There’s another aspect to Geocaching in addition to all that frantic searching for Tupperware and film pots. Trackable items or TBs. These could be anything from a small dog tag, either alone or attached to something else, to a well crafted and often quite expensive geocoin, sometimes issued to commemorate a particular event or achievement.
They each have a unique number engraved on them and the idea is to send them on a journey, usually by placing them in a geocache but sometimes via events or other cachers. They can be given a specific goal or just sent out to travel from cache to cache.
But of course that means releasing them into the “wild”. If you’ve added the tag to your dog’s collar, stuck a trackable “cling” to your car or spent a lot of cash (yes, the other sort of cash) on a fancy coin, you’re more likely to want to keep them in your personal collection, only to be “discovered” by others.
But if you have a fairly inexpensive tag, it’s fun to release it, perhaps attached to a keepsake or a quirky item, and track its travels around the world. Of course, it could eventually get lost. Some are taken as “swaps” by casual cachers who don’t realise that they have an owner and need to be logged online in a similar way to finds, to then be released again to continue their travels. Some are placed in caches which then get “muggled”. And of course there are a few unscrupulous cachers out there who collect them even though they belong to someone else, or perhaps try to sell them on ebay.
But sometimes they travel for years. And some even reach their goals!
One such success story is our “Lackey Xing – Jeremy” trackable tag. We met Jeremy Irish, the President and CEO of Groundspeak, at the UK North West 2012 Mega event and were given the tag by a Lackey (Groundspeak employee). We sent it on its way back to Seattle to say ‘Hi’ to Jeremy at Groundspeak.
In May this year, it was taken to America and in August found its way to the 2015 Geocaching Block Party at Geocaching HQ in Seattle. So close!
However, in early November it was marked as missing by a Groundspeak Lackey, perhaps it was still showing in the event when it was archived. But the log said it was passed to Arne and it was marked missing by Oceansazul. So we messaged Arne.
Lo and behold it was sitting on his desk, waiting to be passed to Jeremy. This then happened within days – mission accomplished!
We have set it a new goal to return to us in the Isle of Man, who knows, it might arrive one day. Meanwhile we can watch its travels.
So a couple of “morals” of this story. Firstly, some TBs really do achieve their goals. And secondly, even Groundspeak Lackeys can forget they have someone’s trackable item. So if you find one lurking in the bottom of your bag or pocket, months after you picked it up then forgot all about it, don’t be too embarrassed to send it on its way again. The owner will just be glad it’s turned up.