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Travel Bug Etiquette


nowimfound
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ideally i would like people not to hold on o a trackable for more than 2 weeks, but than again there's not much you can do about it, sometimes is just that life got in the way of caching

 

as for contacting someone that has your TB, you could politely ask if they plan to drop it off soon

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Yes, it's fine to send an "email nudge" if someone's been holding your trackable for a while.

 

Just keep it very light and very polite.

 

For me, "a while" is 8 to 10 weeks. If there's no response I'll send another one about a month later.

 

Then I give up.

 

(Because I've got quite a few trackables out in the wild I make a note on the trackable's page when I send an email to someone, so I know exactly when I sent it and that ensures I don't 'nag' them too often :) )

 

MrsB :D

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Here are the things I think about in a situation like that.

 

You can look at the history of some travel bugs and see how long they "sat" and where. If a bug had been sitiing in a cache for two months before someone picked it up, it wouldn't really concern me if they had it for a month without dropping it. At least they logged picking it up, which helps reassure me they didn't pick it up to keep. I think if someone was going to keep one, they would pick it up and not log it.

 

Second, you can click on their profile and look at their history of bug movement. If they are habitual in holding them for three weeks, you can usually detect that in their pattern. The cacher that has yours in hand has held one a little longer before dropping it. You can also see how many bugs they have moved and get an idea of their experience with them.

 

Third, if someone is "holding your bug too long" being considerate in choosing the cache they place it in, and not just dropping it in the first cache they come to, you really should appreciate that.

 

And last, I would recommend never asking someone to take any action with my traveller in an email. I would drop them a line after three weeks or so, with a very upbeat and flowery message, that I was just checking on "Dixie" (or whatever your bugs name is). Just a "wanted to make sure she was still ok" type note. I wouldn't make any requests that they take action, as the inquiry you are making should give them the gentle nudge they need.

 

A little background research goes a long way in determining what to do and when to do it!! :)

 

edit to correct spelling and add- I note the person who has yours logged that they would be home in a week and drop it elswhere, so perhaps they have been on a trip. They may have overlooked it after arriving home and the unpacking, ect. that usually goes with a trip. I might give them a little more time to get back into their regular routine!!

Edited by NeecesandNephews
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Is it OK to prompt the cacher that has your TB to place the TB if it has been a while? And what is your opinion of "a while"?

A friendly question, if everything is all right with the trackable should be okay. Maybe the person just forgot to log the trackable online. This can easily happen.

 

"a while" for me is more than 2 weeks if said person is active, maybe more than 4 weeks otherwise.

 

You are supposed to move a trackable within a fortnight.

 

GermanSailor

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if the person is active i expect them not to hold the TB more than a week

 

i just had to send a "nudge" to someone that has been holding one of my TB for almost 4 months now but they have been been active all this time, and at the time they retrieved it logged "I will move along shortly"

 

i am getting quite tired of the whole TB/Coin game, i am not planning on releasing any ever again :)

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i am getting quite tired of the whole TB/Coin game, i am not planning on releasing any ever again :)

 

Lower your expectations.

 

I release and forget'em. I'm happy if they write home from time to time but I'm not surprised when they don't. It may seem odd but I really don't get discouraged.

 

Edit: coins however, too much of an investment. Stick with the standard ugly bug.

Edited by BlueDeuce
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i am getting quite tired of the whole TB/Coin game, i am not planning on releasing any ever again :)

 

Lower your expectations.

 

I release and forget'em. I'm happy if they write home from time to time but I'm not surprised when they don't. It may seem odd but I really don't get discouraged.

 

Edit: coins however, too much of an investment. Stick with the standard ugly bug.

 

i can't help it, every single TB i sent out there has a meaning to me

 

and sure TB are about the same investment as a coin when you consider that after taxes and shipping the cheapest tag for me is $8 plus whatever gets attached to it, cheapest has been an item for the dollar store, so still ends up a $9 value

 

but money is not the issue here, if it was i would have never released any TB, its the "attachment" i have to them and the realization that unfortunately some people even though they are not familiar with how trackables work, can't even be bothered to find out or have a total disregard for other people's things

 

i just had to mark 4 more missing :D

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I sent 3 polite requests for movement of 3 of my trackables last weekend. One was 2 months, the other 2 were 6 months. Received a reply from one, acknowledging that the item was buried in their geo-bag and was forgotten. The other 2 are considered gone, either lost by the cacher or placed in a cache and forgotten to log.

 

Then there's the one I've been holding now for 6 weeks, not geocaching much because the weather in eastern PA has not cooperated much lately. I found a cache this week that I could have placed it in, but it was too obvious a find and thought it might get muggled.

 

Everybody has certain reasons for not moving trackables. A friendly e-mail reminder is appropriate.

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i can't help it, every single TB i sent out there has a meaning to me

 

Every TB has meaning but you aren't going to release any. Well, don't release anything you aren't willing to lose.

 

I just work on making it something that has the best chance to survive and then I don't worry about it. If it goes missing I release it anew and we see how far it keeps going.

 

I care enough about bugs that I spend a lot of time helping people with theirs, but I don't get upset or discouraged when one goes missing. It's just what happens.

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More than half of the dozen TBs/coins we have out have sat for more than 4 months... some for almost a year.

 

It's just pathetic and one of the reasons we ceased buying coins.

 

 

Did a little search on your bugs!

 

"Pablo" would warrant an email nudge!!

 

"Puss" was picked up (as noted in cache log) but never logged on bug page, I would email that one too!

 

"Flip Flop was logged as a "note" not a retrieve, possibly because the previous "dropper" waited so long to log the drop, the holder may have not been able to log the retrieve when it happened, and did not know what to do. Again, I would email!!

 

Ran into a similar incident as "Flip Flop" with a bug I found in a cache the previous "dropper" did not understand how to log. Was easily corrected.

 

I sympathize with you on your loss of bugs, and agree..."its just pathetic" :)

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I was moving to a new town when I found a TB. I was without internet for about a month, but the new iPhone app saved my butt. I was able to log the find and log the drop right at the sites!

 

For some people, part of the issue might be travel or having the ability to log the find in a timely manner. You just forget about it because you've "lost the momentum" of your find. You toss it in a backpack or a glove box and forget about it. If you can log the find right away, it might help to be able to hold someone accountable (for lack of a better term) for squatting on your bug for so long.

Edited by lil_cav_wings
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I've been on both ends.

A local cacher, that I knew, lost a brand new traveler of mine and then later found it.

Placed in remote caches? How about placed in a cache only accessible by canoe? Or by solving an extremely difficult puzzle? Only three or four people had found that one when my coin went into it.

Not even in a cache but put on the ground next to it? Yep! Rather than finding a cache big enough for him (an ammo can would have worked), the cacher placed him on the ground NEXT TO THE CACHE!

Sometimes things happen in life that prevent a cacher from placing your traveler. Such is the case for one of mine right now. I am sure it will get placed when the cacher is better. No biggee. My traveler is safe until then.

 

I send e-mails when a traveler has been in someone's hands for over a month, or two, or three...

Most reply, some don't.

 

I have been guilty of holding some for too long, admitedly. One was damaged and we held on to it to try and repair it. (We found it with one arm removed yet with the traveler.) We repaired him and then held onto him a bit longer looking for the right cache to leave him in. We finally found a cache that matched the theme of the traveler and left him there. The location was a bit remote. The traveler was till moved along and continued to travel.

I picked up a TB with a specific mission once that I was able to fulfill a good deal of. I posted pics and also took the TB to multiple locations on its goal list. The owner complained that I had it to long so I dropped it despite being able to take it further along toward its' goal.

 

Picked up another at GeoWoodstock last year. I took it back to VA, logged it there. August we moved to Texas and the little guy tagged along. I logged him in Biloxi MS along his goal path and again in Texas. Still need to add some pics for him. His owner never complained and I had him for around seven months!!!! I cringe at that. He was kept safe and sound, made many miles, and saw four different locations that fit its' goal. He has since been moved.

 

I have also gone so far as to have a TB removed from a cache and mailed to me so that we could send it out for more traveling. I placed the traveler in a new cache (mine in my mom's yard) and it did not get moved along. The owner began to worry that it had gone missing. I had my mom mail it to me and it is back out in the world after being place in my cache at home.

 

I have received one nasty e-mail from a cacher regarding their TB. The first e-mail was okay and I responded. Sea duty just isn't kind to caching. We simply were not getting to any place to do any caching. I let the owner know that I would place his traveler as soon as I could get it into a suitable cache. The second e-mail just plain ticked me off. I don't remember why but it did. I placed the traveler and sent a not so nice e-mail back. Simply put, it really isn't a good idea to tick off the person holding your traveler. I placed his traveler in a nice cache, I didn't have to. I could very easily have left it NEXT TO THE CACHE, or in a cache filled with water, or one highly likely to be muggled, or so remote that it would be destined to do as some of mine have done and sit for a L - O - N - G time. I didn't.

 

Life is too short to worry excessively about a piece of metal/plastic. It'll travel or it won't.

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if the person is active i expect them not to hold the TB more than a week

You're not serious?!?!?!?!? What do you consider "active'? Caching nearly every day?

There have been days when I was caching that I didn't find anything big enough to hold even a small TB.

 

I wouldn't contact anyone for at least 2 months; the only ones I actually have emailed have been at least 6 months, except for one who wrote in the cache log that he took a TB, but didn't log the retrieval.

I asked if it was my TB that he took and asked him to log it so it wouldn't show as still being in the cache.

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if the person is active i expect them not to hold the TB more than a week

 

i just had to send a "nudge" to someone that has been holding one of my TB for almost 4 months now but they have been been active all this time, and at the time they retrieved it logged "I will move along shortly"

 

i am getting quite tired of the whole TB/Coin game, i am not planning on releasing any ever again :unsure:

 

You need to tone down your expectations by about 2 months. One week is too short a time to expect someone to go back out. Most people have lives that take priority over fun. If you are expecting them to move every week, perhaps it is best that you don't play the TB/coin game, or you'll ALWAYS be disappointed in them.

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