the info be placed in plain view?

Information can be found here,

and here, and here, and here.

 

2. Is it OK to start my Trackable in my own cache?

Yes, any cache at all.

 

3. Is it OK to revisit a cache for a Trackable?

Absolutely, as long as you can help it move, or towards its goal, go ahead, just post a note to the cache page and not another find. Check out this thread for more comments.

 

3. How does a vehicle TB work?

Just like any other Trackable, but you only get discoveries, unless you're willing to hand over your car to be moved to another cacher. Don't be surprised if you don't get a lot of logs on it.

 

4. How long can I hold onto a TB?

Two weeks is the suggested maximum, but not everyone can go out and play that often, so if you have it longer, it is common courtesy to email the owner and update them on the status.

 

5. How long should I wait before contacting someone holding my Trackable?

If they've logged it, wait at least three weeks, and always be friendly. Nothing gets a trackable thrown out faster than a nasty email. If it wasn't logged, do some research on logs from the last time it was seen.

 

6. What do you do when someone steals your Trackable?

Cry, stomp your feet, and THEN do some research by searching cache logs and make sure it is really stolen. Most often, it was merely taken by someone who didn't know how to log it (which is why this thread is here). There are thieves out there, and if your Trackable is truly gone, be it thief, muggled cache, fire, flood, death of a cacher, tornado, whatever, so if it's gone for good, you can send out the copy (in the case of a TB, it comes with two tags) or you can make a replica (in the case of a geocoin) but do not delete any previous logs, or you take credit away from anyone who helped move it along. This upsets people when their logs are deleted.

 

7. What's the oldest Trackable?

Hard to say, some people had sent items out, requesting they be moved from cache to cache, long before there were tracking numbers. I don't have this answer, maybe Groundspeak does.

 

8. Do I have to trade when I take a Trackable?

No, no, no, a thousand times no. Travel bugs and trackable geocoins, that have been set out to travel, are not trade items, you do not have to put something in the cache to take a Trackable item, and you should not take something from a cache in trade for a Trackable item. If you should take something from a cache, you should make a trade, and you can place/take the Trackable item.

 

9. Why isn't my Trackable mileage showing up?

It's a glitch, you can wait and it will eventually, or you can go to your trackable page and in the top right corner, in the drop down menu choose "Recalculate mileage". Sometimes it takes a little while for the system to catch up with the TB.

 

10. I logged it wrong, can I fix it?

Yes, you can. Blue Deuce's instructions on how to correct a TB history when mislogged:

this is when the bug is sitting in a cache.

 

1. Retrieve the bug from the current cache.

2. On the orig/previous cache, log a note POST DATED and drop the bug. ( you can just say "logging bug")

3. Retrieve the bug from that cache POST DATED.

4. Post a note on the current cache and drop the bug.

5. On the current cache logs delete the note that says you dropped the bug

6. On the Bug Page, delete both the logs showing that you retrieved and dropped the bug in the current cache. This will leave it in the cache and show the last cacher was the one to drop it.

(Or contact the current holder and ask them do a back drop.)

 

11. What do "grab", "retrieve", and "discover mean"?

1. Retrieve it from "Cache name"

This is used to pull the TB from the cache you found it in.

2. Grab it from somewhere else

This is used when you've found a TB in a cache but it's listed as being in another cache. Or when you take it from another cacher.

3. Write note

This is used when you want to post a note to the TB page, but are not moving it. You do not need the tracking number to just post a note.

4. Discovered it

This is used when you are logging, but not moving, a TB that you see at an event, or one that someone uses as a personal TB and is not passing it off to you. Also used for logging a TB that you find in a cache, but cannot take or help it on its way, and you wish to log it. This also helps the cache owner, TB owner, and future finders know the bug is alive and well and still in the cache.

 

12. Why does it say my tracking number doesn't match?

You most likely typed in the number wrong. Check the number closely, don't mistake 1 for I, 0 for O, 5 for S, 8 for B, etc....

 

13. How do I mark my Trackable missing?

Log in, go to the trackable page, and in the drop down menu in the top right corner clcik on "Mark as Missing". Trackable owners can do this for their own items, and cache owners can do it if the item is missing from their cache, but shows as being there. Getting it back into circulation is just a matter of "Grabbing it" back.

 

14. What is dipping? And can I do it with someone else's Trackable?

Dipping is logging a TB into several caches. Say you go caching all day long, you visit 3 micros, a virtual, and then finally an ammo can. You can log the Trackable through all those caches if you want to show where it's been. You need to drop and retrieve for each cache. Dipping is fine, no problem. Just don't dip forever, eventually you have to let the Trackable go, so someone else can have fun with it.

 

15. How long can I hold on to a Trackable?

Oops, I already answered this one.

 

16. What kinds of caches can I log a Trackable through?

Traditional (any size, just don't ever leave a Trackable in a cache if the lid won't close tight with it in there), Virtual, Multi, Letterbox Hyrbrid, Puzzle, Event, CITO, APE, and GPS Maze Exhibit. You can't log them through webcam caches, or Earthcaches.

 

17. I found an unactivated Trackable, now what?

First make sure you haven't typed the # wrong. Then check the logs, see if someone mentioned leaving it. If something as attached to a TB tag, and it's not activated, the owner probably didn't know they were supposed to activate it. Try to find them. Post notes to the cache page and ask. If you never find the owner, you can ask Groundspeak for the activation code by sending an email to contact at geocaching dot com.

 

18. My Trackable met its goal, now what?

You can give it a new goal, but do not delete any previous logs, see #6.

 

19. How does a personal Trackable work?

Just like a non-personal one, only you keep it with you. You can let people discover it, and you can log it into every cache you visit with it, to keep track of your own miles. Only you can decide if you want the extra work it will take to keep up with it.

 

20. I need help with an activation code for my Trackable, where do I get it?

contact at geocaching dot com. The activation code for Travel Bugs comes on the packaging, don't throw it out until you've activated it and know it's correct. Geocoins are different though. We have a thread called the Activation Code Clearing House You can search that thread, or ask in the forums, or write to the company/person you got the geocoin from.

 

21. What's virtual logging and why do I get a talking to whenever I post a picture of coins I find or include the tracking number in the logs or in the forums? (Thank you, Droo)

If you log a bogus virtual log on a TB, or offer your own TB up for virtual logging you will risk having that TB page locked forever. This means, if you never saw a bug, but got the bug number and you log it, that bug is in risk of being taken out of the game. Don't do this to TB owners who inadvertently might post a photo, or someone else posts a photo, of their TB number. Don't log it virtually. It's considered abuse of the system. And it's not fair play.

 

Thanks to Castle Mischief for the following questions:

 

22. Do I have to attach the "dog tag" to an item to make it a trackable? Can I engrave, write, or otherwise brand an object with the tracking code?

No, you don't have to, but then you run the risk of people, especially newbies, not recognizing it as a Trackable item, and leaving it in the cache, or worse, keeping it as swag. Make sure it is easily identifiable as a travel item.

 

23. How may objects can I display the code on? Can I have a car TB and put one of the matching dog tags on another object?

Just one. Otherwise, you've got abuse of the system and risk the trackable page getting locked. If you lose the sticker, you can release the tag, if you lose the tag, you can release the copy tag.

 

24. What should I do if I see a "collector" at an event? The coins/TBs are not his yet he brought a ton of them?

Violence is never the answer. You should see if you can find someone who knows them well enough to explain how it works, or do so yourself in a very friendly manner.

 

25. What should I do if I see somebody passing around the tracking codes of coins/TBs?

Please explain to them that this is virtual logging and those trackables will be at risk of being locked. They should especially not be doing this with other peoples tracking numbers. Also, say "No thank you, I do not virtual log, it's abuse of the geocaching.com system, and it's wrong! Wrong, I tell you! Wrong!"

 

26. Are USB thumb drives acceptable as a travel bug?

Yes, but don't expect anyone to actually stick it in their own computer.

 

27. Are human remains (ashes/bones) acceptable as a travel bug?

Here's a thread on the subject. Some people will be freaked out, others will show compassion for the dearly departed.

 

28. Can travel bug/coins have a social/political agenda on their listing page?

Trackables are not regulated with a lot of rules and they do not go through a review process. While people do add them, not everyone is going to care about it the way you do. Don't be surprised if you get no help at all, not everyone will even read the whole page. All they want to know is the goal of the TB. Geocaching is meant to be fun, it's best to leave agendas at home when you go out to play.

 

29. Can a travel bug/coin be used as part of an advertising campaign?

They have been, Jeep and Unite For Diabetes, and Garmin all had promotions through Travel Bugs. But if you want to do that with more than one trackable, you should go through proper channels. This website was not put in place for others to abuse. Read the Terms of Use, the guidelines, etc....

 

30. Can I have have a TB tattoo with the tracking numbers?

It's your skin. How committed are you?

 

31. Should coins/TBs be placed in remote or seldom visited caches?

Any cache is a good cache for a TB as long as it fits, but are you helping the TB towards its goal? If it is in a race, NO, if it wants to visit remote locations, YES. Are you prepared to be asked to go back and get it, when it ends up stuck?

 

32. Does somebody at Groundspeak review the listings for coins/TBs?

No. But if someone posts something nasty and against the Terms of Use, Groundspeak reviewers, Lackeys, and Eartha, the volunteer TB and geocoin forum moderator, can edit that out.

 

And lastly, always teach your newbies well. If your going to show them the ropes, show them all the ropes.

 

In reference to # 8, we have encountered more than one cache listing that has this requirement. Here's one example:

 

GC12MEM

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8. Do I have to trade when I take a Trackable?

No, no, no, a thousand times no. Travel bugs and trackable geocoins, that have been set out to travel, are not trade items, you do not have to put something in the cache to take a Trackable item, and you should not take something from a cache in trade for a Trackable item. If you should take something from a cache, you should make a trade, and you can place/take the Trackable item.

 

In reference to # 8, we have encountered more than one cache listing that has this requirement. Here's one example:

 

GC12MEM

I'd send an email to the Reviewer, betting that that section was added after it was published.

Trackables aren't trade items, so their asking to do so kinda borders on additional requirements.

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8. Do I have to trade when I take a Trackable?

No, no, no, a thousand times no. Travel bugs and trackable geocoins, that have been set out to travel, are not trade items, you do not have to put something in the cache to take a Trackable item, and you should not take something from a cache in trade for a Trackable item. If you should take something from a cache, you should make a trade, and you can place/take the Trackable item.

 

In reference to # 8, we have encountered more than one cache listing that has this requirement. Here's one example:

 

GC12MEM

I'd send an email to the Reviewer, betting that that section was added after it was published.

Trackables aren't trade items, so their asking to do so kinda borders on additional requirements.

 

What I do when one of my travel bugs is in a travel bug prison is make a Need Archived note to get a reviewer to the listing of the cache to adjust the listing with trading requirements. Sometimes I get crying CO's who think it is "selfish" to ask travel bugs to travel. However, I have noticed that reviewers in different countries have a different view about it. I have an e-mail from a reviewer in the Netherlands who consider travel bugs as trading items and asks me to leave travel bug prisons in peace. Reviewers in other countries take action and make sure that the listing of a cache does not require trading rules for travel bugs. Or even worse, to ask to leave travel bugs behind as a log requirement.

 

So the bottom line is that unfortunately there seems not to be a generic rule.

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Do I have to attach the "dog tag" to an item to make it a trackable? Can I engrave, write, or otherwise brand an object with the tracking code?

 

How may objects can I display the code on? Can I have a car TB and put one of the matching dog tags on another object?

 

What should I do if I see a "collector" at an event? The coins/TBs are not his yet he brought a ton of them? What should I do if I see somebody passing around the tracking codes of coins/TBs?

 

Are USB thumb drives acceptable as a travel bug?

 

Are human remains (ashes/bones) acceptable as a travel bug?

 

Can travel bug/coins have a social/political agenda on their listing page?

 

Can a travel bug/coin be used as part of an advertising campaign?

 

Can I have have a TB tattoo with the tracking numbers?

 

Should coins/TBs be placed in remote or seldom visited caches?

 

Does somebody at Groundspeak review the listings for coins/TBs?

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Perhaps they should get the information when they are signing up for an account. A page that says:

Special items in caches which are owned by others. Read about it here!

 

That's an excellent idea, and to add to it, it should be a mini (2 or 3 question) quiz, which includes photos of various trackables. If they answer the quiz correctly they can move on to register.

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I have a question.

 

I put a trackable into the Family Jeep so it can be logged when seen on trips, around town, ETC....

 

When I activated the trackable, do I need to select it as a collectable or non-collectable?

 

I want the tracker to never to change hands, because it will be on the Jeep, but I want people to be able to log and say where the trackable and keep was seen.

 

Thanks in advance for your help.

 

DM

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I dropped off a TB at a local hotel several months back. While it has been discovered, it hasn't moved. Can I move my own bug? Or is that not the done thing.

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I dropped off a TB at a local hotel several months back. While it has been discovered, it hasn't moved. Can I move my own bug? Or is that not the done thing.

Sure you can.

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Wow!

 

I found my first geocache around 2006, and I just recently got back into the game. I should be receiving my first official travel bug tag in the mail today. I was excited to send out my little bug into the world, but now I am realizing how COMPLICATED this is!

 

(Or is it?)

 

I guess what I would like to say is that - as both an old-timer and a newbie (if that makes sense...) - please be patient with me!

 

Let me put it this way: When I found my first geocache, the only words I could see were "official game piece". I thought I had won something, but I didn't have the time to check it out. So I picked it up and brought it home. Luckily, it was part of an event that was already over. But as you can see, confusion is very common. It wasn't my goal to ruin the game. But I still ended up feeling bad for something I just didn't understand.

 

I think I learn best by doing and making those mistakes. And for others to get upset at newbie mistakes, well, it's not really fair. So again I stress that PATIENCE is key. We are playing a game of chance, and it's for fun. Let's not worry so much over the rules and regulations, and try to have a good time.

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We are playing a game of chance, and it's for fun.

 

No, geocaching is not a game of chance. It is a game/hobby that is simple, but does require some research and learning and, in time, skill.

 

Let's not worry so much over the rules and regulations, and try to have a good time.

 

It's not like professional sports, with their rules and regulations, but there are definite guidelines and procedures and common etiquette.

 

When one plays a game that does involve other people, there do need to be guidelines and procedures and common etiquette. It's only fair to those other people.

 

B.

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Holy cow man!!! I just got back into geocaching after a 4 year hiatus. I am now retired and going for it again. problem I see with trackables, is nobody seems to drop them off... Well they drop them off but don't log that they have dropped them off. I guess its the way people do things now, half a**ed. I think there should be a drop off button for wayward trackables so they can easily be put back into the system...

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Groundspeak is interested in finding ways to better educate new geocachers on the proper etiquette for handling trackables. I am personally aware of many incidences of trackables going missing - not through any malice on the part of the bugnapper - rather by simply being misinformed about this one aspect of the game. There is a lot to learn when first starting out, so please help everyone by answering the question:

 

What should new geocachers know about trackables?

 

Thanks! :D

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I believe folks just are too lazy to geocache responsibly. Therefore in my opinion, there should be a button for dropping off wayward trackables. That way at least they will be put back in the system and have a location the owners can check.

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If I discover and log a trackable, can I then hand it off or change "ownership" to someone who can further it toward it's goal? I saw someone leave a note on a TB saying they did so, but I don't quite understand how I would go about logging that.

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I found a travel bug in Germany in a ziploc bag with a card describing its purpose and who started it off. Is this a "might have" (the bag and purpose) when dropping off a travel bug? Or is it country specific?

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