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BassTroutMaster

Solution to Stolen Travel Bugs

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Several of us are owners of lost or stolen travel bugs and geocoins. My opinion is that they are stolen. I don't know what possesses true geocahers to keep theses items. All of us enjoy finding these items in caches. This makes up 50% of the fun and interest. It is exciting "Finding Treasure". My point is that I believe most of these people or muggles that are taking them permanently are not true geocachers. By the time you put together travel bugs or purchased geocoins you have spent a minimum of $6 and as much as $16 on the cheapest travel bug or geocoin not to mention our time and effort. We want to see them move on! If they continue to disappear, geocachers will stop setting travel bugs and geocoins on their journeys. Geocaching.com and Groundspeak don't seem to care. They will eventually see the lack of interest affect their business.

 

So few travel bugs and geocoins are in our area. The numbers of found geocoins and travel bugs continue to fall and so has the geocaching interest. So I and a few other "Premium Member Cachers" are asking that out travel bugs and geocoins be moved to other "Premium Member Caches" and also avoid quick grabs. Quick grabs are too easily spotted by nongeochers and muggles, who really don't care about geocaching as a sport or hobby. Geocaching is the only hobby that you don't have to invest any additional money if you have a computer. I personally find that if you don't invest your own time and money, you don't appreciate it. I am a Premium Member and many other Premium Members are trying this new approach to improve or geocaching fun and experiences. WE ARE ASKING THAT GEOCOINS AND TRAVEL BUGS BE PUT IN PREMIUM MEMBER CACHES ONLY, that are not quick grabs.

 

We don't know if this is going to work, but we have all felt the need to try something to keep us interested in this fun and exciting hobby. $30 a year for a private membership isn't much if it maintains our level of fun.

 

I just know I won't continue spending $4 - 5 on a travel bug tag that disappears in the 4th or 5th geocache. I won't even consider purchasing another geocoin, unless this new system we are trying helps reduce our losses.

Edited by BassTroutMaster

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The solution is to not release them in the wild. :D What are "private cache"? I have never heard of private caches... is that for Platinum Members? If you mean Premium Member caches, thats not going to stop people from stealing them.

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Stolen is quite harsh. One of my TBs was picked up by an elderly Gentleman that died a few weeks later. His widow actually offered to mail it back to me when I asked via email about it. I was embarrassed and I have stopped contacting cachers about my TBs they picked up.

 

I once found a TB I dropped in my Jeep in the spare tire area - I never logged it as retrieved and after some searching figured I picked it up about 5 years before.

 

Not sure what you mean by 'private' cache but I doubt that would change anything.

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I believe the OP meant "premium members-only" caches instead of "private". As other have said, it's frustrating when bugs/coins disappear, but I'm not sure restricting them to PMO caches will help.

 

I find the best approach is to look at your travelers like a "message-in-a-bottle". It's neat when they successfully move, but based on the prevailing currents of people touching them, they may just end up tossing around the great seas.

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We released our first tb a few weeks ago and you know I really like the idea that it could possibly end up in any of 2 million caches around the world.......So, it may not get far, but that is the risk I have taken in sending it out to the big wide world. :rolleyes:

Edited by whh0

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All of us enjoy finding these items in caches. This makes up 50% of the fun and interest. It is exciting "Finding Treasure". My point is that I believe most of these people or muggles that are taking them permanently are not true geocachers.

 

50% for you, perhaps. For me, the fun and interest comes from being outside and exploring new places. Yes, trackables are fun, but they're hardly half the game. You're making judgments about who are and aren't "true" geocachers, and you're making an assumption that all missing trackables are stolen. While many trackables do get stolen, many others get moved along. Some get lost or forgotten, only to show up months or years later.

 

If they continue to disappear, geocachers will stop setting travel bugs and geocoins on their journeys. Geocaching.com and Groundspeak don't seem to care. They will eventually see the lack of interest affect their business.

 

I doubt that the risk of theft will keep people from releasing their trackables. As has been said before, once you set a trackable free you give up all claims of ownership. There's not a single thing Groundspeak can do to to keep trackables from going missing other than stop selling codes and believe me, that's not going to happen.

 

Geocaching is the only hobby that you don't have to invest any additional money if you have a computer. I personally find that if you don't invest your own time and money, you don't appreciate it. I am a private member and many other private members are trying this new approach to improve or geocaching fun and experiences. WE ARE ASKING THAT GEOCOINS AND TRAVEL BUGS BE PUT IN PRIVATE CACHES ONLY, that are not quick grabs.

 

I don't understand. First you say you don't need to invest any money, then you say that you do in order to enjoy the game. You're asking people to follow an arbitrary rule, in a game full of arbitrary rules. Some folks don't sign logs, others don't log online. Some log trackables, and others steal them. The sentiment behind your post is understood, but it's not something that will ever happen. Just because a cache is Premium doesn't mean it's any better hidden or less likely to be stolen from. After all, if someone is a dedicated trackable thief, do you really think a $5/mo. membership will stop them?

 

I just know I won't continue spending $4 - 5 on a travel bug tag that disappears in the 4th or 5th geocache. I won't even consider purchasing another geocoin, unless this new system we are trying helps reduce our losses.

 

It's your money; spend it or don't. $5 is the cost of a cheap lunch, a couple of lottery tickets, a pint of ice cream, or half a movie ticket. It's more or less a negligible cost for most people, and for many cachers that cost is worth the risk of releasing it into the wild. Play the game the way you want, but don't expect to be able to control the actions of others.

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The solution is to not release them in the wild. :D What are "private cache"? I have never heard of private caches... is that for Platinum Members? If you mean Premium Member caches, thats not going to stop people from stealing them.

Exactly, don't release them into the wild, and if you do, use a proxy not worth stealing. Private caches are not part of Groundspeak, but caches passed from trusted members to another member. Looks like the OP wants $20 for you to be a member of a private cache group, but I do it for free with other geocaching members on my FB account. I don't use my same user name, or trackables registered to this account, and coordinates are never posted on this site. Private caches are for private members only. :ph34r:

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I'm starting to wonder how much missing TBs is theft and how much is error.

 

I've heard stories from many veteran caches how they picked up a TB and months later they found it at the bottom of a backpack or under a car seat. It even happened to me earlier this year.

 

A friend of mine launched a TB in 2010. After a couple months it was picked up in GA and never dropped again. A month ago it suddenly dropped off in a cache in CA by the same person who had last picked it up. They had failed to respond to a message from the TB owner and judging by their stats had almost totally stopped caching during that 1 1/2 year span.

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How will that prevent anything different than current activities.

 

Just because it's premium cache, and you can see who's been looking at the cache, doesn't mean squat!

Doesn't prove anything, and there would be hell to pay if anyone actually accused me of taking a TB just because I was at the cache, or looked at it!

 

Many times I've had people send me a note that a TB was missing from one of my caches, and upon checking, there were several cachers at the cache after the bug was dropped .... none of them telling me the bug was missing. Which of there cachers should I accuse!

 

The only way to guarantee a bug won't go missing is to not put it out!

 

And as for asking that your TBs be placed in Premium only caches ..... Most folks wouldn't read that anyway, and if I did, I probably wouldn't take the bug because I wouldn't want to have to look for a PM only cache to put it in.

Edited by BC & MsKitty

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What's all this talk? I get "Charter Member". Sort of get "Platinum". "Premium" is a given. Now we got cachers flaunting their private members! When is it going to stop? Geez, a cacher could get a complex around here. Just don't tell me there are platinum private members out there. That would be hard to take. :unsure:

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I don't leave coins/bugs in low difficulty non PMO caches that are near high muggle areas. A big part of the problem is bored smart phone users who stumble to the easiest cache to try out this geocaching thing.

 

Otherwise, any cache should welcome a traveler.

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I think we should take care in thinking a certain "kind" of cacher is stealing TBs. While I admit there is a problem with new cachers not knowing how to log TBs into or out of caches. It is not stealing. More of a lack of education. Ground Speak has tried. In the news email and other forms. Does not seem to be sinking in.

 

I have a missing TB that went 70 miles. Was dropped in a challenge cache that should only be logged by those with 1000 finds or more. Never seen again. You would think cachers with that amount of finds would know what to do with it.

 

Then I have a TB being held by a low numbers cacher that has never responds to emails. Oh well.

 

Like others have said. You put them out there and take your chances. Maybe they will make it to europe and the user will post great pictures of the alps! Or it may go no were. Take a chance and find out.

 

As for placing TBs in certain caches. NO, I just want one that will hold a TB. Hard enough to find one big enough to fit swag or a TB.

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I've had great luck with my coins and TBs, though I understand the frustration. I've only lost a couple out of dozens, and that was to one archived cache and another muggled/trashed.

 

You can always ask for someone to place in PMO caches, but I know around here, for example, there are maybe three of those and they're all micro. And those aren't found as often...I think it would really slow down trackable movement, but maybe that's an even trade off for you. Would you then stop taking trackables from other caches? It seems unfair to release some that you'd only like premium members to find and move while still finding and enjoying the trackables of others.

 

If half of the fun of caching for you is trackables, why shouldn't everyone else be able experience the joy of finding and moving them? My most recent release was picked up by someone with only a few finds, and she included a pic of her with it in the log and the excited note that it was the first geocoin she'd found. Then she moved it several states south and dropped it off.

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It is nice to see the feedback. I meant to say Premium Members and Caches. I edited my post. I am sorry that many of you read this a threat to open geocaching. It isn't. Some of us would like to see things improve. This is a suggestion. I am not saying to accuse someone of a theft. I am saying maybe this will help with the disappearances. From a quick suvey 90% of the geocachers who have sent a geocoin or travel bug on its way are disappointed when it disappears. Geocaching is very fun in many ways, hiking, enjoying the outdoors, finding new location, solving mysteries, but "treasure hunting" is what it is all about, hence "Geocaching is a free real-world outdoor treasure hunt."

Edited by BassTroutMaster

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I won't even consider purchasing another geocoin, unless this new system we are trying helps reduce our losses.

Well, it’s worth a try.

 

Some of the biggest reasons TB vanish are, they’re misplaced (lost and forgotten), given to the kids where they get lost or misplaced, picked up by people who then lose interest in caching, or picked up by people who for some reason keep them due to not knowing any better (you know, not understanding the huge “Don’t Keep Me” text) thinking "Cool, free treasure".

 

TBs are stolen by non-cachers, “disgruntled” cachers and ex-cachers, and sometimes by actual cachers with sticky fingers. But one thing that keeps popping up is angry cachers -- people who can’t seem to manage a TB, hold it forever, and an angry TB owner makes the angry TB holder so angry, it’s never seen again. As if both parties are just waiting around for the chance to be passive-aggressive with each other. That one’s almost not even a Geocaching issue. :rolleyes:

 

But the angry cacher thing causes people to be very reluctant to admit they lost the TB.

Edited by kunarion

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Well, good luck with that...

With many not bothering to read cache pages, I'd bet few ever look at a trackable's mission.

There's not much chance someone will place a trackable into only premium caches.

For some, the closest PMO hide may be 50 or better miles away.

More than half of the PMO hides in my area are micros.

- And I'd bet that if notified by an anal trackable owner, a few would probably disappear even sooner.

 

Notice that everyone (so far) responding is a premium member.

Not really an exclusive club and you're kinda preaching to the choir.

Realize that we on the forums comprise less than a percent of the total geocaching population.

- So 99+% of the caching population have no idea of what you're trying to accomplish.

 

Please explain. What is "open geocaching"? Sounds familiar...

 

I consider myself a "true" geocacher and I could care less if a trackable's in a cache.

Most I know canned the thinking that caching is a "treasure hunt", believing that's where most muggle problems arise. Looking for treasure.

- Mctoys and rocks leave 'em pissed and they take it out on the cache and well, maybe, your trackable too.

I prefer to just enjoy the outdoors, thanks.

Edited by cerberus1

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I'm starting to wonder how much missing TBs is theft and how much is error.

Whilst I have no tangible data to support it, my guess is that the vast majority of missing bugs/coins is due to error. Either they don't know they are dealing with something with its own tracking process, or they accidentally lose it to the bowels of their backpack/spare tire carrier/suitcase/etc. I realize that, as this hobby is open to everyone, there will, occasionally be a bad apple, but I cannot imagine there are hordes of cachers out there looking to actually steal a mini rubber flip flop affixed to an aluminum tag.

 

If there is any accuracy to my guess, placing bugs in PMO caches will not reduce the number which go missing, since this hobby is inundated by folks who dive in with both feet, all excited, pay their one year premium membership, then lose interest.

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I am moving this thread from the run of the mill free Geocaching Topics forum to a premium, specialized forum so it won't get lost.

  • Funny 1

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Several of us are owners of lost or stolen travel bugs and geocoins. My opinion is that they are stolen. I don't know what possesses true geocahers to keep theses items. All of us enjoy finding these items in caches. This makes up 50% of the fun and interest. It is exciting "Finding Treasure". My point is that I believe most of these people or muggles that are taking them permanently are not true geocachers. By the time you put together travel bugs or purchased geocoins you have spent a minimum of $6 and as much as $16 on the cheapest travel bug or geocoin not to mention our time and effort. We want to see them move on! If they continue to disappear, geocachers will stop setting travel bugs and geocoins on their journeys. Geocaching.com and Groundspeak don't seem to care. They will eventually see the lack of interest affect their business.

 

So few travel bugs and geocoins are in our area. The numbers of found geocoins and travel bugs continue to fall and so has the geocaching interest. So I and a few other "Premium Member Cachers" are asking that out travel bugs and geocoins be moved to other "Premium Member Caches" and also avoid quick grabs. Quick grabs are too easily spotted by nongeochers and muggles, who really don't care about geocaching as a sport or hobby. Geocaching is the only hobby that you don't have to invest any additional money if you have a computer. I personally find that if you don't invest your own time and money, you don't appreciate it. I am a Premium Member and many other Premium Members are trying this new approach to improve or geocaching fun and experiences. WE ARE ASKING THAT GEOCOINS AND TRAVEL BUGS BE PUT IN PREMIUM MEMBER CACHES ONLY, that are not quick grabs.

 

We don't know if this is going to work, but we have all felt the need to try something to keep us interested in this fun and exciting hobby. $30 a year for a private membership isn't much if it maintains our level of fun.

 

I just know I won't continue spending $4 - 5 on a travel bug tag that disappears in the 4th or 5th geocache. I won't even consider purchasing another geocoin, unless this new system we are trying helps reduce our losses.

 

What a load of crap.

 

Do whatever you want with the trackables you own, make any misinformed assumptions that aren't based in reality, but don't try to push your misguided ideas on the rest of us, please.

 

From what I've observed, trackables go missing because eagle-eyed kiddies know darned well where the caches are, and raid them on a regular basis. Gee, what's with the parade of people heading to that tree all the time? Oh, look...goodies and shiny things.

 

I'm hopeful that it's only a very small group of people who have this attitude that somehow PM means "better than the rest of you".

 

 

B.

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I'm starting to wonder how much missing TBs is theft and how much is error.

I don't have any hard evidence, but my guess is that error and lack of knowledge are far greater factors in trackables going missing than theft. The number of times I've found a trackable in a different cache than the website says it should be in tells me a lot of people don't know what they're doing as far as trackables are concerned.

 

The plan to only put trackables in PMO caches may reduce the disappearance of trackables, but only because it will cut casual and new basic members out of the trackable side-game, not because it will reduce theft. I say that if you're planning on going to such lengths to protect your trackables, then you may want to consider not releasing them at all.

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Well, good luck with that...

With many not bothering to read cache pages, I'd bet few ever look at a trackable's mission.

 

I prefer to just enjoy the outdoors, thanks.

 

^^ This and this. ^^

 

I released two coins at an event, each of which had the mission "to be passed from hand to hand and never be placed in a cache." Within the week each one had been placed in a cache, picked up, and placed in a different cache. I'll try to move trackables along on their specific missions, but I suspect that I'm in a significant minority there.

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I think 90% (maybe more) is just ignorance of how to handle trackable...or even ignorance of the purpose of those fancy little coins you might find in a geocache. Let's face it, people are lazy. Too lazy to read through the rules of the games, such as they are. Too lazy to read the little instruction sheet that often comes in the little plastic pouch with the coin. Too lazy to bother going to the website just to log the coin. I honestly don't know how to make people understand aside from grabbing their shoulders and giving them a good shake...but short of doing that, or several of the things that Groundspeak might do in order to bring it to their attention, there's just no way to reduce that 90%.

 

I do think putting them only in Premium caches helps...but you can't ensure that anyone who finds it will actually comply. All it takes is one forgetful, lazy or thoughtless person...or just someone having a bad day (we all do, right?).

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What's all this talk? I get "Charter Member". Sort of get "Platinum". "Premium" is a given. Now we got cachers flaunting their private members! When is it going to stop? Geez, a cacher could get a complex around here. Just don't tell me there are platinum private members out there. That would be hard to take. :unsure:

 

Well, there are different degrees of private geocaching group members, and we are also supporters of Groundspeak. We share trackable geocoins as friendship tokens and help our fellow geocachers and others. :ph34r:

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Premium member might be more knowledgable but knowledge does not equate to good morals.

 

If only..

 

I think perhaps harder caches might discourage theft, but its just a thought.

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I appreciate the fact the OP is willing to discuss the issue and at least offer a solution. Anybody here have a better idea?

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If you look at the the numbers from shellbadger's collection, it would seem that a surprising number of offenders "holding" travel bugs for extended periods of time are, in fact, premium members. I'm planning to put out some locking ammo cans that require the finder to solve a puzzle or riddle to get the combination. Hopefully, this will help to some degree, but I doubt it will completely solve the problem.

 

IMG_0142_zps32bbcc0c.jpg

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What's all this talk? Just don't tell me there are platinum private members out there. That would be hard to take. :unsure:

 

Pssst! Email me & I'll get you an invitation for an exclusive platinum private membership. Just keep this hush-hush!

 

Just kidding!

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If you look at the the numbers from shellbadger's collection, it would seem that a surprising number of offenders "holding" travel bugs for extended periods of time are, in fact, premium members. I'm planning to put out some locking ammo cans that require the finder to solve a puzzle or riddle to get the combination. Hopefully, this will help to some degree, but I doubt it will completely solve the problem.

 

IMG_0142_zps32bbcc0c.jpg

 

I have found ammo cans that have a lock and chain on them, but none of the listed trackables in them. It is hard to steal a ammo can chained to a building in a tourist resort. :laughing:

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Some of what I do to increase the chances of my travel bugs movement to other caches, I add a tag with a short description of its mission sealed in plastic coating to protect and strengthen it and attached it to the travel bug. If anything I hope my posting stirs up enthusiam to move the travel bugs along in their journeys.

 

Groundspeak/Geocaching.com has added a new scan-able QR Tech Tag. Each tag features a unique QR code that takes you directly to the the item's trackable page on Geocaching.com. I would like to see them adopt this with all travel bug tags. It would help increase awareness and some of the geocaching game rules.

Edited by BassTroutMaster

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Some of what I do to increase the chances of my travel bugs movement to other caches, I add a tag with a short description of its mission sealed in plastic coating to protect and strengthen it and attached it to the travel bug. If anything I hope my posting stirs up enthusiam to move the travel bugs along in their journeys.

 

Groundspeak/Geocaching.com has added a new scan-able QR Tech Tag. Each tag features a unique QR code that takes you directly to the the item's trackable page on Geocaching.com. I would like to see them adopt this with all travel bug tags. It would help increase awareness and some of the geocaching game rules.

 

Did you read any of the above? The majority of cachers never read your post...

 

Nothing new, most TBs we've ever found had an attached mission tag and often was within a baggie (to keep 'em cleaner and all-together, I guess). They still turn up missing.

 

Using a QR code only helps in easier logging in the field for those with smartphones or other means of scanning them.

The code only directs you to the TB's page.

Unless you plaster TB guidelines all over your trackable's page (that few would read anyway), no one would be any wiser to guidlines or TB etiquette by using the new system of logging.

 

- Still awaiting a definition of "open geocaching"...

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A big part of the problem is bored smart phone users who stumble to the easiest cache to try out this geocaching thing.

That accounts for probably 75% of the problem for sure, imo.

(edit from 90% to 75)

Edited by threenow24

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I think 90% (maybe more) is just ignorance of how to handle trackable...or even ignorance of the purpose of those fancy little coins you might find in a geocache. Let's face it, people are lazy. Too lazy to read through the rules of the games, such as they are. Too lazy to read the little instruction sheet that often comes in the little plastic pouch with the coin. Too lazy to bother going to the website just to log the coin. I honestly don't know how to make people understand aside from grabbing their shoulders and giving them a good shake...but short of doing that, or several of the things that Groundspeak might do in order to bring it to their attention, there's just no way to reduce that 90%.

 

I do think putting them only in Premium caches helps...but you can't ensure that anyone who finds it will actually comply. All it takes is one forgetful, lazy or thoughtless person...or just someone having a bad day (we all do, right?).

Hammer, meet nailhead.

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My Travel Bug was last logged as being collected by a member in 2011 and despite numerous personal messages to this person I have had no replies. I know this member is active by looking at their profile.

Can anyone advise on any other actions I can take in an attempt to get my Bug on the move again? :rolleyes:

Thanks.

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My Travel Bug was last logged as being collected by a member in 2011 and despite numerous personal messages to this person I have had no replies. I know this member is active by looking at their profile.

Can anyone advise on any other actions I can take in an attempt to get my Bug on the move again? :rolleyes:

Thanks.

Yes. Put something on your TB's page (non-accusatory) about the situation. Otherwise how do cachers (such as friends of the currently listed holder) know you're waiting for it to move?

 

And see this. It explains some "gotchas", plus it's a plan for a TB, even after it has pretty much vanished forever.

Edited by kunarion

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DISLIKE anyone who does Premium only stuff. You are free to do it, but I think it presumes that people who pay are better than those that don't and that just isn't right to me.

 

Now, that said, I wonder if the whole trackable thing is dying off. I haven't seen one yet in a cache. I'm not caching a lot, but have tried to get small to regular caches more often. I think theft has just taken a toll on the whole thing. Seems to be more about "discovering" collected coins at meetings and events than moving cache to cache.

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DISLIKE anyone who does Premium only stuff. You are free to do it, but I think it presumes that people who pay are better than those that don't and that just isn't right to me.

 

No, but there are plenty of folks who find out about geocaching, casually try it once or twice then move on 'cause they aren't interested. I think it's safe to say if one has paid into it, they at least plan on giving it a chance for more than a couple days. Of course you can't blanketly state that Premium members are "better" about playing nice, but the odds are that a Premium member will be more likely to move TBs, log them properly and keep doing so for an extended period of time.

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Thank you for your support. This is my belief also. I don't think all premium members will play by the rules, but I think most of them understand the rules. Hopefully this will give them a better chance. Anyone that has sent geocoins or travel bugs on a mission also realize they do mean something more than the cost and effort of just getting them placed into a geocache. My family and I monitor their travels quite closely.

 

Someone commented that this implies that I will only do premium caches, which I won't. I like any challenging cache or at some new unknown location to me.

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No, but there are plenty of folks who find out about geocaching, casually try it once or twice then move on 'cause they aren't interested. I think it's safe to say if one has paid into it, they at least plan on giving it a chance for more than a couple days. Of course you can't blanketly state that Premium members are "better" about playing nice, but the odds are that a Premium member will be more likely to move TBs, log them properly and keep doing so for an extended period of time.

Never seen any data to support that accusation. I found it doesn't matter.

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Having only PM cachers move your bug might, and I stress the word might, increase the chances of keeping your bug moving by a very small percentage.

 

More important is choosing the right cache to place the bug. What happens is that you clear out your area and you are left with only revisits of a cache that is A. large enough and B. safe enough. Then you end up with a location with too many bugs and not enough pass-through cachers willing to pick them up.

 

Far as I'm concerned the best place for a bug is a highway rest stop.

 

Here's what I think is the two biggest problems with bugs. In order.

 

1. Your bug isn't interesting enough to be worth moving. Who gives a crap if "Move me to the next cache" is the goal. You should add "or not" to the mission.

 

2. Micros. You complain about visit logs but then again you don't place caches big enough to hold a bug.

 

Keep in mind I'm not offering my ideas for a solution.

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When we first started geocaching a couple of years ago, we noticed that almost every geocacher that we came across in the field was using a hand held GPS unit.

These days most geocachers that we have met have been using smart phones.

Apart from the natural elements of destruction that occur regularly in Australia such as bush fires and flooding combined with land redevelopment and maintenance workers finding them by accident.

Could part of the problem be that in the past a financial commitment of outlaying money for the GPS meant that the members were more dedicated than the random one time geocacher with kids attached using a smart phone. and the kids coming back later to raid the cache on a regular basis?

I know of several caches that have a habit of being Bermuda triangles for trackables.

Regardless of that my partner and I started of with about 25 tbs, of which 8 have gone missing. This still does not deter us from releasing another 10 in the next few weeks.

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I personally find that if you don't invest your own time and money, you don't appreciate it. I am a Premium Member and many other Premium Members are trying this new approach to improve or geocaching fun and experiences. WE ARE ASKING THAT GEOCOINS AND TRAVEL BUGS BE PUT IN PREMIUM MEMBER CACHES ONLY, that are not quick grabs.

 

We don't know if this is going to work, but we have all felt the need to try something to keep us interested in this fun and exciting hobby. $30 a year for a private membership isn't much if it maintains our level of fun.

There's a recent forum post by a new basic member who claims to have stolen a trackable from a premium cache as a protest. People are demanding premium member benefits for free, and have no qualms about destroying Geocaches and trackables in this weird “protest”. Definitely, trackables are being stolen, as a punishment due to some imagined slight. The thieves are like this in everything they do, it's not just about TBs nor Geocaching -- they have serious psychological problems. Yet they can never get the help they are crying out for, in an anonymous game.

 

Trackables are owned by people, and by definition, trackable. There are few items in this world that can so easily be returned to their rightful owners. If TPTB would step up and assist Geocachers, this problem would cease. But they absolutely refuse to help Geocachers, they side with the thieves, and they have put this in writing (It's also fully documented here in these forums). It's disgusting. I guess it's a business decision, that more stolen trackables equals more purchased replacements.

 

Your plans are an uphill battle. Good luck with that.

Edited by kunarion

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I just wanted to add my two cents into this conversation. I have been geocaching for 3 years, but I only cache during the summer season. I actually love the idea of the trackables and have purchased three of my own (one of which hasn't been heard from in over a year, but could possibly be stuck in a rural cache that is rarely found). I haven't given up that my missing TB won't eventually come back into circulation someday.

I would think that missing trackables happen for several legitimate reasons. One being that kids, for some uncanny reason, are able to find these geocaches without even knowing to look for them. I'm sure many of the swag and trackables are in some local kid's toybox - maybe actually even being played with.

I was once guilty of not moving along a geocoin. I had picked it up from one of the last caches I found in the fall, and then it started snowing. I found it in the bag I use for geocaching in the spring and had completely forgotten about it. Yes, some negligence on my part, but it was not a malicious act. I am actually one of the people who looks up the trackable's page to see what it's mission is and tries my best to carry out it's mission or at least send it on its way. I would also guess that some trackables go missing from cachers who cache TOO MUCH and simply can't keep up with the bookkeeping end of the process. And yes, those caches that are muggled or found/destroyed by city workers, etc.

I am willing to take the risk of my trackable going missing when I buy it, and the fact that it may disappear does not discourage me one bit. I choose to just keep hoping that it will someday reappear.

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Trackables are owned by people, and by definition, trackable. There are few items in this world that can so easily be returned to their rightful owners. If TPTB would step up and assist Geocachers, this problem would cease. But they absolutely refuse to help Geocachers, they side with the thieves, and they have put this in writing (It's also fully documented here in these forums). It's disgusting. I guess it's a business decision, that more stolen trackables equals more purchased replacements.

I agree and am really surprised that cachers who buy these things don't "step up" too.

As long as they keep buying things they'll lose, nothing will be done.

CJ used to be a coin freak. So much so that I bought her a collapsible hand truck to lug 'em around when she went to events for trades.

- We said enough's enough and are no longer buying trackables that the site won't help us with when held by another.

 

If a moratorium on sales was able to be accomplished, I believe the site would wake up and realize not all of us are stupid naive enough to keep the cash cow flowing.

- But with some in these forums manufacturers and retailers, who rely on the sales of these things too, that won't happen here.

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I just started this hobby. While there are a lot of caches in this rural one horse town area, the vast majority of them are micros with log only. There was one that was large enough to contain items but is apparently often muggled with used condoms left in one case. Fortunately when I found it was empty but I did use latex gloves to handle it. Yesterday I found my first cache big enough to contain several items and a TB. It came from a state park 35 miles or so west to this cache on some private land. The first had last been logged as found a month ago with no mention of removing the TB. The cache I found it in had not been logged as found for several months. So failure to log is an issue as well as ignorance if most of what you find is log only caches. I hope I'm not careless enough to fail to drop this next month -- I'm going to an area that gets it over half way to it's goal. I may get stupid and forget. I hope not.

 

How do change it? You can't. People don't run on my priorities or yours. They operate on their own priorities and often very loosely at that. You won't change that.

 

There are an amazing number of things that I spend money on that I don't ever get a return on but it's part of the things I get enjoyment from. One of those things is to go fishing with lures that generally start about $5 apiece. Amazing how many don't make it back home with me from that first fishing trip. Truthfully, more than a few of them didn't make it back to shore after the first cast. But if you're not losing lures to snags, you're not catching fish. I suspect that if you're not losing TBs, you're not doing much tracking. I intend to lose a few trackables of my own. That's known as the cost of doing business. YMMV

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Several of us are owners of lost or stolen travel bugs and geocoins. My opinion is that they are stolen. I don't know what possesses true geocahers to keep theses items. All of us enjoy finding these items in caches. This makes up 50% of the fun and interest. It is exciting "Finding Treasure". My point is that I believe most of these people or muggles that are taking them permanently are not true geocachers. By the time you put together travel bugs or purchased geocoins you have spent a minimum of $6 and as much as $16 on the cheapest travel bug or geocoin not to mention our time and effort. We want to see them move on! If they continue to disappear, geocachers will stop setting travel bugs and geocoins on their journeys. Geocaching.com and Groundspeak don't seem to care. They will eventually see the lack of interest affect their business.

 

When you realise a travel bug you really need to think of it as taking a $10 bill, folding it into a paper aeroplane, and throwing it from the top of a tall building just to see where it ends up. If you're not willing to think of your TB in those terms don't release it.

 

Why should Groundspeak care about travel bugs going missing? It's not as if they can watch over every cache to make sure people who take them plan to move them on and then check up on the people who took them to make sure they did move them on. If enough people get sick of them going missing and stop buying them so be it.

 

People who take bugs and don't move them on might be TB thieves who specifically go and steal interesting geocoins. They might be people who saw a cool item and didn't realise what the silver tag on it was for (two novelty bottle openers I released as TBs disappeared almost instantly), they might be people who picked them up and moved them on but didn't realise how to log them, they might be people who picked them up and then stopped caching for whatever reason. It happens.

 

So few travel bugs and geocoins are in our area. The numbers of found geocoins and travel bugs continue to fall and so has the geocaching interest. So I and a few other "Premium Member Cachers" are asking that out travel bugs and geocoins be moved to other "Premium Member Caches" and also avoid quick grabs. Quick grabs are too easily spotted by nongeochers and muggles, who really don't care about geocaching as a sport or hobby. Geocaching is the only hobby that you don't have to invest any additional money if you have a computer. I personally find that if you don't invest your own time and money, you don't appreciate it. I am a Premium Member and many other Premium Members are trying this new approach to improve or geocaching fun and experiences. WE ARE ASKING THAT GEOCOINS AND TRAVEL BUGS BE PUT IN PREMIUM MEMBER CACHES ONLY, that are not quick grabs.

 

We don't know if this is going to work, but we have all felt the need to try something to keep us interested in this fun and exciting hobby. $30 a year for a private membership isn't much if it maintains our level of fun.

 

It won't make any difference at all. Caches get muggled and when that happens the TBs in them disappear. Premium members forget they picked up travel bugs too, and premium members lose travel bugs. I had a TB that I picked up in the US, brought home to England, and then couldn't find anywhere. I did eventually find it and move it on but it took me 11 months. If during those 11 months I'd given up geocaching and there wasn't a suitably sized cache within a short walk of home the chances are that TB would have gone in the trash.

 

I just know I won't continue spending $4 - 5 on a travel bug tag that disappears in the 4th or 5th geocache. I won't even consider purchasing another geocoin, unless this new system we are trying helps reduce our losses.

 

I don't release TBs any more for precisely the same reasons but others still do. I sometimes think the business model relies on new people signing up to give things a try as fast as existing people get tired of the business model and fade away, but in the meantime $30/year represents value for money from my perspective even when many months go by with me finding less than 10-20 caches per month.

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When you realise a travel bug you really need to think of it as taking a $10 bill, folding it into a paper aeroplane, and throwing it from the top of a tall building just to see where it ends up. If you're not willing to think of your TB in those terms don't release it.

 

Why should Groundspeak care about travel bugs going missing? It's not as if they can watch over every cache to make sure people who take them plan to move them on and then check up on the people who took them to make sure they did move them on. If enough people get sick of them going missing and stop buying them so be it.

Yes! This needs to be pinned at the top of the Trackable forums, and in the Trackables' help files, and in each Trackable description in the Groundspeak store. A lot of people don't know that they are giving away their Trackable when placing them in Geocaches, with no recourse, zero assistance from Groundspeak, and even Geocachers encouraging thieves by suggesting that you must be willing for the thieves to steal them. Get the word out!

Edited by kunarion

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What more, exactly, is it that you want Groundspeak to do? They can't police every cache and trackable. They have instructions all over the place. How is a relatively small company in Seattle, with some volunteers throughout the world, supposed to stop thieves, unmonitored children, forgetful loggers, unorganized people, slow movers, etc...from causing these to go missing?

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What more, exactly, is it that you want Groundspeak to do? They can't police every cache and trackable. They have instructions all over the place. How is a relatively small company in Seattle, with some volunteers throughout the world, supposed to stop thieves, unmonitored children, forgetful loggers, unorganized people, slow movers, etc...from causing these to go missing?

They have complete control over logs. When Groundspeak refused to correct falsified TB logs on stolen TBs (faked to prepare the TBs to be sold on ebay), I realized there's likely nothing they will do.

 

I want them to stop that kind of obvious fraud, by correcting the logs when the fraud is proven. Actually, it's too late for those TBs, and too late to do anything. The bridge has been crossed, and it's bad news for all Trackables in caches. So it really doesn't matter what I want. But thanks for asking! :anicute:

Edited by kunarion

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I'm not sure I am familiar with that story. Feel free to PM me.

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I'm not sure I am familiar with that story. Feel free to PM me.

PM sent.

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