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3 Secrets of Trackable Racing Revealed

You’ve joined the HQ Duck Dash and you’re in it to win it — “it” being global recognition and eternal bragging rights of course.

Like competitive sports everywhere, trackable racing has its insider secrets. So what is the “carb-loading” (marathon running) or “jaw-xercising” (competitive eating) equivalent of trackable racing?

It all comes down to collaboration and communication! While not immediately obvious, the HQ Duck Dash is a team sport — you’re just playing with people you’ve most likely never met. Your job, as trackable team captain, is to get all your faraway teammates on the same page.

Here are 3 tips to get you started:

TB Tip #1: Establish a clear goal for your trackable. With five very different categories, it’s unlikely that you’ll sweep them all. Pick and choose your strengths!

TB Tip #2: Communicate your goal clearly on the trackable page so that other geocachers can help your trackable along. The trackable mission statement at the end of this blog post can be used as a sample for your own trackable racer. Make sure you tailor it to the HQ Duck Dash categories you’d like to compete in — and don’t forget to include the part about ending at an International Geocaching Day event on August 20!

TB Tip #3: Send encouraging messages to your fellow geocachers using the Message Center — encouraging being the key word here. Trackable racing is a polite sport!

Sample Mission Statement

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Every trackable entered into HQ Duck Dash will receive a special digital icon, helping to identify it as part of the race.

This trackable is competing in the HQ Duck Dash!

This trackable <TB name> is racing in the HQ Duck Dash 2016. To be eligible for global recognition and eternal bragging rights, it needs to make it to a geocaching event on International Geocaching Day (August 20, 2016). You can find a list of events here: https://www.geocaching.com/calendar/

<TB name> is competing in the following race categories:

  • Most Geocaches Involved
  • Most Story-Worthy Moment (Best Log)

Please move this trackable to its next geocache and leave a nice log about your experience to help it meet its goal! Thank you!

Go here to learn more about the HQ Duck Dash.

What tips do you have for trackable racing success? Tell us in the comments below.
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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.

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HQ Duck Dash Code of Honor

By entering the HQ Duck Dash, you agree to the following:

Trackable etiquette is important for (1) ensuring a fun and fair race and (2) furthering world peace. The Participant understands that this race is all in good fun and agrees to exercise, to the best of their ability, good manners such as the following:

  • Never, under any circumstance, fake (aka ‘couch’) log a trackable.
  • Log that you have retrieved the trackable from the geocache as soon as you’re able.
  • Move other trackables along in a timely fashion, even if they are your competitors and your deepest desire is for eternal bragging rights.
  • Do not bring chaos to the universe by attaching the same tracking code to multiple objects.

Participant understands that this list is by no means exhaustive and agrees not to seek loopholes of any kind.

Participant understands that violating this Code shall jeopardize (i) the existence of fun in the world and (ii) your trackable’s ability to bring home glory (aka bragging rights) of both the eternal and international kind. Given the size of the geocaching audience (millions!) and shortage of HQ drones, the participant understands that Geocaching HQ will not enforce all aspects of this Code; however, violating this Code may place your trackable at risk of disqualification (seriously).

Learn more about the HQ Duck Dash.

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Get Inspired By These Epic GeoTours

What’s your dream vacation? Sandy beaches? Adventure and intrigue? Incredible geocaches? These epic GeoTours — curated collections of geocaches designed to introduce you to new locations — have all of the above.

GeoTour Azores (Azores Islands, Portugal): These 9 islands of volcanic origin represent a true getaway from the city life and a real connection with nature.

Sicily GeoTour (Sicily, Italy): Discover crystal-clear waters, heavenly beaches, majestic mountains and volcanoes, ancient traditions and unique cuisine.

Passport pour le Nord GeoTour (New Caledonia, South Pacific): Explore the ancient forests, stunning waterfalls and beaches of this South Pacific island.

Bermuda Conservation GeoTour (Bermuda, North Atlantic): Uncover Bermuda’s hidden island treasures by exploring the beaches, coastline and forested areas of this unique natural environment.

Looking for something closer to home? Good news: There are now 60+ GeoTours around the world, and each comes with its own story-worthy locations you’ll want to write home about. Learn more about GeoTours on the Geocaching Blog.

Pack your bags for these new GeoTours coming soon:

  • The Heart of Sweden GeoTour in Örebro, Sweden
  • Route 66 White Mountain GeoTour in Arizona, USA
  • Kyle Texas GeoTour in Texas, USA.

Follow @GeoToursHQ on Twitter to get all the latest GeoTour news.

Find a GeoTour

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Celebrate Get Outdoors Month 2016!

Every geocacher has experienced the magic of the great outdoors. That magic — whether it’s diving into a cold alpine lake at the end of an arduous hike or watching the sun disappear over the horizon from a hidden beach — is the reason we’re teaming up with the American Recreation Coalition for National Get Outdoors Month this June. And you’re invited to join us!

Here’s how you can get involved in Get Outdoors Month:

  1. Earn the Get Outdoors Day souvenir! To do so, find any geocache or attend any geocaching event on Saturday, June 11, 2016.
  1. Participate in one of the Get Outdoors Month activities (listed here) or host your own geocaching event to introduce your friends to the great outdoors. Please note that there is no souvenir for participating in these events, except on June 11, Get Outdoors Day.
  1. Celebrate the National Park Service’s second century by exploring the “Find Your Park” GeoTour. Do you have a fourth grader in your family? The “Every Kid in a Park” initiative grants free admission until August 2016 to each and every fourth grader (and their guests) across the country to check out their public lands and waters in person.
  1. Inspire others to get outdoors by sharing your Get Outdoors Month experiences on social media! Tag your posts with #Geocaching #GetOutdoors for a chance to be reshared by Geocaching.
Frequently Asked Questions

Will there be a souvenir for attending a Get Outdoors Month event?

There is no souvenir for attending a geocaching event during June, with the exception of Get Outdoors Day. If you attend a geocaching event in the USA on June 11, 2016, you will receive the Get Outdoors Day souvenir.

I don’t live in the US. Can I still earn the Get Outdoors Day Souvenir!

Yes, you can! The Get Outdoors Day souvenir is part of a bigger initiative with the American Recreation Coalition and other US-based outdoor organizations to get more Americans outside during National Get Outdoors Month. Given the interest expressed by geocachers all over the world in participating in Get Outdoors Day, we’ve decided to make the souvenir available to anyone who finds a geocache or attends an event (anywhere in the world!) on June 11, 2016.