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Travel Bug Jailbreak


Theseus
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One of my TBs, FindJon Chevy, that is currently in a race to California, was recently put in Travel Bug Jail along with several other bugs that were all swiped by the cache owner and put into jail. I found this disappointing as it essentially went directly against my bug's goal and with the rules in place for the cache it was unlikely it would go anywhere soon (there were 10-15 bugs put in with a requirement to leave one in order to take one).

 

Then my bug was rescued. Or at least that's how I see it. A cacher created a phantom user account, went to the cache, and removed all bugs to be placed in other caches (I believe they have been placed but not logged in order to prevent an immediate return to jail). This development makes me happy as hopefully my TB will roam free again.

 

In contrast, the cache owner wrote a pretty scathing note about the rescuer and mentioned taking steps to have the user banned. I can certainly understand his being upset about his cache cleared out. But I suspect the bug owners who had their bugs summarily swiped from area caches and put in jail are happy they are out.

 

There has been plenty of discussion around the merits and drawbacks of travel bug hotels, which is relevant but not specifically what this thread is about. In this case I'm wondering about opinions surrounding the jailbreak. Heroic rescue or villainous theft?

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I applaud the person who freed all the TB's.

 

When someone makes a TB with a specific goal in mind, I believe that goal should come ahead of the desires of the cache owner in which the bug currently resides. If anything, the owner of the TB jail should have his cache archived because it only serves to keep TB's out of circulation.

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Hero.

But they shouldn't have bothered to create a new account, and should have logged the bugs. If the warden wants to go reclaim them so what, it just shows how strict he/she is. Btw- MOCs seem to get less visits anyways, adding a trade restriction just slows the exchange even more!! <_<

This is interesting because cache owners are generally given leeway to determine the requirements for a find, but do these same 'owner rights' applied to travelers? And who superceds who?

 

The break out of a TB that the owner has requested be released, would be obvisouly OK in my opinion!!

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I posted the following note on the TB Jail's web page

 

WAY TO GO saintdismas. I applaud you. A cache like this ONLY hinders a TB's goals and I would do the SAME thing you did if I lived in that part of the country.

The goal of the TB ALWAYS takes precedence over the desires of the cache owner.

 

WAY TO GO

 

Lets see how long it takes for the cache owner to either delete it or send me a nasty gram.

Edited by Wavehopper
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I posted the following note on the TB Jail's web page

While I may agree with Wavehopper's sentiments I don't want this to turn into an attack on the cacher or his cache. The way I look at it I just have a difference of opinion with him.

 

To this end, I'd like to ask any further comments/thoughts be kept within this thread and not be sent to the cacher or his cache page. Thanks in advance!

 

(In the interest of fair play I emailed the cache owner about this thread so he'll likely see our thoughts and maybe add his own. Please be respectful.)

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In the interest of fair play, I will post a note to this thread since I am the owner of the cache being discussed.

First, lets establish some facts. The word jail in the cache is due to the fact that you can see the county jail from the cache location, and to give the cache a theme.

Second, I am not bothered by the removal of the bugs for the reasons one might think. I don’t like the idea that they were not properly logged into the caches they were moved to.

Third, I never bring bugs back to the jail even if they were not traded one-for-one. Generally, I buy a TB tag, make a bug, and put it in there to take the non-traded bug. This helps keep the population up.

Fourth, this cache has more likely helped bugs not hindered them. It is a premium cache, so you don’t get newbies taking bugs home for Christmas ornaments. Several local cachers help me swap out bugs that stay in the cache very long unless it is one of our bugs, then we just leave them in there. Trust me, we make an effort for this to be a quality cache.

Fifth, I only put three types of bugs in the cache: my own bugs, bugs with no set goals, bugs with no goal sheets attached. I place the bugs in a zip-lock bag with a one page printout of their goals before placing them in the next cache.

 

I guess the biggest thing to accept is that when you set a travel bug in motion, it is like watching a teenager get their own apartment. They will do thinks you like and don’t like. You can’t do much about that. Likewise, when we place a themed cache out, not every geocacher will play along. Some will ignore the theme out of spite, most just because they didn’t read the description page, or don’t have a required trade item. This is life, we roll with the punches and try to keep the game fun and interesting. No need to get bent out of shape, just keep playing the game.

 

I hope that gives the thread enough fodder to discuss it thoroughly and open-mindedly. However, I think most of the replies will be Markwells to other threads since just about every aspect in question has been discussed.

Remember that geocachers are humans. We can’t control their every whim. Just try to have fun and make friends not enemies.

- TheStosh

- P.S. Sorry for making this reply so long. It seems like the more you say in the forums, the more people pick apart every little phrase looking for material to flame you on.

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Well, I'm a relative newbie, but it seems to me that thestosh's explaination seems fair. The only question I have is this: Was there something in the cache's description that made it seem like it was there just to delay the travels of TB's? I haven't seen the cache description, but it seems to me that the owner should take pains to explain that it's not really a jail and that he makes it a point to circulate bugs out of jail if they sit too long. From the way he describes it, a TB in this cache would have a better chance of getting moving again than your average TB! Those are my thoughts, anyway...

 

While I'm here, should all TB's with a mission include a explaination sheet in a Ziploc bag? I recently released one with a mission, but without a sheet. I hope I haven't killed the TB's chances of success!

 

YodaDoe

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While I'm here, should all TB's with a mission include a explaination sheet in a Ziploc bag? I recently released one with a mission, but without a sheet. I hope I haven't killed the TB's chances of success!

TBs should have an instruction sheet or tag. If it's laminated, then it doesn't need a plastic bag/ziploc. Plastic bags don't last very long. Anyway, you can still make a tag and send an email to the current holder and ask them to hold it (bah!) until you can mail a tag for them to attach.

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Regardless of the "policy" of the Bug Hotel owner, if there are 10 bugs in there in which I can help along towards their goal, Ill take all 10.

 

I firmly believe that the goals and wishes of the TB owner take precedence over the wishes of the Bug Hotel owner.

Edited by Wavehopper
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Regardless of the "policy" of the Bug Hotel owner, if there are 10 bugs in there in which I can help along towards their goal, Ill take all 10.

 

I firmly believe that the goals and wishes of the TB owner take precedence over the wishes of the Bug Hotel owner.

Yup...me too......I don't like the take one/leave one premise. Whether or not I have a bug with me when I visit a cache, if I find a bug (or 10) that I can help along on it's journeys, regardless of whether it has a goal and/or goal tag, I will take it and move it.

 

In answer to Yodadoe's question, no. TB's don't have to have goal tags attached. It's nice when they do, but responsible cachers will check the cache prior to finding it to see if any of the bugs have goals, and then will take them if they can help them reach their goals. If there's a bug in the cache that wasn't listed on the cache page, and doesn't have a goal tag, most responsible cachers will leave it there if they don't know what the goal of the bug is. Others will take it, find out what it's goal is, then try to help it along if possible. I always say it's better to move a bug a little than not move it at all and leave it sitting in a cache for long periods of time. Who knows...that little move you give it may put it in the right cache for the next cacher to move it a long way toward it's goal.

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Fourth, this cache has more likely helped bugs not hindered them. It is a premium cache, so you don’t get newbies taking bugs home for Christmas ornaments. Several local cachers help me swap out bugs that stay in the cache very long unless it is one of our bugs, then we just leave them in there. Trust me, we make an effort for this to be a quality cache.

Fifth, I only put three types of bugs in the cache: my own bugs, bugs with no set goals, bugs with no goal sheets attached. I place the bugs in a zip-lock bag with a one page printout of their goals before placing them in the next cache.

 

I guess the biggest thing to accept is that when you set a travel bug in motion, it is like watching a teenager get their own apartment. They will do thinks you like and don’t like. You can’t do much about that. Likewise, when we place a themed cache out, not every geocacher will play along. Some will ignore the theme out of spite, most just because they didn’t read the description page, or don’t have a required trade item. This is life, we roll with the punches and try to keep the game fun and interesting. No need to get bent out of shape, just keep playing the game.

Let me point out that I refer to any Traveler hotel/motel/Inn/etc caches that have a trade restriction (such as take one leave one is) as Prisons or sometimes jails. This has nothing to do with the cache's actual name or theme, but that items get 'locked up' there for long periods of time.

I agree with your second point, when travelers are moved they should be logged

For your third point, I have the opinion that where you leave Your TBs and what goals you give them is up to you for the most part.

 

I very much disagree with part four. You've made this cache a MOC. Since not all cachers are cash paid members, your cutting down the number of potential persons that may be to move a traveler. Second, you have used the "one for one" rule, which can backfire! I do not question the qualify of this cache or the time and effort you and others put into moving travelers, but the method in which you continue to try and help them, I do.

 

Bag and label un-tagged travelers all you want, but thats a different discussion. Yep, not everyone reads the directions :D .

 

YodaDoe, usually the argument of is "one for one fair?" comes down to how far your fellow cachers can/will go to obey directions. Some, include thestosh it seems, think that placing such rules help keep travelers moving(or promote new creations). The thinking being that since you *have* to place one you'll room far and wide looking for suitable travelers and bring them back. This in theory moves one TB from where it was, to the cache, and the one you took out of the cache and toward its goal (2 movements instead of 1).

The other side, the one which I am on, is that such rules inface hinder the travelers normal 'free' movement. Anyone that can move a traveler along stops by grabs it and moves it along. If there was a rule this person would first have to locate another traveler (but there are not always that many around), and go get it (how much time, effort, distance will you go?). If there other travelers around, but moving to this other cache (where the traveler you really want is at) is not toward the goal (wrong direction, wrong type of cache, wrong ratings, etc), do you follow the cache directions will disobeying the travelers directions? (rob Peter to pay Paul <_< ) Or does the traveler just luck out and not get moved by you?

And yes it would be possiable to create a new traveler to 'replace' the one taken, but how many people are going to fit that bill of money and time every chance they have to move a traveler? I can't count myself among those few :blink:

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It occurs to me that the owner of a TB Hotel cache would want there to always be a good stash of TB's in the cache. That way, it seems like the cache is doing it's job... being popular? So the take-one-leave-one "rule" would make sense to the cache owner. But not to the Travel Bugs, unless their mission is to sit there. I recently visited a TB Hotel to drop off a TB. There were no TB's in the cache when I got there, which was a bit disappointing. But hey, they're made to move.

 

YodaDoe

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The rationale for a TB hotel to have a trade rule is to keep TB's in the hotel, rather than have several build up and then one cacher empties the whole thing. I guess I see this rationale, but I could also understand how it could be taken to an extreme. If your hotel is in a high traffic area, and you get a lot of bug movement, then the 1 for 1 trade works. If your hotel is not in such an area, then the 1 for 1 rule creates a roach motel where TB's can check in but they can't check out.

 

My thought is that if you pull up the page and find a bunch of TB's, it wouldn't take much to find the length of time that a TB was there and take the longest stay bugs (even if you place one and have to take more than one.) I would say a TB that has been in a cache for >30 days, needs to move, even if it breaks the 1 for 1 rule.

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Here is one in Vermont that is very similar, but the cache owner decides who can find the cache. http://www.geocaching.com/seek/cache_detai...9-6DA4D0D1073A} This is the statement on the cache page “The posted coordinates for this cache (above) are intentionally NOT correct. To get the correct coordinates for this cache, please send mail to……” <_<

Edited by Chazman007
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I did cache maintenance on one of my caches today and found it contained two unlogged bugs apparently 'paroled' from the local TB hotel/jail and then placed in my cache by saintdismas (there was no log in the cache book and no log online).

 

I don't think I like this because it messes up the chain of events and mileage that the bug goes thru. I had to 'grab' the bugs from st.d. because he never logged them. Then I had to log the the TBs into my cache to show where they acutually are located. Without doing this, the owners of the bugs really couldn't know where their bugs are unless the 'liberator' emails them of the situation and I seriously doubt that happens.

 

I'm still thinking about this, as I only discovered this set of circumstances today, but I don't think it is a good idea.

As a bug owner (of one poor little AWOL bug.....) I like knowing where my bug is. If it is stuck in a 'jail', at least I have an idea where it is...... not floating around unlogged hoping that somebody with a clue what to do actually grabs and logs it correctly (something that doesn't always happen).

 

As it is now, my AWOL bug is 'in the hands of' so-and-so, who hasn't responded to emails.

 

In a similar situation of a 'paroled' bug disappearing off the radar altogether, saintdimas would be the last one to have held it - if the owner of the missing bug tried to contact st.d. to reconstruct the chain of events, what kind of response would they receive, if any??

 

I'm on the fence about this one.......

Edited by MountainMudbug
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I'd refer to Snoogan's thread on TB longevity. Try to make your bugs easy to handle (not too cute, nice mission tag, well-fastened bug tag) and hope for the best.

 

Both TB owner and cache owners need to expect that they are "requesting" someone to follow their desire and they can not control what someone else will do.

 

It would be nice if people would log things in a timely manner, and that would fix the tracking problems. You can post notes on the log explaining things if its too complicated, a few lost miles is not the end of the world. Ie. if the bug starts in CA, and we all move it from cache to cache without logging it, and I finally place and post it as being in NY, then the bug still gets miles, just not the precise tracking you'd like.

 

Janx

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Here is a link that I bumped into on the forums. I thought it related and made my cache look rather harmless:

 

Another TB Jail

I was caching in the "jurisdiction" of this "jail" just last weekend. See for example:

 

Nonipoppy's log for "Finger Park"

 

TB Finds for the "IFS and BUTS caching club"

 

I had Surfing to Hawaii with me, and since I'd had it for two and a half months (my GPSr had to go to Magellan for repair! and I saved it from a mountaintop where it had sat for four months, in a cache which hasn't been visited since I was there...) I really wanted to get it moving toward Hawaii again.

 

So I dropped it in Smelling Fries, but with a note asking the finder to email me before logging the bug. Then I didn't log that I'd dropped it. I got an email from the finder today, so I've logged the drop and they will log the find later. So the bug can keep moving.

 

As Nonipoppy wrote... "We are not sure how the game is played up here in NW Arkansas but down in the river valley it is considered rude to revisit a cache to take Travel Bugs."

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I'm have a split take on this:

 

I don't think it's wrong to revisit a cache to get a TB as long as your helping it in it's mission.

 

I don't agree with what the IFS AND BUTS Caching Club is doing though. They've managed to drain our area dry of TB's lately all for the self amusement of their prison cache. They put one of mine in there that had just got into circulation. I think the prison cache is a good idea in the sense of punishing those TB's who are already straying from their mission but it shouldn't be every TB that makes it into NW Arkansas ends up in this prison.

 

Cudo's to RuffRider, Cardinal, and Rich-Faith for rescuing all prisoners on the 20th. Who cares if they are whining about how you exchanged the bugs out. It's getting old not seeing TB's around here because of how they play the "game".

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