A couple of caches to tell you about this week, but more of that later. In this edition of the blog I wanted to talk a bit more about trackables. This may be useful for newer cachers but others may find it informative or gain some ideas from it.
As well as your regular Travel Bugs, there are numerous other tags out there for sale now that you can attach to an object of your choice that you want to send travelling. From Trackabulldogs see http://www.ukgeocachers.co.uk/ to Travel Slugs, and from racing cars to flags and creatures.
These are an ideal cheaper version of sending out a geocoin and you can attach anything to it that may have some meaning to you. In the past I have sent out toy cars, post boxes, Doctor Who figures and even an old sixpence from the year that I was born. Obviously and sadly some of these have now been lost forever, either muggled or lost by cachers who have misplaced them (yes it does happen)! The good thing about the original travelbug is that when you purchase it, it does come with a copy tag, so if the original does go missing you can send a copy out. More about sending copies out later.
When you release a trackable, either a tag or a geocoin, I and others would recommend that you attach a mission statement to it. This can be brief and only needs consist of a piece of card with the statement on, then ideally laminated and attached to the traveller. It is also worth mentioning that the trackable isn't collectable and does need to move on (especially useful for new cachers who may mistake it for a swap item)
Copies ~ TB's and Tags
I briefly mentioned copies before. Firstly I will talk about TB copies. When you buy a travelbug it comes complete with a copy tag. Keep this, and in the unfortunate circumstance of your original getting lost somewhere in the world you can send the copy out along with either the same type of item that the original was attached to, or a photograph of it.
As far as I am aware, only travelbugs come with a copy tag. If you have a tag of a different type then what a lot of people do is visit their local pet store and get a dog tag engraved with the tracking number on. This is then attached to a similar item to the original and can again go travelling (it is even more important in this case to attach a mission statement to the new trackable) as it could just be mistaken for a trade item.
Copies ~ Geocoins
There are some beautiful geocoins in circulation and sadly some unscrupulous people out there, and sadly I don't mean muggles, take a fancy to them when they find them in a cache. These coins then find themselves lost to the owner forever, never to travel a single mile further. Whilst coin owners take the risk of sending out a coin that is valuable to them, either personally or monetary, the people who take them and keep them for themselves are actually committing a crime, although I can't see a prosecution ever taking place!
Again, what a lot of people are now doing is sending out copies of their coins so that they can keep the original at home safely. Sending out a copy of a coin is just as easy as sending out a copy tag. Simply scan your coin on to a piece of card, laminate it and then in the same way as the tags, attach an engraved dog tag to it along with a mission statement. At least if this goes missing you can send out another copy relatively cheaply, we get dog tags engraved for £1 at our local RSPCA charity shop.
A lot of cachers don't actually like picking up this type of trackable, and I have to admit that I have been guilty of this in the past. However, after having numerous coins go missing myself I now do pick up laminated copies to move on.
Another way of keeping your coin safe but still clocking up miles is to dip your coin. This simply means that you log the coin in and out of every cache that you personally visit. Not the same as seeing where you coin travels to without you of course. You can easily do this when you log a cache. At the bottom of the page where you have logged the cache you will see a Dropped off any trackables box, along with the tracking code and name of any trackables in your posession, either your own or any that you have picked up. To the right is a drop down box which has three options, No Action, Dropped Off or Visited. Just click on visited and that will log your coin in and out of the cache automatically and accrue the mileage.
At the moment that is what is happening with my GAGB coin TB3Y2V7 which has so far accrued 2891 miles since January 1st.
|Daryl's Dipper ~ My 2011 Personal Mileage Coin|
I have just ordered a TB from UK Geocachers and on arrival will be attaching it to one of my blog keyrings, so yes, the blog will be having it's own trackable. Once I have the number I will let you know so that you can also follow it if you want to.
More About Trackables
I have only done two caches in the last week or so, I'll mention them later. I picked up a trackable in each one.
In the first cache I picked up one of the aforementioned travel tags. This one goes under the guise of a hamster. Reference TB3XXH3 This one doesn't have a goal and is a new tag, having travelled only 1.3 miles from the cache it set out in to where I picked it up. I will be dipping it in to my home cache here in Nottingham before moving it on.
At the other end of the scale is a TB that I picked up has travelled 4902 miles so far. It started in France, then visited Germany, Switzerland, back to Germany, then on to Finland, Slovakia, Spain and then arrived here in the East Midlands. Again, I will dip it in to the home cache before moving it on. It is really nice to find a trackable that has moved around so much. You can find this one using the reference number TB2JW02 This one does have a goal, the owner just wants it to travel anywhere in the world. It's doing a good job of that so far.
So as I said, just two caches over the last week or so. The first in Warrington by GForceUK was called Rylands 2 Steel http://coord.info/GC2D4YJ a clever little 3 part multi. It was easy to find each stage and used a couple of different containers that I especially liked. No doubt one or more of them will be seen in caches around Nottingham soon!!
The second and final cache this week was back here in Nottingham, Back On Track by The Two Giraffes http://coord.info/GC2RM0E There had been some heavy rain and the approach to this one was slippery to say the least. A straightforward cache, well hidden and deserving of a favourite point.
Finally, my new cache 100 And Out has been published http://coord.info/GC2X38X only two visits so far but I am very happy that it has also now got two favourite points.
As an aside, I have also reopened the Ebay shop. Amazingly I got quite a few emails from customers asking that I do keep it open. On reviewing the situation I decided that I will continue for another 6 months up until December and see how things are going. I have just made my first sale to a customer in Russia.
Next time I will talk about Signature Items as well as letting you know about anything else of caching interest that I hear about in the week and also give you all the latest news on caching that we have done.
At the bottom of this blog you will find a tick box. Please could you tick any of the boxes that you feel are relevant to the blog. Cheers.
Have a good week and happy caching.