A beginner’s guide to geocaching trackables

So, you’ve got the geocaching bug.  You’ve located a few geocaches, but have stumbled across a geocache containing a trackable? What now? Hopefully I’ve answered your trackable FAQs below. Not sure what I’m talking about? Check out my beginners geocaching guide here. Otherwise, read on...

What is a trackable?
A trackable is an object which has a code on it so its movements can be, well, tracked! We’ve found a couple and I’ve popped their photos below, but to get a better idea of what they might look like have a look at geocaching online shops to see what people might have been buying and setting off on their travels.
Shetland Flag trackable keyring from geotees.co.uk
Trackable Geocoin
Trackables are pretty easily identified as they have a code on them (I’ve blanked these out on the photos above) and usually say “Trackable at geocaching.com” on them.

What should I do with it?
First thing to do with a trackable, before you remove from the geocache, is to check it out on the geocaching app and see what its “goal” is. To do this select “Profile” along the bottom of the app, then select “trackable inventory”. Click the magnifying glass symbol in the top right corner, and type in the code on the trackable. You should then see a page like this:

Example of a trackable page on the geocaching app

Some trackables want to simply move from geocache to geocache, some would like to visit as many countries as possible, some might want to visit every county in the UK, others might have a stranger, more specific aim and would like to meet William Shatner  If you think you can help the trackable achieve its goal then click on “Log Trackable”, say that you’ve picked up the trackable, take the trackable with you and do what you need to do to help it achieve its goal. If you’re not sure, or if you know that you’re likely to pick it up, and forget to complete the task, then it might be best to leave it where it is. When you drop the trackable in a new geocache make sure you log this on the app too. (One of the trackables we found hadn’t been logged in the geocache and the app thought someone else still had it. We just said that we’d taken it from that person, and started the trackable back off on its journey.)

How do I start my own trackable?
To start a trackable you need an object with a unique code on it, which can be bought from one of the geocaching shops. We bought a couple from geocachekit.co.uk.

Turtle and geocaching logo trackable keyrings

My daughter chose a turtle keyring, and I chose a simple pink geocache logo keyring. Once you have your trackable item you need to register it at geocaching.com/track  You simply need to add the “unique code” on the item, and the “activation code” which should be on the packaging. You can then add any “goals” or details you like.  And you’re off. 

My daughter wants her turtle to reach her uncle in New Zealand - ambitious! (you can view her trackable page here). I’d like my trackable to have a better social life than me (you can view my trackable page here).    

Any other geocache trackable tips?
The trackables we have found appear to have been moving around for years, but I think that lots of trackables probably get lost and misplaced along the way. Whether that’s because someone simply loses it, or because someone picks it up and doesn’t know that it’s a trackable, I don’t know. To try and avoid the latter we added another very obvious keyring to our trackables. We clearly stated on the keyring that it’s a trackable, that it has a goal, and to track at geocaching.com. I didn’t write the code from the trackable onto the separate keyring, as I didn’t want to cause confusion should the two get separated on their travels.We’ve only recently sent our trackables on their way, so fingers crossed they see a bit of action.


My daughter is so excited to see where her trackable ends up, so I really do hope it gets moved along reasonably frequently, even if it doesn’t turn up in New Zealand at any point. What’s the best trackable goal or mission you’ve seen? Have you sent out any trackables - made good progress or MIA? Let me know in the comments below. 

a guide to geocaching trackables