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What is your least favorite swag item(s) that you find?


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:( BUBBLES!!!! We find lots of caches with what was once quality swag soaked with the sweetest smelling, slimiest substance found....bubbles. We realize that these are left by well meaning cachers wanting to trade, but we do hope that a law is passed that does not allow geocachers to purchase soapy water for any other purchase than to clean. Hey, I'm not being ungrateful or a grinch, but we do maintenance on lots og caches contaminated with at one time, a well meant trade.
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Here is my list of things I do not like to find in caches; many of these items (those marked with a ***} are things which I have found in our own caches while doing maintenance:

Hope this helps to complete the genre!

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McToys don't hurt anything and I imagine that some kid might like them, but I agree that all of the other swag items listed are among my least favorites. Also:

 

Candy (I've found several caches with hard candies in them. Besides attracting animals, they make a sticky mess of a cache!)

 

Those sticky rubber lizzards and other critters (I used to love those things when I was a kid, but in a cache, they just collect dirt. They are just not so appealing after they have a coating of dirt. If you MUST leave them, they should be in a ziplock.)

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I would have to say my least favorite trade item would be used and broken McToy's. I could see if they were still new in a package, then maybe a kid would like them.

 

One cache I found over the summer had every kind of trash you could imagine-used kleenex, used drinking straws, used dental floss and used toothpicks. I then found a cache a few weeks later that contained several Bit-O-Honey's inside it. Everything inside the cache was covered in goo from this candy and tried to clean out the ammo can the best I could. I didn't even know they still made Bit-O-Honey's! :)

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I would have to say my least favorite trade item would be used and broken McToy's. I could see if they were still new in a package, then maybe a kid would like them.

 

Just speaking from our experience........we have three kids and hence when we go out and about we end up with McToys. Sometimes the same ones they already have, or something they don't want. Well, you can tell your kids, "don't open them unless you want them", and seldomly will that work. My youngest will rip one right open and then say, "hey I already have this". Not in a package, doesn't equal used. And even if it's used gently, doesn't mean another kid wouldn't like to play with it. I get why adults don't like the toy thing, but try to keep in mind that geocaching isn't just for adults.

 

As for what we don't like: craft foam pieces, ugh. If it was a package of several that you could take home for the kids to use, that would be one thing. But, who on earth is going to use one small blue oval? Even as a sticker, what kid wants to wear this? It's bizarre and beyond being cheap IMHO. I would rather see one marble in a cache, at least the kids could start collecting them or something.

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Just speaking from our experience........we have three kids and hence when we go out and about we end up with McToys. Sometimes the same ones they already have, or something they don't want. Well, you can tell your kids, "don't open them unless you want them", and seldomly will that work. My youngest will rip one right open and then say, "hey I already have this". Not in a package, doesn't equal used. And even if it's used gently, doesn't mean another kid wouldn't like to play with it. I get why adults don't like the toy thing, but try to keep in mind that geocaching isn't just for adults.

 

I get where you are coming from, as long as they are in good shape then a kid would like them. But most of the toys we have found recently are broken and are so caked with grime that you would want to wear a hazmat suit to handle it. I cache primarily by myself most of the time and about 40% of the time the kids are with me, so it is cool when they score some swag they like. My kids love McDonald's and the McToy is a huge part of dining there. But I don't see why people would want to put grimy broken toys in the cache.

I mostly try to leave swag that both adults and kids will appreciate. I leave mostly Foreign coins, Fossils, Hotwheel cars, Carabiners, Geo Bands and Geo Patches. :)

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I get where you are coming from, as long as they are in good shape then a kid would like them. But most of the toys we have found recently are broken and are so caked with grime that you would want to wear a hazmat suit to handle it. I cache primarily by myself most of the time and about 40% of the time the kids are with me, so it is cool when they score some swag they like. My kids love McDonald's and the McToy is a huge part of dining there. But I don't see why people would want to put grimy broken toys in the cache.

I mostly try to leave swag that both adults and kids will appreciate. I leave mostly Foreign coins, Fossils, Hotwheel cars, Carabiners, Geo Bands and Geo Patches. :)

 

Totally understand. Unfortunately, alot of toys get broken after they were put in the container. We try to clean all of those out and leave an item for each we remove. It's a shame that it happens, but just the nature of the beast, I guess. And there are those who love to leave broken items....

 

But, I always suggest, no matter what the item, put it in a little ziploc. We (the adults) leave foreign coins as our sig and I research the history, current rate of exchange, or the collector value of the coin is and print it out on a card that we stick in. I'm a homeschooler, so I guess it's the teacher in me. Our kids leave penny experiments for their swag. It's a little baggie with a penny and a card with the experiment printed on it and the reason it works. All the experiments are easy and only take the penny and items you would most likely have in your home. We're going to do balloon experiments too.

 

I've said before that it's not always what you put in the cache, but how you present it. And a ziploc will keep the items clean for the future finder. We have multiple ziplocs in all of our swag containing caches to make sure that the items inside stay nice and clean.

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WORST: Unquestionably religious brochures

Oh... :):):D But I LOVE those little Jack Chick tracts filled with the cute little cartoons telling me how evil Halloween is and how I am going to go to he3ll unless I live life the way he wants me to! I also love his cartoons depicting Satan lurking (wearing, of course, and evil leering grin) on every streetcorner and in every alley! Basically, via his tracts Chick is cartooning his dreary geopolitical vision of the End of Days via premillenial dispensationalism, a self-styled depressive millenial prophetic doomsayer. Doomsday is here, and Jack Chick is here to tell us about it in case we didn't notice!

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WORST: Unquestionably religious brochures

Oh... :):):D But I LOVE those little Jack Chick tracts filled with the cute little cartoons telling me how evil Halloween is and how I am going to go to he3ll unless I live life the way he wants me to! I also love his cartoons depicting Satan lurking (wearing, of course, and evil leering grin) on every streetcorner and in every alley! Basically, via his tracts Chick is cartooning his dreary geopolitical vision of the End of Days via premillenial dispensationalism, a self-styled depressive millenial prophetic doomsayer. Doomsday is here, and Jack Chick is here to tell us about it in case we didn't notice!

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Well, I used to be more into swag, but usually there's just kid stuff. That's ok, too, I guess, when my kids are along. They choose their own toys to trade for toys at caches. They try to determine an even trade. (I, however, ENSURE that it's at LEAST an even trade.) Most of the time, they choose what I feel is TRUE junk from the cache (not the broken toys, but just short of that) and leave better stuff behind because they don't really get teh whole value thing yet. And if they make a trade that's uneven in their favor, I sneak in extra things.

 

I've placed batteries in caches before (because I've run OUT before), but I mark them "new" and put them in ziplock bags (we buy them in bulk, so I can't provide original packaging). I wonder if I should continue doing this or if people just assume they're used anyway...

 

I can't stand the religious tracts, business cards and the penny toys. I like to trade stuff that's useful in the outdoors. It doesn't have to be an expensive thing. I got a really neat little cammo bag that clips to my backpack. It's JUST big enough for a plastic grocery bag to CITO with. I've traded IN tools, kitchen gadgets (GALORE...in my "Kitchen Sink" cache), new sets of bungee cords (for strapping down the trunk after you CITO), etc. Business cards just don't cut it in fairness.

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McDonalds hand towel. You know the ones that are put out so people don't have to make the long trek to the bathroom and wash their hands. :anicute:

I must say that when my kid has gone #2 in the woods, finding one in a cache is a Godsend!! I generally carry a few on me but do run out from time to time.

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