The most basic description of a geocaching personal mileage tracker is any trackable item carried from cache to cache to tally the distance travelled. After that, things get more complicated:
- We’ve seen geocoins, travel bugs, geopatches, geojewellry, cachemobiles, boats and even cachers themselves (via a tracking number tatoo) serve as personal mileage trackers.
- Some cachers activate a new trackable for each calendar year, others use one trackable for their entire geocaching career.
- Some cachers track the cache-to-cache mileage, while others dip their mileage trackable into a cache at / near their home after each geocaching trip, so as to more closely approximate the distance the actually travel while geocaching (this doesn’t really work, as geocaching.com uses “as the crow flies” distances). Other variations to track mileage exist.
- Some cachers dip their mileage trackables into virtual caches (including earthcaches), while others only dip them into physical caches and events.
- We’ve heard trackables that are only dipped into DNF caches, to keep track of a cacher’s DNFs and also FTF coins that are only dipped where the owner is actually FTF.
- One cacher uses his personal mileage trackable boat to track the geocaches he finds by water.
There are a few forum posts related to personal mileage trackers, and following some of those threads we came across TB27B Travel Bug Dog Tag – Worldtraveler, activated in 2001, which has accumulated more than 1.2 million kilometres (almost 750,000) while traveling from cache to cache with its owner. If anyone knows of a personal mileage tracker with more accumulated distance, please let us know by leaving a comment.
We currently use a special geocoin to track our mileage. We won TB36MYT GeoKs’ 3000 Finds Geo-Achievement Geocoin in a Podcacher contast back in the fall of 2009, shortly after we logged #3000 and we intend to use this as our mileage tracker until we reach #4000. So far it’s racked up a respectable 72,697 km (more than 42,000 miles), but we know that’s at least 3000 km (2000 miles) too low because in between hitting #3000 and receving the coin from Aaron and Tess of CoinsandPins.com, we flew south to Salt Lake City (to attend GCF 2009), drove from there to Yellowstone (for some amazing earthcaching) and then returned home to Calgary, logging about 115 caches along the way. Mrs. GeoK is still debating whether to go back and “dip” our mileage tracker in all thouse caches, but at this point doesn’t think it’s worth it.
What about you? Do you have a personal mileage tracker? If so, please leave us a link to your travel bug page in a comment. We’d like to take a look!