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Taking Bugs When You're Not Helping the Goal


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I'm just wondering if I'm being reasonable on this: Why aren't people leaving bugs where they are if they can't help the goal? You can log a find without moving it, so why move it if you can't help it?

I recently had a TB that was supposed to go to Europe head from NY to Neb, because the person didn't know what it's goal was so took it with him. Am I outta line on this? mad.gif

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I agree that it's not in the spirit of the game to move a TB in opposition to its goal! I find it to be great fun in trying to help them along. When I see a TB listed in a cache I always look to see what its goal is. Of course sometimes you find a TB that you didn't know was in the cache and don't learn its goal till you get back to your computer?


On the subject, I have one in my possession now that wants to get to Northern Ireland! I've actually posted on the UK forum to see if any geocachers over there are expecting to be in the states. I'm also posting on southeast forum as I'll be taking on a trip to Florida, to try and find someone who plans to go abroad and arrange to leave it for them to find. If I don't meet with any success soon I'll move it closer to JFK airport and hope for the best.



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It's a web of life, in my opinion, and absolutely any movement is the next step in reaching it's goal. That weird side trip to Florida, may be the next step to Canada. And a side trip may have saved it from going MIA by pilferage in Pennsylvania.


Life is mystereous. And the $4 bug tag does not come with a warranty, does it?


PS: As InkyCat noted, many times both the goal and travel map are unknown at pick up time. Most bugs travel without a point-of-activity mission info tag.

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I agree with bthomas. Movement is movement. That's helping build a TB adventure. MIA is worse.


I don't put the goal in the tag to give it more freedom, not that people care what's on the tag. People don't always follow the description on the TB's web page and they don't follow the TB tag's content either.


My first bug was headed to TX from CA (as a newbie, it had no instruction tag at all). First finder took it to Washington state. Soon after it was in a muggled cache. MIA. I sent a new one (with an instruction tag) to the last placer, who agreed to place it. A month ago. He still has it sad.gif

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I am guilty of this. While out of town a few months ago, I innocently grabbed a bug that had been stuffed into a micro. At home later that evening I checked the bug's log, only to find that it had a definite goal in the opposite direction.


I have been planning a return trip to the proper area, but have been delayed. So I am also guilty of holding a bug.


Now I am reluctant to grab bugs.

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I visit a cache and find a travel bug that I didn't even know was there. Wanting to log the find and move the bug, I pick it up. When logging the grab, I learn the mission of the TB and decide then where I might move it to.


I also picked up a travel bug a while back because I got a message that it had landed in a previously found cache that I was watching. I looked it up on it's web page and saw that it's mission included goals that I was travelling to a few weeks later. I grabbed it and had fun helping it reach those goals.




It's simply not possible to research what travel bugs are where and what their individual goals are before picking them up. I update my cache information less than daily, and TB's that I don't know about land in caches that I find. The owner of the bug takes a chance when releasing them that they will obtain their goals. Part of the fun is to help them along, when possible, otherwise part of the fun is simply moving the bug. Is not incumbant on the finder to research first before grabbing the bug!


Smart TB owners will include something to let the finders know what the goal of the TB is so that they can decide if they want to help it along. Don't blame me otherwise if I don't know.


Remember that part of the fun is to see where the thing goes on it's travels, no matter where that might be.


That Quack Cacher:

Lone Duck


When you don't know where you're going, every road will take you there.

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I, on the other hand, come down on the side of "don't completely sabotage a bug's goal."


There's a particular travel bug whose goal was to reach the North Pole. Clearly, this isn't going to happen, but three times now it's crept up the East Coast and gotten almost to the Canadian border, in one case actually making it across the border and all the way to Montreal, and in each case some cretin has picked up the item and taken it back to, oh, southern New Jersey, or Cape Cod, or what-have-you.


In the most recent leg of the bug's journeys, we even took a special trip with the bug to drop the bug in Vermont's northernmost cache. The bug crept into Quebec and was doing fine a few weeks after we dropped it off, until a guy picked it up and intentionally took it back south, way the heck south. He knew of the goal because the bug's Ziploc bag had the printout inside, and he even acknowledged that he knew that he was screwing things up when he posted his log, but he did it ANYWAY.




-- Lemur (Jay)

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If we know the goal and can help, we take the bug.


If we know the goal and can't help, we leave the bug, note the number and post a note on the bug page.


If we don't know the goal, we will take the bug if we don't already have lots of them. We will then research the goal when we get home, and do the best we can towards its goal.


On placing a bug, we will note its goal in the logbook if it doesn't have a sheet attached.





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If the bug is listed when you pull the cache sheet, you should advance the TB along its goal. If you find a TB without knowing it at the time, you either "count coup" or you move it. As I find the "counting coup" aspect really annoying, I tend to take TB's and then check their goals on my PC back at home. I then try to move them according to the goal.


Its an act of kindness to our fellow cachers to advance according to the desired goal.

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When I see a TB, I read the goal tag. If they have no tag and I did not expect them to be there via my cache page printout, I just move them to another cache. Some of the descriptions say that the TB in question just wishes to travel. I put the TBs in what would appear to be a heavily accessed cache hoping that another kind soul will assist with their travels. =BK :)

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I, on the other hand, come down on the side of "don't completely sabotage a bug's goal."


There's a particular travel bug whose goal was to reach the North Pole. Clearly, this isn't going to happen,


Don't be too sure of that. There is a cache (Santa's Stash) in North Pole, Alaska which would probably satisfy the goal of the travel bug.


Geocachers that deliberately state they're going to send it in the opposite direction for spite are on the bottom rung of the geocaching chain imo. :)

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Oi. If you've created a bug that you've spent time & money on (making page, buying tag, buying/finding bug), its incredibly annoying for someone to hurt your cause. I currently have a bug that was intended to go from Southern California to Utah & back. that must have been to tame. It now sits in Maine. :)


Also, goal tags on the bug are EXTREMELY helpful. If you're caching on a vacation, & discover a bug, of course you're going to take it. You have no way of knowing where you're supposed to take it, and if your home is hundreds of miles the opposite way without Internet access, which you usually don't have on the hunt.


I've also moved bugs the opposite way, & it was entirely an accident and I didn't know, and didn't try to, since the bug didn't have a tag. I had no way of knowing when I picked it up. But people who intentionally move bugs the wrong way are an annoyance. We even made a thread about them.

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Also, goal tags on the bug are EXTREMELY helpful. If you're caching on a vacation, & discover a bug, of course you're going to take it. You have no way of knowing where you're supposed to take it, and if your home is hundreds of miles the opposite way without Internet access, which you usually don't have on the hunt.

And that's the price people pay if they don't attach goals to their bug, imo.


I wouldn't hesitate to grab a bug, especially if it doesn't have a goal attached to it. That's part of the fun of the bugs, to see where they go next. It might not be in a straight line journey to its destination, but it probably will be an interesting one.


Then there's the Magic School Bus that's been part of the Cannonball Run TB race. The race has been over for yonks, but my bug perserveres. It has moved, since February 16th, a grand total of two states closer to the finish line and 385 miles. At that rate, it'll make it to California sometime in the year 2010. I'm actually amazed that it just keeps making little hops and jumps, nothing really big at all. It could be the tag I attached to it. Who knows?


And then there are others that make thousand mile jumps with the first pickup. It's all a journey.

Edited by Webfoot
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A while back I picked up a TB whose goal is to see all 50 states. It was a new TB and the only state it had been in was the state it started in. I was going to the next state over so I placed it in its 2nd state. Weeks later, someone picked it up and hid it back in its original state (probably didn't know its goal at the time). But instead of placing it in a cache where it had a chance to be picked up readily and moved, it was placed on some mountain top with a 4.5 terrain difficulty. Seemed like adding insult to injury.

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As a bug owner, I agree that it is extremely annoying when someone sabotages the bugs goal. I have been attaching laminated goal sheets to all my recent bugs so that when someone picks it up from a cache they have an idea where it needs to go.


When I know that I am traveling somewhere I will generally "scout" my area for TB's that I can take along to help out. Earlier this year I helped one get "home" to Fort Wayne and another get closer to the SW Quadrant of the US. It was a good feeling knowing that I was helping someone's TB accomplish its goal. Too bad all cachers aren't as conscientous!



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Then there's the Magic School Bus that's been part of the Cannonball Run TB race.  The race has been over for yonks, ....

Don't give up hope. I'm still rooting for the Magic School Bus to come in. The race hasn't really been over for yonks! Mr. Toads Willy came in TODAY and he was in fourth place. My Timmy and Tammy are stuck in an archived cache in Ohio. I think that the archive is temporary. Hope so anyway.

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I wish my dead bugs would move anywhere. Instead they're in the hands of inactive cachers who don't answer emails. Oh well.


Many times I'll print out a cache days before I go look for it. If I find a bug I take it, unless there are written instructions right on the bug saying it wants to go somehwere else.


I've also had cachers email me and ask me to get a bug in the area that has laid dormant for months. I'll go grab it and put it in an easier cache so the bug will get moving again.


For me forget the goal, movement counts but if you want yours to go to a particular location I suggest printing something out and laminating the paper to the bug. That should help.

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Of course, there are people who will just grab the bug, for the bug count. Some of these people dont care at all what the Bugs goal is- they just want to record another

Tbug find. Many of these people use "Bug Hotels" as a place for similar minded buggers to come and get their counts up. Many return to the same bug hotel often, and swap bugs in & out- but those bugs never seem to go anywhere.


I have never read a Bug's goal tag or page that said "take me to a crappy cache for bug collectors, to be hoarded by as many people as possible, while only moving from hotel to hotel within the same city/suburb."


I do agree tho, any travel is good travel. I just dont care for the idea of boosting tbug finds for the sake of the count. I'd rather see people move them somewhere (Anywhere) where they can be moved towards thier goal.


Since I just started my first Bug this past weekend, It will be interesting to see where it winds up going. My goal clearly states it wishes to avoid hotels, so we'll see how long it takes to get stuck in one :)

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Unless there is a goal information sheet with the travel bug, I have no way of knowing what the bug's goal is when I'm at the cache site. The alternative is to never take any travel bugs that do not have goal sheets attached and I don't think that's reasonable either. If I can't help with the goal, I'll usually keep the bug until I can get back to the same area and leave it in another cache there.

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I always try to get a heads up before taking a bug. We've usually done our "check" of the cache page prior to heading out. I'll see if there are TBs and review the goals. I hope others do this, we're about to launch a new TB that has to stay in the area as it is going to be tied to a cache. If it went out of the area that would put a huge crimp in the operation!



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We don't check for bugs before we seek caches.


When we find a bug, we usually take it.


When we get back home and log our finds, THEN we check what the goal is.


We place the bug according to the goal. For us, the goal counts toward where we place the bug when we go caching the next time, not whether or not we should take it when we find it.


Our bugs have transient goals, like milestones, event caches, air shows. It allows every cacher and finder of our bug to be able to help out on its goal, regardless of where they got it, where they live, or where they're going.


And we're very happy about it. Never worry about where it's going, who picked it up...just don't need the stress of "why did they do that?" We solve the problem by setting our bug's goals to be more compatible with how people actually geocache, rather than trying to impose uncomfortable rules for the retrievers. It's a win-win, folks.

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It's a web of life, in my opinion...

I agree.


I'm kind of like a raven - I like to grab shiny objects.


I try very hard to accommodate bug goals but it doesn't always work out. We live far from high concentration cache areas and sometimes end up coming home with bugs that want to be somewhere else. When this happens I email the bug owner and offer travel options.


Travel bugs are meant to be grabbed and secondarily it is nice when the grabber accommodates the goal in some way or at least doesn’t move it too far in the opposite direction.


Some of our tb’s with instruction tags attached have been moved far off course and it is frustrating when that happens but it is part of the game. My own life has not always gone in the direction I intended.

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The first TB I grabbed wasn't listed on the cache page when I pre-checked. It also had no instruction sheet. When I logged it, I found it's goal was to move west. It was found in a fairly active cache, and I knew I wouldn't be caching out west for quite a while, so I placed it in my cache, which was only a few weeks old and about 17 miles east of where I found it. It was only there a few days before someone grabbed it and moved it further west than where I originally grabbed it. It has since moved again, even further west, so I feel I did my part in helping it attain it's goal. I noted in my log that "sometimes to move forward, we must first move back". I agree that any movement is good movement, unless it is strictly for the purpose of sabotaging the bug's main goal. That is the lowest of lows, far worse in my opinion than a muggle trashing a cache.

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I take bugs when I can for two reasons...


ONE: because I believe that any movement of a bug is good movement. Most people love to see a bug that is heading strait to Canada suddenly end up in New Mexico... Its part of the fun...


TWO: I add laminated "Goal" tags to all bugs that I pick up (that already don't have goal tags). They usually measure less then 2inches and seem to be working out fine.


Now about grabbing bugs when we shouldn't. I live in PA (near Philadelphia) and I work in Jersey. Sometimes I work for a few weeks in Virginia. While there I scooped up two bugs... one was Jeep and the other was Harry King of Tricks (Ticks was more like it). Well Jeeps goal was to travel west along Route 66.. I brought him north to PA AWAY from 66...


Harry was supposed to end up in Ireland bu the end of June or July. I had no way of getting him there - I even asked for help in thjis forum... but pretty much because of me Harry didn;t make it to Ireland intime... I am pretty sure that he is still here in the states.


Maybe if I left Harry in the cache where I found him maybe he would have made it to Ireland... maybe not... maybe I WAS his adventure...


Now on the other hand. I had two people contact me to ask if I minded that they took two of my bugs on holiday... I said sure... so now one of my bugs is in Israel (in a cache) and one of my bugs is in Switzerland. I guess it was nice that I was contacted about it...

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