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OllieJPMartin

Cheapest way to create trackables

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Hey, new user here.

I’m thinking about going premium and ive just done my first few caches as a basic user. I like it!

I’m reading up on the dos and don’ts of geocaching and have been reading up on setting up my own caches. I was wondering about trackables. I wanted to create a final cache with quite a few trackables in to see where they all go, but wanted to make custom ones. I understand you can use the codes off any trackable and repeat them on your own objects, but the cheapest seems to be about £4.49 for a duck keychain. Can you by cheaper in bulk or without the tag and just buy the codes anywhere?

 

thanks in advance for any help.

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Just wanted to remind you that you don't have to set your trackables away from your own cache - you can drop them into any cache.  Just in case you were under the impression it had to be from your own cache.  And what do you mean by a "final cache"?

 

Also I think a lot of geocachers would advise you don't set your own cache until you've picked up quite a few of your own so you can get to grips with what makes a good cache etc.  Too many poor quality caches out there sadly.

Edited by EmzyJanezy
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4 hours ago, OllieJPMartin said:

Hey, new user here.

I’m thinking about going premium and ive just done my first few caches as a basic user. I like it!

I’m reading up on the dos and don’ts of geocaching and have been reading up on setting up my own caches. I was wondering about trackables. I wanted to create a final cache with quite a few trackables in to see where they all go, but wanted to make custom ones. I understand you can use the codes off any trackable and repeat them on your own objects, but the cheapest seems to be about £4.49 for a duck keychain. Can you by cheaper in bulk or without the tag and just buy the codes anywhere?

 

thanks in advance for any help.

 

 

I don't know about the price conversions. It all seems way more expensive in Europe.  But I recently bought a bunch of The Travel Bug dogtags for $4.25 (USD) each with free shipping.  I've bought various tags and "coins" for as little as $3.25.  Shop around for clearance items, just understand that clearance items aren't popular for whatever reason, and there's a limited supply.  One that I did not buy was the "vomiting pumpkin".  He's puking his innards, seeds.  You can't actually tell what it is, because it didn't turn out so well as a coin.  So you have to explain to people that it's a joke about vomit. Hilarious, right? Log it to get that cherished coin's icon (and the coin's original title of course shows up in some lists even if you changed it).

 

Tracking numbers, $1.50 each in bulk, are sold for the purpose of making Geocoins.  There are conditions attached to those "cheap" numbers.  The main one is, your design must be pre-approved.  This is fine for a lot of identical Geocoins, not so fine if you just want to engrave numbers on various things and place them.

 

You can't place just a "tracking number" into a cache.  Geocachers recognize a "The Travel Bug" dogtag as a trackable item.  On a Travel Bug, the number is permanently etched onto a metal tag, along with important information, also permanently applied.  If you're on a strict budget, buy a Travel Bug Dogtag or two, securely attach it to a strong little item of your choice (bolt it on, for example) and you're good.  When you have to make a lot of engraved "tags" by hand at home, or if you order custom engraved items, that gets costly, if you're making them so they endure.  At a minimum, include all the info you normally see on a TB dogtag, so that anywhere it is found (even not in a cache), it could be put back into play.  In any case, don't put your eggs in one basket.  All in one cache at one time, that's a bad idea.

 

Good luck! :)

 

Edited by kunarion
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3 hours ago, EmzyJanezy said:

Just wanted to remind you that you don't have to set your trackables away from your own cache - you can drop them into any cache.  Just in case you were under the impression it had to be from your own cache.  And what do you mean by a "final cache"?

 

Also I think a lot of geocachers would advise you don't set your own cache until you've picked up quite a few of your own so you can get to grips with what makes a good cache etc.  Too many poor quality caches out there sadly.

Hey, thanks for your advice. I just felt it’d be interesting to put trackables that represent me and my girlfriend in the same cache and then see whose goes the furthest! By “final cache” I mean a larger cache at the end of a trail. Still thinking it through and gathering ideas and advice. Definitely not planning on rushing out and putting a poorly considered cache out there, always like to do lots of research and planning first.

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2 hours ago, kunarion said:

 

 

I don't know about the price conversions. It all seems way more expensive in Europe.  But I recently bought a bunch of The Travel Bug dogtags for $4.25 (USD) each with free shipping.  I've bought various tags and "coins" for as little as $3.25.  Shop around for clearance items, just understand that clearance items aren't popular for whatever reason, and there's a limited supply.  One that I did not buy was the "vomiting pumpkin".  He's puking his innards, seeds.  You can't actually tell what it is, because it didn't turn out so well as a coin.  So you have to explain to people that it's a joke about vomit. Hilarious, right? Log it to get that cherished coin's icon (and the coin's original title of course shows up in some lists even if you changed it).

 

Tracking numbers, $1.50 each in bulk, are sold for the purpose of making Geocoins.  There are conditions attached to those "cheap" numbers.  The main one is, your design must be pre-approved.  This is fine for a lot of identical Geocoins, not so fine if you just want to engrave numbers on various things and place them.

 

You can't place just a "tracking number" into a cache.  Geocachers recognize a "The Travel Bug" dogtag as a trackable item.  On a Travel Bug, the number is permanently etched onto a metal tag, along with important information, also permanently applied.  If you're on a strict budget, buy a Travel Bug Dogtag or two, securely attach it to a strong little item of your choice (bolt it on, for example) and you're good.  When you have to make a lot of engraved "tags" by hand at home, or if you order custom engraved items, that gets costly, if you're making them so they endure.  At a minimum, include all the info you normally see on a TB dogtag, so that anywhere it is found (even not in a cache), it could be put back into play.  In any case, don't put your eggs in one basket.  All in one cache at one time, that's a bad idea.

 

Good luck! :)

 

Thanks so much for your advice. What’s the difference between a travel bug and a geocoin (other than the obvious appearance differences)

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6 hours ago, OllieJPMartin said:

I was wondering about trackables. I wanted to create a final cache with quite a few trackables in to see where they all go, but wanted to make custom ones. I understand you can use the codes off any trackable and repeat them on your own objects, but the cheapest seems to be about £4.49 for a duck keychain. Can you by cheaper in bulk or without the tag and just buy the codes anywhere?

 

I like the idea of a "final cache" , like many we see as the end of a series.  :)

Realize though, that all those Trackables could be confused as a "prize"  by newer members if they're all "at the end".

 - Sort of as the "treasure" that the site often calls (to our detriment, I believe)  a "real-world treasure hunt".

 

Of course they could be "prizes" if you left them unactivated, but then you'd have no control of them when in another's possession.

 

We're seeing quite a few new members becoming premium members almost right away, so if you were thinking of premium membership just to make your caches "premium member only" (thinking it might be safer) , that idea's iffy today.

Noticed you've haven't had Trackables in your possession yet.  The site seems to be creating difficulty in locating info again, but I found some basic info here.  

 

A basic dog tag Travel Bug is still five bucks or less, and the cheapest , unless you're able to get a good deal on unactivated Trackables on ebay.

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I think buying a few clearance tags in the shop are a great idea, since you can then use the number on whatever you want.

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4 hours ago, OllieJPMartin said:

What’s the difference between a travel bug and a geocoin (other than the obvious appearance differences)

 

It's an interesting story. :)
 

The terms "travel bug" and "geocoin" are used interchangeably.

 

Items that are designed to be moved from cache-to-cache were at, least at some time previously, collectively called “travel bugs”, regardless of how they're “tracked”. For example, a laminated postcard with instructions to “email me when you find this”, is an item designed to travel, a “travel bug”. And that could apply to Geocoins or even The Travel Bug dogtags. It's simply things meant to travel, where there's usually a place for finders to make their mark, and where you get a message once in a while. The first "travel bugs" were "tracked" manually by each person who placed one. Then came "Geocoins" and “The Travel Bug®”.

 

Geocoins are often identical sets of custom minted metal coins with enamel colors, with tracking numbers sold and tracked by Groundspeak. Geocoins can be most anything, and there are Geocoin glass marbles, coins with holes to attach an item, and wood, plastic and aluminum tags in many shapes. Each Geocoin design has its own name and custom icon. When you log one, you get a new icon, and you see the design's name. For example “Tramp” may be officially called a “Log My Dog” tag, with the title re-named by the Owner.

 

If you could drill a hole in a Geocoin, you could attach it to an item just like a “The Travel Bug®” dogtag. Sometimes it's tough to avoid destroying the cool enamel design on a Geocoin, when drilling into it.

 

Cachers are most familiar with “The Travel Bug®” dogtag, a trackable item that is treated by the system as a Geocoin, and is by definition a Geocoin with a hole in it, a trackable tag. These all have the same tag, named “Travel Bug Dogtag”, and all the same icon with certain variations and special styles. “The Travel Bug®” is a registered trademark of Groundspeak. When someone says “Travel Bug”, they often mean that tag with its attached item.

 

Any stylized “tag” (such as a Cachekinz animal shaped tag) is properly called a “trackable tag” so as not to confuse it with “The Travel Bug®” dogtag. That's so cachers will know what to look for.

 

If your Travel Bug or Geocoin goes missing, you may re-use the tracking number on most any item, even on clothing.  Some people collect the unique Geocoin "icons", and are intent to see a special Geocoin in person (not just the 'number' on a hat, for example), so be sure the Trackable Page's description is clear about what a cacher will find.

 

“The Travel Bug®” is different from a Geocoin because “The Travel Bug®” is its own registered trademarked thing. However, in the Forum, you will often see “TB” or “Travel Bug” informally used to refer to any trackable item.

 

Edited by kunarion
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Thanks so much for your detailed answer kunarion. So to clarify, a “travel bug” is an umbrella term for any “trackable”, but a “geocoin” is one type of trackable along with “The Travel Bug®“ other “trackable tags” and anything else that provides the originator with trackable information (like email instructions as you said)?

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A Trackable is any and all items that are trackable on geocaching.com.

 

A Travel Bug is the standard dog tag,  usually meant to be attached to something (It's name  usually matching what's attached).

A Geocoin started out as a coin-like custom Trackable object, many with their own custom icon. Now some have various shapes (see some examples in the geocoin forums).

Trackable tags and many promotional items are also trackable, and some have a custom icon as well.

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On ‎24‎/‎06‎/‎2018 at 5:38 PM, OllieJPMartin said:

I just felt it’d be interesting to put trackables that represent me and my girlfriend in the same cache and then see whose goes the furthest

 

Yeah, this is what I have done with my children - I just wanted to clarify that you don't have to set them all away from your own cache but you can drop them into any cache large enough to take TBs :)

 

However, there is a danger of them all being picked up by the same geocacher and then getting "dipped" in the same caches in your local area for weeks on end like mine are currently :D

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