Thursday, October 30, 2008

For Geocachers - My Car is a Travel Bug

A few days ago, I got and activated a static-cling Travel Bug window sticker for my car.

For those who don't know what I'm talking about, geocaching is a great reason to get off the computer and go have fun outside. It's treasure hunting for individuals and families alike. It's for everybody with skill levels ranging from the wheel-chair bound to athletic hikers. Typically, you need a computer to get the coordinates from whichever website(s) you choose to patronize and a GPS receiver to guide you to the spot unless you know how to map coordinates the old-fashioned way. For most caches, the rule is that if you take something, you need to leave something of equal or greater value so there's something for the next treasure hunter to find. Many urban caches are too small to hold much more than paper and a pencil for you to log that you found the cache so you may not require additional supplies or equipment, but those who venture away from urban settings are advised to take the Ten Essential Systems, including a compass and map, like any other hiker should.

Travel Bugs are a little different from the usual treasure because the geocacher doesn't keep them, but moves them from one cache to another to fulfill the goal set by the owner. However, a vehicle Travel Bug doesn't require you to buy a GPSr or know how to map coordinates because it doesn't wait for someone to pick it up from a cache and move it to another. It is already out and about waiting for someone to only catch sight of it. If you spot a vehicle with a Travel Bug sticker, all you have to do is write down the tracking number that's under the bug symbol, go to, enter the tracking number in the box provided and click "Track" so you're taken to the proper page, click "Found this item?" and log in to record your discovery.

For further information, please feel free to check out Getting Started, Resources, the Travel Bugs pages on the Trackable Items link, and other pages at

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