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Why do Travel Bugs go MIA?


Egnix
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Probably the best way is education. I don't have any statistics to back this up, but it seems to me that a lot of bugs get lost when someone decides they are going to be "really nice" and put the bug someplace special. Like, say, a long way away, or in a special themed cache.

 

But then they don't go a long way, or keep putting it off, or can't find the special themed cache, and won't just cut their losses and put the bug *someplace*.

 

I think that if people keep complaining in the forums about how placing a bug quickly is important, a lot of these well-intentioned people will be a little more realistic.

 

There's also the problem that a lot of people don't seem to know how to drop a bug off at a cache. Folks, you don't just put it in the cache and walk away. You put it in the cache, and when you log your visit, you choose the bug at the bottom of the page before you click the "done" button.

 

I also don't think that most cachers realize who is placing the bugs. If a little child places a bug, they are probably going to be really unhappy if there aren't any log entries for the bug for a month. Heck, even adults get itchy when the bugs don't move for a month!

 

Anyway, my opinion is that the more we can educate folks about the travel bugs, the better the chances of them being handled properly.

 

Shannah

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I couldn't agree more.

IMHO, that should even be in the GeoCaching FAQ and on the TravelBug main page.

 

Every travel bug I've tracked down that was MIA was due to someone "planning to take it somewhere really interesting" or "drop it in a far away cache on their next out-of-town trip".

 

I agree that in most cases if they can't drop it soon, they shouldn't take it. Or at least not take it until shortly before they will be able to drop it.

 

Now, if there are special instructions on the traveler saying "take me far" or to someplace specific, and you are heading there, maybe then. But most bugs I've seen would be better served to just be kept moving.

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I voted the last choice because there is a cache in Washington that I went to when there was supposed to be a travel bug there. There wasn't one. Fair enough sometimes people don't log them right away. I left one there. The next person to visit stated that there were no T.B. in the cache. Obviously somebody has been taking them out of the cache on purpose.

 

cool_shades.gif ---I will stand out, I am a raven in the snow.

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I've got a bug that has been in the hands of one person for a month and a half. He keeps promising to move it, but never does.

Last night, I put up a note on the TB's page for all the watchers to read, and hopefully the kidnapper.

 

This is my TB's page with the recent note added.

 

Tell me, am I out of line here? Is this just going to tick the guy off?

 

-sigh-

 

TrimblesTrek

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Maybe it will tick the guy off. I don't know. But at this point, what do you have to lose? It's not like the bug is being placed elsewhere. If the guy gets annoyed and refuses to place the bug, well, he's already refusing to place the bug. icon_frown.gif

 

I wish I knew why people think this kind of behavior is "nice". "Look, I'm moving this bug hundreds of miles - aren't I a wonderful person?" Well, yes you are, if you PLACE THE BUG IN A TIMELY MANNER. If you just move it and keep it, you might as well not have moved it at all, frankly.

 

Personally, I consider it a lot nicer when people just move the bug a reasonable distance and then let it go. My bug "Puppy Love" has had pretty good luck so far. The people who move it have been picking it up and releasing it pretty quickly. It's been fun to watch the logs.

 

My 5-year-old son is very sad about "Tough Tow Truck". He gave up one of his favorite Matchbox cars so that he could watch it travel around. If you look at Tough Tow Truck, you'll see that it's been picked up and never placed. I don't know how to explain to my son why Tough Tow Truck isn't moving. It's very hard - he comes to me from time to time asking, sadly, what happened to his truck. I have been looking for a replacement, but it seems to have been discontinued. icon_frown.gif

 

Most people who pick up bugs seem to do a pretty good job of it. "Mrs. Ghoti" has traveled a very long way. I just wish that people would be willing to admit it when life gets in the way of their plans to do something nice for the bug, and would just place it again, anywhere, to get it moving.

 

Shannah

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Maybe it will tick the guy off. I don't know. But at this point, what do you have to lose? It's not like the bug is being placed elsewhere. If the guy gets annoyed and refuses to place the bug, well, he's already refusing to place the bug. icon_frown.gif

 

I wish I knew why people think this kind of behavior is "nice". "Look, I'm moving this bug hundreds of miles - aren't I a wonderful person?" Well, yes you are, if you PLACE THE BUG IN A TIMELY MANNER. If you just move it and keep it, you might as well not have moved it at all, frankly.

 

Personally, I consider it a lot nicer when people just move the bug a reasonable distance and then let it go. My bug "Puppy Love" has had pretty good luck so far. The people who move it have been picking it up and releasing it pretty quickly. It's been fun to watch the logs.

 

My 5-year-old son is very sad about "Tough Tow Truck". He gave up one of his favorite Matchbox cars so that he could watch it travel around. If you look at Tough Tow Truck, you'll see that it's been picked up and never placed. I don't know how to explain to my son why Tough Tow Truck isn't moving. It's very hard - he comes to me from time to time asking, sadly, what happened to his truck. I have been looking for a replacement, but it seems to have been discontinued. icon_frown.gif

 

Most people who pick up bugs seem to do a pretty good job of it. "Mrs. Ghoti" has traveled a very long way. I just wish that people would be willing to admit it when life gets in the way of their plans to do something nice for the bug, and would just place it again, anywhere, to get it moving.

 

Shannah

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I'd be happy with just having the person log it when they take it. Either online or in the cache logbook.

So if it doesnt appear to be moving, at least the owner can contact the person to make arrangements for it return (to the owner, or to a cache, or fellow cacher who can get it moving....)

 

[This message was edited by Cracker7M on September 14, 2002 at 12:19 AM.]

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As an update to my post of a couple of days ago, I'm happy to report that my CANUCK travel bug is once again on the move, after a month and a half in the kidnappers pocket!

 

I posted a pretty blunt message on the bug's page, first to alert all the watchers that the bug had been kidnapped, and hopefully to shame the kidnapper into

quote:
playing by the rules
. (This was after asking nicely, numerous times.)

 

Well, it worked! The bug was placed on Friday night into a cache only minutes away from the kidnapper's home. They neglected to

quote:
drop off the bug
on their cache log, but I emailed them and asked that they update their entry. They did, and now CANUCK is back in circulation.

 

Obviously this technique may not work all the time, but I had nothing to lose and everything to gain by trying.

 

TT

 

TrimblesTrek

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The Bryno and I were just discussing that today. I had planned on heading up to our MT. Tom Cache because the Purple Pony TB is supposed to be up there and no one has visited the cache in over a month. But, alas, we got a heavy downpour with flash flood watch in effect and I thought the rocks would be to slippery for the shoes I had on. So we talked about this poor bug being stuck there, with no ride outta town, and we believe that a local geocacher will check out a near-by cache on a day when they need a quick cache and they will likely do this early on in the cache's first few days. Knowing that most of us are notified of a new cache's existence through our cache page. People passing through happen far less frequently, so after the first month or two of a cache's existence it has it's most "hits" and any travel bug left in one of these will sit for a while until and if a cache gets great feedback and attracts more people, or a wandering geocacher comes through again. If that Purple Pony had been put in there sooner it would be moving along already. That's just what we thought, today. icon_smile.gif

 

Cache you later,

Planet

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The Bryno and I were just discussing that today. I had planned on heading up to our MT. Tom Cache because the Purple Pony TB is supposed to be up there and no one has visited the cache in over a month. But, alas, we got a heavy downpour with flash flood watch in effect and I thought the rocks would be to slippery for the shoes I had on. So we talked about this poor bug being stuck there, with no ride outta town, and we believe that a local geocacher will check out a near-by cache on a day when they need a quick cache and they will likely do this early on in the cache's first few days. Knowing that most of us are notified of a new cache's existence through our cache page. People passing through happen far less frequently, so after the first month or two of a cache's existence it has it's most "hits" and any travel bug left in one of these will sit for a while until and if a cache gets great feedback and attracts more people, or a wandering geocacher comes through again. If that Purple Pony had been put in there sooner it would be moving along already. That's just what we thought, today. icon_smile.gif

 

Cache you later,

Planet

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There's something else to consider. I haven't seen any instructions saying that the stamped number on a Travel Bug has to be noted. Even the tag doesn't mention it. So, the first time I found a travel bug, I moved it about 30 miles away that same day. When I got home to record the transfer, the system wouldn't let me do it. I tried entering the TB number, but that doesn't work. So, that's how I messed up. But today I fixed it by hiking out in the rain and getting that blasted secret number.

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