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Poor items in caches

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I'm fairly new to geocaching (and I love it!), but I have noticed that the majority of caches I have been on have really had, well, crappy items in them. Now, I'm not asking for a new GPS or diamond, but there is nothing worse than staking out a cache, taking the time to find it, only to discover that the items in the cache are junk or broken. Many of which aren't even worthing looking through, much less trading/taking.


I do place items in caches I find that are only worth a few bucks, but they are NEW, in working condition, and are things that I would like to find in a cache. For example, on one cache I found, there were a number of toy figures (something that is fairly common to find) and these looked to be quite used and a few were even broken).


I'm sure this has been discussed before, and it is the "hunt" that I get most out of Geocaching, but come on, how about putting items in caches that aren't things that are found in an old drawer or at the Goodwill?

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Unfortunately, you are fighting a losing battle, my friend. The game is played on the honor system, and there's not a lot you and I can do about people trading their junk in for something slightly more useful. The sad thing is, they trade their junk in for something that can almost always be found in any dollar store. I was a lot more disappointed when I first discovered boxes-'o-junk, but, over time, I really have found that I don't go in expecting much, and I can be pleasantly surprised when the cache isn't de-valued by unfair trading. I've also given up on restocking my caches for the same reason. I try to clean out the stuff that is TOTALLY garbage, but I don't add a whole lot anymore. Just my opinion...

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It is a disappointing fact of life.

Some people have no honor.


I generally take nothing, but leave new goodies. Some are VERY nice. (I've left over $100 worth of goodies so far. I try to improve the caches, because the first physical cache we ever did yielded a very nice glass paperweight for my daughter.


I've seen people take $5 or $10 worth of goodies from a cache and leave a coupon or a dollar or a cigarette. ;)


I've seen people take nice things and leave much cheaper nice things, which is not bad at all. :)


And my personal favorite log:

"I stopped on my way home from work, so I didn't have anything to leave. Took the blue "Merlin Magician". Next time I gone in there, I'll drop off something. "

(But, he didn't forget his GPS! This guy is new and a habitual "taker".)


Get used to it, and be surprised when you find something nice.

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If there is nothing in there, maybe it's my Karma to leave something and "kick start" the cache.


Right now I'm carrying small puzzles, baby screwdriver sets (which seem to be popular), virgin Travel bugs, virgin Geocoins, pencils, pencil shapeners, and log books (just in case), a roll of film, a matchbox car, and some trash bags. It's amazing how small a package that really is.


Mentally I try to leave something that roughly equals = what I took + how much I appreciate the cache. I'm not sure I always get it right, but I'm trying.

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I try to do the same..I emptied my bag the other day rebuilding a cache that had been destroyed...ook some hummingbird nectar out of a cache that I found the same day when I notied that an animal had ben eating away at the container.


I guess it's like the rest of life, the only person you can get to do the right thing is yourself.

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Mentally I try to leave something that roughly equals = what I took + how much I appreciate the cache.


That's my philosophy as well. Lately I've been looking at it differently. If the cache is drained of any decent trade items I'll add some new stuff to it, maybe a zip lock and a log book if necessary. I look at it like, big deal, it cost me $3 or $4 to get the cache back up to speed. Why waste time complaining about it. However, If the cache owner is infamous for not maintaining their caches then I'll just log a TNLNSL, DPM. 99% of the time I trade up.

Edited by J&MBella
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i agree- the best part is the hunt.

we usually have our 4yr old with us so i let him pick one thing(junk or not)that he wants. then i will leave 2 or 3 new items from a dollor store. 3 bucks for a cache trip is still cheaper then almost anything that gets you out of the house and off the couch.



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3 bucks for a cache trip is still cheaper then almost anything that gets you out of the house and off the couch.


Exactly...and gets the whole family off the couch with you!


My son and daughter (10 and 16) decide what and if any trades are done. The wife and I like it for the challange and the fact it is something we can all do outdoors together.

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I believe in "Cache In, Take Crap Out!". I have no problems emptying a cache of all crap and leaving cool stuff instead. Here's my last cracp cache log.



Found it with Naomi and Ryan, Naomi found it. Nice little hide, took her about 1 minute. We couldn't believe the amount of junk in the cache. Cache is also cracked.


"Took "all of the junk!"

Left Iraqi Playing Cards, Glo/Light Stick, National Guard Carabiner and a Magentic Keybox (great for a micro cache)"

Edited by Firehouse16 & Code3
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Been doing this for awhile and 3 years ago the same topic came up many times.


Here's a tip. BE THE FIRST TO FIND on a new cache. That way you'll likely find some better items.




Off topic a bit...but...my best first to find: a series of 4 caches along 3 miles (one way) of trail. First cache a $5 bill. Second and third caches...$20 bills. Fourth cache...$100 bill. This cache placer was well-off obviously and after finding 100 or so caches and placing about 6, he left for other interests.


Over the years my other good finds included:


$40 Red Lobster credit card

$10 Starbucks credit card

$5 Jamba Juice credit card

$5 Raleys Grocery credit voucher


Find about 1,000 caches and you'll find some good stuff!



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I've always thought that it's all in the eye of the beholder. For example, I've heard about people complaining about rocks in a cache, and well, I'm a bit of a rock hound, so if I think it's an interesting rock, I'll take it. I generaly try to keep my trades even, though that too is a relative thing, such as taking some quasi-interesting 'junk' and leaving a cool shell or something. I don't know if it's good or bad, but I also tend to move things between caches, things like toy cars, green army men, plastic critters, etc. will often find their way back into a cache after I've retrevied them. The way I see it, somebody may acctualy like what they find, everyone has their little things that they think are niffty, so why am I to judge? Now, broken stuff is another matter, but sometimes it's not always busted broken, sometimes it's just a new battery and that gigga pet or calculator is up and running. I haven't found any big ticket trade items yet, but I have found some plastic marine life toys that are now surrounding my desk. :)


This may be off topic, but as it relates tro trades, who knows? Anywho, what're the toughts about trading for a travel bug, either picking up, or dropping off?

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I just found a cache by a local group known for creating quality caches with quality items. I like to hunt for their stuff because they are 1. challenging and 2. rewarding.


However, the other day, I got to one of their caches and found (among other pieces of total junk) a ferry receipt, a parking pass that was good for 1 hour and expired months ago, a broken LCD clock, some expired coupons (left in the cache *after* they expired and other assorted crappy items. :) People had obviously taken advantage of this cache and returned totally useless items. Sad.


I can now see why some people create member-only caches, or make them more difficult (as in 4 or 5 rating) in order to give people a sense that they accomplished something. And for that, they should be rewarded, or they should be thankful and place something of value in the cache.


I agree that 'the hunt' is a big part of it, but there is nothing like getting to a cache and opening it to find some really great items inside!

Edited by MrPeabody
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I know that when we set up a cache, I am not going to start out by putting junk in it. We go out and buy items relating to our theme. I think that as time goes on though, when we revisit our cache we will likely have to change out some of the stuff in there if it gets junked up. I realize that for most it is all about the hunt, but it would be nice if the contents were not out of the trash can. We keep a bag of some very small stuff we've picked up at the store. The buck or two here and there isn't too bad and I guess I've felt it would be disrespectful to leave something junky in the cache when we find it. But then again, one person's junk is anothers treasure. We found a little pirate in a cache this weekend that looks just like our avatar, but to anyone else I am sure it would be junk. Lucky for us, we live in an area that has well maintained caches. We do find some bad stuff, but the majority is usually something cool......



Edited by SoMDCacherz
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