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Trackables Missing


CCB15
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So I have been looking for a trackable because I haven't had one yet. Every one I have been to, the trackable is missing. Even though I look at the last place it was tracked, and it was never there. Is this common?

 

I also looked in the logs and saw that nobody has said they took them.

 

Is there anyway to know if a trackable is really there? Also, why doesn't anybody say they took it and it is now gone?

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Is this common? Yes, pretty much so -- but I would hesitate to use the word "never".

 

Is there anyway to know if a trackable is really there? Yes, boots on the ground and eyes looking into the cache. Outside of that, there is no way to guarantee a trackable is present.

 

why doesn't anybody say they took it and it is now gone? Because there are 6 million geocachers worldwide (so it says on the opening page of geocaching.com). Each and every one of those 6 million have their own way/idea of doing things.

Sadly it seems, as time marches on it appears as though geocaching is becoming an activity only involving three people -- Me, Myself and I.

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If it's a cache out in the middle of nowhere (a several mile hike) with very little traffic, then the odds go up that a listed trackable is really in the cache.

 

If someone just placed the trackable a day or two ago into the cache (you can check that ahead of time) the odds go up that the newly placed trackable hasn't been taken yet.

 

I kind of view trackables as pleasant surprises. If I notice that a trackable is supposed to be in the cache and I get my hopes up, I'll probably be disappointed (I used to do that). If I don't pay any attention to the trackable status, then once in a while I'm happily surprised.

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As a volunteer cache reviewer, I've marked nearly 4,000 trackables as "missing" in order to move them to an "unknown location" -- thereby making the cache page inventory accurate. I've guessed wrong (i.e., the trackable was still in the cache) less than ten times that have been brought to my attention.

 

Speaking from that experience level, here are some tips on basic research in order to determine whether a trackable item is present:

 

1. First, open the trackable's page from the link on the cache listing. Are there any notes from cache visitors, reporting that the trackable isn't in the cache where it's shown to be? Helpful geocachers will leave these notes, in the hope that the trackable's owner will mark their item missing.

 

2. Next, look at the date when the trackable was dropped in that cache. The older the drop date, the higher the odds that the item has gone missing.

 

3. Keeping the drop date in mind, go back to the cache listing and start reviewing the logs from the present time back to the drop date for the trackable. Do multiple finders complain that the XYZ geocoin is not in the cache? Ummm, if it was dropped six months earlier and there's been 23 finds since then, it's long gone. Do finders say "no trackables in cache?" Odds are, every trackable in the inventory with a drop date prior to those reports is missing.

 

4. Pay special attention to logs from the cache owner. Did the cache ever go missing and get replaced? Any trackable with a drop date prior to when the cache was replaced is likely lost. And, sometimes owners will report that there are no trackables in the cache -- they are likely unaware of their ability to clean up the inventory by marking trackables as missing.

 

By following these steps you can get a good idea of whether the trackable is present or missing in just a few minutes. You can do your part by reporting on the status of trackables in the inventory when you physically visit the cache. The best helpers will say something like this: "None of the listed trackables are present in the cache. Cache owner, please mark these items as missing, so the trackable inventory will be accurate." (Some owners will ignore these reports, reasoning that their job is to maintain the container and the logs only -- it is the trackable's owner who should maintain the trackable's status.)

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Thanks for the fast responses. I always notify the owner if the trackable is missing. I always review the logs before hand.

 

I guess I should do like terrkan78 suggests. Just be pleasantly surprised.

I stopped searching for trackables ago. Now I am overjoyed when I stumble upon one in the wild and it makes my day. Much better than continual disappointment.

 

I expect to be overjoyed when I go to the Sea Shell TB hotel in Yuma in a couple of weeks.

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Is there a way for someone other than the owner to mark a TB as missing from a cache so that it won't continue to show up as containing a TB that isn't there?

 

I haven't cached much in the last few years but have started again lately. I used to never have this problem, but today I took my daughter to find a few caches and of the 3 nearby that showed TB's... NONE of them actually had the TB. The cache was in good condition but somehow the TB had been swiped or something. I didn't realize this had become a common problem that TB and cache owners were no longer actively tracking them and marking them as missing when appropriate. Kind of frustrating.

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Trackables can be marked as missing by the trackable owner, by the owner of the cache which lists the trackable in its inventory, by the Volunteer Cache Reviewer for the region where the cache is located, by Eartha the Trackables Forum Moderator, or by the helpful Lackeys at Geocaching HQ.

 

If just any geocacher could mark a trackable missing, it would lead to mischief.

 

There is a long-running thread in the Feature Suggestions forum to establish some sort of automatic means for cleaning up cache inventories by removing long-dormant trackables.

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If just any geocacher could mark a trackable missing, it would lead to mischief.

With all due respect to Keystone... [i think] the last word in the quote really ought to be "chaos" rather than "mischief".

 

Providing the ability to those who don't log properly that ability to mark a trackable as "Missing" would certainly create chaos.

Mischief implies intent. While mischievous cachers may well exist, I think the great majority of those missing/mis-logged trackables are due to logging mistakes, forgetfulness, and well... let's just say... not knowing any better.

 

To provide the masses with another log-type would only increase their abilities to (inadvertently) create more confusion.

 

If there were to be mischievous activity, that would probably occur with or without this ability.

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Unfortunately this is very common in my opinion. Today I received notification that one of my TBs has now gone missing. This makes 5 out of 6 that have been lost or stolen. This is the end for me. I will no longer start any new TBs. All of the fun of trackables has been taken by inconsiderate individuals. I hope none of which are real Geocachers all I have met are good people.

 

Oddly all most all of my TBs have disappeared after approximately 4000 miles traveled and a couple much sooner than this. Interesting and disturbing.

 

Bummed out,

CygnusX1

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Although most of my trackables have gone missing, I have also had the pleasure of stumbling across one or two that were misplaced, I got them caught up. Once, a former co-worker gave me a couple that were taken before life and motherhood interferred, I put them back into circulation after 3 years missing to the owners. Like others, I just consider finding one in a cache anymore a bonus, and I ignore any rules put by cache owners that I must leave to take as that would just result in the trackable never moving.

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I'm sitting here this morning with a cup of joe, planning my caching day. I've got a TB that's I've had since the 1st, and I'm planning on moving it along today so I've got to plan my day with this in mind. As I'm doing this it occurred to me how few caches I have left in my area that are even big enough to place the TB in.

 

I could drop it at the new TB hotel, but then I'll want to grab one also and I'll have to find a place to drop that one.

 

I know I could go drop it at a cache that I've already found but most the folks who would move it have already found that cache too(it could be trapped a while).

 

This seems like one of the issues that TB's have. Finding caches big enough for them to fit into.

 

Hey, I have that same problem with jeans :)

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