A Geocaching Travel Bug Story: The Well-Traveled Cadillac Hearse

Angkor Wat Geocache

Donny searching for a cache near Angkor Wat in Cambodia.

What is a Geocaching Travel Bug?

Not to be confused with the addiction to travel known by the same name, a geocaching Travel Bug is a physical item that can be tracked as it travels from one geocache to another. (For the basics of geocaching, see our Intro to Geocaching post.)  Geocaching Travel Bugs can be attached to anything from a stuffed toy to a keychain to a flag.  The “bug” itself is a dog tag with a number and barcode by which the item can be tracked on the Geocaching website. Most geocaching Travel Bugs have a goal or a mission. These can include visiting a certain number of caches or getting to a particular destination before returning home. Our friends at Peanuts or Pretzels have a great post with details on the geocaching Travel Bug and other types of trackables.

Cadillac Hearse

The Cadillac Hearse Travel Bug

Since its release in Massachusetts in June of 2008, the 1963 Cadillac Hearse has been putting its rubber to the road.  The Hearse’s owner, Single747&C2, who also happens to be T’s Dad, initially placed this geocaching Travel Bug in “Sandy Neck’s Great Marsh” cache (GC1058Q) on Cape Cod.  From there, we promptly scooped it up and declared, “We are going to take him for a LONG ride!” The mission of the Hearse is “to travel around the world pretending he’s a grand luxury limousine, returning to Cape Cod when he needs a tune up.” We’ve tried to help the Hearse and its owner achieve this dream.

Geocaching Travel Bug Map

Map of caches visited by the Cadillac Hearse

The Hearse has accompanied us on our journeys since July of 2008.  It has made pit stops on six continents in that time.  The first big jump, and longest so far 7,664.37 miles, was from the northeast of the United States all the way down to Cape Town, South Africa.  Since then it has visited Australia, New Zealand, Argentina, Chile, Peru, Venezuela, Costa Rica, back to Massachusetts to visit his owners, Scotland, England, the United States, Japan, South Korea, Hong Kong, China, Thailand, Laos, Indonesia, Singapore, Malaysia, Cambodia, Vietnam, India, the United Kingdom again, a pit stop in the US, and most recently the Bahamas.  The Hearse has amassed a grand total of 80,679.9 miles, averaging 1,136 miles per stop!

The Hearse is not the most-traveled geocaching Travel Bug though, far from it.  There is one well-traveled user who has made his backpack a geocaching travel bug (TB20ZDE).  So far that backpack has traveled over 2.1 million miles! That is some serious traveling.  Even so, according to the owner, the Hearse’s mission so far has been a success. “I couldn’t have done it by myself. It’s so much fun to take a look at the Hearse’s map and see where it’s been.  I’m looking forward to even more mileage on the Hearse in the future. ”



About the author

Tamara and Donny have wandered together since 2004, with no cure for their insatiable wanderlust. They write about discovering new destinations including beautiful photography, plus budget travel tips and how to give back through travel.