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What do YOU do with your trackables?

 
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RyanLisaKayla
Geocacher


Joined: 10 Aug 2011

Posts: 162

PostPosted: Sun Sep 22, 2013 7:46 pm    Post subject: What do YOU do with your trackables? Reply with quote

A conversation came up in another thread about alternate preferences on logging TB visits and we also touched on what we do with our own, so I'm curious what you all do?

Do you keep some of your activated coins at home and use them to track your own caches visited (for mileage or whatever)? Do you log every single one or just certain ones and what are your rules of what you visit and don't visit?

Also, for ones that you send out into the wild, what kind of missions have you sent them on?


We personally have activated and kept 5 TBs. 4 of them visit every single cache we visit - 1 as a team overall and then 3 others to track each of us individually for which ones we personally visit. The 5th one was the 366 coin that we used when we did our streak. From Jan 1 - Dec 31, we picked out our favorite cache each day (many days it was the ONLY cache that day) and had that coin visit that cache. So, that coin has exactly 366 visits marking that year.

We've also sent a few out in races and one to try to visit all of the states but that one was lost.

We have quite a few other TBs just sitting here unactivated so I'm trying to get some new ideas of what to do with them... Thanks!
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AerosmithPA
MnGCA President


Joined: 19 Nov 2005

Posts: 1116

PostPosted: Sun Sep 22, 2013 8:32 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I have two main themes to my trackables:

When I travel far from home (so far 1000 miles minimum), I place a trackable with the goal of coming back home.

I also send bugs out on occassion from near home with the goal of visiting each state in U.S., each country in North America, and each continent.

I have one coin, which marks the first physical cache I find in each state/province/country I visit. The exception is District of Columbia, where I did not find any physical caches, but 17 virtuals.

One of my first bugs, maybe my first, was to travel around choose my vacation destination for me. When I had time and a little cash, I planned to spontaneously travel to wherever the bug resided. After travelling from Florida to Alaska, the bug was lost with a cache north of Chicago. That didn't work out how I envisioned.
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schmittfamily
Geocacher


Joined: 21 Sep 2012

Posts: 113

PostPosted: Sun Sep 22, 2013 8:49 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

We sent one out trying to get pictures of people's pets.
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dornole
Geocacher


Joined: 03 Apr 2006

Posts: 460

PostPosted: Mon Sep 23, 2013 7:52 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I have had two. One was a race with a geocaching friend in CT to get to each other's towns. Both made it which was a miracle.

I have Mentos Explosion which has the goal to bring the joy of Mentos / Coke explosions to cachers and their kids. It comes with a tube that enhances the explosion and instructions. It's been to a couple of events but I don't know if they set it off. I hope so!
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spinowner
Geocacher


Joined: 25 Nov 2004

Posts: 585

PostPosted: Mon Sep 23, 2013 8:09 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I very rarely move trackables any more and I haven't released one in years but I wanted to post this thought. I think what's interesting about trackables is sort of the sociological aspect of seeing where the trackables go (and thereby the cachers who move them) over the course of time. With that thought in mind I think logging visits to caches is great. From that point of view it's not really necessary to log a visit at every single cache if you find a whole bunch of them in the same general area except for the personal trackable to track how far you've traveled while caching. Every now and then if I get bored I look at some of the trackables I've moved to see where their journeys have taken them since then.
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schmittfamily
Geocacher


Joined: 21 Sep 2012

Posts: 113

PostPosted: Tue Sep 24, 2013 8:42 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Kind of an off shoot to the question but my favorite travel bugs to log are ones where we can have a comment theme. For instance we picked up a travel bug with an elephant attached to it, so every log we posted an elephant joke*. We logged one called "Miss Scarlett" that we tried to work in "Gone with the Wind" quotes to the logs. Not sure what the trackable owners thought but we had fun.


*for those that don't know - elephant jokes are a string of nonsense jokes involving elephants that build upon the last joke. So a string of visit logs are a great medium for them.
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schmittfamily
Geocacher


Joined: 21 Sep 2012

Posts: 113

PostPosted: Fri Sep 27, 2013 12:40 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

One thing I have noticed is trackables with a specific goal seem to do better. Not sure if that is other people's impression or not.
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Copaman
MnGCA Board


Joined: 25 May 2011

Posts: 271

PostPosted: Tue Oct 01, 2013 10:44 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I put out some trackables with goals, but most people don't seem to bother reading them.

1. A coin with a goal of staying in D3 or higher puzzle caches only. Got placed in a D1.5 TB hotel and was promptly muggled.

2. I released two TBs in a race - one to go to the Pacific Ocean and one to the Atlantic. Atlantic went west and got kept; Pacific visited like 500 caches over two years and is only now (after I prodded the cacher) back on its journey.

3. TBs released in the wild to come home to Minnesota have actually traveled farther away from their starting points.

For me, goals or no goals, they don't seem to matter. I think I'm the only one who bothers reading the goals. I found one that wanted to get to Chicago; made a trip over to Eau Claire to drop it off, only for someone else to grab it, bring it back to the Twin Cities, and then for someone else to take it all the way out to Oregon.

One thing I like to do with trackables, though, is take and post pictures of them, to show the owners that they are still doing fine, especially if I get TBs from overseas. I came across a number of TBs from Europe that wanted pictures taken, so I took them downtown, to Minnehaha Falls, to Mall of America, and over to the Mississippi River for a virtual tour and got some pictures. I know if my TB was floating around Europe, I'd like to see some of the pictures where it has been. Who knows, maybe someone would see those pictures and plan a trip to Minnesota as a result.

I've had some people take one of my TBs for a tour as well. But I've found that it is few and far between that people read the goals and actually follow them.
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Pear Head
Past MnGCA President


Joined: 04 Apr 2004

Posts: 5694

PostPosted: Tue Oct 01, 2013 4:16 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Copaman wrote:
I put out some trackables with goals, but most people don't seem to bother reading them.


I don't touch TBs hardly at all any more.

You didn't mention if the goals were only online or if they were attached, but the few times I have handled TBs recently I've never looked online at the TB page. If there's a short goal attached to the TB I'd probably read it, but I'd also be more apt to release the TB quickly rather than help it accomplish it's goal.
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Copaman
MnGCA Board


Joined: 25 May 2011

Posts: 271

PostPosted: Tue Oct 01, 2013 8:25 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Pear Head wrote:
Copaman wrote:
I put out some trackables with goals, but most people don't seem to bother reading them.


I don't touch TBs hardly at all any more.

You didn't mention if the goals were only online or if they were attached, but the few times I have handled TBs recently I've never looked online at the TB page. If there's a short goal attached to the TB I'd probably read it, but I'd also be more apt to release the TB quickly rather than help it accomplish it's goal.


No, I attach them to TB with its goal in a laminated card. I could understand if someone grabbed it and then dropped it on the same day without looking at the log; that's one thing, but when the thing is clearly labeled? That's just not caring.

I've made the mistake of grabbing a TB and then finding out when I got home that wants to go in a different direction than I am heading. When that happens, I'll usually write a physical note, stick it in a baggie with the trackable, and then drop it off somewhat according to its goal. So if I found one that wants to go to San Diego let's say, I'll still try to drop the thing off inat least Eden Prairie so it's still going further west than when I found it.

I had one that was easy - just move it a little or a lot away from Minneapolis. If you found it on the north side of town in Iowa, just drop it a little bit further south than where you found it, so you could go to a cache like three blocks south, drop it, and it will still get its goal. That way, it's still moving away from Minneapolis. But that's too hard for most people it seems.

As for the original question, here's what I do with my TBs and geocoins:

- I have a coin that I use to mark my FTFs
- I have a coin that I use to mark all my finds
- I have a coin that I use to mark finds that my son has been with me at (in case he ever decides he wants to get into geocaching)
- I have a trackable that I wear to events (when I remember to wear it)
- I have a trackable on my car

I used to buy two copies of coins, one to put out into the wild and one to keep. Now, I just keep them both, maybe hoping to trade one with a cacher at some point. TBs I still occasionally drop in the wild, especially if I go to some place far away. I dropped a bunch in Hungary this summer. I still get TBs that I drop; I ordered something from Groundspeak this summer and got a free TB. I'll stick a keychain on it and drop it in a cache, but I don't think I'll buy any TBs to distribute from Groundspeak.

The exception is the MnGCA TBs. I still buy a few of those and toss them into the wild. I also gave one to cacher in Omaha who checked on a cache for me and one in Georgia who fixed one of my TBs. I like the MnGCA tags, because they are unique. The guys over in Hungary didn't know about Babe the Blue Ox, so that was an interesting way of spreading state folklore. I figure buying the MnGCA TBs is more of a donation to the MnGCA, so if it gets lost, no big deal.

I've got probably 30 or 40 unactivated coins, because I'm not quite sure what to do with them. I mean, I don't want to release them or trade them, but if I activate them, I'm not quite sure what I will do them in the mean time.
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