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GOF and Bacall

"I hate swag."

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One thing I do like about micros is that they only contain a log. I hate swag. I have ammo cans and I don't like swag in them at all.

(Bolding mine.)

 

I find this very interesting. I know of a couple of others who have come to the same point. Most folks I know seldom trade after the newness of it all wears off. But they are usually indifferent about it. The swag doesn't bother them much until it becomes an unmaintained mess in the bottom of the cache. Even then it is seldom more than a nuisance. But a few cachers, and the number seems to be growing, seem to despise the very idea of swag. I'll admit, I am curious? What is it about swag you don't like?

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I am actually starting to enjoy swag again.

For a while I couldn't see a use for anything that would be in a cache, being minimalist and clutter free was the goal. Even cool junk was still junk.

Now I collect signature items. However elaborate, or simple, expensive or cheap. I love sig items.

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I don't hate it. Hate is too strong a word. I ignore it, though. Well, OCCASIONALLY I will look through it to see what is there, but it is generally worse than the stuff at the worst garage sale on my block.

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Thanks for the quote. :)

 

Ok, I traded swag my first few geocaches. I thought it was neat. Then I realized I'm just moving trinkets from cache to cache. I never kept the swag because I don't keep anything that I don't need or use. I get rid of anything that's not useful. I have very very little of anything purely for sentimental value.

 

Nextly (new word), I started hiding. I love hiking caches and I cache for the places it takes me and the journey. I like ammo cans because they stand up against the elements and controlled burns here in Florida. always dry inside.

 

I filled my cans with awesome swag, trinkets for kiddies and stuff for adults. Books, DVDs, just neat useless stuff. ALL my ammo cans swag degraded into mostly trash within 2 months.

 

Not all, some swag was ok. But literally, there was trash in almost all my caches. I have to regularly clean them out of broken toys, melted crayons, shell and rocks picked up from around the cache, food items, oh yeah and an exploded battery. I got a luggage claim ticket in my favorite cache which is an 8 mile hike!

 

I appreciate that swag is for kids. That is cool, so I leave good swag in, clean it, and replace my caches with stuff for kids. Reluctantly though. I don't have kids and I don't particularly like kids that much. They like me and I can chill for a while...but I didn't place my caches as a toys r us for kids. I placed them so people can enjoy a hike in a nice forest or park.

 

Lastly, swag is usually stink and moldy.

 

I guess that's all. I used to collect signature items; then I had a drawer full of it and nothing to do with it. So I placed them in one of my caches and asked cachers to leave and trade their signature items there. I look at them, but leave them. Those are cool.

Edited by SeekerOfTheWay

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Thanks for the quote. :)

[not quoting the rest of it]

Sounds like you really mean you hate bad swag. So do I. I prefer a good micro with a dry log over a large can with rotting swag any time. But what I prefer much more is a nice large box with nice swag. Not for trading, just for going through it and looking at it. Kinda like what you say about signature items. I just wanna see what's there and what people left. Granted, finding a cache that satisfies those conditions is a rare thing to happen, and most of the time the swag is useless junk (just like you say), but that doesn't mean i hate swag per se.

Edited by dfx

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I agree there is usually not much in a cache I want. I sign the log and just move on sometimes I find something for my kids or a Pathtag and will take one and leave a pathtag but usually just sign the log and move on to the next cache. Tim

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I would agree with that statement. I hate bad swag. I dislike all other swag excluding signature items. I really think swag makes ammo cans look junky.

 

I usually try to just leave the biggest log book possible in my caches to take up space and leave little space to small items. I don't mind trackables, although one of my ammo cans went missing and two coins went missing with it. I feel badly about that. :(

 

I like the big log books to encourage folks to write more than their names if they want. Love reading physical log books!

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I would agree with that statement. I hate bad swag. I dislike all other swag excluding signature items. I really think swag makes ammo cans look junky.

 

I usually try to just leave the biggest log book possible in my caches to take up space and leave little space to small items. I don't mind trackables, although one of my ammo cans went missing and two coins went missing with it. I feel badly about that. :(

 

I like the big log books to encourage folks to write more than their names if they want. Love reading physical log books!

 

There could be another thread in there. I also like reading log books. It is one of the great things about the older caches. Early participants were more likely to add a paragraph or two.

 

I understand what your saying about the swag. But for me it is merely an annoying nuisance. No big deal.

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I would love to have more cachers write longer physical logs. Yes, that's another thread.

 

As for swag, it doesn't usually keep me up at night. ;) Just a personal preference; I carry hand wipes to use after handling swag. For some reason, that grosses me out but playing in the dirt does not. Hmmm.

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Swag.... not really my cup of tea. For me it is thrill of the hunt, and trackables. It is great for my niece and nephew. They are 10 and 8. It keeps them some what interested when my sister and I want to do more than 3 or 4 P &G's.

 

After my near death.... death.... and then another near death experiences last year I am glad now to be at the point I can cache. When I can my car back later this year it will be even better, cause I wont have to borrow my F.I.L's truck or go out with a friend who only wants to do 2 or 3 then call it quits.

Edited by Davequal

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I have to regularly clean them out of broken toys, melted crayons, shell and rocks picked up from around the cache, food items, oh yeah and an exploded battery. I got a luggage claim ticket in my favorite cache which is an 8 mile hike!

This is what drives me to hate swag. I have a cache that gets a lot of visitors; whenever I stop by I have to clean out crud similar to what you describe - taxi receipts, gunked-up stickers, etc. It's just trash. Nobody wants it. Not even kids. And it makes caching seem kind of gross for new players. The ratio of good swag placed in this cache to bad swag is so low that I wish there was a simple way I could prohibit people from leaving anything except travelers. If there was just a log book in there, I think for most cachers it would be a more fulfilling experience.

 

I'm kind of tired of throwing away other people's trash.

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We usually don't "trade" much swag anymore, but in all new caches we put out of lock n lock size or larger we always stock a hefty supply of quality swag. There are always enough people who enjoy that part of caching we at least provide the opportunity for them.

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What is it about swag you don't like?

 

I don't "don't like swag", I'm just not interested. When I get to a cache, I only look for the logbook. On the other hand, in my own caches I try to put good swag's, because I know some others like swags, especialy kids.

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I don't hate swag.

 

When I'm with my children, I appreciate it, as they like it. I've found some caches with really excellent swag.

 

When I'm on my own (or with other adult cachers), I don't trade swag. I look for the log and for trackables. In this case the swag can make finding trackables in the box harder, but I don't mind that.

 

Of course if the swag is just trash, that's different. I don't particularly like trash.

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I'll admit, I am curious? What is it about swag you don't like?

 

There are various reasons. Whether it's good or bad swag does not play any role for me. Let me mention some of my reasons.

 

I often run into troubles putting everything into the container such that it closes well again. I easily get annoyed, nervous and frustrated in such situations and then it gets even more difficult to perform the job. It is like filling a dish washer - when I am doing it all the time less items fits into it than when others are doing it. The problem will not arise when

the containers are not densely packed, but that's hardly the case for the caches I am going to visit if they contain swag.

 

When opening a container in a physically uncomfortable position it is kind of a horror scenario for me that when trying to get the log sheet/roll out of the container that other items fall out of the container and drop down and I have to start a rescue action. (I am clumsy, so situations like that happen relatively often.) In Winter time when it is very cold it even gets harder for me to handle swag in tight containers. Many years ago a nice caching couple from Vienna then invented the "double film canister" container (two film cans attached to each other, one for the log sheet and one for the container) to make logging easier for cachers like me. (I need to mention that at that time it has been quite common in Vienna to put trading items even into film canisters.)

 

I'd like to quickly identify whether there are travellers in the cache which I could help along their travel. Swag is stuff that slows down that process.

 

Except at very remote locations, I want to quickly rehide the cache again and swag typically slows down that process.

 

As I need my hands quite often to get down or up even moderate trackless slopes, I typically end up with very dirty fingers at caches. I do not like to have to touch nice swag with such fingers (a mightmare are stuffed toys that are not sealed up). Actually, for that reason I also prefer log sheets to stylish log books (and in particular to ones into which creative cachers have invested a lot of work, time and money). It feels so ackward to me to spoil such nice items.

 

I hope that I provided you with some potential reasons. Let me state that I am of course aware that swag is important for many children. I just provided reasons why I prefer caches with no swag.

 

Cezanne

Edited by cezanne

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I don't hate it, but rarely even look at it, and don't have any need or use for 99.99% of what I see in cache containers. I once got a nice pair of zircon encrusted tweezers, and many years ago a good compass. But I don't cache with kids, and don't collect sig items, so all I want in a cache is a clean dry log sheet/book to mark and I'm on my way to the next one.

 

And I think SOTW has clarified her position that started this whole thread adequately.

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When we started, I didn't get the impression that swag was for kids. Caches usually contained cool stuff that people found around their home, like books and tapes and random stuff. Usually there'd be something fairly expensive, like a (cheaper) multitool or something. A lot of caches we found were so stuffed we had to take things out to be able to replace the lid. It wasn't until later that caches started filling up with dollar store toys for kiddies.

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I love swag. Before signing the log I'll paw through the swag just to see what's there and what maybe could be turned into a trackable. I look for trackables at the same time. Finally I sign the log and put everything back, providing I didn't find something interesting to me.

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I like swag for my daughter. She likes it. I don't really care but I can pick up something cool and trade it out for something I don't use and then remember that cache when I look threw the swag I have found. None of it is good for anything but the memory of finding it.

-WarNinjas

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I like swag. I think it is fun but found some recently that was wet, rusty & smelly. I wanted to leave a signature item but thought it would just get ruined. That was kinda of yucky (next time I wear my gloves). Found a cache with old, used one day parking passes in it. Who would want that? So I can see why some people don't care 4 swag.

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Think about the kids ! For them it is a treasure hunt. It has its purpose. his game is for all ages not old ages only !

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I'm not a kid, and I like swag. At every cache that I visited, if it contained swag, I traded something. I kept all the items I got.

 

There are several actions associated with each geocache:

 

1. [optional] Research the cache from home. Look at the general location on a map, read the listing, check the attributes, solve the puzzle, etc, before deciding to hunt it.

2. Travel to the closest/recommended parking lot/bus station.

3. [optional] Walk or hike to the cache location.

4. [optional] Look around you, admire the view, take photos.

5. [optional] Search for the cache.

6. [optional] Look through the swag, and trade something. Look through the logbook, read the previous logs.

7. Write the date and your name in the logbook.

8. [optional] Write about your experience in the logbook.

9. Log the cache online.

10. [optional] Write about your experience in the online log.

11. [optional] Think back to the cache you found, recollecting the events that took place that day.

 

When I geocache, I prefer doing all these actions, or as many of them as possible. Looking at other geocachers around, it seems that the majority is only interested in doing the mandatory 2, 7 and 9, and sometimes 5.

I went geocaching with friends, felt that they only wanted to find as many caches as possible. For me, having as many (nice) memories as possible is what counts. A long(er) hike is an opportunity for all kinds of happenings. Spending some time relaxing near the cache, reading the logs, looking at the swag, or just looking at the scenery around is an opportunity to get memories. The pictures, the swag gathered, and a descriptive online log will help recollecting these memories.

I'm not bothered by those who prefer to geocache in a different way. Please understand that there are geocachers that play differently than you, and try not to ruin their enjoyment.

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I'm not a kid, and I like swag. At every cache that I visited, if it contained swag, I traded something. I kept all the items I got.

 

[ ...........Stuff deleted ...............]

 

Please understand that there are geocachers that play differently than you, and try not to ruin their enjoyment.

 

So how does your reply related to the asked question asked why some cachers hate/dislike swag? The thread is not about whether someone likes or dislikes swag, but just asks for reasons why people do not like swag.

 

I am not at all interested into accumulating as many finds as possible per time unit. Still swag often causes me a problem, in particular in combination with densely packed containers. Read my post above and tell me how you think that my awareness of the fact that swag contributes to the experience for many cachers (not only children and families) could change any of my personal problems with swag. Please explain me in which manner my troubles with swag ruin the enjoyment of others. Do you really expect me to enjoy what often feels like a personal defeat to me when it takes me ages to get everything back into the container such that I can close it again while others do not seem to have this problem?

 

 

Cezanne

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I would agree with that statement. I hate bad swag. I dislike all other swag excluding signature items. I really think swag makes ammo cans look junky.

 

I usually try to just leave the biggest log book possible in my caches to take up space and leave little space to small items. I don't mind trackables, although one of my ammo cans went missing and two coins went missing with it. I feel badly about that. :(

 

I like the big log books to encourage folks to write more than their names if they want. Love reading physical log books!

 

I agree. It's bad swag that's the problem. It's inevitable and COs can help by cleaning out their caches about a couple of times a year. Part of the problem with the condition of swag is it will look junky after sitting in a box for a few months. Dirt and moisture and leaf litter will get in the box and swag will get dirty and rusty. Even good swag can look pretty rough after a couple of months in a cache. As a finder, I'll clear out the junk - ticket stubs, bus tickets, pebbles, bottle caps, rusty swag, etc. Except on those occassions where everything in the cache is a mess and the CO really needs to pay a maintenance visit. I'll note in the log the poor condition of the cache.

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But what I prefer much more is a nice large box with nice swag. Not for trading, just for going through it and looking at it. Kinda like what you say about signature items. I just wanna see what's there and what people left.

 

I totally agree! :)

Edited by Lone R

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As a CO I've been rather fortunate. We have 2 swag caches - one is a largish Lock n Lock container on University grounds, it's been out for 8 years. I try to keep it stocked with University related stuff. A couple of times a year I go out with a bag full of stuff I've bought from the Uni-bookstore and often I can't fit it all in. Most of the stuff I left from last time is still there and there's a few new good trinkets inside. There will likely be a few pieces of bad swag but not much. We have an ammo can with a dog theme. I tell people that it's not necessary to leave a dog theme item but it would be nice if they do. I take a bag full of dog swag and usually only need to add a couple of items. And surprisingly most people actually leave dog theme swag plus the non-dog theme stuff is decent swag (not dirty, not broken). Just lucky I guess.

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I don't generally hate swag. Normally I just don't care about it. It gets irritating when a cache is jammed so full of it that it's hard to find, retrieve, and/or replace the log. And when a cache leaks, on the few occasions where the log is in an unpunctured bag and still dry, I am definitely irritated when I have to paw past manky, wet swag to get to the log.

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yeah, like many others before, I just don´t like the fact that people leave trash n crap in every box. But still, I like to find something interesting so if I find something cool, I´ll leave something else from my collection too. Some of these pieces I collect, some others I just put in the next cache where I´ll find something of interest.

And yes, sometimes I clean my own caches from the worst stuff, I can´t think that even kids would like it.

 

Shame on those who spread such rubbish!

Edited by FraenCache

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Think about the kids ! For them it is a treasure hunt. It has its purpose. his game is for all ages not old ages only !

 

Teach kids to enjoy the hunt, the hike, the scenery, the feeling of accomplishment when they make a find. Toys as rewards aren't good prizes. It's very shallow to teach children that. Maybe it's one reason why our society is becoming so materialistic. Just a thought.

Edited by SeekerOfTheWay

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Teach kids to enjoy the hunt, the hike, the scenery, the feeling of accomplishment when they make a find. Toys as rewards aren't good prizes. It's very shallow to teach children that. Maybe it's one reason why our society is becoming so materialistic. Just a thought.

To be fair, I don't think it's shallow to teach children the ethos of trading even or trading up. I have kids; they like making trades; I don't think they're part of why our society is becoming so materialistic.

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When we started, I didn't get the impression that swag was for kids. Caches usually contained cool stuff that people found around their home, like books and tapes and random stuff. Usually there'd be something fairly expensive, like a (cheaper) multitool or something. A lot of caches we found were so stuffed we had to take things out to be able to replace the lid. It wasn't until later that caches started filling up with dollar store toys for kiddies.

Agreed. People often complained, in fact, about finding toys. Initially, geocaching was rather swag-driven. Seeing what people left was part of the game. People loved large containers that held many and/or large items. People traveled long distances to see swag from the original cache. Swag led to sig items and coins and pathtags. Now, those things are traded outside of caches, and caches are often not caches at all but containers just big enough for a log.

 

Teach kids to enjoy the hunt, the hike, the scenery, the feeling of accomplishment when they make a find. Toys as rewards aren't good prizes. It's very shallow to teach children that. Maybe it's one reason why our society is becoming so materialistic. Just a thought.

To be fair, I don't think it's shallow to teach children the ethos of trading even or trading up. I have kids; they like making trades; I don't think they're part of why our society is becoming so materialistic.

Yes. It's more like recycling/reusing than getting rewarded.

Edited by Dinoprophet

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Good points, guys. Makes total sense. I don't have kids so I don't know about teaching them. But what you guys brought up is a great lesson for them!

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When we started, I didn't get the impression that swag was for kids. Caches usually contained cool stuff that people found around their home, like books and tapes and random stuff. Usually there'd be something fairly expensive, like a (cheaper) multitool or something. A lot of caches we found were so stuffed we had to take things out to be able to replace the lid. It wasn't until later that caches started filling up with dollar store toys for kiddies.

Agreed. People often complained, in fact, about finding toys. Initially, geocaching was rather swag-driven. Seeing what people left was part of the game. People loved large containers that held many and/or large items. People traveled long distances to see swag from the original cache. Swag led to sig items and coins and pathtags. Now, those things are traded outside of caches, and caches are often not caches at all but containers just big enough for a log.

 

I started back in 2001 and agree with 'the history of swag' observations. It's true, much of the swag back then was more often grown-up related, even the chatchkes [sp?] were more like what you'd find in your Grandma's china cabinet - little figurines or souvenir-type items. Not the kind of thing you'd typically give to your kid. Examples:

 

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239964_400.jpg

 

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