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Is it a problem in the USA?

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I may be beating a subject already well beaten, but after spending time at the GeoWoodstock event, I just had to ask this question (seriously): Is the trackable 'problem' just a USA issue?


I've released trackables, and I've had friends released trackables. My travel bugs have such a high failure rate, as compared to several of my foreign friends, that I'm about to give up on them entirely. It is too costly to throw away money.


A very simple example is this: I released several bugs, but every single one of them (save the most recent 4) have all died in the USA. The one and only bug I released in South America is happily bouncing around Europe and Asia. My Germany-based friend has released 3 bugs only - and has all 3 living a long and happy traveling-life in Europe. But, I bring 2 of HIS bugs over to the USA, and they all 'die' after being released. They aren't event logged as being picked up.


Same with my friend from Africa, S. America, Canada, Ireland, and England. When their bugs come over to the USA - they quickly vanish. Seriously, it seems that the only place suffering a displayed percentage of bug failure is the USA.


Maybe it is just bad luck. But after meeting and talking to several cachers, it seems a real problem.


Even the caches seem to be always 'wrong' - I find caches with 4-6 bugs in the inventory - but when I get there, nothing.


Does anyone else find this trend familiar? Is there any logical reason / theory?


Any advice - other than avoid dropping trackables in the USA?

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Sorry to tell you, but that has been our experience, as well. Our trackables that make it overseas do WAY better than the ones that stay in the U.S. It makes me really sad, but I always try to get our coins/TBs to Germany, South Africa, or any place away from the US in the hopes they will travel longer. And they always do. Sad statement for geocachers in the US. I also find that any trackables that we have placed in events (especially) mega-events, have never been retrieved. At the moment, we have 57 geocoins/trackables that we have moved that have not been logged since we dropped them - going all the way back to 2013. Many of them were dropped at mega-events (including GeoCoinfest!) and never retrieved. I have given up on moving trackables at all and will be dropping the last of the ones that I have picked up in the next month. It is such a fun part of the game, but I feel so bad when somebody else's trackable goes missing when I was the one who dropped it somewhere.


On the other hand, we have a number of coins that have been traveling all over Europe for several years and are still moving.

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I've only ever released two, and then gave up. One went missing rapidly in BC, after travelling very little. The other bounced around BC for a bit and then went to France and then Germany where it also disappeared. So I'm 0/2 with one in Canada and one in Germany.

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Similar to Ringrat, we've experienced our losses (my coupla TBs and CJ's dozen or so coins) in a few Countries, and it seems (to us) they go missing in certain areas, rather than one Country in particular.


But then, the worst trackable thief/hoarder/**** wasn't (really) too far from Groundspeak... :laughing:

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I used to think it was theft, but I think there are other issues going on. Newbie cachers make mistakes or sometimes they take a bug, get bored with caching, and leave it in a drawer somewhere. I have at least 3 bugs being held by newbies who haven't logged anything since November. Then there are the seasoned veterans that go to so many events and log so many caches, that they have no recollection where they left your TB or if they even had it at all. I have several bugs that were last seen at an event and haven't been seen since. I think more often than not TBs are just lost in the shuffle. There is no rhyme or reason to it. Your TB may be underneath somebody's car seat and it will be found whenever the car gets vacuumed out.

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Yes to re-releasing them; You don't even have to have the copy tag or a purchased proxy tag. Just make a laminated card with the information on it including the tracking number, and if desired attach that to a small item and send it out again.


I attach laminated tags to my travel bugs anyway, and I feel that a laminated tag and a small item has the feel of a travel bug and will do almost as well as the version that had the tag.

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I've released 7 TBs in total.


The only one that is not missing is the one on the back of my vehicle.


One went to Africa last November and hasn't been seen since.

One went disappeared with a newbie caching family in Ohio almost 2 years ago.

One went missing in Nova Scotia.

One was found in Panama City and is now apparently in the hands of a cacher in the Netherlands.

One is apparently in Newfoundland in the hands of an inactive cacher.

And then there is this gem, posted by a cacher with over 5,000 finds: "TB Drop. Handed this TB to some newbies but they have not logged the find yet." :blink:

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