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4 Legendary Trackables Every Geocacher Should Find

Article written by Katie DiJulio

In the last 12 years, over four million geocachers have participated in one of dozens of geocaching-based Trackable promotions in partnership with adventurous brands around the globe. From John Grisham fans seeking gold ingot Geocoins to Jeep enthusiasts on the hunt for toy Jeeps, there are unique experiences for every type of geocacher. 

Trackable promotions give geocachers a unique opportunity to engage with some of their favorite brands on a digital and physical level while spending time enjoying their hobby. Partnerships have included free Trackable giveaways, pre-release sneak peeks, and photo contests with prizes ranging from a set of new tires for your vehicle (road trip anyone?) to all expense paid trips. Each branded trackable builds a unique story as it travels. Trackables continue to generate engagement for years as geocachers discover and display these pieces of history at events, on social media, and online via their collection of unique digital icons (who wouldn’t want to collect a fancy little achievement for your profile page?) How many of these promotional Trackables have you spotted?

Jeep
1. Jeep 4×4 sweepstakes

This was one of the first branded Geocaching promotions and the first time digital icons were introduced on geocaching profile pages. Over 24,000 Trackables were attached to Matchbox Jeeps and released in different color batches from 2004-2007. Jeep trackables have traveled over 16 million miles to date and have become a staple within the geocaching community. The first Yellow Jeep in the promotion was even inspired by the Yellow Jeep Fever, locationless cache, which was a life size jeep! Throughout the promotion Geocachers submitted photos and essays about the Trackables for a chance to win the top prize: a full size Jeep vehicle.

 

Jeep2
“As small as those TBs were in the grand scheme of life, participating in those promotions brought me an immense amount of joy.” – Brian – Team A.I., 2007 photo contest winner

Want to discover a jeep for yourself? Follow their latest movements or stop by Geocaching HQ’s museum!

 

gold 2. John Grisham Hunt for the Gold

Doubleday publishing group’s 2012 Geocaching partnership focused on John Grisham’s new book “The Racketeer.” 5,000 custom gold ingot trackable geocoins were distributed to geocachers who then placed and moved them from geocache to geocache to mirror the book’s plot, in which ill-gained gold bars are moved around the United States. In addition to moving the ingot trackables over 17 million miles, geocachers showed off their photography skills for a chance to win the grand prize of a real gold ingot! The trackable program was paired with Facebook ads and geocachers flooded the John Grisham Facebook page, which gained 72,000 new Facebook fans and an increase in reach of 220% (according to Marketing Sherpa.)

 

The winning picture was of a young boy who posed with the "Grisham Geocoin" as a character, Theodore Boon, from Grisham's series of young adult novels.
The winning picture was of a young boy who posed with the “Grisham Geocoin” as a character, Theodore Boon, from Grisham’s series of young adult novels.
The story continues two years later: “Big score at Goodwill lol. Figured I had the trackable, might as well read the book. Both books for only $2. Might need to use for another library cache” - Jason Winder / animjason, Facebook, 12/2/2014.
The story continues two years later: “Big score at Goodwill lol. Figured I had the trackable, might as well read the book. Both books for only $2. Might need to use for another library cache” – Jason Winder / animjason, Facebook, 12/2/2014.

 

Geico

 

3. Geico Find the Gecko

GEICO’s 2011 Geocaching promotion released 9,000 Trackable tags designed in the shape of the iconic gecko mascot into the hands of geocachers across the United States. The tags were sent on their way while spreading awareness for the “Find the Gecko” sweepstakes in which one Magellan Explorist GC GPS unit was given away to a lucky geocacher winner each week of the 20 week promotion! The gecko trackables were moved by geocachers over 73,000 times and remain one of the most popular trackables being discovered around the world, averaging 29 touchpoints a day years later.

 

SHC’s Danger Ranger Geico Trackable has traveled the world collecting more miles traveled than any other Geico Trackable with a total of 326,315 miles (mapped above) since it was released into the game on June 11th, 2011.
SHC’s Danger Ranger Geico Trackable has traveled the world collecting more miles traveled than any other Geico Trackable with a total of 326,315 miles (mapped above) since it was released into the game on June 11th, 2011.

Michlelin

 

4. Michelin Quest for Adventure

In 2014, Michelin celebrated their 125th Anniversary by launching a geocaching campaign to promote tire safety via a social media based photo contest. With 2,000 Trackable tags designed in the shape of a tire and attached to actual Michelin Man tire pressure gauges, geocachers were destined for success on the road. Geocachers across the United States tapped into their inner photography talent by submitting over 1,000 photos portraying a sense of adventure to the official photo contest by using the hashtag #MichelinQuest on Twitter, Instagram, or Facebook. The Michelin Trackables have traveled almost 1.3 million miles in just 4 months and have saved many tricycle tires from getting too low on air.

 

 

Geocachers submitted 1000+ photos over 4 months to the #MichelinQuest contest by adding the hashtag #MichelinQuest on Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook.
Geocachers submitted 1000+ photos over 4 months to the #MichelinQuest contest by adding the hashtag #MichelinQuest on Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook.

These are just a few of the many examples of promotional trackable history. You can locate these promotional trackable types by looking up their latest movements on each of their home pages. Keep an eye on the Geocaching Facebook page and join 3.9 million other people who have subscribed to the geocaching weekly newsletter to learn when new contests and new free trackable series are available.

 

Janelle
Joined Geocaching HQ in the fall of 2014 as Community Manager. Kind to animals. Loved by children. Excels at DNFs.
  • Tarfu

    Am I missing something? Title says “4 Legendary Trackables Every Geocacher Should Find” but I only see 3 listed in the article. I had a Gieco but it never got logged out of a cache. I have also found a gold ingot, several Jeeps and Gieco’s.

  • Tarfu

    Okay, now there are 4.

  • Brett

    Unfortunately unless you live in the USA, you don’t get to be involved in these promotions.

  • Brett, That’s all changing. More and more partners in Europe are unleashing trackables. Skoda offered a European trackable just last year: http://www.skodageocaching.com/int Subscribe to the Weekly Newsletter to be the first to know when a trackable campaign is launched near you. ~ Eric

  • Dave DeBaeremaeker

    It would be awesome to find a truly international partner for some of these. so it can be more global.

  • Daniel

    Same for us poor Aussies. We miss out on everything down here!

  • Ray

    Too many of the Jeep travel bugs are stuck in the Texas mud, this one(
    North Prong Saint Sebastian River (FL)” Red Jeep Travel Bug, tb1nnpwe) has bearly moved in over a year

  • Redbeard 4570

    I agree with Dave. I missed getting a Jeep at an event about 2 years ago. Sadly that’s as close to one of them as I’ve gotten. Hope more companies will get into this. Michelin man is still on my radar also. The other two I’ve found! I’m also proud owner of both of the Texas A&M trackables!

  • Team Tierra Buena

    Fact check: The “Yellow Jeep Fever” locationless cache predated the Jeep trackable promotion by about two years. It was placed to recognize Arizona geocachers “Team Wyle E”, whose cachemobile was a yellow Jeep, on their 300th find, back when 300 finds was a major accomplishment. It had nothing to do with the Jeep trackable promotion.

  • olleoljud

    Legendary…? well, I guess it depends where you live…Here in Sweden I’ve only seen one of these, the jeep trackable. And… I’m also a little ambivalent about these commercial promotion travel bugs, we geocachers may hardly name any company or association when we make Geocaches or organizing events…

  • twoofnine

    Although it began in the USA, geocaching is now an international hobby. It’s time Americans learned that USA-wide is not worldwide!!!

  • anonymous

    Why is the jeep trackable showing his id ?

  • Redhedmary

    Many of us in the US don’t get to participate either unless we’re lucky enough to find one that wasn’t kept and was actually placed in a cache. Tried to get one of each of these and struck out every time.

  • Jim

    Yeah, that’s a major historical blunder to say the Yellow Jeep Fever Locationless cache was inspired by the Jeep Travel Bug promotions. Enough of one that the post should be corrected, or even a small retraction post is in order. I was around for all 4 of the years, and yes, it was USA only (although many made their way to Canada). Many people did “hoard” them, and never release them, but if you were an active cacher all those 4 years, it was pretty easy to get your hands on at least one of each. I have all 4 icons.

  • Jeremy Irish

    Thanks for pointing that out! It was definitely an error and the article has been fixed. As the creator of the promotion, my choice of a yellow Jeep was definitely inspired by the locationless cache. So it did have to do with the trackable promotion though the inspiration was incorrectly flipped in the article’s original text.

  • Jeremy Irish

    Worldwide promotions are practically impossible due to the legal requirements, which is why there are US only promotions and other country specific promotions.

  • Jeremy Irish

    It’s always been an international hobby and we have done many promotions outside of the US. Just because we are based in the US doesn’t mean we haven’t responded to each and every opportunity to have promotions in other countries. If you didn’t notice, the web site has been translated into 22 languages which doesn’t seem that US-centric to me.

  • marutenho

    Hmmm, I had been expecting something more like the OCB and not so much commercially motivated stuff here …

  • We have been able to find the Jeep and Gecko a couple of times and have even taken them internationally. I would have to agree with our good friend Dave on working on a way to allow everyone around the world to get in on the fun. We love finding themed trackables during our travels.

  • twoofnine

    Thanks for your response Jeremy, we love geocaching and agree that it is truly international, it was just that the email heading reads: “4 Legendary
    Trackables Every Geocacher Should Find” but unless they are taken outside the US, most cachers will be unable to.

  • Jeremy Irish

    It’s definitely difficult to find them “in the wild.” Most of these Trackables end up outside the US and quite a few end up at Mega Events around the world for discovery though. It isn’t condoned but some folks collect them over time and share them with the rest of the community at these events too.