What are Trackables?
A Trackable is a sort of physical geocaching “game piece.” You will often find them in geocaches or see them at geocaching gatherings. Each Trackable is etched with a unique code that can be used to log its movements on Geocaching.com as it travels in the real world. Some of these items have traveled hundreds of thousands of miles thanks to geocachers who move them from cache to cache!
There are three main types of Trackables: Travel Bug® Trackables, Geocoins and other Trackable Tags.
A Travel Bug is a trackable tag attached to an item that geocachers call a “hitchhiker.” Each Travel Bug has a goal set by its owner. Goals are typically travel-related, such as to visit every country in Europe or travel from coast to coast. Travel Bug Trackables move from cache to cache with the help of geocachers like you. See the “What do I do when I find a Trackable?” section of the guide for information on how you can help Trackables move.
Geocoins are customizable coins created by individuals or groups of geocachers as a kind of signature item or calling card. They function exactly like Travel Bug Trackables and should be moved to another cache, unless otherwise specified by their owners.
Other Trackable items come in various forms including patches, key rings and more. A common feature of Trackable items is that they bear a unique ID code and text noting that they are trackable at Geocaching.com.
What should I do when I find a Trackable?
You are not required to do anything with the Trackable, but if you would like to interact with it, you have two options.
- Move the Trackable
If you would like to move the Trackable to another cache, take it with you. You do not need to leave anything in its place as long as you are willing to help it on its journey. You can look up the Trackable’s goal by entering its unique Tracking Code at www.geocaching.com/track or searching for the Tracking Code on Groundspeak’s Geocaching Application.
When you take a Trackable from one cache and drop it into another, it is important to log the Trackable’s movements.
- “Discover” the Trackable
When you have seen a Trackable in person, but have not moved it, you can log that you have “discovered” it. To do so, you will need to write down the Trackable’s Tracking Code (the unique series of letters and numbers etched on the item).
How do I log a Trackable?
Instructions on logging a Trackable can be found here. If you are moving a Trackable in the real world, it is important that you also log this movement online. The steps for logging Travel Bug Trackables, Geocoins and other Trackables are the same.
Note that you should not show Tracking Codes to others or upload any photos displaying a Tracking Code. This code is only meant to be seen by those who have actually had the Trackable in their hands. If you would like to direct others to the Trackable’s page, use the Reference Code on the Trackable page (it starts with TB or GC).
Making a Trackable or Travel Bug Discoverable Only
1. Edit your Trackable.
2. Select the checkbox “Make this Trackable collectible”. Submit Changes.
3. On the right-hand column of the Trackable’s page, select the Action “Move it to your Collection” in the drop down list of Actions. Click “Go”.
You may then mark it Not Collectible if you wish. “Collectible” Trackables can be added to any cacher’s Collection in certain situations. In your case, it probably won’t matter, but I think it’s just a good policy to mark a Trackable “Not Collectible” when not actively trying to get the Trackable moved to a Collection.
When it’s in your Collection, some menu items go away. Cachers can log a note or Discover.