Enter the HQ Duck Dash: A Global Trackable Race

It’s a Duck Eat Duck World Out There…

UPDATE: Registration for the HQ Duck Dash is now closed. However, you can still enter the race by purchasing an official Deadly Duck tag, which will be automatically entered into the race upon activation (even after the official start of the race on July 20, 2016). Get a Deadly Duck.

On August 30, 2001, Geocaching.com Founder Jeremy Irish activated the world’s first trackable, TB1.

Jeremy says, “When we first started Travel Bugs, I released 7 Deadly Ducks in the wild.” Each of the new trackables were based on one of the deadly sins. These Deadly Ducks, with the names of Envy, Sloth, Pride, Gluttony, Lust and Wrath, headed out into the world to travel from geocache to geocache. (The Greed Deadly Duck was placed in a geocache that was never listed on Geocaching.com and may still be hidden in Virginia.)

Thus began a game within a game: trackables. Today there are more than 2,655,951 trackables traveling around the world — making friends, creating memories and patiently waiting to complete their mission. 

Travel Bug Story by Chiliconsushi from Geocaching on Vimeo.

In honor of the 15th anniversary of trackables, we’re hosting a worldwide trackable race featuring the reincarnated Deadly Ducks. You’re invited to enter!

The race will begin July 20, 2016 at 12:01am PST and ends on August 20, 2016 at 11:59pm PST.

How to Join the HQ Duck Dash:

  1. Get a new unactivated trackable! Enter your duck-themed trackable (like these ones!) or any other trackable without prior travel history. (Pro Tip: Do NOT place your trackable in a geocache until July 20, 2016 or later. Movement prior to this date may disqualify your trackable.)
  2. Activate it.
  3. Set your trackable’s mission. (Pro Tip: Include instructions to get your trackable to a geocaching event on August 20, International Geocaching Day.)
  4. Read the HQ Duck Dash Code of Honor. By entering a trackable into this year’s race, you agree to abide by these rules.
  5. Enter your trackable into the race by filling out this signup form by July 17, 2016. (The official Deadly Duck tags will be automatically entered into the race once they are activated, even after the official start of the race on July 20, 2016.) You must be 18 years or older to participate.
  6. Watch your trackable race to a geocaching event on International Geocaching Day!

Enter your trackable into the HQ Duck Dash.

How Do I Win?

First off, everyone’s a winner! All participating trackable owners will receive a HQ Duck Dash badge to add to their profile.

To be eligible for the following recognition, trackables must end their journey at a geocaching event on International Geocaching Day, August 20, 2016. 1st, 2nd and 3rd place winners in the following categories will be chosen and featured by Geocaching HQ, thus earning eternal and international bragging rights:

Best Trackable Photo

Awarded to the trackables with the best photo from the race as decided by HQ. Photos can be submitted through this form (by the original photographer).

Most Story-Worthy Moment (Best Log)

Awarded to the trackables with the most heartfelt, epic and/or generally entertaining log as decided by HQ. Logs must be submitted through this form (by the trackable owner or logger) to be eligible.

Furthest Distance Traveled

Awarded to the trackables that travel the greatest distance between geocaches from July 20 and August 20.

Most Geocaches Involved

Awarded to the trackables that drop in or visit the greatest number of different geocaches between July 20 and August 20.

Most Geocachers Involved

Awarded to the trackables that are grabbed and moved by the greatest number of geocachers between July 20 and August 20.

Ready to race? Get your Deadly Duck trackable from Shop Geocaching or one of our International Retailers, or register a trackable by submitting this form before July 17, 2016.

Get a Deadly Duck

Questions? Check out the Trackable Race FAQ.


Paige Edmiston
Paige (ThePaigeTurner) is a Marketing Specialist at Geocaching HQ. She likes books.
  • Pedro Costa

    this race news came very late, because i’m from Portugal and i haven´t time to buy and start the race at 20TH,

  • Turnkey84

    Pedro, the race starts on 20th July, not 20th June. That gives you a month to get organised.

  • Pedro Costa

    sorry, my mistaque

  • pw1229

    Will you get the badge if your trackable doesn’t land on an event on August 20?

  • Albatross1901

    Jeremy activated the 1st TB with an own description page.
    However, to my understanding the very first TB has been placed June 17th, 2000 by Moun10Bike in his cache Camels Prarie Stash (GC25) the oldest cache in Idaho. The Stash Hopper had no own description page and only a note at the bottom plate informed about the task to travel from cache to cache. Later Stash Hopper got an own logbook for the journey but never an own TB number or descriptive page.
    Whatever you count as the first TB it is amazing how trackables developed over the years.
    Happy Caching from Germany


    Ok,I activated my duck,but can I drop him off in a cache now,or wait until july 20.?

  • thelastfeethinker

    oh my gawd its duck season!

  • Pip-Boy3000

    Can you release you TB for this race early? Say at Geowoodstock 2016?

  • ReaderRyn

    That’s what I was wondering. Can I take it with me and visit caches until it is time to release?

  • King148

    Wondering the same thing as well and when would see the badge for the Duck Dash in our profile?

  • Russ Hankey

    I was looking for the same clarification — you can register a TB without prior travel, but once it’s activated, do you still have to wait until July 20 before putting the first mile on it?

  • Malcolm McG

    So I have my TBs ready … but where exactly are the events we have to send them on the 20th? Do we just say “Go to this place, and then get to geocaching event on International Geocaching Day (Aug 20th)” a hope that whoever ends up with it, takes it to such a place?

  • Malcolm McG

    I activated mine, then entered it in the race. I got this final message once all confirmed:

    “Thank you for entering the HQ Duck Dash! You are all set to place your trackable in a geocache when the race begins on July 20, 2016 at 12:01am PST.”

  • Joan Byrd

    Question: can I put out the duck trackables into locations before July 20? My son is about to go away to Marine boot camp and I want to get some geocaching fun in with him before he goes. I intend to send out all the ones I have into the world with him in the next week.


    I’m going on a geomission tomorrow,kayaking/hiking for about 30,I think I might just drop it in a cache. Maybe they only add up miles and visits after the july 20 date….i just don’t wanna be disqualified. Any detailed answer from groundspeak would be helpful.

  • Randall Fisher

    “As for me and my house”, I think we’ll have to sit this one out. Unfortunately the theme of the TB series does not line up with the values taught in our family.

  • King148

    This is how I’m interpreting the “rules.”

    You can release it now but they only consider the info it gathers from July 20th to August 20th.

    The goal of the TB’s is to get to ANY event held ANYWHERE on International Geocaching Day on August 20th.

    It says nothing about being disqualified for releasing them early so I’m sure it’s fine if you want to release them early.

    It would be nice if Groundspeak would address these concerns.

  • johnny cash(e)

    Hallo – eine tolle Idee

    Dies regt mich dazu an, einmal der vielen verloren gegangenen TB + Coin zu gedenken…..
    Dazu hätte ich eine ANREGUNG an Groundspeak:

    Startet doch einmal einen AUFRUF im Geocaching Blog mit dem Thema
    Ich hatte schon mehrmals bei Gesprächen ( welche eigentlich nichts mit Geocaching zu tun hatten ) das Erfolgserlebnis, dass mir jemand spontan sagte;
    “So einen” habe ich noch in der Schublade ))))-:

    So konnte ich “mehrere” TB + Coin nach monatelanger, ja 2 x nach Jahren der Ruhe !!! wieder auf Reisen schicken.
    Mit Sicherheit wird bei einem ” Aufruf” auch der eine oder andere TB/Coin wieder entdeckt.
    Da würde sich viele Owner sicher sehr freuen.
    Gruß… und tut das mal (.;

    johnny cash(e)

  • Russ Hankey

    Good to know — so I’d better hold off on dropping any of them into caches until July 20! I don’t think I’ll head out though at 3 AM ET to get any of them moving. 😀

  • Joan Byrd

    Thanks King!

  • Tom Sayer

    Has there been any clarification fro HQ about whether you can drop your entries before 7/20?

  • Victoria Robinson

    You don’t have to use the ones they have, you can make your own ‘duck’. Such as Joy Duck, Hope Duck or Love Duck.

  • King148

    Anytime! I’m in the same boat as you guys. I have a trackable entered in the race but I’m not going to release it till July 20th.

  • King148

    TRUE! Great response Victoria!

  • Jenny H.

    Ah. Oregon State Beaver fans, huh? 😉

  • Sara Fletcher

    What religion are you?

  • King148

    Don’t think so! Hopefully soon

  • Randall Fisher

    I agree, that is a good idea, but I think we’ll still sit this one out.

  • Randall Fisher

    I am a Christian, what religion are you?

  • Sugimasa Aoki

    I registered this race with the normal tag,but I do not have a reply.
    Can not this race participate use the exclusive tag?

  • Victoria

    I love this idea, but wish it were a longer race. Something like Solstice to Solstice. Lots of folks in the world are in the dead of winter now, and we N. Hemis are at an advantage. I would also like an answer
    as to whether or not we can release our ducks now or do we wait till July 20? I hope not – I have to work that day…like lots of people!

  • Sara Fletcher

    Jehovah’s Witness. I just love that scripture.

  • Debbie Molenkamp

    The first step contains the Pro tip: DO NOT release your duck before the 20th otherwise it may be disqualified. So if I were you…hang on to that duck till the 20th ?

  • bigmama763

    From what I read, you can be disqualified if you release it before July 20th.

  • Billy

    As long as you release after July 20th you’re fine….it doesn’t have to be that day just not before

  • bleef

    I didn’t know christians were anti-duck. Good to know.

  • Araceli

    So do I have to buy a duck tag or can I use the regular tag ?

    Also, when I release it, can I help it travel? Or is it supposed to travel with other cachers only?

  • Randall Fisher

    Anti-duck, no. Anti-sin, yes.

  • Adam C Schoenwald

    Duck Dash during the Summer Olympics…nice

  • bleef

    Thanks for letting us all know your weird stance on a geocaching trackable race. It matters to us, really it does.

  • I think, the “Seven Deadly Sins” are Bible based (Proverbs 6:16-19 & Galatians 5:19-21) and in no way is HQ condoning the Seven Deadly sins. In fact I would think that it would remind us of what they are, just like it does in the Bible…and that we should live our lives remembering what they are and avoid the “Seven Deadly Sins” in our daily lives. With that said, how would participating in this Duck Dash not line up with the values taught in your family? Not sure i understand that dynamic? But would be interested to know!