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newbee-what kind of goodies to leave?

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Among the things in my goody bag (and also the type of stuff I stock my caches with) are:


emergency ponchos

eyeglass repair kits

Crayola water colors

boxes of crayons & colored chalk

small travel games (backgamon, checkers, etc...)

Matchbox cars & Hot Wheels

Wheresgeorge bills

Collectible coins (indian heads, buffalo nickels, Sacagawea dollars)

Packs of AA batteries

cans of lock de-icer

travel padlocks

dashboard compasses

mini screwdriver kits

allen wrench sets

Geocaching.com pins, patches & zipper pull compasses

Packs of Sharpie markers

Bracelet/necklace making kits

fresh rolls of 35mm film

blank R/W CD's


To fill my goody bag and the goody box in my basement, I always have my eys open for inexpensive, but useful items. I drive my wife crazy by adding handfuls of stuff to the shopping cart at the checkout. I search supermarkets, office supply stores, hardware stores & sporting goods stores. I rarely spend more than $5 for anything. Most of the stuff costs $3, or less.


One good idea would be for you to pick one inexpensive signature item. Something that may be of interest to other geocachers. Perhaps Sacagawa dollars, Wheresgeorge dollars, AA batteries, eyeglass repair kits, what have you. Shell out $25 or $30 bucks and buy a bunch of them. That way you have a ready supply of trade items.


A government that is big enough to give you all you want is big enough to take it all away. -Barry Goldwater


[This message was edited by BrianSnat on February 04, 2003 at 08:54 AM.]

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I saw four or five caches while researching a story I wrote about geocaching and have since found four regular (not virtual) caches on my own in the past week. I realize this is limited experience but the vast majority of what I've seen in these caches has been absolutely worthless -- I don't mean they cost little but rather the items weren't interesting, unusual or cool in any way. The last cache I found was the worst. It contained a ribbon that once held a medalian, a single allen wrench and some sort of cheap advertising keychain. So far, I've taken nothing from any of these caches but have left something at each one. I know we don't cache for the goodies but, man, we CAN do better!


So far, I'm carrying a few interesting pin back buttons (including one I designed myself), some lapel pins (including the Geocaching pins that Groundspeak sells), scratch-off lottery tickets, cool polished rocks, and an assortment of semi-useful items (moleskin, small packs of bandaids, travel size aspirin (sealed), lip balm (sealed)). I also have some "premium" items in case I find something really cool. These include a nice ball cap, a $5 phone calling card, etc. My hope is that other folks will find this stuff more interesting than the stuff I've found so far.

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Wow. A good thread for someone as a self-proclaimed newbie. There's another thread currently talking about the same subject over here. You might want to check it out to get some other ideas.


What do I like to find?


Signature items, but something not prolific. If I've already found 20 of the signature items, I probably will just icon_rolleyes.gif and say "OK - here's another one."


Odd but cool: I once found a Morgan Silver Dollar in a cache. Approx value $8 in its poor condition (horrible), but a little silver polish fixed it right up. I also once found a magnetic, telescoping, interchangeable-head screwdriver. Still have it. I also found a little plastic lizard once. He sits on my dash and goes out on every hunt. He waits in the parking lot and I greet him upon my return.


It really depends on my mood as to what might or might not be cool. But so often, I just TNLN anyway.



Chicago Geocaching

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Geochips are cheaper than geocoins and can be made by hand using good quality casino-style poker chips.


Ebay has a lot of foreign coins and if you get a good batch, there will be a number of interesting old coins from Europe that became useless once the conversion to Euros happened.


Hardware stores are good shopping areas. The ACE hardware store in my area had a Dollar Days sale and sold good quality screw drivers (not professional grade, but still not junk) 3 for $1. I grabbed some of them to use in caches.


Basic guidepost is the golden rule. If you wouldn't want to hike 2 miles in, spend 20 minutes looking for the cache, and find the item in the cache, then don't leave it.


By appointment to the Court of HRM Queen Mikki I.

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When I first read this, the first thing that came to mind was the recent post on this , which I was going to Markwell too, but the Master Markwell beat me to it......


Heres how I find cache items....


If i see something that i think cachers wouls like i grab it!


If I'm out stocking Goods at a store I see an Item pick it up and think,,,WOULD I LIKE TO FIND THIS ITEM IN A CACHE??????


See you in the woods!


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Originally posted by 3Bees:

We are just thinking of getting started and want to go about it right. I've been reading lots of posts about trashy caches but not what to leave or put in a new one. Maybe I missed it......can you help? Any other advice for this family in Michigan?


I leave things I'd like to find. Anytime I run into in the $1-$1.50 range that I find appealing myself, I get half a dozen and toss them in my cache goodie box. I'm sure there are some people who won't like some of the items, but they are brand new non-dirty things that I would genuinely be happy to find myself, and I think that's the best we can do.


I've got (new, bagged, not crappy) teenie beanie babies, slinky jr's, frog keychains that stick out their tongue when you squeeze them, a wide assortment of polished rocks (useful for micro-caches), more rubber frogs than you can shake a stick at (these are generally our signature item, and left as freebies, not things we use as trade fodder; I've got a few dozen different ones, so they shouldn't be too boring for the locals to find), strange or interesting keychains, glitter pencils, interesting pens (and some non-interesting pens, just in case a cache pen needs replacement), little rubber duckies, etc. I tend to like 'fun' things rather than functional ones, though leaving things like tools also seems reasonable to me.


Do not leave dirty, broken things from the bottom of your junk drawer, or used dirty golfballs you found along the trail, and you'll be fine.

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I appreciate all the great replys. Having never found a cache (or looked yet), it is good to know, going in, what is good. I especially liked to advice about ebay (my personal drug of choice!). Now I have another excuse!

I had wondered about what 'signature items' were also and you answered that question too.

I promise (hand on my heart) to never leave a McToy!

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Originally posted by cwoper:

Matt,thats what I've been talking about.Cool and interesting items are always fun.The log book is what we hunt for,but cool stuff is an added +. I leave an Elvis items in my finds and in my hidden Cache box.I wish we could do something about McToys and other Geotrash.


I frequently hear complaints about McToys, but since geocaching is supposed to be family friendly, I don't see why they should be considered "trash". Granted, most adults wouldn't be interested in them, but I"m sure the younger children the adults drag along LOVE them. icon_confused.gif


I'm lost. I've gone to find myself. If I should happen to get back before I return, please ask me to wait.

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Originally posted by IV_Warrior:

I frequently hear complaints about McToys, but since geocaching is supposed to be family friendly, I don't see why they should be considered "trash".


Yep, a common misunderstanding. It is not McDonald toys that are the problem. It is BROKEN, DIRTY, MISSING PIECES, McDonald toys (that should have been thrown away) that are the problem.


We tend to just shrink the phrase to "McToys".


If they are new or still in their wrappers they are very welcome additions to a cache.



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Originally posted by Markwell:

What do I like to find?


_Signature items_, but something not prolific. If I've already found 20 of the signature items, I probably will just icon_rolleyes.gif and say "OK - here's another one."


Let's say you and I cache in the same area. If you leave your signature item in each cache you find and I leave mine in each I find, wouldn't we soon get to the point where we would each icon_rolleyes.gif and say "OK - here's another one"?


How would you avoid that?


Or is it more that many cachers in an area leave the same kind of signature item?





Geocaching . . . hiking with a purpose

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Since I TNLN most of the time, and my signature item is almost 5.5" square, I rarely leave it in a cache. When I do, it's a sign that


A) the cache is big enough for my sig item, and

:) I REALLY liked the cache or one of the items - enough so that I decided to trade for it out of the rare sig items instead of the plethora of cache fodder I haul around.


So my sig item is pretty rare.



Chicago Geocaching

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