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BassTroutMaster

Solution to Stolen Travel Bugs

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The only 100% foolproof way to keep trackables from going missing is not to release them into the wild.

 

Barring that, the only long-term solution for trackable owners is patience.

 

That said, not all TBs that go missing are gone forever. We've had a few resurface lately that weren't logged for a couple years but were still being moved around, someone just finally logged them. And we just picked up a TB with a disposable camera that had been out of action for 10 years, we'll be moving it along.

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Caches that go missing eventually get archived, so they're not so noticeable on the website. If all the caches that were ever published were still showing on this website, people would be constantly discussing how hard it is to place a cache and not have it stolen =:-) how often going on the hunt ends in disappointment, cache clearly long gone.

 

Missing trackables often appear in inventories for years and years, as neither the cache owner nor the trackable owner knows to Mark Missing.

This creates an appearance of the problem being worse than perhaps it really is. Not that I downplay the issue of cachers, especially unknowing novices, taking the shiny thing and keeping it.

 

If some of the posters in the many many threads about missing coins and bugs in this section bumped this thread in the Geocaching.com Web Site forum,

[FEATURE] System to remove "ghost" trackables from cache inventories

perhaps something might happen with it. Some site mechanism to clear dead trackable inventories.

 

edit linky thingy

That has nothing to do with the OP, which was an idea to keep Trackables from going missing. Which may or may not work all that well :ph34r:, but it's not at all about ideas to hide info after the Trackables are stolen.

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the only way to prevent this is to pay for a premium membership

If I can add to that .....

If the TBs are placed in "Premium Member Only" caches non-Premium Members would not be able to locate them.

That's a good point! One of the issues, especially for novices or non-cachers who find a TB, is there's kind of a learning curve. People can't simply drop it in a mailbox to fix things (OK, maybe they can, I haven't actually tried it). They have to join Geocaching.com, ask in the Forum, wade through the ensuing list of contradictory/obligatory answers, and then the hard part begins.

 

...or maybe they find the Geocaching.com contact info and send an email directly to HQ, bypassing the Forums. Anyway, then the hard part begins; returning the TB to the game. Even Geocachers have multiple excuses in their own minds for vandalizing, stealing, or trashing Trackables, including plans for hiding the evidence afterwards (just look around the Forums). So if some non-PM person (or non-Geocacher) finds a PMO-only TB loose somewhere, PMO that adds a complication.

 

In this brave new world of entitlement and instant gratification, how much work will a random finder put into finding a TB Owner? Not much, that's how much. In fact, the idea of Trackables in general is to NOT find the TB Owner, but to place it back into a cache [PMO-only TB or not] where it's likely to vanish immediately. That one remaining honest person went to a lot of work for nothing.

 

Having said that - my TB plus 30+ others were stolen by Premium Members !!!

Yeah. So much for the OP's entire premise... :ph34r:

Edited by kunarion

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Losing a TB or coin, to me is not the cost of the item, it's how many miles it's traveled. I have a coin from the "Great Train Race" that I was allowed to adopt after the race was over and even though it didn't cost me anything I would really hate to have it go missing because it has almost 36,000 miles on it.

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Losing a TB or coin, to me is not the cost of the item, it's how many miles it's traveled. I have a coin from the "Great Train Race" that I was allowed to adopt after the race was over and even though it didn't cost me anything I would really hate to have it go missing because it has almost 36,000 miles on it.

 

My first two TBs were stolen before they went a single mile. :angry:

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I understand the whole premise to the disagreements to a of limiting exposure to only premium member caches and i gave to say I agree. I have done just that and have been having significantly better luck with my Bugs and coins. That being said after a point you're at the mercy of those who come after you. I had a bug travel thousands of miles only to disappear after being put in a famous cache at the site of the Normandy Invasion of WWII. I was super excited to see where it would go next but Pssssstp Bupkiss 😜

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I think that we need to educate new geocachers on what Trackables are rather than restricting Trackables to Premium caches. There are many experienced cachers with free accounts that haven't made the switch just yet.

 

I would recommend to geocaching.com to limit Trackables to people who have racked up a certain amount of finds. Alternatively, people could leave a note attached to their trackable (similar to a finder's note for muggles) explaining what a Trackable is or at least the importance of not moving the Trackable if you don't know what is.

 

I agree with several of your points but I think that it is up to Groundspeak to make a plausible solution that doesn't exclude cachers. Putting trackables in only premium caches is one step towards making Geocaching a paid hobby- something that will not attract new cachers.

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

PM sent.

 

I'm curious. Please point me in the right direction also.

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Between my wife and I, we have lost about 25 travel tags. We brought them all back to inventory in case we decide to have copies made and resend them out. I have seen where some tags resurface 5 or even 8 yrs. later. Also thought about putting them in a premium member cache only but then what happens when that premium member puts it in a park & grab? You cannot control where it goes after placing it. Muggles can find premium caches also. Not that hard to watch someone from a distance and see what their doing. If you get copies made and the original pops up later, that would just add confusion to it all. There is no cure that will work 100% on these ideas. My thoughts is to send them out, lose them and buy more.

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13 hours ago, hikerjames52 said:

 Also thought about putting them in a premium member cache only but then what happens when that premium member puts it in a park & grab? You cannot control where it goes after placing it.

Agreed.

Add in that most well-known trackable hoarders and cache maggots were premium members at one time. 

Most of the trackable logging errors we're seeing lately are done by premium members.

 - But then we realize that simply coughing thirty bucks a year doesn't make one wiser, or considerate.  :)

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I am sad about the whole trackable situation, as well. Most are not in the caches listed. It can be a frustrating hunt. A small percentage of mine are routinely moved along.  I have wondered if the whole trackable thing is dying out, somewhat.

 

I've had a couple of really nice exchanges with cachers who picked up my bugs & didn't log them. I found out they didn't really know what to do with them. One thought they logged it correctly, but had not. I try not to email people, because it does seem rather creepy. : ) But, again, have had some good results.

 

I do watch where I place trackables and put it in a baggie with detailed instructions. I also carry bags and cards for bagless/cardless TBs I move along.

 

Here is a little solution...well, not solution...but increases the pleasure of the game if you really love trackables. "Watch" your favorite trackables that you move (ones you don't own). It doubles the amount of trackables that you monitor. I have found it can ease those trackable-blues. 

 

It really is random how they go missing. I found a really nice coin that I was sure would be taken. I placed it in a cache and "watched" it. It is still going strong. 

 

I actually would be in favor of a separate, private system or platform to join, only for playing trackables...in theory...but don't really think it would work in practice, because you would have limited people playing, so the bugs would still sit for long periods.

 

Anyway, yes---frustrating and sometimes really sad (especially trackables missing with sentimental journeys, i.e. in memory of someone). And, yes, I wish a solution could be found to improve the odds of trackables making it. I would like to be notified of any changes in the trackable log (visits/photos) not just a drop/pick up. 

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On 7/6/2016 at 2:56 AM, nayakm said:

I would recommend to geocaching.com to limit Trackables to people who have racked up a certain amount of finds. Alternatively, people could leave a note attached to their trackable (similar to a finder's note for muggles) explaining what a Trackable is or at least the importance of not moving the Trackable if you don't know what is.

How will that work? A scout group comes along and one of the scouts grabs the TB. They won't care if there's a note or only people with a certain number of finds should take it. They like, they steal. "Kidnapped the bear." Yes, that was written after I left a TB in a cache and that TB had never reappeared. Sending a message to this scout and to whom I presumed was the scout leader, didn't get a reply.

The suggestion though of only leaving it in a Premier cache is worth consideration.

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It is sometimes sad to see a bug, with a sentimental history, go missing.

Here are two that I found and moved on years ago that I am still watching.

Travel Bug Dog TagBrrr it's Cold out here!

Travel Bug Dog TagThe Honeymooners

 

 

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13 hours ago, colleda said:

It is sometimes sad to see a bug, with a sentimental history, go missing.

Here are two that I found and moved on years ago that I am still watching.

Travel Bug Dog TagBrrr it's Cold out here!

Travel Bug Dog TagThe Honeymooners

 

 

Thanks for sharing! I really like these sentimental bugs. I have thought of releasing one in memory of my brothers, but know I have to have thick skin when I do!!  : ) 

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18 hours ago, BugLuv said:

Here is a little solution...well, not solution...but increases the pleasure of the game if you really love trackables. "Watch" your favorite trackables that you move (ones you don't own). It doubles the amount of trackables that you monitor. I have found it can ease those trackable-blues. 

 

We used to watch trackables,  then noticed that it increased our frustration of how careless folks are of property not theirs.

 -   Realizing that we were getting bugged over trackables that didn't even belong to us,   we now drop or discover 'em and move on.   :) 

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Sadly there will always be a risk in putting a Geocoin or Tb into a cache. We can only hope that geocachers do the right thing and move them along

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Posted (edited)

I live in a city and country where geocaching is not very common.  I very seldom geocached and I am back to the game after six years of no activity.  I found 2 TBs not mine, in the back of a drawer. That´s what made me back. I am trying to release them but most of the caches here (Rio de Janeiro, Brazil) are micros. So, I made a mistake, which was forgetting about these TBs for six years, but they are going back to the world now. I am really sorry for that and I am trying to fix it.  I have released 5 TBs though. All of them disapeared after sometime, but not here. They made to the US or Europe and disapeared there.  One of them even made up to Cabo Verde in Africa.  So I am having fun, anyway.  One of my TBs was lost on a box that was travelling from home to home by mail because of a mission started here at the Forum. Each one who received the box should take something, put something of equal value and nature inside and forward to the next user on a queue.  A Premium Member (a family profile, actually) received the box with lots of TBs, Geocoins, stickers, candies and gifts in general and never sent it forward.  This premium profile is still active and geocaching. Can I judge based on that? I dont think so. I dont have the faintest idea about what really happened.  I had TBs travelling for two or three years maximum. But that was plenty of fun too.  Well, I just think we should enjoy the game and take our chances. In my little geocaching activity I happened to find a cache that was not visited for lots of years and was located in the middle of some woods. There was a Dog Tag there, and I retrieved it, attached a new object to it (scrat for Ice age) and sent it on. The owner thanked me for that. In a world like the one we live in nowadays, it is amazing that nice things still keep happening although eventually interrupted by a misfortune. I choose to focus on the first. I geocached very little in my life but it has given me histories like these I can tell you and shared with the presence of my daughter, my forever geocaching companion. This is priceless to me. Good luck with your TBs in the future.  PS: About the 2 TBs I found on the back of a drawer, one of them was duplicated by the owner and I am waiting for his response to a message about releasing the old one again or not.

Edited by Lularib

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Another thing I remembered about is that several premium or not users enjoy keeping a TB for a long time or even forever just taking it to caches, and logging these ocasions, but never actually dropping them.

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