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Expectations for Trackables—An Unscientific Poll


shellbadger
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I would like to get a sense of each reader’s expectations when he/she released their first travel bug.  Try not to be influenced by any subsequent history.  Consider only what would have satisfied you after you made your investment.  As they apply, respond in terms of survival time, miles traveled, rate of travel, and/or the number of cachers moving your trackable.  

 

Survival         

Miles        

Rate   

Cachers

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We went into trackables after learning everything we could about the hobby, including these forums.

We would have liked them to be around a while, but had no "expectations" after reading threads, and understood you take your chances.   :)

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My first trackable? Well, naturally when I started caching and let loose my first tracxkable, I didn't yet have enough experience to know they wouldn't last forever.

 

What would have satisfied me? I didn't really think about it that way. When I released my first trackable, I thought of it more like planting a cache: I was more concerned with what would satisfy the people that found my trackable. I can't really remember which was my first trackable, but in my early days, I gave my trackables specific goals, but I did it because I was curious if they'd get where I sent them, not because getting where I sent them would "satisfy" me in some way.

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I guess I was really naive.  The first trackable I found  had improbably come from California in a little over a year to a pitiful cache in a vacant lot in a residential neighborhood in Lubbock, Texas.  I bought in with high hopes and released my first of many travel bugs within a month.  I had curiosity, to be sure, but based on my limited experience, I had some expectations too.

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I tend to do my homework when buying things as I have very little disposable income (I keep wasting my money on silly things like bills and fuel, and sometimes food) so before I bought any I was already well aware that they had a very low survival rate.

 

My first purchase I bought four (there is no shop here in Darwin and postage for one made it not worth buying individually), but as I already knew they were almost 100% guaranteed to go missing I didn't release the real TB's, I sent out proxies. For me, the enjoyment I get is more from designing and building the proxy within my limitations rather than the TB's adventures themselves. Once most if not all of my TB's go missing, I'll go back and re-release the one that has been missing the longest on a new journey as a new proxy.

 

Expectations? I'm going to go with miles, as one of mine had the goal of getting to a specific cache in another state (so that my brother can grab it), and most of my others have fairly general goals such as "travel far".

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I love trackables! My first release was this spring in a race to see who can get the most miles logged by 12/31/21. Had a great start and logged about 2000 miles but the past few weeks it hasn't moved at all, I say he's sitting on the couch eating cheetos and drinking beer! I dropped him off local to me and someone picked him up and took him about 30 miles away where he was picked up by the person that still has him. They've made several trips together around NE, IA, MO, IL, & AR but man I sure do wish he'd get back on the road!

 

I had read enough about trackables to know that anything "nice" ends up in someone's binder so I was hopeful at best that my little guy would last til the end of the year. But I do enjoy reading the logs and wished more people would post pics of their adventures with the trackable. I did recently retrieve a trackable that's been out since 2011 and has traveled throughout the US and Europe so I will always have hope. I have since released a couple more with very specific goals but it's too early to know their fate.

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On 6/16/2021 at 11:58 PM, Reese486 said:

But I do enjoy reading the logs and wished more people would post pics of their adventures with the trackable.

 

One thing I've noticed is that if someone makes a log on a cache and adds a photo, that photo is not automatically linked to in the gallery for the TB. The photo has to be specifically added to the TB so that it shows up.

 

 

That may be one of the reasons TB's get so few photos - good intentioned people add photos to their logs with the TB and don't realise they aren't linking where the TB owner can see them.

 

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I now make a point of adding at least one photo to every TBs log when we drop it off, might just be a photo of the TB on top of the container, something so the TO knows the TB is alive/kicking.....

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2 hours ago, lee737 said:

I now make a point of adding at least one photo to every TBs log when we drop it off, might just be a photo of the TB on top of the container, something so the TO knows the TB is alive/kicking.....

This wasn't a big step from what I've always done - take photos of TBs with a cache, with tracking numbers showing, so I can be 100% sure what I dropped into which cache.... Now I do those, plus some with the tracking code not displayed, and add them to the log....

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8 hours ago, Unit473L said:

That may be one of the reasons TB's get so few photos - good intentioned people add photos to their logs with the TB and don't realise they aren't linking where the TB owner can see them.

When I attach a photo, it's specific to what I attach it to, so, no, I don't think it would make sense to just automatically duplicate attachments to the cache to the TB. And, besides, I don't think it would actually increase the number of TB pictures, since I doubt many people attach a picture of the TB to the cache to begin with. At least in my thinking, if I took a picture of the TB, I'd automatically attach it to the TB log when I edited it to describe the drop.

 

8 hours ago, lee737 said:

I now make a point of adding at least one photo to every TBs log when we drop it off, might just be a photo of the TB on top of the container, something so the TO knows the TB is alive/kicking.....

I wish I could get into that habit. Unfortunately, most of the time I forget in the frenzy.

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2 hours ago, dprovan said:

When I attach a photo, it's specific to what I attach it to, so, no, I don't think it would make sense to just automatically duplicate attachments to the cache to the TB.

 

+1

My TB log photos are for the TB, cache log photos are for the cache.  I typically don't even post a TB photo in a cache log, unless it's my TB and it's visiting.

 

As for expectations, for my first TBs I believed the text on the tin.  I expected TBs would travel the world, were handled responsibly, with care, and placed into the next cache and logged with a cool story.

Edited by kunarion
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4 hours ago, kunarion said:

My TB log photos are for the TB, cache log photos are for the cache. 

I typically don't even post a TB photo in a cache log, unless it's my TB and it's visiting.

 

Yep.  Same here, the rare time I include one today.

I often mention where I found visible tracking codes on other's trackables, and cache pages come in second to the trackable's own page.  :)

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Ah.  A small stuffed bird slept in my sister's luggage, when she was visiting our brother in Seattle.  So, we attached a TB tag to send it back to Seattle.  He made it there!  So our brother attached the tag to a Furby to send it to our sister in Maine.  The Furby went to the Czech Republic. but finally made it to Maine!  Our sister attached the tag to a small stuffed bear to come back to New Jersey.  It was picked by a newbie in Montana, and hasn't been seen since.  Oh, well.  It did travel 27000 miles. 

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On 5/29/2021 at 1:54 PM, shellbadger said:

I would like to get a sense of each reader’s expectations when he/she released their first travel bug.  Try not to be influenced by any subsequent history.  Consider only what would have satisfied you after you made your investment.  As they apply, respond in terms of survival time, miles traveled, rate of travel, and/or the number of cachers moving your trackable.  

 

Survival         

Miles        

Rate   

Cachers


I'm working up to releasing my first two trackables. One of which I've made a proxy out of and attached a couple... hitchhikers? I don't know what you'd call them. The proxied trackable is rather large. The other trackable is a cachekins and has a laminated explanation sheet with it. Both are in ziplock baggies. 

Survival: I'm cautiously optimistic. However, I am almost certain both will disappear quickly and not meet their missions. 
Miles: If they meet their missions? I expect they'll travel thousands of miles. 

Rate: Slow as all get out. I don't know if it's an Oklahoma area thing or what, but it seems there's no where to put trackables. Everything is small/micro/nano, or the visitors to caches are not interested in "dealing with" trackables... I'm just not sure what the deal is honestly. 
Cachers: I'd be satisfied with just one person taking my trackables wherever they go-a-caching. I don't care about them changing hands a lot. 

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