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The Brits V Rest Of The World

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In the general forums, there appears top be a clear problem with geocachers 'trading down' or even downright stealing. As a newbie, I would be interested to know if this is an inately US problem or do we get our fair share in Blighty? Where is the best and the worst for this?

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I believe that trading down is when a geocacher takes something of greater value than he/she puts into the cache, and similarly, trading up is when a cacher puts in something of greater value than he/she takes, if you follow. If everyone trades down, then the cache contents become pretty abysmal.


In general, in Scotland at any rate, I have found that most people trade equally, or even upwards. I wonder if others agree?

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:D I would agree!......wouldn't take anything of a percieved value, unless replacing a similar item of the same ilk/value........and would rather record an "NTNL" log than walking away with a goodie......ok....I'm sad, but finding the cache, and more importantly, some of the superb locations uncovered by cachers means more to me than locating the the actual item!!....doh!!!!


I hope we can all, basically, appreciate the common denominator, and just enjoy a different day out! without condemming those who pursue the more specific aims of cache targets ......and Vice Versa!! To each their own....I would hope, and am pretty certain that GC cater's for all these aspects!!! As regards trading up or down....who cares.....how can you put a price on location or scenery... tnx FoF!!!!


My Thoughts!!! and Good GC 2 all, DD


To clarify, perhaps my last comment, and as mentioned by MCL I think that the value of the contents of a cache, usually does level out over a period of time whether it be up or down. In my limited experience, I have tended to find that the easier/busier the cache, then value of the contents was generally lower than that of the more demanding ones. which is really what you would expect in society.


Also, as per aisledog, I find the phrase 'Trading Up/Down' a really annoying misnomer which, in my opinion, gives the wrong impression of what GC is all about, and which must certainly be disconcerting to people, perhaps considering becoming a player, in an interest thats emphasis is really that of an outdoors pursuit.

How much can you trade up or down in a 35mm film canister anyway?. But Wait!, Now where did I put the Penny Black, the uncut Diamond and the neatly folded winning Lottery ticket?...I don't think so!

Can you Trade up/ down at a Virtual?...maybe that's part of their appeal, but hey, that's another story !

Rgds DD

Edited by DeputyDawg
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I'm inclined to agree with all of the above views. The term 'trading' is a misnomer in that it suggests the objective is to make a trade. In truth, I believe the objective is to find the cache..the contents is of secondary interest.


Nevertheless, there is something warming about the idea of someone leaving items of value for those following behind... and by contrast something disappointing about a thoughtfully and generously stocked cache being stripped out.


From the comments made, I take it that this is not particularly prevalent in the UK.

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I have discovered that the contents of two of my three caches has stayed pretty much the same sort of "quality", even though my caches have a high churn factor.


I do know that some caches that start of with very high value things in them do tend to slide downwards, mainly because when one swaps (for example) a CD burner out, one is unlikely to have anything quite so "expensive" in one's pocket to replace it with. Further, one is going to be quite pressed to find anything else quite so small yet expensive to exchange it with. So maybe a £50 item gets swapped with a £30 one, and then the next time a £20 one and you can see where it is all leading can't you? Some people might say don't take the high value item, but I say well what was it put in there for in the first place? Chances are i would put the item back into another cache anyway at some point.


But I think the tendency is that once the very high value items have gone, things settle down to a happy medium and stay pretty much on the level.


However, I wondered about this question too, a long while back, so I did an experiment. One of my caches was deliberately planted with, well frankly, a pile of old tat in it! Just to see what happened as item churn took place. In fact gradually the things got "traded up" until after about 20 visits the cache levels out at a higher overall "value". The difference overall was not very great, with maybe the total value of items in the cache going from £2 to about £5 and staying there. Now when I plant a cache I tend to spend about a fiver on it's contents, apart from the ammo box cost itself.


In fact that cache has been taken down temporarily while I refit it and add a few more goodies to it to give it a new lease of life. But frankly I don't really get hung up on the cost or the value of items in caches.

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Hi again GPSaxophone. Sure, come on over! There are some superb places to visit while geocaching, as Scotland's scenery lends itself to geocaching. The only problem is keeping the cache contents dry!

I would love to come over for a visit, but unfortunately it isn't in the budget right now. I do have a trip to China scheduled for next year though :D

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My attitude to ‘cache goodies’ and ‘trading’ has changed over the time that I’ve been involved. When I started I always took a good selection of cheap stuff with me and nearly always swapped something. The item I took from a cache went into the bag and would get swapped back into another cache at a later date. Then it slowly dawned on me (yeah... I know… treacle brain, that’s me) that all I was doing was moving, for the most part, a lot of stuff that nobody really wanted from one cache to another and not improving the quality of the caches in any way at all. Now I just take a few new, good quality items with me and only swap if I find something that I actually want to keep. I no longer just move stuff around for the sake of it. Sometimes, if I’ve particularly enjoyed a cache or if the box looks a bit bare, I’ll just leave something anyway.

What I have found myself doing more and more is simple ‘cache maintenance’… you know, packing stuff in new ‘zip-loc’ bags and making sure that they’re properly closed. How many times have you found an un-sealed ‘zip-loc’ bag in a cache?

I now carry a few sheets of paper kitchen towel in my rucksack to dry stuff when a cache box has let the rain in. Another thing I take with me now is a few laminated A5 and A6 size ‘stash notes’ which I’ll leave if there isn’t one in the box or if the one that’s there is just a soggy, folded sheet of paper.

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It's a mystery, considering how good we all are about trading up, how that broken writstwatch ended up in my Dean Bridge cache...but that was a rare exception.


I've become trapped by my signature item (small handbound blank books, usually covered in leather). I tend to take whatever the toddler wants and leave a book, sometimes supplimented by the stone keychains I buy every year at the Edinburgh Festival. Since I make the books myself, I have a lot of trouble figuring out their "value", or if I'm trading up or down. (The toddler thinks I'm trading down, since who would want a little book when you can have a toy puppy or a pack of Christmas cards to play postman with?)


Some of it's to do with the eyes of the beholder, but yes, in general, the value of the stuff in the caches I've done has been pretty consistent, whether they're old or new, recently maintained or left to themselves. This is a good indicator that we're trading roughly even, and certainly not down.

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I hope you don't mind this newbie stiicking his oar in.


From my very limited experience the cache contents really don't play much of a part in the whole experience.

Most of the fun is in the finding.

Where as ask my 7 year old son and his friend who now really love "treasure hunts") and they will tell you just how much fun it is to stand for ages deciding what treasure to take and what to leave. <_<

Value really is in the eye of the beholder. A toy (fast food or otherwise) that takes their fancy is far more likely to be taken than a CD or other item I might use.

I introduced a little fun into a shopping trip recently by trying to find interesting items to leave in caches as we were running out.

I really don't think there can be many people who would spent the money on a GPS and then risk the nettles, brambles and other obstacles for the contents of any of the UK caches I have found or read about.

Just my tuppeneth



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I've become trapped by my signature item (small handbound blank books, usually covered in leather). I tend to take whatever the toddler wants and leave a book, sometimes supplimented by the stone keychains I buy every year at the Edinburgh Festival. Since I make the books myself, I have a lot of trouble figuring out their "value", or if I'm trading up or down.

Well I can say I was delighted to get my hands on one of your books at the cache bash. I think these type of hand made items are worth more than a boxfull of cheap tat! I am at present trying to come up with a suitible signature item of my own!


I have found that the good stuff seams to disapear from caches quite quickly to be replaced by stuff of lesser quality. The best thing I have found in a cache was a silva head torch and I only took it as the box was fit to burst. It was then placed in the next cache that I hid.

I normally take something that my daughter would like and replace it with something from my bag of assorted goodies that I carry with me, In some cases I have left several items behind in a sparse cache to pad it out a bit

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We've found that if there are valuable objects in a cache a lot of people won't trade them for fear of being seen to trade down. For example in one of our caches the diamond neckless that we put in the cache was there for months before it was eventually traded for a voucher for a 60' yacht.


Nobody has taken the goldbar we left in one of our caches and in an other the keys to a Ferrari are still there. Yet 1 small T&J bear only lasted an hour!- go figure.


Hope me mentioning this isn't seen as blatent cache advertising or just a quick way to drum up more visits to our caches. :(:):rolleyes::DB):D



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As we cache as a team, the decision isn't just left to me, and there is often quite a discussion between the kids as to what we will take.


I do try to "play fair", but admit that sometimes there is an item that takes one of the boys eye's, and afterwards I feel guilty that we traded down. As Summerlightning said, "the value is in the eye of the beholder" but for children, value is not the same as "want". I'm usually relieved when they pick something they consider "cool" and I think it costs less that what we're leaving.


Mrs Slog takes a more practical approach to the whole issue, saying that the items are there to be taken and that if they meant that much to the original owners they wouldn't have left them in the first place.

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I like to do a nice big first finders bag for my cache placements containing a nice bundle of goodies. (First finders feel free to comment! ;) )


I am now leaving little pocket kites in the caches if there is room as kiting is a particular hobby of mine, but I rarely take anything unless it is cacher related. (A badge or sticker etc)

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I'm not very interested in the contents of a cache, I'm more interested in finding them. I have only placed one cache so far and went for fun items to put in rather than anything of any real value. I have found about 20 caches so far and have seen some very full boxes and some very bare ones.


It was interesting to see that the sink plug from my cache moved to my daughters (Tigger Two) cache about a mile away.


I am sure some people are more interested in the contents than I am. Each to their own as long as you enjoy it! :lol:

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