Trackable, little bugs on a journey and how to deal with them

When you find a trackable in a cache, taking care of it is very important so that everyone can continue to enjoy it.

 Trackable, also known as "travellers" or in German "travel bugs", is understood to mean coins (geocoins) or small metal plates (tags) in geocaching a number attached to a special item and intended to travel from cache to cache. Alternatively, many of these parts are also collected so that they can be found in display cases or showcases. They are all documented on a groundspeak website. At, the typical examples of trackables are geocoins (coins) or travelbugs (small metal plates with the typical geocaching bug). The codes for discovering can also be found on T-shirts, backpacks and other items of clothing or as a sticker on the car. Signal, the mascot of the geocachers, is often found with a TB on a T-shirt or as a necklace.

Geocaching Trackable

The main goal of these works of art is the journey from Cache to Cache, from Owner to Owner, from Event to Event or Discovered. There are many ways to order a travel bug. You will find what you are looking for on the Internet. But if you want to save shipping costs, delivery time, etc., you can also make your purchase on a mega event (more on

Trackable number

Each trackable comes with a printed number, the tracking number. It serves as a kind of password that you can use to log into the trackable's site. You should also think about this when you take photos of great geocoins or interesting travelbugs and make them available to the public.

It is different with the identification number of the TB. These can be found on the respective website of the trackable. These trackable numbers are assigned by Groundspeak.

Target of a trackable

The main purpose of trackables is to travel. So that the owner also knows where his TB is at the moment, the recording of such a TB is logged by another cacher on the TB's website at

Many cachers collect the geocoins in the showcase, on the shelf or take them to exhibitions at events. These trackables are then not on the move, but remain with their owner.

The printed number must also be activated by the owner. If an owner wants to see where his TB is at the moment, he must have activated it beforehand. The exhibits that remain with the owner are often not activated for reasons of value.


After an eventful cache day, you may hold such a trackable in your hands, have taken it with you from a cache, and are now wondering what to do with it. Definitely don't just keep it! It's about logging the trackable and then helping with its onward journey.


If you are logged in to the site, you will find the "Trackable" button in the left menu under "play". On the menu page that opens, enter the TB's code, which you can find on the coin or the metal plate. The page of the respective TB opens. On the right you can choose what you want to do under “Trackable Options”. The most important part will be the “Found it? log it!” be.

Logical options

With the new log that you then create, you have four options to choose from:

  • Retrieve it from “Cache-Name”
  • Grab it from somewhere else
  • Write note
  • Discover it

If you took the TB out of a cache and are holding it in your hand, you have retrieved it from the cache. If you have found a TB, but not in the cache that is automatically given here, then that is actually a "Grab it from somewhere else". Actually - because sometimes the previous owner has not yet placed the TB in the cache where you found it. A little sensitivity and courtesy is helpful here. Just wait 2-3 days to see if the TB is still filed. That's how long it takes before you're home again, have internet and can log. It's best to put the TB on your watch list. You will then receive a notification as soon as it has been dropped. Then you can pick it up normally. After a little waiting time you could grab, but since the TB is then missing a bit of its route and its history, after a while (allow at least 2-3 days) you write to the previous owner nicely whether he can still put the TB down. This usually happens promptly and so the trackable can move on. If you don't see a reaction, grabbing is your last chance to add the TB to your inventory.

A write note is then written if you simply want to tell something about the TB and discovering is of course also possible, i.e. you saw the TB but did not take it with you on the trip. This often happens at events when you see a lot of TB's, but you don't always take all the TB's out of a cache. If you want to write that you only saw them, then discovern is the right one.

Under “Comments” you can then write something about the story where you saw the TB, what you wish, where it goes next, etc.


Activate a trackable 

Here is an interesting blog post about activating a trackable:  

Not only the coins or metal plates have to be activated, but also the stickers, codes on T-shirts, etc.

Take off

Next you want to get rid of the trackable - help it a little further on its journey. You have to drop the TB!

A trackable can be dropped on site by placing it in a cache near a logbook. Nearby means, of course, in the cache box. Look closely. If there is only one petling, the TB cannot be discarded. If the can is in an unsafe place or doesn't seem safe to you, it's better to take the TB with you on the journey.

Virtually you store it yourself with your actual log of the cache at When logging, you not only write your text, you can also assign a blue heart, upload a picture or log trackables. Either discard (dropped off) or visit


Lost Trackables

Yes, unfortunately that also happens... If the owner of a cache finds that the logged-in TB is not in the cache at all, he can set it to "unknown location". On the right in the menu there is the item "Mark Item Missing", after which the trackable is logged out of the current cache. The owner of the trackable can also initiate this procedure.

If, as a cacher, you do not find the trackable in a cache, as stated online, you can write this in the chronicle of the TB.

Cacher-Reisen also issued its own trackables that could be given as gifts. So if you ever see such a TB, then you now know what you can do with it!

CR Trackable

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