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What kind of treasures?

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I started out by just placing cheap party favor toys (still have some left). That’s OK if you’re trading for those toys, or you just want to boost a cache for kids. But think of something that’s pretty cool which you have a lot of, or that you can make. I have a bunch of foreign coins, and many people love those. I also have “Pogs” (old collectable milk caps), pack a group of ten of them together, and sign one of the non-numbered ones, to make a kind of signature item.


Small interesting craft items are a great idea. I make pin buttons of my own designs, sign each one, and I try to keep the variety interesting. Think of something that you can make, that you think others would enjoy finding.


Or you might find something in bulk which is valuable to Geocachers. At some caches, I would have killed for a single sharp golf pencil (rather than a non-functioning pen, and having to hike back for the pen I forgot to bring). And sometimes, a poison ivy towlette would be a life saver.


I often bring a Ziploc bag which contains a deck of cards, a signature item button, a nickel-sized compass (signed or with my sticker on the back of it), small rubber snakes/frogs, pencils, a small handful of shiny foreign coins, and a pack of Pogs. Combined, it might be valued close to $10 (in case there’s a Pathtag or other similarly valuable item I covet). But I often just drop a combination of two, even if I don’t take anything. And if the cache log is wet, I dry it and put it in the new Ziploc bag. Any object that I place which might be damaged by moisture goes in a plastic bag.


You don’t have to trade every time, and if a cache is mostly cheap little toys or absolute junk, you may prefer to save your nice signature items for another cache.



Here are some more ideas for items that many people consider real treasures to find, but are items that won’t break the bank…


Maybe you live in a place where you can gather:

Fool’s gold

Agates, crystals, or semi-precious stones

Seashells, completely clean and dry

Small Fossils (as with shells, they might be tricky to pack so they won’t break)


Civil War-era bullets

Exotic seed pods (non-edible, so wild animals won’t smell them and raid the cache)


If you’re artistic:

Wood-burn designs into small pieces of wood (or on inexpensive wooden nickel blanks)

Paint animal faces on rocks (and sign them)

Make things with polymer clay

Braid or weave rope

Make jewelry


Or you may have inexpensive items you collect, but have a lot of duplicates you don’t need.


If I found any of the above in a cache, I’d be pleasantly surprised. And I’d likely think I had brought nothing valuable enough to trade for it!

Edited by kunarion
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Leave anything that is inexpensive and useful. One of my favorite trade items is the individual packs of insect repellent wipes. I buy a few boxes when I see them on sale and leave one or two in caches.


Some other things I like to leave:

Matchbox cars

Collectible or foreign coins

emergency ponchos (97 cents each at Walmart)

eyeglass repair kits

the cheap DVDs that you can find for a buck in many stores

small flashlights, cheap tools and other items from the dollar bin in supermarkets

small flag decals

packs of AA batteries

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