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of equal or greater value?


huskyjerk
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I am a nubie at geocacheing, mater of fact I probly did'nt even spell it right. I understand that the "true" porpose of the sport is to get out and enjoy the outdoors, and even more so to make it a family affair. I bought my gps with this very idea. I wanted to take my grandchildren on nice little hikes, and let them find some "treasures" as it was explaind to me , and I was told to take something, and leave something of equal or greater value. So I went and bought a bunch of $1.00 items at the dollar store and thought I would start from there and see if they would do. Much to my dismay out of 30 caches that I have visited my grandchildren have only seen 2 item they thought even worth taking and are not even inteteste in coming with me anymore!! I feel it's sad when people are so cheap all they leave is there bussiness card, i've even found a beer bottle cap!!! most of the stuff is penny items, not to hard to leave something of GREATER VALUE than that!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!you would think a person could at least scrape up a buck to keep the sport alive, and kids wanting to go out insted of being glued to the tv.I think my gps is going to get dust on it reel quick. :D

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Please don't give up yet.

 

While far too many caches are in exactly the state you describe, around here many are also fun finds stocked with other dollar store items. Best we can do is lead by example and leave what we can. Make it better for the next person.

 

Try and put more focus on the hunt itself and the time together.

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Hello!

 

I am relatively new too (about a year ago I started hunting) and I understand. I have a son who is 3 and thought that as he gets a little older he will enjoy trading for items. The more caches I go to, the more I see that there are fewer containers that have reasonable SWAG (trade items) in them than I was hoping for.

 

Some of the more jaded (or maybe realistic) cachers seem to have the attitude that if you expect much of anything you are always going to be disappointed when it comes to trade items.

 

I have made a decision that I will leave some good stuff anyway. If everyone makes that same decision, cache contents may improve. If not, at least I can feel good knowing that some kid who got there after me hopefully got some enjoyment out of what I left. Who knows, "paying it forward" may catch on again, but not if we all just give up.

 

Also, I see a few "life lessons" (as I tell my middle school students) to be learned here. First, if every person involved doesn't share a common goal, and work dilligently at it, the quality of the product diminshes greatly. Second, the thrill of the hunt can be its own reward. Not to sound all educational psychology here, but the extrinsic reward of a prize could be replaced the intrinsic reward of accomplishing a challenge, simply for the satisfaction and pride in a job well done.

 

I imagine it was sold to them as a way to get cool prizes, and when it failed to be that, they lost interest. Perhaps just to get them going with you again you could offer age-appropriate prizes for them yourself for each cache they locate with you to help motivate them a bit.... instead of trading items, you could use some of the neat little things you bought and give it to them based on how many caches they find. Or you could reward them with a special treat they like after X number of finds or hunts... You could do this when they don't find something cool to trade from in the cache itself. I realize that this sort of defeats the purpose, but if you really want them to spend the time with you, this could be a way to get them hooked again. I am just trying to help here, so this is just brainstorming. I loved spending time with my grandparents when I was younger, and now they are gone and I cannot.

 

I am hoping I can convince my son as he gets old enough to really start hunting with me, that finding the tupperware IS the reward, and any SWAG is just the icing on the cake. Hopefully I can help him learn to be satisfied with that feeling of accomplishment. I don't at all mean this to sound like a lecture... I am simply thinking out loud, and hoping to encourage you to not let that GPS collect dust! . :D

 

Good luck.

Edited by kraushad
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Yes, it can be very disapointing to find caches in that state. one Cache I went to was so bad, that I just sat there staring at it speechless for about 3 minutes. I had been disapointed by the other hunts for the day, and was ready to give up, but it was listed as a home for travelers, and had Coins and Bugs listed, so I gathered up the effort to make the hike(almost 2 miles round trip) only to find a Rusty lunch pail filled with garbage. I ended up cleaning it out, and fixing it up. now I stop once in a while to check up, and have given it a very nice container. It seems to be doing well now.

 

Anyway...I wouldn't give up yet and pack away the GPS. There is still hope, although it may take a little more work before you go hunting. Here are some things you can try...

 

Visit a Cache before you take the little ones, to see it's condition. (then take them to find it ontheir own)

 

Have them help you hide some of your own caches, and then keep them in good condition

 

Look for "Bookmark Lists" in your area that indicate good Caches for kids

 

Read recent logs for clues to the condition

 

Contact some other local cachers for help picking good ones(Regular and Large are often better for kids)

 

Look around to find some other "GPS Games"

 

Try getting them to go on the hike, and make the hunt a surprise extra.

 

Depending on the ages, I ve heard that some parents will open the cache first, and if there's nothing good inside, they secretly drop in something.

 

Start a collection of Signature items. Might some of those "Business Cards" have been custom GeoCaching calling Cards?

 

If you google "Sigitems" you'll see that many people make special things for others to collect.

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Another relative newbie over here too.

 

The way I got my kids to appreciate caching was completely accidental but worked out for the best. Virtually all of their first 10 finds were micros with no room to trade swag. With that the fun came in using the GPS and the actual hunt its self.

 

Later when we found some that had room for trades, the trading became a bonus. Now we only trade if there is something we really like and always trade even or up.

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This is the biggest change I have seen from the early days other than the amount of caches out there. I used to be able to find any cache and there would be something in them that I wanted to trade for. Sometimes I was unable to because the items I had in my bag were not of equal or greater value. I can't remember the last time I made a trade. I have left some things in caches in hopes that it would improve the cache, but have not taken anything in return.

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Oh, I'm soooooo with you on this! Believe me, I HATE junky little nothing caches, no one more!!!!

 

But, I've also found a TON of fantastic caches, too!!! One of them I just came across in October. It was sponsored by a major university. It was a puzzle cache. When I found the final cache, it had brand new university T-shirts, stickers, pencils, etc.!!!! As I went to school there for a year (before transferring), I just HAD to have a T-shirt!!! Definitely, the best cache I'd ever found!!!

 

Hang in there. I've found the best caches tend to be newer (a year or so old) AND they are placed by people who have been caching for a while!!! I took my niece geocaching just ONCE.... ever since that day she keeps asking me, "Uncle Pete, when are we going geocaching again???"

 

Grigorii Rasputin

http://www.glass-cockpit.org

http://grigoriirasputin.wordpress.com

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

1.00

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This has been a complaint going back to the very beginnings of the sport. Some people don't know better and some are just plain cheap. Most cache contents tend to degrade over time. I stock my caches quite well. largely with new stuff and when I go back they are full of used golf balls, dog eared business cards and filthy toy figurines.

 

I finally learned to live with it and when I find a nicely stocked cache I'm pleasantly surprised. Don't expect too much and it's hard to be disappointed.

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...I wanted to take my grandchildren on nice little hikes, and let them find some "treasures"...Much to my dismay out of 30 caches that I have visited my grandchildren have only seen 2 item they thought even worth taking and are not even inteteste in coming with me anymore!!...

Perspective.

You still get to go on nice little hikes with your grand kids.

What you need to do is sell them on the idea of leaving something nice for the next person because that's the nice thing to do. They have that power. You have the power to help them feel good about it.

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I thank each and every one of you that replied on my subject, as it is important to me. I took them "Grandkids" with me this evening for a evening stroll in a nearby park. we found 1 cache and took nothing but left a new hotwheels car. the next one was our first micro rhino tube. and I think they got more of a kick out of finding that little thing then any of the others!!!!! maybe rhey are finilly geting the idea :laughing:

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We enjoy leaving something in caches even if we do not take anything, or if they are empty. Our caching bag is always ready & stocked with all different sized items for all different sized caches. The majority of the time we take nothing at all, unless our jr. explorer has come across something she feels she has to have. Leaving goodies behind is what makes geocaching even more fun for us! :laughing:

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I you allow the actions of other people to determine whether or not you enjoy a particular activity then you might as well give up now and list your GPS receiver on eBay.

 

Don't let them ruin your fun. Go find caches, see new places, and spend time with your grandchildren. Make it more about "can you find it" than "what is inside of it".

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I know I'm not a kid anymore so for me the joy of geocaching has always been the fun of finding the thing and enjoying visiting new places and enjoying the great outdoors.

 

When I was young I had a book called "The Spy's Guidebook" published by Unwin (still available) and it had alot of activities for kids like writing and decyphering codes and hiding secret messages for others to pick up, I think this is why I feel like some kind of spy or secret agent when using GPS technology to find hidden boxes that the general public don't know about. Maybe your grandchildren will enjoy this aspect of the sport as well as the possibility of finding real physical "treasure".

 

Leaving signature items and collecting other cachers ones can be fun, and gives the sense of leaving something to let others know you were there.

 

Nowadays the only time I leave swag is in caches in mountainous areas that will be visited by trekkers/hillwalkers. I leave things that are small but could be of use out in the wilds, such as replacement backpack buckles, walking pole tips and survival whistles.

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Geocaching is also, an individual game and not everyone trade items. The game can be enjoyed by all who participates. Sorry your Grand Children were so disappointed with the trade items in your found caches. The cache owner will "normally" place worthy items to start the trading, but, the quality of the cache trading can quickly go down hill. Good luck and stay safe on the trails.

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I am a nubie at geocacheing, mater of fact I probly did'nt even spell it right. I understand that the "true" porpose of the sport is to get out and enjoy the outdoors, and even more so to make it a family affair. I bought my gps with this very idea. I wanted to take my grandchildren on nice little hikes, and let them find some "treasures" as it was explaind to me , and I was told to take something, and leave something of equal or greater value. So I went and bought a bunch of $1.00 items at the dollar store and thought I would start from there and see if they would do. Much to my dismay out of 30 caches that I have visited my grandchildren have only seen 2 item they thought even worth taking and are not even inteteste in coming with me anymore!! I feel it's sad when people are so cheap all they leave is there bussiness card, i've even found a beer bottle cap!!! most of the stuff is penny items, not to hard to leave something of GREATER VALUE than that!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!you would think a person could at least scrape up a buck to keep the sport alive, and kids wanting to go out insted of being glued to the tv.I think my gps is going to get dust on it reel quick. :blink:

 

1.00

 

I can understand your frustration. I don't usually expect to find anything really fantastic when I cache, short of a coin or a bug that I can move along - though I try to do my part to help invigorate the caches I visit. I have these little semi precious stones that I package in little baggies with slips of paper that explain the stones a bit. I place these in caches even if there's nothing there that sparks my interest in the hopes of jump starting others to also contribute to caches. I've left such stones as snowflake obsidian, apricot agate, mookaite jasper, ocean jasper, tiger's eye, picasso stone, red and blue goldstones, melted copper fragments, hematite, citrines, pyrite. Well, you get the picture :sad:

 

I'm sure there are people or kids out there that think these kinds of stones are neat little keepsakes to set on a desk or carry around with you. They're certainly not cheap items to put in caches - but I enjoy knowing that other people might enjoy them. If you are ever in Southern California, you may see some of my little packaged stones in some caches.

Edited by Cyclosarin
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I carry a bag full of trade items, yet I don't trade at most of the caches I visit. If I find a cache lacking quality trade item I will re stock it with some stuff from my "trade" bag. Pay it forward. I think more people need to live by this pay it forward mentality. Even if you start doing a 2 for 1 trade it would help wonders.

 

What I hate is opening a cache to find rocks, candy bar wrappers, and pennies...

 

Jim

http://huskyhiker.com

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(Cyclosarin)......I have these little semi precious stones that I package in little baggies with slips of paper that explain the stones a bit. I place these in caches even if there's nothing there that sparks my interest in the hopes of jump starting others to also contribute to caches.....

 

I have done something similar to this. I'm a rockhound who polishes rocks in a tumbler. Over time I have ended up with containers full of small polished rocks. I often put several rocks of different colors and patterns in small plastic bags and leave these in the caches I find. I almost never take anything from caches. From an occasional Found It log, others seem to have enjoyed these bags of rocks, especially kids.

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Most excellent post Krushad. You said everything I would want to say. I am new to Geocaching and already have determined that I will leave numerous "kewl" things in the caches I find (seeing the sad state of current items in the few we found so far). It did not take me long to figure out that was more noble than a trade. I have tons of neat things of value in my many "junk" drawers that is getting put into the local caches I find now.

 

I made a mistake with the first cache in taking a coin I have not placed in other yet and am doing this as penance. :laughing: j/k

 

Indeed the hunt and find is very much sufficient for motivation in pursuing the game.

 

Frank

 

Hello!

 

I am relatively new too (about a year ago I started hunting) and I understand. I have a son who is 3 and thought that as he gets a little older he will enjoy trading for items. The more caches I go to, the more I see that there are fewer containers that have reasonable SWAG (trade items) in them than I was hoping for.

 

Some of the more jaded (or maybe realistic) cachers seem to have the attitude that if you expect much of anything you are always going to be disappointed when it comes to trade items.

 

I have made a decision that I will leave some good stuff anyway. If everyone makes that same decision, cache contents may improve. If not, at least I can feel good knowing that some kid who got there after me hopefully got some enjoyment out of what I left. Who knows, "paying it forward" may catch on again, but not if we all just give up.

 

Also, I see a few "life lessons" (as I tell my middle school students) to be learned here. First, if every person involved doesn't share a common goal, and work dilligently at it, the quality of the product diminshes greatly. Second, the thrill of the hunt can be its own reward. Not to sound all educational psychology here, but the extrinsic reward of a prize could be replaced the intrinsic reward of accomplishing a challenge, simply for the satisfaction and pride in a job well done.

 

I imagine it was sold to them as a way to get cool prizes, and when it failed to be that, they lost interest. Perhaps just to get them going with you again you could offer age-appropriate prizes for them yourself for each cache they locate with you to help motivate them a bit.... instead of trading items, you could use some of the neat little things you bought and give it to them based on how many caches they find. Or you could reward them with a special treat they like after X number of finds or hunts... You could do this when they don't find something cool to trade from in the cache itself. I realize that this sort of defeats the purpose, but if you really want them to spend the time with you, this could be a way to get them hooked again. I am just trying to help here, so this is just brainstorming. I loved spending time with my grandparents when I was younger, and now they are gone and I cannot.

 

I am hoping I can convince my son as he gets old enough to really start hunting with me, that finding the tupperware IS the reward, and any SWAG is just the icing on the cake. Hopefully I can help him learn to be satisfied with that feeling of accomplishment. I don't at all mean this to sound like a lecture... I am simply thinking out loud, and hoping to encourage you to not let that GPS collect dust! . :laughing:

 

Good luck.

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... I've left such stones as snowflake obsidian, apricot agate, mookaite jasper, ocean jasper, tiger's eye, picasso stone, red and blue goldstones, melted copper fragments, hematite, citrines, pyrite. Well, you get the picture :shocked:

 

I also leave similar tumbled stones in caches, also mini half-geodes and small fossils. I love to look at such things myself and I hope others will enjoy them too :anicute:

 

We like to try and leave some worthwhile item in a cache even when we don't take anything - We just consider it a 'pay back' for a pleasant hunt.

 

MrsB

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My kids started off looking for cool items and have now turned it into a game of who can find the cache before the old man. My kids also enjoy finding the calling cards of others.... So much so that we each leave a "Sig" item and have found out later that other children traded for our "Sig swag" We leave "barrel of Monkey" monkeys and frogs. I've seen others leave poker chips with their Sig. on it One guy around us even leaves "Old Glory" hat pins. Make it a game of young against old and all are sure to win ;)

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I am also new, & to be honest since it's just me, I generally don't take anything unless it is a TB or coin :) But I always leave something. I get my swag from the dollar isles, happy meals, co-workers that collect pens and other goodies. The best fun I have is when I meet families on the trail and get to talk with the kids, and ALWAYS have a supply of goodies with me - reminds me of halloween. This was really fun here in MN with the State Park Challenge where families could "borrow" GPSs and try GC. To see an 8yo master the GPS and the parents wide-eyed looks were priceless, welcome to the era of technology ;)

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Hey, welcome to geocaching....Get over it...things are as they are and I'm sure that those jerks trading "down" are not here on the forum to take your advice. One method that is helpful is when you come across a container that is filled with what you think is "junk", just dump the junk and replace with the better "stuff"....The Cache Owner starts with good intentions and then we screw it up. So who is to police the cache container? The cache owner has done their job now it is up to us to do our job. Will it be a quality job? What's in your cache bag? Happy caching and stay safe.

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HERE'S THE SECRET: FINDING CACHES WITH GREAT SWAG!

 

Simply hunt for NEW caches! That's all it takes!

 

This is a lot easier to do if you're a premium member and run Pocket Queries for recent cache hides.

 

You see, when someone puts out a new cache, their reputation is on the line. They have pride in how they stock their new cache, and they will stock their cache with quality swag. And that cache will continue to have quality swag for about the next 10 geocachers as the quality of the trades gradually declines to broken McD toys and the like.

 

Sad .... but TRUE.

Edited by michigansnorkelers
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Being new to this I agree its fun to find the cache and its nice to find something cool(especially when your caching with the little ones) inside. Having just started I went on E-Bay and for $1.00 was able to purchase small lots of cool stuff to leave. Just an observation but its nice to leave fun and useful stuff for the next fellow cacher.

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