The Geocaching Blog


Groundspeak Weekly Newsletter – August 24, 2011

What’s that in the geocache?

One of the original geocaching guidelines is “take something, leave something.” This means that when you find a geocache containing swag, you are welcome to take a piece of swag as long as you replace it with something of equal or greater value. Trackables are the exception to this rule.

Trackables are geocaching gamepieces owned by geocachers. Each individual Trackable is etched with a unique tracking code and given a goal by its owner. The goal may be to travel to another country or to visit as many beaches as possible. Trackables are placed in caches to be picked up by other geocachers, who help move them to their goals. If you find a Trackable in a cache – identifiable by the tracking number and often the text “Trackable at Geocaching.com,” please remember that this is someone’s property. They placed it in a geocache because they want to see it travel! You are welcome to take the item from the cache as long as you are willing to help it on its journey by placing it in another cache. You do not need to put anything into the cache when taking a Trackable, since you will not be keeping the item.

To find out what a Trackable’s goal is, you can look up the tracking number here or on one of Groundspeak’s mobile Geocaching Applications. If you are interested in owning your own Trackable, check out the selection at Shop Geocaching.

  • Thiessen6

    it’s just too bad that so many trackables go missing!  We have 6 TB’s out in the world, and only know the whereabouts of 1 of them!! 

  • http://www.facebook.com/frankbroughton13 Frank Broughton

    good to remind peoples of this often… thanks!

  • lasermom

    It’s important to log the trackable out of the cache the day you take it.  Even veteran cachers seem to be waiting several days or until they’re ready to place it.  Then everyone who visits the cache logs writes….so & so TB is not in this cache and the owner thinks it’s gone missing.

  • sleepnomore

    this is true when you’ve got access to logging, but when you’re out of town, it’s not always easy (or cheap) to log both the caches and the trackables.

  • 5 G Cachers

    I’m also frustrated with trackables that go missing – no matter how careful I am to put them in a baggie with explicit directions – if you  don’t plan on moving this bug, don’t take it – I still have only had success with one out of five.  Several of them have been taken by cachers that have extensive profiles, but they don’t log it as being taken AND they don’t move it.  Maybe I’m making them too cute!  Any suggestions from anyone?

  • sleepnomore

    Hehe, I’ve wondered the same thing!  I bought some cool geocoins I wanted to circulate, then thought… “Doh!  These will disappear for sure!”   So now, I think I’m only going to buy ugly ones.  :

  • MPBear

    do you take more than one trackable when you find a cache that has more than one? do you have a goal to collect as many trackables and geocoins as possible? leave some fun for others! seriously, I remember reading on the groundspeak website that if you find a cache with trackables that you may take one without leaving anything behind!

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1602870542 Traci Miklos Hacker

    I’m guilty of keeping a trackable for longer than I should’ve once (a few years ago), but I’m pretty sure I logged it out of the box on the day I retrieved it!  Hopefully it is still moving around…

  • BlackdogsMT

    I am very new to geocaching yet when I found a TB I logged it the very day I took it from the cache I found it in, and I plan on moving it along very soon.  Are Travel Bugs basically the same thing as a trackable?

  • AeroMechAZ

    Travel Bugs (TB’s) are one form of trackables, BlackdogsMT.  Also trackables are Geocoins (GC’s), Pathtags, trackable patches, GeoAchievement coins and the like.  This is one of MY Geocoins:

  • Madison D

    We sent out Travel Bugs on behalf of each of our six grandchildren.  The first one out went missing.  I was able to track it down to someone who was using her phone with the geocaching apps.  Didn’t work too well for logging the find.  The second finder hasn’t entered anything to log the bug.  Emily’s Peep is still showing up as being in Alaska where we placed her and we know she’s in Texas.  If you’re not going to follow the rules, don’t take the trackable from the cache.  Pretty frustrating and disappointing!  We were planning on having the kids follow their trackables around the country.  Hope to have better luck with the other five!

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  • jpbarr

    If I find more than one GC or TB in a cache I usually choose the one I like most and write down the code of the other so as to discover it. A few weeks ago I was caching on an island off Hesinki that has quite a few great caches and judging by the logs I was following another cacher doing the same round. Most caches showed at least 2 TB’s or GC’s in them but when I got there the same guy had “TB out” on his log! He basically cleared the place out weather ther was 1,2 or more in the cache :P I worked out that he must have left the island with at least 20 trackables. The sod. I was quite put out!

  • http://twitter.com/haircutt JACK BARBER

    waiting for my GPS to git here,bought it off of ebay today cheap can’t wait to get started Cashing


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