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Thursday, June 14, 2012

On Your Mark, Get Set -- Geocaching Travel Bug Races!



You can almost feel the anticipation when ever this one particular style of geocache racing is about to begin. Each of the racers are poised for the start and all eager to be the first to the finish line. Get Ready.. Set.... GO!


No I am not referring to going down to your local speedway where you can smell the exhaust and feel the sound of the cars as they wiz past. Instead I am talking about a Geocaching race using travelers better known as Travel Bugs thus a travel bug race. 

Over the years I have participated in several travel bug races and they can have all the spills, chills and thrills as the auto ones. So how do they work?

The concept is simple with some variants depending on who are actually running them. In a nutshell all you need are a bunch of geocachers who are willing to enter their own travel bug for the race itself. A race can be tracked by distance in an allotted amount of time, point system which can be calculated until a certain point amount is achieved or the most points based on an amount of time or a combination of the above.  The idea is an official starting date begins the race and a finishing goal ends it. Who ever achieves the goal the best- wins.

Depending on how the race starts there can either be all the racers begin in the same geocache at once or they must be registered into a geocache somewhere on a particular date. Then it is up to other geocachers to find them and move them from geocache to geocache. It can be a lot of fun to watch and also a bit frustrating at times. Just like any race things happen. Your racer could be held for an extended period of time by a geocacher who doesn’t realize it is in a race. It can go the wrong way instead of what the goal states. They can be lost, forgotten or misplaced. On the flip side a geocacher can take the racer to a distant country tacking on big miles. You just never know. Either way I highly recommend starting or participating in a travel bug race when you get a chance. At the very least it is a great way to meet fellow geocachers. At best, them be some great bragging rights!
I you have any questions about travel bug races be sure and email me. I will be glad to tell you what I know.

- HHH


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