Have you enjoyed geocaching so far? Are you ready to own a geocaching trackable or host your own cache? Then you’re a treasure hunter for sure and you know the excitement of geocaching. Congrats!
If you haven’t already read my post on geocaching 101, click here. It will give you a good overview of the basics of geocaching.
This Wonder Woman trackable was put in a cache in Massachusetts and is owned by my daughter Evelyn’s Girls Scout Troop. I hosted the geocaching badge for her troop and they put this travel bug, along with the Wonder Woman LEGO figure out in a cache with a fun mission, to meet Girl Scouts and Girl Guides in 2 other countries. I’m not sure how long it will take Wonder Woman to achieve her mission but the girls are excited to track her progress as she makes her way around the world. The girls are Junior Scouts right now in 5th grade. I hope they keep up with this activity as they get older and they send her on more missions.
When you are out searching for caches you might come across a trackable. Geocaching Trackables are physical game pieces you can buy and add to a cache. Playing with a trackable adds excitement to your geocaching adventure. Trackables come in 2 varieties, either travel bugs or geocoins, which can be very elaborate and expensive.
Trackables are generally set on a mission. It can be as simple as moving from cache to cache or more ambition like to visit all 50 states in the US. If there is a trackable among the treasure in a cache you find, check the landing page to see if the trackable is logged in. If it is and you can help the trackable get to its destination or closer to it, you can take it and move it.
Make sure you log that you have taken the trackable on the landing page. You need to use the unique trackable code on the tag or geocoin, so the owner knows it’s “on the move.” If you aren’t going anywhere near the trackables destination it’s best to leave it for another geocacher to move. Rule of thumb is to log the trackable into the new cache within two weeks of taking it.
To Log A Geocaching Trackable
- Activate the trackable on the goecaching.com website.
- You need both the trackable’s code and an activation code that comes with the trackable when purchased.
- Enter the required information:
- Date activated – generally today’s date
- Location. Where it was released?
- Description. Rule of thumb would be for a simple tag, a simple description is fine. However, if you’ve attached a toy or some such fun object, the description should include that. Large trackables are curious entities throughout the geocaching world and can be highly sought after.
- Goal/Mission. Where would you like your trackable to go? Just visit different caches or do you want it to travel the world? It can take part in a race against other trackables or it can visit a geocaching event. you decide.
- After you’ve logged it, place it in a cache or event and ‘set it free’. You need to go to the geocaching app or website and log the trackable into the cache or event where you are leaving it.
To Retrieve, Discover, Grab and Write Note Logs
When you find a trackable in a geocache or see one in someone else’s possession you can do one of the following acts.
- Go on geocaching.com and enter the tracking code in the tracking box (center of the page) or select a trackable from your inventory.
- Find “add a Log Entry” on the right-hand side of the trackable detail page.
- Select from the following log types:
- Retrieve, take a trackable from the geocache.
- Discover it, note that you saw the trackable in the geocache but didn’t take it.
- Grab it, from another cache or another person.
- Write your log entry and upload a photo if you’d like.
A Note about Retrieve and Grab
Sometimes you will see retrieve and grab used interchangeably and from the websites view it does the same thing, it moves the trackable out of the cache and into your inventory. However, retrieve is really what is happening when you take the trackable from a cache.
Grab is intended for use in unusual circumstances such as finding a trackable in a cache but is not listed in that cache on geocaching.com
If somebody hands you a trackable, that would also be a good time to use grab. However, it is better to have the giver drop it into the event cache and you then do a retrieve, this will track the mileage as it goes from cache to cache.
Drop and Visit Logs
Follow these steps to drop a trackable in a geocache or log a visit to a geocache.
- From a cache page, select Log geocache.
- Below the text box, select an action for each trackable from your inventory:
- Drop, leave the trackable in a geocache.
- Visit, take a trackable to a cache but keep it with you when you leave.
Common Terms you might see while searching f or caches:
- BYOP- Bring your own pen/pencil
- CITO – Cache in, trash out
- DNF – Did not find
- Dipping – actually logging a trackable into a geocache, then immediately logging it back into one’s possession. This registers miles traveled on a trackable.
- FTF- First to find
- FTFI – First to find items
- LN- Left nothing
- LPC- Lamp post cache -a common type of cache hidden under an unsecured lamp post base
- SL – Signed log
- STF – Second to find
- SWAP – Stuff we all get – trade items
- TB – Travel Bug
- TFTC – Thanks for the cache
- TFTH – Thanks for the hide
- TNLN – took nothing, left nothing
- TNLNSL – took nothing, left nothing, signed log
- TOTT – tools of the trade
- WAYPOINT -The location of a geocache that is defined by a set of coordinates using longitude, latitude and sometimes altitude.
Pin for Later
I hope this has inspired you to become a treasure hunter. Download the app now, get out there exploring and find your next cache.
Have you found any trackables? Are you ready to put out our own cache?