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Is the travel bug idea dead?


9Key
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I'm wondering if the whole idea of the travel bug has run its course.

 

So many are missing in action, lost, or stolen that it amazes me that anoyone buys the tags anymore. Or are they?

 

I could tell you sad stories about my own dead travel bugs and I'm sure that you have your own, but it seems that overall travel bugs are failed.

 

I'm not sure what the root cause of the disappearing bug is. Is it theft, forgetfulness, or something else icon_confused.gif.

 

What are your thoughts?

 

~ "If you take a dump in your mess kit you'll go to bed hungry."

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Personally, I'm done buying Travel Bugs. 2 of my 5 went MIA and the rest have had lengthy layovers at one point or another or had other problems that make them less than satisfying.

 

I'll still move bugs I find but the next time I get the urge to buy a tag, I'll flush the money down the toilet instead.

 

Now where did I park my car??????? monkes.gif

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Patience... The interesting part of travel bugging is that they are unpredictable. I like to move them around,try to be conscientious about making them move, but the process is, by nature, a slow one. Right now, I have one bug in hand, released one two days ago, and have one sitting in one of my caches. As much as possible. I want to help the bug along, and make it interesting for the owner/next finder. I often photograph the bug in its new surroundings, and try to tie the bug placement to its goal or to a cache that in some way relates to the bug itself. I hope others would do the same, but realize that some don't for whatever reason. So it goes...

 

For the one bug I have in circulation (Maryland, My Maryland) I'll be patient. If I received an email every day as to its new coordinates, with no captions, no interesting logs, etc., I'd probably lose interest pretty quickly. If is disappears, I'd be saddened, but it's not like I lost my retirement fund. I have a couple of other tags sitting around waiting that haven't been released yet.

 

"All of us are standing in the mud, but some of us are looking at the stars." Oscar Wilde

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I love finding travel bugs! Maybe in your part of the country (unless you live in California) it is different and people might steal the bugs, but I don't think we have that problem here in the Central Valley.

 

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If there is something to B17ch about I'll make sure you're the first to know.

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quote:
Originally posted by fizzymagic:

The problem is nowhere as bad as you make it out to be. All my travel bugs are still in circulation, and I've had a lot of fun moving other peoples' around.

 

There are some missing, it's true, but you hear more about those, just like you tend to hear most about problems in any field.


 

Just flip threw the TB "photo book" to see all the bugs that are out and traveling.

 

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I think TB's are still alive and kicking. Found one today......placed one two weeks ago and am tracking one I sent on the road back in January (which travelled from Florida to it's current spot in California).

 

We all waste money on something.......for me......I don't mind wasting it on Travel Bugs. Lot's of people around here work hard to be the first one to find 'em and send 'em on their way.....so to me, it's worthwhile.

 

I figure it this way......if you don't like Travel Bugs.......and you come across one of my caches.......leave the dadgum thing alone, and let someone who does enjoy it, find it and take it

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Let's say that 1 grabber of a travel bug out of 50 (just 2%) 'takes it and does not forward it'.

 

That means if your travel bug has a 98% chance of making it to its first hop, 98*.98 = 96.04% of making it to its second hop, 96.04*.98 = 94.12% of making it to its third hop... extending out, 81.71% chance of making it to its tenth hop, 66.76% chance of making it to its twentieth hop, etc....

 

Now, if its the case that 1 grabber of a travel bug out of TEN 'takes it and does not forward it' the math gets ugly fast - 90% chance of making it to the first hop, 81% chance of making it to the 2nd hop, 72.9% chance of making it to the third, 34.87% chance of making it to the tenth, and 12.16% chance of making it to the twentieth.

 

If we assume 'no movement for three months = lost' then we should be able to compute from the existing database if the 'lost rate' is one out of fifty, one out of ten, or something different.

 

In summary: Travel bugs have the risk of additive loss - just like any repeated endeavor with risk of downside. (Consider gambling for the classic case.)

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quote:
Originally posted by 9Key:

Have your folks ever had a tbug reach a goal?


 

Not one of mine, but I placed a bug in its final destination and watched it get picked up by the "family." Of course, we had "liberated" it from that cache a few days earlier, but the kids just couldn't resist, so we took it on a three day caching trip around the area, and returned it. Had several cordial e-mail discussions with the owner about his bug as well.

 

A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step . . . and then I get in my truck and drive the rest of the way.

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FireFox&Snoopy,

My guess would be that it's missing. I can't imagine a TB like that just sitting there for over a year. What I can imagine is it being taken & not logged. The Emblem is great, & may be hanging on someone's wall.

Post a note in the cache it's in, & ask the next finder to email you to let you know if it is still there. Just my opinion.

rocker51

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I just looked at your TB page and your bugs moved on 11/02/02, 11/24/02, 11/25/02, 10/09/02, and 11/29/02. Now granted that one was missing, but only because it flew out of the guy's boat but your bugs have travelled anywhere from 220+ to 7000+ miles. Nothing wrong with that!

 

Cache you later,

Planet

 

Two Wrongs Don't Make A Right, But Three Lefts Do.

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quote:
Let's say that 1 grabber of a travel bug out of 50 (just 2%) 'takes it and does not forward it'.

 

That means if your travel bug has a 98% chance of making it to its first hop, 98*.98 = 96.04% of making it to its second hop, 96.04*.98 = 94.12% of making it to its third hop... extending out, 81.71% chance of making it to its tenth hop, 66.76% chance of making it to its twentieth hop, etc....


 

This is only true if you insist on computing the odds many jumps in advance. In reality, once a bug is placed, its past history means nothing. This means that after every logged placement, the chances of it going one step further is 98%.

 

It's not near as bad as you make it sound, but that's the nature of statistics.

 

George

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Oh well, here's some more.

 

I have 8 travel bugs, and I found that when I had only 1 or 2, it was gruelling watching them not move. Once I got up to 8 bugs, I see one move every few days, never longer than a week. That helps. I had 2 that were not moved for over 2 months. I worried about them less because the other 6 were moving around nicely.

 

You need a lot of patience to be a bug owner, and having a lot of bugs helps too.

 

I'm content at the moment with 8 bugs, but I am guessing that I'll have another 8 out there by the end of next year if not sooner.

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quote:
Originally posted by 9Key:

Have your folks ever had a tbug reach a goal?

Not one of of mine had made it before it "dissapared". icon_confused.gif


Squatting Guy made it up to Niagara Falls and had his picture taken, and now he is on his way back to Ohio. Granted, it wasn't a terribly long distance to travel - but still I consider myself pretty fortunate for him to have made it up there and gotten his pic taken. icon_smile.gif

 

I don't think the idea of bugs is fading... the more people that join the site, the more people that might end up getting some bugs. I've got 4 right now, all are still in circulation - once a few of them vanish, I might get another batch of 4.

 

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The Toe Pages
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Several of my TBs have been going for a long time.

 

Miss Pumpkin's Bug Friend has been going for a year, and has been logged by over 20 different cachers into over 20 different caches.

 

Hot Dog Man has had a colorful history, and hs been moving for over a year, going from Texas to England, France, Italy, and now to California.

 

After I replaced the plundered The Texas Spoon Racing Bug with a replacement bug and home-made replacement tag, it went from Texas to England, and is now in Pennsylvania trying to get back to Texas.

 

Commander Riker has been going for almost 11 months, and Curly Tiger's Tiger is about a year old, and going strong.

 

Some of my other TBs have gone AWOL fairly quickly. I may eventually replace them using home-made tags, once I'm convinced they're gone for good. I've already replaced the Texas Spoon and NIBCO, the Morphing Travel Bug, which was confirmed plundered.

 

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There's no instant gratification with Travel Bugs. I've had travel bugs disappear for a full year before being logged by another geocacher 7-10,000 miles from where it was found last. I had one actually detained by the NPS and mailed back to me as a courtesy. Another one (my wife's, actually) was dropped off in Arizona and has never left the state (but is logged often).

 

Some do go missing and I'm sure mine disappear more often because they are affiliated with me, but for the most part I've seen a lot of successes.

 

I am still considering the idea of print on demand travel bugs so they are cheaper. Hopefully I'll have more time soon to focus on how to present the idea online (as well as improve the travel bug code on the site).

 

Jeremy Irish

Groundspeak - The Language of Location

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Sloth Devil Duck (aptly named) reappeared almost a full year after going missing, at the top of a mountain, no less.

 

Anger was my first released devil duck and is now in Australia (and still being logged).

 

Buffy Returns is a Buffy doll that was given to me by CameraThyme last year. Although she lost an arm in a battle with demons, she's still on her quest to meet Sarah Michelle Gellar.

 

My monks haven't done as well, but the Wee Three Monks III bug is still visiting coffee houses.

 

Jeremy Irish

Groundspeak - The Language of Location

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quote:
Originally posted by Jeremy Irish:

Although she lost an arm in a battle with demons, she's still on her quest to meet Sarah Michelle Gellar.


 

Hehehe... tell me that wouldn't totally creep her out. icon_razz.gif Some stranger waiting in line along with other folks asking for pictures and autographs - then this stranger suddenly pulls out a mutilated buffy figure adorned with dog tags and offers it to her along with a quick, and most likely, confusing explanation of geocaching and travel bugs. *laugh* I can see the fear in her eyes just thinking of it.

 

I agree, though... SMG = a+ icon_wink.gif

 

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Deform My Head!
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After finding about a dozen caches, I'm starting to get into the fun of moving travel bugs. I'm on a two-day business trip to Dallas from Boston, MA. Before I left, I stopped and picked up some travel bugs that I knew wanted to head west. When I got here, I used the two-hour break in between meetings to drive 10 miles to the nearest pair of caches that I knew had travel bugs in them. After finding them I'm bringing them back with me to Boston, knowing I'll be able to move them about 1,500 miles from here, in only a day.

 

Travel bugs add depth to this sport by providing a different "flavor" if you will. Honestly, if it weren't for the travel bug idea, I probably wouldn't have taken the time on this trip to locate different geocaches. When I want to have a relaxing hike, geocaching is a wonderful way to explore new wilderness areas with my family. On quick-hit business trips like this, I like swooping in to grab a bug and then taking it back with me. I feel as if I have a mission. It's an entirely different kind of "quest" that keeps things exciting for me and provides a new facet to the sport.

 

--Catnap.

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My first Travelbug was picked up after two cache visits and was not heard of again for almost 10 weeks. I tried e-mailing the cacher who had it but never received a reply. But one day it surfaced and started moving again. I have had a couple of bugs that were placed in complicated muti-caches and/or puzzle caches that worried me because the caches were not often visited and I was afraid that the bugs would just sit. The lure of the TB, however, got people out to the caches. So far all of my bugs are still traveling (I think) but if one disappears I will be sad but not depressed. I have two travelbugs http://www.geocaching.com/track/track_detail.asp?ID=18444 and http://www.geocaching.com/track/track_detail.asp?ID=20947

that were released by the two 5th grade classes at my daughter's school. I hope they are around for future classes to enjoy but I will probably buy two and donate them to the 5th graders (they study latitude and longitude) as long as the teachers will let me come to class and give my presentation. These are great little things and I love to see them and play with them. You just have to roll with the punches that come

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quote:
Originally posted by TeamJiffy:

That means if your travel bug has a 98% chance of making it to its first hop, 98*.98 = 96.04% of making it to its second hop, 96.04*.98 = 94.12% of making it to its third hop... extending out, 81.71% chance of making it to its tenth hop, 66.76% chance of making it to its twentieth hop, etc....


 

Man, if that math worked, I should be entering the lottery!

icon_razz.gif

Like someone else posted, your probability stays the same no matter how many caches it's gone through.

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We have found that many people don't know what to do with travel bugs. We have had several that were out out and moved a few times and stopped. We have been very discouraged in placing anymore. At meetings we have had this was a topic and also are recent meeting. They seemed to end up MIA.

Point also metioned is some people think there trophys collect as many as you can. There sure don't help for encouragement in placing more.

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This bug isnt mine, but i have been watching it.

I dont know where/what its suppose to do in Michigan, but its goal was to get to Michigan. And it took 9 months, and went 4300+ miles icon_biggrin.gif

quote:
Originally posted by 9Key:

Have your folks ever had a tbug reach a goal?

Not one of of mine had made it before it "dissapared". icon_confused.gif


 

waypoint_link.gif22008_1700.gif37_gp_logo88x31.jpg

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At this time, we have 8 bugs in circulation. Some are moving faster than others, but at least they are moving. Thus far none are MIA's. Hope they never do. Only 1 or 2 have a destination. All are dedicated to something.

I just resently purchased 4 more. By the way, the price went up. But I'm sure that's due to overhead cost.

I like picking them up & placing them ASAP. But sometimes I can't get them back out as fast as I'd like to. But if one gets held up, I email the owner. So far, so good!!

Happy & Safe Caching

eli&rocker

icon_smile.gificon_wink.gificon_biggrin.gif

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quote:
Originally posted by welch:

This bug isnt mine, but i have been watching it...


 

Just relized i didnt put in a link, but its this TB. And getting to Michigan turned out to be its first goal, once it got there the owners edited the bug page, directing the TB to a certain cache in Michigan icon_smile.gif

 

waypoint_link.gif22008_1700.gif37_gp_logo88x31.jpg

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<

 

So many are missing in action, lost, or stolen that it amazes me that anoyone buys the tags anymore. Or are they?

 

I could tell you sad stories about my own dead travel bugs and I'm sure that you have your own, but it seems that overall travel bugs are failed.

 

I'm not sure what the root cause of the disappearing bug is. Is it theft, forgetfulness, or something else confused.>>

 

Out of the 6 TB's I've set loose none have turned at missing. I still enjoy finding them. I'll probably order another batch of tags soon.

 

Jolly R. Blackburn

http://kenzerco.com

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I see more and more bugs with laminated info tags. That is great protection for them. When I come across a bug without any info, I normally print out a current copy of that bug's page, and then put the printout and bug into a ziplock. The cacher in our area that has found 200+ bugs does a similar thing.

 

"Why worry when you can obsess?"

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Both Little J and I agree that bugs are alive and well. We see many out there on the Geocaching trail and we move em when we can. Sometimes, cachers hold them for a month or so before they can place them in a destined Geocache that they have chosen.

 

Some of them die, that is a given; we live and then we die. Oh well!

 

Little J thinks travel bugs will go on forever, after all, she thought up the whole idea of Travel Bugs when we developed our first Geocache, Rolling Rock Cache, in California. People were logging the travels of Little J's travelling rocks or "kids" as she refers to them right on the Rolling Rock Cache Web page. Shortly after that, another Geocacher that had adopted one of Little J's pet rocks asked ADMIN how these rocks could be tracked effectively, and shortly thereafter, we began to see Travel Bug I.D. tags for sale. Needless to say, Little J did not get any of the proceeds. Next time, we shall visit the U.S. Patent Office.

 

Oh well!

 

Anyway, Travel Bugs are alive and well and moving around the world as we speak!

 

"Edison Medicine": Anything that brightens your day is a good thing!

 

NCFLYERS - The Double J's of Fortuna, CA icon_wink.gificon_wink.gif

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quote:
Originally posted by WaldenRun:

I see more and more bugs with laminated info tags. That is great protection for them. When I come across a bug without any info, I normally print out a current copy of that bug's page, and then put the printout and bug into a ziplock. The cacher in our area that has found 200+ bugs does a similar thing.

 

"Why worry when you can obsess?"


 

Me too. Every bug that I have grabbed, has not had it's goal with it. I do it just to help out.

rocker51

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I thought travel bugs were great. My firstone went several thousand miles and *almost* made it to its destination. It was picked up, logged by some one and then "poof", gone. As irony would have it, the person who had it last "magically" produced a travel bug VERY similar to the one I had floating around. I guess there is little need to purchase travel bugs only so someone else across the US can dis me by recycling it as their own.

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So fer so good but have not had time to see what all happens,I am a very patient person though so letting on sit for a while or one just wandering off oh well If you love something let it go if it loves you it will return somehow!!!I do not have time to track all the travel bugs but there may be a Phantom Geobuggler out there.Just thought that i would add a little humor ..

 

WHEN ALL ELSE FAILS *GEOTRYAGAIN* http://www.msnusers.com/MissouriTrails

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quote:
Originally posted by 9Key:

Have your folks ever had a tbug reach a goal?

Not one of of mine had made it before it "dissapared". icon_confused.gif


 

Yes, I have acctually went out of my way to complete the goal of a TB that arrived in my area with the goal within reach... Kanadian Krusty I enjoy TBs. So far I have 3 only 2 in the wild that are still going. (They havn't made it far yet but they are still kinda new)The other I use as my PTB to keep track of my own miles.

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Most of my travel bugs are still on the move...the most successful being my GeoRover line of non-traditional (pre-travel bug) travel bugs icon_cool.gif. They operate more like traveling geocaches than travel bugs.

GeoRover #2 (most distance and countries traveled) is currently in Austria and will be headed for Africa (in a real Land Rover nonetheless!!) in a few days icon_biggrin.gif!

The other Rovers except for #4 which has vanished icon_redface.gif, are still on the move in various locations of the country.

My Star Trek themed travelers are also still on the move:

NCC 1701-D ENTERPRISE MICRO-TRAVELER--current location: England

NCC 1701-D ENTERPRISE TRAVELER--Been to many national monuments and large US cities but was LOST in space then found and soon to be placed in a new cache (according to the geocacher that has it).

LOCUTUS of BORG--VERY POPULAR and on the move all the time icon_razz.gif.

The KLINGON BIRD OF PREY traveler was last seen in New England.

I also have a a HOMER simpson traveler called HOMER RETURNS who is on a mountian in Colorado...I think icon_rolleyes.gif. THe first HOMER was swiped and is probably on a kids desk somewhere on the campus of UNC Wilmington icon_mad.gif.

Dr. EVIL and MINI-ME are both lost I fear icon_mad.gif.

IRWIN the traveling Croc is headed for Australia(The Crocodile Hunter's zoo to be exact) but currently in New Orleans icon_wink.gif.

My GEOSPAM line of traveling lunchmeat icon_confused.gif (don't ask) is sort of popular--one is somewhere in Alaska and the other in South Carolina.

Charlie the chimp is on a beach in Cosumel, Mexico--probably sipping rum icon_wink.gif.

IZZY the lizard turned up after a year of being lost icon_eek.gif.

All in all I have had a blast with my travel bugs...they have been well worth the extra effort of tracking them myself and keeping their pages updated with their locations.

I say go for it--what do you have to loose...a stuffed toy and a few bucks...better than sitting on your bum staring at the TV.

Cheers,

CrotalusRex

of T.S.M.Ex.T

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