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What to leave in a cache?


Jomarac5
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Best of the New Year to all,

 

I'm curious about what people are putting in caches. We've only got about 10 finds so far but have noticed a few traits already regarding cache items. My 5 year old daughter likes stickers -- Winnie the Pooh are particularly popular but any stickers will do. My 8 year old daughter likes things such as blank cassette tapes, and my 11 year old son likes computer programs and books. Sometimes they take (what I think are) the strangest things. A tin pig pin was for some reason, expecially valued.

 

I prefer geocoins or TB's -- I think it's fun to track their travels.

 

My kids take quite an interest in tracking our past finds to see how long it takes their item to get picked up. I suspect that over time we'll see which items get picked up the quickest.

 

We've gone to our local Buck or Two store and have picked up a bunch of novelty items such as playing cards with hundred dollar bills printed on them, bags of marbles, blank cassettes, etc. We've also got a few items around the house (action figures, flashlights, etc) that we've set aside for caches.

 

My questions specifically, are...

 

When you look for items to leave in a cache do you go somewhere specific to find them? i.e., Dollar stores or thrift shops?

 

Do you leave themed items (same types of items, toy cars or golf balls for example).

 

Have you found that your kids prefer certain items over others?

 

What are your personal favourite items to find in a cache?

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I usually cache alone and I really don't care if I take anything or not. When I take my grandkids, they care. The boys look for cars. My granddaughter usually wants something to give to someone.

I like to leave things for kids. I frequently leave hot wheels cars. I often leave fancy pencils. I try to leave more than I take. In the warm months I leave beanie babies or other stuffed animals but not if there is a question of dampness.

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There seems to be plenty of Dollar store items in caches already so I keep a look out for trade items everywhere I go. Garage sales are a great place for some cool stuff, the local auction house often yields box lots of stuff or flea markets are a goldmine of trade items. My favorite item to leave in a cache is fake scratch off lottery tickets. They look just like the real thing and are all $20,000 to $50,000 winners but if you turn them over and read how to cash them in it tells you to submit it to either Santa Clause or the Easter Bunny. Most often I trade just for the sake of trading and just move the item to another cache.

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I always leave a lighthouse lapel pin, it's my signature item. Other than that, I've found that more often than not I try to leave something useful. In the spring and summer I was leaving a lot of those cheap plastic ponchos. I got it in my head that sooner or later there would be some cacher caught in the rain and needing one. Also, I found that by carrying them to trade I always had a couple for myself to use.

 

Since fall I've been leaving those chemical handwarmers instead of the ponchos, for pretty much the same reasons. It's been nice to see a few of these get picked up over the last few weeks.

 

I also try to make sure I keep some kiddie items in my bag. Usually if the cache seems a bit low on them I'll throw in some McToys or something that will appeal to the kids.

 

Sometimes I wonder if my trading is a bit stuck in a rut, but like others who have posted, I think I tend to leave the cache in a little better condition than when I found it.

 

Bret

 

"The kingdom of heaven is like treasure hidden in a field.

When a man found it, he hid it again." Mt. 13:44

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fake scratch off, that is funny and I think the emotional roller coaster ride after thinking I won then that I have been had would kill me. icon_smile.gif My trade items come from REI, Home Depot, and Normans. I like to leave new items when I do trade. I just picked up a bunch of work gloves from Normans for .39 cents a pair. I like the .29 cent carpenters pencils from Home Depot but I also pick up carabiners from them. Anything and everything from REI.

 

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So far so good, somewhat new owner of a second/new Garmin GPS V 20 plus finds so far with little to no problem. We'll see what happens when there are leaves on the trees again.

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I like the disposable camera's in the caches, i like taking a pic and then when they post them, to see all of the fellow geocachers who have found it is pretty cool! I like to take the rattiest thing ususally to help clean the cache out but when my wife is with me, she has choice LOL! I am working on a signature item that i want to leave in all the caches i go to but i am usually leaving Wheres George dollars! It is the thrill of the hunt and finding it that i really truely enjoy!!!

 

Darkmoon icon_biggrin.gif

 

No, I am not lost...I am where I am suppose to be...At least I think so?

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We haven't placed a cache yet but have one almost ready to go. We decided on a theme type of cache that has only keychains in it. (And of course, some extra trash bags for the trek back) I know keychains aren't exactly the most creative thing to place in a cache but we figured that everyone has at least one keychain they don't use (or like) that they are willing to trade out. One of these days, we will get that cache placed! icon_smile.gif

 

"Be who you are and say how you feel because those who mind don't matter and those who matter don't mind" - Dr. Seuss

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I like the idea of of a key chain cache along with a magnet cache. I think you will have sucess with it. Really people can put a key ring on just about anything and leave it.

 

______________________________________________________________________________________

So far so good, somewhat new owner of a second/new Garmin GPS V 20 plus finds so far with little to no problem. We'll see what happens when there are leaves on the trees again.

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When finding I'm usually not interested in a trade, even though your supposed to trade. I usually leave something, but my Son just loves to trade.

When I plant one it depends on where it is as to what goes in it. I've done one with kids in mind so its full of McD's and little books and cars and stuff, Kids just love it. When I put them in the hills depending on how far from the road it is the value of items increases in value with the level of difficulty. icon_rolleyes.gif

 

Tahosa - Dweller of the Mountain Tops.

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I like the theme idea's and the keychain one sounds wonderful...and it gives me plenty of ideas for some new ones to add to our area...I am always finding new stuff in these forums everyday!

Darkmoon icon_biggrin.gif

 

No, I am not lost...I am where I am suppose to be...At least I think so?

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Not that the magnet idea is orginal but I thought it was cool when a local cacher placed on of his sig items (Cincinnati Chili Recipie magnet) in one of my caches. My first cache is an ammo can and the magnet was stuck to the inside. I just thought it would be cool to have a large ammo can with a ton of magnets stuck all over the inside of it.

 

______________________________________________________________________________________

So far so good, somewhat new owner of a second/new Garmin GPS V 20 plus finds so far with little to no problem. We'll see what happens when there are leaves on the trees again.

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I tend to go to the dollar store and pick up little gadets----screw driver sets---carabinors-bungee cords little usefull tools, keychain mess. tapes but i also grab kids toys for kids caches like this week at the 1$ store i found real working keyboards....

 

anything that isn't junk that i can use or is unique and fun

 

See you in the woods!

Natureboy1376

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Some great suggestions. I like the theme based ideas but it's sometimes nice to put something different in the cache. Leaving a camera sounds like it could be an interesting thing. The fake lottery tickets just seems mean icon_smile.gif

 

What do your kids like finding the most?

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My kids love Jenzards lizards (her trademark item). I'm into coins.

 

And I also find Garage sales to be the best source of trading items. You can get the best bang for the buck when you do Garage sales. Dollar stores sometimes have items that are worth more than a buck due to someone elses closeout etc. I like to find those items.

 

Wherever you go there you are.

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Also at the dollar store I have found!!!!

ball barring maze/puzzles for kids 8 orf them for a buck. or kids at heart

Cd cases

car coin holders

cig lighter adaptors for various plug ins etc etc the list goes on..

 

Foriegn coins are neat also ---I recentley found a a really cool German coin in my first hidden cache, I took it for Good luck, since that is where my roots are from and I really want to Make it to Germany soon

 

See you in the woods!

Natureboy1376

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We do the dollar stores,and other items we find on sale,also we have put polished flint or geodes in little velvet bags,rock collectors seem to always go for these real fast.Worst is "we left 3 golf balls or old shotgun shell we found on way to cache I hate when we find this logged

 

I'm a man and I can change if I have to,I guess.

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Well, let's see:

 

1)I get my cache items from a variety of places. When I plant caches, I try to stay away from teh usual McDonalds stuff. I'll go by a store and get some cheap, but useful things like fishing lures, backpack locks, etc. I almost always like to leave a bug or two. Rest of the items might be cache items I've gotten in the past or I may be in a more generous mode like giving away an old REI headlamp that I no longer use.

 

2)I don't follow a particular theme unless the cache requests that.

 

3) Can't answer that question..don't have kids

 

4)I love to find geocoins. I've have some good luck in that endeavor. I also like to find pocket knives, leatherman type tools, and anything else that might be useful. Batteries are always great items to find.

 

I've even found a couple of gift certificates...one was a $15 dollar REI one. Cool!

 

Half the items I'll usually trade back in to a cache.

 

[This message was edited by evergreenhiker! on January 02, 2003 at 10:31 PM.]

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I'm a newbie and have only logged a few visits. But already I'm seeing a trend in the ones I've opened...cheapie toys. I love the thrill of the "hunt" and I understand that we can't invest a ton of money into the caches, but once in a while I'd like something better. With that in mind I try very hard to "trade up." My husband (who has yet to create his account on this website) and I always leave our "signature" items, me one of those big stickers you can get for 50 cents, my husband some old but mint condition X-men baseball cards. But the "real" items I leave run the gamut from keychains, nail polish icon_wink.gif, and today I left two CDs, one a computer game my husband will never play, and one a soundtrack I won't listen to.

 

I love the idea of themed caches though! It gives me more ideas (like magnets) of things I can leave in existing caches!

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quote:
I love the idea of themed caches though! It gives me more ideas (like magnets) of things I can leave in existing caches!

 

I also like the idea of magnets -- although there's not much room on our fridge for any more. Just please be careful not to leave magnets where blank cassette tapes have been left (and I won't leave cassettes in caches with magnets!) icon_razz.gif

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I like to leave real ones they don't take up much space only cost a buck or two and are usually one of the first things to go. I saw a cache somewhere that was a lotto ticket exchange. You drop one off and take one. Also for my caches I like to refurb them with Blockbuster video cash cards. They cost $5 on up. Nice item for a first finder prize too.

 

The early bird may get the worm, but the second mouse gets the cheese.

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I found an alternative CD sampler in a cache and was introduced to some new music that I really enjoyed. I think that's a cool thing to leave in a cache. It's a little more costly than what I typically leave, but since most of my CD's are on my iPod now anyway, I can part with some of them.

 

I also usually leave a wheresgeorge.com dollar bill.

 

I've left Kelly dolls, decks of cards, and batteries too.

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"Just please be careful not to leave magnets where blank cassette tapes have been left (and I won't leave cassettes in caches with magnets!)"

 

Magnets won't harm blank cassette tapes but they'll sure play havoc with a recorded music, video, etc. tape.

 

I'm too new at this to have established a pattern but I have gravitated toward hiking/camping/practical items like small AA waterproof flashlights (great way to carry GPS food), compasses, first aid kits, waterproof match holders, pocket knives, etc. (I like the cheap poncho idea - everybody should carry one of those in their pack!)

 

Good Hunting! -- Graveseeker

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Placing CD's in a cache sounds like a great idea. I ended up getting stuck with about 50+ CDs from a friend's band. Of course the band has been broken up for years now so passing out their CDs as freebies would sure help clean out some closet space as well.

 

"Be who you are and say how you feel because those who mind don't matter and those who matter don't mind" - Dr. Seuss

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I've been thinking about a multicache idea that will include a waypoint near a museum. I've done some volunteer work at this museum and am pretty certain I can get the musuem to donate a number of free admittance coupons. I would put a limited number of tickets in the cache and replenish it when necessary. Which brings me to the following questions...

 

- Is it considered improper to ask organizations or businesses (that are relevant to a theme, etc) to donate discount or special offer coupons to include in a cache?

 

- Would this be too commercial?

 

- What if the coupon supports a specific cache theme?

 

- Is this any different than including gift certificates from a video store?

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I've had good luck with Oriental Trading (on the web) for toys and knick knacks. You can buy dollar-store-type stuff for less than the dollar store charges if you buy in quantity.

It seems that toys and tools are the most popular items in local caches - so that's what I try to keep stocked in my pack. When I'm caching without the kids I don't usually take anything, but I'll leave something if the cache is a little light on prizes. With the kids - just like you've read above.

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quote:
Originally posted by Jomarac5:

I've been thinking about a multicache idea that will include a waypoint near a museum. I've done some volunteer work at this museum and am pretty certain I can get the musuem to donate a number of free admittance coupons. I would put a limited number of tickets in the cache and replenish it when necessary. Which brings me to the following questions...

 

- Is it considered improper to ask organizations or businesses (that are relevant to a theme, etc) to donate discount or special offer coupons to include in a cache?


Yes. Free admittance vouchers invariably degenerate to 'Buy one, Get one free' or 'Buy one, get a second at half price'.

quote:
- Would this be too commercial?

Yes. Caches that support a particular business would be considered commercial.

 

quote:
- What if the coupon supports a specific cache theme?

No. A theme wouldn't change the fact that it is still commercial.

quote:
- Is this any different than including gift certificates from a video store?

No. Although Gift Certificates are worth an actual dollar value, you must spend it at a particular store. If you put dollar bills (or twenties preferably icon_wink.gif ) people would be free to choose where to spend it. Also, people who are not already members of the video store would have to sign up to use it (and probably give the store their credit card number for membership). Out of area/state cachers would find these items completely useless.

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quote:
Originally posted by Team GPSaxophone:

Yes. Free admittance vouchers invariably degenerate to 'Buy one, Get one free' or 'Buy one, get a second at half price'.


 

Not the case here. These would be absolutely free, no charge, admittance coupons (if the museum doesn't supply them, I'll buy them myself for the cache -- the museum would make an interesting stop).

 

quote:

> - Is this any different than including gift

> certificates from a video store?

 

No. Although Gift Certificates are worth an actual dollar value, you must spend it at a particular store. If you put dollar bills (or twenties preferably icon_wink.gif ) people would be free to choose where to spend it. Also, people who are not already members of the video store would have to sign up to use it (and probably give the store their credit card number for membership). Out of area/state cachers would find these items completely useless.


 

I certainly wouldn't complain about finding a gift certificate for a movie rental store. Bottom line is that if I don't want it, I'll leave it in the cache for the next person.

 

I do agree that 2 for 1 coupons and similar offers would not do much for me and I wouldn't put something like that in a cache but if it's a free, no obligation coupon, I don't see anything wrong with it (whether donated or purchased).

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quote:
quote:
quote:
- Is it considered improper to ask organizations or businesses (that are relevant to a theme, etc) to donate discount or special offer coupons to include in a cache?

Yes. Free admittance vouchers invariably degenerate to 'Buy one, Get one free' or 'Buy one, get a second at half price'.


Not the case here. These would be absolutely free, no charge, admittance coupons (if the museum doesn't supply them, I'll buy them myself for the cache -- the museum would make an interesting stop).


 

Your first question said that it would be a DISCOUNT therefore requiring a purchase. If the SPECIAL OFFER you refer to is an absolutely free admission with no obligation to buy anything whatsoever for every cacher in the group (yes some of us cache in groups), then I see no problem with that part.

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I just make sure that whatever I leave in the cache is valued over $1. I usually start out with a wheresgeorge dollar and then add to it. I've included items like hot wheels cars, spongebob character finger puppets, gel pens, digimon minis, mechanical pencils, lip smackers lip gloss, key chains, and grow creatures. Everything is always brand new. I do not have a problem with leaving or taking 2 for 1 coupons. To each his own.

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I'm looking to restock my empty cache pack, I'm going to get my usual gadets as trade items, but i was wondering if cachers would like to find f/food gift certs or books on tape in the caches? Just looking for some new ideas....

 

GOT IT FOUND IT,Whats in it????? oh a dirty golf ball, a broken Mctoy and some soggy candy melted in the heat...So log it and grab the TB and lets go.. Wait the TB hasn't been here for 5 months....Dam it I'm glad I drove 60 miles for it!!!!

See You In the Woods!!!

Natureboy1376

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I always leave a chemical lightstick or two. I've been watching the logs on caches where I left the lightsticks, and they seem to be popular and get traded out by one of the next finders. The lightsticks have now become my trademark item. I will also throw in an inexpensive compass, a fishing lure, or a couple of mini-biners from time to time.I make sure to put in only new items that I think somebody will really enjoy. I usually take nothing, unless I see something that makes me laugh, or if I plan on putting the item in the next cache I find.

 

I am not addicted to geocaching, really.

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Primarily I leave:

foreign coins -- mostly old European but a few 1 Euro coins

Mardi Gras doubloons

lotto tickets

a few assorted lapel pins -- Katy Trail pins for caches on the Katy Trail, Geocaching pins, and a few others

Geocaching buttons

a 1" button I had made a few years ago that reads: "I don't have to, I GET to."

 

I also carry spare logbooks and baggies, a $10 phone card and a couple of ball caps from work but I haven't had occasion to leave those yet (I did leave one ball cap).

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What I don't care for....and I know I shouldnt get worked up over it because I mostly just sign the log and leave something anyway. But, when I see a post or a log that is similar to.....I took the cool _______, hubby took _______, son and daughter took ______ and ______ and we left a where's george dollar, two pencils and a bag of marbles.

 

Come on.....one trade is enough per team isn't it?..... I know I put some pretty neat things in my caches, and to have it wiped out by one or two inconsiderate families would peeve me off. That hasn't happened to me.....but I've read several logs where it has happened.

 

Earth First!!! We'll cache the other planets later!!

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I think a lot of the problem comes from the fact that people don't carry $5, $10 & $15 trade items along with them. If they find something nice, they try to make up with quantity.

 

I've seen many logs that said something like "Took Leatherman multi-tool; left polished stone, acorn, toy soldier, a bottle cap, key ring and a travel bug."

 

"It has been my experience that folks who have no vices have very few virtues" -Abraham Lincoln

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quote:
Originally posted by Northern-Lights:

Come on.....one trade is enough per team isn't it?..... I know I put some pretty neat things in my caches, and to have it wiped out by one or two inconsiderate families would peeve me off. That hasn't happened to me.....but I've read several logs where it has happened.


I don't think it's the number of trades per team, it's the quality of the trades.

 

If both of my kids are with me, I have to let both of them trade, unless I want to listen to complaining all the way to the next cache. If there's something in the cache I actually want, then there are three of us trading. Most things I take are less than a buck, so leaving something of equal or better value is easy. I use cache trades as an opportunity to teach my kids values like fairness and respect for others. If they don't have something of equal or greater value to trade, they don't get to trade. I try to make sure the cache is better stocked when we leave than when we got there, regardless of the number of trades.

 

web-lingbutton.gif ntga_button.gif

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quote:
Originally posted by Jacksons:

We do the dollar stores,and other items we find on sale,also we have put polished flint or geodes in little velvet bags,rock collectors seem to always go for these real fast.Worst is "we left 3 golf balls or old shotgun shell we found on way to cache I hate when we find this logged


 

Exactly! A cache I hit on Saturday had a cacher there earlier who logged, "Took pocketknife, left golf ball." Well, whee... a golf ball.

 

Personally, I head to the auto parts store and get a handful of carbiner keychains, they have some VERY cool Tonka truck minis for $2 (these Tonka toys have never stayed in the cache for more than two or three days), and my favorite item to leave is one I make -- one of the "last man" golf tee peg games made from wood. I'm a woodworker and do a lot of craft shows, so I have a few dozen of these.

 

Joel (joefrog)

 

"Do not meddle in the affairs of dragons, for ye are crunchy and taste good with ketchup!"

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I have recently left NEW golf balls, and tees, in caches. It is Spring, and I hope someone uses them. I know many folks leave signature items, but many times they are worthless. I found old computer memory in a cache with a name on it. My daughter enjoys small pins or keyrings. She has been putting them on her bookbag. If there is nothing I'm interested in, I'll TN and leave something.

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It depends on the location of the cache, even if there is no defined theme:

"Hiking" caches: items useful on the trail - flashlights, bandages, Platypus bottles, knives (if they would be allowed).

Suburban caches: computer parts & media, dollar store items... my favorite are toys from museum gift stores.

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If there's a theme to the cache we'll try to follow it but for the most part we try to leave neat useful items like a small pocket knife or a multi-tool of some kind. We've been leaving lots of American flag pins, key chains of various types, stopwatch/clocks, small compasses for kids etc... My wife has also been leaving little "fuzzy creature pins" she makes with our daughters for the numerous Girl Scout projects they do...

 

Shayl.gif

 

Come visit us on the web!!

The JJ&C Railroad

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foreign coins and bills that sat around the house for 9 years! finally found a good use for them.

 

oh, last weekend one of my kids picked the pencil out of a cache. I didn't have the heart to make her leave it. ha ha (there was another one in there. whew!)

 

SVT + GPS = fast cache

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As long as the topic is themed caches, is there an easy way to search for themed caches on geocaching.com, or do you just kind of stumble onto them. I tried doing searches for a couple things, but they seem more location oriented than necessarily themed. I think it would be cool to have a list of themed caches where you could trade specific items (i.e. fishing lures, recipes, CD's, etc.). You could find these places, have an idea what to expect, but still be surprised when you get there. I like to tie fishing flies (I need a little more practice though), and would love to be able to have a place to visit occasionally and trade with others.

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quote:
... My favorite item to leave in a cache is fake scratch off lottery tickets. They look just like the real thing and are all $20,000 to $50,000 winners but if you turn them over and read how to cash them in it tells you to submit it to either Santa Clause or the Easter Bunny...

 

I would hate to think that you feel that this is trading up - or is equal in value to, oh let's say a geocoin. You may think it is funny to leave one of these, but I wonder if the next cacher will find them so amusing. Some folks LIKE to find cool things they can use.

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I have visited 23 caches and have not had to purchase anything for caching yet. I have left beanies, shooter marbles, a pair of new silver and turquoise earrings. I look at items that come into my life or ones I am not using as potential cache items. I purchased a calculator and it came with a mini key chain calculator. My first thought was cache item. I was thinking of buying a hair band, but they only had them in sets of 2. The other will be for a cache. I save fancy beads and buttons for micro caches. If I could find my coins I would leave some of them. I like finding books, and toys. I am a kid at heart. I do not have a particular item I look for, but items from other countries or museum gift shops would be great. I like to find cars for my boyfriend. I always clean the cache of trash and add additional items if it is low on stock. I do multi trades, but the cache trades are always fair and the cache gets more items. I love to find travel bugs. It is fun to help them reach their goal. It sometimes involves weekend trips!!!

L

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The kids are always with me when we go caching. They need the exercise and time away from TV/computer/AIM. They like jewelry, CDROMs, small toys. One took a mini compass, maybe because I was using a compass that day.

 

We leave whatever we have in excess. Son leaves Yugioh cards, hope they will still be attracting interest a year from now. I leave Patent Office tokens (from a prior lifetime, or so it seems to me), and Intel CPU chips (from a massive mess abandoned by someone who decommissioned a bunch of old computers). I have put small stocks of those items in our cars, so we have them along during spur of the moment hunts.

 

Also left a 4-leaf clover that I found while searching for a cache. I taped it into the log. I may have to laminate a few 4-leaf clovers so I can add them to the car stocks.

 

Today on another topic I saw the idea of including a rubber stamp inside the cache, for passport-type stamping. I like that idea. I will have to carry an ink pad. I think my kids will like it.

 

Dreamer of Pictures

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