As a Casual Geocacher, I’ve always wanted to find a trackable item. I just like the idea of something being moved around the globe, or even towards a specific destination, by total strangers, all while being hidden in ordinary locations. Alas, most of my finds were micros, so I scanned the map for a cache likely to hold a trackable. I noticed one with “travel bug” in the name and biked across town to find it. It was a clever hide and big enough that there were lots of things inside. And there I found… only one trackable. And it was pretty boring.
I took it anyway and resolved not to release it until I had spiffed it up a little.
The token was just a block of wood, and I learned by looking at the log page that it had been replaced once already. Despite this, it had logged a lot of miles since 2010 and deserved better than just some sloppy Sharpie.
I sanded most of it off. I tried to leave a little behind as a watermark, but I’m pretty sure it all got scrubbed in the process.
Next, the edges got burned using a flat piece of iron and a blowtorch. Looks cool and prevents splintering.
I thought about what kind of design to put on it. I wanted it to look sort of like money, with the reference codes, but also some good graphics. I used the creators original logo in the center.
Then I surrounded it with some graphics related to geocaching and the trackable’s origin state, Michigan.
The back featured the name and other code used to look it up.
I felt a little guilty holding onto it for so long, but I had to schedule some time with the laser cutter at my local Makerspace.
The engraving was about a millimeter deep, but I wanted the details to pop, so I rubbed black wax into the details and scraped away the excess.
It was looking good after a high-grit sanding and some stain.
A little acrylic sealer and it was ready to be on its way!