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Minor gripe: TB off course


lel_h
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Okay, I'm new to geocaching and don't read these forums very often at all, so if I'm totally off base please let me know but be kind.

 

My kids recently released their first TB into the wild. They wanted it to travel overseas to visit countries that start with the letter E and L before coming back home. We took it to an event organized by a geocacher who was about to go Europe. She took the TB and brought it to Greece. She didn't log when she dropped it off, but the finder logged it when he retrieved it. When saw that it was found in Greece, my kids were beyond thrilled.

 

Unfortunately, the finder didn't log any other finds in Europe after grabbing the TB. His next log is in Colorado. And just today we learned that he took it to a pretty remote cache that has only 3 other visitors in the last 12 months.

 

In the six months since we started geocaching, we've come across several trackable items and TBs along the way. However, every time we find one, we try to look up the TB's goal, and if we know that we're not good candidates to fulfill its mission, then we leave it behind for the next finder. It bothers me that this apparently didn't happen with our TB.

 

Now, I like to think that I'm a reasonable person, and I don't completely fault the finder. He was overseas, and probably didn't have an internet data plan to look it up on the spot. It was just coincidence, I guess, that he found it in his last cache in Europe before returning home. And the bug's current location is probably pretty Muggle-proof, as I don't think anyone would accidentally stumble across it. But I really wish that when he got back to Colorado that he would have taken the time to read the TB's mission and put it in a bug hotel instead of taking it to its current location. He visited the TB's page twice to log his activity, so he must have seen the mission.

 

End of rant. Again, if I'm totally wrong for feeling this way, please let me know.

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Yes it's nice if people follow the goals, but then there's no fun. You might as well have mailed it.

For my point I'll use a TB race. 15, or 20 trackables all start in the same cache, with the same goal. In one year some might make it half way around the world, some might not make it 50 miles. It's part of the fun- annoying when they don't go where you want them to, but that's what happens when you let others control it for you. Be happy that at least it's being logged, and. Of stolen or forgotten.

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End of rant. Again, if I'm totally wrong for feeling this way, please let me know.

 

Got a 'Mission Statement' attached to the TB?

(If you did, is it still attached?)

 

Not all cachers have instant access to the internet to check the web site. :)

 

It's still active.

Be thankful! :D

 

(Shame it wasn't 'Visited' to the cache it was found in... :( )

 

The best you can hope for, if you have a 'mission' is that the TB will vaguely follow it.

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I did a lot of reading before releasing my trackable. I knew there was a fair chance it would disappear at some point but I thought it would manage at least a year.

 

I did not notice in all those logs I read that people don't really pay any attention to those goals even when attached to the bug. I release my first one in western NY close to the PA line with the goal of going to London Bridge in Lake Havasu City and then to the London Ky area. It needed to go southwest but it went northeast for several moves before someone took it to Michigan and someone there moved it to Texas. I got hopeful and when it was picked up by someone who logged that they would move it on I really got hopeful. Trouble is he took it back to Michigan where it disappeared. That's when I started paying attention to how things move and generally they don't follow the goal.

 

The other thing I figured out was hoping that the bug would move all that distance in a year's time was a pipe dream.

 

It's a game and you simply put it out and hope it goes and be thankful if it does and philosophical about it if/when it doesn't. Life's too short to get your drawers in a knot over something this unimportant.

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End of rant. Again, if I'm totally wrong for feeling this way, please let me know.

 

Got a 'Mission Statement' attached to the TB?

(If you did, is it still attached?)

 

Not all cachers have instant access to the internet to check the web site. :)

 

It's still active.

Be thankful! :D

 

(Shame it wasn't 'Visited' to the cache it was found in... :( )

 

The best you can hope for, if you have a 'mission' is that the TB will vaguely follow it.

+1

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I feel the same way as we have a TB that we wanted to visit two places of interest in every county of England... Instead it is making its way across Europe and is travelling all round the Czech Republic, and not a single picture in a year.

 

But on the other hand the situation we have found ourselves in regarding a young baby needing hospital meant we have had two TBs for sometime and have only just dropped them and it is possible others cachers could be in similar situations...

 

But contacting the owner is always the best thing

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Okay, I'm new to geocaching and don't read these forums very often at all, so if I'm totally off base please let me know but be kind. {snip}

End of rant. Again, if I'm totally wrong for feeling this way, please let me know.

Yes you are way off base and yes you are totally wrong for feeling this way.

 

Releasing a TB with a goal and expecting it to go in a straight line is unrealistic. Once out of your hands you have no control of its movement.

Think of TB movement like a fly in a house. The object is to get out of the house but if you watch the fly it goes all over the place before finding the open window.

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Who can say? Maybe being in that remote cache puts it in the path of someone who will fulfill a goal; Maybe it keeps it out of the hands of someone who will lose it.

 

It is always good when a trackable moves and is logged correctly. Going in a direct path is really just gravy.

 

If I come across a trackable, I will probably pick it up. I won't know its goal until later unless it is attached to it.

I think whatever movement I give it is increasing its odds of going toward its goal, even if I move it in a non-direct path.

I will try to move it the right way, but in the end, I will at least move it along.

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Even more than in other areas of geocaching, with TBs it's really, really important to focus only on the positives. It got to Europe! Wow, positive! Now it's back in Colorado. Wow, what a cool state! Nowhere near Europe, but Wow! And it's in a great remote spot that's rarely visited. How cool is that?

 

If you (and your kids) can't do that, then at least view being in Colorado as another start on its trip, i.e., back to ground zero, yes, but not in a way that eliminates the positive of its previous trip to Europe.

 

Yes, goals are frequently overlooked. I, too, wish they were taken more seriously. But I have to admit I often can't help a TB I've picked up towards its goal, but at least I drop them quickly so there's more chance that someone else can help them along. (And in the drop log, I always try to relate what I did to the goal, even if there's really no relation.)

 

So while the goal should be very important to someone picking up a TB, as the owner I recommend seeing the goal as a guideline to help people enjoy your TB more rather than a dictation about what they have to do with it.

 

I know these can be hard concepts for a kid to understand, but it's an opportunity to get them more focused on how much fun they're giving other people and less focused on what people picking up the TB must do to entertain your kids.

 

One thing that would probably help is to send out lots of TBs. Any one TB is likely to be very disappointing much of the time, but many TBs will probably mean at least one of them is doing something interesting at any given point.

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Thanks, everyone, for your frank responses. The TBs and other trackables that we've found have always had specific goals in mind, so we've tried to respect that. Perhaps we won't be as hesitant to grab TBs from now on, knowing that we won't be violating some sort of TB etiquette.

 

We've got a few more TBs that we'll release into the wild sometime soon. We won't set any specific goals for them, and just hope that they will continue to move along without falling into the hands of a Muggle.

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Got a 'Mission Statement' attached to the TB?

(If you did, is it still attached?)

 

 

No, we didn't attach one, but after we released it we thought it might have been a good idea. One of the first TBs that we found did have a card attached to it with its stated mission, and I think that's what sensitized us to the notion that we should check the goals of these trackables before taking them. This thread has helped me understand that it's okay if the movement is random and the goals not achieved, so long as the bug keeps moving along. Thanks!

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Thanks, everyone, for your frank responses. The TBs and other trackables that we've found have always had specific goals in mind, so we've tried to respect that. Perhaps we won't be as hesitant to grab TBs from now on, knowing that we won't be violating some sort of TB etiquette.

 

We've got a few more TBs that we'll release into the wild sometime soon. We won't set any specific goals for them, and just hope that they will continue to move along without falling into the hands of a Muggle.

 

Even though they will move with or without regard to its goals, I still think it is nice when a TB has a goal. The 'just move from cache to cache' ones, are, in my opinion, a little boring.

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Thanks, everyone, for your frank responses. The TBs and other trackables that we've found have always had specific goals in mind, so we've tried to respect that. Perhaps we won't be as hesitant to grab TBs from now on, knowing that we won't be violating some sort of TB etiquette.

I think you're on the right track.

 

Think of a bug sitting in Calgary that wants to go to Montreal. Maybe fifteen cachers pass up the chance to pick it up because they think "I'm not going east anytime soon so what's the point?" The sixteenth cacher comes along and moves it Vancouver. The bug owner thinks "Ah crap, it's moved further away from its goal." But then someone picks it up in Vancouver who happens to be going to Montreal on vacation just a week later. Success! But what if that sixteenth cacher is someone heading to Toronto? He moves the bug east and the owner thinks "Great, it just made a huge leap towards the goal!" but that cache in Toronto gets muggled a day later and the bug is now lost forever.

 

You just never know which hop will be the one that gets it to its goal. Unless a bug has explicit restrictions about where it wants to stay (keep it in the local area because it's being used as part of a puzzle cache or it needs to stay in the US because it's in a race and only gets points by visiting different states, as examples) then almost any movement is better than no movement. It's random and that's the fun. A bug sitting idle for weeks or months because people don't think they can help it achieve it's goal is pretty boring.

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On more than one occasion we have picked up a tb, no idea what its goal was until we have come home to track it...... My tb disappeared into the hands of a noob never to be seen again both my daughters bugs have travelled over 15,000 each, that's the way the cookie crumbles.

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Even though they will move with or without regard to its goals, I still think it is nice when a TB has a goal. The 'just move from cache to cache' ones, are, in my opinion, a little boring.

I agree with this completely. Have fun making up a goal, some people will read it and enjoy it, some people might even read it and do something about it. A lot of people will never notice the TB has a goal, but their loss is no reason for the rest of us to stop entertaining ourselves with them.

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We always move all the trackables we find, but we never check on the spot what their goal is, unless of course the goal is attached to it. If the goal is attached, we only leave the trackable if it's already (close) to its destination or if we think the spot has a better chance of being visited by cachers that might be able to help with the goal then what we have in mind to do in the next two weeks( or month in case of planned vacation). When we are in Amsterdam for instance, we won't take a trackable with destination US back home with us, since lots of tourists visit the place. In any other situation it is always possible to help with the goal, even if it's just by moving it a few kilometers or by placing a photo that has something to do with its goal.

 

If everybody would say "I leave it for the next cacher, because I'm not going to France but maybe the next cacher is" it would never get out of the cache, no fun for the owner if nothing happens. Better to move it a few kilometers/miles in the right direction and hope the next cacher will do as well and before you know it the Eiffel tower is found!

 

By the way: we often let the trackables we've found determine where we are going and what we are going to do.It is a fun way to decide which caches to do, since there are so many to chose, why not pick some that help with the goal of a trackable?! It's always disappointing when we check the TB page and there is no goal or just "travel the world" or "travel from cache to cache".

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last month we were about to head for the airport to fly home from Queensland to melbourne, we had ten minutes to spare, so decided to grab a cache at the end of the runway, there were a couple of travel bugs, we had no way of knowing their goals and no internet, so we took them.

 

Whe we got back to Melbourne, we found that the goal of one of the caches was to return to complete its trip from Switzerland to a cache only 20 minutes from our home. The next day we placed it in its goal cache, and got a thank you from the owner. Had we not taken it because we couldnt check its goal, that same TB could be heading of to some other country by now.

 

Its just all part of the game. We have about 10 out at the moment some have travelled 15,000 K's, one has travelled zero k's.

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My trackable I referred to above just resurfaced -- in the cache it had supposedly disappeared from according to one cacher and the cache owner. It was moved and picked up again by someone who has read the tag attached and promised to take it to the final destination on his way through from Michigan to Georgia. Only problem is that the trackable hasn't made it to it's first destination yet but reading the tag attached doesn't tell you that. He apparently didn't read the logs when he logged it but given the "visits" posted I don't guess I can blame him for that either. Just happy that the game isn't over.

 

So, when he drops it here locally I'll just try to retrieve it and modify the tag to point out it didn't make it to Arizona yet and release it again and see what happens.

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A couple of Tbs we have helped on their way went way off course later on.

 

One was trying to get from the Netherlands to Australia, we dropped it off in Singapore, it was retrieved and dropped off in a cache in Germany!

 

Another was trying to get back to Finland, it made it as far as Sweden then was dropped off in New Zealand.

 

Must be really frustrating for the owners.

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We travel a lot by car and pick up and drop lots of trackables. We grab all the trackables that we find unless there is a tag indicating a mission that we cannot help with. We usually have wifi access at the hotels most nights so we check the goals of the trackables that we grabbed that day and we try to help or drop it immediately if we cant help.

 

Our biggest gaffe was in Bali Indonesia where we had gone for a wedding. We had a taxi drive us to the only cache we had time to get, and we grabbed a TB. We were only able to check goals when we got home. It had started in USA and wanted to get to India. We ended up dropping it near home in New Brunswick on the east coast of Canada

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We took a bunch of TB's to the mega in Ayr which was brilliant. The TB table was a bit of a bunfight. The TB's were dropped off in their respective countries boxes by us and an hour later we returned to see if any could be brought down country. All the boxes were empty and TB's lay all over the table. People were tipping them out and photographing the tags and walking off. So gawd knows if any made it to where they were supposed to go.

 

We dropped off 3 in Scotland. They have all gone missing. Ours resurfaced today on the other side of Scotland. No idea how it got there though. Hope the same applies to the other two.

 

Another of ours a coin which has it's instructions in its folder and is stapled into that - to travel the equator. A person with virtually no finds found it and it and kept it for ages. We contacted them and they were great. Didn't know about dipping so had kept it while they travelled and they arrived in Australia. And then made a special trip North to an event 1000 miles + to get it nearer the equator again. Brilliant. THEN - a certain high roller grabbed it in Singapore and dragged it back to friggin Yorkshire LOL. Sigh. Did make us larf.

 

We've never done anything wrong [:o]

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I just wanted to add that I never have Internet access when out caching, so if we pick up a TB (without a tag) I can only check what the goals are later.

 

On a couple of occasions where a TB had very specific goals that I knew we couldn't really help with, I dropped it locally asap, to give it a chance to be picked up by someone else.

 

I think if you have specific goals this is more interesting to those who pick up your TB's, but you have more chance of at least one succeeding if you send out a few.

 

We set 4 TB's off on a race from England to Switzerland in Summer 2012.

 

One made it to within 10kms of our home in a little over a year.

The second was dropped 50 kms away today.

The third was a little over 200kms away, and was suddenly picked up and dropped way off track in Norway.

The fourth is still wandering across Germany.

 

It is kind of fun to watch (says the one who picked up her returning TB today), but we always kept our expectations realistic too.

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I picked one up yesterday, with Mission attached - it wanted to be photographed with "dogs around the world". Now... we don't own a dog, but having checked the logs online it hadn't moved in a month so brought it home, photographed it with our cat and will hopefully either be photographing it with our friend's dog before dropping it in a cache or passing it on to a fellow GCer who owns a dog.

 

Really hoping owner will appreciate the humour intended behind the cat photo (if not they can always exclude it from the gallery) and our efforts to keep it moving.

 

ps- our own first TB has so far failed to move or be discovered by any of the last 4 people who logged at the GC we dropped it in, but it's only been a few weeks and I'll be grateful when it moves at all.

Edited by SucklingSeekers
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