Wednesday, March 4, 2009

What is a Travel Bug? My way of Logging One.

I decided to write this post... because I had no idea what I was doing when I took my first TB. I think some will find it helpful, maybe even TheKman, a blogger friend that recently started geocaching! If you have anything to add, or see any errors please comment - I want this to be a good FYI/DIY post ;-)

Travel Bugs
(TBs) come in all shapes and sizes, but they all have one thing in common. That one thing is a dog tag with a tracking number. That tracking number allows for the obvious - tracking.

One can buy a TB, which is essentially a swag item (an item to trade in an out of caches). Usually something is attached to the TB(see below) and that travel bug is given a "goal" by the owner. Some goals can be specific, such as a certain destination - while some have a simple goal of traveling the world. Some TBs are in races with other travel bugs. That race could be to a certain place, or total miles traveled.

So as you can see, Travel bugs can look different and have different goals, but they should all have a tracking number and a goal.

If you choose to take a TB, you are committing to helping the TB complete its mission (which isn't always stated when you take it). If it has a vague goal of traveling the world, you can pretty much place it wherever you'd like - though I tend to put a TB as far away from where I got it as I can, and at a cache that isn't too remote. If the TB has a goal of getting to a certain place, I try to put it in that general direction. For example, if I live in Texas and I have a TB that has a goal of reaching Ohio, I will try to place it in a cache more north east than I found it.

Have I lost you yet? I don't know if I'm making sense... but hopefully this all helps someone.

Wait until you have to LOG the TB. It was pretty hard for me to grasp at first.

It Goes something like this....

I've got a TB, so I need to find out it's goal right? Correct. Go look up your found TB here. Put in the TB# and hit "Track." Here is picture, I am using a TB I previously found for an example.After you hit "Track", that will take you to the TBs page. There you can read the goal and see a map of where it has been.

Tracking History (30511.2km ) View Map

Clicking "View Map will allow you to see where it has been.You can zoom in and out and push the map aroundOkay, I've seen where the TB has been and know its goal, now what? Shortly after picking up the TB you will want to log it. You want to to this as soon as you can so the TB owner knows where it is, and so that others won't go looking for it in the cache you took it out of.

So here is what you want to do...

On the right side of the TBs main page Click "Add Comment Found It? Log it!"
Fill out the form.
For "Type of log" select "retrieved from -----" It will say the name of the cache you got it from.
If the cache you got it from is not listed, select "grab it from somewhere else.
Write a little log.
Hit "Submit"

(Also.. Don't for get to log the cache you found it in too. This can be done later though!)

Okay, now I've logged that I have it, now I want to get rid of it... but how?
Within two weeks you should select a cache to place it in based on its goal. If you are going to be longer than two weeks, it is highly recommended that you send a courtesy e-mail to the TB owner. You can find their name and a link to their profile on the TBs main page.

If you have a cache picked out. Go find it and put the TB in it. When you get home, go find that cache and log your find. Before hitting submit, at the bottom you should see a list of TBs in your possession. Select the one you just dropped in that cache... THEN hit submit. I like to go back to the TBs page and read the log, just to make sure the TB did drop.

So... That's ALL there is too it! I like to take pics of the TB, with it chillin' at my house if I found it nearby or at the cache location I pick it up from or drop it off at ;-) It isn't required... but it's always nice.

FYI: Travel Coins( TCs) are very similar, except for the whole dog tag part. Most "coins" look different, but they will have a tracking number somewhere on them ;-)

Here is a TC I've found...


  1. I love your tb's! And Congrats on being so close! I KNOW you'll do it, too.

  2. Thank you ma'am. I love tutorials...any shape and size! Never too old to learn.

  3. Great post. You nailed it. You are going to be at that #100 in no time.

  4. Just found out we are driving to Iowa in April so I will have to see if I can locate a travel bug wanting to head west in the area.

  5. Very good post. I love travel bugs. They are a hoot to move and all. I just wish some that have the definite goals had it on them. Some are just out there, I pick them up and then find out it wanted to go the other way or something!