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Friday, May 15, 2015

Geocaching Quick Tips: The Difference Between Geocaching Travelers, Trackables and Swag

With the ever growing number of items in the geocaching world that can have tracking numbers on them. It would be a good time to go over the differences between Geocaching Travelers, Trackables and Swag. Then let you know as a geocacher what you should do with them if found.

Geocaching Travelers:
These are usually Travel Bugs and Geocoins. Travelers go from geocache to geocache on what ever goal that is specifically given to them. THEY ARE NOT SWAG and are the personal property of their owners.

These toys have a special ID tag and go from geocache to geocache.
They are called Travel Bugs or Travelers
You can tell if they are travelers by the unique id code either stamped on them (geocoins) or a special tag is attached to the item (travel bugs).  These id numbers are unique to each traveler and can be tracked on geocaching.com. Many have specific goals and/or destinations they wish to achieve. All of the geocaches they enter or exit from is marked specifically for that traveler and can have the entire history shown on a map of the world. If a traveler is found you may take it from the geocache (or event), log that you have it and then place it in another geocache with the intent of helping it with it's goal. A geocacher should only hold onto a traveller for a couple of weeks before releasing it back into the wild.

Geocaching Trackables:
These items are very similar to Geocaching Travellers as they also have a unique id code associated with them. They are also trackable on geocaching.com. The main difference between a trackable and a traveler is that the items associated to the id code do not go from geocache to geocache. 

The License Plate on our wall is a Trackable Item
The aforementioned trackable items can be just about anything but usually do include t-shirts, automobile stick on's, license plates, geocaching memorabilia, etc.  Basically anything you can put a trackable id number on can become a trackable. Trackable items are property of their owners and should only be "Discovered" when logged at geocaching.com.

Geocaching Swag:
Tradable swag are items placed in geocaches by other geocachers. Most range from kids toys, trinkets, dollar items, etc. There is one exception that has an id code and is still considered tradable swag, those are known as Path Tags. These quarter sized items have a small hole in them and on the back a unique id code. These are tracked at www.pathtags.com. Even though they sort of look like mini geocoins they are not and if you find one, you can keep it. Trade for equal or better like any other swag but they are collectable.

These are Path Tags and even though they have an ID number they are considered SWAG
So there you have it.

  • Travelers "travel" from one geocache to the next and are personal property of their owners. They have a unique id code attached.
  • Trackables are items that have a unique id code and do not travel from one geocache to the next.
  • Swag usually does not have unique id codes except for path tags and are swappable items you can trade when found in a geocache for equal or better value.

Please respect the items you find in geocaches and ensure that they safely go from geocache to the next if they are travelers. Trade swag for equal or better value with what you find. Enjoy all these geocaching game pieces and the adventures they take.

For more geocaching information please check out our Podcasts shown down below or explore our websites and blog. 



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