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Are coffee and tea considered "food" ?


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Serious question.

 

I saw some nice gift size containers of coffee and tea and was going to get them to put in caches, but then got to wondering if maybe they are attractive to some animals.

 

This is in Florida, so we have our share of raccoons, possums, etc.

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Please nothing in the caches that will attract animals of any kind.

Yep. This is the point of not putting food in caches. It's not the food per se, but things that attract animals to the point they destroy caches and cause litter. It doesn't have to be things we classify as food.

 

Specifically, I don't know if animals are attracted to coffee or tea. They might not be attracted to some things we do consider food. I simply don't know.

 

On the other hand, one argument against food items--which I don't necessarily agree with--is a lot of folks will not consume anything placed in a cache. One argument is you don't know if it's been tampered with. I say you don't know if the food stuffs you purchase off the grocery shelf has been tampered with or what that "burger assembler" did just before he slapped your order together. You take calculated risks every day.

 

If I didn't know if an item would attract animals then I'd probably only introduce it in one of my own caches instead of risking someone else's.

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CR summed it up well. Generally, anything that gives off an odor (even a faint one) should be avoided. I've even seen caches get chewed up because somebody put in a bar of hotel soap that attracted an animal. It may not smell like food to you, but to an animal, it smells different enough that they want to destructively investigate the source of the odor.

 

Generally, I avoid these items, and if I see them in a cache, I'll take them out:

- food (obviously. Including candy, seasoning packets, and drinks)

- tobacco (not supposed to be a trade item, but I've seen cigarettes in caches many times)

- soap, hand lotion, hotel shampoo

- perfume samples (these can make the inside of an ammo can absolutely REEK!)

- air fresheners (see above comment about perfume)

- personal care products such as deodorant, toothpaste, and shaving cream (ask any old school cachers from Birmingham, AL about the plague that is Axe body spray)

- scented candles

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CR summed it up well. Generally, anything that gives off an odor (even a faint one) should be avoided. I've even seen caches get chewed up because somebody put in a bar of hotel soap that attracted an animal. It may not smell like food to you, but to an animal, it smells different enough that they want to destructively investigate the source of the odor.

 

Generally, I avoid these items, and if I see them in a cache, I'll take them out:

- food (obviously. Including candy, seasoning packets, and drinks)

- tobacco (not supposed to be a trade item, but I've seen cigarettes in caches many times)

- soap, hand lotion, hotel shampoo

- perfume samples (these can make the inside of an ammo can absolutely REEK!)

- air fresheners (see above comment about perfume)

- personal care products such as deodorant, toothpaste, and shaving cream (ask any old school cachers from Birmingham, AL about the plague that is Axe body spray)

- scented candles

 

Yep, you got it.

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CR summed it up well. Generally, anything that gives off an odor (even a faint one) should be avoided. I've even seen caches get chewed up because somebody put in a bar of hotel soap that attracted an animal. It may not smell like food to you, but to an animal, it smells different enough that they want to destructively investigate the source of the odor.

 

Generally, I avoid these items, and if I see them in a cache, I'll take them out:

- food (obviously. Including candy, seasoning packets, and drinks)

- tobacco (not supposed to be a trade item, but I've seen cigarettes in caches many times)

- soap, hand lotion, hotel shampoo

- perfume samples (these can make the inside of an ammo can absolutely REEK!)

- air fresheners (see above comment about perfume)

- personal care products such as deodorant, toothpaste, and shaving cream (ask any old school cachers from Birmingham, AL about the plague that is Axe body spray)

- scented candles

Adding cough drops to that list. I know for a fact they will attract raccoons.

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I would even go so far as to say that non-edible aromatic products (car air fresheners, incense, etc) could be easily mistaken as food by animals and should be avoided in caches. Many animals have an extremely powerful sense of smell, and if they smell something that they think they want (even if it's something they really don't want), they'll stop at nothing to get it. Heck, even the oils from our fingers can attract or repel some animals, though there's not much we can do about that.

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CR summed it up well. Generally, anything that gives off an odor (even a faint one) should be avoided. I've even seen caches get chewed up because somebody put in a bar of hotel soap that attracted an animal. It may not smell like food to you, but to an animal, it smells different enough that they want to destructively investigate the source of the odor.

 

Generally, I avoid these items, and if I see them in a cache, I'll take them out:

- food (obviously. Including candy, seasoning packets, and drinks)

- tobacco (not supposed to be a trade item, but I've seen cigarettes in caches many times)

- soap, hand lotion, hotel shampoo

- perfume samples (these can make the inside of an ammo can absolutely REEK!)

- air fresheners (see above comment about perfume)

- personal care products such as deodorant, toothpaste, and shaving cream (ask any old school cachers from Birmingham, AL about the plague that is Axe body spray)

- scented candles

Adding cough drops to that list. I know for a fact they will attract raccoons.

I believe you pointed out that even pepper spray will attract bears.

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CR summed it up well. Generally, anything that gives off an odor (even a faint one) should be avoided. I've even seen caches get chewed up because somebody put in a bar of hotel soap that attracted an animal. It may not smell like food to you, but to an animal, it smells different enough that they want to destructively investigate the source of the odor.

 

Generally, I avoid these items, and if I see them in a cache, I'll take them out:

- food (obviously. Including candy, seasoning packets, and drinks)

- tobacco (not supposed to be a trade item, but I've seen cigarettes in caches many times)

- soap, hand lotion, hotel shampoo

- perfume samples (these can make the inside of an ammo can absolutely REEK!)

- air fresheners (see above comment about perfume)

- personal care products such as deodorant, toothpaste, and shaving cream (ask any old school cachers from Birmingham, AL about the plague that is Axe body spray)

- scented candles

Adding cough drops to that list. I know for a fact they will attract raccoons.

I believe you pointed out that even pepper spray will attract bears.

Thanks for reminding me... memory fades fast after 24 hours. :)

As noted in this USGS FAQ regarding pepper sprays, bear spray is an attractant.

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I would advise not to think "FOOD" think smell. Animals smell in part per billion and it is very hard for us to related to that. For the case of GEO-caching just pretend that all animals do, is spend their entire life looking for " what is that smell". They will investigate even if not wanting it. Also think in terms of too hot and too cold. Hot or cold can make things expand and come out of their containers going all over everything in the cache. I have found 2 different animal plunders due to seeds in the cache - definently food for animals.

 

Think before you act and asking here really is a big help! Good Luck!

 

On the other hand - moth flakes will send them running. They all hate that stuff. Not recommended for a cache - works great in the home bushes.

 

Bad stuff for caches - soap, seeds, liquids of any kind, make-up samples, food of any kind, anything that can be applied to the skin for a reason. Even sealed wet ones might be a problem. The list goes on just think thru it and be safe with your trade item and consider if it was your cache.

Edited by GPS-Hermit
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Sometimes tea works as a trade item. Sometimes tea actually works as the entire theme of a cache .... sort of.

 

Check out this cache: Tea Traders' Cache (GCGVHC). It’s on the River Walk in San Antonio, Texas.

 

I logged this cache in November of 2003 (under my CaptRussell account) after having discovered the freshly plundered and empty container, and then logged it again later that month (with owner's permission) after the owner replaced, restocked and re-hid the cache in another location.

 

The plunderer, according to the note I found in the otherwise empty lock-n-lock, apparently assumed the little zip lock baggies of tea to be something he could smoke. He left his ransom note demanding money in exchange for the return of the ‘weed.’

 

To this day I sometimes wonder if that muggle ever tried smoking those tea leaves.

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