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Discovering Travel Bugs

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I have a travel bug that was taken to a Mega Event. So far, I have received 208 email notices of cachers “discovering” my trackable and one notice of a cacher “grabbing” it. Of those, 5 “discoveries” were by the same cacher. I deleted four of the logs and the next day, two of them re-appeared which I then deleted also and contacted the cacher to let them know. I had to email the cacher three times before she finally emailed me back. This was her reply:

"I'm terribly sorry for making such a mistake and all the trouble I've caused you. What happened is that I attended a Mega event in Sweden and got my hands on a list of trackables. Later I used a program for that list which registered all the trackables automatically. But a little too well it obviously!"

I couldn't believe it - a LIST? I find that totally unacceptable. I maintain that statistics for trackables should only be for ones that you actually move along for other cachers” – just like “finding a cache should only be caches that you actually found, opened and signed the log".

I am for sure not the first nor will I be the last cacher to lodge a complaint about the “discovery” of travel bugs. I can understand how it came about at the beginning – cachers advising that they came across a travel bug and logging their “discovery” to let the owner of the travel bug know that it is still in circulation. However, this has evolved to a whole new level where cachers are logging hundreds of travel bugs – some of which they have not even laid their eyes on. And if they insist on this practice, at least make it a different statistic category than the one where cachers have actually taken the time to pick up a travel bug and move it along for fellow cachers.

This practice could almost be replicated by “finding” caches simply by driving by where you think they should be. Why bother even getting out and signing the log – if you can see the little wire on the fence post or the bison tube hanging in a tree – why bother? Just say you found it and rack up those numbers!! Imagine how fast you could complete a power trail!! After all – it ALL about the numbers, right? – NOT!!!

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Not everyone has trackables meant to travel cache-to-cache.

 

Many are in personal collections, meant to be viewed, traded, etc with others.

My other 2/3rds has almost 300.

If you've ever attended a geocoinfest, and meet/share with a couple dozen easily (with collections similar), your hands would cramp by the time you're done writing them all down. :)

Lists are good for that reason.

Sharing lists with others not even there we're not a big fan of, but they got the code...

 

I don't cache often anymore.

When I do, it's usually a distant cache that won't be visited again for some time.

I discover trackables so the TO at least knows that their trackable's still there, and not amongst the missing at that time.

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Not everyone has trackables meant to travel cache-to-cache.

 

Many are in personal collections, meant to be viewed, traded, etc with others.

My other 2/3rds has almost 300.

If you've ever attended a geocoinfest, and meet/share with a couple dozen easily (with collections similar), your hands would cramp by the time you're done writing them all down. :)

Lists are good for that reason.

Sharing lists with others not even there we're not a big fan of, but they got the code...

 

I don't cache often anymore.

When I do, it's usually a distant cache that won't be visited again for some time.

I discover trackables so the TO at least knows that their trackable's still there, and not amongst the missing at that time.

Still, while I don't believe in discovering trackables - I can see that others do. But at the same time, I don't believe "trackables discovered" should be included in the same statistic category as actually "trackables moved" - should be two separate categories.

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I agree that it would be nice to have them in separate categories. I'm unsure, however, how many cachers would cheat the system by logging a retrieve on them and then placing them back in the cache (or event) so they'd show on the "TBs I actually handled" list.

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I agree that it would be nice to have them in separate categories. I'm unsure, however, how many cachers would cheat the system by logging a retrieve on them and then placing them back in the cache (or event) so they'd show on the "TBs I actually handled" list.

Well, at least the trackable owner could delete those.

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I agree that it would be nice to have them in separate categories. I'm unsure, however, how many cachers would cheat the system by logging a retrieve on them and then placing them back in the cache (or event) so they'd show on the "TBs I actually handled" list.

I kinda agree.

Seems like a solution without a problem though (to me).

It'd be interesting to see how a TO decides if that drop/retrieve was "legit" or not, since drop/retrieve is a legitimate log. :)

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I'm moving this thread from the Geocaching Topics forum to the Travel Bug forum.

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I agree that it would be nice to have them in separate categories. I'm unsure, however, how many cachers would cheat the system by logging a retrieve on them and then placing them back in the cache (or event) so they'd show on the "TBs I actually handled" list.

Well, at least the trackable owner could delete those.

 

But it would be inappropriate to do so. There is no rule against retrieving and dropping a trackable in the same cache again. Took to logs at least do not create notifications, retrieval and drop logs create notifications and are thus more annoying.

 

Even if there were separate statistics, it would not change the behaviour of most cachers - they still would share lists at events and use automatic logging routines to log a larger number of trackables.

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I agree that it would be nice to have them in separate categories. I'm unsure, however, how many cachers would cheat the system by logging a retrieve on them and then placing them back in the cache (or event) so they'd show on the "TBs I actually handled" list.

Well, at least the trackable owner could delete those.

 

But it would be inappropriate to do so. There is no rule against retrieving and dropping a trackable in the same cache again. Took to logs at least do not create notifications, retrieval and drop logs create notifications and are thus more annoying.

 

Even if there were separate statistics, it would not change the behaviour of most cachers - they still would share lists at events and use automatic logging routines to log a larger number of trackables.

I presume it would not change their behaviour - just bugs me that discovering a trackable gets included in the same stats as moving a trackable - obviously it sometimes IS about the numbers but they should be legitimate numbers. I guess I just can't wrap my mind around why anybody would want to have a huge list of trackables that they heard about or simply saw somewhere. What's the point?

Done with this subject - will never end - no solution.

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I agree that it would be nice to have them in separate categories.

Well, at least the trackable owner could delete those.

 

I presume it would not change their behaviour - just bugs me that discovering a trackable gets included in the same stats as moving a trackable - obviously it sometimes IS about the numbers but they should be legitimate numbers. I guess I just can't wrap my mind around why anybody would want to have a huge list of trackables that they heard about or simply saw somewhere. What's the point?

Done with this subject - will never end - no solution.

There is a solution, very simple. We don't need to tell anybody what to do or not to do, but the statistics could be separated. I would also like to know who discovered so-and-so-many trackables and who actually moved them along. I guess it should be easy for the administrators to split the statistics: 1)trackables moved 2)trackables discovered. Or is it a problem to implement this?

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I recently found a cache with 5 trackables in it. I only took one and moved it along. I could have moved the others and help their quest but felt it was only fair to allow others the opportunity to move them along. Is this acceptable? Also, if I physically laid eyes on the other trackables, can I log them as "saw it" or is this bad form? I'm new to this obsession and need a little guidance.

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I recently found a cache with 5 trackables in it. I only took one and moved it along. I could have moved the others and help their quest but felt it was only fair to allow others the opportunity to move them along. Is this acceptable? Also, if I physically laid eyes on the other trackables, can I log them as "saw it" or is this bad form? I'm new to this obsession and need a little guidance.

It's acceptable to move them all along or to leave some for others to move. Either way is OK.

 

It's acceptable to log "discovered" on TBs you laid eyes on. In fact, that's the purpose of the "discovered" log. :) The owners will receive a notice about it, so you'll be telling them their TB is still alive and in play.

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I recently found a cache with 5 trackables in it. I only took one and moved it along. I could have moved the others and help their quest but felt it was only fair to allow others the opportunity to move them along. Is this acceptable? Also, if I physically laid eyes on the other trackables, can I log them as "saw it" or is this bad form? I'm new to this obsession and need a little guidance.

If you feel you can move all trackables along responsibly, you could have grabbed all, but I kinda like your idea on "fairness". :)

If you lay eyes on the trackable, you can discover them.

There are even some owners who will no longer put their trackables out, but allow others to discover the codes in view on their trackable's pages.

 

Some caches we go to may not see another cacher for months, so if I can move 'em along, I'd grab what's there.

If I can't, I'll discover them, hopefully with a pic (like you), so at least the TO knows it's still in play. :)

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I recently found a cache with 5 trackables in it. I only took one and moved it along. I could have moved the others and help their quest but felt it was only fair to allow others the opportunity to move them along. Is this acceptable? Also, if I physically laid eyes on the other trackables, can I log them as "saw it" or is this bad form? I'm new to this obsession and need a little guidance.

It's acceptable to move them all along or to leave some for others to move. Either way is OK.

 

It's acceptable to log "discovered" on TBs you laid eyes on. In fact, that's the purpose of the "discovered" log. :) The owners will receive a notice about it, so you'll be telling them their TB is still alive and in play.

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I recently found a cache with 5 trackables in it. I only took one and moved it along. I could have moved the others and help their quest but felt it was only fair to allow others the opportunity to move them along. Is this acceptable? Also, if I physically laid eyes on the other trackables, can I log them as "saw it" or is this bad form? I'm new to this obsession and need a little guidance.

If you feel you can move all trackables along responsibly, you could have grabbed all, but I kinda like your idea on "fairness". :)

If you lay eyes on the trackable, you can discover them.

There are even some owners who will no longer put their trackables out, but allow others to discover the codes in view on their trackable's pages.

 

Some caches we go to may not see another cacher for months, so if I can move 'em along, I'd grab what's there.

If I can't, I'll discover them, hopefully with a pic (like you), so at least the TO knows it's still in play. :)

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Why are people discovering archived or missing travel bugs?

 

I understand discovering ones taken to events.

 

But we have many that have been missing or archived for years.

 

Plus most of these logs are from geocachers who live overseas primarily in Europe.

 

Is there another aspect to the activity that is exclusive to Europeans?

 

There seems no logic is discovering something you have never laid eyes on or searched for.

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Why are people discovering archived or missing travel bugs?

 

I understand discovering ones taken to events.

 

But we have many that have been missing or archived for years.

 

Plus most of these logs are from geocachers who live overseas primarily in Europe.

 

Is there another aspect to the activity that is exclusive to Europeans?

 

There seems no logic is discovering something you have never laid eyes on or searched for.

Probably gunning for some sort of achievement badge or challenge cache.

 

I don't get it, either.

 

Some of our tracking numbers may have gotten passed around. Others I'm sure were just logged by someone using a bot to go through possible tracking number combinations. Suffice it to say that, I'm willing to bet that most if not all of the logs I see from someone who "saw this at an event a while ago, don't remember where, but logging it now" are full of bovine excrement.

Edited by hzoi

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This thread has digressed somewhat from its original topic, namely TB discoveries at events.

I agree with the original poster that this is very annoying for the TB owner.

 

Gathering trackables at events with the purpose of having them 'discovered' en masse is not fair play to me.

 

TBs were invented as a game within a game. TBs are sent on a mission by the owner.

Cachers are supposed to help the TB on its mission. Cachers who don't want to be part of this game can simply ignore the TBs.

For TB owners a discovery can be useful, especially if the TB hasn't moved for a while.

 

Piling up trackables at events, and even creating TB code lists for easy 'discovery' completely ignores the purpose of the TB game.

It boosts a statistic that has nothing to do with actual helping a TB on its mission.

 

I bet nearly all cachers with very high TB statistics have reached those numbers through 'discoveries' at events.

At the same time, this practice makes that statistic useless.

 

In the description of my TBs I have added a sentence that I delete such event discovery logs without further notice.

This annoys some cachers, but it also shows that the mission statement of a TB is not even read by these cachers.

They think about their own statistic, and not about the TB owner and the mission the TB is on.

TB logs just get cluttered with bogus discoveries.

 

I therefore second the earlier proposed separation of the TB moved statistic, and have discoveries count as a separate statistic.

 

But I would like to go one step further.

 

The guideline for event caches state that "An Event Cache should not be set up for the purpose of gathering geocachers for a geocache search."

 

I propose to add a corresponding guideline concerning trackables: "An Event Cache should not be set up for the purpose of gathering trackables to discover."

 

This guideline will not prevent TB exchanges at events, and it respects the TB game.

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This thread has digressed somewhat from its original topic, namely TB discoveries at events.

I agree with the original poster that this is very annoying for the TB owner.

 

Gathering trackables at events with the purpose of having them 'discovered' en masse is not fair play to me.

 

TBs were invented as a game within a game. TBs are sent on a mission by the owner.

Cachers are supposed to help the TB on its mission. Cachers who don't want to be part of this game can simply ignore the TBs.

For TB owners a discovery can be useful, especially if the TB hasn't moved for a while.

 

Piling up trackables at events, and even creating TB code lists for easy 'discovery' completely ignores the purpose of the TB game.

It boosts a statistic that has nothing to do with actual helping a TB on its mission.

 

I bet nearly all cachers with very high TB statistics have reached those numbers through 'discoveries' at events.

At the same time, this practice makes that statistic useless.

 

In the description of my TBs I have added a sentence that I delete such event discovery logs without further notice.

This annoys some cachers, but it also shows that the mission statement of a TB is not even read by these cachers.

They think about their own statistic, and not about the TB owner and the mission the TB is on.

TB logs just get cluttered with bogus discoveries.

 

I therefore second the earlier proposed separation of the TB moved statistic, and have discoveries count as a separate statistic.

 

But I would like to go one step further.

 

The guideline for event caches state that "An Event Cache should not be set up for the purpose of gathering geocachers for a geocache search."

 

I propose to add a corresponding guideline concerning trackables: "An Event Cache should not be set up for the purpose of gathering trackables to discover."

 

This guideline will not prevent TB exchanges at events, and it respects the TB game.

 

So how would you treat the T.O. at an event with a trackable t-shirt, or a trackable walking stick, or a car-bug in the parking lot?

 

All of those are DESIGNED to be seen by other cachers at events or out on the hunt and 'discovered', not grabbed & moved by a finder.

 

You suggest that "An Event Cache should not be set up for the purpose of gathering trackables to discover.", but I don't think most events are set up for this reason. It's just a common event activity.

 

So, allowing TB discoveries IS 'respecting the game', as you put it; just not the part of the TB game that you want to play.

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- snip -

I bet nearly all cachers with very high TB statistics have reached those numbers through 'discoveries' at events.

At the same time, this practice makes that statistic useless.

 

- snip -

 

But I would like to go one step further.

 

The guideline for event caches state that "An Event Cache should not be set up for the purpose of gathering geocachers for a geocache search."

 

I propose to add a corresponding guideline concerning trackables: "An Event Cache should not be set up for the purpose of gathering trackables to discover."

 

This guideline will not prevent TB exchanges at events, and it respects the TB game.

What's "very high"?

I'll take you up on that bet...

 

Before some just the last couple years started using programs to grab trackable codes, many of us around a couple years moved trackables by drop and retrieve.

Discovery was an option that usually meant we simply couldn't honor it's mission, or we met a TO on the trail, logging a personal item..

Dicoveries at events usually meant the Owner was presenting those trackables themselves.

We didn't have a "visit" option then either, so if we wanted to use our trackables for cache tracking, we had to log drop and retrieve logs at each cache found.

 

We've attended many more events than what's logged on our profile, and have yet to attend an event that was set up for the side-game of Trackables.

- You have?

 

The rest of that post I disregarded, as it's just one cacher demanding that others play by their rules, and not the simple guidelines of the site. :)

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In the description of my TBs I have added a sentence that I delete such event discovery logs without further notice.

I don't know if one can appeal the deletion of a trackable log, but I would certainly try if you deleted one of my valid discover logs.

 

Are ALRs allowed on trackables? I wouldn't think so...

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Just gets back to the same thing - if they would just distinguish between "discover trackables" and "actually have in possession and move along as per owner's request trackables" - everyone would be happy I think.

Other than trackables at mega events - the one I received almost 300 emails about people "discovering" it for me was not really appreciated and I did not take it there myself. Someone else was in possession of it at the time so I had no control over that. And it wasn't that 300 people actually saw it there - lists of trackables' numbers were handed out and computer program used to do the mass logging entries (told to me by a cacher that actually did that).

Guess it just back to the same old thing - if cachers are happy with their fictitious numbers by entering trackables they haven't even seen or logging caches they actually haven't found, who's to stop them and wreck their sense of accomplishment. Everyone knows what their own numbers are, whether real or fake, and has to live with themselves.

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In the description of my TBs I have added a sentence that I delete such event discovery logs without further notice.

I don't know if one can appeal the deletion of a trackable log, but I would certainly try if you deleted one of my valid discover logs.

 

Are ALRs allowed on trackables? I wouldn't think so...

Good question.

 

It does say, "Trackable Log deletion: We do not reinstate any logs regarding trackables. As trackables are considered private property, the trackable owner has the right to delete logs on their trackable details page as they see fit", which was IIRC, #16 in the Help Center email, Geocacher Disagreement, Log Deletion.

 

I feel it's just being mean. :)

 

Edited to cover my can. :laughing:

Edited by cerberus1

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In the description of my TBs I have added a sentence that I delete such event discovery logs without further notice.

I don't know if one can appeal the deletion of a trackable log, but I would certainly try if you deleted one of my valid discover logs.

 

Are ALRs allowed on trackables? I wouldn't think so...

How would such a log from you look like?

 

In my currently only one description of active travellers I state:

"Please spare him the meaningless "Discover" and "Visit/Took" logs. If not acompanied with pictures or stories such logs will probably be deleted."

 

And I stick to it. But usually (at least if there is just a single discover log) I invite the logger to edit his/her log.

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I have received 8700+ discoverlogs on my travelbugs that are really travelling. They just go in my google spam filter. And given the content of most of the discover logs, I think those who write these discover logs don't care about that. But I also have a handful of personal goodies with trackable codes. These trackables have discover logs that I care about but for that I go the the trackable page to read them back.

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