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Types Of Cache Items?


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What specific items are good to leave in general, traditional caches?


I see a lot of plastic soldiers, plastic beads, very inexpensive party favors, fast food meal toys, etc.


I like to leave nice things, but not overly expensive, since we are on a budget.


Any ideas? What do other people put in caches?

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I go to the "One Spot" section of Target and check out what they have. Last summer they had little LED flashlight keychains and carabiners.


Also look at your '99 cent' store to see if there are useful items there. Little screwdriver toolsets and PDA protectors are nice items I have found, as well as a carabiner/whistle combo. thumbsup.gif


Usually the cache starts out with nice items and the things you have found are what has been left in "trade." Lots of people do not follow the guideline of "Trade Up, Trade Even, or Don't Trade." :(

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I completely agree. I think that leaving things like old golfballs is not only inappropriate, it's rude. The person that put together the cache didn't look around on the ground and fill the box with whatever they could gather from the trash around them. The took the time (and expense) to put something in the cache that would be nice to find. I think that "McCrap" takes away from the sport. Kids' toys have their place (for family geo-excursions, etc.) But, wouldn't it be nice to open up a cache and find something that grown-ups are actually interested in once in a while?


Okay, off my soap box...


Short answer to your question...


In my opinion, leave something you'd like to find.


I've gotten great deals at the dollar store on DVD's, CD's, batteries, and decks of cards. I've also been known to leave jewelry or hair accessories (the diva in me). It's not that I'm spending more money than others...just being more choosy in my purchases.


Trade up, Trade Even, or Don't Trade At All.

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Also, people should never just take something without leaving something! I was surprised when I opened my first cache only to find 3 original items out of 6 and no new items! Granted it was a micro cache and perhaps some had come unprepared as to what size of gift to bring as I did (My trade was just a bit too big). So, I didn't remove anything and left 5 dimes for any kids that might come after (It was all I had that would fit). So if you don't have a trade then don't take from the cache and just enjoy the find!

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Check out your local "Dollar" store. In my area we have Family Dollar, Dollar General, and The Dollar Tree...Whew!

Remember that trade items should be family and kid friendly. Ask yourself what you would lke to find in a cache?

I'm a sucker for keychain carabiners, mini flashlights, and small camping whistles.

I've seen ponchos, eyeglass repair kits, Silly Putty, Slinky's, small wooden puzzles, rubix cube, match box cars...the list goes on and on.

Is there anything unique or identifiable to your particular area that you might leave as a trade item? Do you live in an old railroad or mining town? A local sports team maybe?

In my area The University of South Carolina logo items are popular with out-of-towners.

We have a rather tounge-in-cheek tag line. :lol:

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I have only found a few caches so far and have also been suprised at the "quality" of trade items. I didn't expect Krugerands, but not, as pointed out, used GB's. I also go to Wally World, in the auto dept I found 3 biner keychains for a buck. Not expensive but always usefull. I also searched the net and found aluminum safety whistles @ 50cents each if you bought 100. I bought them and this will be my Sig. Item w/ a label and handle. :lol:

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No matter what store I am in, I now ALWAYS check the sale shelves. I went into Michaels the other day and found some wonderful cache items at 2 for a dollar. Michaels also has party favor bags, although I like to have a variety of items since caches differ in sizes. I also check Target, the Dollar Store, Big Lots, Ross' - so many of these places have items that did not sell and they want to get rid of. Longs has a dollar sale every spring, and dont forget the gum ball machines. Some of them have some great action figures in them - and of course there is always the MacDonalds Happy Meal toys which are popular with some collectors. Yesterday I went into a hospital gift store to kill time between my x rays and my appointment and found a little basket FULL of dollar items. Small teddy bears etc...I keep a price in mind, since I am on a tight budget as well, and when I see something my price I go for it keeping in mind cache sizes. I put them all in a backpack and when I get to a cache, I figure out which item would be best and trade it. I know some cachers dont trade all the time, and I have seen logs of people trading items from other caches...

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Check out your local "Dollar" store. In my area we have Family Dollar, Dollar General, and The Dollar Tree...

As another poster said in a different thread on the same general topic - "why are people surprised when they shop for cheap trades that they only find cheap trades?".

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:lol: The items you find at the "Dollar Store" are often very nice. The PDA protector I bought there for $1.00 originally sold for more than $20.00


The carabiner/whistle combo I found at the "Dollar Store" sells at Big 5 sporting goods for $5.00.


The nice, new $1.00 items in caches are not the problem. It is the broken item from a kid's toybox, or the strange item grabbed from the junk drawer, that is bad.


Those are the things that degrade the quality of the cache's original contents.

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Thanks everybody, this is a perfect thread for me as a very, very new geocacher (like today).


I wasn't sure what I'd find today (I just learned "micro" means no prizes/trading) but searched for things in my house, just in case. I grabbed some nice enamel pins from the local bus company, another enamel pin of Edgar Martinez and a new tire gauge. I think I might of been okay if I needed to use one of them today.


Anyhow, thank you to the thread starter, for the info and the awesome pictures!

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I geocache with my kids and have had them pick out one of their own toys or something to use as a trade item. For one thing they have enough stuff already. (I didn't have the things they do when I was a kid--Gameboys, MP3's, etc. Had to walk uphill both ways in a snowstorm everyday to school too! But that's another story...). Anyways, by doing this it keeps the accumulation of trinkets down. It also gets them more involved in the geocaching process. They have to think a little more about the value of their trade. I make sure what they choose is not junk either. I know the so-called "McToys" are somewhat frowned upon, but that's the kind of stuff kids, or at least my kids, love to find! The other day we found a cache with what I know was a McDonald's Happy Meal Toy and my 6 year old was ecstatic! (It was one of those big head dogs.) I do agree with the trade even or trade up philosophy. :lol:



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briansnat, those are very nice examples of cool things to put in a cache. I would LOVE to find a new pair of socks in a cache.

Closest I have ever found was a used baseball cap.

LL Bean's outlet store was selling Smartwool hiking socks for $4 a pair, about 1/3 what they usually cost, so I bought a few to place in caches and a few for my own feet.

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;) Thanks for all the great ideas. I did go to Dollar Tree the other day to pick up some stuff, but had to put a lot back since I was low on cash that day.


Since I'm very new at this, I had some decent jewelry that I never wore, such as sterling rings and earrings, ceramic pins, etc that I put in some caches. I've also done Hot Wheels cars, hair clips and barrettes, a sports wrist band watch (it worked, new, from Dollar Tree), decorative bars of soap (in ziploc bag), votive candles, etc.


Since I'm an artist and painter, I'm trying to think of something I could paint and put in caches. I don't usually paint real small, usually 9" x 12" or bigger. But perhaps I could cut up some Masonite into 3" x 4" pieces and do little mini paintings. I'd store them in ziploc bags before I'd place them in caches. <_<

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Anything you make yourself, with thought, will make a nice "Signature Item". In case your not familiar with Sig Items, basically you make something that you put in every, or most caches that you visit. If you put your name on it, other cachers in your area will come to recognize the item as a sign that you visited even before they check the log. Additionally, I've seen some cachers that collect sig items. A hand painted piece may be very popular depending on the other cachers in your area.

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I would pee my pants with delight to find an Edgar Martinez pin.

Really? I'm glad to here that. I put it in a box last night! I logged about it too and I think the box hadn't had any vistors as of late. Maybe buisness there will pick up?


I've seen a lot of bags of nice enamel pins at thrift stores. Perhaps that's an idea?

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...decorative bars of soap (in ziploc bag), votive candles...

I'd recommend against anything scented, for the same reason that food items are not allowed (attracts wildlife, who will attempt to open the cache). Those critters have good noses - they'll smell scented items through a ziploc, no problem. :D

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