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Trading up treasure?


masonx4
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hello, new here, so sorry that my first post is a moan...

 

it's pretty disappointing to find caches full of tat. i took some early advice and try to trade up which isn't hard when a lot of people just seem to empty out their kitchen drawers.

 

personally, i'm not that bothered. i love the finding bit. but our two children are really fired up about the idea of treasure hunting, i fear another box full of buttons, dice, flipping macdonald's toys is going to find me searching for micros on my own!

 

i'm sure this has been brought up before, but anyone else got any thoughts or suggestions about what can be done to improve the hauls?

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I was also disappointed with the stuff in the caches when I started. I fully intended to trade at every cache, but soon decided it was a fairly pointless exercise. One good thing by keeping caches low quality "treasure" wise is that it reduces the attraction of them being muggled. Imagine if there was say 20 quids worth of stuff in each cache. You could imagine that a muggle may decide it was worth his while joining in the hobby to clean out the caches. Expect he might regret it after a while, but then the damage would have been down.

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I don't trade any more. I am always disappointed when I open one of my own cache containers and find it either empty or full of tat. When placing a cache I always fill it to the brim with decent swaps. Because people take stuff without leaving anything (yes that is called theft) and take decent stuff and leave tat, I refuse to replenish any of my caches with more swaps. Sadly that does mean the contents become rubbish over time. Sometimes within a few days if it is busy enough.

 

With that all said though it's all about the location or how the cache has been hidden that does it for me.

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fair point fantastic, i'm quite happy with just the hunting, but to get the children involved it takes a bit more than the lure of a grubby happy meal toy! maybe the problem is that we have been muggled already!

 

haggis, completely understand what you're saying, i am sure i'll feel the same when i start palcing caches, but i'm not ready to give up... just yet!

 

famous last words, but i'm going to continue putting good stuff in and taking crap out - especially macdonald's toys - and binning it!

 

trash-free cache, i like it.

 

is there a noticeable difference in caches if you become a premium member?

Edited by masonx4
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is there a noticeable difference in caches if you become a premium member?

 

nope, they are just the same caches! The number of premium member only caches is so remote - we've never found one yet. Only thing is some people make new caches premium member only for a week or two to start with, so you probably get a better choice of the original swag before the unwashed masses get their hands on it (only joking!)

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I wonder if we need to re think the whole trading issue :blink:

When Geocaching started there were only a few caches around and trading was a good idea. Now the only plus side as far as I can see is to encourage children.

Most cachers start off by trading then get a bit down hearted by moving the same old tut around from cache to cache. Eventually they stop trading altogether.

Personally I don't trade any more and only very rarely find anything I would like.

A few good hearted cachers always trade up (mainly forum readers) but this will never stop the tide of human nature which is to take what they want and leave what ever they can get away with.

Are we not just potentially adding to the litter out there.

The only things I take from caches these days are soggy bits of paper and card and decaying sweets etc.

Not trying to ruffle feathers, just putting the thought out there.

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One of the things we DO like finding in caches is foreign coins. These have very little value but son and daughter like to argue over collect them.

This poses a problem when deciding what to leave in their place. Would trading up mean we have to leave a foreign coin of a higher value? :lol:

 

 

 

We normally swap them for one of the many high quality items we buy in specially for the purpose :blink:

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.... what's the deal with geocoins?

:lol: They're not swap items :blink: They belong to other geocachers and, like Travel Bugs, they travel from cache to cache. Have a look here for a full explanation of how to log TBs and geocoins.

 

Like others on this thread, we don't swap items very often any more. If we do, we usually take out something fairly useless and drop in a couple of more interesting things (in our opinion :lol: )

 

MrsB

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I started caching with my two children who like to swap items in caches, they have both been dissapointed with some caches but when we visit a new cache most of them have had excellent swaps . For some people what is there is tat and for others it's collectable, i'e' my eldest likes funding "puppies in your pocket" which I personaly whould class as tat, The 2 year old I look after likes Mcdonald toys (no accounting for taste). So we take stuff to swap but only swap if there is something they really want, read back through the logs to see what others have left may be an indication the bigger boxes usually contain more stuff. I also try and encourage other aspects of caching, I let them take photos with a digital camera and as they do like finding Tb's and coins to move on I go for ones with TB's and coins in them (though sometimes they will have been moved on before you get there) . Hope this helps :blink:

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We don't swap very often these days although we do carry one or two decent swaps with us just in case. We stock our own caches mainly with children's stuff (always brand new).

We do like to move trackables along if we possibly can.

As we "take" pleasure and good memories when we do a cache, we try to "leave" a photo when we log online as a "Thank you" - we love people posting their pics for our caches. That is if, of course, we remember to take a camera or we are not doing a spot of night caching :blink:

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...As we "take" pleasure and good memories when we do a cache, we try to "leave" a photo when we log online as a "Thank you" - we love people posting their pics for our caches...

Agreed :blink: An interesting pic or an amusing comment in the log is a small "treasure" in it's own way.

 

I recently bought a few replica Roman coins to use as swaps and we've also used old pre-decimal coins. We've also used small, polished fossils and have just got in a new stock of "the Blorenge blattery cases".

 

MrsB :lol:

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If I may join in on this one...

 

The Birdie Crew (my lads) love swaps but tend to choose differing items. The eldest (11) loves anything techy, compass clips or the like. The youngest actually likes tat (what I think anyway) like superballs.

What I'd like to know though is where you buy your bits from. When we visit different places that have souveniers you can pay far too much for a ideal swap item. We paid £5 for 3 items and 2 of them were pencils.

Does anyone have suggestions on suppliers?

 

Cheers Carlos

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it's pretty disappointing to find caches full of tat. i took some early advice and try to trade up which isn't hard when a lot of people just seem to empty out their kitchen drawers.

 

personally, i'm not that bothered. i love the finding bit. but our two children are really fired up about the idea of treasure hunting, i fear another box full of buttons, dice, flipping macdonald's toys is going to find me searching for micros on my own!

 

Hi,

I agree with what's been said - it seems a generally universal thing that cache contents degrade over time. If you want to increase the likelihood of finding 'treasure' I would suggest trying to find recently put out caches and ones that are slightly more remote and thus get fewer visits. There seems to be a fair correlation between number of visits and tat, so work on less time out there and more distance (thus fewer visits) to get better swaps.

 

Another way of looking at it, if treasure for kids is important, is to turn the concept around. Ask "not what you will find but what could you leave?"! (To paraphrase JFK!) If I had little kids I might get them interested in making small mementos to leave in the caches. Eg, collect small stones and paint them to make 'pet rocks'. Attach a small label "Made by Beth, age 5" and leave in a cache. I bet you'd get quite a lot of appreciative logs from people who came after you who were really glad to find something hand-made. So in effect swap a 'treasure' for a nice log. You'd also get a fun craft session as a bonus. Just try and find an idea appropriate to your kids that is fairly easy to make lots of.

 

We come across a lot more small containers these days, and indeed put out quite a few small ones ourselves. I think it's because as you cache more the idea of swaps become less important, especially when faced with the reality of most boxes. The memorable finds are often those where someone has produced something unique, and then I regret not having some good swaps with me!

 

The number of caches now out there also influences swaps - as each individual cache becomes less of a special event but 'just' one of several in an afternoon you don't tend to expect to find a treasure trove at each location. Basically, the nature of the game has changed over time and good swaps are not the focus for many people, both because of the experience that there are 'takers' in the world, and the number of caches.

 

Hope you enjoy your new hobby though! :blink:

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I used to cache as a family and I'm now a solo cacher partly because of this very issue. Although I disapprove of their mercenary attitude to caching I can see things from a kid's point of view. Oddly enough what I considered tat interested my kids, (11 and 9 at the time.) Their favourite cache was GCVTB8 Cache Genie an absolute gem for kids, (of any age!)

At the end of the day everyone plays this game the way they want to. I once left some toys in a newish cache hoping to please some mini cacher when a subsequent finder (adult,) logged, "Took car LN". At the time I was livid, now I just laugh at stuff like that.

I get a little buzz out of leaving something nice for kids and usually mention toys in my logs to encourage mini cachers to visit. What happens after that is totally out of my control, so Que Sera, Sera.

I've been in your position, I know how it feels and my advice to you would be: - Enjoy getting out in the fresh air and spending time with your kids, it's really not about the trades as much as the fun of the find and seeing places you didn't know existed. My two have now also taken up solo caching identities and do occasionally accompany me on a hunt.

Personally I have found MO caches to be better stocked but that may just be the area I live in.

;)

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There seems to be a fair correlation between number of visits and tat, so work on less time out there and more distance (thus fewer visits) to get better swaps.

 

I have a theory along those lines!

 

eg Close to town/city, easily accessable by families, more likelyhood of 'tat'

A good hike into the middle of nowhere, no families with young children finding, better swaps.

 

Have no problem with MacD toys in caches, but when its broken?

 

collect small stones and paint them to make 'pet rocks'. Attach a small label "Made by Beth, age 5" and leave in a cache.

 

Where are you leaving these items?!

We would like to swap to collect them!

 

G

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Does anyone have suggestions on suppliers?

 

Cheers Carlos

 

Not been playing this game long, but this is where I've found swag.

 

Poundland has some really nice fluffy pens for the girls and some clip-on pen keyrings. Supermarket stationary departments are a good place. Also our local corner shop has unusual items which have received positive comments in logs. I've got two mini torch keyrings from Woolworths and I may have to keep one myself.

 

Mainly I just try to think like a 12 year old and if they would like something.

 

I try to keep things in their packaging so that the finder knows it's not from the back of the kitchen drawer. I always have my eyes open for something small and unusual when I'm shopping. I enjoy looking for swaps and see it as part of the fun.

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This is one debate that seems to roll on and on. There is no such thing as "good" or "bad" swaps. As long as they are clean and in good condition I don't personally think it matters. Even McDonald's "tat" may be treasure to a child who is collecting a set and is missing one or two items. I find they are quite well made and better than some of the swaps I have seen.

 

My rainbow series is aimed at children and the quality of the swaps is generally very good and everyone sticks to the colour themes. It is a joy to open the lid and see the thought that has gone into the contents. I get lovely logs from people who have put a lot of thought into what they are going to bring to the caches. Unfortunately one particular cache went slightly downhill lately when visitors had left a pair of (dirty) kids socks and a few old pennies, ;) The cache was virtually empty and I had to restock it just to keep it interesting for the little ones. Everything is kept in its original wrapping so people can be assured it is new. Anything metal is put into sealed plastic bags to prevent it rusting should the cache become damp.

 

I used to swap but now it's hardly worth carrying the stuff around so I tend not to bother, especially when there are so many micros around. I do feel sorry for cachers who place interesting items in new caches and then return to find them virtually empty. When everyone writes TNLN it makes me wonder where all the swaps went.. or is it the caching fairy up to mischief?? ;)

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There seems to be a fair correlation between number of visits and tat, so work on less time out there and more distance (thus fewer visits) to get better swaps.

 

I have a theory along those lines!

 

eg Close to town/city, easily accessable by families, more likelyhood of 'tat'

A good hike into the middle of nowhere, no families with young children finding, better swaps.

 

Have no problem with MacD toys in caches, but when its broken?

 

collect small stones and paint them to make 'pet rocks'. Attach a small label "Made by Beth, age 5" and leave in a cache.

 

Where are you leaving these items?!

We would like to swap to collect them!

 

G

 

We dragged our kids up Ben Nevis earlier this year youngest is 8 but we do leave good swag behind.

 

We do however have a house filled with McD toys. Some of them are very good toys and are designed to last and put up with lots of abuse almost the perfect kids swap.

 

<_< signature items i wish there was a list of UK sig items so i could track down the rarer ones.

 

We do have a huga carved monkey in our collection though No 18 of 24

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I do like to swop as does the rest of the clan, but we do try to make our swops canny. I am not bothered if folk leave tat its their problem not mine. So trading up is what we do. At the moment we have some girlie stuff that Mrs G is getting rid of costume jewelry etc. and some football microstars so that covers boys and girls.

 

In the past novelty pencil sharpeners have been well recieved. so it does not have to cost a lot and remember the cost of a McD toy is 99p so is not cheap when you consider some of the stuff in caches.

 

I reckon if we all thought of the little ones who cache and place a little something for them then it would be more fun for them and we still get the fun of the actual hunt.

 

Me I will continue to place stuff in caches as I like the idea of some little one finding some treasure.

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it's pretty disappointing to find caches full of tat.

 

as they say, one persons tat is another persons treasure.

 

i dont trade, im just a TNLN move TB's on kind of guy.

 

in my caches there is all sorts of 'junk' but someone may like it so i leave it.

 

What about applying CITO (Cache In Trash Out) to caches? The idea would be to remove any broken tat and leave something half decent.

 

I have a collection of cheap stuff to leave as swaps. I believe that kids too can be encouraged to trade up but remember they have zero budget: I reckon that that is why swag really deteriorates - so give your own kids some decent items for swapping.

 

Cheap stuff I have:

- micro compasses from dealextreme.com at £1.25 for 20 - I can leave 4 at a time and they are great glued to torches etc.

- Other dealextreme.com oddities at about 50p which look like they are worth £3-5

- Tesco stationery items at 3 for 99p e.g. 3 highlighters

- Carabiner clips at about 75p

- Turkish, Chinese etc bank notes worth about 10p - but interesting.

- B and Q, Halfords multitools etc. about £1

- Retractable tape measures (sealed against damp) 50p - £1.00

- Ikea alarm clocks at 65p !!!! (shrink-wrapped)

- More Ikea weird thingies around 70p

- Sheets of stickers rolled up (for kids)

 

I trade up by putting something I would like to receive (or would have done as a kid) in a cache and removing broken crud. Then I take it home and stamp on it - it's very liberating!

 

A decent swap costs from 5p up to £1.00 and I still feel good afterwards! I like to keep a cache's contents varied so I'd rather not deplete it of crud - even when tempted - so sometimes I just trade the worst stuff out. Why would I want to keep OR TRADE crud eh?

 

Aaaaargh! - ooh that's better.

 

 

I feel like Batman when I have improved a cache's content like this. :anibad:

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i did a thread same as this one a while ago and unfortunatly nothing seems to have improved . i have now stopped doing swaps as there is now nothing worth swopping now .in fact i havnt seen any good stuff in caches for a long time.

i try to keep my caches well stocked with good stuff but have now given up as in a short time they are filled up with rubbish or people are taking things and not putting stuff back in

dont know what the solution is

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Cheap stuff I have:

- micro compasses from dealextreme.com at £1.25 for 20 - I can leave 4 at a time and they are great glued to torches etc.

- Other dealextreme.com oddities at about 50p which look like they are worth £3-5

That's a great site for buying stuff!!!!!

 

What's the deal with import duty etc?

 

Do they really do worldwide shipping for free?

Yes they ship for free. They are quite happy to put £1.00 worth of stuff in a jiffy bag and post it. Then I don't think HMRC are so bothered - they have bigger things to worry about. Anyone want to buy some slightly used CDs? :blink:

 

How that site does stuff like that at that price I will never know. remember, all that stuff you bought on the High St at ten times the price was made in the same factories. Mind you they do their own very special line in tat - I might have to buy one of these just so I can stamp on it... ;)

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