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Strange Travel Bug Note

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I put the message NOT place TBs in urban, non-PM caches. It is about reducing risk. I keep records on all my TBs and have data to justify my preferences. On average, in the US, TBs will go missing in a little over a year and won't be handled by more than 6 or 7 cacher. Many are lost from their first cache and never move, at least on paper. The best thing that can happen to a TB is to land in The Netherlands, Belgium, Germany, Switzerland, Austria or the Czech Republic. Bugs move faster and last longer.


Urban caches are death on TBs, in part because they get a lot of traffic. Sooner, rather than later, there will be an irresponsible finder. Any doofus with a smartphone and a free app can find urban caches. Newbies are especially bad, they usually aren't very stealthy, they will find a cache or two, pick up a bug or two, maybe even put out a poorly-hidden cache or two, then lose interest. They keep the bugs are and leave behind unmaintained caches.


This is a broad brush, but rural caches are a bit harder to find with smartphone apps; it usually takes an investment in a gps device. A casual cacher is not going to spend the money. Which brings me to Premium Member caches. The casual cacher is not going to spend the $25 per year. All but one of my caches are rural and all are PMOs. After I converted my caches to PMOs, muggling and stolen TBs dropped to 15-25% of their former levels. These data also show there are irresponsible PMs.


However, there are some rural caches hazardous to TBs as well. Just look at caches outside the gates of National Parks and popular caches in some state parks. And, many cachers (including the writer) have made the pilgrimage to famous caches like Mingo (oldest active cache) off I-70 in NW Kansas. They all show large TB inventories, but no bugs are found.


The point is, I will cheerfully sacrifice frequent discovery and/or miles on a TB for its longevity. I have TBs on mountain tops in Colorado, Utah and Nevada. The cache in Utah hasn't been visited in over 3 years so the TBs hasn't had a chance to move. That's OK with me.


All this said, I can only do what I can before release, after that I have minimal say in what happens to my bug because I suspect at most only about half the finders actually read the mission statements. So, my TBs still regularly wind up dicey, urban, non-Premium caches where they soon go missing.

Edited by shellbadger
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