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Trackable etiquette - how long before I start hunting for my missing TB?


teambaconpancakes
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I just had my first cache with a trackable in it published two days ago. Since then, several people have found it, and today one of the cachers alerted me to the fact that the trackable is no longer in the cache -- yet no one has logged it as retrieved yet so it's still showing as available inventory. :c

 

What are the guidelines for cache owners who want to know where their trackable is? I'm *hoping* someone just doesn't know how to log it (though I'd be surprised if that's true -- the TB has a tag around it with step-by-step directions on how to log it) rather than it just got swiped in the first two days of being out. How long should I wait before I start inquiring to the first cachers on the scene to see if they picked it up?

 

(I love the concept of trackables, but in my short time geocaching so far, they have been the most frustrating part of the whole game. No one ever seems to log them when they find them. Out of dozens of caches I've found listing a TB in the inventory, only ONE trackable has ever actually been in the container still. It drives me nuts!)

Edited by teambaconpancakes
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How long should I wait before I start inquiring to the first cachers on the scene to see if they picked it up?

Have you looked at the log book in the cache container? Maybe someone mentioned taking the TB.

 

Some people don't log TBs all that well, as you've learned. So you may get no logs until one day someone "grabs" it or finds it in a cache somewhere. And then it can kind of vanish again. These things are not something you can micro-manage. They're in the wind. Maybe once every 3 months I see a log from one of my remaining TBs. The news is a cool surprise. And then it's gone. That's the extent of my "inquiry" :anicute:, although after months with no word, I update the TB page with info about when I last saw it active, and that I'm waiting for the TB to turn up again. No need to mention the last person who logged it, since that info is right there in the logs (and that isn't always the person who took it).

 

I think it's too soon to write. But I don't know how long to wait. Maybe 3 weeks, since "2 weeks" is the placement expectation. If you write today, someone may reply that they haven't had time to log it. If you write a month from now, you get a slightly annoyed reply about how they've planned to place it pretty soon. I don't know if either idea makes a whole lot of difference, as far as getting it actually moving again. But whenever you write, you may get a really good excuse. :anibad:

 

If you write to people, send your email address and ask them to use it. It avoids a couple of Private Message issues that prevent messages from arriving.

 

Good luck!

Edited by kunarion
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Uh, I don't think that tracking down the TB, once you've placed it in a viable cache (even your own) is your responsibility. It may be a nice gesture, but I think it's beyond the call of duty.

 

The TB owner may wish to send out threatening inquisitive emails at this point. No point you doing it as well.

 

(RE-READ: Oh, it's your TB. Never mind.)

Edited by Viajero Perdido
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I shot an arrow into the air,

It fell to earth, I knew not where;

For so swiftly it flew, the sight

Could not follow it in its flight.

 

I breathed a song into the air,

It fell to earth, I knew not where;

For, who has sight so keen and strong

That it can follow the flight of song?

 

Long, long afterward, in an oak

I found the arrow, still unbroke;

And the song, from beginning to end,

I found again in the heart of a friend.

 

Or if you want the short version:

 

I shot an arrow into the air,

It fell to earth, I knew not where;

I lose more dadgum arrows that way.

 

Relax, your baby has flown the coup, if may bring you years of joy or never be heard from again, either way it's out of your hands.

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Uh, I don't think that tracking down the TB, once you've placed it in a viable cache (even your own) is your responsibility. It may be a nice gesture, but I think it's beyond the call of duty.

 

The TB owner may wish to send out threatening inquisitive emails at this point. No point you doing it as well.

 

(RE-READ: Oh, it's your TB. Never mind.)

I kind of supposed that it was the OP's own TB, but hadn't checked. Good catch!

 

The very first TB I placed (not mine) vanished immediately without a trace. I re-checked its cache and pondered, but didn't email anybody. The container was otherwise pretty un-muggled, and I've never figured out what happened. Same thing happened a couple years later with a new TB I made and placed into one of my caches. No logs, TB disappeared with no mileage.

 

But I'm sure it's completely different in the OP's situation. :anicute:

Edited by kunarion
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For me, either way - as TB owner or Cache owner I would wait at least several (3-4) weeks before doing anything.

 

As a TB owner I may send a polite mail(s) to try and track it down.

 

As a cache owner I do not try and track down a TB (which isn't mine). However, if the TB is listed in my cache but no longer there (and hasn't been there for some time) I will mark it as missing.

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I just had my first cache with a trackable in it published two days ago. Since then, several people have found it, and today one of the cachers alerted me to the fact that the trackable is no longer in the cache -- yet no one has logged it as retrieved yet so it's still showing as available inventory. :c

 

What are the guidelines for cache owners who want to know where their trackable is? I'm *hoping* someone just doesn't know how to log it (though I'd be surprised if that's true -- the TB has a tag around it with step-by-step directions on how to log it) rather than it just got swiped in the first two days of being out. How long should I wait before I start inquiring to the first cachers on the scene to see if they picked it up?

 

(I love the concept of trackables, but in my short time geocaching so far, they have been the most frustrating part of the whole game. No one ever seems to log them when they find them. Out of dozens of caches I've found listing a TB in the inventory, only ONE trackable has ever actually been in the container still. It drives me nuts!)

 

You might send out a nicely worded message, to the first few finders of your cache, stating that you were notified by a Geocacher that your TB (insert TB# & Name) that you placed in your newly published cache (insert name of cache), is missing and were wondering if they remember seeing it or possibly retrieving it but just haven't logged it yet?

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Out of dozens of caches I've found listing a TB in the inventory, only ONE trackable has ever actually been in the container still. It drives me nuts!)

 

Me too. I suspect that most the trackables you are seeing have disappeared some time back and the cache owner's are not marking them as missing. That is one of my top pet peeves.

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I suspect that most the trackables you are seeing have disappeared some time back and the cache owner's are not marking them as missing.

Worse, nobody made a log when they took the TBs. :anibad:

 

I place a Travel Bug to watch it travel, not to "mark it missing". There's such an urgency imposed by others to mark it missing, but it did not disappear. Somebody took it and they need to log that they did so. Until then, it's the log that must be marked "missing".

Edited by kunarion
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There's such an urgency imposed by others to mark it missing, but it did not disappear. Somebody took it and they need to log that they did so.

 

Maybe I am missing your point but the purpose of marking it as missing is so it won't show up on the cache inventory. I agree, though, that there is no urgency to mark a trackable as missing. Its the ones that have been on the inventory for more than a month and some even years that need to be cleared out.

 

Until then, it's the log that must be marked "missing".

 

:huh: I don't get it. How do I mark a missing log as missing? B)

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I suspect that most the trackables you are seeing have disappeared some time back and the cache owner's are not marking them as missing.

Worse, nobody made a log when they took the TBs. :anibad:

 

I place a Travel Bug to watch it travel, not to "mark it missing". There's such an urgency imposed by others to mark it missing, but it did not disappear. Somebody took it and they need to log that they did so. Until then, it's the log that must be marked "missing".

Agreed. The problem isn't so much the owner not marking them "missing" -- the problem comes from no one bothering to actually log a trackable when they pick it up. I don't understand why so few people log trackables that they take (and I'm referring to those who are actually intent on moving the tag eventually to another cache, not the people who just steal TBs for their own collection -- which hey, BTW, is a douche move.)

 

If logging a trackable is just too much of a bother, has anyone thought about a much needed change in the way trackables are logged? Maybe if logging a trackable was more of a one-click action built into logging a cache find, we wouldn't have so many missing TBs. :(

Edited by teambaconpancakes
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I need some clarification on something. When you mark your own trackable as "missing", does it just get removed from displaying as in the inventory of the cache, or does it completely disappear?

 

Like I explained in the opening post of this topic, my trackable disappeared from my own cache (I am the owner of both the cache and TB) and has never been logged. I went ahead and marked it as "missing" just so it would stop displaying on the cache page and other cachers would stop hunting for the cache thinking there was a TB in it. My hope is that eventually the person who took it will log it and it will magically appear in the geocaching world again.

 

However, in this thread some people are saying that once you mark a TB as missing, it completely disappears -- so the person who took is won't be able to log it even if they wanted to eventually. Is this true?

 

What's the best way to make sure your cache no longer lists any TB in it's inventory (so as not to frustrate other people when they come looking for it and it's not there) but still keep the TB accessible to the person to actually has it but hasn't logged it yet?

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some people are saying that once you mark a TB as missing, it completely disappears -- so the person who took is won't be able to log it even if they wanted to eventually. Is this true?

Cachers who’ve held a TB for a long time, once they find that TB again, may go to a cache, place it, then return home to log it. If it was Marked Missing, they have lots of work ahead. The problems are:

1) They need to return it to their Inventory.

2) They need the Tracking Number.

 

Someone who lost the TB, who did not communicate with you for months, and just plain isn’t particularly responsible, is unlikely to have the gumption to get the TB back in play. Especially when it’s Marked Missing, since it seems like many people also think that the TB Owner has given up on the TB, therefore it’s a gift to the taker, permission to keep it. Now imagine the scenario where the taker found your TB in the car, wanted to make a log (say, Retrieving it from the original cache), couldn’t figure out how to do that (because the option isn’t available), and gave up, not placing it in a cache. After all, it can't be traced to the non-logging taker. It's the perfect crime. <_<

 

By Marking it Missing in this scenario, you’ve pretty much killed your TB. So, yeah, in some cases, it’s especially tough to get it back in play. It’s not the fault of the system, and not your fault. But a major issue is people who can’t figure out what to do with a TB, and don’t want to bother with it. Seeing it "Marked Missing" they have an additional excuse to not bother.

 

However, let’s say you do mark it missing, and it turns up someday, and by chance, this time the finder isn’t an utter clod. He notes the Tracking Number, places the TB in a cache, and logs the “Drop”. At that point, the TB is automatically removed from the Missing Place. It’s back in play. That’s the way it should work.

 

What's the best way to make sure your cache no longer lists any TB in it's inventory (so as not to frustrate other people when they come looking for it and it's not there) but still keep the TB accessible to the person to actually has it but hasn't logged it yet?

Find out if the TB is actually not still in the cache. Give the taker some time (in case they are late logging). Then Mark It Missing and with luck, it will turn up again. You can Mark It Missing when appropriate. You may choose to never Mark It Missing, since it's not you who messed up the logs. As I've said, it has not journeyed into another dimension, it simply awaits a proper log from the taker. Those frustrated cachers, who ran to the cache hoping to take a TB and mis-log it like the last guy, need to chill.

Edited by kunarion
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I usually wait a few months to mark a TB as missing. That gives people who do not move swiftly, the chance to log it. I handed a trackable to a cacher at a cache. She took two weeks to log it! Guess it wasn't a high priority.

But to answer your question: Marking the TB as missing removes it from the listed contents of your cache. Someone who finds it three years from now in Kenya (had that happen to one of mine...) can still log it using Find Trackables to log the trackable. I found one that had been listed as missing from a cache in Georgia three months previously. I found it in a cache in New Jersey and used the TB code to grab it. So, a little patience does not hurt. A lot of patience does not hurt!

For my cache washed out to sea by Hurricane Sandy, I marked the TB missing as soon as I verified that the cache was missing.

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Okay, cool. Thanks for the replies. I've removed the "missing" status from the trackable in question and returned it to it's former location in the original cache; however, I've placed a note on the cache page alerting anyone who TB-hunting that it's no longer in the cache.

That should be OK, especially since both the TB and the cache are owned by you. I'd guesstimate that the coin was picked up as late as a week ago, if I read between the lines (cachers not mentioning that "there are no TBs" could be a sign it was there for a little while). This may be a case of someone taking a Trackable, and forgetting it in a backpack or something. And now we wait. <_<

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Okay, cool. Thanks for the replies. I've removed the "missing" status from the trackable in question and returned it to it's former location in the original cache; however, I've placed a note on the cache page alerting anyone who TB-hunting that it's no longer in the cache.

That should be OK, especially since both the TB and the cache are owned by you. I'd guesstimate that the coin was picked up as late as a week ago, if I read between the lines (cachers not mentioning that "there are no TBs" could be a sign it was there for a little while). This may be a case of someone taking a Trackable, and forgetting it in a backpack or something. And now we wait. <_<

HUZZUH, within 24 hours of unmarking is as "missing", the TB was logged by someone! *Dances* (Strangely enough, the person who logged the trackable never logged their actual cache find, but what ever floats your boat, I guess. Maybe they just a have a lot of past caches to go through and log?)

 

Anyway, all is good now. Next time it disappears I'll know to just be patient. Thanks, all~

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I am really glad that I ran across this message board topic. In just the past week, I have placed a new cache with a new tb, placed a new tb at a cache that I was ftf, and found a cache that listed 17 tbs in the inventory, but only had two. My two tbs are no longer in either of the caches and have not been logged. I am quickly getting frustrated at one of the aspects of geocaching I love the most. After reading this thread, I realize that I need to be patient and hope for the best. I actually did send a nice email to the few that found the caches with my tbs, but no luck there.

 

I also have to admit that I was on the other end of a tb problem over a year ago when I was moving the first tb I ever found. I placed a tb very far away from home on a trip and forgot to log it (it was summertime), I didn't realize it until January. I then logged it, but soon after the owner marked it as missing. I still feel terribly guilty about my mistake.

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