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Junk in caches instead of trade items


rach_kelley
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I am a fairly new cacher trying to figure out the etiquette.

 

We have noticed in a lot of caches that people seem to discard junk. Today we found a CVS loyalty card, a broken trailer hitch pin, plastic bottle caps (not B1G1 or free 20 oz.), and a rusty hair barrette. These are not trade items that anyone including small children would want. If we find things like this, is it OK to remove them and throw them away?

 

Thanks for the help!

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What you described is junk and should be dealt with accordingly... It is common for some one who is placing a cache (for their 1st) to empty their junk bin and put junk in a cache container.......however, I have seen some very expensive and "dear" items in a cache....So, keep an open mind and assess a cache as you find it. On a few occasions, I have just placed a small container with just one or two items (maybe $1 bill etc.) and then watch how the items multiply. The container can overflow....Most cachers are very generous, but, this is just a game, and trade items are not to be taken too seriously....Families and young cachers like to trade items....so lets have fun.

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I feel most people say, "ok kids, let's clean out the car and empty it into the cache" (I personally think it is a parenting issue). It annoys me, but I focus on the fact that I get to spend time with my wife and the enjoyment of the hunt. I first look for the logbook, then for any trackables then see if the cache needs any repair. If any "trade items" catch my eye while doing those things, I'll make a trade. But it hasn't happened yet in my 100+ caches.

 

I feel it is the cache owners responsibility, but I have been known to remove an empty Gatorade bottle and candy wrappers. As for the "trade items," the cache owner should make sure junk doesn't get into their cache, it's their job to maintain the attraction to the cache. I figure if they don't care, I'll sign the log, say thanks and not care about it myself. Not a very progressive attitude, but a more effecient one. In the words of another poster in this thread, it's a battle you're sure to loose.

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I feel most people say, "ok kids, let's clean out the car and empty it into the cache" (I personally think it is a parenting issue). It annoys me, but I focus on the fact that I get to spend time with my wife and the enjoyment of the hunt. I first look for the logbook, then for any trackables then see if the cache needs any repair. If any "trade items" catch my eye while doing those things, I'll make a trade. But it hasn't happened yet in my 100+ caches.

 

I feel it is the cache owners responsibility, but I have been known to remove an empty Gatorade bottle and candy wrappers. As for the "trade items," the cache owner should make sure junk doesn't get into their cache, it's their job to maintain the attraction to the cache. I figure if they don't care, I'll sign the log, say thanks and not care about it myself. Not a very progressive attitude, but a more effecient one. In the words of another poster in this thread, it's a battle you're sure to loose.

Wow, if this post was intended to get me a bit fired up it worked. :laughing:

 

I have seen a lot of great trade items over the years and I have seen a fair amount of junk. Most of what I see is just "stuff". Not great but not junk.

 

If I find junk in a cache I find I clean it out. If I find junk in my own cache I clean it out. In my opinion anyone who blames the cache owner for junk in a cache is being selfish, not playing the game with a very realistic attitude and is missing a big opportunity to help keep the game fun. Leaving junk in a cache you find simply perpetuates the problem. No cache owner can "make sure junk doesn't get into their cache". Every cacher can make sure they don't leave junk in a cache. This means don't plop junk into a cache and do remove junk that you find in a cache.

 

As cachers we place a lot of emphasis on CITO. It seems pretty reasonable that we should start with what we find in caches and what we place in caches. The "I figure they don't care" attitude really just says so me that you don't care. If we don't take pride in what we do and set a good example how can we expect others to do any different? Lead by example. Your example isn't one I will ever follow.

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Not everybody gets the whole "Trade Up, Trade Even" concept. I've seen some really awesome swag in caches of all ages, and I've seen some true garbage. About all you can do, (if you're trying to correct this issue), is swap out any junk for something better. This earns you gobs of good karma points, and leaves the cache junk free for the next finder.

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I feel most people say, "ok kids, let's clean out the car and empty it into the cache" (I personally think it is a parenting issue). It annoys me, but I focus on the fact that I get to spend time with my wife and the enjoyment of the hunt. I first look for the logbook, then for any trackables then see if the cache needs any repair. If any "trade items" catch my eye while doing those things, I'll make a trade. But it hasn't happened yet in my 100+ caches.

 

I feel it is the cache owners responsibility, but I have been known to remove an empty Gatorade bottle and candy wrappers. As for the "trade items," the cache owner should make sure junk doesn't get into their cache, it's their job to maintain the attraction to the cache. I figure if they don't care, I'll sign the log, say thanks and not care about it myself. Not a very progressive attitude, but a more effecient one. In the words of another poster in this thread, it's a battle you're sure to loose.

Wow, if this post was intended to get me a bit fired up it worked. :laughing:

 

I have seen a lot of great trade items over the years and I have seen a fair amount of junk. Most of what I see is just "stuff". Not great but not junk.

 

If I find junk in a cache I find I clean it out. If I find junk in my own cache I clean it out. In my opinion anyone who blames the cache owner for junk in a cache is being selfish, not playing the game with a very realistic attitude and is missing a big opportunity to help keep the game fun. Leaving junk in a cache you find simply perpetuates the problem. No cache owner can "make sure junk doesn't get into their cache". Every cacher can make sure they don't leave junk in a cache. This means don't plop junk into a cache and do remove junk that you find in a cache.

 

As cachers we place a lot of emphasis on CITO. It seems pretty reasonable that we should start with what we find in caches and what we place in caches. The "I figure they don't care" attitude really just says so me that you don't care. If we don't take pride in what we do and set a good example how can we expect others to do any different? Lead by example. Your example isn't one I will ever follow.

 

Hmm...interesting. I most certainly do think it is the cache owners responsibility to look after the cache--why does Groundspeak have a requirement that the owner live near the cache??? I am working on placing my first caches and they contain high quality swag AND I plan to maintain the quality of the swag within my own caches (sort of your "lead by example..." comment?). Off topic though. As mentioned earlier, however, if it is obvious trash like a candy wrapper or empty pop can, I happily pack it out. In fact, I pick up a lot of trash to and from the cache. My geocaching pack even includes supplies to fix cache containers and extra log books. But, what I consider to be junk (pennies, used toys, etc), I leave. Maybe it was a kid who helped make the cache and this is what they wanted. It's not my job to uphold my high quality standard of swag in other's caches. You wouldn't take out someone's high quality swag and you shouldn't take out someone's low quality swag. But, whatever the cacheowners quality standard of swag, I still appreciate them taking the time to place the cache and am sure to thank them. Also, I recieved some pretty cool hard hat light keychains from my place of employment and I have been dropping them in caches without taking anything. I think it is a pretty good example and if it bothers you wrastro, I hope I am able to stoke the flames of your anger with each cache I do, you're more than welcome to add me as a buddy.

 

Seriously though, I think your disagreement with my previous post stems from definitions of the word junk. My "junk" = your "stuff." my "trash" = your "junk." but don't let me put words in your mouth. I don't think this thread is about trash in caches, because just about everyone agrees a responsible cacher would pack it out.

 

Another thought, since cache owners typically don't maintain the quality of swag in their caches, who would really know it was you who "cleaned" out the junk?? I still think, however, it is the cache owners job.

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If we find things like this, is it OK to remove them and throw them away?

 

 

Yep. It is always o.k. to remove junk.

 

If you don't have trading goods with you it is still o.k. to remove junk. It is o.k. even if you have trading goods with you but decide not to leave anything.

 

Like others have said, you get some good carma if you leave something. But you also get points for making the container better which you did by removing the junk. And if you have rags or paper napkins in your pocket you get more points for wiping out water, dirt and mold.

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problem is junk attracks more junk. its like loitering

 

"oh look, empty beercans, guess one more cant hurt".

and a few weeks later its a big pile of garbage.

 

I usually drop a signature item and take nothing.

but if there is crap I could trade my sig item for the crap and bin it.

think ill do that next time.

 

bought some swag few days ago... mini tripods

dscn1833smallqn8.jpg

w400.png

spotted them at €1 each!!!! :-) got 15 of em :-)

 

oo i like that idea. cheers. dont mind if i do.

Edited by Guinness70
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My son once traded a new toy car for a motorcycle with a broken front wheel. He thought it was the greatest, and it became his "wrecker" bike that he'd use in stunts and crash, pretending it would break the front wheel on landing. To me it was junk. To him it was wonderful.

 

With the exception of when we find food items, we tend to leave the cache as found and let the owner decide what they feel should stay in the cache.

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Hmm...interesting. I most certainly do think it is the cache owners responsibility to look after the cache--why does Groundspeak have a requirement that the owner live near the cache???

 

They require us to maintain our caches in the sense that they are there, that the environment isn't getting trampled because of our cache, that the log is dry and signable and not out of room. But restocking the original swag is NOT a part of the deal (although many of us do chose to restock on occasion). If everyone that took swag really did "Trade up or even" as they are supposed to, there would never be any need to restock the swag, would there? At worst, the cache owner might have to check periodically to make sure nobody has left anything TOO valuable.

 

[soapbox]

Speaking of leaving junk in caches... my pet peeve is leaving money in trade. DON'T DO IT! A cache is not a flea market for you to leave your nickle or dime and take a toy for your kid. What's the next guy supposed to do... trade a nickle of his for your nickle? Coins (or bills) are NOT swag. [/soapbox]

 

[edited to bold "in trade"]

Edited by knowschad
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Hmm...interesting. I most certainly do think it is the cache owners responsibility to look after the cache--why does Groundspeak have a requirement that the owner live near the cache???

 

They require us to maintain our caches in the sense that they are there, that the environment isn't getting trampled because of our cache, that the log is dry and signable and not out of room. But restocking the original swag is NOT a part of the deal (although many of us do chose to restock on occasion). If everyone that took swag really did "Trade up or even" as they are supposed to, there would never be any need to restock the swag, would there? At worst, the cache owner might have to check periodically to make sure nobody has left anything TOO valuable.

 

[soapbox]

Speaking of leaving junk in caches... my pet peeve is leaving money in trade. DON'T DO IT! A cache is not a flea market for you to leave your nickle or dime and take a toy for your kid. What's the next guy supposed to do... trade a nickle of his for your nickle? Coins (or bills) are NOT swag. [/soapbox]

 

I agree with everything but that.... I usually leave a $5 bill for FTF and sometimes Where's George Bills :laughing::laughing::D

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See my signature for our philosophy.

 

Basically, a "cache" is a community project ran by the cache owner. When someone finds the cache we feel they should always do a little maintenance so it is ready for the next person. This may be as simple as looking at the cache to make sure it is put back where it belongs, the logbook is not wet or full, no obvious trash (like a pine cone is a cache in a pine forest or common seashell on the beach, candy wrappers, cigarette butts, etc.), etc. How much effort is put forth is up to the visitor. It's trivial to remove a candy wrapper and pack it out with you, but you might not have a replacement container. The stuff you can't fix should be noted and passed along to the cache owner.

 

Not everyone follows the above philosophy. If just half of all cachers followed the above then caches wouldn't degrade. I can excuse the accidental finder, the newbie, or the occasional cacher, but there's really no excuse for those who make this their hobby. I find it disappointing that so many folks have a "well it'll just degrade anyway so why bother" attitude.

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As for the "trade items," the cache owner should make sure junk doesn't get into their cache, it's their job to maintain the attraction to the cache. I figure if they don't care, I'll sign the log, say thanks and not care about it myself.

 

Are you kidding?! Spoken like a man who has not had to maintain any caches.

 

Cache owner's job is to place a well thought out cache and provide reasonable maintenance as needed.

 

Cache finder's responsibility is to treat caches with due respect, trading even or up, and being sure to re-hide it in such a manner that it does not get muggled.

 

I'd say 80% to 90% of cache owners do their job well while maybe 20% to 30% of cache finders hold up their end of the deal.

 

You want to explain why I should spend $20 or $30 to stock a cache only to find it worth about $2 a year later, then keep spending more money over and over again?

 

Some have suggested a cacher should not be allowed to publish a cache until after at least 100 finds. I have a better idea. Let's turn that around and require that no one be allowed to find a cache until volunteering to maintain 10-12 caches that are already out there. At least these folks will take a little better care of the ones they find later.

 

.

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I hav a question being new at this. I have 4 kids, my sons want to leave a motorcycle and a dinosaur in the caches once we find one and the girls want to leave little toy kittens and puppies..is this acceptable??

 

As long at you are trading up or even, then sure.. why not? Replace those four items with four other items of like or better value (and do NOT "pay" for them with cache!) and you've done it exactly right! But please don't use that tired old excuse of "one man's junk is another man's treasure"... we all know that a used golfball is junk.

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Best we can all do is set a good example for others to follow. Both with our caches and with the caches we visit. Trade up or trade even. Remove the trash by taking it out and leaving something nicer behind. Leave 2 items in caches that are looking a bit bare. Drop the temptation to clean out a junk drawer and leave those items as good swag.

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[soapbox]

Speaking of leaving junk in caches... my pet peeve is leaving money in trade. DON'T DO IT! A cache is not a flea market for you to leave your nickle or dime and take a toy for your kid. What's the next guy supposed to do... trade a nickle of his for your nickle? Coins (or bills) are NOT swag. [/soapbox]

I agree with everything but that.... I usually leave a $5 bill for FTF and sometimes Where's George Bills :):o:D

I also disagree that money is inherently unacceptable.

 

I make it a habit to leave a $2 bill in any cache that I find to be outstanding, interesting, creative, fun, or above-average in any way -- as long as the cache also seems unlikely to be muggled. I do not leave the bill as a payment to, or a prize for, the cache owner; I leave it there for some other finder. I leave the bills in trade (when I swap for something else) or simply as something I hope some future finder will find interesting (when I don't swap for something else). Even if I take nothing, I enjoy placing $2 bills in those caches which I find to be good hides in every measure except for their being empty or picked-over swagwise. I seldom find anything in a cache worth removing and keeping; I therefore TNL$2 far more often than I trade.

 

On the other hand, I fully appreciate knowschad's point, and I tend to agree with it somewhat – because while I think $2 bills are cool, I don’t think two ones, eight quarters or twenty dimes would be nearly as interesting.

 

I just don’t think it’s fair to say that all cash is inherently unacceptable.

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I also disagree that money is inherently unacceptable.

 

I make it a habit to leave a $2 bill in any cache that I find to be outstanding, interesting, creative, fun, or above-average in any way -- as long as the cache also seems unlikely to be muggled. I do not leave the bill as a payment to, or a prize for, the cache owner; I leave it there for some other finder. I leave the bills in trade (when I swap for something else) or simply as something I hope some future finder will find interesting (when I don't swap for something else). Even if I take nothing, I enjoy placing $2 bills in those caches which I find to be good hides in every measure except for their being empty or picked-over swagwise. I seldom find anything in a cache worth removing and keeping; I therefore TNL$2 far more often than I trade.

 

On the other hand, I fully appreciate knowschad's point, and I tend to agree with it somewhat – because while I think $2 bills are cool, I don’t think two ones, eight quarters or twenty dimes would be nearly as interesting.

 

I just don’t think it’s fair to say that all cash is inherently unacceptable.

 

All I was referring to was leaving currency in trade for swag. Not much in caching land is a sad as opening an ammo box to see nothing but a couple of nickles and dimes sliding around in the bottom. My point is that you don't buy swag... you trade for it.

Edited by knowschad
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I feel most people say, "ok kids, let's clean out the car and empty it into the cache" (I personally think it is a parenting issue). It annoys me, but I focus on the fact that I get to spend time with my wife and the enjoyment of the hunt. I first look for the logbook, then for any trackables then see if the cache needs any repair. If any "trade items" catch my eye while doing those things, I'll make a trade. But it hasn't happened yet in my 100+ caches.

 

I feel it is the cache owners responsibility, but I have been known to remove an empty Gatorade bottle and candy wrappers. As for the "trade items," the cache owner should make sure junk doesn't get into their cache, it's their job to maintain the attraction to the cache. I figure if they don't care, I'll sign the log, say thanks and not care about it myself. Not a very progressive attitude, but a more effecient one. In the words of another poster in this thread, it's a battle you're sure to loose.

Wow, if this post was intended to get me a bit fired up it worked. :o

 

I have seen a lot of great trade items over the years and I have seen a fair amount of junk. Most of what I see is just "stuff". Not great but not junk.

 

If I find junk in a cache I find I clean it out. If I find junk in my own cache I clean it out. In my opinion anyone who blames the cache owner for junk in a cache is being selfish, not playing the game with a very realistic attitude and is missing a big opportunity to help keep the game fun. Leaving junk in a cache you find simply perpetuates the problem. No cache owner can "make sure junk doesn't get into their cache". Every cacher can make sure they don't leave junk in a cache. This means don't plop junk into a cache and do remove junk that you find in a cache.

 

As cachers we place a lot of emphasis on CITO. It seems pretty reasonable that we should start with what we find in caches and what we place in caches. The "I figure they don't care" attitude really just says so me that you don't care. If we don't take pride in what we do and set a good example how can we expect others to do any different? Lead by example. Your example isn't one I will ever follow.

 

Hmm...interesting. I most certainly do think it is the cache owners responsibility to look after the cache--why does Groundspeak have a requirement that the owner live near the cache??? I am working on placing my first caches and they contain high quality swag AND I plan to maintain the quality of the swag within my own caches (sort of your "lead by example..." comment?). Off topic though. As mentioned earlier, however, if it is obvious trash like a candy wrapper or empty pop can, I happily pack it out. In fact, I pick up a lot of trash to and from the cache. My geocaching pack even includes supplies to fix cache containers and extra log books. But, what I consider to be junk (pennies, used toys, etc), I leave. Maybe it was a kid who helped make the cache and this is what they wanted. It's not my job to uphold my high quality standard of swag in other's caches. You wouldn't take out someone's high quality swag and you shouldn't take out someone's low quality swag. But, whatever the cacheowners quality standard of swag, I still appreciate them taking the time to place the cache and am sure to thank them. Also, I recieved some pretty cool hard hat light keychains from my place of employment and I have been dropping them in caches without taking anything. I think it is a pretty good example and if it bothers you wrastro, I hope I am able to stoke the flames of your anger with each cache I do, you're more than welcome to add me as a buddy.

 

Seriously though, I think your disagreement with my previous post stems from definitions of the word junk. My "junk" = your "stuff." my "trash" = your "junk." but don't let me put words in your mouth. I don't think this thread is about trash in caches, because just about everyone agrees a responsible cacher would pack it out.

 

Another thought, since cache owners typically don't maintain the quality of swag in their caches, who would really know it was you who "cleaned" out the junk?? I still think, however, it is the cache owners job.

Let's try this again. You stated that you just sign the log and leave the cache contents regardless of what you find. I take exception to that attitude as I firmly believe it is up to each cacher to help maintain the quality of the contents in each cache they find. The cache owner didn't open up a general store. They placed a cache.

 

Your follow up post presents a much more responsible approach and doesn't bother me at all.

 

When I help maintain a cache I am not looking for praise for doing it, so I really don't care if the cache owner knows I cleaned out some junk. In this conversation junk would be the items listed by the OP.

 

Cache finders are not entitled to find good or great swag but they should feel an obligation to clean out obvious junk when they find it. The quality of cache contents isn't a parenting issue, rather it is one of each cacher taking personal responsibility to help keep the game fun for everyone.

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Hmm...interesting. I most certainly do think it is the cache owners responsibility to look after the cache--why does Groundspeak have a requirement that the owner live near the cache???

To ensure being able to maintenance the cache when required to do so to keep it a viable cache and not end up being geotrashe. It has nothing to do with the "quality" of the swag.

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Hmm...interesting. I most certainly do think it is the cache owners responsibility to look after the cache--why does Groundspeak have a requirement that the owner live near the cache???

To ensure being able to maintenance the cache when required to do so to keep it a viable cache and not end up being geotrashe. It has nothing to do with the "quality" of the swag.

It would be pretty hard to put a requirement on cache owners to maintain the quality of swag in their caches, since you are allowed to hide a cache with nothing in it but a logbook. In addition such a rule would make it impossible to hide caches like this :o

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You stated that you just sign the log and leave the cache contents regardless of what you find.

 

 

I feel it is the cache owners responsibility, but I have been known to remove an empty Gatorade bottle and candy wrappers. From my first post in this thread.

 

I don't feel a cache owner should have to maintain high quality swag, definitely not neccessary. It is most definitely enough that they took the time to go out and place a cache. BUT, who doesn't want people to go to their cache?? Certainly would help if the cache had a reputation of having high quality swag. I would further argue that finders will not do it, so if someone is to, it is most likely to be the owner. IF they want to...I never argued it should be a requirement, but maintaining your cache's attraction shows pride in it.

 

 

You want to explain why I should spend $20 or $30 to stock a cache only to find it worth about $2 a year later, then keep spending more money over and over again?

 

 

Do you need to spend money or a lot of it to have high quality swag? And what is the difference between restashing your own cache and trading up at every other cache? Seems a lot of owners (and others) are preaching trading up, why do it on a small scale in a lot caches rather than do it on a larger scale in one cache (your own)??

 

My father-in-law has been able to maintain a great cache with great swag. Check it out!! Just make it difficult to get to and so people need to do reserach prior to going and the cache maintains itself. Just can't satisfy that desire to have a lot of people find your cache, but that is how some people like it.

 

IMG_5970.JPG

 

Another point, I think it is proper to note what you take out of a cache, even if it is trash. Not because I think one needs to boost about doing a good deed, but because it is proper etiquette to let the owner know what is going on with their cache.

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Not everybody gets the whole "Trade Up, Trade Even" concept. I've seen some really awesome swag in caches of all ages, and I've seen some true garbage. About all you can do, (if you're trying to correct this issue), is swap out any junk for something better. This earns you gobs of good karma points, and leaves the cache junk free for the next finder.

 

I feel most people say, "ok kids, let's clean out the car and empty it into the cache" (I personally think it is a parenting issue). It annoys me, but I focus on the fact that I get to spend time with my wife and the enjoyment of the hunt. I first look for the logbook, then for any trackables then see if the cache needs any repair. If any "trade items" catch my eye while doing those things, I'll make a trade. But it hasn't happened yet in my 100+ caches.

 

I feel it is the cache owners responsibility, but I have been known to remove an empty Gatorade bottle and candy wrappers. As for the "trade items," the cache owner should make sure junk doesn't get into their cache, it's their job to maintain the attraction to the cache. I figure if they don't care, I'll sign the log, say thanks and not care about it myself. Not a very progressive attitude, but a more effecient one. In the words of another poster in this thread, it's a battle you're sure to loose.

Wow, if this post was intended to get me a bit fired up it worked. :o

 

I have seen a lot of great trade items over the years and I have seen a fair amount of junk. Most of what I see is just "stuff". Not great but not junk.

 

If I find junk in a cache I find I clean it out. If I find junk in my own cache I clean it out. In my opinion anyone who blames the cache owner for junk in a cache is being selfish, not playing the game with a very realistic attitude and is missing a big opportunity to help keep the game fun. Leaving junk in a cache you find simply perpetuates the problem. No cache owner can "make sure junk doesn't get into their cache". Every cacher can make sure they don't leave junk in a cache. This means don't plop junk into a cache and do remove junk that you find in a cache.

 

As cachers we place a lot of emphasis on CITO. It seems pretty reasonable that we should start with what we find in caches and what we place in caches. The "I figure they don't care" attitude really just says so me that you don't care. If we don't take pride in what we do and set a good example how can we expect others to do any different? Lead by example. Your example isn't one I will ever follow.

 

Hmm...interesting. I most certainly do think it is the cache owners responsibility to look after the cache--why does Groundspeak have a requirement that the owner live near the cache??? I am working on placing my first caches and they contain high quality swag AND I plan to maintain the quality of the swag within my own caches (sort of your "lead by example..." comment?). Off topic though. As mentioned earlier, however, if it is obvious trash like a candy wrapper or empty pop can, I happily pack it out. In fact, I pick up a lot of trash to and from the cache. My geocaching pack even includes supplies to fix cache containers and extra log books. But, what I consider to be junk (pennies, used toys, etc), I leave. Maybe it was a kid who helped make the cache and this is what they wanted. It's not my job to uphold my high quality standard of swag in other's caches. You wouldn't take out someone's high quality swag and you shouldn't take out someone's low quality swag. But, whatever the cacheowners quality standard of swag, I still appreciate them taking the time to place the cache and am sure to thank them. Also, I recieved some pretty cool hard hat light keychains from my place of employment and I have been dropping them in caches without taking anything. I think it is a pretty good example and if it bothers you wrastro, I hope I am able to stoke the flames of your anger with each cache I do, you're more than welcome to add me as a buddy.

 

Seriously though, I think your disagreement with my previous post stems from definitions of the word junk. My "junk" = your "stuff." my "trash" = your "junk." but don't let me put words in your mouth. I don't think this thread is about trash in caches, because just about everyone agrees a responsible cacher would pack it out.

 

Another thought, since cache owners typically don't maintain the quality of swag in their caches, who would really know it was you who "cleaned" out the junk?? I still think, however, it is the cache owners job.

 

A cache hidden is a gift to the community, and should be treasured and cared for by the community.

Sure, some of them are crap, but somebody took the time to make the (at least) minimal effort to hide the container and write up the page.

 

If we expect to find better swag, then we all need to leave better swag. IT IS NOT the owners responsibility to keep feeding the cache. Many do, and they are getting the big karma points for it.

 

Many (most?) modern folk do not understand the underlying history of caching.

 

Look here.

 

Back in Mountain Man days, each Mountain Man might have a cache of goods saved somewhere. Important materials for survival, but too much to be carrying around all the time. All the other 'local' Mountain Men might know where each other's caches were located, so each could trade items they had in excess, for items the other had in excess, without actually having to meet each other. You can bet your last beaver pelt those who habitually didn't trade fairly somehow didn't make it through the next winter.

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The problem with cleaning out "obvious junk" becomes clear when you are FTF on a cache and it is full of "obvious junk". Once, and only once (not my finest moment) a left a post on one in this category that said, "You might want to restock this one, the trade items are getting a little bit depleted." After I left I realized that maybe the person had put in what they could afford at the time. Wait a second. I'm a real jerk. I'm gonna go wash my mouth out with soap!

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Saz and I have a different approach. We hunt and find a cache. We look at everything in it. If there is obvious trash such as a splenda packet (wtf) or a golf ball with a slice taken out of it (again wtf) we remove them. But we put more stuff inside the cache.

In fact we have found that stocking a almost empty cache back to full makes us happy. So that is what we do. Restock.

After all the next person to find that cache may be a first timer or a child. Why shouldn't they be happy. In our own way we are trying to spread joy :o

 

Sounds cheesy right. But you know what, It works for us.

 

We rarely take things any more but we both carry a full back pack when caching.

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My father-in-law has been able to maintain a great cache with great swag. Check it out!! Just make it difficult to get to and so people need to do reserach prior to going and the cache maintains itself. Just can't satisfy that desire to have a lot of people find your cache, but that is how some people like it.

A cache with 10 finds in 3 1/2 years is hardly representative of the typical situation. I don't think comparing this cache to caches you've found full of "junk" is valid.

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Sorry I asked...

Why? :mad:

 

This is a good discussion, and one we're all interested in.

 

I always try to leave something better than what I took. If I see something that's obviously trash, I'll remove it under the CITO banner :mad:

 

My latest hide hasn't been found yet. I seeded it with cash for the FTF prize, and swag for the next person - a foreign coin. I'm hoping that starting it out with nice swag will encourage the swag standard to be higher with this one. It's an experiment, so I'm not sure if it will work, or quickly degrade the cache into a small dumpster like so many :ph34r:

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Sorry I asked...

Why? :ph34r:

 

Tynee said, "Because, like so many other "discussions" on boards all across the internet, it has devolved into a question of two people's opinions of what trash is.

 

Everybody agrees that its good to take "Obvious Junk" out, so what is junk? Is it just candy wrappers and soda cans? Is it the sawed in half Hitch-pin that I found Sunday afternoon? Is it the little green plastic trinket from the quarter toy machine outside the door of the dollar store?

 

Its a subjective deal, so I'm sorry I asked. Next time, I'll just remove anything I see as trash and not worry about it. Or, I'll leave it for the cache owner, whichever I feel is appropriate."

Edited by rach_kelley
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We're new to geocaching but this is a great topic. We've been lucky that most of the caches we've found have been full of great swag but there have been a couple full of what to me was "junk" but as someone else said, that stuff may be a great prize to someone else. We left that stuff and added something better even though we didn't take anything. There have also been a few that had obvious trash in them (empty wrappers, etc) and in those cases we pull the trash out and discard it.

 

Another thing to remember about "junk", especially small coins... There have been a few small caches we found where we took nothing and because there wasn't room for much else, we threw a small handfull of pennies or other coins in. To an adult those coins (especially pennies) are junk. But to a small or possibly mentally handicapped child, even a few pennies are a great treasure. My 13 year old son has Aspergers Syndrome. He was absolutely thrilled to find a quarter in the first cache we found and equally as thrilled to find a nickel and a few pennies in the next one. He took those, we replaced them with a $5 gift certificate to a local business. So a penny is junk to me, it's a treasure to him. It also explains how he was able to cash in over $100 worth of change (6 months of saving) at the bank the other day and buy himself a Lego set he's been wanting.

 

This leads me to another question though. We generally go out in a group of 2-5 people. When we find a cache, we all look to see if there is something we want. It's not unusual for all of us to find some small thing we want so we end up taking several items out. We *always* replace those items with an equal or greater number of equal or better items but being new, I'm not sure of the etiquette of taking more than one item from a cache. Example: We found a cache the other day and I took a sticker, my mom took a little glass flower, and my husband took a toy car. We replaced those items with a blown glass paperweight, a vintage costume jewelry ring, a beanie baby, a bolo tie, and a money clip. Is this acceptable?

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Sorry I asked...

Why? :ph34r:

Because, like so many other "discussions" on boards all across the internet, it has devolved into a question of two people's opinions of what trash is.

As opposed to what? What were you expecting, or hoping for, instead?

 

Did you expect everyone here to agree with each other 100%?

 

I see no good reason for your regret. You got a lot of great responses, all on topic and presented with reasonable politeness, and it made for an interesting and thought-provoking thread.

 

Next time, I'll just remove anything I see as trash and not worry about it. Or, I'll leave it for the cache owner, whichever I feel is appropriate.

Sounds like you just provided an excellent answer to your own original question regarding what is the standard "etiquette." :mad:

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Today we found a CVS loyalty card, a broken trailer hitch pin, plastic bottle caps (not B1G1 or free 20 oz.), and a rusty hair barrette. These are not trade items that anyone including small children would want. If we find things like this, is it OK to remove them and throw them away?
We *always* replace those items with an equal or greater number of equal or better items but being new, I'm not sure of the etiquette of taking more than one item from a cache. Example: We found a cache the other day and I took a sticker, my mom took a little glass flower, and my husband took a toy car. We replaced those items with a blown glass paperweight, a vintage costume jewelry ring, a beanie baby, a bolo tie, and a money clip. Is this acceptable?

When faced with very valid questions like these, I simply apply the ol' Golden Rule, and the answer usually becomes very obvious.

 

What more can one do?

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