Geocaching trackables add another level of fun to the game! Regardless of the season, trackables are always a good idea. Trackables are geocaching game pieces owned by geocachers. Each trackable is etched with a unique tracking code and given a goal by its owner. The goal may be to travel to another country or to visit as many beaches as possible, the sky’s the limit, (literally)!
You can retrieve them, discover them, and even collect them! Trackables are placed in caches to be picked up by other geocachers, who help move them to their goals, but trackables are also popular at Events. If you find a trackable in a geocache, make it your mission to move the trackable along its way!
If you’re new to trackables or need a refresher, here is a guide to key trackable terms so that you know what to do the next time you come across a trackable in a cache. Please note that we understand the “next time” may be a while given the current state of the world. As always, please follow the guidelines from your regional health officials!
Ever dreamed about finding hidden treasure that leads you to delicious and healthy food? It’s safe to say that most of us gave up on those ideas some time around adolescence. Halo Top and Geocaching think that’s a shame, so we’ve partnered up to give people back just a little bit of that childlike wonder.
Magic: The Gathering is the first, and most popular trading card game of all time. To celebrate the release of a new card set, they’ve teamed up with geocaching to release thousands of trackables to geocachers and fans all over the world!
Magic fans and geocachers are invited to explore the newest plane of the Magic Multiverse, IXALAN! On your journey, discover dangerous dinosaurs and plundering pirates as you seek out caches around the globe. Take a Magic: The Gathering, IXALAN Treasure Piece trackable with you from cache to cache to reveal hidden secrets (and maybe some card previews). Share your latest find on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter using the hashtags #MTGGeocachers and #MTGXLN.
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?
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.
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.)
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.
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.
When CarpeCrew and #36 set out in search of GC3CZ72, they weren’t expecting to find anything. The geocache was placed in February of 2012, on National Forest land just northwest of Colorado Springs. 13 finds and four months later, the Waldo Canyon Fire tore through the region. It was one of the most destructive fires in the state’s history. There was little to indicate that the geocache had survived—no finds, no DNFs, no comment from the geocache owner.
Two years later, a forest road near where the geocache was placed was reopened, and CarpeCrew and #36, saw their chance to explore the area, visit an old personal landmark, and perhaps find an EarthCache in honor of International EarthCache Day. When they saw that GC3CZ72 was supposed to be nearby, they took a chance and trotted toward where their phones were putting it.
And there it was…right on the spot. The charred and blackened ammo can was spotted and opened, though not without a bit of difficulty. The identifiable geocache inventory was as follows:
Charred remains of a logbook (visible in the photo)
Several key rings
Pens and pencils
A button that belonged to a local geocacher
A charred and pockmarked Travel Bug tag
After a full treatment of sprite, baking soda, and vinegar, the Travel Bug’s tracking code was almost complete. It only took a few guesses as to what the last number could be, for the TB to reveal itself. CarpeCrew and #36 posted their story to the Geocaching Colorado – GCCO Facebook page, immediately generating dozens of comments from other geocachers.
The bug had originally been placed in a geocache in Colorado Springs in 2007. At the time, it contained the clues to a Mystery Cache in Colorado Springs. That Mystery Cache has since been archived, and the original owner of the TB doesn’t play much anymore.
CarpeCrew and #36 have yet to decide what they’re going to do with the trackable, but re-releasing it into a geocache nearby is definitely an option. So unless this was an elaborate experiment to test what type of trackable was the sturdiest, we think this was one lucky Travel Bug. Keep an eye out for it if you’re geocaching in Colorado in the next few weeks…and if you’re concerned about the fire safety of your trackable, a TB tag might be a good investment. 😉