How can we help?

HomeTrackables → Printer Friendly Version

Trackables

Information about Travel Bugs, Geocoins and other trackable Geocaching.com game pieces.

1. Trackable basics

1.1. Trackables

Travel Bugs

Trackables are geocaching game pieces that have a unique identification code. The identification code allows you to track its movement on Geocaching.com.

Trackable owners can set a goal for their trackable. Trackables either stay with their owner, or move from one geocache to another, occasionally with a sheet that lists their goal. When another geocacher moves a trackable the owner gets a notification.

To look up or log a trackable on Geocaching.com enter the identification number into the tracking box. Find out how to search for a trackable on the Geocaching® app.

1.2. Types of trackables

Travel BugsTravel Bugs

A Travel Bug is the standard for trackables. Travel Bugs are metal dog tags, typically they are attached to another object. Participate in the online discussion in our Travel Bug forums.

GeocoinsGeocoins

A Geocoin is a special trackable invented by Moun10Bike. Geocoins are often created by geocachers to commemorate special events or as a signature item to leave in geocaches. Geocoins come in all shapes and sizes. Geocoins are often kept in personal collections. Participate in the online discussion in our Geocoin forums and find out how you can create your own Geocoins.

Other trackable itemsOther trackable items

Other than the traditional Travel Bugs and Geocoins there are all sorts of items that have unique tracking codes associated with them such as tags, t-shirts, stickers, legos and tattoos!

 

1.3. Log a trackable

This article is about functionality of Geocaching.com. For functionality on the Geocaching® app, go here.

  1. On Geocaching.com enter the tracking code in the tracking box or select a trackable from your inventory.
  2. On the right of the trackable details page select add a log entry.
  3. Select from the available log types:
    • Retrieve, pick up a trackable from the geocache.
    • Discover It, say you saw the trackable.
    • Grab it, from another cache or another geocacher.
    • Write note to the trackable’s owner.
    • Drop, leave the trackable in a geocache.
    • Visit, take a trackable to a cache but keep it with you when you leave.
  4. Write your log and (optionally) upload a photo.

1.4. Buy and activate a trackable

You have purchased a new trackable from Shop Geocaching or one of our retail partners, congratulations!

  1. Enter the tracking number in under Activate Trackable and select Activate.
  2. Enter your activation code and select Activate Your Trackable.
  3. On the trackable details page, enter a NameMission, and Description for your trackable.
  4. Select if you want to make your trackable collectable.
  5. Select Edit Trackable’s Details.
  6. Select the date and location where you activated your trackable.
  7. Select Complete Activation.

Now you can drop your trackable into a cache and track its progress on the trackable details page or keep it at home in your collection.

Tip: If you create your own series of geocoins and wish to prevent people from selling them, activate all of your coins on Geocaching.com before they leave your possession. This gives you a claim to ownership and allows Geocaching.com to deactivate the coin at your request.

Recover an activation code

The activation code for a trackable is normally on the original packaging.

If you lose the activation code try one of the following options. Keep in mind you will need the tracking number to do so.

1.5. Tracking code and reference number

There are two codes for each trackable.

Reference Code

This code is a unique reference number which starts with TBXXXX. It is visible for everyone who visits the trackable details page. Use it to log a note to the trackable.

Tracking Code

This code is on the trackable item. It is meant to be seen only by people who have the trackable in their hands. Use this code to post “Retrieve”, “Drop”, “Discover”, “Visit”, or “Grab” logs. Please do not show this code in your uploaded photos or logs.

2. Move trackables

2.1. Trackable etiquette

Help the trackable reach its goal

Trackables are meant to travel, help them do that!

Only take a trackable if you are going geocaching in the next 2-3 weeks. Read the mission of the trackable and “Retrieve” the trackable if you can help advance it towards its goal.

Log the trackable promptly

Trackables are like hot potatoes, they don't want to stay in one person’s hands too long!

If you pick up a trackable that is not logged into the inventory of the cache you find it in, be considerate and give the person who left it there a few days to post their log online. This lets them complete their part of the trackable's journey, and keeps the trackable's travel record accurate.

Tip: To retrieve or drop trackables in a geocache you own or have already found, choose the log type Write Note.

When you drop a trackable in the wrong geocache, fix it!

  1. Delete your log on the trackable's page that drops the trackable into the wrong geocache.
  2. Grab the trackable back into your inventory.
  3. Drop the trackable in the correct geocache.

Tip: If you don’t have the trackable’s tracking  code anymore, send a message to the trackable owner to ask for it.

Don’t keep other geocacher’s trackables

Selling or keeping a trackable which does not belong to you is frowned upon. Only do this after you receive explicit permission from the trackable owner.

Virtual logs

Virtual trackables with virtual logs are not encouraged. It is up to the trackable owner to state if they allow this.

Don’t mail trackables without permission

Mail services to some places are unreliable and there is a risk the trackable will get lost. Always get permission from the owner before mailing a trackable.

If you receive a trackable in the mail, log it as a grab on the trackable’s page. The trackable’s mileage will update when you drop it into the next geocache.

2.2. Inventory

This article is about functionality of Geocaching.com. For functionality on the Geocaching® app, go here.

Your Inventory

Your inventory is a private list that other geocachers cannot see. It shows a list of trackables in your possession:

From your Inventory you can take the trackables to “Visit” a cache or “Drop” them in a cache.

A cache’s Inventory

You can see a geocache's Inventory from the cache page.

On Geocaching.com you can find the Inventory on the right hand side of a cache page. Select a trackable to log it.

On the Geocaching® app you can find the Inventory in the “About” tab. To log a trackable from a caches inventory, select a trackable and enter the trackable code.

2.3. Add an image to your trackable log

Trackable owners love to see photos! To add a picture to your trackable log:

  1. From your Dashboard, select Trackable logs.
  2. Choose a log and select Visit Log next to it.
  3. In the top right corner, select Upload Photo.
  4. Choose a photo from your computer.
  5. Enter a caption or file information (optional).
  6. Select Upload.

3. Own trackables

3.1. Buy and activate a trackable

You have purchased a new trackable from Shop Geocaching or one of our retail partners, congratulations!

  1. Enter the tracking number in under Activate Trackable and select Activate.
  2. Enter your activation code and select Activate Your Trackable.
  3. On the trackable details page, enter a Name, Mission, and Description for your trackable.
  4. Select if you want to make your trackable collectable.
  5. Select Edit Trackable’s Details.
  6. Select the date and location where you activated your trackable.
  7. Select Complete Activation.

Now you can drop your trackable into a cache and track its progress on the trackable details page or keep it at home in your collection.

Tip: If you create your own series of geocoins and wish to prevent people from selling them, activate all of your coins on Geocaching.com before they leave your possession. This gives you a claim to ownership and allows Geocaching.com to deactivate the coin at your request.

Recover an activation code

The activation code for a trackable is normally on the original packaging.

If you lose the activation code try one of the following options. Keep in mind you will need the tracking number to do so.

3.2. Trackable collections

Trackable owners can set the status of their trackable items as collectible or non-collectible.

Collectible

Non-collectable

Move a trackable to your collection

  1. On the trackable details page, select Edit This Trackable.
  2. Check the box Make this Trackable collectable.
  3. Select Submit Changes.
  4. Move the trackable to your collection:
    • From the trackable details page: Select Move To Collection under “Actions”.
    • From your Inventory: Select Move To Collection.

Move a trackable out of your collection

If you set a trackable status as collectible, another geocacher can grab it and move it into their own Collection. If you want the trackable to move, set the status to non-collectible.

3.3. Upload images to your trackable details page

Owners of a trackable can display photos on their trackable details page:

  1. Select Upload an Image on the right hand side of the trackable details page.
  2. Choose a photo from your computer and select Upload.
  3. From the trackable details page select Edit This Trackable.
  4. Select an image from the Bug Image dropdown.
  5. Select Upload Image.

3.4. Bogus trackable Logs

To post “Discover” logs without physically interacting with the trackable is discouraged by Geocaching.com. However, some trackable owners enjoy a large number of logs, even if they are virtual logs.

Here are a few things to be aware of if your trackable is being logged inappropriately:

Lock your trackable

  1. Visit the trackable details page.
  2. Select Lock from the drop down menu on the right hand side.
  3. Select Agree to confirm.

3.5. Delete a spoiler image on your trackable

Occasionally geocachers may post images in their logs that are too much of a spoiler for your trackable. To delete spoiler images:

  1. From the trackable details page, find the log with the spoiler image.
  2. Select Visit Log on the right side of the log.
  3. Select Edit Image above the image.
  4. Select Delete image.
  5. Enter the reason for image deletion. This text will be sent to the owner of the image.
  6. Select Yes to delete the image.

3.6. Trackable tattoos

Trackable Tattoo Icon

Making yourself trackable is an easy process and Geocaching HQ can give you a custom trackable icon for the trackable details page!

  1. Purchase a trackable from Shop Geocaching or one of Geocaching.com's official distributors.
  2. Activate trackable.
    Do not place it in a geocache or give it to another geocacher. Since you are the trackable, other geocachers must see your tattoo in person in order to discover you on Geocaching.com.
  3. Include the tracking code as part of the design for your tattoo.
  4. Send an email to logo@geocaching.com and include a photo of the tattoo that clearly shows the tracking number.

3.7. Adopt or transfer a trackable

Geocaching HQ will not process a transfer without permission from the original trackable owner. Follow the steps below to transfer and adopt trackables.

Steps for the original trackable owner

  1. Visit the adoption tool.
  2. Enter the reference code (TBXXX) and select Lookup.
  3. Enter the username of the new owner and select Go.
  4. Provide any additional information in the text box.
  5. Select Send Adoption Request.

Steps for the new trackable owner

  1. When the original owner sends the adoption request, you will receive an email notification.
  2. Visit the adoption tool and accept the adoption request.
  3. The trackbale details page will transfer to your account.

If the original trackable owner is inactive on Geocaching.com or will not use the Geocaching Adoption Service the original trackable owner must give Geocaching HQ written permission to adopt the trackable out. Include the username of the new owner.

If the original trackable owner is deceased, only their family can make decisions about their trackables.


3.8. Missing trackable

Sometimes geocachers find trackables and forget to log them. In this case the trackable can be marked as missing.

When you find a trackable that is marked as missing or in an Unknown Location, you can log it as usual.

Mark a trackable as missing

  1. Go to the trackable details page.
  2. Select Mark Item Missing from the drop down menu on the right hand side.
  3. Select Agree to confirm.

Tip: When their trackable goes missing, trackable owner can send out the copy tag that came with the original trackable.

Contact the trackable owner

If you arrive at a geocache to find a trackable is not in the cache, you can use the trackable's reference number to alert the owner.
  1. From the trackable details page, select the owner's name.
  2. On their profile page, select Send Message.

3.9. Display multiple trackables on the same page

Many people keep careful track of mileage in order to see which trackable has traveled the farthest - for example for trackable races.

Follow these instructions to display multiple trackables on your website. The distance totals and locations will update each time the trackable moves.

  1. Replace #### in this HTML with the trackable’s GUID:
    <img src="http://img.geocaching.com/stats/tb.aspx?guid=##############”>
  2. Repeat this process for all trackables.
  3. Embed the HTML in your webpage.

Tip: Add an image to the trackable details page to display it in this format.

 Cindy (The CinderBlock)   Geocoin Club November 2007 Geocoin   a frog geocoin   Rally for America   2007 Groundspeak Lackey Geocoin

How to find a trackable’s GUID

  1. Open the trackable details page.
  2. Find the GUID in the URL:
    https://www.geocaching.com/track/details.aspx?guid=##############

Tip: If you own the trackable you can find the GUID inte URL of the trackable’s edit page.

4. Minting Geocoins and Trackables

4.1. Create custom trackables

Make one or a few custom trackables

If you're only creating one or a few trackables, you can order Travel Bugs from Shop Geocaching or a distribution partner in your area. Once you receive the Travel Bug set, you may use the code from the dog tags on the item you wish to make trackable.

Please ensure that you hold on to the Travel Bug set after you send your custom trackable out in the game. Having two items with the same code can cause confusion in the game for other geocachers.

Create a series of custom trackables

If want to make a series of trackables, you can order trackable codes in bulk (minimum order of 50 codes). First, please read our trackable code policy.

Once you’ve read over our trackable code policy, you may submit your order through your Geocaching.com account in the online store located.

If you prefer to work with one of our approved manufacturers to create your series of custom trackables, they can help you through the entire process from design through to production.

4.2. Trackable code policy

The basics

Geocaching HQ only sells trackable codes in bulk. The minimum order is 50 codes, and each code costs $1.50 (USD). To buy codes, submit an order form with your trackable details and design.

Typically, orders take 2 business days to process. We’ll send you an email when your design is approved. We’ll provide a CSV file with your trackable codes, activation codes, and series numbers. And don’t worry about trackable pages. For each code that you purchase. we’ll automatically create a unique page on our website and app.

Design and manufacture

Geocaching HQ does not design or manufacture custom game pieces. We only approve trackable designs and generate codes. Contact a manufacturer to order physical game pieces in bulk. To make one item trackable, browse Travel Bug® trackable sets on Shop Geocaching or one of our official retailers.

Ordering bulk codes

When you're logged into your Geocaching.com account, you can visit our online store to order bulk codes. You can also find a link to this store from geocaching.com/track under the Geocoins menu.

Order requirements

All content in your trackable design must

Action text

Your trackable design must include text that directs people to our website. For example, “Track on Geocaching.com.” We want people to know where they can learn more about the trackable and the game. This helps teach new geocachers to grab and drop trackables, instead of keeping them as swag items.

Geocaching logos

Geocaching HQ owns the trademarks and copyrights for a number of logos and the icons found on our website. Our Geocaching logo and Travel Bug logo are federally registered trademarks. You can use the Geocaching logo, Signal The Frog® logo, Cache In Trash Out® logo or the cache type icons (all together, “Geocaching HQ Property”) in your design subject to the following requirements:

Additionally, you agree that Geocaching HQ shall have no liability for and that you will defend, indemnify and hold Geocaching HQ harmless against any and all damages, liabilities attorneys’ fees or costs incurred by Geocaching HQ arising out of or in any way connected with: the design, creation, manufacture, sale, distribution, labeling or advertisement of any product or design of yours that includes a trackable code and/or any Geocaching HQ Property.  

If you’d like to use the Travel Bug® logo, email logo@geocaching.com. The EarthCache logo is not owned by Geocaching HQ. If you’re interested in using it, please go to www.earthcache.org for information on seeking permission.

Trackable code resale

You may not resell trackable codes. If you own unused codes, let us know! We can apply them to your next trackable series.

If we determine that you have resold trackable codes, we may remove the codes from Geocaching.com and revoke your purchasing privileges.

It’s okay to resell trackable game pieces. However, if your geocoin is not trackable and has the Geocaching logo, you may not sell it without written permission from Geocaching HQ.

This policy and the pricing contained in it are subject to change at any time.

Trackable code refunds

If you want to receive a refund for trackable codes, you must email geocoins@geocaching.com with the request within 30 days of the transaction date. The transaction date is the date that your payment method is processed. It is listed in your email receipt. View the entire trackable code refund policy for more information.

Custom features

Personalize your trackables with custom icons, promotional text, and more!

FeatureCostRequirements
Custom icon $150 (USD) Please provide the image file in 2 sizes, 16×16 px and 32×32 px. Must be in GIF format.
Custom activation code Free Must be 10 alphanumeric digits or fewer.
Custom prefix Free Must be 2 alphanumeric digits. If you reuse a custom prefix, you can still request a new icon.
“EV” prefix Free Only for trackables at geocache events.
Custom or promotional text $400 (USD) To order custom text, email geocoins@geocaching.com after you submit your order. Custom text appears on your trackable pages to explain or promote your trackable theme. It may include 10 lines of text, 3 clickable links, and 1 image in GIF format. Maximum image size is 250×400 px. We allow 1 update to custom text after the series goes live.

Examples of custom trackable icons

custom iconcustom iconcustom iconcustom iconcustom icon

Default icon

default icon

4.3. Trackable code refund policy

Refunds within 30 days

If you want to receive a refund for trackable codes, you must email geocoins@geocaching.com with the request within 30 days of the transaction date. The transaction date is the date that your payment method is processed. It is listed in your email receipt and on your invoice in your order history.

We do not refund trackable code orders after the 30-day time period has passed.

Codes must be unused to qualify

To qualify for a refund, the trackable codes must be “unused”. Unused means one of two things:

  1. You have not manufactured and will not manufacture trackable game pieces that use the trackable codes for which you want a refund.
  2. You have manufactured trackable game pieces that use the trackable codes for which you want a refund. However, you have not and will not distribute these game pieces because they are damaged, destroyed, or lost.

Credit

If you have not used your codes, we may be able to  apply their value to your next trackable series. Email geocoins@geocaching.com with your request.

No partial refunds

We do not provide partial refunds for trackable code orders. If you accidentally order too many trackable codes, you may request a refund for the full order within the refund period and place a new order for the correct number.

Misuse of our policies

If we determine that you or others have used trackable codes for which you received a refund, we may remove these trackables from Geocaching.com and revoke your purchasing privileges.

All trackable code orders are subject to the Trackable Code Policy. If you violate this policy, we may remove your trackable codes from our website and block them from any further use without issuing a refund.

Revisions to this policy

We reserve the right to revise the terms of this policy. Any changes made will apply to all trackable codes ordered after the date that the changes were implemented.

4.4. Trackable Digital Icons

Geocachers love to collect custom digital icons for their profile pages. Digital icons are unique and represent a specific Trackable series. If no custom icon is ordered, the trackable will receive the generic icon. 

Here are some examples of digital icons:

Generic icon:  

Event Icon: 

Custom Icons:    

Custom Promotional Icons:       

4.5. Geocoin/Trackable Manufacturers

Manufacturers:

The following coin and trackable manufacturers are familiar with Geocaching HQ's Trackable policies and can assist you with all the details. They can provide you with pricing and art samples.

  1. coinsandpins.com
  2. oakcoins.com
  3. geocoinstore.com
  4. landsharkz.ca
  5. geocoinshop.de
  6. geocachingshop.com
  7. cachezone.de
  8. cache-advance.com
  9. tsunrisebey.com
  10. usageocoins.com
  11. ukgeocachers.co.uk
  12. geocoin.se
  13. mygeocoin.de
  14. geoswag.com
  15. crakeproductions.com
  16. geocoins.biz
  17. directmint.com
  18. spacecoastgeocachers.com
  19. phdcoins.ca
  20. geocachingshop.nl
  21. geokes.cz
  22. mypersonalgeocoin.de
  23. cacher-shop.de
  24. gxproxy.com
  25. wbcoins.de
  26. cachers-world.de
  27. cache-corner.de
  28. woodennickelgeocoins.com
  29. aufnaeher4u.de
  30. www.pulse72geocaching.co.uk
  31. www.cacheboutique.fr
  32. www.bewareofmuggles.com
  33. cachevillage.com
  34. www.cachingsupplies.com.au
  35. www.visualeuphoriadesigns.com
  36. www.gc4all.com
  37. www.geotees.co.uk
  38. geocacheland.com
  39. geocoins-r-us
  40. laserontop.com
  41. www.justcoins.dk
  42. www.allcachedup.com
  43. www.negeocachingsupplies.co.uk

Resellers Only:

They do not manufacture Trackables.

  1. www.worldcaching.com
  2. www.Shop4Swag.com
  3. conivo.ch
  4. geowyrm.com

Selling Trackables:

You can sell your Trackables for profit or otherwise.

If your coin is non-trackable and bears the Geocaching.com logo, Cache In Trash Out® logo, Signal the Frog® or other Geocaching icons or designs, it may NOT be sold unless specific written permission has been obtained from Geocaching HQ to sell the coin. See more information regarding our logo usage guidelines at this link.