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trackables disappearing

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3 hours ago, CAVinoGal said:

So, sometimes you DO meet your trackables again!

Caching this morning, I picked up 3 trackables in a cache.

One trackable was discovered by a cacher in 2011 who logged it discovered, but actually grabbed it. Another cacher discovered it in 2015, then the 2011 cacher visited a cache near me a couple days ago and mentioned he dropped in a couple trackables although it wasn't logged in the caches inventory. I visited that cache and grabbed the trackable this morning, and realized it had been in the 2011 cacher's hands for 7 years. See Yee Haw!

Similar story for Aberschdorfer Evolution Geocoin which had also been in the same cacher's hands for seven years, but marked as missing by the TO in the meantime.

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There is one cache about an hour north of me I'm realizing today has every single TB put into it go missing. It's not muggles, because there are plenty of toys and things in there that are left behind and it's just the TBs. I took a peek into it today to see if anyone had picked up a trackable I left in it a few weeks ago out of curiosity because I find it fun to see where some of my favorite TBs I've come across end up going, and noticed it had already gone missing. I wouldn't have left the poor thing in there if I realized at the time it had this problem and wasn't just the typical TB's go missing thing I've seen in plenty of caches all over. The other caches in the area don't seem to have this problem

Is this likely a local hoarder grabbing them without logging their visit? We have one hoarder in my area south, which I won't mention, but at least they put them into a cache (with about 50 other TBs logged into it) so others can nab them, but unfortunately with the amount in the cache some have been there since 2016. I can't imagine why someone would only go to this one cache to take the TBs out of either. Maybe the cache is just cursed, haha.

Edited by mimaef
clarity

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1 hour ago, mimaef said:

There is one cache about an hour north of me I'm realizing today has every single TB put into it go missing.  -snip-

Is this likely a local hoarder grabbing them without logging their visit? We have one hoarder in my area south, which I won't mention, but at least they put them into a cache (with about 50 other TBs logged into it) so others can nab them

We  noticed a CO was taking trackables from his own caches when they'd get logged in.  Turns out (in a couple FTFs) that they used those trackables to "start off" every new cache they put out.  That seemed piggish to me...  

Though "the same cache" could be hit by anyone local, as you experienced, the couple times we've seen a cache with a ton of trackables in it ("motels" mostly), many trackables were placed inside by that CO.  Hoarder.   We'd sometimes grab a handful of trackables just to free them, and head to a different area the following weekend.  :) 

 

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4 minutes ago, cerberus1 said:

We  noticed a CO was taking trackables from his own caches when they'd get logged in.  Turns out (in a couple FTFs) that they used those trackables to "start off" every new cache they put out.  That seemed piggish to me...  

Though "the same cache" could be hit by anyone local, as you experienced, the couple times we've seen a cache with a ton of trackables in it ("motels" mostly), many trackables were placed inside by that CO.  Hoarder.   We'd sometimes grab a handful of trackables just to free them, and head to a different area the following weekend.  :) 

 

Well, at least the trackables were ending up someplace else and not just kept, haha. I would just put one of my own trackables in (as I'm planning to do), but depending on the amount of caches they have it might be too expensive. :P

The same here. I grabbed several of them recently that had been sitting there for a long period of time or had very low distance traveled on them to free them. It was funny seeing some I had freed from a different motel (not a hoarder, but not very often visited in the fall-spring season so they can sit for a long time) ended up being plopped in that same hoard cache a day later. At least they aren't disappearing I guess.

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On 4/13/2018 at 1:17 PM, CAVinoGal said:

I don't plan to see my released trackables - I send them out to travel!   We were visiting our son and daughter in law in the Phoenix area, and on our way to an event in Apache Junction, I got a notification that one of my TB's (released in Oct. 2017) had just been dropped in the event we were headed to!  Too funny!  I got to meet the cacher who dropped it, and the cacher who picked it up, and now has it visiting various caches.  So, sometimes you DO meet your trackables again!

Haha, on the rare occasion that I do meet up with my trackable again after it has been on a journey, that is my clue to take that one out of circulation and make it one of my on hand discoverable collection so I can tell everyone who discovers it about the story.

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Okay.  My inventory:  I have ten trackables in the hands of newbies who last cached 2006 up to 2015.  Thirty one listed as Location Unknown.  And eleven in my possession.  And three still listed in caches.  It's not a very rewarding experience to put out trackables!  Now I just put them in lonely caches, to try to get another cacher to find the cache.  Waiting for the water level to drop, and get waders for a cache not found in 2.5 years to drop a trackable.

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I've been placing trackables about a year - I own 11 at this point.  4 I still have in my possession, 2 are in caches awaiting a pickup, and 5 are in the hands of geocachers with logs on them in December, Feb., March, April, and one today.  Ask me in a year or two - the stats will be different!

Edited by CAVinoGal

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Well, I have one for you. I live in Australia and last week received a package anonymously from Germany containing 10 travel bugs. This person got my name and address from Postcrossing. The package had no return address and the Postcrossing ID number was incorrect. A postcard included said the sender saw on my Postcrossing profile that I liked Geocaching and could I set these TB’s free in Australia. Seemed all good until I checked out the TB’s and almost all had been reported missing from 2014 - 2016. With some sleuthing I have identified the culprit and she is a premium member of Geocaching. She’s picked up over a thousand TB’s and a few random searches found that a lot of them were missing. She’s also the owner of over 50 TB’s herself which baffles me. Why steal other people’s TB’s when you must know how frustrating this must be. I have contacted all the TB owners for the ones I have to let them know that I have them now and will set them free. 

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2 hours ago, stjohnsgirl said:

Well, I have one for you...

 

That is a weird one.   You'd think if they noticed half as you say, they'd see you haven't cached in a year.     :)

 

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I've gone 4 months and over 300 caches without finding a TB in a cache.

 

The last three that I found in late June and put out within a week or so:

 

1 nobody has visited the cache since. It's half a mile from my office so I might liberate it...

 

1 people are saying no sign in the cache - next visitor after me was a noob so that will be the end of that

 

1 was picked up on 7 July and still in the hands of the cacher, I think they've done about 40 caches since.

 

Maybe I'll suddenly find a whole load, but I think (reading horror stories about mega events) that TBs are dying out.

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4 hours ago, Oxford Stone said:

I've gone 4 months and over 300 caches without finding a TB in a cache.

 

The last three that I found in late June and put out within a week or so:

 

1 nobody has visited the cache since. It's half a mile from my office so I might liberate it...

 

1 people are saying no sign in the cache - next visitor after me was a noob so that will be the end of that

 

1 was picked up on 7 July and still in the hands of the cacher, I think they've done about 40 caches since.

 

Maybe I'll suddenly find a whole load, but I think (reading horror stories about mega events) that TBs are dying out.

 

When I speak for my own country, it might also be because of the so called TB-hotels. These owners collect travel bugs and geocoins to put in their own cache and put some remark in the listing that at least x trackables have to stay in it. And then start angrily whining when travel bugs have been taken to travel. Then you have a few geocaches with many travelbugs and many geocaches with no travelbugs.

 

 

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Good point - is a TB hotel a good thing or not? In an ideal world it's near a major road / station / airport, allowing for easy TB swaps and putting extra miles / km on the TBs as they go on a new journey. I'd not come across the behaviour you mention, Twentse, but I did visit a TB hotel by the motorway round London recently and although it said it contained 5 TBs, they were all long gone and neither the takers nor the CO have updated the logs. Very frustrating.

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5 hours ago, Oxford Stone said:

Very frustrating.

That´s a good summary of the entire GC Trackable thing :(

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There are plenty of well-travelled, long-lived TBs out there.

As I said I would above, I've recovered https://coord.info/TB5D2HK to take about 120 miles away to SW England later in the week - it's currently on 17111.3 miles and has seen a lot of Europe and the USA in the last 6 and a half years.

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1 hour ago, Oxford Stone said:

There are plenty of well-travelled, long-lived TBs out there.

As I said I would above, I've recovered https://coord.info/TB5D2HK to take about 120 miles away to SW England later in the week - it's currently on 17111.3 miles and has seen a lot of Europe and the USA in the last 6 and a half years.

Yes, there are some outstanding examples of long surviving TB´s out there. But it´s far easier to find sad examples.

Like my  TB54J55 which had the mission to travel from south Germany to south Scottland. Rughly 1300km as the crow flies. It was taken to Halifax, then to Swizerland, than back over the pond to Ottawa an there it vanished. After exactly 3 month and 18567,5 kilometers. Well traveld, but died far to young :D

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I have mentioned several times before that there are also a few things that HQ can do about it, and I have several suggestions that I repeat.

1. HQ should explain to the community that travel bugs are not trading items but have a purpose on its own. Explain especially to reviewers that the mission of travel bugs is traveling and that they are not items to collect or trade like post stamps. The Geowoodstock event is an example where it went wrong. With only a handful dropped at the event I was only allowed to take a handful with me to Europe from a collection of big boxes full of travel bugs with destination Europe.

2. HQ should tell the reviewers that travel bugs can be discovered, retrieved or just left behind as geocachers want to and that no "suggestions" for logging are allowed in the listings.

3. HQ should streamline and update the workflow with logging travel bugs. Many travel bugs get lost with newbie geocachers who don't know what to do with it. The update is both technical and functional. I suggest have a panel of newbie unexperienced geocachers logging trackables. What workflow are they most comfortable with and what steps and in which order is most easy? Perhaps something like when logging a geocache online, have a button that shows the inventory of the cache automatically next to the concept log where you can check the trackables that you found in it and log (discover/retrieve) with the appropriate codes. And of course there should always be a possibility to grab trackables in the wild.

4. HQ should encourage good behaviour by giving points to geocachers who make travel bugs travel like the kind of founds number. Reward extra with souvenirs. Geocachers are very sensitive to rating systems. Give bonus points to geocachers for retrieving/dropping above discovering. Events are black holes because of travel bugs put on a table to be discovered instead to be retrieved.

5. HQ might distinguish trackables between those which are meant to be discovered and to visit caches on one hand as a tracker (car stickers, backpack tags etc), and those who are really meant to travel and have been sent out on the other hand.

6. Change the standard tag with the code to another one with the code on one side, but with newbie instructions on the other (only mentioning the website is not enough).

 

Just some thoughts.

Edit: added numbers 5 and 6 later.

 

Edited by Twentse Mug
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On 10/30/2019 at 7:04 AM, Twentse Mug said:

1. HQ should explain to the community that travel bugs are not trading items but have a purpose on its own.

Good advice. We had a Noya River red jeep trackable in one of our caches. Someone took it thinking it was swag we are pretty sure. The last person to sign the log  after it disappeared was a new geocache member. We messaged him/her several times asking him if he found it, if so that it was a trackable and to please log it and then drop it in another cache. He never answered back. It was a really nice TB too, came from Michigan and was named after the Noya River in California. 

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Small success - one of those TBs I dropped off in June that a noob picked up in August, I messaged them (2 accounts, dad and son it turns out) and dad said "oops, I thought my son had dropped it off" so hopefully that will get back in circulation.

Another few months and still the only TBs I've seen have been at an event (the film festival) - maybe it's just our area but that seems to be the only place TBs circulate now. 

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On 8/16/2016 at 6:10 AM, cerberus1 said:

especially something left to another's interpretation of what "too long" might be

That would have to be up to the TB owner what they consider "too long" for a particular TB. One owner sent me an email after about four days asking when I was going to move the TB on. I dumped that TB in the first cache it would fit in; not necessarily a cache I would normally place a TB in. Some people might chuck the TB in the bin with a demanding email like that. In fact the TB went missing shortly after. Others have been thrilled for me to have their TB for weeks/months, when it was completing a challenge, and I corresponded with the owner and they with me about the TB's journey. So, as I said, the owner would need to be the one to judge this, and it would vary from TB to TB and who is travelling with it and where.

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On 4/14/2018 at 7:31 AM, mimaef said:

There is one cache about an hour north of me I'm realizing today has every single TB put into it go missing.

I was told about an area where a hoarder lived and who stole the TBs. I was warned not to place TBs there. Apparently TBs placed in caches were likely never to be seen again, particularly if they were coin type TBs.

I do wonder about those large collections some 'collectors' like to display at events.

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1 hour ago, Goldenwattle said:

I was told about an area where a hoarder lived and who stole the TBs. I was warned not to place TBs there. Apparently TBs placed in caches were likely never to be seen again, particularly if they were coin type TBs.

I do wonder about those large collections some 'collectors' like to display at events.

 

However, if the trackables have not been retrieved, you don't have proof that they were really placed there.

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Posted (edited)
Just now, Twentse Mug said:

 

However, if the trackables have not been retrieved, you don't have proof that they were really placed there.

I have no proof they ever existed. I was just repeating what I was told. Although vague about what you were really inferring.

Edited by Goldenwattle

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6 hours ago, Goldenwattle said:

I was told about an area where a hoarder lived and who stole the TBs. I was warned not to place TBs there.

Apparently TBs placed in caches were likely never to be seen again, particularly if they were coin type TBs.

 

I do wonder about those large collections some 'collectors' like to display at events.

 

We haven't met a single person who brings a collection of Travel Bugs of their own to an event.   You've seen this ?

Most were bags or boxes of other people's property, that they've hoarded and "present" at events for others to "Discover".

I usually rat those freaks out to their owners if still active.  Most hoarders we're aware of,  no one calls a "collector"...

 

Most collectors we know have their Geocoins in sleeves/books, usually in a way to present them.    :)

The other 2/3rds is  close to 3oo now, trading back n forth, and with most collections at geocoinfests, she's a lightweight.

All coins are hers, and most are activated (except for doubles and sets used for trading).

I have a collection that for some reason is growing, and I'm around 100 now.  They are all unactivated.

 - Not to be mistaken for the 100+ unactivated of our personal sig coins that we put in caches time-to-time.

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Just now, cerberus1 said:

Most collectors we know have their Geocoins in sleeves/books, usually in a way to present them. 

They are the ones I sometimes wonder about. Did they buy them, or did they 'collect' them. The geo-coins are disappearing somewhere.

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6 hours ago, Goldenwattle said:

They are the ones I sometimes wonder about. Did they buy them, or did they 'collect' them. The geo-coins are disappearing somewhere.

 

What are you talking about ?   I thought I explained it...   I said  collectors,  not hoarders, thieves, or pond scum.  

Don't you know anyone who collects geocoins  ?   We've yet to log a swap list with another and come up with a coin not theirs.

Between all our coins, we've coughed up well-over five grand.   That's why they stay with us now... 

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Posted (edited)
14 minutes ago, cerberus1 said:

 

What are you talking about ?   I thought I explained it...   I said  collectors,  not hoarders, thieves, or pond scum.  

Don't you know anyone who collects geocoins  ?   We've yet to log a swap list with another and come up with a coin not theirs.

Between all our coins, we've coughed up well-over five grand.   That's why they stay with us now... 

To expand; I go to events and see collections of geo-coins. Most might (likely have) been bought legitimately. But often I don't know who many of these geocachers are (or know them well enough to know their honesty), and so I can only hope they got the coins honestly. It would be guessing (and a big presumption) to say everyone displaying their coins at events got them legitimately. Those coins placed in geocaches are disappearing somewhere.

 

Now reading back I see you wrote, " Most collectors we know". I took that in a generic sense, such as most geocaches I have seen with their 'collections' .  But I realise now you meant that you personally know them.

Edited by Goldenwattle

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7 hours ago, Goldenwattle said:

To expand; I go to events and see collections of geo-coins. Most might (likely have) been bought legitimately. But often I don't know who many of these geocachers are (or know them well enough to know their honesty), and so I can only hope they got the coins honestly. It would be guessing (and a big presumption) to say everyone displaying their coins at events got them legitimately. Those coins placed in geocaches are disappearing somewhere.


If you were sharing codes for stolen coins at an event, wouldn’t you be rumbled fairly quickly?

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18 minutes ago, IceColdUK said:


If you were sharing codes for stolen coins at an event, wouldn’t you be rumbled fairly quickly?

If they are sharing codes, yes.

 

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10 hours ago, Goldenwattle said:

To expand; I go to events and see collections of geo-coins. Most might (likely have) been bought legitimately. But often I don't know who many of these geocachers are (or know them well enough to know their honesty), and so I can only hope they got the coins honestly. It would be guessing (and a big presumption) to say everyone displaying their coins at events got them legitimately. Those coins placed in geocaches are disappearing somewhere.

 

If anyone at a Geocoinfest found that one of the hundreds of people there, surrounded by their books of cased coins, are presenting coins that didn't belong to them, they'd be exposed and shunned real quick.

There's codes all over the place at those things. 

Log a couple.   Compare and see ,  since you have this odd feeling that there's gotta be something crooked going on, just because some people happen to have a lotta coins. 

 

Collectors aren't the same as hoarders.  

We've been to events and see some jerk hoarder with a box full of Travel Bugs that don't belong to him. He's a hoarder, not a collector.

I ask at events if trackables in that bag, box, or "code sheet" belong to them.   Try it since it seems to bug you.   :)

If a person is passing other's property off as his own, I'm letting folks know right in front of them. 

We've made more than a couple head for their car in embarrassment, leaving their stolen trackables behind just by asking.

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35 minutes ago, cerberus1 said:

We've been to events and see some jerk hoarder with a box full of Travel Bugs that don't belong to him. He's a hoarder, not a collector.


I’m not doubting you, but what I don’t get is why a hoarder would take them to an event, unless to show them off.  And if showing them off, not expect to be rumbled.

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3 minutes ago, IceColdUK said:

I’m not doubting you, but what I don’t get is why a hoarder would take them to an event, unless to show them off.  

And if showing them off, not expect to be rumbled.

 

I have no idea.    Really surprised if no one's seen this.    We notice creeps like that in a couple states now, for years.

 

Maybe because larger, loosely run events, folks aren't expecting to be logging trackables that have been missing for years.

 - Or, they simply don't care.     We been to a lot of events where people are happily taking a sheet of trackable codes to log.

They're not bothering to ask how that person came by them... 

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