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I also have found and traded knifes in caches however I have changed my mind a little. I don't want to see anything in the cache that would hurt the sport. I believe anyone that objects to a small useful knife in a cache is right but not relevant. If officials for parks have rules against it - we should go by those rules in order to continue playing the game. People that worry about kids finding them should be supervising the kids anyway - that is relevant parenting. Let kids know one might be in there and what to do about it. I have never seen anyone lock up the sharp knife in their Kitchen at home and the kids somehow manage not to chop each other up to much. If a cache is out and way from government supervision I really have no problem with it - but with that said I don't put them in caches and I get them out ASAP. Usually I want them.

I also place a respectful reminder when I enter the log that knifes in a cache are a NO NO. The hard part is I feel like I am following a rule for the idea not the reality of it. That bothers me a little. I still prefer to keep this sport going than argue to much about easy to fix problems. We have to deal with rule makers and need to be super nice to the Police if that come up. Bend over backwfards to show them we are quality people even if they think we are a pain.

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I have been collecting knives since I was about age 8. As a kid I used to carry a swiss army knife in my pocket, but it wore a hole in the pocket in 3 pairs of pants. Now I look for a light, strong knife and I have some favorites. I bought 10 knives from a catalog for $30. I assumed most would be cheap Chinese knockoffs but I might find a few gems in the bunch. Most of them were quite good quality, all were folders, and a few were fairly light for their size.


I never used any of the features of my swiss army knife except for the blades, so I just carry a folder with a blade only. The only time I use the non-blade features of my leatherman knockoff is around the house. I keep it in my kitchen drawer to do quick repairs.


So I do not think a swiss army knife is worth the extra weight.

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I got my first pocket knife when I was six years old from my Dad. It was a gift for passing first grade. I have carried one in my pocket ever since. Current rules of NO sharp objects on planes just makes it easier for hijackers. Now they have fewer things to worry about from the passengers. As far as somebody using a knife they found in a cache for harming somebody else or using it in a crime, they are probably going to do it anyway. The knife only becomes a weapon when the wielder uses it that way. The rules say don't put knives in caches so I don't, but I wouldn't cringe if I found one. So if you are going to leave one I prefer Old Timer for a pocket knife and a mini SwissTech plier/screwdrivers as my daily carriers and Buck for my folding sheath knife. Oh, and a Leatherman as a multitool when out and about. Don't much care for the Swiss Army Brand, too big, bulky and overpriced; but if that is all you have I won't refuse it.

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Personally for my sharp tools that I carry, I much prefer a single blade liner-lock over any swiss army knife, and a Gerber multi-tool. I don't feel that there is enough danger with the sharp tools to warrant the ban from the damage they could do. I do strongly agree with the rest of the banned material, especially the lighters I'd rather not have them in a cache they could leak and ruin the logbook, or some little wanker could burn down the forest. Unless it's a brand new (NOT FUELED) Zippo lighter, then I'm ok with it since it's got about as much danger as a stuffed animal.


Anyway, that got off topic. The big reason for the "No knives" rule is just so that it CAN NOT BE USED AGAINST US.


- Hypothetical Story Time -


Let's say that some muggle, I dunno let's call him 'Harry the hiker' sees somebody playing with a box off of a trail, and he gets really upset because that guy came within like 6 feet of smooshing some type of really common wildflower. Geocacher leaves, muggle boy slithers over to investigate, he sees it to be a MILLITARY AMMO CAN that the hider forgot to repaint, being a sticky fingered muggle he ofcourse opens it to, um, investigate...yeah that's it. He sees the word GEOCACHE in the box, and after digging around in it, finds a Victorinox Classic SD (tiny blade, nailfile, wimpy scissors, and the toothpick, tweezers) and maybe even a large Ziploc bag around the logbook (could be used to suffocate babies or something), oh and the logbook could give somebody a nasty papercut, the pencil could be used to stab, the McTrash could be a choking hazard...


Now our muggle 'Harry the hiker' doesn't like sharing the trails with ANYBODY, and wants them closed to everyone (so that nature will be all his since he doesn't listen to trail closure things anyway, he's selfish like that). Especially people like his new enemy the geocache people who might come within a few feet of smooshing the pretty common flowers. So he does what any selfish person does to try and make sure they get their way, he takes it to the media to sensationalize it! Now there's a frontpage story in the newspaper about some local muggle, erm I mean 'hero', finding a seceret "CACHE" of 'weapons' in some park, and afterall children have come within a couple miles of that park. Think of the children! Angry mobs of his friends swarm out, the media only cares about the bad side of the story, land managers have to take some kind of action...


Then, someody help us if the media ever decides to crosslink that story with the ones where a geocache has been suspected of being a bomb!!! :)



Yes this hypothetical story is wrong, over sensationalized, total BS, and absolutely going to happen if we don't watch ourselves! So, we can either not put out knives, only trade knives and multi-tools at geocache events; or seal the knives in a ziploc bag with a dessicant, then put them in another hollow stump, then stick a slip of paper in the cache with coords to the knife :huh::) Personally, I like the first 2 options better.


**Harry the hiker is fictional, not intended based off of any person living, dead, undead, reborn, resurrected... Just a fake name so I wouldn't have to call him 'evil muggle-boy' for the whole rant

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I have one SAN tat I never carry even though it's great for geocaching, it has an ink pen in the handle.

I much prefer my Leatherman though for the pliers, srewdrivers and scissors, and I carry a single blade lockback knife that I only use to peel and slice oranges and apples.

To comply with guidelines I wouldn't leave one in most caches but would love to find them :) .

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I reckon I have to say 'ditto' to all those who propose following the guidelines just because they are guidelines.


It really doesn't matter whether knives are safe or legal or common or trash - the guidelines written by the folks that list our caches online say that a cache cannot be / remain listed on their site with knives in it.


Kind of reduces the argument down to the essentials - No knives in Groundspeak-listed caches.


Now, if you want to campaign to change the guidelines, go right ahead!


But until they change, let's follow them!

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I like knives with all the doo-dads...but I will purchase them myself, thank you. There are good reasons for guidelines as to what shouldn't be in a cache container, and those reasons are usually between three and nine years old. How much trouble can a little one get into with a knife? A lot, if mom or dad don't see them grab it out of the cache first. Let the young ones learn knife safety with the guidance of an adult, and with a better quality knife than the ones you find in caches (I prefer a Leatherman with a locking blade). That way, it's a memory (my grandfather taught me to whittle) that educates.


If you need further proof for why we should be careful what we put in caches, consider a friend of mine. Several years ago, he was handed a fistful of firecrackers, another no-no for swag. His parents weren't around, and instead of throwing the lit firecrackers into the air, he held on to them, examining them closely. The resulting injury cost him his sight and several of his fingers. While we shouldn't shelter our children from every taboo, it's best to let parents introduce them to "magnets" like knives, firecrackers, etc. Oh yes...I've found firecrackers in caches several times.

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I have two thoughts on the "no knives" policy. First, the replies demonstrate both culture and location. Generally speaking, carrying a pocket knife was very common for men who were born in the 1940s, 50s, 60s, and 70s. Women carrying a pocketknife is more of a midwestern-western influence. (I'm a female in Colorado and have always carried a pocket knife). A pocket knife is seen as a tool--not a weapon. The growth of very violent gangs in schools brought about the policy prohibiting kids from carrying a pocket knife. Knifes were often used as a weapon, not a tool. So kids in the 80s, 90s did not grow up having a pocket knife in their possession (but don't try to take their cell phone!!). Knifes are now banned from airlines, court houses, some clubs, etc.


The other reason cited for not putting pocket knifes into caches is if a prison road gang finds the cache. These folks do not need a easy find of a knife! While I don't think there is a giant hazard for kids to have a pocket knife (assuming parents/guardians also teach the responsibility to carry a knife!), I will adhere to the rules of Geocaching.com. There are so many goodies one can leave in a cache. My favorite is a cacher who leaves stainless steel spoons. I am on my way to collecting a set!!


Take care,



PS. I am speaking in cultural generalities--I realize that there are men and women who do not fit the generalities written above. Please don't flame me! :anibad:

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