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Any Ideas For Good Swag?


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We're new at this so bear with me.

I know swag can be a sticky subject amongst cachers, especially kids meal toys. When we started, we assumed the game was about the hunt and not about the treasure so we didn't give the swag too much deep thought. However, I have come to realize that some people take swag a little more seriously. I must say we have found things like tampons (ick), dental floss, and breath spray and didn't really think it was appropriate. A friend says he has come across condoms (ick too). We are considering making our own cache and would like some ideas for 'good' stuff to put in it.

 

What kinds of things to you consider 'good' swag?

What is the best swag you've ever found?

What do you like to leave?

What do you like to find?

 

Thanks!

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Anything that costs less than a dollar. Take a trip to your local dollar store and look around. I also like free trinkets that "they" give away-tape measures, magnets, small pins. There are tons of inexpensive and useful stuff out there, but please, no toys!

 

Zephyr :rolleyes:

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If there is a Target store near you, they have a dollar isle in the front of their stores. You can find some decent stuff there.

Once they had little pocket compass's. I bought about a dozen of them.

 

There are also a lot of dollar stores around most towns. Honestly, most independent dollar stores are just junk. However, there is one store called Dollar Tree. They have all kinds of neat stuff. And literally, everything really is a dollar. I shop there a lot for my swag. Click here to find a Dollar Tree store near you.

I hope this helps. Now go out and have some fun.

-Jeff :rolleyes:

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I really think it depends on the cacher. I'm not into caching for the treasure, but good loot makes a find all the more fun. The best prize I've found so far was a jacket patch with the NES game, Excitebike, on it. And in the next cache I found a Mario pin. That's some of the coolest loot I've seen. Lately I've been leaving foreign coins in the smaller caches I've been to because A ) I know that it'll always fit and I like to travel light and B ) from what I hear, there are collectors who find interesting coins to be good treasure. Some people might not think it's as interesting and I don't blame them, but I've got a lot of them. When I know I'm going to a larger cache, I'll try to bring something larger in case there's something that I feel is worthy of a different prize.

Edited by PercyKittenz
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Here is a partial list of things I've left in caches. Many are under a buck and most are under $3:

 

Small US flags

US flag pins

modeling clay

carabiners

Energizer squeeze lights

stickers

bags of toy soldiers

water colors

mini screwdriver sets

allen wrench sets

gel pens

boxes of crayons or colored chalk

emergency rain ponchos

packs of AA and AAA batteries

collectable coins (buffalo nickels, indian head pennies, SBA or Sacagawea dollars)

foreign money

music CD's

blank RW CD's

cassettes (blank and recorded)

calculators

clip on safety strobes

bungee cords

LED key lights

"euro" stickers & other decals

travel sewing kits

maps (hiking & road)

software

small puzzles

travel packs of Wet Ones or Baby Wipes

Hot Wheels and Matchbox cars

key rings

bags of balloons

velcro fasteners

interesting buttons and pins

padlocks

rolls of film

small travel bottles of hand sanitizer

lighters

kazoos

small bags of Hefty Handi Sacks

several kinds of compasses (round pin on ones are a favorite)

movies on VHS & DVD

office supplies (packs of paper clips, thumb tacks, Post-Its, etc...)

Mylar emergency blankets

fire starters

decks of cards

new wallets

bags of marbles

folding scissors

small travel bottles of Lubriderm hand cream

individual packs of Armor-All & Rain-X wipes

survival whistles

packets of insect repellent wipes or small spray bottles of Repel

Wheresgeorge bills and stamps

Geocaching.com hats, pins and patches.

Edited by briansnat
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i have found a variety of things in caches. some good some bad. i really like peoples sig items that they make there self. shows time and effert, much like the game. i like to leave fishing flys that i have collected from many trips up and down the river. also ping golf balls i think are a good drop. many of them are collector items, depends on the color combination though. agree with most people though put some idea into your items. makes it better for everybody. one of the best ones ive gotten so far is a small canoe about two to three inches long that the people had carved out of wood, the put a pin on the back and wrote their names and were they come from. i have it pinned on my pack along with my MiGO patch and a boy scout patch that i got out of a cache. the canoe idea is great, try something like that maybe, im sure they got a big piece of wood for pretty cheap and made something cool out of it. just use some imaginaton and have some fun!

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Hmmm... you guys are giving me some good ideas. I didn't even think about making our own items. You'd think that would have occured to me since I majored in art, duh. The wood pens sound beautiful. The canoe pin sounds nice too.

 

In defense of McToys, my daughter loves them. To her, finding toys hidden in the woods is like finding the Holy Grail. She can't wait to go caching which is better than parking herself in front of the TV. However, I can see that people who don't have kids or grandkids would find it annoying. A local cacher in our area got so sick of kids meal toys that he created a large cache specifically for McToys so that people can dump them there and get rid of them. The kids love it.

 

Thanks for the ideas!

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I've been buying a bandanas at Hobby Lobby for under $1 each and putting them in ziplock bags. I found some yellow ones with little green frogs on them! :rolleyes:

My dog is my most frequent caching partner and she always wears a bandana so I thought some others might like it too. I also found some little ceramic frogs there $1 for 2.

 

I've also made some I Love Geocaching bead bracelets. For micro and small caches I sometimes leave a little plastic scrapbooking token from a company called Doodlebug Designs that I pick up at the craft store. A little bit more expensive per piece but I look for sales. I just think they're cute -- and they're small enough for many micro caches.

 

I'm waiting for my first batch of geo-caching buttons to arrive from Bumble Buttons. Some fellow cachers told me about them and I thought they were really cool. They don't seem to stay in caches long.

 

On the receiving end, I haven't found too much cool yet. I did get a pewter souvenier spoon from a local zoo. That's about it.

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I haven't been cache-finding for long (only found about a dozen) but I've discovered some important things to remember. Don't leave something that will get damaged when wet, easily broken (items get jostled around in those containers), crumpled, etc. A couple of the caches, we've found ourselves asking "Why would someone leave this?" My favorite was a Corona beer cap. So if it's something you normally would throw away, don't put it in a cache. I don't mind seeing the toys in the caches as long as that's not all that is in them. A few things we've taken: electrical tape (my husband needed some), dog treats for Maia the geocaching puppy, pocket knife, magnets. I like to try to find things to leave that will have some kind of use to the people finding it. I know I have enough clutter without going out and finding more. I haven't found any neat handmade things yet but if I get some, I might start a little display. We have a variety of stuff and bring a few things with us of different sizes and "value" and leave whatever is appropriate for what we take. Also, we take a look at what is in the cache and leave something different so the next person has some variety.

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I have to say I like to find toys in caches....only because my kids are usually with me, and this keeps them interested in huntng for the next one. Personally, I don't hunt for them to get more trinkets, but for the fun and adventure. And its much more fun if the kids WANT to go. Even the dreaded McD toys works for us!

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I love finding things I can pin to or hang on my canvas caching bag. Right now there's all my TB copies, two jingle bells, two sharpies, 4 caching pins, and Larry the Caching Crustacean. Blade says it's starting to look like a shamanic fetish bag with all the Stuff I have hanging off of it.

 

Mousie likes finding little toys, and costume jewlery :(

 

As far as putting stuff into caches... when looking for a funky urban cache, we happened across a cool little store that carries recycled craft supplies for WAY cheap, so I've started making things to put into caches. Bookmarks out of metal samples, sig items made of ceramic tile, that sort of thing.

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I have to say I like to find toys in caches....only because my kids are usually with me, and this keeps them interested in huntng for the next one. Personally, I don't hunt for them to get more trinkets, but for the fun and adventure. And its much more fun if the kids WANT to go. Even the dreaded McD toys works for us!

There's a multi near me that REQUIRES a McD toy. LOL!

 

I'm going to hit it just because it made me laugh. :(

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Experienced cachers cannot resist a ready-to-hide micro out of a cache, and they're inexpensive to make.

 

Film canisters from photo developing places.

small plastic bags from hobby store for logs

logsheets from copy center

round magnets from hobby store

wire from hardware store

cammo and black duct tape from wally world

 

with these supplies you can make regular micros, magnetic micros, cammo'd hangers (duct tape the wire to the cannister). Outfit them with logsheets in the small plastic bags and mention dropping them when you visit the cache. When you revisit caches you've done in the past month you'll *always* see them get picked up.

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Experienced cachers cannot resist a ready-to-hide micro out of a cache, and they're inexpensive to make.

 

Film canisters from photo developing places.

small plastic bags from hobby store for logs

logsheets from copy center

round magnets from hobby store

wire from hardware store

cammo and black duct tape from wally world

 

with these supplies you can make regular micros, magnetic micros, cammo'd hangers (duct tape the wire to the cannister). Outfit them with logsheets in the small plastic bags and mention dropping them when you visit the cache. When you revisit caches you've done in the past month you'll *always* see them get picked up.

Ahhhhh, don't encourage the micro spew! :(

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I like to leave Silver dollars, SBA dollars and Sacajawea dollars they are small and easy to carry. I put them in little bags and put my sticker with the date they were dropped into the cache. My daughter works for a bank so they're also easy for me to get. Another thing that I have found that is very popular are woopie cushions and classic TV DVD's found at the dollar store.

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My first cache, which should be approved soon, contains a new minimag flashlight. Great for looking in those dark creepy spots before sticking your hand in, or tromping down a trail late at night. Also put in a waterproof match container (potential micro), a magnesium firestarter, and a small electronic hand-held game like defender that I picked up for a buck.

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I have to admit that I use a lot of stuff from the dollar store. Target has a dollar section by the front door now that initially had camping related stuff like compasses, whistles, insect repellant wipes, etc. I bought a bunch of stuff then, but it is now more silly stuff that I think is inspired by the back to school frenzy.

 

I guess I'm not really into the swag part that much. I just don't like leaving nothing.

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but please, no toys!

 

Zephyr :D

This topic has come up before. I'll say it again, everyone likes something differant. Sure you may hate McToys or Golf balls, but for some, they would enjoy that more then almost anything else they would find in a cache. That is why I don't worry too much about what I leave. As long as it's something decent, someone will want it eventually. I do try to leave something that I think the very next person would want, which usually they do take it. But, we don't buy anything to leave in caches, we just get rid of old junk around the house. After all, we wanted the stuff enough to buy it once, someone will surely want it enough to take it for free!

To sum it up, one cachers trash is anothers treasure.

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I like about anything, as long as it doesn't look like it needs to go in the trash. One cache was clear full of stuff that looked like it got pulled from the bottom of a well-used toybox.

 

Of course, I am the one that left a Coke bottle cap in my very first cache. Before you start flaming, I was completely unprepared to go caching and it was a cap good for a free 1 liter of Coke!

 

My hubby has a whole collection of Mr Bloodhound's plastic firemen. I have lizards from both Appalachian Lizard (I think), and OU8ALIZZARD. I found a lens cleaning cloth in a cache once. That was handy.

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I agree that new dollar store swag is pretty nice to find- that's why I started using it. I figured if I'd like to find it, someone else would appreciate finding some, too. I like leaving outdoors-type items; compasses, carabiners, neck straps for your GPS, batteries are nice to find :(, small tools... and when all else fails, open the 'ol wallet and drop in a dollar. Same cost, and no one refuses cash!

 

-p

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I usually hit the local dollar store, but flea markets and yard sales are also worth a look. Recently, my local Wally World was selling school supplies (crayons, protractors, rulers, etc.) at deep discounted prices. I bought boxes of 24 Crayola crayons for 25 cents each.

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I make beaded jewelry. I usually work with Swarovski crystals but they are a little pricey to leave a bracelet made with crystals in a cache (maybe as FTF swag but not in every cache). I started making bracelets with less expensive beads and leaving them in caches.

I also made wallet size photos with an outdoor scene and our crews name (these are like a business card but I made them in Paint Shop Pro and printed them at the local photo lab as wallet prints).

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I was going to get the crayones at Wally World too, but was afreaid that they would melt in the high heat lately (95-100 degrees around here last week) I found a cache that had a scented candle in a cute holder..but the candle was all melted and had leaked out as it ended up laying on its side in the stash box. Instead I opted for glue sticks and colored pencils.

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Here's a vote against Mctoys, I doubt if 10% of the geocachers are little kids,

the big kids and adults have no interest in that stuff. :laughing:

 

NOW, for a GOOD idea:

So many people complaining about mosquitos this last 6 weeks,

ever find a mosquito headnet in a cache? :laughing: Ever wish you had one? :laughing:

 

WalMart has them for $1.47, compressed in a small packet, not even 1/2 inch wide. They also have a nice white, wide brimmed hat to hold the net away from your face for $6. Even includes a chin strap so the wind doesn't blow it away. :rolleyes::lol::lol:

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I like to leave semi-prescious stones, arrowheads and fossils in caches along with my other sig items. Many wholesale rock and gem suppliers have reasonable prices by the pound.

 

I like to leave red tiger's eye, hematite, and (real) citrine in caches most. The red tiger's eye and hematite go for as low as $8.00 a pound, but citrine sells by the gram and is considerably more costly. :laughing:

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If you have Target stores near you, they are a decent place to look. At the front of the store they have a $1 section that usually has much nicer stuff than dollar store junk. keychain flashlights, 3 packs of carabiners, 3 packs of metal keychains, etc. we've all found there. Also the 88 cent stuff at Wal-Mart. Just remember, NO food, nothing that can melt (candles and such), nothing dangerous (knives, lighters), etc. Basically, if YOU wouldn't want to find it in a cache, you probably shouldn't put it INTO the cache :) But other than that, just have fun with it!

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:rolleyes: Personally I like to leave money. The more I leave the better I feel. I have been doing this for about 2 years and I feel great. :laughing: Heck no I not independently wealthy!! I'm talking shredded money. I got some cheap, so I fill small jars with money and put a label on them saying they contain $250 in genuine american currency. I drop a provocative note in the cache about how much money I left and sit back and watch the fun.

 

I have gotten the best comments since I have been doing this. Many cachers have contacted me to let me know where my jars are. Some of my money is in NJ, some is in IL and headed west, and one Cacher from Ontario, Canada found 3 of my jars while he was in PA for several months. He has taken the jars back to Canada and is having the same fun I had. He even gave me credit for the money.

 

This is one of the logs in the last cache I dropped off a jar of money.

 

OK..I was tempted by the White Jeep, but $250 was too much to pass on even though I knew it was most likely Monopoly money. Imagine my suprise when I opened the cache and found that it was $250 in genuine US currency!!!  I am going to try and not spend it all in one place!  That was the most unique treasure that I have found in a cache yet.
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