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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.

 

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Three Cheers for Brazil, Geocaching’s Newest Country Souvenir!

Brazil Geocaching Souvenir will be officially released on Monday, December 22, 2014
Brazil Geocaching Souvenir will be officially released on Monday, December 22, 2014

 

Yes folks, the time has come: Brazil is getting its very own Geocaching Country Souvenir! You’ve seen Croatia, Italy, Mexico, Belgium, and now you get to see Brazil!

Souvenirs are virtual pieces of art that are displayed on your Geocaching profile page when you find a geocache in certain locations. This holiday season we’re releasing six beauties to decorate your profile!

Take a virtual vacation and tour of some of Brazil’s best geocaches. After all, Brazil is known as the Land of Happiness, so let’s get happy, and let’s get going!

Five Wonderful Geocaches from Brazil
Five Wonderful Geocaches from Brazil

 

1. First on our list is  GC4KZEY Pão de Açúcar (Sugarloaf Mountain) EarthCache in Rio de Janeiro. This EarthCache is located in a public area atop the Urca and Sugarloaf hills. The cable car leaves a ground station located at the base of the Babilônia hill to the Urca hill and then to the Pão de Açúcar. And if that isn’t exciting enough, you could always reenact that famous action scene from the 1979 James Bond film Moonraker (…just kidding, that’s much too dangerous!)

GC4KZEY - Pao de Acucar
GC4KZEY – Pao de Acucar

 

2. Next stop on the tour is also in Rio at GCX2R1 Na Padaria (RJ). Some geocachers wonder if this geocache is really a T3, or  more of a T5. If you decide to see for yourself, make sure to hike with a friend, bring some water, and wear sturdy shoes. Geocachers have been known to see monkeys on these hills, submarines in the water, and unparalleled views of the world while on this trek.

Na Padaria (RJ)
Na Padaria (RJ)

 

3. Time for a visit to the exotic rainforests of Brazil. GC3AN8N Fig tree Traditional Cache is placed in one of the most important remnants of the Atlantic Rain Forest in Southern Brazil. The forest extends along the Atlantic coast of Brazil from the Rio Grande in the north to the Rio Grande in the south, and as far inland as Paraguay and Argentina. Countless types of species and plants can only be found within this Eden on earth.

GC3AN8N - Fig tree
GC3AN8N – Fig tree

 

4. The Iguazu River forms the boundary between Argentina and Brazil. Legend has it that a deity planned to marry a beautiful woman named Naipí, who fled with her mortal lover Tarobá in a canoe. In a rage, the deity sliced the river, creating the waterfalls and condemning the lovers to an eternal fall.

Take a day to visit the falls and the traditional geocache GC3FMPF Frederico Engel. The namesake of this geocache was a man of German heritage who fought against the privatization of the falls. Find him and shake his hands and post your photo!

GC3FMPF - Frederico Engel
GC3FMPF – Frederico Engel

 

5. No list of Brazilian geocaches would be complete without the ultimate of all geocache types, the rarest of all icons that can still be claimed, and one of the most famous geocaches in the world, GCC67 Mission 4: Southern Bowl Project A.P.E. Cache!

In 2001, fourteen geocaches were placed in conjunction with 20th Century Fox to support the movie Planet of the Apes. Each geocache represented a fictional story in which scientists revealed an Alternative Primate Evolution (A.P.E.). These geocaches were made using specially marked ammo containers and contained an original prop from the movie. This one is the only A.P.E. geocache left in the world.

After 13 years in the jungle, this elusive geocache has acquired over 300 logged visits, and only 1 DNF. The tagline for this movie was, “Rule the planet”…and you just might if you obtain this cache.

GCC67 - Mission 4: Southern Bowl Project A.P.E. Cache
GCC67 – Mission 4: Southern Bowl Project A.P.E. Cache

 

Ready to go bananas for Brazil? We will unveil the last of the six country Souvenirs on Thursday, December 18th, and then retroactively award them ALL on Monday, December 22, 2014 to anyone who’s ever geocached in these countries!

A list of of currently available Geocaching Souvenirs and even the ones you’ve already earned can be found on Geocaching.com.

Follow us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, or right here on our Blog to find out what’s next!

Have you dreamed of finding, or actually found Brazil’s A.P.E Cache? Tell us about your dream journey! 

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Viva la Mexican Geocaching Souvenir!

Mexico Geocaching Souvenir will be officially released on Monday, December 22, 2014
Mexico Geocaching Souvenir will be officially released on Monday, December 22, 2014

Officially known as the United Mexican States, did you know that Mexico:

  • had it’s first geocache placed on Christmas day in the year 2000
  • has a geocache located 5,564 m (18,253 ft) above sea level on an inactive volcano called Pico de Orizaba
  • is an extremely popular geocaching vacation destination, and…

…is the newest Geocaching Country Souvenir to be released this month? Yes it’s true! If the allure of white sandy beaches, ancient civilizations, rich culture, delicious food, and tequila wasn’t enough, now you can also earn a geocaching Souvenir for Mexico (this, in addition to CroatiaItaly, and three other new Souvenirs to be revealed soon). Souvenirs are virtual pieces of art that are displayed on your Geocaching profile page when you find a geocache in certain locations.

To wet your whiskers for this occasion, we’ve put together five must-see geocaches from the birthplace of the sun. Enjoy!

5 Must-see Geocaches for Mexico!
5 Must-see Geocaches for Mexico!

 

1. GC319DN – Lands End – EarthCache

We begin our journey on the verrrrrrrrrrrrry southern tip of the Baja California Peninsula, El Arco de Cabo San Lucas, a.k.a. Lands End Arch. Make sure you travel by boat to find this geocache, otherwise you’ll have come a long way for a DNF. Besides, it’s really the ideal way to view the Cabo San Lucas rock formation. There are several small beaches located in this area, and according to the geocache page, “…an entire Love Life-Cycle can run it’s course at Lands End. Fall in Love at Lover’s Beach, conceive children in Pirates Cave, and ends at Divorce Beach.”

GC319DN - Lands End
GC319DN – Lands End


2. GC3B5XW – Gringo Gulch Lighthouse – Traditional Geocache

Now onto the mainland, and the Mexican beach resort city of Puerto Vallarta. There you will find an old lighthouse from the 1930’s that has been decommissioned and restored as a landmark. It is now a navigational beacon and popular tourist attraction. And if you make the trek and climb to the top of the spiral staircase, the geocache page promises you’ll see, “…one of the finest views of Puerto Vallarta’s traditional red-tiled roofs, not to mention the entire bay, from Yelapa at its southernmost end to Punta De Mita at the northern tip.”

And here’s a little known fact: Puerto Vallarta was catapulted into international consciousness in 1963 when The Night of the Iguana directed by John Huston, was filmed there. This film starred Richard Burton, and he brought his soon-to-be-wife Elizabeth Taylor to the location during filming. Their relationship had recently become public knowledge and they were hounded by the press.

GC3B5XW – Gringo Gulch Lighthouse

 

3. GC1DDE – Pyramid of the Sun – Virtual Geocache

Our next stop on the tour is located about 40 kilometers (25 mi) northeast of Mexico’s capital city, Mexico City. There you will find the pre-Columbian Mesoamerican city known as Teotihuacan, The New World’s First Great City.

Enormous in size, at its zenith, Teotihuacan housed up to 200,000 residents and encompassed 12 square miles. The civilization which flourished at Teotihuacan was contemporary to that of ancient Rome. However, unlike that fallen city, Teo’s civilization lasted centuries beyond Rome’s demise. Remarkably, Teotihuacan seems to have sprung up out of nowhere, having no precedent in the ancient world. Archaeological evidence does indicate that the geographic area of Teotihuacan was inhabited by humans as early as 500 B.C. However, actual construction activities of the great city didn’t commence until 1 B.C. with the initial building phase of the site’s famous Pyramid of the Sun.

GC1DDE – Pyramid of the Sun

 

4. GC1JX5J – Ruinas Arqueologicas – Traditional Geocache

Do you like animals? We mean all types of animals – feathered, fuzzy, or scaled. If so, head on over to the Yucatan Peninsula and the surrounding grounds of the Ruinas Arqueologicas. Three Mayan Pyramids are located on this site with many native animals making this non-commercial piece of property their home as well. You’ll see plenty of birds, an occasional coatimundi, and quite a few iguanas.  And oh yeah – look out for the snakes. 🙂

GC1JX5J - Ruinas Arqueologicas
GC1JX5J – Ruinas Arqueologicas

 

5. GC2NTRK – The Secret River – EarthCache

Our final destination is a D4/T4 full of stalactites, stalagmites, columns, and helictites. “What are those?” you may ask. Well, you’ll just have to visit this EarthCache to find out. The cache page describes this experience in alluring beauty:

Close your eyes. You hear nothing but silence and the faint sound of trickling water in the background. Imagine you are 80 feet below ground with your eyes open in the pitch black. You are one with Mother Earth. You are somewhere along an 800 meter stretch of a 14 kilometer underground river that originates in the interior of the peninsula and empties into the sea. The lights come back on. Look up and see thousands of jagged-edged stalactites pointing towards your head like the tips of poison Mayan arrows. It looks like you are either on another planet or on the set of a blockbuster Hollywood movie.

GC2NTRK - The Secret River
GC2NTRK – The Secret River

So there you have it, amigos. Five glorious reasons to travel to the wondrous land of Mexico and earn yourself yet another souvenir.

We will unveil two new Souvenirs each week until all SIX are officially released and awarded on Monday, December 22, 2014 to be proudly displayed on your profile. A list of of currently available Geocaching Souvenirs and even the ones you’ve already earned can be found on Geocaching.com.

Follow us on social media, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, or right here on our Blog to find out which countries are next!

Have you found a geocache in Mexico? How was your adventure?

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Croatia! Hrvatska! New Country Souvenirs! Ura!

Croatia/Hrvatska Geocaching Souvenir will be officially released on Monday, December 22nd, 2014
Croatia/Hrvatska Geocaching Souvenir will be officially released on Monday, December 22nd, 2014

Croatia, a.k.a. Republika Hrvatska, is a centuries-old country that is situated between central and eastern Europe and the Adriatic Sea. It covers 56,594 square kilometers (21,851 square miles) with a population of over 4.3 million. Croatia has it all – mountains, beaches, bustling cities, big outdoor adventures, culture, art, and of course, geocaches. Lots and lots of geocaches.

Country Souvenirs are virtual pieces of art that are displayed on your Geocaching profile page when you find a geocache in certain locations.

Today we proudly unveil the Geocaching Souvenir for The Land of a Thousand Islands: Croatia! To celebrate, we are also highlighting five must-see geocaches from this marvelous land. Ura! 

Croatia's 5 Must-See Geocaches
Croatia’s 5 Must-See Geocaches

 

1. GC34ZA7 – Tkalca – Zagreb – Traditonal Geocache

We begin our tour in the capitol city of Zagreb on Tkalčićeva Street. Full of restaurants, pubs, coffee shops, and plenty of nightlife, this is a great place to meet up with friends, take a stroll, or grab a traditional geocache. And while you’re there, make sure to visit the statue of Marija Juric Zagorka, a Croatian journalist, novelist, and dramatist.

Tklaca
Tklaca

2. GC1FNKR – plitvice lakes – Earth Cache

Next we head south to the very famous series of 16 cascading lakes known as Plitvice Lakes. This breathtaking natural wonder ranges in color from tropical blue to slate grey depending on the amount of minerals and/or organisms, and the angle of the sunlight. At 282 Favorite Points, this geocache is the most geo-beloved in the entire country.

If you need more, check out this link to a virtual panorama and an interactive map from the Plitvice Lakes National Parks website.

Plitvice Lakes
Plitvice Lakes

3. GC1TDDE – Kamenjak Sandy Beach – in the vicinity of Pula near the small village Premantura – Traditional Geocache

Third stop on our tour is in Cape Kamenjak. So says the geocache page:

…one of the most beautiful areas in the vicinity of Pula, near the small and pittoresque village of Premantura. It’s the southernmost part of the peninsula of Istria, a strip of land fully exposed to the sun and the sea.

The coastline and beaches of Cape Kamenjak are rocky, some small gravel beaches are situated in beautiful coves – and you wouldn’t believe it, but there also exists a tiny and small sandy beach in this area, one of the very few sandy beaches all over Istria! In summer it is crowded, of course, but in spring or autumn it’s a nice place to take a bath in the clear and blue waters of Cape Kamenjak. This little traditional will lead you to this cove…have fun!

So grab a picnic basket, some sunscreen, and your cache-bag, and start searchin’!

Kamenjak Sandy Beach

4. GC322MF – Zadar Sea Organ – Zadar – Traditional Geocache

The amazing sculpture/instrument known as the Sea Organ (Croatian: Morske orgulje) is made up of  tubes located underneath a set of large marble steps underwater. The movement of the waves crashing over the tubes creates music. At sunset, the Sun Salutation switches on and displays a series of bright colorful lights. The motion of the lights depends on the solar energy collected throughout the day as well as the power of the waves and mimics the motion of the solar system. All eight planets are represented by solar lights placed at their proportional distances from the sun. Both installations were designed by the architect Nikola Bašić. Far out!

Zadar Sea Organ
Zadar Sea Organ

5. GCG8XE – Port a Foot – Dubrovnic – Virtual Geocache

Our final destination is Dubrovnik (also spelled Dubrovnic), known as the ‘Pearl of the Adriatic’. Dubrovnik is believed to be one of the ten best preserved medieval walled cities in the world. It’s full of Gothic, Renaissance, and Baroque churches, monasteries, palaces, and fountains. Absolutely gorgeous!

Dubrovnic Port a Foot
Dubrovnic Port a Foot

Yep. It’s definitely time to book your flight to Croatia to see the amazing sites and earn this sweet souvenir!

We will unveil two new souvenirs each week until all SIX are officially released and awarded on Monday, December 22, 2014 to be proudly displayed on your profile. Souvenirs that are currently available can be found here. You can view which ones you’ve already earned by checking out your Souvenirs on Geocaching.com.

Follow us on social (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, or right here on our Blog) to find out which countries are next!

 

What’s your favorite geocaching souvenir that  you’ve earned?