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What to leave in a cache?


Knives_Chau
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Still a noob to the game, but I was just wondering if there are any guidelines as to what kind of tradeables a person should leave whenever they find a cache. Lately, the ones I have found in my area contain a lot of garbage. Seems to be a let down. You find a good sized cache, open it up and it looks like it contains garbage that someone pulled out of their pocket. Seriously, salt packets, cat toys, change? Just my 2 cents.

Edited by Knives_Chau
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Still a noob to the game, but I was just wondering if there are any guidelines as to what kind of tradeables a person should leave whenever they find a cache. Lately, the ones I have found in my area contain a lot of garbage. Seems to be a let down. You find a good sized cache, open it up and it looks like it contains garbage that someone pulled out of their pocket. Seriously, salt packets, cat toys, change? Just my 2 cents.

It's not because you are a nØØb, it's a phenomenon referred to as "cache degradation". A particularly nasty happening that seems darn near inevitable.

 

I'll see your 2¢ and raise you 4¢.

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Still a noob to the game, but I was just wondering if there are any guidelines as to what kind of tradeables a person should leave whenever they find a cache.

There aren't really any guidelines about what tradeables should be left, but there are guidelines about what should not be left:

 

What should not be placed in a cache?

People of all ages hide and seek geocaches, so think carefully before placing an item into a cache. Explosives, ammunition, knives, drugs and alcohol should not be placed in a cache. Respect local laws at all times.

 

Please do not put food or heavily scented items in a cache. Animals have better noses than humans, and in some cases caches have been chewed through and destroyed because of food items in a cache.

If you ignore the worthless items, most of the swag I see in caches seem to be small items that can be purchased at Dollar Stores. Occasionally, people will leave some interesting homemade items as well.

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Still a noob to the game, but I was just wondering if there are any guidelines as to what kind of tradeables a person should leave whenever they find a cache. Lately, the ones I have found in my area contain a lot of garbage. Seems to be a let down. You find a good sized cache, open it up and it looks like it contains garbage that someone pulled out of their pocket. Seriously, salt packets, cat toys, change? Just my 2 cents.

 

Remove the garbage and replace them with a nice clean not-broken item that you would be happy to find in a cache.

Part of the garbage problem is a maintenance issue. A cache needs to be maintained probably a couple of times a year to wipe out the dirt, clean out the stuff that probably looked OK a few months ago but has become dirty and worn looking, and clean out the stuff that was trash from the get-go.

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Still a noob to the game, but I was just wondering if there are any guidelines as to what kind of tradeables a person should leave whenever they find a cache. Lately, the ones I have found in my area contain a lot of garbage. Seems to be a let down. You find a good sized cache, open it up and it looks like it contains garbage that someone pulled out of their pocket. Seriously, salt packets, cat toys, change? Just my 2 cents.

You can't change others only yourself. That being said I feel that by leaving something I would like to find I can correct the problem one cache at a time.

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These days we just leave our signature.

Same here. I go for the hike, the hunt and the log. I will move TB's occasionally but trades are off my radar.

I generaly only trade if the kids are with me. If I do find something I would like to trade for, I don't have anything "equal" or "up" to trade. I think the last trade I made was giving my compass for a velcro Canadian flag patch back in April.

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I usually like to leave pocket knives, firecrackers and herbal extasy. Sometimes if I'm feeling generous, I'll leave some condems and a warm beer.

 

When are you going caching next? Would you mind terribly if I followed you around?

 

You may be condemned!

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I like leaving one of my beaded frogs in the cache.

Sometimes I with leave other kids type swag as well or stuff i might have traded out at other caches as well.

 

http://twitpic.com/6krp55

http://twitpic.com/6mit8s

Those frogs are really cool. Do you make those?

Yeah I do. heh. It's fun making them and coming up with diff color combos.

I have one hanging on my geocaching backpack as well.

Edited by frogcooke
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I like leaving one of my beaded frogs in the cache.

Sometimes I with leave other kids type swag as well or stuff i might have traded out at other caches as well.

 

http://twitpic.com/6krp55

http://twitpic.com/6mit8s

Those frogs are really cool. Do you make those?

Yeah I do. heh. It's fun making them and coming up with diff color combos.

I have one hanging on my geocaching backpack as well.

Sweet. I'm sure cachers like finding those. I know I would. I like the hand made signature items. We used to collect them but we really don't find many anymore. Thanks for sharing.

 

We mainly leave stuff for kids. Our 7 yr old daughter is in charge of the SWAG department. So it's usually stuff she likes. We also leave flaslights, hiking stuff, fishing gear, and other things for bigger caches on hiking and 4x4 trails.

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Still a noob to the game, but I was just wondering if there are any guidelines as to what kind of tradeables a person should leave whenever they find a cache. Lately, the ones I have found in my area contain a lot of garbage. Seems to be a let down. You find a good sized cache, open it up and it looks like it contains garbage that someone pulled out of their pocket. Seriously, salt packets, cat toys, change? Just my 2 cents.

It's not because you are a nØØb, it's a phenomenon referred to as "cache degradation". A particularly nasty happening that seems darn near inevitable.

 

I'll see your 2¢ and raise you 4¢.

 

I recently got back from Japan and all the caches I found over there had no "Cache Degradation" also the owners over there took such good care of their caches it was unbelievable.

 

I swapped out for some cool stuff. Of course the culture over there lends itself to cool small things. They have "Gachapon" machines everywhere. There is also a culture of courtesy and behavior different than us. I usually dropped my siggy swag, not grabbing most stuff cause I wasn't sure about comparative values of items, that and I was trying to cut down on personal clutter.

 

Did get some comments on my dropped swag.

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What you have seen is what happens when people 'trade down' with a cache - they want to take a nicer item from the cache, and either don't have anything suitable to leave, or just don't care so leave poor quality items (or just plain rubbish) in return.

 

What you do I guess depends on what effort you want to put back into the hobby - at the very minimum you should be keeping to the rule of 'trade even or trade up' - that is if you take something from a cache, leave something of equal or better value in return. A nice thing you can do for the community is to help keep caches appropriate by removing the truly worthless or inappropriate junk - rubbish, food items, anything specifically banned or not appropriate for children - to make the cache nicer for the next person to find it. It is worth noting that people do find worth in different things - the coins you see as junk may be interesting to someone...

 

As for what to leave behind, it is up to you. I tend to leave interesting dice (4, 8, and 12 sided ones mainly) in all the caches I find, and many people make signature items like wooden nickels or small crafts, so feel free to leave whatever interests you and you think others would find interesting - or nothing at all if you don't want to take part in the trading swag part of the game.

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I recently got back from Japan and all the caches I found over there had no "Cache Degradation" also the owners over there took such good care of their caches it was unbelievable.

 

I am also finding that it varies from country to country.

 

In Switzerland the sway is usually decent.

I cache with the kids (ages 4 and 6), so swag does count.

 

In Portugal it was non existent (but then we only did 2 caches, so maybe that is unfair).

 

In England it varied a LOT. We found cool stuff, and also caches filled with junk.

 

I try to only hunt for caches in interesting places, so even when the swag is rubbish, the trip itself is not a waste of time.

I also explained to the kids that it is important that we leave behind something we would like to find.

 

We always trade up (or not at all), and make sure our very few hides are regularly maintained.

 

But if you step back it shouldn't be about the trade, but taking people to places that are worth visiting.

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I was going to pick up some fishing stuff that I thought would be good to leave as swag but was worried about hooks and such pointy items. Kinda relates to the Knife rule I though. Maybe it they were packaged it would be ok I suppose just so nobody gets stuck.

 

I see nothing wrong with fishing stuff. Some people get all bent out of shape over it, but really, as long as it's packaged and/or has the hooks protected, there is nothing wrong with it at all. I have found a few jigs and lures in caches and have even placed new, packaged lures into one of my own caches. Once I found a nicely packaged hand tied fly that was left as a signature item by someone named Fly Guy.

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Still a noob to the game, but I was just wondering if there are any guidelines as to what kind of tradeables a person should leave whenever they find a cache. Lately, the ones I have found in my area contain a lot of garbage. Seems to be a let down. You find a good sized cache, open it up and it looks like it contains garbage that someone pulled out of their pocket. Seriously, salt packets, cat toys, change? Just my 2 cents.

Whatever you do, don't leave a 22 pistol as a trade item[YES! i actually got a GUN out of a cache!]

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