All About Geocaching Trackable Items

The very first geocoin we ever found in a cache was Kiwi Fruit – New Zealand Geocoin:

kiwi geocoinWe had very little knowledge about trackables/travel tags/geocoins. The only thing we knew was that we were supposed to move it from one cache and put it in another cache, preferably in another city. Unfortunately, we made a mistake with this one.

When we got home that night, I had a message from Alabama’s #1-ranked geocacher (yes, there’s a ranking. He’s simply known as David; he joined when his name was still available as a profile name!) alerting me to the fact that we had incorrectly moved the coin (he knew because he placed that coin in the cache moments before we found it). He politely set me straight regarding trackables and how to manage them.

There are a few different types of trackable items in circulation: geocoins, travel bugs, travel tags, and travel fleas.

are special coins that are created by geocachers. Each one has a unique trackable code that allows the coin’s owner to keep track of the coin’s location. Geocoins are used to commemorate geocaching milestones, events, places, etc.

travel bug
an example of the travel bug tag that is attached to the traveling item

Travel Bugs
are items with an attached trackable metal tag which allows the trackable’s owner to keep track of it’s location.

Travel Tags
are trackable metal tags. They differ from travel bugs in that they they do not necessarily need to be attached to another item. They are already designed and/or packaged by theme. Many are smaller than travel bugs.

Travel Fleas
are the smallest travelers. Their owners attach them to other traveling items and send them along for the ride. Kind of like a hitchhiker. Or they can be left in a cache as a “calling card.” I haven’t seen many travel fleas. This video explains them well.

Whether it’s a coin, bug, or tag, when a geocacher sends out a trackable item, he usually does so with a goal in mind. For example, when we found Kiwi Coin, we used it’s unique ID to look up its goal: “to travel west to east and return to New Zealand.” It originated in Guam; we picked it up in Tuscaloosa and dropped it off in South Carolina; today, it is in Germany. It has traveled almost 32,000 miles!

Trackables are just one more way cachers have made this game more interesting.