Jump to content

why leave junk in caches?


Followers 0

Recommended Posts

i have just started geocaching this week. i have noticed on postings that people leave some good stuff when setting up their caches. I have found eleven so far and they have all been full of junk. why do people leave broken toys and toothpicks in these caches? why are they taking the good stuff and leaving used cheeseburger wrapers? I set up a cache today. i instructed people to only leave things worth leaving and only take if they leave something of intrest. is this too much to ask? please respond as i am new to this sport.

Link to comment

Because either:

1. they're cheap

2. they don't know any better

3. they're jerks who don't give a crap about others

 

Don't expect to find good stuff in caches and you won't be disappointed. The cache contents degrade over time. The longer a cache is out there and the closer it is to civilization, the more likely it is to be filled with junk. Some owners make periodic visits to cull the junk and re-stock the cache, but not enough of them.

 

So just enjoy the hunt and if you find anything interesting, look it as a bonus (just be sure to bring something worth trading just in case).

 

 

"Au pays des aveugles, les borgnes sont rois"

Link to comment

I think another reason is that a lot of people think trading several junk items for one good one is an even trade. I've seen logs similar to: "Took Leatherman tool, left an acorn, a marble, a toy soldier, a broken pair of sunglasses I found on the way in and a refrigerator magnet from Ace Car Wash".

 

"Au pays des aveugles, les borgnes sont rois"

 

[This message was edited by BrianSnat on June 19, 2003 at 04:00 AM.]

Link to comment

quote:
Originally posted by BrianSnat:

I think another reason is that a lot of people think trading several junk items for one good one is an even trade. I've seen logs similar to: "Took Leatherman tool, left an acorn, a marble, a toy soldier, a broken pair of sunglasses I found on the way in and a refrigerator magnet from Ace Car Wash".

 


 

Ooooh, what cache is that magnet in? I have always wanted the Ace Car Wash magnet for my refrigerator.

 

A good case for Benchmarking more often.

Link to comment

Because they don't appreciate the sport. Probably the same reason they plunder caches too. Takes all kinds. It's too bad, but that's the world we live in. I'm starting a new policy in my cache hunting, and that is to remove any junk or trash I see. I know it's a judgment call, but trash is trash and placing it in a cache doesn't change that fact. CITO applies to the cache itself from now on.

Link to comment

Removing trash from caches is fine if it is clearly garbage. I think broken sunglasses or misc paper trash clearly fits this. However, one man's golf ball is another man's golf ball. A dirty one is not necessarily trash. Items such as these should be traded out rather than just removed (unless done by the cache owner).

Link to comment

Team Og: The stuff you leave doesn't necessarily have to be "valuable". I bought a bunch of Tomy Micropets for caches; they're only a couple bucks each, but REALLY neat. They're little battery-operated toys that respond to voice commands, light up, make noise, etc..

 

I also bought a few battery-operated handheld poker/blackjack/slots games from Target. $4 each, but the person who found it would clearly feel like they found treasure (I'm only leaving those in the hard-to-reach 3+ star caches).

 

The coolest thing I've found in a cache so far is one of those 'pin on' compasses from gpscity.com. Finds like that make up for the shlocky ones full of band aids and dirty garbage.

 

The sport really isn't about the junk, don't mistake me. My favorite caches have involved long hikes, and clever hides. So, I show my appreciation to the hider by leaving something decent. Throwing a fast food wrapper in the cache is just plain out disrespectful, and a really bad example if kids are with you.

 

Speaking of which, even though I do love my compass pin, I do try to skew slightly young in the stuff I put in caches. Few adults are going to be blown away by a Tomy MicroPet, but to a kid that stuff is like gold bullion.

 

[santa] So, if you're not thinking of yourself when placing a cache item, think of the disappointed kid who is going to open a cache and find your nasty broken piece of junk. [/santa]

Link to comment

quote:
[santa] So, if you're not thinking of yourself when placing a cache item, think of the disappointed kid who is going to open a cache and find your nasty broken piece of junk. [/santa]
oscar.jpg

This little fella is going to be disappointed if he opens the cache and all he finds is Leatherman tools and current DVDs.

 

____________________________

- Team Og Rof A Klaw

All who wander are not lost.

Link to comment

quote:
For that matter, why leave valuable stuff?

Because some people like it.

 

quote:
Because the green army man that one person removes as trash would have been a good trade for another cacher's four year old son.

One dirty green army man, chewed by the dog is junk. A new bag of 50 costs about a $1.49. Why not leave that? I'm sure the 4 year old would love it.

Link to comment

quote:
Because some people like it.
Cognitive disconnect...

 

Is the idea that you keep the stuff and put new stuff in, or that you move it around from cache to cache?

 

The first way results in accumulating stuff. Not a goal of ours.

 

The second way, the trinkets act as game pieces. I agree that it's more satisfying to play with a good Parcheesi set than a ratty one. But you could use valueless tokens -- for example, shiny metal dog tags with serial numbers -- to get much the same effect as you'd have by putting the sterling flatware in..

 

____________________________

- Team Og Rof A Klaw

All who wander are not lost.

Link to comment

quote:
The first way results in accumulating stuff. Not a goal of ours.

 

I've found useful items in caches and have kept and used them. I know of cachers who collect all their finds and display them. It may not be a goal of yours, but it could be for someone else.

 

What's the harm in leaving something decent for others to find, rather than something that would be best off put out with the garbage?

 

"Au pays des aveugles, les borgnes sont rois"

Link to comment

quote:
What's the harm in leaving something decent for others to find, rather than something that would be best off put out with the garbage?
I'd call this stage in the dialogue "loud agreement." For the record, we don't leave trash, and we bodaciously don't take good stuff and then leave trash.

 

____________________________

- Team Og Rof A Klaw

All who wander are not lost.

Link to comment

quote:
why do people leave broken toys and toothpicks in these caches? why are they taking the good stuff and leaving used cheeseburger wrapers?

 

Are you serious? You're talking about REAL junk then. Wow. I've never run across out right trash in a cache. Maybe a dog-chewed action figure or buisness card here and there. I'm sure whoever left the cheeseburger wrapper thought he was being funny/cute.

 

Yeah real trash is annoying. But I don't mind golf balls, letter openers and swizzle sticks. Just adds character to the cache. I found a cat skull (at least I think it's a cat skull) in a cache recently. I'm sure somebody picked it up along the trail and was being funny.

 

Jolly R. Blackburn

http://kenzerco.com

"Never declare war on a man who buys his ink by the gallon."

Link to comment

quote:
Originally posted by Team Og Rof A Klaw:

For that matter, why leave valuable stuff? It's all game pieces, anyway, not prizes.

 

____________________________

- Team Og Rof A Klaw

_All who wander are not lost._


 

I agree. To me it's not about the item itself. It's about taking something you can touch and bring back with you to hang the memory of the hunt on to. Like a tropy.

 

I have a box of items I've found in caches. One of them is a cheap give-away budwieser bottle opener. I can look at it and remember exactly when and where I found it. that's all that realy matters to me.

 

Jolly R. Blackburn

http://kenzerco.com

"Never declare war on a man who buys his ink by the gallon."

Link to comment

quote:
Originally posted by BrianSnat:...

One dirty green army man, chewed by the dog is junk. A new bag of 50 costs about a $1.49. Why not leave that? I'm sure the 4 year old would love it.


You changed the comparison. You started with one green army man and altered it to be a dirty, chewed army man. You then compared it to a bag of new army men. This is an unfair comparison. I would agree that a mangled green army man is trash. However, a single undamaged army man is not trash. Does it have as much value as a bag of army men? Obviously not. It still is fine to leave, depending on what is being traded for.

 

Comparing the two is like comparing one WG dollar with a bundled stack of dollars. Obviously, the bundle of bills has more value. That doesn't mean that WG dollars have no place in caches.

 

A single army man has value because some people would like it.

Link to comment

The garbge in cache problem is a new level of the old "geotrash" problem. I found a broken piece of plastic from a xerox machine in a cache here in town. This type of deposit is actual garbage. The tolerance for this should be in negative numbers even for the TNLN set.

 

Let's get back to geotrash, we need to view our trade items as becoming (de facto) parts of the cache we leave behind. If you take a leatherman tool, and leave a bunch of toys behind, they become trade items for someone else. If the toys fit the theme of the cache, or the cache is running low on trade items for for kids, the trade was good. Even if it didn't meet with the approval of someone reading the logs later.

 

If the cache is not for toys, or the trade items you leave are really not of the quality you would let your kids play with, then you have done your part to ruin someone else's geocache, and you should be ashamed of yourself.

 

When this game was one of techy outdoors people in Seattle, the trade even concept worked pretty well. When the game began to expand to other parts of the country, but stay with the same kind of people, it still worked. Now that the game has expanded into other demographics, these kind of growing pains are normal. (This is why I like generic items and signature items for caches. Easy to get, most people like them, and they aren't aimed at kids or adults necessarily.)

 

http://groups.yahoo.com/group/nebraskache/

Link to comment

You'ld be amazed what you can find at the dollar store to place in caches! I've found and placed Nice Colorful 16' tape measures, Heart Shaped Tins of Altoids, Mini Coke Glasses, Bath Salts, 8 oz tubes of Sea & Ski SPF 30 Sunblock, ALL kinds of toys a young one would LOVE to find (I know this from experience, I have 2 jr. cachers!)

 

Michael J. Campion

Check out my completely useless homepage

Click here -> http://mywebpages.comcast.net/mjcampion/

quote:
Oh, Great Spirit, let us greet the dawn of a new day when all men live as brothers and peace reigns everywhere!
Link to comment

quote:
Originally posted by sbell111:

This makes my point exactly. Here's a cacher that really feels great about what he leaves. Unfortunately, he is about to be shredded for 3 of his choices.


 

If it fits with the theme or lacking a theme for the cache, simply enhances the cache for the next person, its a good trade. If it doesn't, its not a good trade, no matter what you actually leave.

 

http://groups.yahoo.com/group/nebraskache/

Link to comment

quote:
Originally posted by sbell111:

Exactly, but just because one person would not be happy with an object, doesn't mean others wouldn't like it.

 

One of the best items I ever took from a cache is a 'Tide Kick' detergent dispenser. I didn't have one. Now I do.


 

Yes. If an item is something you would like, then there is at least some reason to assume that someone else would as well. By placing these kind of cache items, we help maintain or improve a cache, rather than ruin it.

 

http://groups.yahoo.com/group/nebraskache/

Link to comment

We found a tiny, partially used tube of sunblock in a cache once. Saved us from burning ourselves to a crisp on a day that turned out sunnier than we'd expected. I'm grateful that whoever used the first part left the rest. Ordinarily, I'd think such an item was a bit trashy, but it was like finding water in the desert that day.

 

But I still think people should have the decency to leave a CLEAN golfball.

Link to comment

I think a lot of people leave trash because they see something in the cache they would like to take, but they don't really have anything to trade for in return. They want to follow the rules of the game, so instead of simply taking the desired item (or taking nothing), they leave several trashy items. The problem here is not only are people leaving trash, but sometimes this trash is never taken out. While some people will trade up in caches, removing some of the trashier items, many people either see nothing they'd like to trade for or don;t trade at all. The trash accumulates, thus leaving the cache full of junk.

 

I think that cache owners should take a bit more responsibility in stoping the trash build up. While it is not the owner's fault that trash is placed in their caches, they could take action and remove the trash when they check up on the caches, perhaps replacing trash with better items. I know cache items aren't that important to some people (myself included), but it's really nice to see a well maintained, well stocked cache. People who are really into the trade aspect really appreciate it.

Link to comment

sbell111 is right on about little trinkets like army men. We found first cache the other day. My three and five year old sons left a pez dispenser and a plastic frog in return for an army man each. These were beloved toys of theirs, but the army men and even more loved. Not because they're amazingly cool, but because they earned them by going treasure hunting (as they like to call it) with me.

Link to comment

Here's the way I like to think about this issue: Think about the item you are leaving in the cache. Now ask yourself this question..."Would I have taken the item I left in the cache instead of the one I actually took?" If you can answer "yes" honestly, then it's probably a fair trade. If you would not take the item you are leaving for someone else, then something is wrong.

 

Yes, they are game pieces. I just think our game pieces should show some pride in our game. I have done 2 interviews with the media. In both cases, the caches had interesting items in them. That was 2 years ago. Now, I would be embarrassed if the media opened the typical cache.

Link to comment

Here my list of good and bad cache items (note the bad are things I've actually found in caches)

 

Bad: dirty toy figurine, half chewed by the dog.

Good: Bag of brand new figurines

 

Bad: dirty, used golfball

Good: new golfball

 

Bad: rusty pocket knife with broken blade

Good: new pocket knife, or one in good condition

 

Bad: used phone card with no minutes left

Good: phone card with time on it

 

Bad: a beer bottle cap, bent

Good: a bag of new bottle caps from various brewerys

 

Bad: a dog biscut, or used chew toy

Good: a new rubber chew toy

 

Bad: a rock

Good: polished stone, cool looking marble

 

Bad: loose pocket change

Good: Sacagawea, Ike, or SBA dollars, buffalo nickels, mercury dimes and other interesting, or collectible coins

 

Bad: pirated software

Good: new software or shareware

 

Bad: a dirty pair of work gloves with holes

Good: a new pair of work gloves

 

Bad: used batteries

Good: new batteries

 

bad: a 3/4 used pad of Post-Its

good: a new pack of Post-Its

 

bad: broken, or obvouisly heavily used McToy

good: new McToy in its original wrapper

 

bad: dirty and wrinkled map of a state park

good: a pack of new state park maps, sealed in a ziploc

 

bad: candy of any kind

good: a new Pez dispenser (sans candy)

 

bad: broken calculator

good: working calculator

 

bad: an old Matchbox car missing a wheel

good: brand new Matchbox or Hot Wheels car

 

bad: luggage tag with someone's address on it

good: new luggage tag

 

bad: a dirty, diaper cover

good: new diaper cover in original package

 

bad: an used and worn wallet

good: new wallet

 

bad: a rusty key chain

good: a new key chain

 

bad: an acorn (found in a cache in a oak forest)

good: An unusual seed pod

 

bad: a clamshell (found in a cache near the shore)

good: interesting, or pretty snail shells

 

I could go on, bit I think everyone gets the picture.

 

"Au pays des aveugles, les borgnes sont rois"

Link to comment

quote:
Originally posted by sbell111:

This makes my point exactly. Here's a cacher that really feels great about what he leaves. Unfortunately, he is about to be shredded for 3 of his choices.


Just wondering why I'm gonna get shredded for 3 of my choices? I'm still kinda new to this Geocaching stuff so I want to make sure I'm not leaving something I'm not suppose to leave. My guess would be:

  • 1. The Altoids ('cause they're edible?) Well the tins are still sealed in plastic and the candy is the hard kind that will last longer than a GI's MREs.

2. The mini-Coke glass ('cause it could break?) I wrapped it very good.

3. The Sunblock ('cause it could leak?) I put in in a double sealed zip lock baggies.

4. The Bath Salts? These were placed in a themed cache called - Taking Care of You - with all kinds of girly stuff like that in it.

If any of this stuff is out-of-line please let me know so I can readjust what I leave (I’ve kinda grown fond of the Altoids so you may not be finding any more of these in my cache finds ;-))

 

Thanks!

iBrew icon_biggrin.gif

Check out my completely useless homepage

Click here -> http://mywebpages.comcast.net/mjcampion/

quote:
Oh, Great Spirit, let us greet the dawn of a new day when all men live as brothers and peace reigns everywhere!

 

[This message was edited by iBrew on June 21, 2003 at 09:49 AM.]

Link to comment

quote:
1. The Altoids ('cause they're edible?) Well the tins are still sealed in plastic and the candy is the hard kind that will last longer than a GI's MREs.

 

Food of any kind is a bad idea. Well sealed or not. Animals have very acute senses of smell. I've seen a fair number of animal trashed caches because food was in the cache, or the container once held food.

 

quote:
On BrianSnat's list, the knife is discouraged for good reason, as we found out. My wife cut herself on a boxcutter that someone had left in a cache a couple of weeks ago

 

A bit of a difference between a folded pocket knife and a box cutter with an exposed blade.

Link to comment

i have found a responsible way to trade. instead of just finding a cache and leaving something i have under the seat of my car i keep a messenger bag with me at all times. in this bag i keep- water, sun block, a sweater, a cell-phone, snacks, AND several items of different values ie. cost. NOW if i am caching and i find nothing i want i leave nothing. BUT... you never know when you will find something that you really want to take. SO i am prepaired for the cheap toy that catches my eye OR the brand new jazz box set. my messenger bag has appropriate trades for these items and all in between. so i recomend keeping several items with you. YOU NEVER KNOW WHAT YOU WILL FIND

Link to comment

sanfranseeker - Good show! I do the same. I've added a small first aid kit in my pack, but I pretty much carry the same thing as you. I have gear from a variety of prices, as well as stuff especially for kids. I think if someone went to the trouble of making, hiding and registering a cache, we should have some courtesy in keeping it stocked. Come on up and cache here in Victoria. You are most welcome!

 

Step away from the tupperware!

Link to comment

quote:
Originally posted by iBrew:...

My guess would be:

1. The Altoids ('cause they're edible?) Well the tins are still sealed in plastic and the candy is the hard kind that will last longer than a GI's MREs.

2. The mini-Coke glass ('cause it could break?) I wrapped it very good.

3. The Sunblock ('cause it could leak?) I put in in a double sealed zip lock baggies.

4. The Bath Salts? These were placed in a themed cache called - Taking Care of You - with all kinds of girly stuff like that in it.


My guesses were altoids, sunblock, and bath salts. All because odorous items tend to attract varmints.
Link to comment

quote:
Originally posted by Bender:

From now on I will just take a look inside, and leave my signature. Or will someone have a hissy fit about that? I suppose that whatever I do, someone will not be happy with it.


 

The problem is that the game is diverging in many directions. There are people for whom trading items is not an important part of the game, people who think that anything left is OK, people who have been burned by a long hike for a garbaged cache, and people who like things like toys because they are caching with kids, and lastly people who only want outdoors stuff, and all other items are uncool.

 

All of these people wear on each other. This is why I have been a proponent of Theme caches and Signature Items.

 

By giving the cache a general theme, you reduce the garbaging by labelling the cache BEFORE the hike begins.

 

By using Sig items, anything can be made a sig item, and there doesn't have to be some dollar value as the item becomes interesting due to the autograph of the owner if nothing else.

Link to comment

But like I said, Whatever I do, somone will not be happy with it. I am sure there are people who do not care for the Sig items Idea. I hope my way it the least ploblematic way of doing it. I am not here to make anyone PO'ed or trash their caches.

My caches are not filled with anything of much worth, I do not expect people to take my Sig Big Rubber Band and leave a VCR (or anything of worth for that much). I am in it for the hunt. You just cannot make everyone happy.

 

Bender

 

Searching, for the lost Xanadu

Link to comment

quote:
Originally posted by Bender:

But like I said, Whatever I do, somone will not be happy with it. I am sure there are people who do not care for the Sig items Idea. I hope my way it the least ploblematic way of doing it. I am not here to make anyone PO'ed or trash their caches.

My caches are not filled with anything of much worth, I do not expect people to take my Sig Big Rubber Band and leave a VCR (or anything of worth for that much). I am in it for the hunt. You just cannot make everyone happy.

 

Bender

 

Searching, for the lost Xanadu


 

I'm with you. I cache to have fun. I try to trade fairly. If someone doesn't like what I place in my caches or with the items I leave behind/trade that's really too bad. I'm not going to lose any sleep over the fact that someone might consider my item 'garbage'.

 

Big Rubber Band?? Hey, I could use a few of those. ;D

 

Jolly R. Blackburn

http://kenzerco.com

"Never declare war on a man who buys his ink by the gallon."

Link to comment

quote:
Big Rubber Band?? Hey, I could use a few of those. ;D

 

Jolly R. Blackburn

http://kenzerco.com

"Never declare war on a man who buys his ink by the gallon."


 

Sorry dude, you can't have any of The Big Rubber Bands. I have just been notified that those can cause great bodily harm. And some mean welps too.

 

Bender

 

Searching, for the lost Xanadu

Link to comment

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Loading...
Followers 0
×
×
  • Create New...