Last post, I gave a basic run down on what a trackable is. I covered travel bugs, trackable geocoins, and “dog tags”. This post, I wanted to go into what you actually are supposed to DO with a trackable item.
My father, ESP Boss, has a routine that he goes through every time he starts something new: buy a book and learn all about it! Taking up geocaching was no different. We’d heard about geocaching in a very simple sense but really didn’t know much about it. Before we headed out that first day in June 2008, ESP Boss had learned (and shared with me and The Queen Mother) all about log books and trackables.
Of course, it would be another 4 months before we actually FOUND our first trackable!
What I didn’t realize at the time was that, like geocaching, trackable items have their own “rules” and etiquette.
Geocaching.com explains it as: “Most owners would rather see their travel bugs do a lot of travelling, so try not to hold on to a travel bug for too long. If you plan on holding onto the bug for more than 2 weeks, make sure to send a courtesy email to the owner letting them know.”
But, I think there are a few other things that should also be considered “best practices” when it comes to travel bugs:
1. Log that you’ve picked up the trackable right away.
There’s nothing worse than visiting a cache thinking there’s a travel bug there only to not find it. Often times, people will mention that in the log: “TFTC. Didn’t see the TB.”
If you’re going to be responsible for a travel bug, be sure to log on geocaching.com right away that you have it. That keeps other cachers from being frustrated that it isn’t there AND lets the owner know that the travel bug hasn’t been lost, stolen or muggled!
2. Try to place the trackable as soon as possible.
The whole point of traveling items is to TRAVEL!