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Hiding a "good swag" cache?


Penguin_ar
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I am starting to think about hiding my first cache. It'll be a while yet, but I am thinking about themes, different hides etc. One thing I'd love is to have a "good swag" cache, ie a cache with more than a few plastic toys and stickers, one where much of the swag is of interest to adults too.

 

I'd of course start the cache off with lots of good stuff, and I know the rule is to trade even or up, but we all know that doesn't always happen; I've seen several cache pages that list what swag was there in the beginning, and a few months later, when I find the cache, it is all plastic toys. So does anyone have any tips on how to keep good swag in a cache? Maybe mentioning something on the cache listing, so geocachers go searching prepared with good swag to trade?

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I am starting to think about hiding my first cache. It'll be a while yet, but I am thinking about themes, different hides etc. One thing I'd love is to have a "good swag" cache, ie a cache with more than a few plastic toys and stickers, one where much of the swag is of interest to adults too.

 

I'd of course start the cache off with lots of good stuff, and I know the rule is to trade even or up, but we all know that doesn't always happen; I've seen several cache pages that list what swag was there in the beginning, and a few months later, when I find the cache, it is all plastic toys. So does anyone have any tips on how to keep good swag in a cache? Maybe mentioning something on the cache listing, so geocachers go searching prepared with good swag to trade?

What about screwdriver sets or like mini game boards like scrabble and such.

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You're on the same track as me. I've been pondering this exact issue for a few weeks now.

 

I think we have to cache by example- and that includes swag. It won't make everyone step up their game, but I do think leaving good things can be inspiring to others. It is to me- which is why I find it so maddening that people (non-muggles) take TBs & travel coins and leave nothing or leave things of much less value.

 

I'm sure there are a mixture of reasons why these things happen- economics (I'm not broke but I can't spend a fortune on swag), how kid-oriented are the cachers out there, are they cheap and stingy. :unsure:

 

Anyway, I think it just makes sense to ask for good swag in return on the cache page, but do so knowing only some will agree & do the same.

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Chris: those are good things to have in a cache; I have started looking for nice swag in the supercenters and at yard sales. My question is more how to encourage people to "keep up the quality" of the swag once placed.

 

TwoSox: Great minds think alike :unsure: One thing I am probably going to do if I go ahead with such a cache is to place it near where I live- maybe on the way to the kids' playschool or something, so that I can check on it weekly and supplement the swag if necessary.

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I find it so maddening that people (non-muggles) take TBs & travel coins

and leave nothing

 

TB's and travel coins are not trade items; nothing is/should be expected to be left

in exchange for taking them.

 

DoubleBent, I know that- my point (poorly explained) is that they are taken without proper logging, etc. It degrades the quality of the caches because they are not moved as expected. I hope that makes more sense.

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So does anyone have any tips on how to keep good swag in a cache? Maybe mentioning something on the cache listing, so geocachers go searching prepared with good swag to trade?

 

Even with best of intentions and a requirement to trade evenly the cache swag will eventually deteriorate. Me? I don't care to trade. If I needed something I probably went out and bought it already. So I tend to leave trade geared toward the kids.

 

You'll be happier if you don't focus on the quality of the trade you find in a cache. Place a cache worth finding. Besides the logbook, whatever is inside is secondary.

Edited by BlueDeuce
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One way to keep the quality of the swag up is to make it more difficult to reach, like requiring a hike of a mile or more. Those type of caches seem to retain their quality of swag longer, though even they will eventually deteriorate.

Edited by 4x4van
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It's a fact of geocaching life that the quality of the swag will decline eventually. I generally start out with a lot of decent stuff in my caches and months, or years later they are filled with junk. The farther off the beaten path the cache is the longer it seems to stay well stocked. First there are fewer finds and those who do find it tend to be dedicated geocachers who are more likely to trade evenly.

 

Your cache contents will degrade. Either replenish it periodically, or let it take its natural course, but nothing you do will prevent the degrading of the contents.

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My experience : I wouldn't put anything on the page about what the cache contained. I placed a cache, listed on the page that it included an assortment of geocaching pins (which were brand new still in the plastic) and other small items. The access road was closed for the winter not long after I placed it, so it only had 3 finds before I visited first week of April. The three online logs were matched with physical logs, one cacher traded the other two took nothing. But sometime in there some cache maggot helped themselves to all of the pins - maybe they wanted to stock their own cache :unsure: . Other similar experiences have left a slightly bitter taste as well.

 

I don't mean to discourage you, hopefully you'll have better luck. As for me, I'm holding off placing the two new caches I was working on until I feel a little less disgruntled :lol:

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i've thought about this as well. then i took a good three quarter mile hike to cache actually called "quality cache". i really looked forward to it. i took the best swag i had with me. only to find a few broken toys and some stickers. . .

 

you've got to take your chances. it's not like you can require a cacher to leave quality items in order to log the cache. the honor system we have here with: "trade up, trade even, or don't trade at all" is a great motto. however, human nature will prove to you that someone will consider an old hot wheels car to be of the same worth as a disposable camera. and then sometimes people just say "hey, that's neat" and just take something without even thinking of replacing it with something else. it just happens.

 

again, it is a great idea, and there's nothing better than finding a well stocked cache. good luck!

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In my caches I have tried to ask people to log what they take and what they leave, but it never happens.

There seem to be lots of people who think that a toy that was eaten by a dog and passed through the animals digestive tract is worth the same as a brand new HotWheels car, for example. Or a 50-cents-off coupon (that expired three months ago) is "same-or-even" with a new CD.

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The only way to Guarantee good swag all the time in your cache is to put it in there yourself. I have a Coin cache where on the cache page I ask for coins, wooden coins, tavel coins, tokens, etc. Other stuff still ends up in the cache. Which isnt a big deal. You just have to do maintenance on the cache if you want to keep it a certian way.

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Simple fact of life: You can't control what other people are going to do.

 

So expect that some folks won't trade-even (or that you won't agree it's even). Since you're not there to negotiate, it's a not a trade, it's just a a swap.

 

Nowadays, I generally take nothing, leave nothing. I don't expect to find anything cool in a cache, and I don't feel like carrying a ton of stuff of varying value, just for a trade.

 

Though I hate Micros, they tend to get to the meat of matters, a hidden thing in the wilderness, for me to find.

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There was a cache near here that had a 5.00 minimum swag value. To try and keep the cache contents valuable, he also made it a PMOC. After he went to the cache and kept finding that the 5.00 stuff had been replaced with junk over and over, he just decided to stop the minimum.

 

I have said it before, I wish we could place a 1.00 minimum on all swag. Just because you find a keyring to a 1984 Volkswagen Scirocco inside a sofa you found on the side of the road...dont mean its swag.

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I have said it before, I wish we could place a 1.00 minimum on all swag.

I don't think we need any new 'rules' especially regarding swag of all things.

 

Just because you find a keyring to a 1984 Volkswagen Scirocco inside a sofa you found on the side of the road...dont mean its swag.

What some people may not find interesting as swag, doesn't always mean others won't like it.

We all know the saying... One man's trash is anothers treasure.

I'd love to come across an old Mercedes keyring, even taken from a sofa on the side of the road.

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What some people may not find interesting as swag, doesn't always mean others won't like it.

We all know the saying... One man's trash is anothers treasure.

I'd love to come across an old Mercedes keyring, even taken from a sofa on the side of the road.

 

The point I was trying to make was that I believe swag should have at least SOME value. Im sure we have all seen caches full of broken fast food toys and other random junk. I understand that one mans trash is anothers treasure, that doesn't mean that just because someone may find the dirt and hair that collects in their vacuum cleaner of value, they should start stuffing caches full of it. When I look for things to put in a cache, I find items that people would actually want to trade for.

Edited by Saginaw Bloodhounds
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I'd of course start the cache off with lots of good stuff, and I know the rule is to trade even or up, but we all know that doesn't always happen; I've seen several cache pages that list what swag was there in the beginning, and a few months later, when I find the cache, it is all plastic toys. So does anyone have any tips on how to keep good swag in a cache? Maybe mentioning something on the cache listing, so geocachers go searching prepared with good swag to trade?

Make it impossible to find and it will never degrade :)

 

Seriously, I would say make it the best overall geocache you can. Nice container, quality container, pick out a spot you want people to see. A leaky gladware container that looks like it was filled by cleaning out the kitchen 'junk' drawer is not impressive. The easy to get to spot may also be easy to reach for the local kids to come and help themselves to some trinkets :D

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Swag degredation is one of the facts of geo-life, you can't prevent it. The others are that your TBs and coins will eventually be stolen.

 

This should not be so. Is this not a indictment to the general lack of character of the human race? I for one hate to think like that. There has to be an answer to cache degradation - no? I am going to try to put swag in individual baggies with the geocaching trade = or + or no trade sticker on each baggie and watch what happens.

 

I take young kids with me caching and it is neat to see their faces light up at a good stocked ammo box. They all grab fast and I say - wait what ya got as good or better than that and they find something in my bag of swag to swap. It can be done.

 

We cannot blame kids in the neighborhood it is "us" - no?

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Swag degredation is one of the facts of geo-life, you can't prevent it. The others are that your TBs and coins will eventually be stolen.

 

This should not be so. Is this not a indictment to the general lack of character of the human race? I for one hate to think like that. There has to be an answer to cache degradation - no? I am going to try to put swag in individual baggies with the geocaching trade = or + or no trade sticker on each baggie and watch what happens.

 

I take young kids with me caching and it is neat to see their faces light up at a good stocked ammo box. They all grab fast and I say - wait what ya got as good or better than that and they find something in my bag of swag to swap. It can be done.

 

We cannot blame kids in the neighborhood it is "us" - no?

You ever play the game 'telephone'?

Can you imagine what it would be like with 10,000+ people in the loop :D

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I think we have to cache by example- and that includes swag. It won't make everyone step up their game, but I do think leaving good things can be inspiring to others.

 

This is the approach our family tries to take. If a particular cache is swag-bare (or just has really poor quality swag), we leave extra swag and I tell my girls that we're doing that so that the next cachers who come along will have more swag to chose from than we did. What we leave is usually kid-focused, though, as the adults in our group rarely trade.

 

I'm guessing that most new cachers learn mainly from what they see in caches in their areas, whether it's the length of logs, the prevailing type of cache containers, style of hides or swag.

 

We have encountered some caches with really good swag so we've started to carry a few nicer/more expensive items so that we can trade fairly in those circumstances.

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I find myself tradingess ande less as time goes by. Generally my thinking goes something like this:

 

1. is there ant=yting here that I'd like to have?

 

2. Do I have something better I can replace it with?

 

3. usually question 1 ia No

 

4. I travel light so I carry 3 or 4 good swag items and more times than not return with what I brought.

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This should not be so. Is this not a indictment to the general lack of character of the human race? I for one hate to think like that.

 

For the most part I don't think it's any sort of greed or dishonesty that causes the degradation of contents.

 

I think one of the chief reasons is that many people think trading one nice thing for several lesser items is an even trade. "Took the Mini Mag Lite, left a marble, two toy soldiers, a Manny's Car Wash key ring, a state quarter and three 50 cents off Sanka coupons". After 2 or 3 people do that you have a cache full of crap.

 

When you think about it geocaching speaks pretty well of the human race. People hide these things to entertain people who they will probably never meet. And finders largely leave them there, unmolested, for others to enjoy. It's a sport that is wholly dependent on the honesty, good will and decency of other people.

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This should not be so. Is this not a indictment to the general lack of character of the human race? I for one hate to think like that.

 

For the most part I don't think it's any sort of greed or dishonesty that causes the degradation of contents.

 

I think one of the chief reasons is that many people think trading one nice thing for several lesser items is an even trade. "Took the Mini Mag Lite, left a marble, two toy soldiers, a Manny's Car Wash key ring, a state quarter and three 50 cents off Sanka coupons". After 2 or 3 people do that you have a cache full of crap.

 

When you think about it geocaching speaks pretty well of the human race. People hide these things to entertain people who they will probably never meet. And finders largely leave them there, unmolested, for others to enjoy. It's a sport that is wholly dependent on the honesty, good will and decency of other people.

 

 

Excellent thoughts brian. I agree geocachers are mostly good people. That is why I added the "I for one hate to like like that" to my initial generalization of the human race. Paragraph two of your post is most likely the culprit of cache degradation.

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I am starting to think about hiding my first cache. It'll be a while yet, but I am thinking about themes, different hides etc. One thing I'd love is to have a "good swag" cache, ie a cache with more than a few plastic toys and stickers, one where much of the swag is of interest to adults too.

 

I'd of course start the cache off with lots of good stuff, and I know the rule is to trade even or up, but we all know that doesn't always never happens; I've seen several cache pages that list what swag was there in the beginning, and a few months later, when I find the cache, it is all plastic toys. So does anyone have any tips on how to keep good swag in a cache? Maybe mentioning something on the cache listing, so geocachers go searching prepared with good swag to trade?

Fixed.

 

And the only way to ensure the cache has 'good stuff' in it is to keep it in your hand and when it's found, inspect the trade personally. Sorry to burst your bubble, but there really is no other way.

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