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Bummed...my TBs keep going missing


andy_deployed
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I need to vent. I just placed a brand new TB in my cache on Thursday and it is gone today. No log, just gone. Earlier in the week, my favorite TB was taken in Sweden and not logged. I have a coin that a cacher picked up on 1 April with the "Will move along" comment and never has. He visit his account today, but never responds to my e-mails. I have lost two more TB is the big TB hotels that someone placed them in along a major highway. I love geocaching, but today has me down. I even reached 250 finds today...Perhaps tomorrow will be better. Happy Caching.

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Yea, stop putting them out.. or put out proxies instead.

 

It sucks.. but people really can't resist keeping these.

 

I can't see it ALWAYS being children... its too bad. they are fun to find.

 

I just had one re-activate after 3 years lost in Maui... so anything is possible.

 

Shaun

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I consider a TB lost the second I place it in a cache, anything else is a bonus.

I agree with Roman!! If the TB's we place continue on for a long time, we're thrilled. But if they meet an early demise, that's part of the game. Of the 39 trackables we have sent out in the wild over the last several years, only 6 have been logged this summer. We're releasing another 2 TB's probably this week, and 9 new geocoins when we take a multi-state trip this August.

 

There are things you can do to help with their longevity (which have been covered numerous times in the past) that I won't address here.

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To the OP:

 

I had a look at some of your trackables... it seems that you may be jumping the gun as marking them as "Missing" so quickly.

 

At least one is marked missing just two days out. You need to give folks a chance... not all logs are johnny-on-the-spot.

 

Not only that... but when you mark it missing, it removes it from the inventory of the person holding the trackable. There are quite a few folks that don't know how to log it in those circumstances. It's not in their inventory, therefore they cannot "place" it. So what are they gonna do? Quite likely just forget about it. Now that isn't really gonna help matters, now is it?

 

Sure it's easy to do with a "grab", but do realize that some folks aren't quite up to par in trackable logging techniques. Many, if not most, never find the forums to ask about how to do it, much less read about how to or comprehend how to log in those instances.

 

Marking it as missing so quickly can only guarantee that some never return to moving, IMO.

 

Look at Hessen Travel Bug ... much too soon log mark it missing.

Likewise Zach's Pirate Tag ... similar circumstances.

Just because it is missing out of a cache for a single day is hardly a reason to assume that it is gone forever.

 

Oddly enough, the cacher reporting that Hessen Travel Bug as not being in the cache, just moved one of mine after holding it for 3 months, but dropped it after a 4,300 mile jump (just this week).

 

Just trying to help, 'cuz I feel by marking them as missing so quickly, you may be sealing their fate before they are truly dead and gone.

Edited by Gitchee-Gummee
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To the OP:

 

I had a look at some of your trackables... it seems that you may be jumping the gun as marking them as "Missing" so quickly.

 

At least one is marked missing just two days out. You need to give folks a chance... not all logs are johnny-on-the-spot.

 

Not only that... but when you mark it missing, it removes it from the inventory of the person holding the trackable. There are quite a few folks that don't know how to log it in those circumstances. It's not in their inventory, therefore they cannot "place" it. So what are they gonna do? Quite likely just forget about it. Now that isn't really gonna help matters, now is it?

 

Sure it's easy to do with a "grab", but do realize that some folks aren't quite up to par in trackable logging techniques. Many, if not most, never find the forums to ask about how to do it, much less read about how to or comprehend how to log in those instances.

 

Marking it as missing so quickly can only guarantee that some never return to moving, IMO.

 

Look at Hessen Travel Bug ... much too soon log mark it missing.

Likewise Zach's Pirate Tag ... similar circumstances.

Just because it is missing out of a cache for a single day is hardly a reason to assume that it is gone forever.

 

Oddly enough, the cacher reporting that Hessen Travel Bug as not being in the cache, just moved one of mine after holding it for 3 months, but dropped it after a 4,300 mile jump (just this week).

 

Just trying to help, 'cuz I feel by marking them as missing so quickly, you may be sealing their fate before they are truly dead and gone.

 

I recently went to check one of my caches and found a TB that has not been logged in a year, many of mine go months without any action and once in a while I get that email that my TB has been found. You are over reacting and thus doing more harm than good, let your TBs be, some will be logged in days, some in months, some in years and some never but by marking them missing you are condemning them to death.

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but do realize that some folks aren't quite up to par in trackable logging techniques.

 

I would have to agree that this statement is spot on. I remember finding my first trackable and not knowing exactly what to to do with it (how to log it, the different log options, etc.).

 

I don't want to derail the thread topic, but it does beg the question, "How log DO you wait until you mark a TB as missing and then send out a proxy?"

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"How log DO you wait until you mark a TB as missing and then send out a proxy?"

12 months is about right. I have a system of things I do before that, such as typing info in big red letters at the top of the page, that I'm waiting for it to turn up. So that cachers know there's an issue.

 

Although I use the "12 months" plan, some of my TBs have reappeared after that.

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but do realize that some folks aren't quite up to par in trackable logging techniques.

 

I would have to agree that this statement is spot on. I remember finding my first trackable and not knowing exactly what to to do with it (how to log it, the different log options, etc.).

 

I don't want to derail the thread topic, but it does beg the question, "How log DO you wait until you mark a TB as missing and then send out a proxy?"

There is no hard and fast rule to answer that question.

 

Many will mark a trackable as "Missing" 6-12 months out (some never do at all).

 

Even at that, once a replacement is designated and placed, the "Missing" status must be changed (done by using a "Grabbed from..." log).

The "Grabbed from..." log is the only way to return the (marked as "Missing") item back into play, by anyone that has the tracking number available -- usually the holder of the item, or the owner. It is an easy maneuver, but many folks just aren't aware of it.

-------------

 

A problem that comes to light with marking a trackable as "Missing":

1] Geocacher Tim has TB "xxx-xxx" in his possession. For one reason or another, it has been marked as "Missing".

2] Because it is so marked, it is (virtually) no longer in Tim's inventory.

3] Not being in his inventory, Tim can no longer log it as "Placed" via the usual method of using the drop-down trackable-log window when he logs a cache Find or Note.

4] Tim, is not aware that the TB "xxx-xxx" has been marked as "Missing" -- he does not receive an email to this effect -- nor does he notice that it is no longer in his inventory.

5] Tim has no idea that he needs to log a "Grabbed from..." to return the item (virtually) to his inventory... see #3 and #4 (again)... Tim is confused and bewildered as to why he cannot.

6a] Therefore, Tim does... nothing... aside from leaving the TB "xxx-xxx" in another cache (maybe), or...

6b] Tim hunts for/finds out why this happened and figures out how to log it properly, contacts the trackable Owner (easier said than done sometimes) or comes to the forums asking for help.

 

Hopefully, #6b would be the step taken by Tim... but it is not a step I would count upon happening.

Edited by Gitchee-Gummee
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but do realize that some folks aren't quite up to par in trackable logging techniques.

 

I would have to agree that this statement is spot on. I remember finding my first trackable and not knowing exactly what to to do with it (how to log it, the different log options, etc.).

 

I don't want to derail the thread topic, but it does beg the question, "How log DO you wait until you mark a TB as missing and then send out a proxy?"

There is no hard and fast rule to answer that question.

 

Many will mark a trackable as "Missing" 6-12 months out (some never do at all).

 

Even at that, once a replacement is designated and placed, the "Missing" status must be changed (done by using a "Grabbed from..." log).

The "Grabbed from..." log is the only way to return the (marked as "Missing") item back into play, by anyone that has the tracking number available -- usually the holder of the item, or the owner. It is an easy maneuver, but many folks just aren't aware of it.

-------------

 

A problem that comes to light with marking a trackable as "Missing":

1] Geocacher Tim has TB "xxx-xxx" in his possession. For one reason or another, it has been marked as "Missing".

2] Because it is so marked, it is (virtually) no longer in Tim's inventory.

3] Not being in his inventory, Tim can no longer log it as "Placed" via the usual method of using the drop-down trackable-log window when he logs a cache Find or Note.

4] Tim, is not aware that the TB "xxx-xxx" has been marked as "Missing" -- he does not receive an email to this effect -- nor does he notice that it is no longer in his inventory.

5] Tim has no idea that he needs to log a "Grabbed from..." to return the item (virtually) to his inventory... see #3 and #4 (again)... Tim is confused and bewildered as to why he cannot.

6a] Therefore, Tim does... nothing... aside from leaving the TB "xxx-xxx" in another cache (maybe), or...

6b] Tim hunts for/finds out why this happened and figures out how to log it properly, contacts the trackable Owner (easier said than done sometimes) or comes to the forums asking for help.

 

Hopefully, #6b would be the step taken by Tim... but it is not a step I would count upon happening.

When my TB is picked up by Tim (someone who found only a couple of caches and then seemed to fall off the planet), I change my TB Mission to big, bold red text mentioning when I last heard from the TB, and asking it to write :anicute:. At some point (a few months), I change the TB's name to add the text "[MISSING]" to its name, so it shows in any Inventory. When it gets placed into a cache after this (which has only happened a couple of times), I quickly restore the TB page, and change its name back. My plan keeps the TB in the listed Inventory for as long as possible, just in case it gets placed. As mentioned, it seems easier for cachers to figure out how to log a TB if it is still in their Inventory when they wish to log it.

 

It is super tricky to decide when a TB is "gone". I would prefer that people NOT take my TB and then lose it, because it causes many months of loss management for me ("not worrying about it" is a cute idea, but I bought a Tracking Number and shall use it, "worrying" is not the issue here). Instead, cachers finding my TB in a cache must:

Leave it alone in its cache, or

Place it into another container right away and do all the logs correctly.

One or the other. B)

Edited by kunarion
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At some point (a few months), I change the TB's name to add the text "[MISSING]" to its name, so it shows in any Inventory. When it gets placed into a cache after this (which has only happened a couple of times), I quickly restore the TB page, and change its name back. My plan keeps the TB in the listed Inventory for as long as possible, just in case it gets placed. As mentioned, it seems easier for cachers to figure out how to log a TB if it is still in their Inventory when they wish to log it.

Pretty good idea... I may incorporate that language into my missing trackable pages.

 

It certainly won't hurt and just may help. :)

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At some point (a few months), I change the TB's name to add the text "[MISSING]" to its name, so it shows in any Inventory. When it gets placed into a cache after this (which has only happened a couple of times), I quickly restore the TB page, and change its name back. My plan keeps the TB in the listed Inventory for as long as possible, just in case it gets placed. As mentioned, it seems easier for cachers to figure out how to log a TB if it is still in their Inventory when they wish to log it.

Pretty good idea... I may incorporate that language into my missing trackable pages.

 

It certainly won't hurt and just may help. :)

It has worked twice, and each time, I was not at a PC where I could remove the [MISSING] text as quickly as I'd like. Well, I don't actually know if it worked as in causing anything different to occur that would have happened anyway :anicute:. But adding the word "[MISSING]" to the TB name is also a handy way for me to keep my TBs organized... those are the ones in limbo, which will eventually be marked "missing" for real, then revived. So I can be planning and building the new version of the TB.

Edited by kunarion
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Like the idea of putting MISSING in the name of the TB. I'm going to do this on one I have missing. I'm also going to put PLACE ME in the name of some that people have had for a year. LOL. :yikes: Who knows, maybe they will see it on their tb list and get the hint? Maybe they will be hacked off and throw it away...don't know. Just tickled my funny bone.

 

I agree with what others have said. I expect my tb to go missing and get lost as soon as I release it. If it goes anywhere, for any length of time, I'm thrilled.

 

On the cautious side, I don't send out tb's that I care about - geocoins from special events etc.

 

Happy caching!

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To the OP:

 

I had a look at some of your trackables... it seems that you may be jumping the gun as marking them as "Missing" so quickly.

 

At least one is marked missing just two days out. You need to give folks a chance... not all logs are johnny-on-the-spot.

 

Not only that... but when you mark it missing, it removes it from the inventory of the person holding the trackable. There are quite a few folks that don't know how to log it in those circumstances. It's not in their inventory, therefore they cannot "place" it. So what are they gonna do? Quite likely just forget about it. Now that isn't really gonna help matters, now is it?

 

Sure it's easy to do with a "grab", but do realize that some folks aren't quite up to par in trackable logging techniques. Many, if not most, never find the forums to ask about how to do it, much less read about how to or comprehend how to log in those instances.

 

Marking it as missing so quickly can only guarantee that some never return to moving, IMO.

 

Look at Hessen Travel Bug ... much too soon log mark it missing.

Likewise Zach's Pirate Tag ... similar circumstances.

Just because it is missing out of a cache for a single day is hardly a reason to assume that it is gone forever.

 

Oddly enough, the cacher reporting that Hessen Travel Bug as not being in the cache, just moved one of mine after holding it for 3 months, but dropped it after a 4,300 mile jump (just this week).

 

Just trying to help, 'cuz I feel by marking them as missing so quickly, you may be sealing their fate before they are truly dead and gone.

 

Good feedback. I may be jumping the gun too early. For the Hessen Travel Bug, I moved it back "to last known location". Perhaps that will help it be logged faster. Good points. Thanks for the advice. Andy

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Interesting read. I have a half dozen or so travel bugs I have received for spending too much money with the Ground Speak store. Anyway...my boys (7 & 9 years-old) are really excited about putting travel bugs out and following their journey. What is the percentage of travel bugs that actual live a decent life? I'm really hoping they each get to enjoy watching their travel bug's journey.

 

Our plan is to make a simple note of each travel bugs' wish list (goals) on one side of a piece of paper with the other side asking to only be taken by those who will move it along in it's journey and laminating the paper and then attaching it to the TB. Should this help?

Edited by Sadjo
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Our plan is to make a simple note of each travel bugs' wish list (goals) on one side of a piece of paper with the other side asking to only be taken by those who will move it along in it's journey and laminating the paper and then attaching it to the TB. Should this help?

How good is your lamination? You can laminate the TB dogtag together with the note. Maybe cut a hole in the paper so people can see both sides of the dogtag.

Edited by kunarion
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I like the idea of attaching a note. It's still sad that they disappear. We set 8 go for our grandchildren. They wanted to watch them move. We are down to 2 now. I haven't given up on all of them, but I know some are totally MIA.

You may re-release the TBs, once you're certain they're gone. They can turn up again someday. But certainly at 12 months with no word, you could make a revived TB.

 

And you don't have to drop the new TBs into cache containers. You have some options.

You could bring the TBs with you, and log Visits on caches you find. You could have a whole set of TB numbers on your car for people to discover and for you to log Visits.

Or you could make "trackable" shirts or hats or stickers for the kids, so they can have the TB number.

 

When I revive mine, they are always a major upgrade, a much nicer version of its theme. Way too cool to put it into a cache, so I keep them. One I use for Visits to caches, now has a solid silver claw pendant, so of course it stays with me.

Edited by kunarion
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It is driving me crazy when my TB is dropped in a cache and the very next person to find the cache does not mention a TB in his/her log or create a log for it. Then, when the SECOND finder also doesn't mention or log my TB, THEN I start to freak out a little. Has my TB gone missing already?

 

If you see a TB in a cache when you find it, is it normal not to mention it in your log unless you retrieve it? I can understand why you wouldn't log it as 'discovered' as that is a bit of a pain.

 

If the finder is new like me, I fear that they have taken and won't log it. :( I also live in fear of hovering muggles or cachers from the Dark Side. I picture someone laughing maniacally over a hoard of sad lost trackables tucked away in their sock drawer.

 

It is so tempting to send a message to that cacher asking: did you see this TB in the cache when you visited? Like, I want to do this the next day. But would that be too pushy and a little crazy?

 

I know. I need to chill out and remember that they were lost the moment I released them into the cachosphere. But it is hard.

 

KjeriKaye (formerly Lulilac)

Edited by Lulilac
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If the finder is new like me, I fear that they have taken and won't log it. :( I also live in fear of hovering muggles or cachers from the Dark Side. I picture someone laughing maniacally over a hoard of sad lost trackables tucked away in their sock drawer.

 

It is so tempting to send a message to that cacher asking: did you see this TB in the cache when you visited? Like, I want to do this the next day. But would that be too pushy and a little crazy?

When a person removes any item from a cache, it's essential that they log it. I do, TB or Swag, in both the online log and the paper log if there's room. It's important. But since caches seem to lose everything with no mention, you know how courteous most cachers are. “The true test of a man's character is what he does when no one is watching.” ― John Wooden

 

I hardly ever inventory caches. I sign the log, may add an item, put everything back. So I don't know what exactly was in the container. Maybe if it's an obvious TB, I'll remember seeing it, or if it's a typically empty container, I know at a glance that there's nothing. But writing to previous finders may or may not be useful. I tried that once. My duck TB, half the size of an ammo can, was not being mentioned as being in the container. I wrote a note on the cache page, and one cacher said it is definitely not in there, the next cacher said it is there. That was almost not much help. <_<

Edited by kunarion
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I had a TB that was the twin of another, which was washed away in a flood in Australia after travelling almost 11,000 miles. I say "had" because this one was retrieved from Germany in January 2010 and has not yet been placed in another cache. The cacher seems to be a member of the US Army, based on his gallery photos and the caches that he has visited more recently. He has not replied to an email from me. What is the etiquette in this situation? Do I try emailing him again, or do I just give up on the TB and the potential 3,000 odd miles that it could have clocked up between Germany and the USA? :mad:

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I had a TB that was the twin of another, which was washed away in a flood in Australia after travelling almost 11,000 miles. I say "had" because this one was retrieved from Germany in January 2010 and has not yet been placed in another cache. The cacher seems to be a member of the US Army, based on his gallery photos and the caches that he has visited more recently. He has not replied to an email from me. What is the etiquette in this situation? Do I try emailing him again, or do I just give up on the TB and the potential 3,000 odd miles that it could have clocked up between Germany and the USA? :mad:

Are you receiving Groundspeak emails? If not, you may not get a PM from another cacher. Even if you do get GS email, some may be blocked by your email program or even your ISP for various reasons, or some email may be filtered to a Spam or Junk folder. And the communication problem may be on the recipient's end.

 

Does the TB holder have an email address listed in his profile? You could use that address directly. If you do write again, send your email address, whichever one has given you the least trouble.

 

Is the holder active? Does he seem to have enough caching experience that he'd know how to manage TBs? How long has the TB been dormant? If the situation doesn't look promising and it's been months with no word, you could begin work on a revived version of your TB to release. But if you want the 3000 miles, you may have to wait and see if it turns up.

Edited by kunarion
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I feel your pain. I have gotten frustrated over this too as I release TBs, but I have decided that I am sending out good proxies for my coins and for TBs I take pictures before they leave so that if they do get taken, I can send out a proxy again. If you want help with proxies, I am doing them for free:

 

http://forums.Groundspeak.com/GC/index.php?showtopic=314465

 

Placing them out again as proxies helps me just feel better about the fact that they go missing. I even feel bad if ones I don't own go missing from my caches and I try to track them down, but ultimately the most I can do is to send it out again as a proxy if they want me to. Sometimes they work and sometimes they don't, but everywhere I go I try to make sure that geocachers I talk to have knowledge of how to track, log and drop TBs if they are going to take them.

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I like the idea of attaching a note. It's still sad that they disappear. We set 8 go for our grandchildren. They wanted to watch them move. We are down to 2 now. I haven't given up on all of them, but I know some are totally MIA.

You may re-release the TBs, once you're certain they're gone. They can turn up again someday. But certainly at 12 months with no word, you could make a revived TB.

 

And you don't have to drop the new TBs into cache containers. You have some options.

You could bring the TBs with you, and log Visits on caches you find. You could have a whole set of TB numbers on your car for people to discover and for you to log Visits.

Or you could make "trackable" shirts or hats or stickers for the kids, so they can have the TB number.

 

When I revive mine, they are always a major upgrade, a much nicer version of its theme. Way too cool to put it into a cache, so I keep them. One I use for Visits to caches, now has a solid silver claw pendant, so of course it stays with me.

Oh I like those ideas. I have two trackables MIA right now - will start working on a proxy to be released at their one year anniversary. If the originals do show up and become active once again...? Well it will be an awesome sight! :anicute:

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What do you mean by this: "You could have a whole set of TB numbers on your car for people to discover and for you to log Visits."

I've never heard or seen this done before.

 

Thanks!

I haven't either, but the tracking numbers are yours. You paid for 'em.

If your TB's missing for a (very) long time, use it elsewhere!

There's nothing to prevent you from using tracking numbers of (your) missing TBs and putting them (vinyl decals are great!) all on your vehicle.

- Guess we just get used to seeing one in the back.

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