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Frustration with TB's that are not in caches


Lubby25
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I love geocaching! I love the challenge of solving the puzzles and finding the caches. One of my favorite things is moving travel bugs. I like finding caches I haven't found with a TB and picking it up to move it. I love the creativity of the bugs and to help them, but also the movement lets the owners know that they are safe. What I don't understand is why cache owners and bug owners refuse to mark the bug as missing when several people let them know it isn't in the cache. I don't know if the reviewers should do it if they refuse or what should happen, but it is ridiculous to see a cache that is supposed to have a bug and find out that it is not there. Some have been missing for 10 years and still show up as there......that is crazy! I write that they are missing in my log, contact the CO and the TB owner and nobody changes it usually. I don't get it! It's not like if it is marked missing that it can't be grabbed and put back into the game.

 

That is my pet peeve for 2016!!!!

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I'll mention, gently, that you have no idea how many times cache owners, reviewers, or trackable owners DO Mark Missing.

 

You might want to add a post to this thread, in support of a website feature that would allow cachers to get missing trackables off cache pages.

 

http://forums.Groundspeak.com/GC/index.php?showtopic=284690

Edited by Isonzo Karst
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I write that they are missing in my log, contact the CO and the TB owner and nobody changes it usually. I don't get it! It's not like if it is marked missing that it can't be grabbed and put back into the game.

Most important, be sure everybody logs what they take. The items were taken, most often by a Geocacher. The Taker must make the proper logs. Today would be a good time to do so, go make the log that you took the TB, don't make the Owners guess, and above all, never require others to Mark It Missing -- it's not yours to keep. If you want the Inventory correct, you want it correct, and not just for your convenience. The person who takes it logs it. Insist on that.

 

Marking it "Missing" must be left up to the Owner. Make a log about how well you searched (note that the TB may look very different from its original photo). Then leave it at that.

Edited by kunarion
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I love geocaching! I love the challenge of solving the puzzles and finding the caches. One of my favorite things is moving travel bugs. I like finding caches I haven't found with a TB and picking it up to move it. I love the creativity of the bugs and to help them, but also the movement lets the owners know that they are safe. What I don't understand is why cache owners and bug owners refuse to mark the bug as missing when several people let them know it isn't in the cache. I don't know if the reviewers should do it if they refuse or what should happen, but it is ridiculous to see a cache that is supposed to have a bug and find out that it is not there. Some have been missing for 10 years and still show up as there......that is crazy! I write that they are missing in my log, contact the CO and the TB owner and nobody changes it usually. I don't get it! It's not like if it is marked missing that it can't be grabbed and put back into the game.

 

That is my pet peeve for 2016!!!!

 

I hear ya. This subject has been discussed on this site ad nausea and I share all your frustrations also. But I don't see any foreseeable easy fix. The fact of the matter is that TB's are secondary to caches. Many don't know the difference between swag and a trackable item. People stop geocaching for what ever reason and forget they have a TB in their possession, many simply don't know they need to log the retrieval/placement of a TB... and on and on.

I too love the TB side of geocaching, and I make sure to do the right thing with them. For me, that starts with READING THE TB PAGE. This seems to rarely happen with many cachers. If the bug owner (this concept seems to be missing in a large degree out there! they are private property owned by someone else!) has set a goal for the bug, before I retrieve it, I ask myself "can I further its goal?" If the answer is no, then I don't retrieve it from the cache.

It's best to think of TB's as an owner as expendable items with an expiration date. If you're sending something out there that is truly special to you and has sentimental value to you out into the wild, then you're setting yourself up for heartbreak. Lets face it; if everybody out there thought the same way as you about TB's then they would last indefinitely out in the wild. But most don't.

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I love geocaching! I love the challenge of solving the puzzles and finding the caches. One of my favorite things is moving travel bugs. I like finding caches I haven't found with a TB and picking it up to move it. I love the creativity of the bugs and to help them, but also the movement lets the owners know that they are safe. What I don't understand is why cache owners and bug owners refuse to mark the bug as missing when several people let them know it isn't in the cache. I don't know if the reviewers should do it if they refuse or what should happen, but it is ridiculous to see a cache that is supposed to have a bug and find out that it is not there. Some have been missing for 10 years and still show up as there......that is crazy! I write that they are missing in my log, contact the CO and the TB owner and nobody changes it usually. I don't get it! It's not like if it is marked missing that it can't be grabbed and put back into the game.

 

That is my pet peeve for 2016!!!!

 

As a cache owner I didn't know that I could mark a TB missing, not until someone informed us that it was something COs could do. So you might want to leave instructions in your log that tell the cache owner how to go about marking a TB missing. Might help. Couldn't hurt.

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Lets face it; if everybody out there thought the same way as you about TB's then they would last indefinitely out in the wild. But most don't.

It's much the same if you expect cache Inventories (or especially cachers' Inventories when they take a TB) to be correct: don't expect that.

Edited by kunarion
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As a cache owner I didn't know that I could mark a TB missing, not until someone informed us that it was something COs could do. So you might want to leave instructions in your log that tell the cache owner how to go about marking a TB missing. Might help. Couldn't hurt.

Good plan. But it's extra work for the TB Owner and Cache Owner, so cut each a lot of slack. What about posting a note about how to make the TB "Retrieved" log? Looks like a lot of people don't know how to do that (nor even how to put the TB into a cache again. Open container, drop TB in, close the container. Heh. Are you sure people actually don't know things? :anicute:)

 

The CO must make a trip to check the contents (and caring for cache contents beyond a log sheet is not a CO's official duty anyway), and there's a lot of detective work and research ahead. And there are a bunch of reasons to NOT mark a TB missing. So make the proper logs, especially a Note on the TB page that you did a decent search and the listed TB is not there. And let the CO know, and now with your job done, let it go.

Edited by kunarion
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If you get no results from the CO, or the TO, you can email me with link for the Trackable's page, and I can mark it missing.

 

I'm wondering whether there is any rule about trackables that says that a trackable owner cannot virtually log a trackable into a cache if the cache owner agrees (might be that trackable owner and cache owner coincide, but not necessarily). For example, I've seen cachers who use a personal trackable to mark their most recent FTF.

 

Marking such trackables as missing is certainly not pleasing the trackable owner.

 

Personally I think it should in most cases be sufficient to provide cache owners and trackable owners with the power to mark trackables as missing.

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<...> and caring for cache contents beyond a log sheet is not a CO's official duty anyway <...>

 

In the nicest possible way, I disagree.

 

My interpretation of the Official Guidelines says that my job as a CO is to maintain all aspects of my caches. That includes assuring the physical integrity of the container and the hide, cleaning out junk when I visit, making sure the contents are appropriate (I get to decide) and marking Travel Bugs as missing if they're supposed to be there, but aren't.

 

File under "How I play".

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<...> and caring for cache contents beyond a log sheet is not a CO's official duty anyway <...>

 

In the nicest possible way, I disagree.

 

My interpretation of the Official Guidelines says that my job as a CO is to maintain all aspects of my caches. That includes assuring the physical integrity of the container and the hide, cleaning out junk when I visit, making sure the contents are appropriate (I get to decide) and marking Travel Bugs as missing if they're supposed to be there, but aren't.

 

File under "How I play".

 

In the strongest possible way, I disagree.

 

Trackables are not my game, not my responsibility, not my problem. And if Groundspeak ever makes them my responsibility, all my hides will be archived immediately.

 

But, a friendly personal request for assistance (at my convenience) might get a warmer reception.

 

How I Play.

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<...> and caring for cache contents beyond a log sheet is not a CO's official duty anyway <...>

 

In the nicest possible way, I disagree.

 

My interpretation of the Official Guidelines says that my job as a CO is to maintain all aspects of my caches. That includes assuring the physical integrity of the container and the hide, cleaning out junk when I visit, making sure the contents are appropriate (I get to decide) and marking Travel Bugs as missing if they're supposed to be there, but aren't.

 

File under "How I play".

 

In the strongest possible way, I disagree.

 

Trackables are not my game, not my responsibility, not my problem. And if Groundspeak ever makes them my responsibility, all my hides will be archived immediately.

 

But, a friendly personal request for assistance (at my convenience) might get a warmer reception.

 

How I Play.

I kinda agree with CR.

I'm more than happy to mark a trackable missing from one of our remaining caches, when I do maintenance, to be sure it's missing.

Quite a few times we've found "missing" trackables at the bottom of ammo cans, mixed with swag, and a number of times (coins mostly), stuck to the sides/top.

Quality containers and not visited often, it may be a while... :)

- But requiring that I keep track of anothers side-game would probably get met with a negative response.

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<...> and caring for cache contents beyond a log sheet is not a CO's official duty anyway <...>

 

In the nicest possible way, I disagree.

 

My interpretation of the Official Guidelines says that my job as a CO is to maintain all aspects of my caches. That includes assuring the physical integrity of the container and the hide, cleaning out junk when I visit, making sure the contents are appropriate (I get to decide) and marking Travel Bugs as missing if they're supposed to be there, but aren't.

 

File under "How I play".

 

In the strongest possible way, I disagree.

 

Trackables are not my game, not my responsibility, not my problem. And if Groundspeak ever makes them my responsibility, all my hides will be archived immediately.

 

But, a friendly personal request for assistance (at my convenience) might get a warmer reception.

 

How I Play.

I kinda agree with CR.

I'm more than happy to mark a trackable missing from one of our remaining caches, when I do maintenance, to be sure it's missing.

Quite a few times we've found "missing" trackables at the bottom of ammo cans, mixed with swag, and a number of times (coins mostly), stuck to the sides/top.

Quality containers and not visited often, it may be a while... :)

- But requiring that I keep track of anothers side-game would probably get met with a negative response.

 

And that goes thirds for me. I, personally, have no issue with marking trackables missing. I do wish all CO's felt the same way that I do that keeping the trackable inventory correct is part of the CO's responsibility, but many do not and no amount of blustering or stamping my feet will change that, so I just let it be.

 

I used to see a listing that showed a trackable and would get excited as I went looking for it, thinking I would grab the TB/coin and move it on. Now, I know better than to get my hopes up. I used to religiously mention the trackable missing in my find log and logging a note on the trackable page as well. Now, I might mention it if it occurs to me. I've become so used to not finding trackables when they are listed in the cache, that I don't even look to see if there is supposed to be any there beforehand, which leads me to not bothering to mention not seeing them or logging a note on the TB's page. Now I just treat every trackable I find as a happy surprise and am done doing detective work on those not present.

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I do wish all CO's felt the same way that I do that keeping the trackable inventory correct is part of the CO's responsibility,

 

I would be very careful with marking trackables (which are not my own) as missing and would do it as a CO only under exceptional circumstances

(e.g. when a cache of mine got muggled and the trackable owner did not react to a message from me within a reasonable amount of time, say

a month).

 

There are many cachers out there who happen to have huge logging backlogs and some (among them well respected cachers with many finds and many years of experience)

made it a habit to retrieve trackables from the inventory only when they already found the time to place a trackable in a new cache (some do this to

avoid being pushed by trackable owners).

 

Setting the status of trackables to missing can create quite some chaos and affects the travel history of a trackable.

 

So while I ultimately might act as a cache owner and mark a trackable as mising, I would certainly act much later than the point of time when it might help people who

visit caches with the hope to find a specific trackable in the cache.

Edited by cezanne
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....

There are many cachers out there who happen to have huge logging backlogs and some (among them well respected cachers with many finds and many years of experience)

made it a habit to retrieve trackables from the inventory only when they already found the time to place a trackable in a new cache (some do this to

avoid being pushed by trackable owners).

 

Setting the status of trackables to missing can create quite some chaos and affects the travel history of a trackable.

....

 

Marking the Trackable Missing has NO impact on the travel history, nor on the logging of those who log slowly. It creates no "chaos".

 

The cacher who needs to log a "grab" does it EXACTLY the same whether the tag is logged into a cache's inventory, or has been Marked Missing (shown in an Unknown location).

When the tag is dropped again, it resumes its travels from the last known location to the next cache. Nothing at all is changed for the logger, for the TB and the travel history.

All that happens is that the trackable inventory on the cache listing is now closer to true.

 

I do wish that more people understood how ABSOLUTELY HARMLESS "Mark Missing" is, and used it more...

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Marking the Trackable Missing has NO impact on the travel history, nor on the logging of those who log slowly. It creates no "chaos".

 

First, thank you for making me aware that apparently the affect of mark missing is different than I expected it to be and different to the

other behaviour of trackable log types (they very easily get messed up).

 

I do not believe however that nothing is changed when the trackable missing action is taken.

 

For example, I use to log trackables by clicking at the cache where I found them (and then I first check whether the trackable there is the correct one) and not by entering the tracking code.

Using the trackable menu and entering the code is a more complicated workflow for me.

 

Moreover, I think that missing might be a misleading term. Not currently present in a cache does not mean that the trackable is missing. I believe that having different two types of status would help

- missing is a status that will make many trackable owners concerned much too early. Currently not present in cache X is not the same as missing.

Missing is an appropriate status for a trackable if the whereabouts of the trackable are still unclear after quite a while after the last log.

 

The cacher who needs to log a "grab" does it EXACTLY the same whether the tag is logged into a cache's inventory, or has been Marked Missing (shown in an Unknown location).

 

I would never do a grab if it can be avoided. I want to do a retrieve from cache X if I found the trackable in cache X. For example, if I happen to find a trackable in cache X, but it is logged into a cache Y I contact the person who most probably left it in cache X and ask them to drop the trackable into cache X.

 

Keeping the history of a trackable correct includes for me that the log type shown if I retrieve trackable A from cache X is retrieved from cache X and not grabbed. I take that very seriously and it is more important to me than if the present state of the inventory of one of my caches.

 

I also wonder what happens to the mileage displayed that I added to a trackable if I need to grab it from an unknown location.

Edited by cezanne
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<...> I also wonder what happens to the mileage displayed that I added to a trackable if I need to grab it from an unknown location. <...>

 

I believe it tracks from the last know location, so if a TB gets taken from a cache in New York City but doesn't get logged, and the 'grabber' hands it to you in California and you drop and log it into a cache in Poughkeepsie, it'll only show the travel from NYC up the Hudson; about 80 miles.

 

So, your point about asking that dude from California to do his homework is actually important to the TB.

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Moreover, I think that missing might be a misleading term. Not currently present in a cache does not mean that the trackable is missing. I believe that having different two types of status would help

- missing is a status that will make many trackable owners concerned much too early. Currently not present in cache X is not the same as missing.

Missing is an appropriate status for a trackable if the whereabouts of the trackable are still unclear after quite a while after the last log.

I have to disagree with you. If it isn't where it's supposed to be, then it is, by definition, missing. You want "missing" to mean "missing and presumed lost", but that state is subjective, and, for that reason alone, is far less useful the objective state of the TB not being where the system thinks it is.

 

I'm sorry you have trouble in your area with cachers intentionally making sure no one knows they have a TB they've taken, but I see no reason to adjust our use of the missing state to make it easier for them to steal TBs even if they do intend to give them back at a later date.

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Moreover, I think that missing might be a misleading term. Not currently present in a cache does not mean that the trackable is missing. I believe that having different two types of status would help

- missing is a status that will make many trackable owners concerned much too early. Currently not present in cache X is not the same as missing.

Missing is an appropriate status for a trackable if the whereabouts of the trackable are still unclear after quite a while after the last log.

I have to disagree with you. If it isn't where it's supposed to be, then it is, by definition, missing.

 

It is missing from the particular cache it is logged into, but it is not necessarily missing as a trackable. The status of a trackable is a property of the trackable and not a property of the cache it is logged into. If I find one during a long hike, I will not break up the hike and return home immediately.

 

A trackable is not missing during the time which lapses until I manage to write logs. I log trackables with much higher priority than caches, but still it's not my top priority in life to log a trackable.

 

You want "missing" to mean "missing and presumed lost", but that state is subjective, and, for that reason alone, is far less useful the objective state of the TB not being where the system thinks it is.

 

Actually, "where it is supposed to be" is quite subjective and relative. I never ever log anything in the field as I do not have the tools required for doing so and I also

never rush to the PC to log a trackable as first action when I return home. I'm among the quicker ones in my area when it comes to logging trackables.

 

If trackables stay logged into a cache and are not very quickly moved to the missing status, and I notice them in the inventory of a cache when logging it at home (not necessarily on the day of my cache visit), I typically write a note for the trackable that I did not encounter this trackable in the cache. Sometimes I have a look at the cache page myself or remember something from the log book of the cache and it might trigger a mail from me to a previous logger of the cache. Several times I managed to rescue trackables by doing so as I helped newcomers to correctly handle the trackable. If the missing status is applied too early, I would never notice that there might be an issue and the same holds true for the few others that care about trackables.

 

I'm sorry you have trouble in your area with cachers intentionally making sure no one knows they have a TB they've taken, but I see no reason to adjust our use of the missing state to make it easier for them to steal TBs even if they do intend to give them back at a later date.

 

The cachers I have in mind do not live in my area.

You can use the missing state as you like. I will use it for my own caches and trackables in the way that seems appropriate to me.

Edited by cezanne
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Actually, "where it is supposed to be" is quite subjective and relative.

No, it's really not subjective. The system defines where it's supposed to be. It's entirely black and white.

 

I never ever log anything in the field as I do not have the tools required for doing so and I also

never rush to the PC to log a trackable as first action when I return home.

I'm not not telling you you have to log faster. It sounds like you log as fast as I do, and we both know other people take longer, and I don't consider it a big deal. Nevertheless, until we log that we've taken the trackable, no one knows where it is, so it is quite officially and unambiguously missing. I don't expect anyone to notice it's missing -- that would be a remarkable coincidence -- but if a CO just so happens to visit the cache later that day, discovers the listed TB isn't in his cache contrary to what the system thinks, I'm fine with him setting it missing right away. So what? When you log it later, you'll grab it, telling the system where it really is now, and it's no longer missing.

 

You can use the missing state as you like. I will use it for my own caches and trackables in the way that seems appropriate to me.

I'm not sure what you think I'm saying. I don't really care when you, as a CO or TO, mark a trackable missing. The TO, in particular, never really has any idea whether the TB is missing by either of our definitions, so I don't expect them to mark the TB missing except when it really it clear it hasn't been seen in a long time. (The only time I did that was because I visited the cache where my TB was supposed to be and confirmed for myself it wasn't there.) The CO, on the other hand, does know if he visits the cache and can't find the TB. Personally, I see no reason for him not to mark it missing as soon as he wants, but I also have no problem with him dragging his feet just in case there's a slow retrieve of the type you're talking about.

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Actually, "where it is supposed to be" is quite subjective and relative.

No, it's really not subjective. The system defines where it's supposed to be. It's entirely black and white.

 

Maybe you misunderstood what I tried to say. It's quite obvious that the online status will typically behind the real status. That also applies when I go out and maintain one of my caches.

 

Moreover, note the conflict that arises if one knows that a trackable is in the hand of a certain cacher. That happens quite often to me when I retrieve a trackable from a cache and wait until it gets logged or do not encounter a trackable in a cache before someone has taken it before me. Note that the mark missing command ends up assigning the location "unknown" to the trackable under consideration which definitely is wrong in such cases. I give the trackable preference over the inventory of the cache. I remember cases where I logged a note for the trackable or wrote a mail to the trackable owner with the information who has the trackable in their hands. Personally, I regard this as the more constructive approach in such cases than the "mark missing action". I do not feel any pity for those who head out for a cache just to encounter a trackable there.

 

I'm not sure what you think I'm saying. I don't really care when you, as a CO or TO, mark a trackable missing.

Maybe I misunderstood your sentence what "we" should do.

 

The TO, in particular, never really has any idea whether the TB is missing by either of our definitions, so I don't expect them to mark the TB missing except when it really it clear it hasn't been seen in a long time.

 

I rather understood the TO in the sense that he/she goes out to look for caches that have trackables in the inventory and who feels disappointed if they are not there. That would e.g. suggest that a cache owner should mark a trackable missing immediately after a first cacher mentions that the trackable is not in the cache any longer which even can happen at the same day the trackable was retrieved.

 

(The only time I did that was because I visited the cache where my TB was supposed to be and confirmed for myself it wasn't there.) The CO, on the other hand, does know if he visits the cache and can't find the TB. Personally, I see no reason for him not to mark it missing as soon as he wants, but I also have no problem with him dragging his feet just in case there's a slow retrieve of the type you're talking about.

 

Ok, then we do not have an essential disagreement. Some cachers in the thread rather seem to suggest that a CO should mark a trackable missing as soon as possible (some even seem to think that this is a duty of the CO) and I do not agree with this. Personally, I try to deal with every case in a case by case manner and as I said I first contact the TO in any case and only after a certain time elapsed.

 

Personally, I'm not interested into collecting statistical data about my caching. Note however that for those who easily want to compute how many miles they overall contributed to the mileage of trackables (I know that such people exist) it makes a difference whether they retrieve a trackable from cache X (with assigned coordinates) or if they grab it from an unknown location. (In the latter case the individual mileage cannot be computed automatically. Of course the mileage of the trackable still computes correctly as there the unknown location is ignored). To fix that one first would need to grab the trackable from an unknown location, then put it back in the cache where one retrieved the trackable from and then retrieve it. One would also need to use fake dates for some of these moves as otherwise a confusion will be caused regarding the temporal order.

Edited by cezanne
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Using the trackable menu and entering the code is a more complicated workflow for me.

 

I agree. I find it unpleasant to not get to the trackable page from the cache page.

 

I don't know if it's native to the site, or a script I'm using - but at least, once I've entered the tracking code on the tracking search page, I don't have to re-type it to log.

 

You make a case for a number of instances where perhaps Mark Missing is inappropriate or at least annoying - but realistically, many trackables are NOT in the cache where they show up in inventory.

 

I'd vastly prefer to see this option used, even if sometimes in error or too quickly, than as little used as it seems to be used now.

Edited by Isonzo Karst
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Some cachers in the thread rather seem to suggest that a CO should mark a trackable missing as soon as possible (some even seem to think that this is a duty of the CO) and I do not agree with this.

I definitely agree with you about this. I think a CO should mark a TB missing only when he himself knows that the TB is definitely not in the cache. He shouldn't mark it missing because one person mentions it's not there. There are so many ways that report can be in error, which is exactly why visitors can't mark TBs missing for themselves.

 

Personally, I'm not interested into collecting statistical data about my caching. Note however that for those who easily want to compute how many miles they overall contributed to the mileage of trackables (I know that such people exist) it makes a difference whether they retrieve a trackable from cache X (with assigned coordinates) or if they grab it from an unknown location. (In the latter case the individual mileage cannot be computed automatically. Of course the mileage of the trackable still computes correctly as there the unknown location is ignored). To fix that one first would need to grab the trackable from an unknown location, then put it back in the cache where one retrieved the trackable from and then retrieve it. One would also need to use fake dates for some of these moves as otherwise a confusion will be caused regarding the temporal order.

A TB carrier interested in the distance he's carried TBs has a tradeoff: the longer they take to log the TB, the more chance that a CO will mark it missing in the meantime. The odds are still against any such thing happened, but the point is that there's no justification for asking the CO to consider this possibility just to avoid the one in a hundred chance that the TB carrier won't get credit for that one stop. Even when it does happen, the TB carrier will typically be able to log a visit on a nearby cache he found later on the same trip, so the lost mileage will be minimal, anyway.

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Like the Topic Starter I love to travel Travel Bugs to other caches. I wish there was a filter on the site by wich I can see in wich caches TB's are present. So that I don't have to look alle individuel caches in an area to see wich ones have a TB in the inventory.

Is it possible to make a filter like the ones you have to search cache types? Or make a symbol like a little star on caches on the map that have a TB in it.

It would please a lot of people!

Edited by Team-Maniago
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Since you are a premium member, you can set the "Has Travel Bug" checkbox in the pocket query generator, to filter only those caches in your query area that have trackables. You don't necessarily need to actually run the pocket query. Use the pocket query preview feature to get a list of caches that you can browse.

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I do agree with cache owners marking Travel Bugs missing. I'm not to sure about letting any one but the cache owner or Travel bug owner have the ability to do it.

 

During a recent cache maintenance run I marked 2 Travel Bugs as missing. The next day a cacher posted a found log and indicated that they picked up one of the missing bugs. In the found log they questioned why the Travel Bug was marked as missing. The simple answer was it wasn't in the cache when I checked it. Looking back on it I could have checked the log book and doing so I would have noticed that someone had found the cache earlier in the day and assumed that they had picked up the Travel Bug(s).

 

Missing Travel Bugs are a result of many things. The three biggest are new cachers who are not familiar with what Travel Bugs are and how they work, Travel Bug owners loosing interest in them and cache owners not marking them missing when not in their caches.

 

I think what gets lost here is marking a Travel Bug missing doesn't mean it's gone forever. I simply means that it's not where it's reported to be.

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I'd rather have a CO mark a bug as missing and inconvenience the 1-in-1000 that use TBs in an unusual way, than not mark it as missing and inconvenience the 988-in-1000 that wish cache TB inventories were more accurate (and the 1-in-1000 that thinks the ones using TBs unconventionally shouldn't be inconvenienced, and the 10-in-1000 that don't care about TBs at all).

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I'd vastly prefer to see this option used, even if sometimes in error or too quickly, than as little used as it seems to be used now.

 

To clarify, I'm not against the existence of the option to mark trackables as missing. I prefer however if it is not used too quickly.

Moreover, I still think that the fact that trackables that are marked as missing are at an "unknown location" according to the site's notation is unfortunate. For that reason I like the suggestion of The Blorenges as this does not immediately move a trackable to the location "unknown".

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I'd rather have a CO mark a bug as missing and inconvenience the 1-in-1000 that use TBs in an unusual way, than not mark it as missing and inconvenience the 988-in-1000 that wish cache TB inventories were more accurate (and the 1-in-1000 that thinks the ones using TBs unconventionally shouldn't be inconvenienced, and the 10-in-1000 that don't care about TBs at all).

 

Actually, I do not think that I use trackables in an unusual way. I take them along, try to respect their goals whenever possible and try to select safe caches for them. Moreover, I write notes whenever I do not encounter a trackable in a cache and I often contact prior visitors if it seems likely that they messed something up with trackables and/or offer help to newcomers that e.g. wrote "out: keyring" when they took a TB.

 

Cache owners that mark trackables as missing very quickly do annoy me however. The inventory of caches will never be accurate as only very few cachers

do log trackables right at the cache. Moreover, one often has to wait for previous cachers to log - grabbing trackables from the wrong location is definitely much worse than waiting a few days.

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Missing Travel Bugs are a result of many things. The three biggest are new cachers who are not familiar with what Travel Bugs are and how they work, Travel Bug owners loosing interest in them and cache owners not marking them missing when not in their caches.

 

I rescued quite a number of trackables over the past >13 years of caching because I came across trackables still logged into a cache which were not in the cache. This made me inspect previous logs and in several cases contacting previous unexperienced cachers the trackables were eventually logged and rescued.

If trackables are marked missing quickly, I do not note them and noone else. So the danger that the trackables are lost is much higher than if

marked missing is used much more conservatively.

 

The number one priority should be the well being of the trackables and not assisting those who rush out to caches to meet specific trackables.

The latter are not the owners of the trackables and I feel committed to the owners of the trackables but not in the least to trackable greedy cachers.

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I'd rather have a CO mark a bug as missing and inconvenience the 1-in-1000 that use TBs in an unusual way, than not mark it as missing and inconvenience the 988-in-1000 that wish cache TB inventories were more accurate (and the 1-in-1000 that thinks the ones using TBs unconventionally shouldn't be inconvenienced, and the 10-in-1000 that don't care about TBs at all).

 

Actually, I do not think that I use trackables in an unusual way. I take them along, try to respect their goals whenever possible and try to select safe caches for them. Moreover, I write notes whenever I do not encounter a trackable in a cache and I often contact prior visitors if it seems likely that they messed something up with trackables and/or offer help to newcomers that e.g. wrote "out: keyring" when they took a TB.

 

Cache owners that mark trackables as missing very quickly do annoy me however. The inventory of caches will never be accurate as only very few cachers

do log trackables right at the cache. Moreover, one often has to wait for previous cachers to log - grabbing trackables from the wrong location is definitely much worse than waiting a few days.

I don't think you do, either. But you cited cases of people that do (the ones who don't log them out of caches because of some obscure reason different than being behind in their logging). I had you in mind as the "1-in-1000 that thinks the ones using TBs unconventionally shouldn't be inconvenienced". :laughing:

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I don't think you do, either. But you cited cases of people that do (the ones who don't log them out of caches because of some obscure reason different than being behind in their logging). I had you in mind as the "1-in-1000 that thinks the ones using TBs unconventionally shouldn't be inconvenienced". :laughing:

 

I only mentioned those as one of several examples. I'm inconvenienced too by cache owners who mark trackables missing very quickly and most importantly, I think that these cache owners do not do a favor to the trackable owner. Mistakes by newcomers and cachers who are a bit chaotic in their logging process are much easier discovered if trackables stay in the inventory at least for a few days. As I said before, the suggestion of TheBlorenges in the post linked by Isonzo Karst does not have this negative effect that a too quick "mark missing" has. There is no doubt of course that trackables that it is helpful to mark trackables as missing after more time between the last drop off log has been lapsed.

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I don't think you do, either. But you cited cases of people that do (the ones who don't log them out of caches because of some obscure reason different than being behind in their logging). I had you in mind as the "1-in-1000 that thinks the ones using TBs unconventionally shouldn't be inconvenienced". :laughing:

 

I only mentioned those as one of several examples. I'm inconvenienced too by cache owners who mark trackables missing very quickly and most importantly, I think that these cache owners do not do a favor to the trackable owner. Mistakes by newcomers and cachers who are a bit chaotic in their logging process are much easier discovered if trackables stay in the inventory at least for a few days. As I said before, the suggestion of TheBlorenges in the post linked by Isonzo Karst does not have this negative effect that a too quick "mark missing" has. There is no doubt of course that trackables that it is helpful to mark trackables as missing after more time between the last drop off log has been lapsed.

 

The scenario I noted above is an example of bad timing. The travel bug had been in the cache for a month. a cacher reported that a different travel bug was missing. When I checked up on the cache I found that two travel bugs that were reported in the cache were not present. As only one cacher had visited the cache in that period and reported that they "swapped travel bugs" I assumed that they grabbed both, as neither had been logged. As it turned out the cacher only took one travel bug and logged it about a week later. The other TB was picked up hours before I checked the cache. Since both were not in the cache I marked them as missing.

 

In my opinion it's the cache owners responsibility to maintain the cache. Although keeping the cache inventory accurate is not required I believe it's important. Having said that I try to keep the trackable inventory as current as I can. I also think that the responsibility of monitoring the travel bug and working out issues with it's location and movement are the responsibility of the travel bug owner.

 

Marking the travel bug as missing alerts the owner that as of this date your travel bug is not in this cache. It also updates the current cache inventory so the next cacher knows what to expect. Although I would tend to trust other cachers when they include TB information in their logs, I think the cache owner logging it as missing holds more weight. It's easier, as a TB owner, to track down what happened to the TB when you know exactly when it was listed as missing by the cache owner. In this case it was one of two people who probably grabbed it and didn't log it.

 

If a cache owner wants to take the time to research missing trackables by all means do so. I try to do it myself. It's more important to square up the cache inventory first and sort out the issues later.

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The scenario I noted above is an example of bad timing.

 

I was not referring to your concrete example. My comment was a general one and my message was that I prefer if cache owners do not mark trackables as missing too quickly and I follow this suggestion myself when one of my caches is affected.

 

In my opinion it's the cache owners responsibility to maintain the cache. Although keeping the cache inventory accurate is not required I believe it's important. Having said that I try to keep the trackable inventory as current as I can. I also think that the responsibility of monitoring the travel bug and working out issues with it's location and movement are the responsibility of the travel bug owner.

 

Marking the travel bug as missing alerts the owner that as of this date your travel bug is not in this cache.

 

Actually a situation that happens to the vast majority to trackables for a certain period of time as only very few cachers log trackables in the field.

 

It also updates the current cache inventory so the next cacher knows what to expect. Although I would tend to trust other cachers when they include TB information in their logs, I think the cache owner logging it as missing holds more weight. It's easier, as a TB owner, to track down what happened to the TB when you know exactly when it was listed as missing by the cache owner. In this case it was one of two people who probably grabbed it and didn't log it.

 

It's not easier as when it becomes common that trackables are marked as missing very quickly, they do not show up in the inventory and thus cachers like me who care about the well being of trackables (not about any trackable statistics) will not become alerted that something might have went wrong.

 

As I said it the approach suggested by TheBlorenges does not have this drawback and is much nicer but it would cause work on the side of Groundspeak.

 

If a cache owner wants to take the time to research missing trackables by all means do so. I try to do it myself. It's more important to square up the cache inventory first and sort out the issues later.

 

I do not see why a note on the trackable page with the date of your visit and mentioning that you did not encounter the trackable in the cache and will wait for at least a few days until any further action will not have the same effect without having any negative effects except on those who happen to rush out for caches just for the sake of encountering trackables (which I do not regard as part of geocaching and so have no motivation to support). As a short term action I make use of notes regardless of whether as cache owner or a simple visitor of a cache.

 

Cezanne

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The scenario I noted above is an example of bad timing.

 

I was not referring to your concrete example. My comment was a general one and my message was that I prefer if cache owners do not mark trackables as missing too quickly and I follow this suggestion myself when one of my caches is affected.

 

In my opinion it's the cache owners responsibility to maintain the cache. Although keeping the cache inventory accurate is not required I believe it's important. Having said that I try to keep the trackable inventory as current as I can. I also think that the responsibility of monitoring the travel bug and working out issues with it's location and movement are the responsibility of the travel bug owner.

 

Marking the travel bug as missing alerts the owner that as of this date your travel bug is not in this cache.

 

Actually a situation that happens to the vast majority to trackables for a certain period of time as only very few cachers log trackables in the field.

 

It also updates the current cache inventory so the next cacher knows what to expect. Although I would tend to trust other cachers when they include TB information in their logs, I think the cache owner logging it as missing holds more weight. It's easier, as a TB owner, to track down what happened to the TB when you know exactly when it was listed as missing by the cache owner. In this case it was one of two people who probably grabbed it and didn't log it.

 

It's not easier as when it becomes common that trackables are marked as missing very quickly, they do not show up in the inventory and thus cachers like me who care about the well being of trackables (not about any trackable statistics) will not become alerted that something might have went wrong.

 

 

As I said it the approach suggested by TheBlorenges does not have this drawback and is much nicer but it would cause work on the side of Groundspeak.

 

If a cache owner wants to take the time to research missing trackables by all means do so. I try to do it myself. It's more important to square up the cache inventory first and sort out the issues later.

 

I do not see why a note on the trackable page with the date of your visit and mentioning that you did not encounter the trackable in the cache and will wait for at least a few days until any further action will not have the same effect without having any negative effects except on those who happen to rush out for caches just for the sake of encountering trackables (which I do not regard as part of geocaching and so have no motivation to support). As a short term action I make use of notes regardless of whether as cache owner or a simple visitor of a cache.

 

Cezanne

Edited by justintim1999
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My comment was a general one and my message was that I prefer if cache owners do not mark trackables as missing too quickly and I follow this suggestion myself when one of my caches is affected.

The problem is that "quickly" is ambiguous here. If the CO goes to his cache and sees for a fact that a listed trackable isn't there, I don't want him to delay reporting that to the system just because there's a possibility that the TB just recently left the cache. In almost all cases, that won't be "quickly" because statistically it's likely the TB hasn't been in the cache for a long time, where "long time" is half the time since the CO's last maintenance visit.

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The scenario I noted above is an example of bad timing.

 

I was not referring to your concrete example. My comment was a general one and my message was that I prefer if cache owners do not mark trackables as missing too quickly and I follow this suggestion myself when one of my caches is affected.

 

The minute a cache owner hesitates to mark a Travel Bug missing they begin to be less of a cache owner and more of a Travel Bug manager.

 

In my opinion it's the cache owners responsibility to maintain the cache. Although keeping the cache inventory accurate is not required I believe it's important. Having said that I try to keep the trackable inventory as current as I can. I also think that the responsibility of monitoring the travel bug and working out issues with it's location and movement are the responsibility of the travel bug owner.

 

Marking the travel bug as missing alerts the owner that as of this date your travel bug is not in this cache.

 

Actually a situation that happens to the vast majority to trackables for a certain period of time as only very few cachers log trackables in the field.

 

A day or two is reasonable to log a Trackable. A week or two is not. It's the latter that usually messes thing up.

 

It also updates the current cache inventory so the next cacher knows what to expect. Although I would tend to trust other cachers when they include TB information in their logs, I think the cache owner logging it as missing holds more weight. It's easier, as a TB owner, to track down what happened to the TB when you know exactly when it was listed as missing by the cache owner. In this case it was one of two people who probably grabbed it and didn't log it.

 

It's not easier as when it becomes common that trackables are marked as missing very quickly, they do not show up in the inventory and thus cachers like me who care about the well being of trackables (not about any trackable statistics) will not become alerted that something might have went wrong.

 

As I said it the approach suggested by TheBlorenges does not have this drawback and is much nicer but it would cause work on the side of Groundspeak.

 

If a cache owner wants to take the time to research missing trackables by all means do so. I try to do it myself. It's more important to square up the cache inventory first and sort out the issues later.

 

I do not see why a note on the trackable page with the date of your visit and mentioning that you did not encounter the trackable in the cache and will wait for at least a few days until any further action will not have the same effect without having any negative effects except on those who happen to rush out for caches just for the sake of encountering trackables (which I do not regard as part of geocaching and so have no motivation to support). As a short term action I make use of notes regardless of whether as cache owner or a simple visitor of a cache.

 

I happen to be a caacher who has been known to rush out to a cache just for the sake of a trackable. That's probably why I take my cache inventory so seriously (or as seriously as I can).

 

I understand why you favor the note approach but what if the trackable has been listed in the cache but missing for 6 months. I doubt that most cachers will comb through the logs to see if a note was posted about the travel bug being missing. Most people look at the inventory and head out thinking there's one in the cache only to be disappointed.

 

I think it's better to mark a travel bug missing right away than leave it listed in a cache it's no longer in.

 

Cezanne

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I understand why you favor the note approach but what if the trackable has been listed in the cache but missing for 6 months.

 

That's quite simple as I only question using "mark missing" quickly.

 

In contrast to you I do not think that one or two days are sufficient. First, when being on a trip or multiple day hike most will need more time. Second, it happened to me several times that I needed to

wait with a trackable log until the previous holder logged the trackable into the right cache. I insist on avoiding grab logs whenever possible.

If finally the drop off log arrives, it could also be that I cannot log the trackable instantly as I might not have the trackable with me (e.g. at work).

 

I doubt that most cachers will comb through the logs to see if a note was posted about the travel bug being missing. Most people look at the inventory and head out thinking there's one in the cache only to be disappointed.

 

As I said I do not feel at all committed to those who visit caches to head out for trackables - I only feel committed to the owners of the trackables. Those who end up disapponited will not be happy with their approach to reply on the inventory anyway as they would need to rely on instant trackable logs in the field and even then they would often come too late.

There are caches that are visited by 20 or more cachers per day. It's absurd to expect that the online inventory will be up to date.

 

I think it's better to mark a travel bug missing right away than leave it listed in a cache it's no longer in.

 

Agree to disagree. Waiting for a few days or longer if the cache is visited by people on trips makes sense in my opinion.

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In contrast to you I do not think that one or two days are sufficient.

One or two days from what? The CO has no way of knowing when the trackable left the cache, so I'm perfectly happy with him assuming your minimum wait time has already passed as soon as he discovers the trackable is missing.

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Most important, be sure everybody logs what they take.

 

This point is important.

 

In my early years of caching, I had a number in interactions in which I would take a trackable from a cache, log it immediately, and then receive a nagging note from the trackable owner concerned that I had not moved it. Many of these notes appeared just days after I had taken the trackable.

 

I found those notes from trackable owners to be cute, at first. After a couple of years and some less-than-polite "reminders," though, I stopped logging the trackables when I removed them from caches, and only logging them when I put them in a new cache.

 

I was responding to what is known as a "perverse incentive." If you don't log the trackable when you remove it, the trackable owner doesn't know who to pester about it and you can live your life in peace. It is my belief that most trackables are not logged when taken for exactly this reason.

 

I pretty quickly realized that what I was doing was wrong and I decided at that point to not participate in the trackables game. Period. That means not moving trackables, not "discovering them" (which I never saw the point of), and, quite significantly, not marking missing trackables in caches I own.

 

I will on very rare occasions take a trackable with me if I am traveling overseas to a spot where it needs to go, or move a trackable from a very rarely-visited cache (no finds in a couple of years) to something more popular. I do those things as a favor to the rest of the community. I have to log those to let people know where they have been moved; I have no interest in the logs for any other reason.

 

But that's it.

 

In addition, I have put notes in the descriptions of a few of my traditional caches asking people not to leave trackables in them.

 

Here's how I look at it: Trackables are not part of my caching game. They belong to their owners, not to the owners of the caches that happen to host them. Trackable owners who expect me to drop everything and go check on their property for them are being unreasonable and I will not do so.

 

So here's my advice:

 

If you have a complaint about a missing trackable, please do not contact the cache owner where it was last seen. It is not their responsibility. Contact the owner of the trackable instead, since it is their property.

Edited by fizzymagic
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In contrast to you I do not think that one or two days are sufficient.

One or two days from what? The CO has no way of knowing when the trackable left the cache, so I'm perfectly happy with him assuming your minimum wait time has already passed as soon as he discovers the trackable is missing.

 

At least from the date when the trackable was dropped into the cache.

 

Another approach would of course be having a look at the log sheet of the cache which would allow to wait until the last person who logged the cache in the cache's log had a decent chance to log online. Some cachers even note down which trackables they took and some even add please do not grab them before I can log them. The problem is just that most people do not pay attention at all.

 

I typically write notes on the trackable pages when I do not encounter trackables in a cache even when I'm aware of several other visits during the 2 days. I would not like however if a cache owner reacted with a mark missing to any of these notes. Most of these cases sort out after less than a week.

 

 

Cezanne

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In contrast to you I do not think that one or two days are sufficient.

One or two days from what? The CO has no way of knowing when the trackable left the cache, so I'm perfectly happy with him assuming your minimum wait time has already passed as soon as he discovers the trackable is missing.

At least from the date when the trackable was dropped into the cache.

Seems reasonable. I don't think I've ever seen a trackable marked missing by a CO without the TB being listed in the cache for months.

 

Another approach would of course be having a look at the log sheet of the cache which would allow to wait until the last person who logged the cache in the cache's log had a decent chance to log online. Some cachers even note down which trackables they took and some even add please do not grab them before I can log them. The problem is just that most people do not pay attention at all.

Good advice. I'm all for the CO using all available evidence before coming to a conclusion.

 

I typically write notes on the trackable pages when I do not encounter trackables in a cache even when I'm aware of several other visits during the 2 days. I would not like however if a cache owner reacted with a mark missing to any of these notes. Most of these cases sort out after less than a week.

I don't want the CO to react to any third party report. I don't think it's reasonable for COs to mark TBs missing unless they know personally that the TB is not in the cache.

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Seems reasonable. I don't think I've ever seen a trackable marked missing by a CO without the TB being listed in the cache for months.

 

...............

 

Good advice. I'm all for the CO using all available evidence before coming to a conclusion.

 

............

 

I don't want the CO to react to any third party report. I don't think it's reasonable for COs to mark TBs missing unless they know personally that the TB is not in the cache.

 

Taking into account everything what you have replied to my comments, I conclude that your attitude towards marking trackables as missing is essentially the same as mine.

As your last statement is regarded, I'd say that if a sufficient number of cachers who visited a cache independently confirm that a trackable is missing, I do not have an issue if a cache owner decides to mark the trackable as missing (trackable owners need to do the same as they hardly ever will be able to visit the concerned cache).

 

The issue then is just that what seems reasonable to us will not be what those who head out for a certain cache C just to pick up a certain trackable T would like to have.

For them it's definitely the short term horizon that comes into the play, very much in the same way as when it regards the FTF hunt. If I'm first at a cache I definitely would not rush home to log my find just to please those who expect the status of cache and trackable logs to be accurate in an online sense.

 

It appears to me that for some cachers "missing" is synonymous with "not any longer in the cache into which it is logged into" and so they argue that the action mark missing should be taken regardless of the circumstances. That's the point where I disagree and even more given the fact that after the mark missing action the concerned trackable is referred to be at an unknown location - in many cases there is evidence that the trackable is not an unknown location but with a known cacher. Of course it will not be the end of the world if it happens sometimes that a mark missing action is taken too early, but it should not become the general practice and not what cache owners are asked for to do.

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I think I'll pass on trying to use the "multi quote" I seem to mess it up every time. We could go back and forth on this topic as we seem to have a different opinions on the responsibility of the cache owner. I have no problem, as a cache owner, taking a little time to investigate a travel bugs status but I don't think that it's the cache owners responsibility to do so. Lets keep in mind that typically this type of situation will occur when the cache owner is out doing maintenance. For me that's about twice a year baring any issues with the cache. This is typically not something that would occur on a regular basis. My fear is that cachers reading your comments will come away with the idea that it's not ok for a cache owner to mark a travel bug missing or they should be waiting some period of time before doing so. Keeping the cache inventory accurate is good thing and I'd like to see more cache owners doing it.

Edited by justintim1999
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Lets keep in mind that typically this type of situation will occur when the cache owner is out doing maintenance. For me that's about twice a year baring any issues with the cache. This is typically not something that would occur on a regular basis.

 

There is a lot of variation. There are cache owners who have not visited some of their caches over several years (I do not visit all of my caches once per year - I visit them when it makes sense to me or when I'm in the area anyway) and there are cache owners who pass one of their caches almost daily or even daily (some have caches where they work or live).

There are caches which get less than 10 visits per year (some not even a single visit) and there are caches who get thousands of logs each year (and many of them by tourists).

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It appears to me that for some cachers "missing" is synonymous with "not any longer in the cache into which it is logged into" and so they argue that the action mark missing should be taken regardless of the circumstances.

I agree with them that "missing" does, in fact, mean precisely "no longer where the system thinks it is", but I disagree with them that the CO should assert as a fact that the TB is missing without personally verifying it.

 

(Yeah, OK, I agree with your point about there being exceptions where there's a preponderance of third party testimony, but even with that, I'd still encourage the CO to go see for themselves if they're anxious to mark it missing.)

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but I disagree with them that the CO should assert as a fact that the TB is missing without personally verifying it.

 

Even if the cache owner personally verifies that trackables are not in the cache, it does not make sense to mark them as missing immediately and even less for caches with many finds per time period and a high percentage of tourists among the visitors. I'm aware of such caches where the CO even added a clarification to the cache listing that the trackable inventory will almost never be accurate and that trackables are marked as missing only at a few occasions during the year and not on a regular basis (for the concerned cache even daily would not result in an accurate inventory).

 

I agree that trackables that are not inside a cache, are missing from that cache. However in many cases it's simply wrong to move these trackables into a state "unknown location" as often it is known that a certain cacher has the trackable or that the trackable is to be found in a certain other cache. So unknown location is definitely wrong in such circumstances.

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Even if the cache owner personally verifies that trackables are not in the cache, it does not make sense to mark them as missing immediately...

We seem to be cycling, so I'll just close by pointing out that there's no logical time other than immediately for the CO to mark as missing a TB that's missing. It makes no sense for the CO to wait 2 days or 2 weeks or whatever period you want to call for when he has no way to tell whether 2 days or 2 weeks or whatever period you want to call for have already passed since the TB was removed from the cache.

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Even if the cache owner personally verifies that trackables are not in the cache, it does not make sense to mark them as missing immediately...

We seem to be cycling, so I'll just close by pointing out that there's no logical time other than immediately for the CO to mark as missing a TB that's missing. It makes no sense for the CO to wait 2 days or 2 weeks or whatever period you want to call for when he has no way to tell whether 2 days or 2 weeks or whatever period you want to call for have already passed since the TB was removed from the cache.

 

You cut off the important part that shows the context. If mark missing is intended to be used immediately, then GS would need to change the language "unknown location" that results on the trackable page as "unknown location" in many cases is not appropriate (e.g. when the log book or even the online log provides the information that cacher X holds the trackable).

 

Given the current situation I do think that cache owners need to take into account the logs written for the trackable and the logs in the log book inside the cache.

It happens to me several times per year that I encounter a trackable in cache X which has not yet been logged into cache X. I take it along and write a note on the trackable page that the trackable is in my hands and I will wait with retrieving it from cache X when it has been dropped into cache X. I'm not willing to grab the trackable, neither from a cacher nor another cache Y nor from "unknown location". All three options are wrong and do not match the reality that I took it from cache X and there is no other way than waiting until the cachers before fixed everything and relying on that "mark missing" is not used as it is incorrect and this case and leads to a situation which cannot be fixed without ending up with logical inconsistencies. (There are ways to fix the mileage by creating a visit log - but again that would be wrong when it comes to which person did what with the trackable).

 

. If I retrieve a trackable from cache X, the command "grab from an unknown location" or the command "

Edited by cezanne
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but I disagree with them that the CO should assert as a fact that the TB is missing without personally verifying it.

 

Even if the cache owner personally verifies that trackables are not in the cache, it does not make sense to mark them as missing immediately and even less for caches with many finds per time period and a high percentage of tourists among the visitors. I'm aware of such caches where the CO even added a clarification to the cache listing that the trackable inventory will almost never be accurate and that trackables are marked as missing only at a few occasions during the year and not on a regular basis (for the concerned cache even daily would not result in an accurate inventory).

 

I agree that trackables that are not inside a cache, are missing from that cache. However in many cases it's simply wrong to move these trackables into a state "unknown location" as often it is known that a certain cacher has the trackable or that the trackable is to be found in a certain other cache. So unknown location is definitely wrong in such circumstances.

 

There is a reason cache owners have the ability to mark Travel Bugs missing. The reason is that many travel bug owners leave the game or loose interest. In a perfect world the Travel Bug owner would monitor their Travel Bugs and mark them as missing accordingly. In the real world that doesn't happen as often as it should. Cache owners are the only other means of removing these abandoned trackables.

 

Lets say for example you own a cache that gets many visits and lots of Travel Bug activity. Sooner or later your going to have a bunch of travel bugs listed in the cache that are not there. I've visited caches that have over a dozen trackables listed in the cache only to discover a couple still present. How as a cache owner do you handle that? Trying to keep a list of the trackables that were not in the cache at the time you were there and waiting to see if each one is picked up within a week or so is a lot of work. Not to mention the fact that during that week another 10 or 15 people may visit the cache and contribute to the travel bug total.

 

Another consideration for me is the logs. Many cachers will post that some of the travelers were not in the cache when they visited. Some may have been picked up earlier and not logged but in most cases these travelers have not been in the cache for months. As an owner of a cache specifically designed to swap travelers the last thing I want is for other cachers to read these logs and hesitate dropping off travelers due to some notion that there is a problem with the maintenance of the cache. Many times cachers, who are leaving on vacation, will visit this cache expecting to find travelers to take with them. They will also drop off travelers with the expectation that the cache is "safe" and the trackable will be picked up quickly.

 

If you own a cache that has hundreds of visits a year or one that gets 30, at some point you have to square the cache inventory. the question is should a cache owner be a travel bug manager and how much time should a cache owner devote to it. Should it be mandatory or voluntary? If you think mandatory than consider when a person hides a cache they agree to abide by the rules of doing so and agree to maintain that cache to the best of their ability. To me the cache inventory is part of that responsibility. If you fall on the side of voluntary than marking travel bugs as missing right after a maintenance run is acceptable.

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