This month's geochallenge has been issued!  Will you accept the challenge?

To help you with this #geochallenge, we thought we would give you a Trackable 101 to help you accept the challenge:

Trackables 101

What are trackables you ask? They are items that are uniquely identified (special unique code on each one) that are meant to travel from place to place, person to person.

Maybe you’ve heard of those traveling gnomes that people take with them on trips and then take their picture at scenic spots? Or how about Where’s George Dollars that you can track by the serial number to see where this dollar has been spent before?

Trackables are usually found in geocaches -but not always! They move from place to place, picking up stories along the way. You can add your own story, or live vicariously through each trackable’s adventures.

Trackables come in many forms, such as:

Here are some great hints to help you learn more about trackables, and some basic etiquette for handing trackables.

A Travel Bug is a trackable item that moves from place to place, picking up stories along the way. More here: www.geocaching.com/track

Trackables usually have goals. Read the trackable page, recent logs online or in the cache logbook, and look for a goal tag with many trackables. Don’t move it contrary to its goals.

Pick up a trackable? Log it ASAP. If you hold onto it more than 2 weeks, you should email the owner as a courtesy.

You do not have to leave a trackable in order to pick one up.

Don’t wish to pick up a trackable? You can discover it. Tells owner that it is not missing.

Do not log a discover if you haven’t actually seen or handled a trackable.

Don’t grab trackable from other geocacher until it is dropped into a cache or event. You may mess up miles or goals.

Is the trackable missing? Mark it as missing on page. Prevents others from looking for it.

Promo trackables: jeeps, diabetes. Do not collect and hoard; these are meant to be shared.

Many trackables have their own icon that will show on your profile at geocaching.com when you discover or grab them.

Some trackables aren’t in caches; they are on cars, shirts, bikes, etc. These are usually discovered.

Many geocachers buy and keep their own collection of trackables and will share at events to be discovered, or even trade online.

If the trackable goal is known and you cannot fulfill it, place it where someone can, or pass it person to person to fulfill its goals.

Do you have any  more tips to add?  Please do so in the comments!

Geochallenge of the month is about Trackables!

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This month Cache Advance has joined up with the Geocaching Vlogger for the April #GeoChallenge!  This month's challenge is all about Geocaching Maintenance.  (Watch the video below for more details if you haven't already)  We thought we would offer you some helpful maintenance tips to help you with the #GeoChallenge of the Month.

No one likes to DNF a cache, or find only moldy mush in a broken cache container! Things can happen to any cache out in the wild: damaged container, moisture problems, full logs or they just go missing, aka getting “muggled”!  Here are some maintenance tips to keep those caches looking great!

Maintenance Tips for Geocaching Heros Image for Pinterest

For Geocache Cache Seekers – Be a Geocaching Hero with our Maintenance Tips:

The Geocacher’s Creed states “Make minor repairs if you can, it will save the owner a trip”. While you are our caching we recommend keeping a few supplies on hand to make repairs and do maintenance on the caches that you find, along with your own caches!  The very basics are replacement logs, baggies to keep the contents dry, and perhaps a spare pencil.

Maintenance Tips - Take Dr. B's Cache Repair Kit with you! Click Here to purchase.
Maintenance Tips: Take Dr. B's Cache Repair Kit with you!

Our Dr. B’s Cache Repair Kits are perfect for making many field repairs while you are on the go. You can add more items to it, such as swag, as well. When you do any maintenance on a cache that doesn’t belong to you, be sure to let the owner know so you do save them a trip, and that they can also remove the “Needs Maintenance” icon from their cache listing.

If the entire cache is ‘missing’, we do not recommend that you replace it without the owner’s permission. Perhaps you really DNFed a perfectly good cache that is just hidden well. Or perhaps the owner intends to archive the cache instead, and now they’ll have to go and retrieve  the throwdown that you left.

You are a geocaching hero when you do maintenance on any cache – the next cacher finder will thank you, and we all win!

Maintenance Tips For Geocache Owners:

The cache owner will assume all responsibility of their cache listings. Yes that is right; once you have placed a geocache it is your responsibility to maintain it, both physically and online too!

You should make occasional visits to your cache to ensure it is in proper working order, especially when someone reports a problem with the cache (missing, damaged, wet, etc.), or posts a Needs Maintenance log. Temporarily disable your cache to let others know not to search for it until you have addressed the problem. You are permitted a reasonable amount of time – generally up to 4 weeks – in which to check on your cache. If a cache is not being maintained, or has been temporarily disabled for an unreasonable length of time, it may be archived a reviewer.

These are your options if you receive a notification that your cache needs some attention:

  • Maintenance: Visit your geocache, make any needed repairs, and post an “Owner Maintenance” log so the community knows it’s available to find. If your cache was fine, please indicate so with the "Owner Maintenance" as well. The "Owner Maintenance" log cancels out any existing "Needs Maintenance" attributes on the cache page.
  • Disable: If you cannot check on your geocache within a reasonable amount of time, please disable your geocache listing. Once you perform maintenance, you can enable it and post an “Owner Maintenance” log.
  • Archive: If you decide it is time for your geocache to be permanently retired, please archive the listing and retrieve all physical stages. It is sad to see a cache go, but sometimes either a hide just becomes too ‘high maintenance’ or it has outlived its time since most cachers in the community have already found it. Perhaps opening up the territory will help another cacher to hide a new cache nearby.

To log any of these actions, visit your geocache page listing and select "Log your visit." The options to post Owner Maintenance, Temporarily Disable or Archive are all options from the next page.

The "Needs Maintenance" icon will show on your geocache listing if it has been reported by the community as needing maintenance. Geocachers see this icon as a sign that your geocache may not be in good condition and they may skip trying to find it.

Once you have made repairs, post an "Owner Maintenance" log on your geocache page. This log removes the Needs Maintenance icon.

Maintenance Tips for Geocache Repair - Image of Post a New Log on Geocaching.com

Additional reminders for geocache owners:

  • Replace the container if the current one is in bad condition
  • Make sure that that your container is watertight
  • If any of the contents are wet, dry them off or replace them
  • Check that there is enough space left in your logbook
  • If your geocache is not accessible due to weather or another issue, note this on the geocache page
  • Mark Trackables as "missing" if they are listed in the inventory but no longer are in the cache

The responsibility of your listing includes quality control of posts to the cache page too. We recommend that you delete any logs that appear to be bogus, counterfeit, off topic, or otherwise inappropriate.

Have fun out there while you are caching, and if we all pitch in a little on everyone’s caches, we all win!

Do you have any additional cache maintenance tips that you could share with us?  Please do so in the comments!