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What do you consider to be good swag?


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I find a lot of lures in local caches... I guess we have some fishermen! :)

 

At the moment my 'swag bag' contains 25mm pewter fantasy figurines (I used to paint them for wargames so I have a LOT sitting around), D&D dice, shells, polished semiprecious stones (jade, agate, amethyst, quartz crystals etc), the aforementioned beaded necklaces, junk jewelry, mood rings, souveneir keychains, and a couple little vials of glitter.

 

I'm thinking I should buy bulk of something; at the moment I am trying to decide between foreign coins, D&D dice, or mood rings. The coins are the cheapest, they'd cost me about 8 cents each, while the rings and dice would work out to about 25 cents each. Any opinions?

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I always wonder about this.. every container I see has rubber bracelets, little toy cars and the like in it.

I stuff my caches with kids in mind, so the one was an angry birds theme with angry birds stuff in it.. another has best friend necklaces that I stamped in metal hearts, another has geocaching tattoos that i ordered here, mini wedding bubbles that i put geocaching stickers on, hair bows for girls, little whistles (party favors)a sponge bob mini puzzle, and spider man mini puzzle.

I never really know what to leave for adults... I had some compass charms that I made keychains with.. but they don't seem very exciting.

I thought people would be all over the stamped jewelry, but there were 10 visitors to the one cache and the necklace set is still there :/

I need to rethink swag... I have no clue. I usually don't take anything unless my kids area long and want to trade some bubbles for something

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@Rascofam - where did you get the bracelet and lanyard kits? Can you tell me the name of the company that makes them? I would love to leave swag like that (we're not just noisy hikers, we're creative too :) )

The company on the package is amscan. I purchased them from our local Party City store- don't know if you have them in your area or not. Here's a link to kits similar to the ones I purchased. I also got kits to make friendship bracelets and bead pet keychains. Cute stuff!

http://www.partycity.com/product/neon+doodle+lanyard+kits+12ct.do?from=Search&navSet=lanyard

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I have been doing cache maint. recently and I have a few additions:

 

1) Don't leave your stinking business cards..

 

2) Don't take my log bag...

 

3) Don't leave swag that prevents a locknlock from sealing shut. DONT DO IT! It ruins EVERYTHING in the cache after the next rainfall/dew event.

 

Shaun

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The company on the package is amscan. I purchased them from our local Party City store- don't know if you have them in your area or not. Here's a link to kits similar to the ones I purchased. I also got kits to make friendship bracelets and bead pet keychains. Cute stuff!

http://www.partycity.com/product/neon+doodle+lanyard+kits+12ct.do?from=Search&navSet=lanyard

 

Thanks! As it turns out, we have a store in North Vancouver - not too far, but just far enough to warrant a day trip with some great caching along the way. Better stop at the store first :lol:

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This is my first post in the forums, but I just had to chime in on this topic.

 

I too have wondered how to up the swag game a bit. After caching for a few years, I didn't even care about what I found in a cache anymore and I thought that most experienced cachers felt the same. So what would I like to find in a cache? It wasn't an easy question to answer. Lately, I've tried leaving "Geocaching Starter Kits" (something that I've loaded my own personal hides with and felt I'd pass it along). I found a lot of bison tubes that were a little under a dollar each, loaded each one with a log, and bagged it with a little sign/label that states it's a swag item/starter kit. For bigger caches, I found a bunch of small plastic containers at various stores for about 25c each (sold in packs of 4-8), and loaded them with logs and starter kit signs as well. Not sure how everyone feels about them yet, but I thought I could help other newer cachers get started with their own hides, or at least inspire them to try it out. Maybe it's not the best idea if they are TOO new, and place some lame hides, but the goal was to encourage and let the game grow a little.

 

For micros, I now leave a little baggie with some goggly eyes in them. I'm part of the VandalEyes movement, and thought that they would be more fun and encourage creativity more than a standard sticker.

 

I'm constantly thinking of how to up the swag game. We must all be tired of the same old Happy Meal junk by now, right? And there has to be more cachers without kids than with (?)

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I recently discovered the Oriental Trading Co. website

http://m.orientaltrading.com/mt/www.orientaltrading.com?un_jtt_v_un_dummy=yes

I haven't made any orders off of it yet, but it certainly looks like a good way to stock up on a lot of smaller trading items for dirt cheap.

 

As a signature trading item, I make 12-gauge fridge magnets, using craft magnets from hobby lobby and spent 12-gauge shells. Those usually seem to get snapped up fast, and I've gotten a few emails praising them.

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I'm excited about little finger lights for swag and have put them in a few caches. They are fun.. tiny... and could be helpful when you have to look into a dark spot. Our Dollar Tree had them 4 for a $1 on a blister pack. But I just saw them on Amazon for less. It's been fun taking them on our camping trips, too. We play music so sitting around the campfire with everyone playing their instruments with finger lights on is fun! (I'm a 66 year old kid... but hope that families will have fun with them as well as cachers using them to find things in dark spots. biggrin.gif )

31A2a9QHbhL._SX385_.jpg

 

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I'm not much for collecting swag, but I try to leave things that someone might actually like or use. I've left a bunch of CITO kits (film canister with a plastic shopping bag stuffed inside, and a label on the outside) and for a while we had a bunch of Red Cross giveaway first aid kits (a little vinyl pouch with band aids, antiseptic wipes, neosporin packets etc).

 

I really thought the first aid kits were good swag. Although I don't know if anyone who ever found one would agree. I just figured it was a good thing for any cacher to throw into their geocaching bag if they didn't have one already. I wish I had a bunch more.

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I've got a bag of cheap kids toys I was given by a family member I've wondered about leaving. On 1 hand it's all cheap stuff, that said when we were little we'd play with cheap toys for ages.

 

I've not seen much swag, a few little sig items that are cool though. I'm not that bothered but I guess kids would be.

 

I was told by 1 of the first 2 people to tell me about geocaching that the trick is to always trade down though, with attitudes like that no wonder swag is often rubbish or non existent.

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If you're trading down though, that means you leave something that's less valuable than what you take. So in theory the cache contents would improve. It's trading -up- that's the problem, where you get something better than what you give.

 

I actually will sometimes leave a couple things in a big cache; a nice thing, like a bracelet($1), a medium thing, like a coin or a doodad (25 cents), and a 'low grade' thing like a pretty seashell or pretty rock I found; something free or almost free. That way if someone wants to take something but only has a low-quality thing to trade, they will in theory be able to swap for the thing of closest value. If they take my shell and leave a pretty rock, that's fair, IMHO.

 

but -pretty- rocks, darn it, not a fist-sized chunk of concrete from the broken patio nearby.

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I'm a noob. I only have about 22 caches logged. Every cache I've found hasn't had anything really good in it and I don't usually bother to take anything. I'd like some ideas to improve the caches I find.

 

Thanks

Kara

 

Hello there! I'm in the same situation here. I've taken the approach of leaving lots of good sway in hopes it inspires the next person from leaving trash. I live in the city and I've read on these boards that they have the worst cache problems but maybe I can try and turn it around with good swag. I literally leave stuff and don't take anything to try and improve the situation.....

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My favourite thing to find is signature items -- in my area, I've found handmade bracelets, keychains, beaded zipper pulls, etc.  I have yet to come up with the perfect signature item, so for the time being I just try to leave things that are inexpensive but are useful to geocachers and will survive well inside a cache -- I've left small carabiners, compressed camping towels, mini screwdrivers, etc.  I usually look for good stuff in the camping and tools sections of discount stores to find my swag.

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On 6/14/2013 at 4:43 AM, etphoneme2plz said:

I also found a geocacher baseball card once. 

I've been working on ideas for coins, but this idea intrigues me too.  I was going to ask what went on one, but I found some good examples on goggle images.

On 7/15/2013 at 0:41 AM, cruelkitti said:

Recently I hid a macabre themed geocache (called the necronomicache) and made the lid to look like that of the Necronomicon in the movie Evil Dead.

Creepy... Disgusting... Weird... Sick... I LOVE it!  :wub:

You DO know that the Necronomicon originated with H.P. Lovecraft, right?  ;)

 

On 8/1/2013 at 7:00 PM, littlegemsy said:

I'm strangely amused by the idea of somebody leaving part of a patio in a cache.

Has anyone ever found/left a lump of coal?  Anthracite, of course; bituminous and lignite are too... messy.  <_<

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8 hours ago, RufusClupea said:

I've been working on ideas for coins, but this idea intrigues me too.  I was going to ask what went on one, but I found some good examples on goggle images.

Creepy... Disgusting... Weird... Sick... I LOVE it!  :wub:

You DO know that the Necronomicon originated with H.P. Lovecraft, right?  ;)

 

Has anyone ever found/left a lump of coal?  Anthracite, of course; bituminous and lignite are too... messy.  <_<

Here's an earthcache at an Anthracite museum where one has to calculate the weight of a large Anthracite stone.   It's about two hours south of where I live but I've never stopped there. 

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44 minutes ago, RufusClupea said:

Considering the high percentage of wet caches with mʊshy logs I've been finding lately, would silica gel packets be good swag?

Not really. Silica gel packets are basically like sponges. They don't eliminate moisture. They just trap relatively small amounts of it. And once they're full, they can't absorb any more.

Any packet in a leaky cache container would be saturated quickly.

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4 hours ago, RufusClupea said:

Considering the high percentage of wet caches with mʊshy logs I've been finding lately, would silica gel packets be good swag?

No. Caches are exposed to unlimited amounts of moisture every time the cache is opened and exposed to water vapour in the air. Also, most caches are not airtight. The silica is quickly saturated. After a while the packets can get soggy and worn out. Then they tear open and make a mess inside the cache.

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IMO, something needs to be done about addressing/confronting/resolving this issue (wet soggy caches).  Fer cryin' outloud, it's so common/prevalent, there's an acronym for it-- Small Wet Abandoned Gifts!  :o

I'm reading threads lamenting: the decline of this hobby.... inadequacy of swag.... abominable condition of caches in general.... etc.  When 2/3 to 3/4 of the caches I've found personally--from film canisters to plastic "jars" to ammo cans--are soggy, mʊshy, regusting trash caches, I can't help but think much of it (not all by any means--there are certainly other reasons) is due to moisture infiltration.  I see a problem in need/search of a solution (or solutions).

Many of the objections raised to silica gel packets do have potential solutions (albeit not perfect, but what is?)  Saturation can be determined by packets that change color when saturated.  Some gel packets are "rechargeable"--they can be dried out and reused--indefinitely.  Some sources also suggest there is no harm in overkill (using more/larger packets than required for a particular size container) to assure long-lived efficacy.  Packets made of Tyvek® resist tearing & punctures.

I'll stop there--I'm not some extremist/fanatic about silica gel (believe it or don't  B)); I don't think it's the be-all, end-all panacea for mʊshiness, by any means.  I only mean to point out that criticisms/objections of ideas (in general) sometimes do have workarounds.  I asked for (constructive) alternative suggestions; I still welcome them. 

There are a lot of creative intelligent folk on this site/in this hobby; putting our heads together, we should be able to figure this thing out.  I believe a constructive dialog could solve--or significantly attenuate--the problem.  It would benefit us all!  :)

And as always... YMMV.

 

Edited by RufusClupea
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15 minutes ago, RufusClupea said:

IMO, something needs to be done about addressing/confronting/resolving this issue (wet soggy caches).

Unless humidity worldwide drops drastically, water getting into geocaches will always be an issue.  It even happens in the desert -- I've logged many a soggy cache in Arizona, New Mexico, etc.

 

(If humidity worldwide drops drastically, we will of course have many more things to worry about than wet caches.)

 

Using caches with rubber gasket seals helps immensely.  Ammo cans, Lock and lock, etc.  I found out the other day that Rubbermaid Brilliance containers may be "100% leakproof" as far as keeping food from dribbling out, but they don't stop water getting in when used as geocaches.  I modified mine with some silicone gasket goo and am waiting to see if it fares better.

 

Having a secondary container for the log also helps.  Not just a ziploc bag, either -- they're not meant to hold up to continued use they'll get in a geocache, and besides, most people doom them to puncture by putting pens or pencils inside. 

 

I've resorted to having a cache within a cache for most of my non-micro hides -- inside the container, I keep the log sheet inside a PET preform.

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50 minutes ago, RufusClupea said:

IMO, something needs to be done about addressing/confronting/resolving this issue (wet soggy caches).  Fer cryin' outloud, it's so common/prevalent, there's an acronym for it-- Small Wet Abandoned Gifts!  :o

I'm reading threads lamenting: the decline of this hobby.... inadequacy of swag.... abominable condition of caches in general.... etc.  When 2/3 to 3/4 of the caches I've found personally--from film canisters to plastic "jars" to ammo cans--are soggy, mʊshy, regusting trash caches, I can't help but think much of it (not all by any means--there are certainly other reasons) is due to moisture infiltration.  I see a problem in need/search of a solution (or solutions).

Many of the objections raised to silica gel packets do have potential solutions (albeit not perfect, but what is?)  Saturation can be determined by packets that change color when saturated.  Some gel packets are "rechargeable"--they can be dried out and reused--indefinitely.  Some sources also suggest there is no harm in overkill (using more/larger packets than required for a particular size container) to assure long-lived efficacy.  Packets made of Tyvek® resist tearing & punctures.

I'll stop there--I'm not some extremist/fanatic about silica gel (believe it or don't  B)); I don't think it's the be-all, end-all panacea for mʊshiness, by any means.  I only mean to point out that criticisms/objections of ideas (in general) sometimes do have workarounds.  I asked for (constructive) alternative suggestions; I still welcome them. 

There are a lot of creative intelligent folk on this site/in this hobby; putting our heads together, we should be able to figure this thing out.  I believe a constructive dialog could solve--or significantly attenuate--the problem.  It would benefit us all!  :)

And as always... YMMV.

 

Still OT, but it's been addressed many times that a quality container is the first step, and it's even written in geocaching 101 and the help center.

 -  But when you can tell by questions asked in these forums that folks haven't even  read (or at least watched a video...) the basics of this hobby, what else is there to do?  Throw in the folks who don't care, or are just cheap, and the point's lost.

Silica gel isn't made to be exposed to the elements.   I'm not too sure of indoors either.

Most owners of gun safes I know use a heat rod, after finding an absorber sent that water back onto everything after soaked...

If they worked that great, do the shoe stores "recharge" (microwave or oven)  those in each box in the store time-to-time?  No, because conditions are relatively dry.

Whether changing color or rechargeable  (what are you gonna "recharge" 'em with outdoors?), they've been tried -  and failed as a fix.   :)

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2 hours ago, RufusClupea said:

IMO, something needs to be done about addressing/confronting/resolving this issue (wet soggy caches).

Lord save me from people that think something needs to be done. Naturally I see wet, soggy caches from time to time, but no more often than seems reasonable given that Stuff Happens. Thanks to "something needs to be done", GS has recently decided they need to annoy COs and archive caches just because there might possibly someday be a wet, soggy cache. No, sorry, I don't think something unstated needs to be done. Wet, soggy caches are minimized by specific, well understood actions: COs use better containers and seekers consistently report problems.

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2 hours ago, RufusClupea said:

IMO, something needs to be done about addressing/confronting/resolving this issue (wet soggy caches).

FWIW, it's been an issue since at least 2006. The first cache I found was damp, and many of the trade items were damp, mildewed, and ruined. And the very first GPS stash (before the term "geocaching" had been coined) was a 5-gallon bucket that leaked and didn't protect its contents from rusting.

2 hours ago, RufusClupea said:

Many of the objections raised to silica gel packets do have potential solutions (albeit not perfect, but what is?)  Saturation can be determined by packets that change color when saturated.  Some gel packets are "rechargeable"--they can be dried out and reused--indefinitely.  Some sources also suggest there is no harm in overkill (using more/larger packets than required for a particular size container) to assure long-lived efficacy.  Packets made of Tyvek® resist tearing & punctures.

I've used large rechargeable silica gel packets for seed saving.

They work only when the container itself is well sealed. If you're trying to use them to fix a soggy container, then by definition, it isn't well sealed.

Even with a well sealed container, they have to be recharged after the container has been opened and resealed a few times. Recharging requires baking in a very low oven for several hours. I don't see this as a viable option for remote caches that are found rarely, or for easily accessible caches that are found frequently. Maybe it would be a viable option for easily accessible caches that are found rarely, but how many of those are there?

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On ‎7‎/‎2‎/‎2017 at 2:12 PM, geostorm321 said:

Hello there! I'm in the same situation here. I've taken the approach of leaving lots of good sway in hopes it inspires the next person from leaving trash. I live in the city and I've read on these boards that they have the worst cache problems but maybe I can try and turn it around with good swag. I literally leave stuff and don't take anything to try and improve the situation.....

Back on topic, I don't feel whatever you're putting in caches you find will improve them.

 I think constantly reminding others that it's a "trade", and not "take" ,  and that it's "trade even or up, or don't trade at all"  may be closer to improving swag.   :)

We used to fill our ammo can hides with swag when we do maintenance.  Each time, we'd be lucky  if the pencils/sharpeners for the log are still there.  Now we'll place a couple things in tops, along with the pencils/sharpeners for them.

We literally have a steamer trunk with "stuff", and swag might depend on location or D/T, for kids to adults.  Ponchos when in a wet environment, flashlights for a night cache (someone always needs one...), fishing flies near water, that kinda thing.   :)

We've left our unactivated custom geocoins, balsa airplanes, break your own geodes, punch balls, lures and spinners, flashlights, real bug key chains,  ponchos, first aid kits, umbrellas (wish folks would use 'em on caches), too much to list really.

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21 minutes ago, Keystone said:

Let's end the sad discussion of wet, soggy caches and get back to the happy topic of good swag ideas.  Thanks!

The only things I trade for are personal signature items left by other geocachers. The best of these are waterproof. Those that aren't waterproof can be placed in small ziplock bags. Small ziplock bags work okay for personal signature items, because typically the bags aren't being opened and closed repeatedly. The personal signature items stay in the bag and the bag's seal doesn't wear out.

The items I leave in exchange for the personal signature items I take vary quite a bit. Generally, they're small and waterproof, like foreign coins, polyhedral dice, small figurines, or small toys. I have a few larger trade items, but there aren't as many caches that they'll fit into.

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5 hours ago, cerberus1 said:

Still OT,

Didn't start out that way, and I apologize.  I've no objection to moving to a different thread. Prolly should have--my bad.  :(

Among the items I left this morning were: (All brand-new items in pkg.)

  • Hot Wheel
  • 10 pack of colored dice.
  • 5 pack of JUMBO colored dice.
  • A skill & action game (should survive moisture; complete submersion may do it in)
  • Pkg. of water balloons.
Edited by RufusClupea
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My favorites are cheap little pocket compasses and assorted foreign coins, some of them obsolete. I recently found a jar of the coins in my house -- I must have collected them years back, so they are going into caches because they will fit some of the smaller containers.

And yes, sometimes a cache container needs a swag transplant if there is nothing in there but pebbles. business cards, and expired coupons for local businesses.

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