Monday, July 19, 2010

Trackable Items Are Not Swag

I've mentioned before that geocaching in Okinawa seems to have a uniqueness that may cause this hobby to appear dull when Stateside.  I consider myself a bit spoiled here; we have trackable items in most of the caches here, the core group of cachers is very friendly, and almost all of the caches here are placed at real points of interest.

One thing that I have noticed when it comes to trackables (geocoins and travel bugs), is that they should not, but sometimes are counted as swag.  Let me back the truck up here--Swag is the goodies that people place in a geocache, and the premise is that you should leave something in trade if you take something.  For example, if I see a keychain flashlight in a cache, I should leave something equally nifty if I pick it up. Trackable items, however, are NOT swag; the owner of a trackable item wants it to move, almost without exception.  Imagine, if you will, a trinket that you can track around the globe, and you find out that it just sits in one spot because nobody feels like they have something of equal "value" to trade for it.  

Trackable items do not need to be traded for, but some cache owners think that they do.  I've seen some experienced cachers place bulletins on their caches that state something along the lines of, "Don't take the last geocoin out of this cache; remember to trade up or trade even!"  If my geocoin were the last/sole trackable item in a cache, I would still want it to get moved; I wouldn't really care if a cacher left something in its place.

I can understand the desire to treat trackable items like swag, since trackables often draw cachers to a geocache, but that should not be a policy, nor the nucleus of geocaching.  I suppose that, since we all play this game in our own way, one could simply ignore the desires of a cache owner and grab the last trackable out of a cache, but would that be in keeping with the spirit of the game?  

What say you about trackable items?  Do you always grab them, or just "discover" them if you don't feel like you can move it quickly?  Do you feel like you should leave a trackable if you pick one up?

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Okuma, and Points North on Okinawa

I just spent a week at the Okuma Resort here on Okinawa; what a treat this was!  Over the span of seven days, I only found one geocache, and that was just fine.  I looked for a couple of others, but they just weren't doing it for me while I was in vacation mode.

Here's a shot of the area near one of the caches that I DNFd; it's an old tunnel entrance that is now used for the long-term storage of Awamori

Later, we drove to the very northern tip of Okinawa.  The view was impressive:

We then headed to the cliffs that can be seen in the background of the above picture:

The view from here was amazing.  We could clearly see the tip of the island, where we had just been earlier:

We had a great time, and I spent more time relaxing than anything else; you can't beat that with a stick.

Saturday, July 3, 2010

Like a Breath of Fresh Air

It has been a little while since I've last posted on here; forgive me?  I have no excuses to offer.  I simply haven't been caching or blogging as much as I'd like to.  

I did go geocaching today with a friend of mine, and I was able to accompany him on three of his first four finds!  It's always good to introduce someone to the hobby of Geocaching.  He's got the bug, and he even ordered a new GPSr on one of those extremely popular shopping websites.

The weather has been a challenge lately; when it's not raining, it's hotter than fevered snot.  This makes geocaching in short bursts the idea of the day.

Here's to hoping that you all have a great Independence Day, and that you don't forget what this upcoming holiday is all about.