Wednesday, August 24, 2011

I Like Travel Bugs!

One of my favorite things to find in a cache is a travel bug.  No, they are not real bugs.  The object of travel bugs is to move them from cache to cache.  Many of them travel literally thousands of miles all over the world.  If you find a travel bug in a cache you can either leave it there for someone else to move along or you can take it and move it to another cache, hopefully in a timely manner.  The only thing you do NOT do, is keep it.  Although some rotten and unscrupulous people will take them and keep them.  They certainly will not win any brownie points for being a jerk!

There are basically 2 different types of travel bugs.  One type is a dog tag with a GC number on it that you attach to any item you like.  Here are a few examples....

Each TB (travel bug) gets its own web page on the GC site.  You can name your TB and assign a specific mission for it that you hope people will follow.  Things like visit specific states or different countries, maybe go to a special event, or a golf course, or trade shows.  The missions are all different and some are quite creative.  Each time you move a TB, you also have to go to it's web page and register which cache you picked it up in and which cache you dropped it into.  Plus, you can leave a note for the TB owner and even upload a picture if you want.  I usually try to take a picture of the TB near something historic and upload that to its page.  People seem to appreciate the effort and I've gotten notes from people all over the world thanking me for the photos.  It gives them a good opportunity to see a picture from a part of the world they may never get to visit themselves.

Travel bug coins are usually pretty nice.  They cost a little more money (usually between $ 10.00 and
$ 20.00 each) and you definitely take a little more of a risk sending them out, because people do steal them.  How rude is that?  Here are some of the nicer coins that I've found in caches and moved along....

Currently I have moved along 236 different TB's and coins.  I always like to find ones that have come from a foreign country.  It's really interesting to go to their pages and read about where they have been.

Right now I personally own 26 different TB's and coins of my own.  My 11 coins I keep in my possession and are part of my personal collection.  I have 15 TB's.  1 is in my possession because he's my Travelling Snoopy who goes everywhere with me, attached to my backpack.  My 14 other TB's are  travelling around the world.  Out of those 14, 3 are missing - either lost or stolen.  :-(  

Here are some of my TB's.  This was the first one to go missing....

This one travelled over 11,000 miles and was in Australia where the cache it was in got destroyed and the TB was lost.

This TB travelled around for a year and then ended up back in a cache near our house, so we went and got him back, attached him to a snoopy doll and he travels with us....

This one is in Ohio with a cacher and has travelled 1730 miles so far.....

This one has only logged 570 miles so far despite being one of my first TB's.  He is in a cache in Wisconsin.

This is my favorite TB story:  I sent this one out to Hawaii with a cacher friend, who dropped it into a cache out there.  Cacher Kailua Al picked it up and asked me if I'd like him to hold onto it for awhile and dip it in and out of caches and put up pictures.  Of course I said YES!!  Kailua Al has had it for over a year and this TB has logged over 22 THOUSAND miles!  Al puts up beautiful pictures on my TB page for me.  Now of course I want to go to Hawaii.

These are some of my coins....(Hey, my husband is Italian!)

We got this coin at the annual geocachers picnic last year.  The cool thing about this one is that the pig on the spit actually spins!
 The Sanibel Island one was my first coin and a gift from my husband....
May 2010 was the 10 year anniversary of geocaching and we picked this coin up at one of the local events.
And here is Travelling Snoopy.  He was a gift from my good caching friend, Mary.  We attached my Snoopy TB to him and he's on my backpack....

Now you know what a TB is and how they work.  If you find one in a cache, please be sure to send it on it's way.  And take the time to shoot a picture if you can - we sure appreciate it!


  1. Thanks for sharing this info on TB's. Now I see how people can catch the caching bug (and find one, too!) I really had no idea how it worked, or what was involved. You make it look, and sound really fun!

  2. I haven't found a TB yet, but have wanted to!! of course, I'm only at 10 caches so far....still am looking for a caching buddy...and the time to do it!! There are hundreds right around this area!! Thanks for the virtual geocaching, I really enjoy reading about your adventures!

  3. I bet I found close to 100 caches before I came across my first TB in a cache. Be sure to really look at all the items in a cache because sometimes they are easy to miss.

  4. I like this idea even more than the regular geocaching! I love anything to do with travelling and decided to get my own travelling mascot... so the idea of sending something out into the world and random strangers participating in moving it along? brilliant!

    thanks for sharing this!

  5. Hi Cris! Glad you stoped by. I want to see a picture of your mascot. I am constantly amazed at how much trouble some people will go to for a TB. Some write me great notes and others post super pictures. I love seeing a picture with my TB in it.

  6. Hey Kim! Wish I could stop by more often... damn "real life" has been getting in the way of my spending as much time as I'd like in the blogosphere! :p

    If I ever manage to get myself organised I definitely need to look into geocaching and find out if any people are into it here in Alicante. I need to find a new activity that will get me out of doors and into nature. By which I mean I need to find new people to do that with because my friends here are all a bit too sedentary... (except for the occasional beach outing)

    Here's a link to Pol, my travelling octopod:

    He's named in honor of Paul the World Cup predicting otcopus that was such a sensation last year

    I found him in the Mallorca Aquarium last summer and was instantly captivated by his eyes. The fact that he fit perfectly in the palm of my hand just sealed the deal! He's joined me on most of my travels since then and tends to sneak into the occasional photo here and there. ;o)
    And he inspired my snowctopus last winter in Belgium! :p

  7. Hi Chris: Yes, there are definately cachers and caches in your part of the world. I am not in the least bit familiar with Spain, but based on Alicante, go to the GC website and plug in this GC code: GC2343J Is that anywhere near you? There are lots of caches around there. Once you sign up on the GC site (FREE) you will get weekly emails with new caches in your area as well as upcoming events like lunches or picnics or parties. Most of them are FREE and a good way to meet and greet other area cachers. With your outgoing personality and quest for adventure, this hobby is a natural fit for you. Let me know when you find your first cache!

    Off to look at your octopod page....

    Stop working so hard! LOL

  8. lol! That's about a 15-20' walk from my parents' appartment, the dog loves wandering around there! ;o)

    I'm definitely looking into to trying this out as soon as the dive season calms down. :o)

  9. Cris: Really? What are the chances of me finding something so close? Wow! Lucky you with the diving. I definately want to learn how to do that.

  10. I'd say needle in a haystack, except that is one of the only easy landmarks in the city with nice walking around it ;o)

    Most dive places do "dive baptisms" which means you get kind of an initiation lesson and then a trip out to sea. If you're ever out on holiday (since you live inland) on a coastal area with (ideally) warm waters, I suggest you try it out! :o)

  11. Hi Kim, cool post! I too love TBs... coins are my favorite, they're so shiny and unique. I remember ripping apart my first coin-containing cache like a kid at Christmas. I just sat and admired the work of art for a few minutes.

    The worst part about trackables is that they inevitably go missing... but I think the travels of those that survive are totally worth it. I made a post with some of my personal tips to trying to avoid trackable loss back at for those who feel the same! Thanks for the post...


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