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BassTroutMaster

Solution to Stolen Travel Bugs

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

PM sent.

I'd love the story as well

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I've read through this thread, and for the most part I agree with everyone else; if you want to ensure your TB stays safe and sound, don't release it. Otherwise, it's the risk you take in this game.

 

The part that bugs me about this idea is this:

 

I am a Premium Member and many other Premium Members are trying this new approach to improve OUR geocaching fun and experiences. WE ARE ASKING THAT GEOCOINS AND TRAVEL BUGS BE PUT IN PREMIUM MEMBER CACHES ONLY

 

While, like others, I appreciate the sentiment behind wanting to find a way to keep TBs from being stolen, I don't really appreciate that idea. Because while that may (or may not) improve YOUR fun and experience, you would be taking away from the fun and experiences of MANY others, namely BASIC MEMBERS.

 

Someone else mentioned this in their post in this thread...

 

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.

 

...and I completely agree with that. If you choose to release TBs and request that they be placed in Premium Member Only caches, thereby ensuring that only PREMIUM members get to even see them....that's up to you. But I think it would be COMPLETELY wrong of anyone to take it upon themselves to move TBs from regular caches that even us lowly Basic Members can get to, to the "safety" of Premium Member Only caches. Because you are in essence taking those bugs out of circulation for the rest of us, and that's not fair; it's not YOUR place to decide that we Basic Members can't be trusted.

 

It's not like you have to pass some morality test to become a Premium Member, all it takes is $30 for a YEAR. Which, as others have pointed out, isn't a lot if someone is seriously dedicated to stealing trackables.

 

I think the best way to discourage TBs from being stolen is, as you said, to not put them in quick grab caches. I think the harder a cache is to find, the farther off the trail, the better chance it has of being safe from those who don't know what it is. And honestly, all of the best hidden caches I've found so far have obviously not been Premium Member caches. In fact, the one Premium Member Cache I stumbled across out in the field was actually the EASIEST find of the entire day, it was right at the beginning of a trail, closest cache to the parking lot.

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I've read through this thread, and for the most part I agree with everyone else; if you want to ensure your TB stays safe and sound, don't release it. Otherwise, it's the risk you take in this game.

 

The part that bugs me about this idea is this:

 

I am a Premium Member and many other Premium Members are trying this new approach to improve OUR geocaching fun and experiences. WE ARE ASKING THAT GEOCOINS AND TRAVEL BUGS BE PUT IN PREMIUM MEMBER CACHES ONLY

 

While, like others, I appreciate the sentiment behind wanting to find a way to keep TBs from being stolen, I don't really appreciate that idea. Because while that may (or may not) improve YOUR fun and experience, you would be taking away from the fun and experiences of MANY others, namely BASIC MEMBERS.

 

Someone else mentioned this in their post in this thread...

 

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.

 

...and I completely agree with that. If you choose to release TBs and request that they be placed in Premium Member Only caches, thereby ensuring that only PREMIUM members get to even see them....that's up to you. But I think it would be COMPLETELY wrong of anyone to take it upon themselves to move TBs from regular caches that even us lowly Basic Members can get to, to the "safety" of Premium Member Only caches. Because you are in essence taking those bugs out of circulation for the rest of us, and that's not fair; it's not YOUR place to decide that we Basic Members can't be trusted.

 

It's not like you have to pass some morality test to become a Premium Member, all it takes is $30 for a YEAR. Which, as others have pointed out, isn't a lot if someone is seriously dedicated to stealing trackables.

 

I think the best way to discourage TBs from being stolen is, as you said, to not put them in quick grab caches. I think the harder a cache is to find, the farther off the trail, the better chance it has of being safe from those who don't know what it is. And honestly, all of the best hidden caches I've found so far have obviously not been Premium Member caches. In fact, the one Premium Member Cache I stumbled across out in the field was actually the EASIEST find of the entire day, it was right at the beginning of a trail, closest cache to the parking lot.

$30 is a lot to discourage the people taking trackables and never to return them. If you read through most of the comments on all the forums. The people complaining the most about the lost trackables are owners, yes "OWNERS". They all say one thing. They are upset and a thinking about no longer sending trackables. Geocachers who have put out the cash and effort to send trackables will start leaving geocaching. Then, all those that will be complaining will be the ones that don't care about moving them along. There is a marked decrease already where I live. I have only seen 2 in the last year. Yet I am giving it another try and sending out 5 move in the next 2 months. I am an "owner" of trackables. If Premium caches are the only way I can keep my trackables moving then I am going to do it. The rest of you that don't seem to care, keep grabbing the marbles, toy solders, trash, and bubble gum wrappers.

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$30 is a lot to discourage the people taking trackables and never to return them. If you read through most of the comments on all the forums. The people complaining the most about the lost trackables are owners, yes "OWNERS". They all say one thing. They are upset and a thinking about no longer sending trackables. Geocachers who have put out the cash and effort to send trackables will start leaving geocaching. Then, all those that will be complaining will be the ones that don't care about moving them along. There is a marked decrease already where I live. I have only seen 2 in the last year. Yet I am giving it another try and sending out 5 move in the next 2 months. I am an "owner" of trackables. If Premium caches are the only way I can keep my trackables moving then I am going to do it. The rest of you that don't seem to care, keep grabbing the marbles, toy solders, trash, and bubble gum wrappers.

 

You can do whatever you want with your trackables, make them exclusively for Premium Members or don't, no skin off my back. But I think it would be wrong of you, or anyone else, to take trackables from regular caches and specifically move them to only Premium Member caches, because as I said, you're taking them out of circulation for the rest of us. And just because you don't think the rest of us deserve to see your trackables, doesn't mean the person who released that trackable feels the same.

 

I'm not saying trackables should NEVER visit Premium Member Only caches. But I think it would be wrong of a group of Premium Members to conspire to keep all the trackables in an area in the Premium Members Only caches. It's not your place to decide all Basic Members can't be trusted with trackables.

 

And as for your last line, about marbles, toy soldiers, trash and gum wrappers (aren't those last two the same thing? O.o)...are Premium Member caches full of gold? lol, is there really a better quality of TRINKETS in your uber special caches? For the record, I've seen some pretty cool trade items, kids toys, cool rocks, sea shells, pathtags, geocoins and trackables. I don't know who "the rest of you that don't seem to care" is (are?) exactly...but I think people who take the time to improve caches for everyone else to enjoy, following that whole "leave the cache better than you found it" philosophy, obviously do care. More so than someone who wants to take their ball and leave.

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I have to agree that if you take a TB from a cache and do not move it on, for whatever reason you are stealing it.

 

My opinion: It is VERY CLEAR what a TB is when you take it...that silver tag clearly states what it is and what to do with it. It clearly says that this is something different. If you take a TB from a cache and fail to move it on, for whatever reason,. you have stolen it. It is your responsibility to make sure it doesnt get lost in your car, given to a 5 year old or otherwise put somewhere other than in another cache. I know "responsibility" is a bad word these days, but that is what a TB is...A RESPONSIBILITY.

 

I set a TB into action back in 2004 with my son, who was then 5. He is now 13 and the TB has been missing since 2008. before that, it was missing a whole year and someone finally fessed up to having it and moved it on. before THAT it was very much moved as it should be.

 

Last seen with "Team Three Boys", we have no idea where it was placed -- it just says "discovered" in their log. I emailed, hoping maybe they have found it after these years, but I doubt it.

 

My sons and I found a few travel bugs and some we took and moved on as soon as we could (though NONE took 8 years to move) and some we DID NOT take because we knew we could not fulfill the request of the owner.

 

DO NOT TAKE TRAVEL BUG FROM A CACHE IF YOU DO NOT INTEND ON KEEPING IT SAFE!

 

Yeah, its just a $4 tag and whatever it is attached to. But regardless, it is someone else's property and a memory for that person!

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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.

<snip>

$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.

 

I am with the original poster.....it is very frustrating to have a TB go missing.

 

regardless of the "rules" -- "you give up rights to ownership".....fine.

 

But whatever happened to being courteous and responsible?

 

If I come up to you, reach my hand in your pocket and take a $5 bill from it, without you knowing, is that stealing?

 

If you take a $5 travel bug from a cache and neglect to move it on to another cache, YOU ARE STEALING. Period.

 

You may not have meant to.

 

Or you may have.

 

But YOU took it from the cache KNOWING it was aTB that needed to be moved on, so its YOUR responsibility to move it on and keep it safe til you do!

 

People do not lose their car or house keys. They TAKE CARE of them. because they are important to THEM.

 

A TB is very similar....its like a key ring...same size.....they are lost because the last person who touched it did not respect the idea behind it.

 

At least that is how I was raised....treat others' property like your own and do what is right.

 

Yeah, its "just" $5. But that isn't the point.

 

Some people have more than money tied up in a TB. my son was heartbroken to hear his "Tyler's Critter" went missing. It lasted 3 years or so......was last in the hands of someone who is still on this forum...and was only logged as "discovered it". It was never heard from again.

 

Did that person take and keep it? Or did the person after them take it?

 

People should respect the idea of other people's property.

 

That TB may no longer be "mine" or my son's ,but its ALSO not YOURS because its in the cache when you find it. It belongs to the GAME!

 

If you play the game, you should play it right and take responsibility for your moves inside that game.

Edited by shadango

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Ok, one last rant from me on this tonight-lol

 

I went back and traced the steps of Team Three Boys and Montycore (the last members who had their hands on our TB).

 

TTB apparently found two TBs in two different caches on 8/27/08 when ours was last "found" by them.

 

They found it in one of two caches, from what I can see: GC14VCD "Travel Bug" (now archived) or GC15A1B "Bear Creek Cemetary" still active.

 

The logs there very clearly state "took TB" but it doesnt say WHICH TB they took!

 

Now, Montycore had posted a "found" and that he was going to place its somewhere. Looking at Montycore's "found" caches, he has none. He has ONE cache himself, the "travel big" cache.

 

SO all I can assume is that my TB was placed there. Montycore has not been on the site since 2008.......so dead end there. His cache is archived as destroyed.

 

SO again, I go back to the log from Team Three Boys......their logs do not indicate WHAT cache they found WHAT TB there and where they put it. Why bother logging the find at all if you are not going to say what TB you took and where you put it? On the log for our TB, all it says is "discovered". Does that mean they TOOK it or SAW It and left it? And WHERE did they "discover" it??

 

I think one rule is that , in a log, if you TAKE a TB, you should be required to post its name!

Edited by shadango

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Hi

 

I have read this thread with interest.

 

I had a TB picked up last October. [ I know who has it as they logged it as in their possession ]

It has not come back into circulation.

When I checked - this pair had, in their possession, well over 30 TBs ..........all logged and in their inventory.

I sent regular emails to them and got nothing in return.

 

I then decided to contact all of the TB owners and ask them to send similar emails - many did and got no response.

 

I wondered if something had happened to the pair as everything seemed above board ......except that they were holding so many TBs.

They had not done any caching since October either.

 

I gave up hope and wrote the TB off.

 

Then out of the blue, a few days ago, I get an email - my TB is now in a cache.

I check - yes ...... along with 31 others !!

The pair had "found" just one cache that day - I was suspicious.

I was in contact with another cacher who had been contacting the pair too.

A note was added to the cache asking the next cacher to confirm that the TBs were there - needless to say they were not.

 

Last night I had a string of emails from the male side of the pair - basically I suggested that he still held the TBs which, initially, he denied.

As the exchange of emails developed he admitted that he still had all of them.

 

This pair were obviously targeting caches that hold TBs.

They are having their own game at our expense.

 

I did, months ago, contact Groundspeak who informed me that they had "written to them"

 

Personally I would want them banned from Geocaching.com altogether - if only to stop them targeting TBs in the future.

We know exactly who they are - it seems there is little we can do about it.

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regardless of the "rules" -- "you give up rights to ownership".....fine.

 

 

Absolutely not.

 

I can send you an email asking you to release it. I can update the bug page saying you stink. I can pull it back and re-release a new copy. I can ask gc.com to lock it down forever.

 

All you did was steal it, but I still own it.

 

bd

Edited by BlueDeuce

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if you TAKE a TB, you should be required to post its name!

That would be great! OK, you don't always immediately know what it's called, but a description is a good start. When a Geocacher takes anything from a container, it's a great idea to log what they took.

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The amount of people using smart phones and GPS has become immense. Most of them try it and look for something listed as a trackable and never do geocaching again. I talked to a newbie that heard about geocaching online. This was a quick grab at a parking lot of the side of a freeway. He was using his smart phone and told me, "I am looking for some good treasures." I asked him about geocaching, I acted dumb, he said that a friend had told him about finding these great coins. My point is the only way to prevent this is to pay for a premium membership, just as I pay club dues with other organizations. The age of the smart phone is upon us all, I don't see any other option to avoid this type of theft. I am looking for comments for a better solution. I haven't heard solutions from many.

Edited by BassTroutMaster

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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.

This would take a bit of research prior to dropping the TB.

 

I, and the caching community near to where I live, always make new caches "Premium Member Only".

 

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

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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.

This would take a bit of research prior to dropping the TB.

 

I, and the caching community near to where I live, always make new caches "Premium Member Only".

 

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

 

In my opinion, if you have proof that it was premium members that took the TBs and never moved them on, then those members should be banned for life from the site and lose whatever unused money they have paid toward premium. (Maybe that is alresady a rule? Seems like it would be common sense to be so).

 

A "premium" member should know better......they have made the comittment to pay for a membership and should know the rules.....TBs are not prizes, they are game pieces.

 

That wont solve the issue of standard members (who should ALSO know the rules) since anyone can set up an account with any email address they want.

 

But Premium members are very trackable with credit card/payment info.

 

Another idea: There should be a board like a "wall of shame". When your TB has been out of commission for more than a set period of time...let's say 6-8 weeks.....that user name and info gets posted. An automated email goes out to ALL members with each post to alert folks and (hopefully) encourage the person to drop the TB somewhere where it can be moved on.

 

VERY FEW people can use the excuse of "extenuating circumstances"....and if you cant move a TB SOMEWHERE in 6-8 weeks after making the comittment to do so when you TOOK the TB, then you deserve some public humiliation. If its an honest mistake on your part, you state so and move the TB on, then the post is removed when the TB is back in circulation.

 

That will not cure the issue of certain people keeping them on PURPOSE...but it MIGHT help sway some people into doing the right thing.

 

The "honor system" obviously doesnt work.

 

Its a real shame.

 

The one and only TB I have ever done is missing.....and to be honest, it was a find in a cache when I was new to the game. SOmeone had donated itt o a cache with the only request that it be used. My 5 year old and I did so......and we watched with esxcitement until it turned up missing.

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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.

This would take a bit of research prior to dropping the TB.

 

I, and the caching community near to where I live, always make new caches "Premium Member Only".

 

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

Now that you've learned a sad, but valuable lesson that making them PMO means nothing for the safety of the hide, why continue to keep them PMO?

There are so many ways to skirt the audit, making hides PMO today (really) has no purpose other than to ostracize basic members (who might become PMO in the future).

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In my opinion, if you have proof that it was premium members that took the TBs and never moved them on, then those members should be banned for life from the site and lose whatever unused money they have paid toward premium. (Maybe that is alresady a rule? Seems like it would be common sense to be so).

 

A "premium" member should know better......they have made the comittment to pay for a membership and should know the rules.....TBs are not prizes, they are game pieces.

 

That wont solve the issue of standard members (who should ALSO know the rules) since anyone can set up an account with any email address they want.

 

But Premium members are very trackable with credit card/payment info.

 

 

The "honor system" obviously doesnt work.

Not sure if I mentioned it earlier, but a while ago I found a premium member who was caching much longer than me, who was trading trackables for swag.

Simply look at the forums here and see threads by long-time premium members asking the most basic of questions.

Premium membership only means they paid money to play.

- Just because they can afford a premium membership, doesn't mean they're more intelligent, have common sense, or integrity.

 

Phone users who get the paid app, but are not premium members need to use a credit card or phone carrier account to get the paid app also.

As mentioned above, if all shows an individual may be responsible for missing TBs, Groundspeak, "will write to them".

 

Where in real life, over time, have you ever seen the honor system work?

Swag degradation in caches should show you the "honor system" is a fantasy.

Edited by cerberus1

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Simply look at the forums here and see threads by long-time premium members asking the most basic of questions.

Premium membership only means they paid money to play.

- Just because they they can afford a premium membership, doesn't mean they're more intelligent, have common sense, or integrity.

 

I didnt mean to say that premium members are smarer or nicer etc than standard members.

 

I have been a regualr member for like 8 or 9 years and only recently tried premium (in full disclosure) because I want the downloadable cache info on my GPS.

 

I like that feature a lot and will likely keep going premium.

 

That said, I feel like I have invested in the game by doing so....and I feel more like a contributor to the overall scheme of things...so I will be even more llikely to play by the rules.

 

That said, I know that not all will feel that way.

 

You are right abouyt one thing for sure -- people these days simply have no manners as far as honor systems anymore for anything.

 

Its sad.

 

The TB was such a COOOOOL feature......and I wanted to do another one....but looking at the current stats of TBs that go missing?

 

Seems like a waste.

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I agree Shadango, anyone looking at the state of missing trackables today would really have to wonder if it's worth it.

My other 2/3rds lost far more than I, as coins $ add up quick.

We decided that until Groundspeak has a fix in place, we will no longer send anything out unless it's a freebie.

Emails don't fix it, making them ugly with punch holes doesn't fix it, making hides PMO doesn't fix it. We're pretty-much out of options.

- And "writing to them" doesn't seem like a sound way to keep the TB & coin cash cow flowing.

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We decided that until Groundspeak has a fix in place, we will no longer send anything out unless it's a freebie.

Don't buy more. But you can re-release a copy indefinitely. Make it as cheap and non-stealable as possible, so it's no big deal when it vanishes. Or make a really cool re-release, and keep it.

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We decided that until Groundspeak has a fix in place, we will no longer send anything out unless it's a freebie.

Don't buy more. But you can re-release a copy indefinitely. Make it as cheap and non-stealable as possible, so it's no big deal when it vanishes. Or make a really cool re-release, and keep it.

How do you re-release? I figured you would have to buy a new official tag for it? SO it wouldnt make much sense....

 

I do still have the "copy" tag.....

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How do you re-release? I figured you would have to buy a new official tag for it? SO it wouldnt make much sense....

 

I do still have the "copy" tag.....

 

The simplest way is to print the TB Info Info sheet from the TB's page, write the Tracking Number on it, laminate it, and set it free. Or you may release most anything with the Tracking number on it, or even make your own tag. Update the TB page, and you're golden. It's the solution to stolen Travel Bugs. :anicute:

 

If your Copy tag has "Keep Me" imprinted on it, keep it. :anibad:

Edited by kunarion

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How do you re-release? I figured you would have to buy a new official tag for it? SO it wouldnt make much sense....

 

I do still have the "copy" tag.....

 

The simplest way is to print the TB Info Info sheet from the TB's page, write the Tracking Number on it, laminate it, and set it free. Or you may release most anything with the Tracking number on it, or even make your own tag. Update the TB page, and you're golden. It's the solution to stolen Travel Bugs. :anicute:

 

If your Copy tag has "Keep Me" imprinted on it, keep it. :anibad:

Helpful ideas. One of my two TB's was just in a cache that was badly muggled, and is gone.

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We have lost a few along the way, one was a help of heros which we set off in memory of our nephew who was killed in Afghanistan. So I think it's best to not put sentiments attached to them. It does put you off sending more out because they are not cheap. Will look at resenting with the TB number,

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How do you re-release? I figured you would have to buy a new official tag for it? SO it wouldnt make much sense....

 

I do still have the "copy" tag.....

 

The simplest way is to print the TB Info Info sheet from the TB's page, write the Tracking Number on it, laminate it, and set it free. Or you may release most anything with the Tracking number on it, or even make your own tag. Update the TB page, and you're golden. It's the solution to stolen Travel Bugs. :anicute:

 

If your Copy tag has "Keep Me" imprinted on it, keep it. :anibad:

This is very helpful! I didnt know if it was "legal" to make my own tag to do this,.

 

Very cool! Will re-release it since I have not heard back again from the people who last saw it (and they are regulars here stil)

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:angry: I am sending my last 6 Travel Bugs soon on their way . If I lose these I will no longer buy and send any more. I have tried to make my 2 geocaches more exciting with them, but the frustration level is too much. I am still very frustrated about Miss Maggie TB TB3G72W, my 1st TB, and have contacted everyone that knew something about her. No luck! I have 2 more caches ready to go, but have held off. In Central Coastal California, my area, very few TB exist in caches. More than 50% of the caches only have a log and don't have any swag. 10% to 20% of the geocaches have been taken out from lack of maintenance and never fixed.

 

Premium membership may be the only solution to lost or stolen TBs. This may work only part time, but at least I have tried to help fix the problem

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Any thoughts about the value of a polite email to anyone who grabs your trackable. Something like, "Thanks for grabbing my trackable. I appreciate you taking the time to share in his journey and look forward to seeing where you take him." Maybe help make them realize there's a person behind the trinket?

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I'm spending a day with a cold performing maintenance on my trackables. It is never fun for me to mark trackables as missing--but I realize that it is the risk of sending them out to travel. Some do very well and others disappear right off the bat. As I sit here marking dozens of trackables as missing, it appears that the number 1 cause of disappearance is being collected by new cachers that subsequently (and quickly) drop out of the game (at least 50%). Many are/were premium members, so limiting travel to PM caches may not be that effective to ensure longevity. Taking the coin and failing to log it (cachers or muggles) is also a recurring issue in the coins I'm marking as missing.

 

Groundspeak regularly posts notes on logging/moving TBs and many who have eventually dropped out of the game stated their intention to move the coin--which suggests that the message does get though to many new cachers. There probably isn't much that can be done besides the TB owner politely requesting that those who hold onto TBs for more than 3 months get them moving again (and perhaps a welcome e-mail from Groundspeak on TB etiquette to new cachers--perhaps suggesting that they wait until they have 100 or so caches under their belt before they start moving TBs/geocoins). The former has been fairly successful for me in the past.

 

When most of those guilty of not moving travelers have dropped out of the game, there is nothing practical that Groundspeak could do to entice them or penalize them to keep on playing/moving the TBs that they have. I suspect that those of us who move a significant number of travelers eventually make mistakes. I've had a TB or two go missing in my care--when that happens, I let the TB owner know and have moved them as soon s they were found again. When traveling in the UK, I had a geocoin fall out of my pocket. In that case, it was lost and I offered to replace it. Penalizing folks for mistakes that will happen along the way is not a solution to the most common causes of TB loss.

 

It's a sad fact that TBs/geocoins will go missing. I suspect that the typical rate of disappearance is about half per year. If you send out enough, some will survive into old age (several that I released in 2006 are still moving) and many will take interesting trips around the world.

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We have a missing TB which is in Canada right now. We emailed the owner (new geocacher with few finds) about three times. And we will continue to do so through the contact form on the GC website.

It would be great if someone doesnt answer regarding a Trackable that you can "tag" the person for having a missing TB. I think its not that big of deal, this way the person is reminded that the TB of another person is still wating to be released. Sure it can happen that you loose a TB in your backpack or car or whereever, but its not your TB, you have something that doesnt belong to you but what you are responsible for. So its not a good excuse in my opinion "to just forget to log it". If you do forget it, you shouldn't have a problem with having it on your profile page.

Groundspeak cannot control everything, but with a digital plattform like we have, there are a lot of possibilities to make fraud visible. Badging system for users would be great with positive tags like "moved TBs, days to approve log,..." etc

 

Just my 2 cents :)

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Badging system for users would be great with positive tags like "moved TBs, days to approve log,..." etc

Don't forget that "badging", or "badgering", somebody is a good way to also have a TB placed... into a trash receptacle.

 

Repeatedly emailing somebody can also earn sanctions from Groundspeak regarding unwarranted contacts or harassment. Just so you know.

 

Just my 3¢.

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I like the idea of logging what TB you took in the log. Log what you leave and log what you take. Then follow through with the rest of the process. This holds us accountable and let's everyone know who has what.

 

Personally I would love to see all of GeoCaching become a paid only game!

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One thing i have done for several lost or stolen TBs is, I make a dupe tag and put them right back out. It is so frustrating for TBs to always come up missing. Got this idea from another cacher that is using dupe tags.

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Like most posters, I believe releasing travel bugs into the wild is at your own risk, just like buying a lottery ticket. Sometimes you win, sometimes you lose. I don't think Premium-only caches are the answer. You can state that in your bug's page that you want it only to be placed into a Premium cache, but it should not be a 'rule.'

 

I also wholeheartedly agree with the poster who said that the geocaching landscape has changed with the introduction of smart phones. Used to be you had to invest in a GPS handheld to geocache, and back then, even cheap ones were $100. Now, anyone with a smart phone can cache, with no investment. This has led to cachers who may only do one or two out of curiosity, not someone who will be in it for the long run. The one or two cache people may not know how attached people become to their travel bugs, and just keep or toss a travel bug they come across if they have no interest in continuing.

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Was at an event and had intended to take a tb from it on its journey but thought it was picked up by another cacher at event, owner has messaged and im attributed to have it - ugh feel awful im sure it was left with the group. Have quadrouple checked that it did not come with us and went as far as pm everyone I could from the event. No luck feel very sad. Wont offer to take a tb in this situation again unless it in my hands. :( But I agree there seems to be so few around. Maybe they are all going to oz mega?

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I began reading the thread but it was a huge long one so I'll add my twopeneth and apologise in advance if this has already been suggested or raised in a clear way.

 

1. The TB is personal property. It is not "sent out randomly and you take your chances." That is often the result but it is not the proper attitude to take. The fact of the matter is that the use of tb's and their treatment are covered by the frequently asked questions section of groundspeaks website. As such (as with anything on their website) it's use is covered by the terms and conditions of use of their website. So it is crystal clear what is supposed to be done with them and what they are. Crystal. However human error creeps in. Mistakes happen etc.

 

2. Unfortunately there is no procedure to make people read the T&C's. Only an acceptance box to tic. This means that people are often oblivious as to the content of the terms and conditions. However this could be minimised by adding a questionnaire at the registration section to ensure the answers correspond with the terms and therefore increasing the likelihood that someone will have to read them to progress through registration. We have to do that blessed captcha rubbish here there and everywhere which is often a right trial. So a few questions to encompass the main points would be no problem. Include in that what you do with TB's.

 

They could even market a very sorry for losing your TB, TB to have sent to someone you have inconvenienced. It has endless possibilities. But the fact remains it is a persons property. Well here in the uk at least. God knows what passes for a law in other countries judging by various stuff going on around the world ... Winter Olympics to name but one.

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You don't even need a smartphone or GPS for geocaching. The first month I started geocaching it was all oritenteering/adventure racing skills. A lot of times i just drew out my own maps of the area though a lot of time was good enough to remember where the spot was and how to get to it. GPS I find to be complete unnecessary for almost most caches I do. But than again maybe I'm just hardcore like that, walking around with a big antenna thingy is quite trendy and cool looking though i'll admit

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You don't even need a smartphone or GPS for geocaching. The first month I started geocaching it was all oritenteering/adventure racing skills. A lot of times i just drew out my own maps of the area though a lot of time was good enough to remember where the spot was and how to get to it. GPS I find to be complete unnecessary for almost most caches I do. But than again maybe I'm just hardcore like that, walking around with a big antenna thingy is quite trendy and cool looking though i'll admit

 

You've logged 9 finds.

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I dont see, like others, how restricting a trackable to a PMO cache will solve the problem. My personal opinion is that events need to be held with a trackable specific class as part of the event to teach cachers about trackables and proper etiquitte, handleing, etc. In fact, I am in proccess of gathering info to put together such a class and hold such an event in my area. I will be more than happy to provide anyone the files who would like a copy once I have created the class.

 

The best solution is not the easy one, it is the one that will take time and effort, teach those who are willing to listen about trackables. Eventually, though it may not go away completly, it will extend the life of our beloved trackables we send out into the wild.

 

Any questions about the class, feel free to email me through my profile.

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Ok I've read most of the above post's and i dont think that putting TB's into premium member caches only will work, i am a premium member and have bad a geocoin stolen from my cache .... can anyone tell me how to remove it from my cache listing?

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Ok I've read most of the above post's and i dont think that putting TB's into premium member caches only will work, i am a premium member and have bad a geocoin stolen from my cache .... can anyone tell me how to remove it from my cache listing?

(For anyone that doesn't notice, Draconian00 created this thread to ask this question specifically, and he has already gotten his answer.)

 

Just to be clear, while putting travelers only in premium caches doesn't make them immune from being stolen or otherwise mishandled, I do think that TBs are lost much more often from non-premium caches. I doubt this is because non-premium seekers are less trustworthy; I think it's just because non-premium caches get more traffic and by less experienced searchers, so they're more likely to be compromised to muggles.

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I have to agree that if you take a TB from a cache and do not move it on, for whatever reason you are stealing it.

 

My opinion: It is VERY CLEAR what a TB is when you take it...that silver tag clearly states what it is and what to do with it. It clearly says that this is something different. If you take a TB from a cache and fail to move it on, for whatever reason,. you have stolen it. It is your responsibility to make sure it doesnt get lost in your car, given to a 5 year old or otherwise put somewhere other than in another cache. I know "responsibility" is a bad word these days, but that is what a TB is...A RESPONSIBILITY.

 

I set a TB into action back in 2004 with my son, who was then 5. He is now 13 and the TB has been missing since 2008. before that, it was missing a whole year and someone finally fessed up to having it and moved it on. before THAT it was very much moved as it should be.

 

Last seen with "Team Three Boys", we have no idea where it was placed -- it just says "discovered" in their log. I emailed, hoping maybe they have found it after these years, but I doubt it.

 

My sons and I found a few travel bugs and some we took and moved on as soon as we could (though NONE took 8 years to move) and some we DID NOT take because we knew we could not fulfill the request of the owner.

 

DO NOT TAKE TRAVEL BUG FROM A CACHE IF YOU DO NOT INTEND ON KEEPING IT SAFE!

 

Yeah, its just a $4 tag and whatever it is attached to. But regardless, it is someone else's property and a memory for that person!

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Guess I am going to add some more fuel to this fire and rant a bit. After five years I feel entitled to do at least that much. I just set 34 trackables as missing. I waited for two years on many of them hoping they would turn up. Out of 55 TB's, coin proxies and one actual coin I now have 40 that have gone missing. The coin I released was gone right after it was found. It didn't even get 10 miles on it. You absolutely cannot chalk that up to absent mindedness. A good share of it has to be out right theft, Harsh or not that is a reality. I can't tell you the number of times I go to find a cash that supposedly has a "coin" in it and the entire cache is missing, even though the cache was found "recently". This has happened enough times that I don't believe it to be coincidental. As for people getting in and getting out I will concede that. Of the 34 I just set as missing 15 were from people who had less than 50 finds and hadn't been active for at least two or more months. Bottom line is I rarely find TB's in the wild anymore let alone coins. And instead of releasing more TB's into the wild which I was considering I will now not release anymore. Proxies or otherwise, it doesn't make any difference, they just disappear. To the argument that you have to consider it like throwing money away, my answer is why put tracking numbers on them then? That would be swag not TB's. The idea of a TB or Coin being released is to rack up the miles and share the item not have it turn up in some child's toy box or collectors junk drawer. I also don't accept the argument "they don't know or understand". To that I just say bull. There is no excuse for not knowing. When I first started I didn't need a manual to tell me there was some reason an item had a dogtag with a number on it or the coin had a number on it. I figured that meant something and took it on myself to check why. Honestly there just isn't any excuse for it.

 

Whew, I feel better now, rant off.

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Probably no solution, however learn which caches TB's frequently go missing from and don't place them there, there is a park near me and 9 tb's listed in the caches, none are actually there!

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Probably no solution, however learn which caches TB's frequently go missing from and don't place them there, there is a park near me and 9 tb's listed in the caches, none are actually there!

If a container is easily accessible by neighbor kids, is full of unpleasant things and seems to have been raided, don't place a TB there. Yes, especially if there's a list and no TBs.

 

Some caches are great for TBs, due to a location that causes the container to not be raided. There are 1 or 2 in my town that I will place TBs in, because when a cacher arrives, the TBs will still be there. The cachers themselves are the ones who mismanage the TBs.

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Guess I am going to add some more fuel to this fire and rant a bit. After five years I feel entitled to do at least that much. I just set 34 trackables as missing. I waited for two years on many of them hoping they would turn up. Out of 55 TB's, coin proxies and one actual coin I now have 40 that have gone missing. The coin I released was gone right after it was found. It didn't even get 10 miles on it. You absolutely cannot chalk that up to absent mindedness. A good share of it has to be out right theft, Harsh or not that is a reality. I can't tell you the number of times I go to find a cash that supposedly has a "coin" in it and the entire cache is missing, even though the cache was found "recently". This has happened enough times that I don't believe it to be coincidental. As for people getting in and getting out I will concede that. Of the 34 I just set as missing 15 were from people who had less than 50 finds and hadn't been active for at least two or more months. Bottom line is I rarely find TB's in the wild anymore let alone coins. And instead of releasing more TB's into the wild which I was considering I will now not release anymore. Proxies or otherwise, it doesn't make any difference, they just disappear. To the argument that you have to consider it like throwing money away, my answer is why put tracking numbers on them then? That would be swag not TB's. The idea of a TB or Coin being released is to rack up the miles and share the item not have it turn up in some child's toy box or collectors junk drawer. I also don't accept the argument "they don't know or understand". To that I just say bull. There is no excuse for not knowing. When I first started I didn't need a manual to tell me there was some reason an item had a dogtag with a number on it or the coin had a number on it. I figured that meant something and took it on myself to check why. Honestly there just isn't any excuse for it.

 

Whew, I feel better now, rant off.

 

While I would have to agree with you that there is no excuse for not knowing, let me say this, they reason they "dont know" is becuase of laziness and lack of common sence. Lets face it, most of the upcoming generations are being dumbed down, especially here in the US. Now while that may be a discussion for another thread, I will say this, if you dont believe me, talk to the older generations, of course you can look at your own childhood too, then compare what you could say and do, and said and did to that of todays younger generations. There is a high amount of disrespect and lack of responcibility being taught and breed now a days. All of this added up leaves me not a bit surprised that caches get muggled or trackables turn up missing either by muggles or caches of any experiance level.

 

Probably no solution, however learn which caches TB's frequently go missing from and don't place them there, there is a park near me and 9 tb's listed in the caches, none are actually there!

If a container is easily accessible by neighbor kids, is full of unpleasant things and seems to have been raided, don't place a TB there. Yes, especially if there's a list and no TBs.

 

Some caches are great for TBs, due to a location that causes the container to not be raided. There are 1 or 2 in my town that I will place TBs in, because when a cacher arrives, the TBs will still be there. The cachers themselves are the ones who mismanage the TBs.

 

Like you, I have a few truted caches I will go to, to drop of a trackable. However, I will also revisit a cache if I know I can help one on its travels. I have a couple of TB Hotels in my area that I need to find to add to my personal trusted cache list.

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As you can see, I am not a premium member. Just because of that doesn't mean that I am not trustworthy with a trackable. If I, or many other non-premium members found a bug or coin, we would try to help it with its goal. You don't need to spend money on something to enjoy it or to want to be a part of its community. Anyways, some people just pay the 40 dollars for a year premium before they have even geocached. They may or may not be as trustworthy as not premium members. So I don't think that only putting bugs in premium caches will do anything but make some non-premiums enjoy caching less. (Just so you know, my low found total is because I started three days ago and haven't had a weekend to cache on)

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I think the only solution is to make the trackables cheaper. people steal things and lose things, but a stupid piece of metal does not need to cost $5. a travel bug should cost $1 or less. there is no way no how with the mass fabricating and data-base upkeep anywhere near that cost; especially with the life span of a travel bug being what it is. on top of that the data-base upkeep is crap. No where do they warn you to keep back-up of your trackable images; yet i have lost two of mine and they where not able to retrieve them. It's honestly way over priced. less mass-produced and coins will always cost more, but a standard travel bug....yeah charge a buck.

Edited by Intrepid Dyad

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a stupid piece of metal does not need to cost $5. a travel bug should cost $1 or less.

I'm guessing TBs vanish most often for the attached item, not the stupid piece of metal. I attached a dragon to one of mine (go figure). A couple of years later, that style of toy was rare and selling on ebay for over $100. It was valued closer to $1 when I placed it. :rolleyes:

 

The extra $ is for lifetime tracking on Geocaching.com, not really the cost of the aluminum (although if you intend to sell TBs for $1, let me know :anibad:). When it's gone, revive the TB (make a new version of it) and place it. Buy one of those tags that cost "$1 or less" and engrave the tracking number, attach some trinket, and you may start it traveling again.

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Got to believe that most of the missing trackables are due to human error. sure there are some people who will steal them but I think that they are the exception not the norm.

 

That being said I usually put my trackables in a bag along with a copy of Geocacher University's "Travel Bug Travel Guide". I have noticed that these travelers last much longer than the ones I've released without the guide.

 

Making trackables a little less expensive would help soften the blow of loosing them from time to time.

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Making trackables a little less expensive would help soften the blow of loosing them from time to time.

Great idea! If you and Intrepid Dyad go in together, sell me TBs for $1 each. But give me a bulk discount of course. And a discount for getting you started in your lucrative TB business.

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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

Edited by Isonzo Karst

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