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Ammo can contents ... sub-par?


superpowerdave
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Okay, after a long hiatus with brief stints of sporadic caching, we've delved back into the game full-force. Our children are old enough now to enjoy it (2 and 4 years old) and are becoming quite adept at finding the cache.

 

I normally do my caching with the kiddos on weekend mornings early so their mother can sleep in (she works nights) and plan my adventures around things the kids would enjoy ... ammo cans. Micros and minis I save for times when I'm alone or just a dash and cache. The kids love finding things though, so we go for the big ones that almost guarantee a neat stash of swag for the choosing.

 

One thing I've found here lately though is that some of the cans we're finding are nearly empty, or just plain trash lining the bottom. The kids don't care so much, but they do give me a little grief when we put something cool in to help it survive without taking anything away. Today was no exception, and of the four ammo cans found, after some hiking and the carrying of children (:lol:) none of them were really well-stocked.

 

Five or so years ago this wasn't the case; ammo cans meant lots of stuff because they are big and hold lots of stuff and normally in out of the way places so they're not burgled as easy.

 

So here is my question; is this becoming the norm? Is this what most people are experiencing or is it perhaps limited to location? I wanted to log something as a subtle warning, something I wouldn't have minded like - 'If you've got kids beware, this one is running low' or something to that effect. I would have appreciated that rather than hiking out there to begin with when there was no reward for the children.

 

Would that be out of line or would an email to the CO be more appropriate letting them know it's getting run down. I ask the question because we're looking more and more at building our first cache and have already decided we'll devote time and money monthly to keep it not just a fun cache, but one where you're not just going to find garbage.

 

Advice and suggestions would be appreciated.

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Yeah, it's the norm. :lol: One out of four regular and large caches are decent. There only a few excellent caches in my area which I know by name and I always let other cachers with kids know about them. Ironically I found some HUGE caches on our road trip last weekend (huge caches are rare) and they were full. Chock full. All junk. At least there wasn't any garbage in any of them for a change.. To my surprise one "regular" ammo can had lots of beanie babies, and other new useful items. I didn't take anything but I appreciate a cache that is treated with thought and respect. On another note we didn't find any geocoins on our trip. The only TBs were in hotels and there were no coins in any of the caches.

 

I always empty every cache I find, wipe out dirt and moisture, remove the trash, bag up stickers/cloth/papers items, then put something nice in it to improve the game for everyone, but other than lead by example I don't know what more we can do for the game in general.

 

What I recommend for your particular cache is to warn people outright at the very top of your cache page to be prepared to trade and to trade up for good stuff. I think sometimes people are not prepared to trade (being genuinely surprised to find anything but damaged stickers and broken plastic junk in a cache.) Spell it out: nothing broken or damaged. Then place a laminated card with instructions in the cache to remind them. I suspect most people will be prepared and respect your wishes if you ask them.

 

I know you're thinking they should already know that. Well, sorta. But, remember most people are focusing on smileys and numbers-- not swag. That's an afterthought.

 

PS you can buy terrific kid swag on ebay for pennies. Hello Kitty, Disney, Dora the Explorer items, good quality enamel charms etc. Most cachers are adults though...

Edited by FatCat2
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one of the caches that we put out recently was partly meant as an attempt to remedy this situation. the idea was to create a multi that wasn't inherently difficult to complete, but required a certain effort, a good amount of geocaching experience and a good deal of ambition, while keeping the hunt itself interesting. the reward is a large ammo can as final cache, stocked with goodies. i placed a $200 order with a geocaching store and used about half of that to fill the cache.

 

so far the comments on this cache have all been positive. i'm planning to create another cache to counteract this growing problem of lame geoswag/geojunk.

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Five or so years ago this wasn't the case; ammo cans meant lots of stuff because they are big and hold lots of stuff and normally in out of the way places so they're not burgled as easy.

It's been a problem since I started in 2005. Finding empty cans not so much as finding cans with garbage.

 

I used to put out caches with a lot of cool stuff in them. I found that within a year the contents were mostly useless sub-par crap.

 

I'm not nearly as gung-ho about putting out ammo cans as I used to be.

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In a recent thread about junk in caches, most COs felt their only obligation to the content of the cache was when they place the cache. After that it's up to the finders to keep the quality of the cache up to par. We all know that's never going to happen. So the only way to increase your chance of finding a clean, well stocked cache with (hopefully) decent stuff (put in there by the CO) is when it's first planted.

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i understand with the ammo cans coming up a disappointment....i have my 4 yr old cache with me and it's very hard trying to explain to him why we are leaving a toy and not taking one b/c they're all gone or broke. i have 3 caches out that are big enough for swag and i make sure i go out to them every so often and stock up if i have to. there's is nothing like getting to an ammo can (and by now the kids know big ones have toys) and nothings in there. so i make sure mine are not like that.

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I take nothing from a cache as I just enjoy the find. I have taken somethings with me to place in a large cache for others to find and enjoy. I am retired and know it must be difficult to kepp children interested and it seems like a perfect hobby for families to do together.

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It's been the norm for me. Sometimes new caches have better swag in them than old caches though. It always degrades over time.

 

I have a 50 cal sized ammo can hidden along a trail and I packed it full of swag. Like packed it so full it weighed a ton and had to b organized to close. About 8 months later, I went back to it and the only thing in it was the log book.

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I take nothing from a cache as I just enjoy the find. I have taken somethings with me to place in a large cache for others to find and enjoy. I am retired and know it must be difficult to kepp children interested and it seems like a perfect hobby for families to do together.

 

Completely understand. When we were just a young married couple with no kids caching chalking another one up to poor trading was easy ... now not so much with rugrats in tow ;) My wife and I are in it for the journey and where the coordinates take us. My four-year-old doesn't understand that philosophy just yet :lol:

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Would that be out of line or would an email to the CO be more appropriate letting them know it's getting run down.

 

Yes, it would be out of line since they weren't the ones who down-graded the contents over time.

 

I am a big proponent of trading up and I prefer to leave stuff for the kids. As far as I'm concerned adults can go out buy carp for themselves.

 

At least with an ammocan you can actually leave something.

Edited by BlueDeuce
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I think from now on I will try and make it a point to better the caches I find.My kids do leave nice trades,but maybe we could "one up" it a bit.At least at caches that seem to be lacking,or pitch in some stuff at some that have none.Its not like it would cost much to stock up a little extra from the old Dallar Store.Twenty bucks will buy a lot of neat stuff for the young ones,and make things better for next visitors.And of course I like that "warm fuzzy"feeling of giving more than receiving.I feel like Geo-Santa. :lol:

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What I don't understand is why. Carrying broken junk around to put in a cache would seem to be a chore. However in every cache there is something like that.

because people want to take stuff from the cache and (rightfully) feel compelled to leave something in its place, with the problem being that they feel it's OK to leave some piece of junk in its place.

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In a recent thread about junk in caches, most COs felt their only obligation to the content of the cache was when they place the cache. After that it's up to the finders to keep the quality of the cache up to par. We all know that's never going to happen. So the only way to increase your chance of finding a clean, well stocked cache with (hopefully) decent stuff (put in there by the CO) is when it's first planted.

Even if I had only one cache hidden that was large enough to hold swag, I would feel no obligation to keep it stocked with quality items just for people to trade dollar sotre itmes for what I put in the cache. I have put out a number of 'quality stocked' caches with items valued from $5-$35 and ended up with most of the items being traded for dollar store junk or just plain taken with no trade. That pretty much soured me on putting out 'quality stocked' caches; however, I do still put them out, but make it more difficult for them to be found. And stating up front to 'trade up, trade even or don't trade at all' means nothing to those people who find their joy in taking what they want whether they leave junk or nothing at all. I really don't believe it will get any better, no matter how much we wish it would.

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I used to just not care about swag since I don't usually trade it, but last year after reading the forums a bit we've just been carrying cool stuff that we think folks (especially children) will like and putting it in caches that seemed a little understocked or empty or that have junk. We don't mind the extra expense, and we know it puts smiles on kids' faces. :lol:

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I equate this subject to crime.

 

Fewer people (less population density) = less crime; more people (higher density) = more crime.

 

Fewer cachers (as in years ago) = pride in the game; more cachers (as the caching scene explodes) = less pride (overall) in the game.

 

It all goes hand-in-hand.

 

Take it or leave it. :lol:

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Don't let the few who take stuff without trading or trade down spoil it for the rest.

If you are easily jaded then you may not understand but if you are an optimist you will know that many people trade up. Sometimes there just isn't anything to trade. As an optimist I like to leave something in regular caches (and sometimes small) just to make people happy. If one person follows me on a cache and smiles, it's worth it.

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Just my 2 cents but it is a common courtesy thing, you don't like finding junk so why are you putting it in. I get that some people have a problem with dollar store stuff, a lot of people I have talked to don't like leaving more than that in case the cache leaks or turns up MIA. Really come on any kid would be ecstatic with a dollar store toy even though cheap (if it worked), our area I have even seen lager caches with novels and stuff for the adults. I have noticed though most adults are in it for the find, us personally we do the TB's and coins and leave the swag for the kids.

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I've found quality swag vs. junk to be about 70/30. More often than not, there's something decent. Occasionally it's empty.

 

My kid's happy to find the cache. If there's anything good in it, then that's just a bonus. I carry a swag bag with me when caching and if I see something I (or she) wants, then I trade. I typically have items that kids would like - quality stickers of whatever pop idol/disney character is currently "in," nice pre-sharpened pencils and erasers, small notebooks, small toys, unique rocks (if you have a rockhound, which my daughter is, then you get the rock thing, and with rocks/gems I only trade like for like, I won't take a Polly Pocket and leave a rock, for example), swag from other caches that's mean to be placed in another cache, etc. I've even been known to put a few quarters in.

 

If I were to put out a large cache, I would occasionally re-stock it with swag. Maybe every three months or so. Not expensive swag, mostly likely Dollar Store stuff, or stuff raided from my daughter's ever-expanding toy box.

 

I think people who take something and leave nothing, or leave junk, are probably the same people that leave dirty diapers in parking lots and don't bother to pick up the trash bag that landed next to the dumpster instead of in it. In a word: disrespectful. Every game has them.

Edited by coffee/wired
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I've found quality swag vs. junk to be about 70/30. More often than not, there's something decent. Occasionally it's empty.

 

My kid's happy to find the cache. If there's anything good in it, then that's just a bonus. I carry a swag bag with me when caching and if I see something I (or she) wants, then I trade. I typically have items that kids would like - quality stickers of whatever pop idol/disney character is currently "in," nice pre-sharpened pencils and erasers, small notebooks, small toys, unique rocks (if you have a rockhound, which my daughter is, then you get the rock thing, and with rocks/gems I only trade like for like, I won't take a Polly Pocket and leave a rock, for example), swag from other caches that's mean to be placed in another cache, etc. I've even been known to put a few quarters in.

 

If I were to put out a large cache, I would occasionally re-stock it with swag. Maybe every three months or so. Not expensive swag, mostly likely Dollar Store stuff, or stuff raided from my daughter's ever-expanding toy box.

 

I think people who take something and leave nothing, or leave junk, are probably the same people that leave dirty diapers in parking lots and don't bother to pick up the trash bag that landed next to the dumpster instead of in it. In a word: disrespectful. Every game has them.

Here here Well Said.

 

There is a cacher here in DFW Area that leaves bags of body parts... ;)

Not sure were he got them but you see it in his logs then you go behind him to find and you bust out laughing :lol: Little rubber eyes... ears... fingers... ect. Loved it and the kids seem to get a kick out of it too.

 

Also found a 8 track tape... New in Wraper.... Tom Jones sings "She's a Lady" I think it was.... I think there's a Ronnie Millsap 8 track around here to.

Edited by sdrawkcab
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Caching with a kid I know how hard it is to explain to them when there is nothing or just junk in a cache. We don't have much, but unless I somehow forgot my bag I would never leave a cache empty if I found it that way. I felt really bad about the 1 time I discovered I didn't trade even or up, but I didn't know what my son had taken (A mystery coin)had any value at all until much later.

 

I carry a backpack and I try to keep it stocked with the kinds of things I know my son would like. Yes a lot of it is very inexpensive stuff, but to kids treasure doesn't come with a price tag. Since I know that I also keep some pretty rocks and shells that I don't usually use as trade but to drop into small caches to bulk them up. I keep my eye on the clearance aisle so that I will always have lots of options to trade. I thnk dollar stores are great as long as the items you get are something you really think someone would like. I carry items that have a value of anywhere from about a quarter to I guess $20. I keep them sorted in plastic baggies with the more valuable stuff in its own pocket. I have a baggie of jewelry too that is for more valuable trades that an adult might like.

 

I believe it’s shameful that so many people trade down. Since so much swag is geared towards kids I should be thought of like stealing candy from a baby or balloons from a toddler. NOT COOL! When we put out some caches I plan to do my best to make sure there are always items for the kids to trade. Like someone else said knowing I made at least one person smile, makes me feel good. It would be great if more people in the geocaching world would take the random acts of kindness creed and apply it to adding a bit of swag to caches that are lacking.

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A lot of swag just doesn't stand up to the elements. It wasn't necessarily garbage when it went into the cache, but it turns into garbage over time.

 

I understand why it's a little disappointing to find a cache without much in it, but I really don't think it's worth the wailing and gnashing of teeth. The game has so much more to recommend it.

 

And if you're *genuinely* upset to find a cache without anything "good" in it, maybe you need to ask yourself if you're part of the problem.

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I applaud those that are willing to place well stocked caches out there. I, too, try to place well stocked caches when I first put them out. I also plan on restocking them once a year after they have surely depleted over time. If you plan on stocking them or keeping them stocked, be prepared for disappointment.

 

I found a cache this weekend, an LPS hide, where someone had left a plastic milk jug lid inside! REALLY? Totally made us laugh and wonder if they had taken anything from the cache....but really? WHY? Too lazy to throw it away? Baffles me.

 

I just gave a geocaching 101 seminar at Mineral Wells State Park here in Texas. This was one of the things I spoke with them about. If we can educate the noobs, hopefully, over time, we can turn this thing around.

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I'm putting out a themed cache this week, so I know that I will occasionally have to restock it with the themed items. No biggie, it won't be far from home and it will give me an excuse to get outside and it's likely I can find the swag on clearance just about anywhere, at any time.

 

Sometimes, the random stuff in a cache is funny. Sometimes, it's just annoying. Sometimes, it goes so far as to p*** me off. Thankfully the latter is less common than the former.

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And if you're *genuinely* upset to find a cache without anything "good" in it, maybe you need to ask yourself if you're part of the problem.

 

Now that came out of left field ... and completely unwarranted. Go back and read the initial post. When you have something to add to the conversation that is useful come join us.

 

I think the direction of this thread spun off topic very quickly. If I came off as complaining that wasn't the intent. The original intent was whether a log warning parents who might tromp their kids out in the woods to find an ammo can for the adventure and find for the kids and wind up finding an ammo can filled with garbage an acceptable practice.

 

From some of the replies, it isn't simply because the CO isn't responsible for the items inside the cache, and from that perspective it makes total sense and I agree. My comment on what we plan on doing when we place a cache was simply that; our plan, not anyone else's.

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And if you're *genuinely* upset to find a cache without anything "good" in it, maybe you need to ask yourself if you're part of the problem.

 

Now that came out of left field ... and completely unwarranted. Go back and read the initial post. When you have something to add to the conversation that is useful come join us.

 

I think the direction of this thread spun off topic very quickly. If I came off as complaining that wasn't the intent. The original intent was whether a log warning parents who might tromp their kids out in the woods to find an ammo can for the adventure and find for the kids and wind up finding an ammo can filled with garbage an acceptable practice.

 

From some of the replies, it isn't simply because the CO isn't responsible for the items inside the cache, and from that perspective it makes total sense and I agree. My comment on what we plan on doing when we place a cache was simply that; our plan, not anyone else's.

Now, now... narcissa's statement is not necessarily off-base.

 

I took it not as a post directly to you, but as a post that all others that may read this thread. Perhaps it may open the eyes of somebody who cruises through and doesn't bother posting anything.

 

I will add something, my 2¢, if you will...

 

I disagree with people complaining a bunch about their kids' fretting because there are no good toys in the swag. Geocaching was not designed originally as a kids' activity. It has gravitated that way because more people are discovering it, and placing kid-friendly caches.

 

Now, I am not saying that kids should not be involved, on the contrary. But geocaching is not a "treasure hunt" as it has been portrayed. That moniker was contrived because somebody didn't know what else to call it. For people to get locked into it as a treasure hunt -- therefore intended to be a kids' game -- is actually detrimental to geocaching itself.

 

Geocaching is a family-friendly activity. A hunt, a recreation, an exercise (oftentimes in futility). Nothing more, and nothing less. Perhaps the kiddies should be taught this, instead of "treasure hunting".

 

Swag trading is a byproduct of the hunt. It is not the object of the hunt.

There are geocachers that do not have children. Is it fair to complain about them not having any desire to carry loads of kiddie presents in their pursuit of what makes them happy? I think not.

We are "empty nesters" and do carry swag to place in caches that are lacking. We take very little, usually nothing at all from a cache. Complaining about those that don't is just plain wrong.

 

<off the soapbox>

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This annoys me.The took nothing,but...

 

July 9, 2009 by jbierfeldt (7 found)

 

Wow! Great hiding spot! Took nothing, Left Burgerking Receipt and 16 cents in change. Team K.A.S - Killer Awesome Squirrls

 

View This Log

 

Actually, some of those Burger King receipts are the ones where you call in and they give a code for a free whopper. We found one of those in a cache. Still haven't redeemed our free whopper yet, but it will be nice sometime when we're caching and we get hungry and are short on pocket money. But yeah, I agree that at first glance it doesn't look so good.

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Like many others here I'm a DINK and I don't trade for swag most of the time. I do carry a little bag of goodies for caches in need of some love and some times I trade for swag (we just left two things and picked up some shot) but most of the time I just like to see what is in it.

 

90% of the swag we leave is from cleaning up our apartment or stuff from my mother so it doesn't cost us anything.

 

I think it is all of our responsibilities to keep the caches' looking good.

 

I really like the idea of doing film canisters with trash bags in them for CITO but I'm not that organized yet.

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I really like the idea of doing film canisters with trash bags in them for CITO but I'm not that organized yet.

 

I love that idea too! We like to leave premade caches for others to place (complete with swag in them) as well.

 

I want to get/make little CITO stickers or just Geocaching logo stickers first- to put on the outside of the canister since I don't want them to end up as caches (Colorado isn't a good option for most film canisters- there are expections of course ( H.Abode's caches some times are film canisters inside of other things to make them more water proof and I like all of his caches )).

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When my daughter and I first discovered caching, it was fun for her to look through a cache and trade items. But most caches were trashed or depleted, so it was a rather hit or miss type of thing. Then when I started placing caches, I always tried to make sure that they were filled with items that either she or I would like to find (whether the cache was a small container or an ammo box). I would return periodically to replenish the containers. This became less practical as I placed more caches -- and it was discouraging when one of the first cachers to visit a pirate cache got too much into the theme and took all the pieces of eight reproductions.

 

So now there are only a few themed caches that I will replenish. The pirate caches (with items from the Pirate Supply Store), a moose cache (moose stuff), a Native American cache. I hiked up to the latter this weekend and found that it still had one arrowhead in it, but I was surprised by the sheer number of broken items, trash, and the like. I will replenish it because it is one that is special to me.

 

After visiting that cache I stopped by another one of mine and emptied the trash from that. There is only so much an owner can do, but I will probably fill it up again when I return to change the log. Still, there are probably more than one of my caches that people would find "sub par" after they have been depleted.

 

The pirate cache has been doing better. Perhaps it is because the protector charm is working, or else it is because it gets only a few visits these days since is a puzzle that most of the locals have done, or because people are taking heed of the warnings on the cache page explaining the pirate code.

 

I am not sure if there is any solution to this, other than to let a cache evolve (or devolve) as fate would have it. I have seen one cache that was titled MT because it was left empty and cachers who came there were supposed to leave items in it. Another cache had an ALR requiring people to trade items, but filling a container with McToys was hardly the way to encourage this. For the most part, trading is not an important part of the game for me. But it can be a fun part of the game for some, so I always enjoying see a cache with trade items in it, even if I just sign the log.

Edited by Erickson
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Yeah, it's the norm. :) One out of four regular and large caches are decent. There only a few excellent caches in my area which I know by name and I always let other cachers with kids know about them. Ironically I found some HUGE caches on our road trip last weekend (huge caches are rare) and they were full. Chock full. All junk. At least there wasn't any garbage in any of them for a change.. To my surprise one "regular" ammo can had lots of beanie babies, and other new useful items. I didn't take anything but I appreciate a cache that is treated with thought and respect. On another note we didn't find any geocoins on our trip. The only TBs were in hotels and there were no coins in any of the caches.

 

I always empty every cache I find, wipe out dirt and moisture, remove the trash, bag up stickers/cloth/papers items, then put something nice in it to improve the game for everyone, but other than lead by example I don't know what more we can do for the game in general.

 

What I recommend for your particular cache is to warn people outright at the very top of your cache page to be prepared to trade and to trade up for good stuff. I think sometimes people are not prepared to trade (being genuinely surprised to find anything but damaged stickers and broken plastic junk in a cache.) Spell it out: nothing broken or damaged. Then place a laminated card with instructions in the cache to remind them. I suspect most people will be prepared and respect your wishes if you ask them.

 

I know you're thinking they should already know that. Well, sorta. But, remember most people are focusing on smileys and numbers-- not swag. That's an afterthought.

 

PS you can buy terrific kid swag on ebay for pennies. Hello Kitty, Disney, Dora the Explorer items, good quality enamel charms etc. Most cachers are adults though...

 

My swag is smileys, smiley pencil sharpeners. The work out well for cache pencil maintenance.

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I don't have a lot of money so I struggle sometimes to find the coolest dollar store items to put in my larger caches. Kids generally don't care if its a cheap toy or not. They play with it until it breaks and then go on to the next toy. One thing I've noticed myself is when I cache alone I don't plan on taking anything but a smiley from a new land. I don't bring swag with me and don't take anything away unless its trashed. I've found quite a few caches that were waterlogged with cloth and paper items just nasty and destroyed. I do bring along baggies, extra logs and such to help to maintain the cache but rarely bring extra swag. A lot of times when I find caches like this I leave with several items headed for the trash can but have nothing to give. In one cache I actually added a lock n lock to the ammo can because it had a bad seal. I feel I'm doing my part to help maintain a cache but now I think I should feel a bit guilty because I don't drop in a McGeoToy or something of that nature. I would like to create my own signature item to add, would that make it a little better even if it isn't a toy? Swiz

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Would that be out of line or would an email to the CO be more appropriate letting them know it's getting run down.

 

Yes, it would be out of line since they weren't the ones who down-graded the contents over time.

 

I am a big proponent of trading up and I prefer to leave stuff for the kids. As far as I'm concerned adults can go out buy carp for themselves.

 

At least with an ammocan you can actually leave something.

 

Word.

 

Be the change.

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I don't have a lot of money so I struggle sometimes to find the coolest dollar store items to put in my larger caches. Kids generally don't care if its a cheap toy or not. They play with it until it breaks and then go on to the next toy. One thing I've noticed myself is when I cache alone I don't plan on taking anything but a smiley from a new land. I don't bring swag with me and don't take anything away unless its trashed. I've found quite a few caches that were waterlogged with cloth and paper items just nasty and destroyed. I do bring along baggies, extra logs and such to help to maintain the cache but rarely bring extra swag. A lot of times when I find caches like this I leave with several items headed for the trash can but have nothing to give. In one cache I actually added a lock n lock to the ammo can because it had a bad seal. I feel I'm doing my part to help maintain a cache but now I think I should feel a bit guilty because I don't drop in a McGeoToy or something of that nature. I would like to create my own signature item to add, would that make it a little better even if it isn't a toy? Swiz

I dont think you should feel guilty.Trash is trash.If it looks like trash "or smells like trash" and you pitched it, I feel you did the cache a service.I have found some pretty nasty stuff in a few caches and felt it would have been wrong to not "CITO" it.

I am low on funds myself.I have an electrician friend that is saving me those "knock outs" from electrical panels.They are about the size of a half dollar,and they throw them away.I am going to try file the kinda sharp edges off them and use metal stamps and make coins out of them.Free! Maybe you can find something free to make some swag with,or use my idea. :)

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I dont think you should feel guilty.Trash is trash.If it looks like trash "or smells like trash" and you pitched it, I feel you did the cache a service.I have found some pretty nasty stuff in a few caches and felt it would have been wrong to not "CITO" it.

I am low on funds myself.I have an electrician friend that is saving me those "knock outs" from electrical panels.They are about the size of a half dollar,and they throw them away.I am going to try file the kinda sharp edges off them and use metal stamps and make coins out of them.Free! Maybe you can find something free to make some swag with,or use my idea. :)

 

I agree. I do the same thing. I throw out really gross stuff that is obviously trash (empty pop cans, really moldy toys, shotgun shells, etc.) and I don't feel one bit of guilt.

 

I love the idea of the electrical 'knock outs.' Both my brother in law and Dad are electricians. I'm going to ask them for some. Thank you for the cool idea.

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I have a small child - he's not even four - and he grasps that the point of geocaching is searching and exploring. When we do find the cache, he's interested in looking through it and then putting everything back in, because that's what he sees the adults do. Occasionally, there will be something that really catches his eye, and we'll trade - but that's rare.

 

My partner and I have literally hiked for miles carrying him on our shoulders in search of a challenging cache, and the swag in the cache is absolutely the least of our concerns. We cache for the experience of it, and that's a value we want to pass along. Any toys we have traded for were forgotten within days, but he still talks animatedly about the chickadees we hand-fed last Fall and the time Mum fell into a creek.

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I dont think you should feel guilty.Trash is trash.If it looks like trash "or smells like trash" and you pitched it, I feel you did the cache a service.I have found some pretty nasty stuff in a few caches and felt it would have been wrong to not "CITO" it.

I am low on funds myself.I have an electrician friend that is saving me those "knock outs" from electrical panels.They are about the size of a half dollar,and they throw them away.I am going to try file the kinda sharp edges off them and use metal stamps and make coins out of them.Free! Maybe you can find something free to make some swag with,or use my idea. :)

 

I agree. I do the same thing. I throw out really gross stuff that is obviously trash (empty pop cans, really moldy toys, shotgun shells, etc.) and I don't feel one bit of guilt.

 

I love the idea of the electrical 'knock outs.' Both my brother in law and Dad are electricians. I'm going to ask them for some. Thank you for the cool idea.

 

I just might take you up on that. I'll have to buy the metal stamp kit from harbor freight. I think its around $15 bucks. I'm sure a phone call to any electrician would get you a bag full. Time to fire up the bench grinder and pull out the leather gloves. Swiz

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Good thread with some really good posts. :anicute:

 

New to geocaching, but we've figured out how the swag goes a bit. There's another thread by us in "getting started" that is similar to this one.

 

We enjoy finding and my kids loved one park we hit in Wooster - so the areas around here are fun to go to. Another local park is the boys favorite local park - so they were thrilled to find a cache there. One that none of us ever knew existed, even though we've been to that park countless times.

 

After the boys got the idea of what the "treasure" was like - they are still - even with disappointments - totally excited to even find it in the first place. Of course they want to LOOK in the cache - but are not overly concerned about not finding something cool. I'm probably more concerned about it then they are - and they have no problem leaving things.

 

When it comes to dollar store stuff, some of it can be decent - most is not that great. My kids happen to LOVE the dollar store too - so finding dollar store stuff is fine with them. :)

 

I do however, think it is the best idea to help any caches out that have been soaked, trashed, or depleted. If it's trash, get it out. We took an old pack of instant coffee out of one because it was just gross. I have also replaced plastic bags, dumped out dirt and pine needles, etc. and so on.

 

Same with CITO - if everyone could apply that (yes maybe in dreamland) it would make this hobby even more fun. Suppose you could always create a new "geocaching for kids only" and break that away from the main geocaching site. That way Groundspeak can be geared to the serious hunters, and a new branch could be geared to just the families with young kids. :ph34r:

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A second caching site devoted to kids doesn't sound like to bad of an idea. I would think that more multi's would be fun for kids. Something with a puzzle that they need to figure out to get the final. Every year I set up a 10 stage multi for our annual "company picnic". We invite company over and have a picnic. With kids it would be easier to set up an exciting multi if you don't have the .10 mile rule. The more finds along a short distance really gets them pumped up. Especially when the final was hidden in the middle of all the stages, right under their noses the whole time. I would definitely suggest that all of these "Kids Caches" are kept away from other caches and if possible done in small groups. We always have 10 to 12 kids to do the treasure hunt and they talk about it in school for weeks afterwards. If you can get such a website going then I have a few places that I can set up such a cache just for kids. I'm not sure if I could keep it stocked if 10 groups of 10 kids hit my cache every month though?

 

Now back on topic. I kinda think that the kids that area disappointed in the lack of toys are the ones that have their parents telling them about these magical toy boxes in the woods. These kids are dreaming about the toys that they want and see on TV and ultimately I think the whole family suffers from disappointment. Try not to get your kids so hyped up and then when you do find a decent cache you'll be twice as excited. Just my opinion. Swiz

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I dont think you should feel guilty.Trash is trash.If it looks like trash "or smells like trash" and you pitched it, I feel you did the cache a service.I have found some pretty nasty stuff in a few caches and felt it would have been wrong to not "CITO" it.

I am low on funds myself.I have an electrician friend that is saving me those "knock outs" from electrical panels.They are about the size of a half dollar,and they throw them away.I am going to try file the kinda sharp edges off them and use metal stamps and make coins out of them.Free! Maybe you can find something free to make some swag with,or use my idea. :)

 

I agree. I do the same thing. I throw out really gross stuff that is obviously trash (empty pop cans, really moldy toys, shotgun shells, etc.) and I don't feel one bit of guilt.

 

I love the idea of the electrical 'knock outs.' Both my brother in law and Dad are electricians. I'm going to ask them for some. Thank you for the cool idea.

 

I just might take you up on that. I'll have to buy the metal stamp kit from harbor freight. I think its around $15 bucks. I'm sure a phone call to any electrician would get you a bag full. Time to fire up the bench grinder and pull out the leather gloves. Swiz

 

WAY cheaper than $15.

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A second caching site devoted to kids doesn't sound like to bad of an idea. I would think that more multi's would be fun for kids. Something with a puzzle that they need to figure out to get the final. Every year I set up a 10 stage multi for our annual "company picnic". We invite company over and have a picnic. With kids it would be easier to set up an exciting multi if you don't have the .10 mile rule. The more finds along a short distance really gets them pumped up. Especially when the final was hidden in the middle of all the stages, right under their noses the whole time. I would definitely suggest that all of these "Kids Caches" are kept away from other caches and if possible done in small groups. We always have 10 to 12 kids to do the treasure hunt and they talk about it in school for weeks afterwards. If you can get such a website going then I have a few places that I can set up such a cache just for kids. I'm not sure if I could keep it stocked if 10 groups of 10 kids hit my cache every month though?

 

Now back on topic. I kinda think that the kids that area disappointed in the lack of toys are the ones that have their parents telling them about these magical toy boxes in the woods. These kids are dreaming about the toys that they want and see on TV and ultimately I think the whole family suffers from disappointment. Try not to get your kids so hyped up and then when you do find a decent cache you'll be twice as excited. Just my opinion. Swiz

 

Sounds great Swiz. I may just sit and think about a decent domain name/idea that would not intrude on any copyrighted/trademarked material and create a new site. Matter of fact, might be worth an email into Groundspeak to make sure that's OK with them. I would be happy to link their site to mine, so anyone stumbling across my site would be able to hit this one as well.

 

When we first started, we didn't quite know what to expect. The first cache we found was a Knight2000 - who also has kids, and is a super nice guy on top of it. He took the time to email me on our first find, and the cache had a couple things that were right up the boy's alley. It wasn't a difficult find, but we all really thought it was fun.

 

Our second cache was also a Knight2000 - in a very cool place. The kids were fascinated with the area where it was hid, and HOW it was hid - and very pleased to find that one. Both of these had nicely kept caches, plus they got to meet the local mayor, etc. In essence, we got pretty lucky with most of the finds around here - they were nicely kept.

 

It's not that we thought when they say something like left "gold nugget" we would expect it to be real - but on the "off chance" that it might be... :anicute:

 

So they got used to the caches being nicely kept right off the bat. Only when we found a couple in poor shape did it lead to some disappointment. For me - it's mostly about a sense of pride I guess, to where I don't understand why people can't follow the simplest rules, like CITO.

 

For the kids, it's more of a "well that was a bummer" type thing. lol. Nobody cried or anything - ya know, just one of those - uhg. Comes with the territory I understand now.

 

Thought other people would like to know as well - if I was a CO - I would want to know what new folks thought about it. I tend to be pretty detailed in my logs (not necessarily in the log book) but on the online logs. Figured the more info CO's have about their caches, the easier it might be for them. :)

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A lot of swag just doesn't stand up to the elements. It wasn't necessarily garbage when it went into the cache, but it turns into garbage over time.

 

I understand why it's a little disappointing to find a cache without much in it, but I really don't think it's worth the wailing and gnashing of teeth. The game has so much more to recommend it.

 

And if you're *genuinely* upset to find a cache without anything "good" in it, maybe you need to ask yourself if you're part of the problem.

 

I think everyone would agree with you Narcissa-- and definitely with Gitchee Gumee too-- but I think you misunderstand the thread. (Perhaps I misunderstand you too-- that happens on email.) I don't think that's an issue for anyone here. Face it this thread is idle chatter. (Like "How about those Mets?" ) The only people here are those procrastinating on their work and too tired to anything more interesting. (Guilty myself.). I wouldn't read too much angst into the discussion. I heard no gnashing of teeth.

 

I don't think people are obsessing with "treasure" there's better stuff at garage sales and on ebay than found in geocaches, but it can be cool to to sort through a cache with fun and interesting stuff even if one rarely takes anything... (Guilty again..) I enjoy signature items even if they're not personalized. It isn't any sillier than finding a plastic nut jar under a tree and thinking that's fun. I think this is a fun thread because if you carry maintenance kits and clean, repair almost every cache, remove trash, add more swag than you take in order to improve the experience for others it's fun to chat with kindred spirits.

Edited by FatCat2
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When we found our first ever cache, the friends who introduced us to this sport had a soft plush teddy bear to leave in the ammo can. The concept of trading it for something else was carefully explained to our then 5-year-old. Our daughter lovingly carried it the whole hike, and when we got there the ammo can had mostly business cards in it. :ph34r: Much to our delight, she was content with a broken frog pencil sharpener (which she still treasures as being from her first cache) and happily left the teddy bear (with a goodbye kiss). :anicute: This formerly rather selfish kid has now been known to say things like "Mom, we're going to be generous, right? 'Cause this one doesn't have much left." We like to leave working plastic compasses and mini-flashlights (gender neutral- yay!) for any little explorers who come after us. As disappointing as the empty ammo cans can be, it sure makes for a great opportunity to teach the little ones a valuable lesson on leaving the world a better place. :)

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