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What schwag do you leave?


dicentra
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Looking for a few ideas... I've been making a few crafty things with my daughter. Looking for a few more ideas... so far we've made magnets, bookmarks and friendship bracelets. We want to do something with shrinky dinks soon. Maybe keychain? I have a bag of alphabet beads I can use too...

 

What kind of goodies do you leave? Handmade ideas? What do you like to find? We tend to leave more than we take.

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I like to leave handmade items too. You may have noticed there is an alarming trend of cachers taking the "good" SWAG and leaving cheap stuff, broken toys, trash or nothing in it's place for the next visitors. I rarely take anything from a cache; but it's sad to think about the disappointed kids who come with their parents in search of a treasure, only to find rubbish. SO, I like to make beaded bracelets, hand carved wooden pendants, small crochet toys, handmade hair accessories or clothing embellishments (made with beads, feathers, ribbons, buttons, crochet flowers...)

Just keep in mind that even though you might spend several hours/ several dollars to make these items, most everyone else leaves items worth 25 cents or less. If you feel generous and want to leave the good treasures to brighten someone's day and lead by example (in hopes others will be inspired to leave nice SWAG too) then that's great! We need more folks like you!

 

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I usually have a variety of dollar store loot bag toys to leave one if the there is nothing worth trading just to make it some what worth while for the next person. If I take something I leave one of my painted stones signed with my geo name on the back. I did find a cache once that had a Band-Aid in it. I thought that was an excellent idea considering some of the bush wacking necessary to find some of these caches.

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6 hours ago, HD_Diva said:

I usually have a variety of dollar store loot bag toys to leave one if the there is nothing worth trading just to make it some what worth while for the next person. If I take something I leave one of my painted stones signed with my geo name on the back. I did find a cache once that had a Band-Aid in it. I thought that was an excellent idea considering some of the bush wacking necessary to find some of these caches.

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These are wonorderful.  I would love to find one of those minion rocks.

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14 hours ago, HD_Diva said:

I usually have a variety of dollar store loot bag toys to leave one if the there is nothing worth trading just to make it some what worth while for the next person. If I take something I leave one of my painted stones signed with my geo name on the back. I did find a cache once that had a Band-Aid in it. I thought that was an excellent idea considering some of the bush wacking necessary to find some of these caches.

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Those are super cute! I do zendoodle style bookmarks... wonder if I can adopt that to painted rocks...

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8 hours ago, HD_Diva said:

They are actually not that hard to paint. I will remember to pack lots of minions next time I'm in the Watertown NY area for you to find. :)

 

Thanks, but Watertown is about 2 hours from me and I don't get up there very often.  I've probably only driven through the area a handful of times, and only twice since I started geocaching 10 years ago.

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You can buy small charms and make something interesting with them. They don't cost much, typically a few for a dollar. I have almost no artistic talent, so I just put them in a small baggie. Someone found butterfly charms I left and made ear-rings out of them.

 

Those painted stones are really beautiful.

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9 hours ago, HD_Diva said:

Thanks Chrysalides. NYPaddleCacher I travel through New York 2-3 times a year. A few drops near Syracuse might be better for you. :)

Definitely closer.  I get up to Syracuse fairly often, usually because the airport there has a lot more flight options (and is less expensive) than flying from my local airport.  

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The only thing I ever leave (or take) from a cache are trackables.   I find the "extra" items that are often in cache containers to be a nuisance.  In larger containers it makes the log difficult to find. In smaller containers it is often difficult to properly close the container with all the items jammed in. 

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On 7/13/2017 at 1:41 PM, dicentra said:

Looking for a few ideas... I've been making a few crafty things with my daughter. Looking for a few more ideas... so far we've made magnets, bookmarks and friendship bracelets. We want to do something with shrinky dinks soon. Maybe keychain? I have a bag of alphabet beads I can use too...

 

What kind of goodies do you leave? Handmade ideas? What do you like to find? We tend to leave more than we take.

Whatever you leave, crafty or otherwise, my best advice is make sure it's something that will survive the local (to the cache) climate and water.  I opened a cache recently that had an item or 2 that had obviously been made (& left) with love & care, but water seepage (rain, ground, condensation) had rendered those items... undesirable.

I haven't taken anything yet, but I've begun collecting for if/when I do--items I'd like to find myself, age & gender neutral.  What I won't leave is "junk"--just for the sake of leaving something.  Just a matter of personal taste.  ;)

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I rarely take anything, but I do try to leave something if the container is clean and big enough. And if I have my swag bag with me.  Some things I leave are small carabiners (not for climbing), marbles, plastic animals, plastic army men, or wooden nickels.

I don't leave swag in containers that have moisture issues and I don't leave plastic toys in caches that kids are not likely to be visiting.

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On ‎7‎/‎18‎/‎2017 at 11:53 PM, HD_Diva said:

I usually have a variety of dollar store loot bag toys to leave one if the there is nothing worth trading just to make it some what worth while for the next person. If I take something I leave one of my painted stones signed with my geo name on the back. I did find a cache once that had a Band-Aid in it. I thought that was an excellent idea considering some of the bush wacking necessary to find some of these caches.

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Love the creativity behind these.   I also like the message it sends.   The only way to counter bad swag is with good swag.   All too often people give up on swag instead of taking the time to "up their game."    If you enjoy making these and leaving them in caches then please continue to do so.  I'm sure other caches will love finding them and who knows,  maybe they'll begin to re-evaluate their own swag.    

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On 7/13/2017 at 1:41 PM, dicentra said:

We tend to leave more than we take.

We started out that way, but over the past ~coupla months, we've become--regrettably--more disillusioned/jaded.  We're getting more than a little tired of opening caches to find water, rust, mud, mildew, slime, litter, logbooks so waterlogged they can no longer be signed, and all previous signatures are long since faded/washed away--but mostly, broken pieces of old toys or other unidentifiable bits of... well, they're unidentifiable.  That's not swag--that's trash.  (Don't tell me one person's trash is another person's treasure--that's the justification/rationalization of those who leave trash in lieu of swag.) Seems more people are takers than givers (and couldn't care less about trading equal or better), and most (from our experiences) COs of swag-sized caches couldn't care less about maintaining their caches,

We've had to adopt a different policy.  I won't elucidate yet, because we're still fine tuning.

Edited by RufusClupea
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1 hour ago, RufusClupea said:

COs of swag-sized caches couldn't care less about maintaining their caches,

Yes. That's the biggest problem IMO.

We have several swag size caches that generally do nicely with respect to swag. We've picked up some fun stuff when doing a maintenance visit. Mostly we leave swag but occasionally can't resist some items (signature items in particular). If caches are large enough, in good shape, and dry, people tend to leave better stuff.

I will not leave signature items in trash caches. The kind where the CO hides a cheap (for example) dollar store container then never goes back to maintain it when the logs say "Too wet, couldn't sign the log", a month or two after it is posted.

Edited by L0ne.R
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On 8/1/2017 at 1:53 PM, Schirf said:

My wife orders bags of themed bracelet charms wholesale and then drops them one at a time.   They're small, and nicer than most of the swag you find.

 

A geocaching friend gave me a bag of small wine bottle charms that I leave in caches selectively to say "I was here" and for someone to take if they want the charm.  Not all caches are suitable.  

I also have trackables that I carry with me and drop off (or exchange) in caches where it looks like they are likely to be moved/picked up in a reasonable amount of time.  I've also recently hidden a cache with a container large enough for trackables, and plan to visit it to swap out trackables and check what's in it and keep it inviting enough for others to leave quality stuff.

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I do leave toys (marbles, toy soldiers, est.) for the children. 

Another thing I leave is "local" stuff (example: poker chips from the Irish Channel St. Patrick's Day Club, doubloons from different Mardi Gras Krewes, golf balls from the National World War 2 Museum, est.).   

I also leave trackables on occasions. 

 

 

 

Edited by Justin Of Terrytown
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22 hours ago, CAVinoGal said:

A geocaching friend gave me a bag of small wine bottle charms that I leave in caches selectively to say "I was here" and for someone to take if they want the charm.  Not all caches are suitable.

Huh. :huh:  Just goggled; I never knew they were a "thing" (and I live fairly close to "wine country.")  Explains what those bottle-cap thingies we found in a few caches were... (Not that that's what you meant, precisely; I see that there are many different kinds.)  Learn sump'n evry day! :wacko:

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