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South_Stander

What swag/swappables do you leave in caches?

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I've only recently restarted geocaching again, and only have 30 something logs, so I am still new to the game. I did geocache for a while about 10 years ago, and I seem to recall there was a lot more 'signature' swag about than I am seeing at the present. Either people leaving toys in a theme (I remember a local cacher used to leave little toy frogs everywhere) or home made jewellery and friendship bracelets. Neither appealed to me really, but it was cool to see and interesting to work out who was dropping what. It gave a personal feel to the swag I guess.

 

Now it seems to be mostly bashed up toy cars with doors missing, used pencil erasers, pebbles or used hair bobbles. Is it just my local area? Am I looking back with rose tinted spectacles?

 

I did come across a cache recently that was loaded with homemade gifts all labelled up. It was a pleasant surprise, even if I left them all after inspecting them.

 

I have a stock pile of Lego figures and keyrings (well, they are actually decent chinese knockoffs of StarWars, Jurrasic Park, Marvel and DC comics, Simpsons and Ghostbusters figures) from when I used to sell them at markets and car boot sales, so I have been dropping them into caches as swag, although I never take anything out. I do it indiscriminately too. If the cache is large enough to hold one, a mini figure goes in the box.

 

I am using them for a few reasons too. I am a keen Adult Fan of Lego so they reflect my personality, kids and grown ups love them, they are a cheap (I'd pay about 20p per unit) but fun, and i have a stockpile gathering dust.

 

What kind of swag or swaps do you drop in a cache? What signature items do you drop, and who do you aim them at? Do you actually swap or just drop swag?

 

Tell me a little about your swappable or swag story.

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2 hours ago, South_Stander said:

Now it seems to be mostly bashed up toy cars with doors missing, used pencil erasers, pebbles or used hair bobbles. Is it just my local area?

No, it, sadly, seems to be the norm for most places.

 

2 hours ago, South_Stander said:

What kind of swag or swaps do you drop in a cache? What signature items do you drop, and who do you aim them at? Do you actually swap or just drop swag?

I have a collection of wine corks and I will leave one in caches where there is room and that look fairly clean.  They aren't aimed at anyone in particular, just something that says "I was here!"  I also attach a wine cork to travel bugs that I release.

 

2 hours ago, South_Stander said:

I have a stock pile of Lego figures and keyrings (well, they are actually decent chinese knockoffs of StarWars, Jurrasic Park, Marvel and DC comics, Simpsons and Ghostbusters figures) from when I used to sell them at markets and car boot sales, so I have been dropping them into caches as swag, although I never take anything out. I do it indiscriminately too. If the cache is large enough to hold one, a mini figure goes in the box.

👍  Nice!

Edited by CAVinoGal

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2 hours ago, CAVinoGal said:

I have a collection of wine corks and I will leave one in caches where there is room and that look fairly clean.

 

This. ^ 

I make my signature items and leave them in containers that are fairly clean.

 

The problem is in  many areas most containers are posted by COs who never return to wipe down the container and clean up the mess that accumulates. And in many areas  COs won't spend any money on a container. They upcycle containers that don't work outdoors. Within a season or two, it ends up damp/wet/soaked/moldy. But even the good ones could use an occasional visit to keep the container and contents looking nice.

 

Here are a few fun items I found in quality, dry caches:

 

image.jpeg?w=640 017.jpg 

 

grow-a-therapist.jpg?w=300&h=281

 

 

Edited by L0ne.R
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2 hours ago, South_Stander said:

I've only recently restarted geocaching again, and only have 30 something logs, so I am still new to the game. I did geocache for a while about 10 years ago, and I seem to recall there was a lot more 'signature' swag about than I am seeing at the present. Either people leaving toys in a theme (I remember a local cacher used to leave little toy frogs everywhere) or home made jewellery and friendship bracelets. Neither appealed to me really, but it was cool to see and interesting to work out who was dropping what. It gave a personal feel to the swag I guess.

Now it seems to be mostly bashed up toy cars with doors missing, used pencil erasers, pebbles or used hair bobbles. Is it just my local area? Am I looking back with rose tinted spectacles?

-

What kind of swag or swaps do you drop in a cache? What signature items do you drop, and who do you aim them at? Do you actually swap or just drop swag?

 

Not only in your local area at all.    :)      The stuff you're finding is often just the carp that's left over ...

We used to stock other's caches close to full, then over the years realized the hobby changed to take instead of trade.

Trade is stated in Geocaching 101 as rule #1,  before even signing the log, so it's not like it's something no one knows about ...

Every time we do maintenance, there's little left but business cards, shells, wine corks, bottle caps, tiny pine cones, and stones.

Every one of our ammo can hides have seen every pencil with the sharpeners go bye-bye too.

We've had to throw that carp away, clean the container, and start from scratch each time.

Add in the condition many leave the containers, just because they're in a rush for "smiley" count, that many fed-up COs went small or micro to stop that nonsense.

You'd be surprised how few people know how to close an ammo can.  They opened it ...

 - Who can blame a CO for not spending money on the container or swag ?

We literally have steamer trunks full of swag, that we now sometimes drop at events to give the kids something to do.

 

 

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12 minutes ago, cerberus1 said:

Every time we do maintenance, there's little left but business cards, shells, wine corks, bottle caps, tiny pine cones, and stones.

Oops, these are a no-no?  😟

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3 hours ago, South_Stander said:

What kind of swag or swaps do you drop in a cache? What signature items do you drop, and who do you aim them at? Do you actually swap or just drop swag?

 

Now that I rarely do caches lower than 2T with some distance, I'm carrying swag again, but it's directed more towards adults.  Rarely trade.

I just did one today.  Knowing the boggy area well, had bug-wipe packs and ponchos to put in, but it was still packed full (only two finders).

That cache will probably stay safe just because of mosquitos, and it's further than 200 feet from parking ...  :)

For sig items, I had a box of sig geocoins made.   Trackables,  the "treasure" for that "one weekend n done" free app user, are seeing issues too.

 - I now drop an unactivated sig geocoin in caches I liked,  or simply as an incentive to get folks off their cans again.   ;) 

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2 minutes ago, CAVinoGal said:

Oops, these are a no-no?  😟

 

I don't see them as a "no-no",   (to me) it's just something (like a bottle cap) that'd normally be thrown away after use.

We've done a few "bottle cap" caches, and when themed like that, we've left bottle caps too.     :)

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56 minutes ago, CAVinoGal said:

Oops, these are a no-no?  😟

 

If I saw one, I honestly would see it as junk.

 

If I saw another, and then another, i would actually try and piece together who was leaving them as I would recognise it as a sort of calling card. Which from what you have said, and with the avatar, is clearly your personal signature thing. That is what I can remember from when I cached before. It was almost a side game for me to work out who left what, then you had the feeling of knowing a kind of secret when you worked it out.

 

Do you decorate the corks? And how much wine do you drink?☺️

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5 hours ago, South_Stander said:

What kind of swag or swaps do you drop in a cache? What signature items do you drop, and who do you aim them at? Do you actually swap or just drop swag?

I leave my own personal signature tokens in caches that are big enough. (See my profile for a photo.)

 

I trade for personal signature items left by other geocachers. I carry an assortment of small items for this purposes: polyhedral dice, foreign coins, key chains, dollar-store trinkets, etc.

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2 hours ago, cerberus1 said:

I don't see them as a "no-no",   (to me) it's just something (like a bottle cap) that'd normally be thrown away after use.

We've done a few "bottle cap" caches, and when themed like that, we've left bottle caps too.     :)

I collect personal signature items left by other geocachers. FWIW, some of the items in my collection were made from bottle caps or wine corks.

 

But I wouldn't trade for a regular bottle cap or wine cork.

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14 minutes ago, niraD said:

I collect personal signature items left by other geocachers. FWIW, some of the items in my collection were made from bottle caps or wine corks.

 

But I wouldn't trade for a regular bottle cap or wine cork.

 

 

Same here. I like the item to be personalized with a trailname. Something like these wine corks:

 

lg_PWUCFCORKS.jpg

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1 hour ago, L0ne.R said:

Same here. I like the item to be personalized with a trailname. Something like these wine corks:

 

lg_PWUCFCORKS.jpg

 

Honestly though...

I bet you're not finding any in that condition, with all the damp/wet/soaked/moldy caches that seem to be so prevalent in your area.  :)

Cork from one of those would look like a science experiment.     :D

When we find them in ammo cans,  just with folks handling them, and mixed in with other "stuff", they look nothing like that...

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6 minutes ago, cerberus1 said:

 

Honestly though...

I bet you're not finding any in that condition, with all the damp/wet/soaked/moldy caches that seem to be so prevalent in your area.  :)

Cork from one of those would look like a science experiment.     :D

When we find them in ammo cans,  just with folks handling them, and mixed in with other "stuff", they look nothing like that...

 

Yeah, they have to be found relatively quickly. And protected a little by putting them in a baggie. Anything that sits in a cache (or moves from cache to cache) for more than a couple of months is probably going look beat up. The good stuff usually goes fast, as you've noticed. 

 

Quote

When we find them in ammo cans,  just with folks handling them, and mixed in with other "stuff", they look nothing like that...

 

True, that's why it's nice when owners visit their cache containers, even good containers like ammo cans occasionally to remove the stuff that's gone bad. An owner isn't obligated and most don't, but it's nice when they do.

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6 hours ago, South_Stander said:

 

Do you decorate the corks? And how much wine do you drink?☺️

 

Do I decorate the corks?  Not usually, the corks I leave are from local wineries and are usually interesting in and of themselves - the winery logo, artwork, quotations, etc on the cork. I don't leave generic, plain corks!  I have put my geo name on a couple, but stopped doing that and just leave the cork now.

 

How much wine do I drink?  (I laughed out loud when I read that question!)  I work part time at a local winery (co-op actually, 3 winemakers, one shared tasting room) so I have an ample supply of corks from those 3 winemakers.  And we belong to several wine clubs - we average a bottle a night (hubby and I).  No danger of running out of corks!

 

Cheers!

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2 hours ago, CAVinoGal said:

 

Do I decorate the corks?  Not usually, the corks I leave are from local wineries and are usually interesting in and of themselves - the winery logo, artwork, quotations, etc on the cork. I don't leave generic, plain corks!  I have put my geo name on a couple, but stopped doing that and just leave the cork now.

 

How much wine do I drink?  (I laughed out loud when I read that question!)  I work part time at a local winery (co-op actually, 3 winemakers, one shared tasting room) so I have an ample supply of corks from those 3 winemakers.  And we belong to several wine clubs - we average a bottle a night (hubby and I).  No danger of running out of corks!

 

Cheers!

If they have a fruity smell they could attract critters. Unused, no problem.

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On 7/9/2019 at 11:01 AM, South_Stander said:

What kind of swag or swaps do you drop in a cache? What signature items do you drop, and who do you aim them at? Do you actually swap or just drop swag?

I'm a swag-dropper instead of -trader.  I can only remember trading swag once, when I found a cool (to me) leather guitar-pick-holder-keychain.  (Because you never know when you might need to strum a few bars while driving, right?)

 

I don't have a signature item with my trail name, though if I come across a bunch of something that seems swag-worthy and fairly universally appealing or useful, it becomes my "temporary sig item" until my supply runs out.  (Currently, every cache gets a "Fortune Telling Fish", along with other stuff, if space allows.  And if it's in a dry location, I add a NASA sticker.)  Otherwise, it really depends on the cache - how big, where located, if it has a theme - so carry a variety in my cachepack. I tend to go a little overboard on some caches:  I'm a sucker for ammo cans in the woods, and I always try to leave a bit of something special for kids' caches.

 

For a cache created for the youngest member of a caching family, their "little princess" ...

dd276e35-8133-4eb7-9b7c-73dadd2ef294_l.j

(Yeah, I went through a can-coozy phase for a while.  🙄 )  

 

Ammo cans might get one or a mix of trail-worthy items...carabiner pen, emergency t.p.,  collapsible cup, tick key, mini-multitool, OFF wipes, etc., OR kid-friendly toys/activities (not mctoys), movie- or superhero-themed pocket tissues, planes, whirly-gigs, little flashlights, etc.  I *try* to remember to leave a variety of values, for those who do trade.
 
I've recently looked at either making or purchasing pathtags or something.  But I'll have to run out of cachepack inventory first, and that's gonna take a WHILE.

Edited by VAVAPAM
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9 hours ago, CAVinoGal said:

Do I decorate the corks?  Not usually, the corks I leave are from local wineries and are usually interesting in and of themselves - the winery logo, artwork, quotations, etc on the cork. I don't leave generic, plain corks! 

 

Are they real cork, or those stupid plastic faux corks?  

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10 hours ago, colleda said:

If they have a fruity smell they could attract critters. Unused, no problem.

I rinse them well, but likely the wine aroma lingers - hmmm, I may have to rethink.  

 

3 hours ago, NYPaddleCacher said:

Are they real cork, or those stupid plastic faux corks?  

A mix, and the stupid plastic faux corks are actually better at preserving the character of the wine than natural cork, which can vary tremendously in it's ability to seal ans preserve the wine.  I've got a cache (unpublished, as yet - it's a gadget cache that we are having difficulty getting permission to place!) in my local series about natural vs synthetic corks, and even screw tops.  Interesting subject!

 

But that's all off topic from the OP's post - and colleda brought up a good point about the smell on the natural cork attracting critters.  The synthetic ones would be less likely to absorb the aroma. Hmmm

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18 hours ago, CAVinoGal said:

 

Do I decorate the corks?  Not usually, the corks I leave are from local wineries and are usually interesting in and of themselves - the winery logo, artwork, quotations, etc on the cork. I don't leave generic, plain corks!  I have put my geo name on a couple, but stopped doing that and just leave the cork now.

 

How much wine do I drink?  (I laughed out loud when I read that question!)  I work part time at a local winery (co-op actually, 3 winemakers, one shared tasting room) so I have an ample supply of corks from those 3 winemakers.  And we belong to several wine clubs - we average a bottle a night (hubby and I).  No danger of running out of corks!

 

Cheers!

I would love to find some of your wine corks!  I have a collection that is becoming impressive, particularly for someone with no winery contacts and who personally removed all of them from their homes :) 

I may have to start using some of my duplicates to make something signature to leave/trade.  Off to Hobby Lobby I go!

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I usually random stuff I find at home, I leave guitar picks, and other small things.

 

Last year though I bought a box of mini pokemon toys (24)

 

It was funny, I'd put the pokemon in the caches depending on the area.

 

Near a church with trees I put a Pachirisu.

 

One had a run off pipe nearby I put a Muk.

 

One was near a Gym I put a Hitmonlee.

 

Left a Sableye in a cemetery cache.

 

I have a bunch of big items that I haven't been able to fit inside a cache. I got a couple of like pokeballs and stuff I want to put in there.

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1 hour ago, Gabeman26 said:

I'd put the pokemon in the caches depending on the area.

 

That is cool!  I wouldn't have caught the significance of those placements, but I know we have some cachers in our area who would have "got it" and smiled.

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I'm brand new to this and haven't had a ton of time to find caches, but I've recently bought a whole bunch of d20s to trade/leave in caches. I figure they'll be unlikely to be ruined by wet conditions and ought to be appealing to both kids and adults.

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10 minutes ago, Yirggzmb said:

I'm brand new to this and haven't had a ton of time to find caches, but I've recently bought a whole bunch of d20s to trade/leave in caches. I figure they'll be unlikely to be ruined by wet conditions and ought to be appealing to both kids and adults.

 

Role-playing dice?  That would be cool!

 

I once saw a huge plastic jar of various colored 6-sided dice on eBay.  I almost bought that lifetime supply of cache swag. :cute:

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I am a gem dealer, so I carry a bag full of little gemstone baubles with me.  Mostly small, but a few nice big ones for the larger caches.  Marbles, carved animals, cabochons, crystals, rings, large beads, pendants.  It's mainly slightly damaged stuff that I can't sell!  And I keep a couple of copies of my book in my vehicle (I wrote a book on gemstones) to leave in the little library boxes in parks!  I always try to leave something that other people probably don't have.  Sometimes, if it is a big container and there's nothing good in it, I might leave two or three baubles, and I often leave something without taking anything.  I like the mental image of someone finding a crystal or sphere when they open the box!  I also recall years ago finding clean fast food toys, plastic jewelry, small books, and other really GOOD swag--where you'd sit at the box for a second, torn as to what to take!  Nowadays if there is anything, it's just junk.  It's like people know they need to trade in order to take something, but they didn't bring anything nice with them, so they grab a bottle cap or rubber band from their car, or pick up a pine cone from the ground next to them. 

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15 minutes ago, Ageleni said:

I am a gem dealer, so I carry a bag full of little gemstone baubles with me.  Mostly small, but a few nice big ones for the larger caches.  Marbles, carved animals, cabochons, crystals, rings, large beads, pendants.  It's mainly slightly damaged stuff that I can't sell!  And I keep a couple of copies of my book in my vehicle (I wrote a book on gemstones) to leave in the little library boxes in parks!  I always try to leave something that other people probably don't have.  Sometimes, if it is a big container and there's nothing good in it, I might leave two or three baubles, and I often leave something without taking anything.  I like the mental image of someone finding a crystal or sphere when they open the box!  I also recall years ago finding clean fast food toys, plastic jewelry, small books, and other really GOOD swag--where you'd sit at the box for a second, torn as to what to take!  Nowadays if there is anything, it's just junk.  It's like people know they need to trade in order to take something, but they didn't bring anything nice with them, so they grab a bottle cap or rubber band from their car, or pick up a pine cone from the ground next to them. 

 

Aw man!  Come visit some of my caches, will ya?  😃

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On 7/10/2019 at 9:37 PM, kunarion said:

 

Role-playing dice?  That would be cool!

 

I once saw a huge plastic jar of various colored 6-sided dice on eBay.  I almost bought that lifetime supply of cache swag. :cute:

 

Yup, all the roleplaying dice! I left a few today, and I definitely like keeping them with me for caching. Small enough they can fit in even some small caches, and I can easily dump several of them into my pocket before setting out.

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We have a facebook group dedicated to sharing what 'Things in Geocaches' we find :) Sometimes simple little random toys and trinkets, sometimes questionable stuff, sometimes valuable stuff. I'm not so much into the swag trading thing these days, but sometimes it's fun to see what people leave for others.

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On 7/10/2019 at 6:37 PM, kunarion said:

Role-playing dice?  That would be cool!

The only RPG that I've played for more than 25 years is GURPS, which uses only normal 6-sided dice. I dropped all my other dice into caches, and then a friend gave me a big bag with more dice. I'm still working through those. (There aren't as many personal signature items in caches now, compared to when I started.)

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I have a few thousand pre 1963 Australian pennies and halfpennies. These were withdrawn from circulation in 1966 when we changed to cents. I'll leave one or two in caches - when I remember.

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1 hour ago, colleda said:

I have a few thousand pre 1963 Australian pennies and halfpennies. These were withdrawn from circulation in 1966 when we changed to cents. I'll leave one or two in caches - when I remember.

I don't mind if they are collected, not traded.

When I leave them in my own caches I sometimes get 😀 responses from finders when they pick one up with their birth year.

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Lately I have been leaving jewellery and small plastic dolls house furniture. As I mentioned on another log, I received my first thank you for some jewellery I left in a cache; a pair of 'diamond' dangling earrings.

 

" Hi my girls love the diamond earrings thankyou they wanted their ears pierced so this is perfect. Thank you. We left a cute little purse in exchange. "

 

I don't expect someone to trade for it (although that's nice); just appreciate it. I rarely take anything, but on the very rare occasion I have seen something I want, I take it.

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In addition to my usual gemstone swag, I have a handful of tiny malachite and white onyx chess pieces that I plan to leave in caches if I can find a good long trail.  I like the idea of someone slowly accumulating an entire gemstone chess set as they find the caches on a trail!

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That's a pretty cool idea, a nice set of collectibles. I'd hate to only find most and not all though, lol

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Having visited a lot of sad looking caches recently (containing rocks, glass, shells and rubbish) I've just ordered a couple hundred small bear buttons (was going for koalas, but I couldn't get any cheap enough 😂🐻) I usually cache with my 2 young children and they enjoy the swag. We always swap fairly. It's always a bit of a disappointment for them when we get to a regular sized cache which has absolutely nothing in it. At least if I can leave something small after we have visited, the next child to visit won't have the same disappointment. 😊

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Hello.. still super new here.. but I love the idea of "treasure" ;) So, This is what we are using as signature swag.. What does everyone think? 

SWAG.jpg

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1 hour ago, ChurchillClan5 said:

Hello.. still super new here.. but I love the idea of "treasure" ;) So, This is what we are using as signature swag.. What does everyone think? 

SWAG.jpg

 

That's some pretty neat swag. Love the critters in jars. What are the cogs from?

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2 hours ago, South_Stander said:

 

That's some pretty neat swag. Love the critters in jars. What are the cogs from?

 

Thank you.. They are all wooden.. I love gears, so I thought I would spread the love.

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4 hours ago, ChurchillClan5 said:

So, This is what we are using as signature swag.. What does everyone think? 

 

I'm a big fan/collector of steampunk, so your gears n fins would be awesome !  :)

Put a couple of trout flies in those mason jars, they'd be a hit too.

Not sure I'd travel the other half of the state though...   :D.  

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6 hours ago, cerberus1 said:

 

I'm a big fan/collector of steampunk, so your gears n fins would be awesome !  :)

 

 Steampunk is the best! Thought about giving myself a seperate account, so that I could use a more steampunky name! Thank you for the compliment!!

 

And maybe I'll try to work a trout fly into a mason jar in future designs!! :D 

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On 7/15/2019 at 1:25 PM, Ageleni said:

 I like the idea of someone slowly accumulating an entire gemstone chess set as they find the caches on a trail!

 

That would be awesome!!

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On 7/27/2019 at 5:44 AM, ChurchillClan5 said:

 Steampunk is the best! Thought about giving myself a seperate account, so that I could use a more steampunky name! Thank you for the compliment!!

 

And maybe I'll try to work a trout fly into a mason jar in future designs!! :D 

How are these created?   Are they photographs or drawings on wood?  

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I've had some pretty good luck with finding a swag and caches, but that might be because so far I've been doing it in a smaller town and since there's less caches there's more high-quality stuff in each cash. I don't know if that makes any sense, but oh well. As for me personally, I recently purged my room, and I have everything from McDonald's Happy meals toys, to bracelets, to marbles in my geocaching bag now. I always considered my stationary to be kind of a signature thing (when I need to leave it) because as a little cactus in the corner, but after reading this, I think I want to create little polymer clay things to put in my caches. I'll let you know how that turns out :)

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On 7/30/2019 at 7:46 AM, NYPaddleCacher said:

How are these created?   Are they photographs or drawings on wood?  

pictures to wood transfer. If you do a google search about "transfering pictures to wood" many tutorials pop up :)

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On 7/15/2019 at 12:25 PM, Ageleni said:

In addition to my usual gemstone swag, I have a handful of tiny malachite and white onyx chess pieces that I plan to leave in caches if I can find a good long trail.  I like the idea of someone slowly accumulating an entire gemstone chess set as they find the caches on a trail!

That would be so cool!

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On 7/26/2019 at 5:16 PM, ChurchillClan5 said:

Hello.. still super new here.. but I love the idea of "treasure" ;) So, This is what we are using as signature swag.. What does everyone think? 

SWAG.jpg

Those are amazing SWAG items!

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On 7/31/2019 at 3:11 PM, ChurchillClan5 said:

pictures to wood transfer. If you do a google search about "transfering pictures to wood" many tutorials pop up :)

 

Nice.  That's exactly the kind of thing that makes a great signature item.  If you're interested in doing some based on fishing flies,  this site has some really good photos: https://www.caddisflyshop.com    I can suggest some of the really "classic" flies if you're interested.

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I had some personalized koozies made a few years ago and just finished using those up (for the adults). I buy a lot of stuff from Dollar Tree. Tops, toy compasses, sports balls, plastic animal figures, etc. I have found some NICE handmade pieces in some caches. If I come across something really cool and on clearance, like our Family Dollar was going out of business and I bought an entire box of rocks with uplifting words etched into each one (dream, believe, etc), then I grab those. I keep a bag in the car at all times since I never know when I will need some swag. ;)

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Posted (edited)
On 7/9/2019 at 11:28 AM, cerberus1 said:

 

I don't see them as a "no-no",   (to me) it's just something (like a bottle cap) that'd normally be thrown away after use.

We've done a few "bottle cap" caches, and when themed like that, we've left bottle caps too.     :)

.nm

Edited by KitsapScouts
thought the better of it

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