Travel Bugs

In a previous post I told you about the hobby of geocaching. If you didn’t read it, check it out and the rest of this post will make more sense. One of the more interesting aspects of the hobby includes bugs….Travel Bugs.

When people find a cache, a common thing to do is to put into (and potentially take out) an item of very little value. Some people will put a playing card, a marble, stickers, etc… You get the idea. If it is worth more than a quarter, it is rare but in some cases what is put in is a little more unique. In some cases these unique items have a code on them that makes them a Travel Bug (TB). A travel bug is created when a user obtains a unique code from (typically with a dogtag with the code printed on it) and assigns it to an item. The user logs details about the item (think very small stuffed animal) including a “goal” for the item. Once done the item is placed into a cache.

Another geocacher will find the cache and the TB inside and will remove the item. This removal is logged on the geocaching website. The user will then place the TB in a different cache some time later and somewhere down the road. This drop is also logged. The effect is the TB is shown to start moving around the area.

When my family was really excited about geocaching, finding a TB was a lot of fun. We would take it, look it up and find the object’s goal (find its way to NYC for instance) and find some way to get the object a little closer to its goal. We finally decided to place our own travel bugs.

After purchasing four small stuffed animals and obtaining 4 unique codes (and dog tags), we started placing our TBs. Fairly quickly they started to move. Unfortunately, as what happens often, some of them were removed and never put back into a cache. I can only hope they went to a small child to make their day.

One of them, however, is still out there. My wife’s little teddy bear has been a busy bear since September 2007 when we first placed it in a local cache. Since then it has been picked up or dropped 420 times. This bear had a mission to visit every state starting with the letter M (Missouri, Mississippi, Minnesota, Massachusetts, Maine, Montana, Michigan, Maryland). To date, the bear has marked off Missouri, Mississippi, Minnesota, Massachusetts and Michigan, leaving three left (Maine, Montanna, Maryland). In addition, the bear has been to southern California, northern Canada and even Jamaica! Total distance travelled – 22,464 km! 

Photo Jul 29, 5 37 55 PM

Luckily for me, the flavors of this steak are not far at all.

Photo Jul 29, 5 06 50 PM

A limited set of ingredients.

Photo Jul 29, 5 27 45 PM

Searing the steaks.

Photo Jul 29, 5 35 09 PM

Making the sauce….butter melting…yum…

Photo Jul 29, 5 38 01 PM

This tasted 20x better than it looks!

Pan-Seared Steak with Mustard Sauce

Prep Time: 5 mins | Cook Time: 15 mins | Makes: 4 | Difficulty: Easy


  • 1 tablespoon canola oil
  • 4 (8 ounce) sirloin steaks
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • 1/2 cup low sodium beef broth or water
  • 2 slices bacon, cooked and crumbled
  • 1 tablespoon coarse grain Dijon mustard
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter


1) Heat a large skillet over medium-heat. Add oil to pan and season steaks with salt and pepper. When skillet is very hot, add steaks and cook until done to taste, 4-6 minutes per side for medium rare. Transfer to a plate and cover loosely with foil to keep warm.

2) Pour broth into skillet, scraping up browned bits from bottom of pan. Add bacon, mustard, and any accumulated juices from the steak, stirring to combine. Whisk in butter until blended. Serve sauce over steak.

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Categories: Beef, Low Carb, Main Dish 3, Pork2, Recipes

Author:The Ranting Chef

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2 Comments on “Travel Bugs”

  1. November 17, 2013 at 11:50 am #

    The more I read about your geocaching the more I am tempted to try this out with my grandchildren, I think they will get a kick out of it. Thanks and by the way recipe looks yummy.


  2. November 18, 2013 at 12:21 am #

    What a great adventure and dinner looks great!


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