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She's Taking All The Swag!


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Newbie here! Read about Geocaching in the paper two weeks ago and have a whole 13 caches to date. I appreciate the time, thought and money that someone puts into putting out a cache. When I find one I try to trade up. When you see that the best item in the cache is a 25 cent gumball machine item and you read that the original items were worth something, I can understand your frustration. I can see why some are going to a "member only" cache.

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This is the problem with most of the whining that goes on about trading. Perhaps we could hire appraisers that hang out at each cache and verify that the trades are appropriate.

 

I go to the cache and show the appraiser what I want to take and what I'll be trading for it. If the item that I'm taking is worth 30 cents more, I toss a quarter and a nickle in the box with my trade item. If my trade item is worth more, this guy can make change for me.

 

Feel better?

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You will feel great, I have a feeling. I'm sure someone here will be frustrated about something and wish to discuss it or vent or (prepare the firing squad)... complain. Then you can yourself complain (read whine) about people complaining. Then I will read it and decide whether or not to point out the hypocrisy of it all.

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Since putting out my first cache I've had to handle a situation where I asked a finder to change or encrypt a log that I thought was a little too descriptive, for example. The wording of those kids of emails for me takes forever, especially when the cacher is new.

That's nice of you. Around here you just get encrypted or deleted w/o the cache owner even bothering to let you know you've been encrypted or deleted (or why, for that matter.) It's pretty cool (comical, really)... and I've got a NEW stat to keep track of! w00t!

 

Another note from a past post: Geo-Stalking is all the rage. Don't forget that. It's better if whomever you're stalking doesn't know it though.

 

An interesting thread... to keep this on topic:

 

Once upon a time, I found myself getting a little annoyed with a previously-local cacher. The cacher would go out alone but always trade out trinkets for his kids. Took: Compass, Magnifying Glass, Marshmallow Shooter. Left: McToy, McToy, McToy.

 

Very good about trading an equal amt of items... but value?

 

Later on it just became something of a game to watch. I would often speculate (jokingly) about what would come out of a cache and what would be put in...

 

Find JMBella's "Trade" icon and put it on EVERY cache page... and then make a magnet out of it and put it in every local cache.

 

76b9f1d4-2e2d-41df-8927-58c495c44e17.jpg

 

She'll get the hint eventually.

 

-=-

michelle

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Once upon a time, I found myself getting a little annoyed with a previously-local cacher. The cacher would go out alone but always trade out trinkets for his kids. Took: Compass, Magnifying Glass, Marshmallow Shooter. Left: McToy, McToy, McToy.

 

I think that's a major cause of content degradation. "Took the nice, new Mini Mag Lite, left some pocket lint, an expired Sanka coupon, a toy soldier with its head chewed off,

a piece of unidentifiable plastic, a Snickers wrapper, a 1999 Lincoln penny and a metrocard with no rides left on it".

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Why, again, are you keeping close track on this woman and her kids?

 

It's not *her* I'm watching. It's my caches (we have nearly 30 in the area). As you know, if you have a cache, you automatically receive the logs the minute they are sent. I also have watch many of the caches that are near ours or also in the area.

 

Of course, what happens is a person typically visits 3 or 4 caches in an area on the same day, so you can see trends in their logging styles and personalities.

 

I did email her, tried to do my best, and failed miserably, as she was deeply offended, much to my dismay. Just what I'd hoped wouldn't happen. She went back and replaced swag at all the caches she felt she offended (also not my intent, I was just forward-thinking), so I think I'll have to rethink how I do this again in the future, and I hope I won't have to. It sure is a touchy subject, and things can be interpreted so much differently in email than in real life when you have body language and tone to help.

 

I truly just wanted to be sure she knew about the rule to keep the sport going. I didn't want to hurt anyone's feelings. I feel badly about it. It took her fun away from the game, and that was the last thing I wanted to do. <_<

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Birdsong-n-Bud,

 

Don't feel bad! You did what you could, and she was in the wrong. She was probably more embarrassed than offended! Unfortunately too many people are "me me me" (not that she's one of them, I have no idea). You were right to "defend your turf", and it's unfortunate she took it the wrong way.

 

Do you have events? Maybe you'll see her at an event and can explain it better in person.

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. She was probably more embarrassed than offended! Unfortunately too many people are "me me me" (not that she's one of them, I have no idea). You were right to "defend your turf", and it's unfortunate she took it the wrong way.

 

Thanks, Robert. I truthfully felt that how she was trading was more out of naïveté/newness about the game than being either selfish or greedy, and I had hoped my email would show a positive nature. I do think she was embarrassed. She did find this thread here, and I have to say that I was not morbidly embarrassed that she did, as I tried to be as adult and honest and kind as possible when I posted, and that if she ever did find it, that she wouldn't feel misrepresented. I knew from the start that there may be a chance she may find it. I also tried to keep her name under wraps, but because of her unique log trading style at the time, I guess she was found out. I can't control what other people write, but I can control my own words (pffft, well, most of the time).

 

I would like to say this to clear the air for her: she does seem very decent and fun-loving and fair now that all is said and done. She did try to right her mistake, and was very worried about "righting her wrongs," and I felt very badly for having caused her any embarrassment and that she felt she had to revisiti previous caches to add swag. I really felt badly about that.

 

I do like to think of myself as a friendly and giving cacher, and hope that if I do see her at a geo-event someday that I can look her in the eye because I do feel like I've spoiled the game for her. We work so hard to "kick the sport up a notch" to make it more fun for others. Making it anything other than fun is what I was trying so hard to avoid. I guess some things just cannot be done well in email format no matter how careful one tries to be. I'm not sure if there is a 100% tactful way of telling someone straight out that trading down might be compromising the sport; even if we just want to keep it alive for future cachers to enjoy. The box's contents needn't be perfect, just there and available (and Lord knows, we do a **ton** of cache maintenance without swag even coming into the picture -- sometimes THAT can consume all our time, but that's a whole 'nuther topic). I honestly don't care if someone just leaves McToys, as I feel the box is really for the kids anyway.

 

I do remember someone saying here on the forums that caching shouldn't be considered the equivalent to going shopping, and that has always stuck with me.

 

Well BnB, I've had fun doing your caches and yes, I'm keeping all of those wonderful items I took.

 

LOL Milestone! I surely needn't worry about you. You and KD give SO much to the sport. Although....I do have one of your highy valued, home-made FTF Bookmarks here, and there ain't NO WAY I'm giving that golden baby up! It's mine! Mine! All mine! (evil grin).

 

P.S. KD&MS: Arrrrrrrrrrgh, ye gotta come up and do Patch-eye Pete's Plunder someday, me maties, if ye wants t' see a unique swag box!

 

I thank everyone here for the support in trying to help me get this communication done tactfully.

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I would like to say this to clear the air for her: she does seem very decent and fun-loving and fair now that all is said and done.

Most cachers are. :) I'm sure she's a great person, just some folks get the wrong idea about it from time to time. Everybody has the chance to learn, and most choose to do so.

 

Have fun!

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I reread this thread after reading your post about her finding it. I hope some of the posters here are ashamed of themselves, they should be. For the most part I enjoy these threads and have learned alot here, but I have noticed a certain crowd here who are extremely rude, arrogant, and have forgotten that they too were once new to this game.

 

She sounds like a great person to have caching in your area, I hope she sticks around.

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I am glad you asked this. I have a similar problem when I take my grandchildren out caching with me. They see; they want; they take....and my personal "swag bag" gets depleted pretty quickly as I replace items one-for-one.

My girls also had this problem. When my first swag bag was depleted by the kids' trades, I had them refill it with their OWN items. Since all they're ever interested in taking is the kiddie goodies, I figured their own kiddie goodies would be good trades (particularly since my kids are so little they always trade up...why they'd rather have a ratty old plastic zebra than the glossy new frog, horse, car, zebra, doll I'll never understand...I guess it's just DIFFERENT).

 

Now that they're trading their OWN stuff, they actually THINK about their trades before grabbing! Works great!

 

As for me, I seldom trade at this point. I'm in it for finding a cool place to visit, a great view, a hideaway, maybe a travel bug.

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However,  she obviously does not realize there is a "trade even or trade up" preference in geocaching. I'm watching her write her logs in the area, and always writing logs like, "my kids took a ______ and a _____ and I took a ________ and my husband took _____. Left our signature charm."  There are always multiple "takes" in her logs, and she leaves the charm.

That sounds just like a previous finder that regularly stops by the Scenic (Bug) Highway and makes a habit of picking up four travel bugs and if I'm lucky, they leave one travel bug in exchange.

 

Some cachers just don't understand the term "deficit" or that a travel bug hotel without travel bugs isn't a geocache, it is geo-litter.

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That sounds just like a previous finder that regularly stops by the Scenic (Bug) Highway and makes a habit of picking up four travel bugs and if I'm lucky, they leave one travel bug in exchange.

Let's not. It's all here.

 

Some cachers just don't understand the term "deficit" or that a travel bug hotel without travel bugs isn't a geocache, it is geo-litter.

 

Sorry, I can't see it that way. A hotel without guests is just a hotel without guests. There may be many reasons for that; unattractive location, competing hotels nearby, or maybe just not that many people travelling in the area. If you get my meaning. And I don't think a travelling guy want's to be unable to check out just because no other guests have checked in.

 

Oh, I did it anyway. Oh, well... :anibad:

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That sounds just like a previous finder that regularly stops by the Scenic (Bug) Highway and makes a habit of picking up four travel bugs and if I'm lucky, they leave one travel bug in exchange.

 

Some cachers just don't understand the term "deficit" or that a travel bug hotel without travel bugs isn't a geocache, it is geo-litter.

 

That's quite different. Many people, including me, believe that the point of TBs is to travel, not sit in TB hotels waiting for someone to come along with enough TBs to trade so they can move along. TB hotels with a 1 for 1 trade rule become TB prisons.

 

 

Some cachers just don't understand the term "deficit" or that a travel bug hotel without travel bugs isn't a geocache, it is geo-litter.

 

Huh?

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Wow! How 'bout THIS for an unfair trade!?

"XXX took the 5 dollar bills (He earned them)

XXXX took the painted rock

We left a cool elephant finger puppet and a glue stick that hopefully won't melt."

grumble

Wasn't the user who posted that the FTF? It sounds to me as though they thought they were claiming a FTF prize. I think that could have been something anyone in their place would have done, just to be fair. Although the glue stick is probably one of the lamest trade items I've ever heard of.

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Hey bird, I feel your pain. I placed my first cache and tried very hard to fill it with interesting things. Then, on find #4, I get the following log.

 

"Took: First aid kit, koozie, kids bouncy ball, lock, slinky. Left: Girl scout polar bear patch, eye glasses guards, token, union pin, Grover the frog TB"

 

Being my first cache, I lost some sleep over it the first night. Every item in the cache was worth at least $1. I think I would rather it be muggled then have the swag replaced with $.19 items I can find at any local Girl Scount supply store. :(

 

Lesson learned. I never thought I'd have to CITO the swag in my cache.

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I love visiting the geocaching forums, I get refreshed knowing that there are people in the world whose only concern is about trinkets left in a box in the woods. Life is grand. Talk about unique perspective. And the debate rages on for days. :(

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I love visiting the geocaching forums, I get refreshed knowing that there are people in the world whose only concern is about trinkets left in a box in the woods. Life is grand. Talk about unique perspective.  And the debate rages on for days.  :(

I love knowing that there are people not involved in the activity who nonetheless have nothing better to do than visit the forums and criticize other people who are interested in discussing certain aspects of it. Bored at home? You don't need to share in this activity, but clearly someone does need to find their own.

Edited by Bear Paughs
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Can someone fill me in why it is so complicated to tell someone that it seems they missed a point in the rules of the game? I thought we are talking about some adults who even have children.

 

Someone new to this hobby might have misunderstood the swag and really think it's meant as gifts instead of for fair trade. We all make mistakes, and you should keep that in mind when writing the email. If that someone would be me I would appreciate a polite but honest email telling me so. In response I would apologize, make up for the mistake by trading up in the caches to come or eventually going back for a note and be done with it.

 

Give those people a chance to behave like adults. Don't treat them like preschool kids that can't deal with some honest complaint.

 

Jan

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Can someone fill me in why it is so complicated to tell someone that it seems they missed a point in the rules of the game? I thought we are talking about some adults who even have children.

 

Someone new to this hobby might have misunderstood the swag and really think it's meant as gifts instead of for fair trade. We all make mistakes, and you should keep that in mind when writing the email. If that someone would be me I would appreciate a polite but honest email telling me so. In response I would apologize, make up for the mistake by trading up in the caches to come or eventually going back for a note and be done with it.

 

Give those people a chance to behave like adults. Don't treat them like preschool kids that can't deal with some honest complaint.

 

Jan

I'll wager a guess. Because they don't want to hurt someone elses feelings, even though they themselves are obviously having their own feeling hurt. :( If I'm doing somthing against the norms I'd rather have someone tell me and possibly hurt my feeling. It's better than looking like I'm rude or that I'm idiot.

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Can someone fill me in why it is so complicated to tell someone that it seems they missed a point in the rules of the game?

 

I would normally say; typically it isn't. If you aren't sure of the level of tact to take, it is always good to look for advise, particularly if you're inexperienced with this particular communication skill set. There are some folks that have issues dealing with confrontations and it doesn't come as easy as it will for other folks. Add to that the argumentative nature of some people in these forums and you can see why it isn't as easy as one would think.

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Hit the deck!!!! Someone said SWAG. This word is the root of all evil.

Or at least the root of most angst-filled forum posts.

And here I thought the word that did that was "micro".

Yeah, that's my solution to the swag problem. Instead of any of SWAG problems, I just get these nice log entries:

 

"I found your #%^$%^& nano cache. It took me longer to get the #%$^& log sheet rolled back up and put back into that @#$^&^* cache than it did to find it. Thanks, I guess."

 

--Marky

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and criticize other people who are
richly deserving of criticism for their inability to clearly see the total unimportance of grousing about trinkets in a box in the woods and their need to get a grip and get their activity back into a reasonable perspective of importance. Have all the fun you want, enjoy the hikes, the ootdoors , the challenge, but to argue over 10 bucks worth of stuff in a box in the woods. C'mon-- :( Mommy, Billy won't share!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I would Mommy, but she's taking all the swag. Edited by Orly
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So, Orly, what exactly is it you do? I mean, you must have something in your life that should take precedence over worrying so much about what we're talking about. Make a friend. Get out and do something. Turn on the TV. Why do you care?

 

FYI, this thread began as a discussion on how to tactfully inform someone on how to follow the rules so that the activity is not ruined for the people who find the caches after them. Clearly a legitimate topic of concern to people who actually do geocache. It may not be for our personal benefit what is in the actual cache (many people don't trade at all, and many will say swag is for the children anyways) but it is about the integrity of the game and keeping it enjoyable for those who do trade. I have two children and if some large family had previously visited a cache and took more than they left there might not be enough items for my kids to make a trade. If everyone played fair no one would have to be disappointed.

 

With the exception of Orly's posts, everyone had something to contribute even if the opinions differed. What's worse -- people discussing maturely how to improve the activity, or some blowhole who apparently has no interests of their own and sees nothing wacky in their need to make it known the concerns of complete strangers are beneath them? I don't think the words "Get a life" were ever more called for.

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and criticize other people who are
richly deserving of criticism for their inability to clearly see the total unimportance of grousing about trinkets in a box in the woods and their need to get a grip and get their activity back into a reasonable perspective of importance. Have all the fun you want, enjoy the hikes, the ootdoors , the challenge, but to argue over 10 bucks worth of stuff in a box in the woods. C'mon-- :( Mommy, Billy won't share!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I would Mommy, but she's taking all the swag.

Spoken like a man who doesn't own any caches.

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