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Do travel bugs ever land in caches anymore?

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Posted · Report post

My wife (Tealcat) asked me to ask the question. :tinfoil: We have several travel bugs making their way from here to there, but they don't seem to land in caches anymore. They visit, but don't stay.

For example :dig: , we have a Blue Switch Geocoin that was recently seen by three of you (KeyResults, criffree and Dangerman&3olivz) at the Park & Gab #53. :angel: Supposedly it is in the hands of icefrog (who grabbed it on June 24), but it didn't resurface until the Park & Gab.

I'm not sure where icefrog grabbed it. Before icefrog it was altbiers who helped it travel a lot of miles (20 states! :fist-pump: More than I have done!), but altbiers picked it up at GeoWoodstock. Parkerplus had dropped it there having picked it up from a cache! (and having it travel around Texas quite a few miles.) The Beach Bums had placed it in that cache after picking it up at an event (Dog Eat Dog II), where crossmage had placed it. crossmage had picked it up at a Club UFO event from Nov 64 who had picked it up from a cache in Goliad where we had launched it. So while it has traveled 4045.7 miles, it was left in two caches--the one that we started it in and the puzzle cache that Parkerplus found it in.

Please don't get me wrong--we are pleased that it is traveling :fist-pump: , that people are enjoying it :fist-pump: , and that it hasn't been lost :fist-pump: , and we thank all of you for moving it along. :cheers:

However, we haven't been finding many travel bugs and coins in caches anymore. :disappoint:

So, we wonder--do travel bugs (and coins) ever land in caches anymore? :what???:

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Posted · Report post

I guess it depends on the cache. I'll drop a bug I'm moving into a cache if the cache meets a few criteria:

Big enough, busy enough, fits the TBs mission.

Lately, I just haven't seen that many caches with bugs, but there's been a few.

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Posted · Report post

This is one of those issues that increases in proportion to the proliferation of urban micros. Muggling of caches also is a de-motivator.

If I am going to a big cache, I usually bring a bug or two with me to drop. It's safer sometimes to trade them at events, though.

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Posted (edited) · Report post

I pick up most TB's I find and bring them to Baytown and put them in one of my caches. I have a lot of small and regular containers out and about. If I see that a TB is languishing in one of my caches, I move it to a more active one after about a month.

Edited by Baytown Bert

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Posted · Report post

Whenever I come back with some from a trip I always put some in my more-frequented caches that they'll fit in. If I have a bunch I'll replace them as they get picked up and/or trade at events (no muggling that way). I drop them in other caches, too, when I get to go out caching if they'll fit and it seems like a good location (safe but getting visitors frequently so they don't sit there too long).

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Posted · Report post

I travel a lot and therefore pick up TB's and geocoins and then move them to a cache where I am going. If I pick up trackables on my trip I usually try to bring them to the next event I am at and then drop them in one of my caches. I really don't have any caches that will hold a TB since all of mine are LPC's but that's ok I just drop it under the skirt. Wait a minute nope I have a bunch of huge containers that get visited often. I tend to drop them in those containers.

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Posted · Report post

I am one that tends to hand off a TB instead of placing it in a cache here in the Houston area. I will place TB's in caches outside of Houston, but having brought them back to Houston, placed in a cache and then see it disappear, I am now more careful. If there is an inventory of TB's and none in the container, I won't place. I do enjoy looking at the different TB's at events and seeing cool objects traveling around. I don't always remember to log them....

My latest TB/geocoin to go missing, was posted on the wall at the Lil' Alien Inn in Rachel NV along with other coins. I thought that it would be safe there... guess not....

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Posted · Report post

I won't place a coin in a cache anymore. I have been LTF on too many. I will always handoff coins at events and I can usually remember who I traded it to if the owner comes looking.

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Posted · Report post

TBs I'll drop in just about any decent cache that doesn't seem to have high muggle activity and isn't visited by your typical noob very often. Geocoins, I seldomly drop in a cache. I usely swap them out at events if I'm going to swap them out. That said, I did place a premium multi the other day that's a 4/3.5 DT, that I don't think will have high traffic and I expect that it will only be found my some of the more serious cachers out there (got to do a projection in one of the stages.) And I did drop a couple Geocoins in it as incentive for people to make an effort to find it.

I've built up a small collection of personally owned Geocoins (14 right now - 2 more should be on the way from the TxGCC13 ;-) ) and there's no way I'd drop any of these in a cache. They're just more valuable to me. That said, I've got a number of TBs floating around, a couple in Germany, one in the UK, and some scattered around the US. If a TB goes missing I'm not concerned but if a Geocoin went missing I think I'd have a hissy fit. And that's why I don't put them out there.

So far I've only had a couple people complain about me holding on to their Geocoins for too long, and I've quickly dropped them in an event or quality cache.

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Posted · Report post

The last day I went caching, I found 5 caches large enough to hold a trackable. I placed a TB or geocoin in 4 of them. Yeah, my inventory is a bit high and I need to divest a bit. If the cache appears to be too muggle-prone to me, I'll bypass it for safer ground.

If a cacher holds on to one of my TB's without logging it in any way for 4-5 months, I'll send them a pleasant email asking them to move it on. If they're taking it to events and dipping it in caches, I'm just happy it's circulating and I say nothing. :laugh:

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Posted · Report post

It may be one of those "customs of the locals" things. I looked over my active bugs, most of which were dropped in the western part of the US, and hardly any of them were dropped in events or carried from place to place by the same cacher - 99% of the moves were directly into caches. Try an experiment - next time drop your TB or coin out of state and see if you have a different experience. I have started making little references on the pages of travel bugs I pick up about the "event circuit" in Houston - they go round and round for a bit, but then they get moved out of the vortex and another bug takes their place.

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Posted · Report post

It would be nice if we had a culture like Europe where the TB actually move around from cache to cache quite frequently. I've had a TB that made it over there and it's so much fun to watch where it's moving and which country it's going to land in next. It started out as one of my racers several years ago.

Baytown Bert likes this

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Posted · Report post

Interesting thing I found that in Europe, Germany is considered a black hole for trackable. Many go in, few leave.

Eagle

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Posted · Report post

Interesting thing I found that in Europe, Germany is considered a black hole for trackable. Many go in, few leave.

Eagle

Oh, no, TAZ427's Alter Ego TB497DN is in the Black hole, and so is my Ship Shape '32 Ford TB497D6 It's got 28K Miles on it, but it's been sitting idle in Germany for the past 9 months. Oh well, it's not like I didn't expect that to happen.

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Posted · Report post

My experience is the same as Muddy Buddies. Trackables that go to Europe tend to move a lot and just be better taken care of. Yeah, I've lost a couple over there, but the success rate for trackables is much higher than in the US. Cases in point currently:

My Ola Mae Breast Cancer Awareness geocoin has been hopping around Germany, from cacher to cacher, since last December.

My Iberian Traveler HC geocoin has been moving around France and Belgium for the last 6 months or so (OK, it hasn't exactly been staying on the Iberian peninsula like I asked, but I'm not nit-picking).

My HC Geocoin #5 has been touring Austria and the Czech Republic for the last year.

I had another HC geocoin circle the world from east to west, only to disappear out of the first cache it landed in upon returning to the US. :tickedoff:

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Posted · Report post

Of the six I've released into the wild, 100% have gone missing. Two are currently in the possession of cachers with less than 25 finds. They were last logged July of 2011.

This is fairly ominous -> another one is currently in the hands of a "funeral director" with 250 finds in Waleka, FL. It's safe to say that one is dead.

The others aren't in caches that they are supposed to be in.

I guess that is why they don't go into caches anymore. At least at events you can be assured of passing them along to fairly responsible cachers.

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Posted · Report post

Similar to HC, I have many coins I have let out to travel and they end up disappearing. I will agree that if a geocoin is in Europe, it will travel from cache to cache and have pictures as well.

I did send one coin to the designer Ernies, who designed my 2nd personal coin. It took over two years but he did get the coin. (It was stated in the mission to go to Ernie's in Sweden) Actually he got it quite by accident. He walked to the TB exhange bowl and saw his coin in their, he picked it up to *discover* the coin when he realized it was the coin I had sent to him via mission. He was overjoyed finding the coin.

I sent him a coin which he replied would be muggled. I told him, lets see..so like Keely mentioned, we watched the coin and as the time got longer, we would watch it here and there, but then he came across it. When he wrote me to thank me, I told him *And you thought it would be muggled*. The coin made it to an event he attended.

Europe is great to leave coins in, I tend to trade coins at events and If I find a cache that seems to be out of the way and no muggles, I will leave a coin.

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Posted · Report post

I had another HC geocoin circle the world from east to west, only to disappear out of the first cache it landed in upon returning to the US. :tickedoff:

I had a coin travel around the world. It disappeared after returning to Texas.

TBs I have traveling abroad fare best. One bounced around Australia/New Zealand for quite a while and it's now bouncing around Germany.

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Posted · Report post

I have one sitting in one of my puzzle caches. GC36EJ5

Have fun.

Eagle

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Posted · Report post

All the trackables I have released are missing including the TB which is a picture of my dad though it turns up every couple of years.

I am quite particular about which caches I place a trackable of any kind. I do not put them in mystery, multis, high terrain or difficulty caches unless that is a specific goal or the caches are visited somewhat frequently. Otherwise, the trackable usually ends up sitting there for a while and I wouldn't want one of my trackables to just sit somewhere for months on end. I do not leave a trackable in a cache which has trackables listed in the inventory but none actually there and no logged visitors for a while nor in caches which seem to get muggled often. This often means I end up handing off trackables to other cachers directly. As has been mentioned, I know who got them that way. I also haven't noticed much difference of longevity based on whether a trackable is picked up by an experienced or new cacher.

As a result, I sometimes end up having them in my possession longer than I would like. However, I do log visits to special and/or interesting caches (but not every cache) I find and events while I have them. At least the owner can see they are still active that way if I haven't already e-mailed them with the reasons I still have their trackable.

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Posted · Report post

I'd like to thank everyone for their perspectives/experiences.

There seems to be considerable regional variation in the US too. We have one travel bug (and not a coin) that we started here in Texas and it moved from cache to cache (four or five times) until it moved out of state up to Minnesota. Then it bounced from cache to cache in Wisconsin--then out to the pacific northwest where it has been moving from cache to cache in Oregon and Washington. This particular travel bug has never been traded at an event until its last exchange. Now it is in someone's hands and has been for almost a month. :notme:

We have a second travel bug (again, not a coin) that we started here in Texas that went through several meetings before it ended up in a cache in Arkansas. Then "magically" it appeared almost a year later in Arizona (interesting that those are both Ax states for mail abbreviations), where it was found in a cache and taken to Washington. It landed in several caches there, but was finally taken to a Block Party where it was picked up and whisked off to Colorado. It moved from cache to cache and is currently apparently sitting in a cache waiting for the next finder. O0

We released a geocoin into the wild in northern California, and I think it was promptly moved to someone's collection. :'(

Tealcat wanted me to ask the question because of the dearth of travel bugs that we have found over the summer.

Maybe they are all getting moved to Houston ( :notme: ). We don't make it that far south very often.

Thanks again.

Oh, and if you happened to have seen the Blue Switch Geocoin at Park and Gab 53, do you remember who had it? Icefrog is in Virginia... :stirpot:

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Posted · Report post

I have a cache on N. Main in Baytown that I like to drop TB's in that may be compromised. TB's may be disappearing from it: GC2VKP1 I have 3 I want to drop in there, but now I have to find an alternative.

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Posted · Report post

Much to my (and my wife's) surprise, we picked up a trackable from a cache today! :cheers:

One of the more surprising things about it is that it isn't listed as being in the cache--only having been dipped in it.

However, I have emailed the current "in the hands of". This particular trackable has gone missing a couple of times. The first log indicates that a geocacher liberated it from the catalog of another geocacher to set it free... :stirpot:

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