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Missing Trackables-Part 04, Last-Log Locations


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In the period 2010-19, a total of 2,675 of my trackables have gone missing.  See Parts 01-03 of this series of posts for my definition of missing, as well as other background for the project.  In this particular post I will detail where those trackables went missing, as indicated by the locations of the last-visited caches. 


The table below is first a listing of the locations where at least one of my trackables went missing (the leftmost two columns). There are 49 “countries” within the borders of which was the last cache visited by one of my missing trackables. The countries are listed in alphabetical order.


The rightmost eight columns of the table are the counts and locations where those same trackables were released. The column headings for the release locations are the standard three-letter abbreviations for the countries, where USA stands for the United States, GRB for the United Kingdom, BEL for Belgium, FRA for France, CHE for Switzerland, NLD for the Netherlands, ITA for Italy and CAN for Canada.  The letter n is the number or count for each location.


The table is read as follows. For the first entry, a total of 22 of my trackables went missing in Australia, 18 of which were released in the United States, while two were released in the United Kingdom and two others were released in Belgium. For the last entry, 2,245 went missing in the US, of which 2,240 were released here, while two were released in the UK, two were released in Belgium and one was released in Canada.


Some of the islands listed among the last-locations are protectorates of larger nations.  They are segregated because their isolation gives them travel status in my eyes…but maybe I just like having the Isle of Man and tiny Saint Martin on the list. Regarding the latter, I could just as well have substituted the name Sint Maarten since the trackable disappeared from a cache at the monument marking the boundary between the Dutch and French partitions of the island.


Most of the islands are in the Caribbean and West Indies. The Seychelles are in the Indian Ocean. By far, most of the countries are in Europe, but there is also lesser representation from Asia, Africa and South America. Canada and Mexico are the other representative countries from North America. Australia and New Zealand have surprisingly high counts, considering the distance to travel to those countries.


While the vicarious traveler in me is pleased by the wide geographic distribution of my trackables, the fact remains that this list is comprised of the locations for missing trackables. Sadly, 2,245 (84%) of the total of 2,675 went missing in the US, where most were released. And, as will be shown in a later post, most of those losses were in Texas, again, where most were released.


The reader should not assume that the agents for all losses in any given country are residents of that country…we depend on travelers from everywhere to move our bugs. In this case, the number of my trackables that found their own way to Europe (356) is more than four times those I sent there (75).


The next post or two will illustrate why I am inclined to treat the relative numbers of missing trackables in Europe as proxy values for total trackable traffic in those countries. Said another way, I believe some regions have a very different ethic toward trackables than others.


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