Did you know there are over one million* active trackables traveling around the world from geocache to geocache? Trackables add a layer of fun to the game, letting you experience an epic journey, one story and one geocache at a time. Whether you’re a seasoned geocacher or a newbie just starting out, here are five reminders about trackables.
1. Trackable (trakābəl), noun
Trackables are traveling game pieces that geocachers send out into the world by placing in a geocache or at an event. Trackables come in many shapes and sizes, and each one has a tracking code: a unique series of letters and numbers. This code allows geocachers to track the real-world travels of the item online. Trackables may have missions or goals they are trying to achieve, which makes their journeys more fun! You can read entries of your trackable’s travels, see photos from your trackable’s travels, and connect with geocachers who carry your trackable from geocache to geocache.
2. SWAG is swapped and trackables travel
If you take a SWAG (Stuff We All Get) item from a geocache, then you should leave something of equal or greater value behind. However, trackables move from cache to cache, so no need to leave a trackable when you take one. Just ensure you can help move a trackable toward its goal if you take one from a geocache!
3. Log or it never happened
Logging a trackable helps the owner know it has been picked up and that its journey is continuing. When you find a trackable, follow these steps to log a trackable in the Geocaching® app:
- From the cache details, scroll down and select Trackables.
- Select Log from the trackable you wish to log.
- Enter the trackable’s tracking code to select from the log types Retrieve, Discover, or Grab. Or select Write Note.
- Write your log, submit a photo if you wish, and post!
4. Keep on keepin’ on
Each trackable may have a mission or goal that it is trying to achieve. Some trackable goals are specific, such as visiting every state in the US, or some just want to go on adventures to as many caches as they can. Most often, a trackable just wants to be moved. So, when grabbing a trackable from a cache, move it along in a timely manner to a cache where it is likely be picked up by someone else and actually will fit. Try to move it closer to its goal even if you can’t move it far.
5. The muggle struggle is real
Sometimes trackables go missing. There are a number of reasons: a cacher mistook a trackable for a SWAG item, a trackable was dropped and lost (but sometimes they’re found!), or a cache is—dun dun dun—muggled. Some believe that muggles are just people who aren’t geocachers yet, but until they come to that realization, we still have to encounter their mistakes! If you think a trackable is missing, follow these steps to inform the cache owner and trackable owner. If it’s truly missing, the trackable owner can reuse the lost item’s tracking code on a replacement item.
Inspired to send a trackable out on a journey of its own? View our trackable album on Facebook to gather some ideas for your next trackable or visit the collection at Shop Geocaching! But we want to know, what’s the best trackable you’ve ever encountered? If you’re a seasoned geocacher, what tips do you have about trackables? Tell us in the comments below!
*trackables with a log since August 1, 2017.