Jump to content

What Are The Best Items To Leave?


keeperdog
Followers 1

Recommended Posts

We are new to geocaching, I mean really new. We haven't went out on our first adventure yet, but we plan to get our feet wet this weekend.

 

I have two boys, an 8yr old and a 3.5yr old. They are adventurous and very excited about doing this treasure hunting with the GPS.

 

My question is what items are good to leave? New stuff, used stuff, toys, what? I know to stay away from paper items and what not. I want it to be interesting for the kids and I want them to enjoy it, but I would sort of like to have the items we leave be unique in some way.

 

We have tons of matchbox cars, army men and rubber balls etc., but that just seems kind of mundane to me. But my wife says maybe that would be the kind of stuff people would like to find.

 

If any of you have any tips or pointers, or if you could share what type of things you like to find, it would be great.

 

Thanks a lot for helping out this virgin geocacher.

 

Keeperdog

Link to comment

We are new to geocaching, I mean really new. We haven't went out on our first adventure yet, but we plan to get our feet wet this weekend.

 

I have two boys, an 8yr old and a 3.5yr old. They are adventurous and very excited about doing this treasure hunting with the GPS.

 

My question is what items are good to leave? New stuff, used stuff, toys, what? I know to stay away from paper items and what not. I want it to be interesting for the kids and I want them to enjoy it, but I would sort of like to have the items we leave be unique in some way.

 

We have tons of matchbox cars, army men and rubber balls etc., but that just seems kind of mundane to me. But my wife says maybe that would be the kind of stuff people would like to find.

 

If any of you have any tips or pointers, or if you could share what type of things you like to find, it would be great.

 

Thanks a lot for helping out this virgin geocacher.

 

Keeperdog

 

I am new as well. I hunt with my 3 small children, but unfortunately there are a lot of micros in my area, so no prize, although some of these are at neat locations like swimming holes or parks so the kids do get an adventure out of the location. They really like to find one that has toys in it though. I have hidden 3 caches and I left new toys in them along with stuff for the adults as well like money, batteries, fishing string, etc.

Link to comment

I have left Ty bears that I found at flea market ... in Wall mart I found Space balls the light when you squeze them, Wooly willies Little Uno card games... In the dollar store I found bumble balls, you pull the string and they jump around. I have also left little wind chimes. I have also put in other swag from cheches I have found on the trails.

 

I have found in one store votive candles that are lighted by battries. I have not left Batteries in a cache but I have left little hand held fans with batteries in them.

 

In geocaching the rule of thumb is to trade up or trade even when trading

 

Hope this helps

 

:ph34r::ph34r:;)

Link to comment

Welcome to geocaching!

 

General guideline: trade even or trade up

 

New stuff is better than used (in general). Extremely gently used items are probably OK (but if they are that cool, why are you giving them away?). In any case, never leave broken or dirty things.

 

Your kids will enjoy choosing the items they will be trading, but may need help determining the value of items while they are trading. Don't let them leave a 50 cent item for a $2 item--and you should be forewarned that they will probably at some point fall in love with some 50 cents item and want to leave their $2 item for it (Now that is trading up, so it's morally "OK"--only you can decide if that is economically OK with your family!). And remember that you don't have to trade at all.

 

For the kids (and young at heart) I leave small decks of playing cards, matchbox cars, interesting pin-back buttons, compass biners combinations, wooden puzzles, and collectible minerals in small packages with labels. I carry a few higher end items with me too, but rarely need to trade for them--things like small transistor radios or slightly better compasses.

 

There are lots of threads that have better suggestions than mine (some with pictures!) Try searching the forums using the word "swag"

Link to comment

I usually just raid the local dollar store or go to Wally world for trade items.

 

Some examples I carry with me:

  • matchbox cars
  • small beanie type stuffed animals (oriental trading)
  • pack of stick notes
  • small roll of duct tape
  • screwdriver
  • mini flashlights
  • pack of batteries
  • paperback books
  • 1$ calculators
  • $2 watches
  • pack of colored pencils
  • emergency poncho
  • emergency space blanket
  • deck of cards
  • baseball
  • etc

Link to comment

Generally you want to leave things that others may find useful or interesting. If its garbage throw int in the garbage not in a cache. Gently used items are fine. 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

individual packs of insect repellent wipes

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 batteries

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

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

mini sewing kits

maps (hiking & road)

software

travel packs of Wet Ones or Baby Wipes

Hot Wheels and Matchbox cars

key rings

packs of Hefty Handi Sacks

bags of balloons

velcro fasteners

interesting buttons

padlocks

foreign money

rolls of film

Slinky Jrs.

kazoos

movies on VHS & DVD

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

Mylar emergency blankets

decks of cards

new wallets

Pick Up Sticks

individual packs of Armor-All & Rain-X wipes

survival whistles

travel packs of facial tissue

Wheresgeorge bills and stamps

Geocaching.com hats, pins, patches and compasses

Link to comment

Right now my local Target stores have "camping" stuff in their OneSpot. They have a whistle/compass/keychain combo, a Star chart, some emergency "blankets," and a package of carabiners. In another isle, they have Travel-sized items and containers. That is where I found a $1.00 First Aid kit.

 

I also see interesting swag items at Thrift Stores.

Link to comment

Right now my local Target stores have "camping" stuff in their OneSpot. They have a whistle/compass/keychain combo, a Star chart, some emergency "blankets," and a package of carabiners. In another isle, they have Travel-sized items and containers. That is where I found a $1.00 First Aid kit.

 

I also see interesting swag items at Thrift Stores.

 

Keep in mind, at the end of the season, Target discounts their OneSpot stuff to 4 for $1.00. At the end of last summer we spent about $25, but got 100 items!

 

Leather car wipes

Insect repellant kits

Poison Ivy "comfort" packs

Grill cook books

Notepads

Caribiners

Keychains

etc--it was all "outdoors" stuff, nice stuff, but we got it super cheap!

Link to comment

The above are good but fifty and hundred dollar bills work too. Just let me know what caches you plan on putting them in before you go. I too get most of my trading swag from the above mentioned places. If it is something you, or your children would not like to find in a cache don't get it.

Link to comment

I love thrift stores for swag, I also make neat home made items with my woodburning kit, and other crafty knicknacks I have lying around..

 

I really enjoy seeing personalized items in caches, something that speaks for the person who left it, rather than some junk from a dollar store.

 

Another great idea is to look around your home for items that you would sell in a yard sale, if they are small trinkets that you no longer like, attach a travelbug tag to it, and watch it travel the world... Everyone loves travelbugs

Link to comment

I agree with what others have said. We try to leave toys, as my kids find that most impressive. Small matchbox cars, airplanes, rubber animals/ dinosaurs / snakes (although I do wonder if the last one has ever been a negative for someone opening a cache)...

 

Personally, I don't usually trade for items unless it's a travel bug or a signature item. I love seeing a good unique signature item...

Link to comment

Old coins and tokens are always cool. Nothing valuable, but old American buffalo nickels, mercury dimes and the like, or any old foreign currency. Last I checked, you can buy a pound of mixed world currency for around $7 on eBay -- and there are a lot of coins in a pound! Put them in a small baggie or a coin envelope, though...otherwise, they tend to rattle around unnoticed in the bottom of the cache with all the stupid modern quarters.

Link to comment

My kids (6 and 7) love to find the McToys that so many people seem to dislike (new ones, obviously), cars, and anything stone- polished rocks, little stone animals, etc. They also get excited about anything that turns on- flashlight, little handheld game, etc.

I peruse the $1 section at Target, and am always looking for clearance items in stores.

 

My rule with the kids is they can choose something from the cache (and then I replace it with an item), or they can choose something from my swag bag instead.

Link to comment

We have a hiking backpack filled with random items. We have bought several wooden games from the dollar spot at Target, mini first aid kits at target or big lots, insect bite kits (49 cents at big lots a while back), kids toys/sunglasses etc, and a bunch of DVD's. When we first started my kids demanded the Treasure Island cartoon dvd's at the dollar store, since they were fitting we bought them and occasionally drop them in a kids cache. There are also playing cards, mini frisbees, bracelets who knows what else in the bag.

 

Currently I am working on making some knitted dodads. I attempted a pouch today ... frankly its more of a GPS cozy. It is a bit dorky so when I place it, I am going to leave something IN the thing as well. I am also knitting up some hats for grown ups that I will be tossing in. They may not be useful in summer, but cold weather comes early in Oregon. I hope my little knitted crafts go over well.

Link to comment

to heck with all that. I can tell you what to leave that will be a) desired, and :mad: almost free.

 

go to wally world and buy a roll of duck brand cammo duct tape. It'll be in the duct tape section, not the hunting section. $4.00 for a big roll. I've only ever seen it at walmart.

 

stop by the photo counter and ask for their discarded film cannisters. $0.00. try other places if you don't get cooperation.

 

stop by the hardware section, or a hardware store if they don't have it, and get stovepipe wire. This is black wire a bit thinner than a pencil lead that is easily flexed and cut. $1.00 for a roll.

 

design a logsheet that will fit in the film can and either print some out or copy them off (at wallyworld, why not). $1.00 for plenty.

 

The kids can do the next steps...

 

Cut off a bit of wire about 5 inches long. Curve one end around a finger and put it on the bottom of the film can. bend the wire up the side of the film can. cover the bottom of the can and the wire with a sqare of the cammo duct tape. smooth the edges of the square up the sides of the film can, exact smoothness is not needed. now wrap the side of the can with a strip of tape, keeping the wire under the tape. put a square of tape over the lid, smooth down it's edges and trim the corners off with a sissors. Insert a logsheet or two.

 

You have an inexpensively made micro container (hanger) which will almost always be gladly traded for by the next visitor. For variety, order some rare earth magnets online and put one under the tape instead of the wire. Micro containers are *always* traded for, and quickly too.

Link to comment

Little trinkets and McToys are sometimes kinda cool, probably more so for the kiddies.

 

My local hdwr store has a clearance table with all kinds of cool stuff.

4 pc sets of mini-6" bungee cords, mini-screwdriver sets, small spring clips, keychain compasses, LED flashlights, sharpening stones, watertight match containers, small tape measures, cheapo 'leatherman'-type tools, etc.

All of these items are $0.99 to $3.00 each and all that I buy are small enough to fit in your palm (so they don't take up too much space in a cache).

 

These are the kinds of things I like to find, stuff I can use, so I figure that's the stuff I'll leave for others too.

 

-Kris

Link to comment
You have an inexpensively made micro container (hanger) which will almost always be gladly traded for by the next visitor. For variety, order some rare earth magnets online and put one under the tape instead of the wire. Micro containers are *always* traded for, and quickly too.

 

Unless someone comes along and is puzzled by the micro the cache and signs both the logbook inside the micro container and the regular logobook. This has happened to me on several occassions when I've left a micro container/logbook inside one of my caches as a trade item. :anicute:

Link to comment

you can buy a pound of mixed world currency for around $7 on eBay -- and there are a lot of coins in a pound! Put them in a small baggie or a coin envelope, though...otherwise, they tend to rattle around unnoticed in the bottom of the cache with all the stupid modern quarters.

 

And they are easy to carry. (I put coins in those tiny baggies you can get at the craft store.)

 

Another option, contact an active hider in another country and trade coins and bills. Not only do you get some cool trade items you get to chat with a fellow cacher.

 

I've made more than one friend that way.

Link to comment

Matchbox toys, playing cards, golf balls, batteries, band-aids, mini-mag flash light, cheap GPSr, water proof matches + container. Stuff like that. The more money that you want to blow, the better. :D:D:D

Golf Balls? maybe a sleeve, but not your garden variety range ball that you find in most caches.

Link to comment

I am really happy to see someone posting this question and I hope many Geocachers read and give the question some consideration. I think the notion of leaving trade items is not well respected nor is it understood how it adds to the sport. Especially for those of us fortunate enough to get to cache with kids. I try to leave items that 1) I can afford, 2) Will interest people 3) are safe and appropriate for all cachers.

 

Lately it seems that caches are filling up with business cards, old (not used) band aids, hotel soap, and just "crap” It takes so little time to pick up a few extra stocking stuffers during the holiday's to keep the cache kit well stocked.

 

I try to carry an assortment of items with various sizes, Happy meal toys should be new or at least unused, music CDs should be playable and preferably no Barry Banilow, Small good items include foreign coins, foreign paper currency, lapel pins (not faded or bent), good trading cards (baseball, Neopets, etc...) Just the other day I was at a cache where someone had left a pin from Prague. I was fortunate enough to get to geocache in Prague last year and this pin was a real find for me. When I saw it in the Cache I said "Bonus".

 

Have fun and welcome to Geocaching.

Link to comment

Last weekend, I found a 30 sided dice. I had never seen one before and thought it was a very unique idea. I grabbed it of course, but left a geocoin (equal trade I think). Now, if I could only figure out what to do with it.

 

I do think the MacToys are a bad idea: I found another cache which was a large ammo box and had two MacToys in it. The problem was these two toys filled up the entire cache container.

Link to comment

I really like to play with beads, so we have left pony bead lanyards in the shape of lizards and such. Or you can make bracelets, but it can be unique and relatively inexpensive as well. Also we like to leave WheresGeorge.com dollar bills, because Geocachers tend to be adventurous people open to interesting new treasure hunts.

Link to comment

I am also a rockhound who likes to find rocks and minerals. I have a couple of rock tumblers where I can end up with nice shiny, polished rocks. I usually leave a few of these polished rocks in the caches I find. Judging from the cache logs other people have posted, my rocks seem to be a popular item to trade.

 

Some rocks are tiny enough to easily fit in a film canister.

Link to comment

Mosquitoe wipes are I think the best thing I have ever found. They saved my life one day! I do stuff for kids and grown ups. I like to shop, so sometimes I don't trade I just leave stuff. I found a dollar section at Micheal's craft store, I got little kits of things you can make like a compass key chain and little clay pot animals. I leave first aid kits sometimes too and ponchos. Today at wall mart I found plastic bags that were folded up and stuffed in a little plastic package.. what better for CITO? I know grocery bags are free but they don't come in a little package. I like finding polished rocks, I have a set of blue dice that I love and a mini straw hat that says "geohat" on it. We found some brand new items from Claire's in a cahce recently, that was really nice.

 

We are still thinking of a signature item that we could make. I saw one family of cachers who left their own button.

Link to comment

I turn hand made deer antler pens on my lathe as an income hobby. I have a huge box full of 2-3 inch cut-off tine tips that I have saved for some crazy reason. I just recently started making key rings by drilling and screwing an eye hook into the cut end of a tine, then adding a circular key ring. I have found that from some of the responses left by finders who took one, that they were very pleased with this, thus my new trade item to leave in cache sites.

Link to comment

sounds like some neat stuff I am very new and still deciding on a gps, so my 2 cents may only be worth that. But be careful with Cheap compasses. If they find the cache they probably can get back, but still, a compass that did not work correctly could posibly really mess someone up. I will probably leave handburned wooden nickels.

good posts!

Link to comment

Last weekend, I found a 30 sided dice. I had never seen one before and thought it was a very unique idea. I grabbed it of course, but left a geocoin (equal trade I think). Now, if I could only figure out what to do with it.

 

Unless the geocoin was your own and for the next finder to keep or an unactivated coin, it wasn't an equal trade. Geocoins are like travel bugs...they are not trade items.

 

Ed

Link to comment

The above are good but fifty and hundred dollar bills work too. Just let me know what caches you plan on putting them in before you go.

 

I'm curious what you would "trade up" if you took a $50 or $100 bill? ; )

Well, how about 3 or 6 twenties? ;-)

Link to comment
The above are good but fifty and hundred dollar bills work too. Just let me know what caches you plan on putting them in before you go.
I'm curious what you would "trade up" if you took a $50 or $100 bill? ; )
Well, how about 3 or 6 twenties? ;-)
Or perhaps a few twenty-fives? ;-)
Link to comment

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Loading...
Followers 1
×
×
  • Create New...