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Swag Etiquette


TheSmokingMonkeys
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My wife and I have been Geocaching since July and after only 223 caches I find myself shaking my head when I open the box at times and see what has become of the swag. I am ok with McToys I actually kind of like them and also any silly items from Oriental Trading and the such.

 

I mean it really is about the hunt for us. I get disappointed when I see the half a Barbie doll or the old hot wheels car missing two wheels and my person pet peeve is something someone cut off the back of a Cereal Box. We just started making our own signature items from Fimo, the cost is minimal and they are going to make a unique item to leave in the cache, before then we bought Monkey toys from Oriental Trading. What is your opinion about Swag? When should you just do a TNLN?

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I only leave something that I would personally like to find.

 

I know that there are some folks out there who enjoy collecting the signature items of other cachers, but to me those are as uninteresting as McToys.

 

I try to leave something that matches the theme of the cache, if there is one. If not, I've found that a scratch-off lottery ticket is a cheap way to prolong the treasure hunt just a bit longer.

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A mini first aid kit is a great bit o' swag to leave. I often rubber band a few antiseptic wound wipes and bandages together to drop in caches. Those pin-on bug repellent badges or a spare set of AA's can also be great swag. If I could find single use packets of sunblock I would stock up on those too.

 

It's nice to leave/find something useful in a cache otherwise full of broken toys and bent trinkets.

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One of the best and easiest ways to protect small cache items is small plastic bags. You can buy them at Michaels or another craft store very cheaply and small bundles of those make a great item to place in every cache. You can add a few bandages to one and add that to a cache. You can leave dollar store items like glow sticks, new packages of AA batteries, small flashlights. I place large D Cell batteries and flashlights in my night cache quite often. I buy almost any small item with a smiley face on it like lanyards or keychains. If I place paper items in a cache I place them in small baggies and I do place Tim's coupons, lottery scratches and geocaching stickers. I place fridge magnets, car wash tokens and once in awhile a loonie or twoonie.

 

On caches that I own I remove all broken or unsound items on a regular basis. I also remove all paper items unless laminated or otherwise protected, all food, matches, lighters and knives. I remove excessively large items that interfere with closure, items damaged by heat like crayons and pens and I remove all liquids regardless of the packaging. I remove all scented items like bars of hotel soap. Sometimes I replace these items with smaller trinkets but many times I do not. If my cleaning cleans the cache out I always make sure to leave a few new pieces of swag. I do this to ensure the next person finding the cache also enjoys the experience.

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I only leave something that I would personally like to find.

 

I know that there are some folks out there who enjoy collecting the signature items of other cachers, but to me those are as uninteresting as McToys.

 

I try to leave something that matches the theme of the cache, if there is one. If not, I've found that a scratch-off lottery ticket is a cheap way to prolong the treasure hunt just a bit longer.

 

I had not thought of Lottery tickets before thanks for the feedback sounds like it would make any cache a little more fun.

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One of the best and easiest ways to protect small cache items is small plastic bags. You can buy them at Michaels or another craft store very cheaply and small bundles of those make a great item to place in every cache. You can add a few bandages to one and add that to a cache. You can leave dollar store items like glow sticks, new packages of AA batteries, small flashlights. I place large D Cell batteries and flashlights in my night cache quite often. I buy almost any small item with a smiley face on it like lanyards or keychains. If I place paper items in a cache I place them in small baggies and I do place Tim's coupons, lottery scratches and geocaching stickers. I place fridge magnets, car wash tokens and once in awhile a loonie or twoonie.

 

On caches that I own I remove all broken or unsound items on a regular basis. I also remove all paper items unless laminated or otherwise protected, all food, matches, lighters and knives. I remove excessively large items that interfere with closure, items damaged by heat like crayons and pens and I remove all liquids regardless of the packaging. I remove all scented items like bars of hotel soap. Sometimes I replace these items with smaller trinkets but many times I do not. If my cleaning cleans the cache out I always make sure to leave a few new pieces of swag. I do this to ensure the next person finding the cache also enjoys the experience.

 

Thanks a lot we are planting 20 caches in the spring and I will keep those thoughts in mind and keep some extra swag in the car for when we do maintenance. If I have enough swag with me and there is little to nothing in a cache or everything in there is trashed or broken I will leave a couple of extra items. I have so much fun with the hunt it is worth chipping in some extra swag.

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A mini first aid kit is a great bit o' swag to leave. I often rubber band a few antiseptic wound wipes and bandages together to drop in caches. Those pin-on bug repellent badges or a spare set of AA's can also be great swag. If I could find single use packets of sunblock I would stock up on those too.

 

It's nice to leave/find something useful in a cache otherwise full of broken toys and bent trinkets.

 

Home made mini first aide kits sound like a cool and economical bit o swag, Thanks!

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I only leave something that I would personally like to find.

 

I know that there are some folks out there who enjoy collecting the signature items of other cachers, but to me those are as uninteresting as McToys.

 

I try to leave something that matches the theme of the cache, if there is one. If not, I've found that a scratch-off lottery ticket is a cheap way to prolong the treasure hunt just a bit longer.

 

See I like Sig items if they are interesting and Monkeys really like McToys as long as they do not look like they have been your dogs chew toy for a month prior to being left in the cache.

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I have a big pile of toys that sometimes I bring along to trade, but usually I forget.

 

I normally TNLN, but on the rare occasion that there is something I actually want, I usually just leave a buck. It's not exciting, but I always like to open a cache and see cash in there, and I'm guessing at least some others do as well. :(

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I have a big pile of toys that sometimes I bring along to trade, but usually I forget.

 

I normally TNLN, but on the rare occasion that there is something I actually want, I usually just leave a buck. It's not exciting, but I always like to open a cache and see cash in there, and I'm guessing at least some others do as well. :)

 

hey that's two McApple Pies! Awesome!

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I am glad that this is being talked about. Recently, I found a cache that I really wanted to trade items in, but there was nothing really of interest for me. All there was was rubber spiders, toy cars, and other rubber animals (which is awesome for kids, but I was disappointed). I left a charm for a necklace and took a car (just for the sake of it), because I wanted the next person to find something else besides what I found. A lot of the ideas mentioned here sound interesting, thank you!

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Greetings!

 

This is a great thread.

 

I have long been amazed at some of the utter garbage that people leave in caches. The most annoying are muddy golf balls that people find when walking to a cache.

 

I always remove obvious trash (every muddy, found golf ball goes) such as soaked paper items, broken toys,etc and try to leave 2:1 or try to just leave 2 items even if I take nothing.

 

As most of the swag is for kids anyway - I often leave some new military patches and pins ( bought a huge lot of stuff for cheap at govliquidation.com ) or ziplok bags of costume jewelry (nooo, i dont wear it - sometimes buy boxes of it for next to nothing at public sales ).

 

I can remember only a handful of times when the pirzes actually made me go, "Wow!" but I have seen countless times when kids were ooohing and ahhing.

 

Sincerely,

PULASKI

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Our swag is almost strictly for kids. The kids are pretty much the only ones who trade, so our geocaching backpack is full of toys for them to place in the cache. The only thing we may do differently than some people is place only new toys in a cache. We feel that's doing our part to "trade even or trade up". As long as our kids our happy with the ratty old toy they pulled out of the cache, so are we. We have made some sig items (bracelets spelling out MTGeoPirates with skull and crossbones interspaced) and place those in caches without taking anything out to replace them. For us, it's about the cache, spending time with the family and the journey to the cache site. The swag is just our way to bribe the kids. :(

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I agree with most that it's more for the 'hunt' but still kinda cool to see some different items to trade. I have enjoyed different military/police/fire patches. I know my boys look forward to a good regular size cache and see what is there! I still enjoy trading something, even if its a rubber wristband or matchbox. We have an old handmade wooden box with alid that we have made our own 'treasure' chest for all of our finds, and it's fun to see all the assortment of items we have brought home. As for the caches i have placed, I have tried to place an assortment of items for both young & adults, to include tape measures, key chains, patches, pins, coins, etc.. and yes, always some Mcd's & hot wheels! I do have to wonder why leave a single playing card, or someother piece of paper??

Thanks for the discussion!

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I too have become very bored with all the junk in the caches. It's gotten to the point that I rarely bring trade items at all anymore, and just simply TNLNSL each cache. On the rare occasion that I do find something inspiring, I typically will drop a pair of AA batteries, taped together, side by side. It was a habit a friend of mine introduced to me. She always has pair of batts in her bag, and I figured that I too always carry spares, so onthe off chance I want to trade, I can drop a pair, and I don't have to carry extra items that are designated as "trades".

 

I've tried to be more utilitarian in my trading. When I was newer (not that I have 1000 cahes logged now), I used to leave rain ponchos, first aid kits, notecards with other nearby caches, new boot laces, duct tape, and that sort of stuff. I felt I was a "good" trader, but I gave up, because of all the army men and broken barbie dolls I ran into. Its sad, but I have to say, I've become a trader grinch!

 

Cache Advance

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I only leave something that I would personally like to find.

 

I know that there are some folks out there who enjoy collecting the signature items of other cachers, but to me those are as uninteresting as McToys.

 

I try to leave something that matches the theme of the cache, if there is one. If not, I've found that a scratch-off lottery ticket is a cheap way to prolong the treasure hunt just a bit longer.

 

I had not thought of Lottery tickets before thanks for the feedback sounds like it would make any cache a little more fun.

 

Warning......When I first started out, I found a lottery ticket and won 20 thousand dollars! I called my husband, SO excited, then I turned the ticket over and read the fine print. It was phony. What a let down! But I DO think that REAL lottery tickets would be AWESOME to come across!

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For what its worth.....I placed an ammo can full of stuff worth between $5-10. Its called Upper swag , and I made it clear in the details that trades should be FAIR, or just sign the log. Guess what, first person took an $8 Rappala fishing lure and left a seashell.

Few people will go so far as to find this cache, but I did put it in a neat area few folks know about. I consider a cache swag experiment to see how long over $50 in swag gets reduced to a can-o-crap.

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I'm still pretty new, but I like to leave something that represents my interests. I make fused-glass jewlery, so I usually leave a glass pendant or sometimes an old coin - like a buffalo nickel. If I take something of higher value, I'll leave a couple pendants - or just choose something that matches or is less in value.

 

In a pinch, I left a where's george dollar once.

 

:D

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Oh, come on who doesn't enjoy a ball with a bite out it, a matchbox car missing a wheel. Oh and my favorite one that I love to see is half used stuff jammed back into the cache or the buthead who puts a bottlecap or a cigarette in the cache and thinks thats cool.

 

Come on people put nice stuff in the cache you would like. You would be suprised what you can find for a buck or two. I usually put in outdoor stuff that I pick up, handwarmers,toilet paper, batteries, rain ponchos, match containers. little flashlights, some NEW matchbox cars.

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I'm trying to leave useful items in the caches we find. I just made up about 100 packets with a mosquito repellent wipe and a few plain wet wipes. They are small, light, easy to carry and I hope useful. Also, as we live in the "Snow Zone" I bought a bunch of "Hot Hands" and left them early in the fall.

Edited by mbarb
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I'd agree if it just an occassional thing, I'd just take it and leave something extra next time. Of course, cash is alway an option.

 

Personally, I don't take much for myelf. Often, my son (10) is with me and he will often take 2 and leave 2. If he's not with my, I'll take something for him if it's something I think he'll particularly like. Dice, dirty golfballs, and army men are some of his favorites.

 

Often, I'll just leave an item or two and take nothing. I'm a cub scout leader and to paraphrase a rule of scouting, "A scout always leaves a cache better than he found it."

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As a rule of thumb me and many local cachers hav decided trade equal or up meaning leave something of equal or greater value or dont trade!! nothing makes me madder then knowing that a nice object is in a new placed cache and taking time to find it just to get there and find that i was not the FTF!! Then rummage thru the box and find that the only thing gone is the 20.dollar item and it has been replace witha bag of fake dog POOP!!!(can you tell im still alittle pevved)

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