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One man's trash....another's treasure


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What treasure do you leave in a cache? Do others think it is trash or treasure? I often leave ten year old baseball cards, found at no cost in my kid's room, 20 cards in a card sized ziplock; toastie toes, heated feet pads from a Walmart clearance bin for 75 cents a pair; Z-cards, a small plastic credit card sized toy with pop-out pieces that make a 3d plane, 25 cents in a clearance bin; and rain ponchos, 2/$1 at the dollar store.

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Those all sound like perfectly acceptable treasures. I like to try to have stuff for kids and adults in the ones I’ve hidden.

 

The best treasures are always something odd or unusual, things the average person can’t just go out and buy. I like to seed my caches and trade military patches, pins or similar crapaphernalia. Look around at work; see what kind of weird or peculiar things you work with every day that might be cool for someone outside your industry. It doesn’t matter if it’s necessarily useful or practical. I have only kept one trade item since I started; a tiny hand-painted ceramic teepee. It has no use whatsoever, was probably less than a dollar to buy, but I think it looks cool. It is usually sitting on the tip of my wireless access point antenna.

 

http://fp1.centurytel.net/Criminal_Page/

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Oh, I know I am going to get trashed about this one, but I like to leave pocket knives. I don't know why people think they are such a bad item. I think it's a handy thing for any hiker. The ones that I have left in cache boxes are brand new and in their original packaging. They shouldn't be a danger to children that are looking through the trade items since you need a knife to open the plastic packaging to get at the knife!

 

I did find a lighter in a cache the other day though and took it out (left something in it's place). I didn't think that was a very good idea - especially in a wooded area.

 

I seem to be addicted to buying dollar store items - even though I don't trade very often. I have a bag full of stuff in the trunk of my car. It's usually an assortment of toys that I think kids will find cool, and other things like tape measures, tools, sewing kits, pocket knifes (as I already mentioned), puzzle books, magnets, pins, etc.

 

I've rarely spent more than $2 on any single trade item, and most are in the $1 range. Sometimes I have added used items from home like a CD that I no longer listen to. Who needs to have a garage sale when there is geocaching? (Oh sure, now I'm going to get bashed for encouraging people to put their old junk in cache boxes - oh well).

 

-Junglehair

 

I thought I was wrong once, but I was mistaken.

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quote:
Originally posted by junglehair:

Oh, I know I am going to get trashed about this one, but I like to leave pocket knives. I don't know why people think they are such a bad item. I think it's a handy thing for any hiker.


 

I completely agree with you and I see no problem with leaving pocket knives except...I think that they have been banned by the "powers that be". Therefore I think we should stay away from leaving these until such time as the policy is changed.

 

I always leave my signature item (see my avatar) and I rarely pick up anything except other signature items. As long as you trade evenly or up, however, I think that it is a good trade.

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Whenever I see a pocket knife in a cache I usually grab it. Especially if it was in a cache that was in an area that is easily accessible by children without adult supervision. I have taken to dropping off the pocket knives, since I had amassed quite a collection in only a couple days.

 

When I leave them, it is in caches with 3+ terrain difficulties in areas that you would not see kids playing by themselves. Just trying to prevent them being found by kids who are just playing in the area, then stumble across the cache.

 

Signature? I don't need no stinkin signature!!!!

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I have no problem with pocket knives if placed in appropriate caches. Putting one in a cache next to a playground is not a good idea. Put one deep in the woods, then fine. Here is a partial list of stuff I've placed in caches. Most are under $3 and a lot of them are under a buck:

 

US flags

flag pins

modeling clay

carabiners

Energizer squeeze lights

stickers

bags of toy soldiers

pocket knives (um I mean tools)

water colors

mini screwdriver sets

allen wrench sets

gel pens

boxes of crayons or colored chalk

emergency rain ponchos

packs of AA batteries

collectable coins (buffalo nickels, indian head pennies, SBA or Sacagawea dollars)

Music CD's

Blank RW CD's

Cassettes (blank and recorded)

calculators

clip on safety strobes

bungee cords

LED key lights

"euro" stickers & other decals

mini sewing kits

maps (hiking & road)

software

small packs of Wet Ones or Baby Wipes

Hot Wheels and Matchbox cars

key rings

bags of balloons

velcro fasteners

interesting buttons

foreign money

rolls of film

lighters (I don't care what they say)

movies on VHS & DVD

office supplies (packs of paper clips, thumb tacks, Post-Its, etc...)

Mylar emergency blankets

decks of cards

packs of Armor-All & Rain-X wipes

survival whistles

Wheresgeorge bills and stamps

Geocaching.com hats, pins, patches and compasses

 

"Give a man a fish, he'll eat for a day. Teach a man to fish, he'll sit in a boat and drink beer all day" - Dave Barry

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I bought a fair quantity of geobuttons (by honeychile). In quantity, they're around $1 or less. They are quite professional and attractive and they come in a variety of interesting styles. I've noticed that they are usually picked up by the next finder(s).

 

icon_frown.gifI can't seem to remember how to find honeychile's buttons on the web, however. Maybe someone else can post the link.

 

I think she does customized buttons too, so you could use them as signature items.

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My advice? Leave something that has meaning to you or which YOU think is interesting or cool. If someone else has a problem with what you left so be it.

 

Just try to be fair as far as trading. Obviously if you leave a golf ball in exchange for a pocket knife you might take some flak. Just use some common sense and you should never have to apologize for what you've left.

 

Some people go ballistic over McDonald toys. I really don't see the problem.

 

Jolly R. Blackburn

http://kenzerco.com

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

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Im really new to this but I have about 12 finds and I have decided if Im going to hit a couple a week I can afford $5.00-$10.00 trade items that are of some use to someone. The best thing I have found so far is a movie that probably cost $5.99 at walmart but I was thrilled to see something of value and intrest that wasnt a toy. I know its the thrill of the hunt but its a nice surprise to find something of use also. I guess if I had the time to find more than a couple a week it may be a different story.

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quote:
Originally posted by junglehair:

 

I've rarely spent more than $2 on any single trade item, and most are in the $1 range. Sometimes I have added used items from home like a CD that I no longer listen to. Who needs to have a garage sale when there is geocaching? (Oh sure, now I'm going to get bashed for encouraging people to put their old junk in cache boxes - oh well).

 

-Junglehair

 

I thought I was wrong once, but I was mistaken.


 

I actually placed a cache recently called "Housecleaning Cache" that was a collection of things I'd found while cleaning out the basement that I didn't need anymore, but it wasn't quite "trash." A muffler repair kit, a giant pencil and eraser, a clock/voice recorder unit, and some other goodies. I wonder if the title will throw people off from coming to it, but at least the visitors so far have enjoyed it. icon_smile.gif

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I like to find quirky and unusuall things that give me a sense of the spirit of the people who were at the cache before me and like to leave things of the same nature. I like the sense of connection that this gives me.

 

The other things I do, if nothing is particulary interesting is to trade a small item (an plastic army guy, for example) and put into the bag I usually take cahcing. Then I'll leave it in the next cache, sort of an anonymous Travel Bug.

 

And lastly: lately we've been experimenting with geo-tokens on which we've printed our e-mail adress to track thier travels. I haven't gotten any responses so far so either people are keeping them or they're not moving.

 

Junglehair and I probably cross paths most frequently of all the people in these forums being from the same geographical vicinity. So if you're reading this, Junglehair, keep an eye out for our coins!

 

"Now may every living thing, young or old, weak or strong, living near or far, known or unknown, living or departed or yet unborn, may every living thing know happiness!"

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I dont' see a problem with the knives if they're in that dadgum packaging... You can't break into those with anything short of a saw half the time. (I had to open that kind of packaging, and it took me more than a minute and I was using scissors)

 

I've been amassing a collection of *gasp* Kids Meal Toys. (Hey, but they're not McToys cause they're not from McDonalds!) I tend to buy myself kids meals when I go to fast food places cause they're cheaper and plenty of food, but what's a 20 year old need with a Arby's Kids Meal magnetic bug? Some kid will think it's cool... I think I'm going to make a cache with nothing but happy meal toys somewhere... lol.

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I like the idea of obsolete (to you anyway) movies and computer games. They are things that another player might want, but would never take the time/effort to go out and buy for themselves. I have also, while camouflaging ammo cans, cammo painted a small battery powered clock, pencil sharpener, etc.

 

I’m actually disappointed to see a cache filled with dollar-store crap anymore. I usually take nothing unless the cache is so full of crap that the lid won’t close.

 

http://fp1.centurytel.net/Criminal_Page/

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We are relatively new to Geochaching. When first gathering items to place in caches we were to look for, we chose things like: collectable coins, gemstones, things we would be happy finding. Our initial thought was that we would trade out said items in caches that contained interesting things we wanted to find. Of course most of the items we wanted to find were gone and had been replaced with "junk" items. I'm not talking about things like used CD's or movies, I don't consider those types of things "junk," I'm talking about trading something like a used hairband for a nice hat pin. I say if someone is intent on leaving a used hairband that's fine but at least put something else in there too (as long as it's not another used hairband icon_razz.gif). Needless to say I have been disappointed by such acts of inconsideration, after all someone cared enough to put nice things in their cache, so why not return the favor when trading. I think if a person cannot trade something of equal or greater value in a cache, just simply log it and maybe come back some other time with something nice to trade. Even though we have been disappointed by some of the traded items we have found, we are still thrilled about the whole thing.

 

icon_rolleyes.gif Don't expect great things and you won't be disappointed?

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I don't trade often, but here are some thing I have on hand or have used.

 

Keychain lights

compact flashlights

small or med. caribiners (non-climbing0

light sticks (no, I don't mean small branches, either)

pocket warmers (Hey, it does get cold in Texas sometimes)

fishing lures (new, packaged)

 

A couple really cool ones (I think) that really didn't cost much:

personal fan (battery powered)

Etch-a-Sketch (not one of those tiny ones, but a med-sized one)

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quote:
posted August 07, 2003 10:18 AM

I like the idea of obsolete (to you anyway) movies and computer games. They are things that another player might want, but would never take the time/effort to go out and buy for themselves.


 

Oh, good. I have a stack of software that Goodwill won't take. I'm prepping it to become a bunch of geocache items (taking out of boxes, putting in jewel cases or CD envelopes, etc.). I just wasn't sure until recently how well it would be received. I live and cache in the Silicon Valley-- I often feel that everyone has an obsolete copy (or ten) of Microsoft Office around somewhere.

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Some may say that it’s not about the treasure, but to a certain extent it is. It’s another form of interaction between people. Putting a piece of real useless junk in the cache is an insult to an extent. If I walk up to you and tell you “I don’t want anything from you, here is a FREE used hair band.” I’m not going to waste the energy it takes to extend my arm, take the band, walk to a trash receptacle, relinquish hold and watch it hit the bag. I wouldn’t do it in person and I wouldn’t do it in a cache.

 

And keep in mind, it’s not like I’m saying that I’m mad because I have gotten junk. I have never done a cache. I only heard about this concept 2 days ago. But it’s like exchanging gifts at Christmas. Sure you don’t expect a present but what do we all do when we get in the car and leave grandmas? Complain about the crocheted plant hanger. Not to mention, when I one day bring my daughter along, I want her to be able to be excited about what trinket she can trade for. Nobody wants to see their kid saddened because someone left a freakin used hair band!

 

It may be naive but I still think treasure chests need to contain some semblance of treasure.

 

-------------------------------------------

http://www.hardcorebodybuildingontheweb.com

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I just placed my first cache yesterday and I tried to put some "useful" (for cachers) stuff in: caribiners, notepads, batteries, bug-bite band-aids - and guess what - all of those items are gone already! All bought at the dollar store. I also added some kid-friendly stuff - bubbles, super bounce balls - and the bubbles are gone too! My "signature" (at this point) items to leave are keychains that I make with nice (not toy or plastic) beads, and small ziplocks with nice glass beads (I used to own a beaded jewelry store, and I still make jewelry). I have noticed that they get picked up quickly. I would really like to have a team patch, so I am working on having some made. I am hoping to place some "theme" caches, just because it sounds like fun. I have only been doing this for two weeks, and I am having a blast!

Jessica

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I'm new to the obsession also, but having a great time with it... I've noticed that you can complain about this on the forums until the "cache" cows come home (many have), but there will always be "less-than-desirable" items left in caches...

 

maybe what we should do is change expectations AND some of the language associated with geocaching...??

 

My "theory" (aHEM) is we should stop calling caching a "high-tech treasure hunt", and banish the word "treasure" from the sport/game altogether, because it gives the mistaken impression that what you find in that tupperware or ammo box is going to be highly valuable... I've seen a lot of newbies on these forums complaining about that very thing.

 

what should we call it instead?

 

High-tech Stuff Hunt!

High-tech box hunt!

High-tech hunt for boxes containing stuff that may or may not be to your liking!

 

I don't know... it's one of those problems that has no solution, I guess. icon_confused.gif

 

What I found out, (for me, anyway), is that as long as there's a logsheet I'm happy with it. I like the search and I like the places it takes me to. icon_smile.gif

 

This said, though, I will also admit that we don't exchange presents at Christmas, either!, in fact, we don't celebrate it at all. icon_eek.gif

 

Happy Caching, everybody!

 

quote:
Originally posted by SkyeMaloney:

Some may say that it’s not about the treasure, but to a certain extent it is. It’s another form of interaction between people. Putting a piece of real useless junk in the cache is an insult to an extent. If I walk up to you and tell you “I don’t want anything from you, here is a FREE used hair band.” I’m not going to waste the energy it takes to extend my arm, take the band, walk to a trash receptacle, relinquish hold and watch it hit the bag. I wouldn’t do it in person and I wouldn’t do it in a cache.

 

And keep in mind, it’s not like I’m saying that I’m mad because I have gotten junk. I have never done a cache. I only heard about this concept 2 days ago. But it’s like exchanging gifts at Christmas. Sure you don’t _expect_ a present but what do we all do when we get in the car and leave grandmas? Complain about the crocheted plant hanger. Not to mention, when I one day bring my daughter along, I want her to be able to be excited about what trinket she can trade for. Nobody wants to see their kid saddened because someone left a freakin used hair band!

 

It may be naive but I still think treasure chests need to contain some semblance of treasure.

 

-------------------------------------------

http://www.hardcorebodybuildingontheweb.com

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I'm rather new to this so my question is, is it appropriate to leave "branded" corporate trinkets? For example, I have at my disposal a large number of those little Swiss Army keychain knives, lanyards, penlight keychains, sunglass holders that clip to your car's sun visor, lapel pins, etc. All have my employer's logo printed on them somewhere. Would this be considered too commercial?

 

__________

Gorak

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Here's what you do..

Put them in any cache you want, and e-mail me the coords before you post them on the site, I'll stop by and personally approve each item...yea, that's it! icon_wink.gificon_biggrin.gif

Seriously, I beleive the branded items are fine, and they sound like something I would like to find, and have actually found recently. One cache I found was in sight of the owner's place of business, and original contents were tons of branded items. Compasses, etc.

My vote is yes, load it up!!

 

"There's no need to be afraid of strange noises in the night. Anything that intends you harm will stalk you silently."

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quote:
Originally posted by Gorak:

I'm rather new to this so my question is, is it appropriate to leave "branded" corporate trinkets? For example, I have at my disposal a large number of those little Swiss Army keychain knives, lanyards, penlight keychains, sunglass holders that clip to your car's sun visor, lapel pins, etc. All have my employer's logo printed on them somewhere. Would this be considered too commercial?

 

__________

Gorak


 

Not at all. Commercial means (to me anyway) that the goal of placing an item in a cache is to generate business, and create gain for the placer. Just because something has a logo on it does not necessarily make it commercial. If I were to go out and buy a handful of $5 Starbucks cards and place them in caches, it would not be commercial unless I was getting a kickback from starbucks.

 

http://fp1.centurytel.net/Criminal_Page/

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I don't have a problem with "corporate" stuff, since alot of times the items are quite unique and useful to boot. And as far as knives go, I geocache with my kids (age 8 and 19) and have no problem with pocket knives in caches. My son has his own swiss army knife, although he once took a small one from one cache and later left it at another cache. All under my supervision, of course. Quite frankly, there are much more dangerous things in the woods than finding a pocket knife in a cache box (lions and tigers and bears, oh my!!).icon_biggrin.gif

 

We don't stop playing because we grow old...we grow old because we stop playing!

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I think the corporate stuff is great. A lot of us have been to conventions and noticed the “must have” hot item that everyone is walking around with. These then become the most used item next convention! Each exhibitor would kill to make a hit with the “must have” trinket at a large show!

Some of these things are so popular that they end up in the impulse buy spot next to the cash register in a lot of establishments. Beside some of the sales handouts are very useful, calculators, stopwatches, clock radios, travel alarms, (I’m always forgetting those things in the hotel room.) etc. I say go for it.

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I found my first two caches today, but didn't have anything to leave or trade. So I'm going back. I'm planning on leaving CDs that I've created of Freeware software.

 

Sure would love to find a pocket knife with your company's logo!

 

Is there a policy of throwing out ~really~ hideous items? Say, if I leave a pocket knife or calculator, can I take this particular butt-ugly item home and throw it away? Or do I have to re-cache it somewhere? Just wondering...

 

-Bob

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There is a policy about leaving pocket knives.

 

It might do you some good to read the FAQ:

 

quote:

What shouldn't be in a cache?

 

Use your common sense in most cases. Explosives, ammo, knives, drugs, and alcohol shouldn't be placed in a cache. Respect the local laws. All ages of people hide and seek caches, so use some thought before placing an item into a cache.

 

Food items are ALWAYS a BAD IDEA. Animals have better noses than humans, and in some cases caches have been chewed through and destroyed because of food items in a cache. Please do not put food in a cache.

 


 

But to answer your question, you are free to swap for whatever you want so long as it is of same or better value that you are leaving behind and do whatever you want with it. However, if that butt ugly item (as you so descriptively put) is a signature item, then you might want to exercise discretion. There are folks that look for them.

 

Cheers!

TL

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Thanks for the info. I did read a little, but browsed this, where knives aren't mentioned:

 

"Please! No alcohol, tobacco, firearms, prescription or illicit drugs. Let's keep this safe and legal."

 

And I think it could be resonably argued that a small pocket knife isn't the same as a "knife" that would be grouped together with firearms and explosives.

 

Yes, I think this particular item has a name written in marker; I'll just leave it. By the way, it's a ceramic angel with a plastic diamond embedded in the belly. Take my word for it, you wouldn't want to come accross it!

icon_smile.gif

Best Wishes,

Bob

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With the exception of travel bugs, I don't think you're REQUIRED to ever put items you get from a cache back into a cache. Many of the toys we find end up in Widget's Toybox at home. And then some things from her toybox find their way into cache circulation, too. But remember, just because YOU think something's hideous doesn't mean someone else won't want it!

 

-TeamWidget

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quote:
Originally posted by TotemLake:

There is a policy about leaving pocket knives.

 

It might do you some good to read the http://www.geocaching.com/faq.asp:

 


 

The knives in question have a relatively dull 1.25" blade and are packed in a small cardboard box. Hardly a weapon and probably less dangerous than the sharp pencil in the cache. They're designed to hang on a keychain. I think the key phrase in the FAQ was, "Use your common sense...". :-)

 

Cheers,

Gorak

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I left a few small keychain knives in different caches and got a big response from posting it. There are 2 camps out there and they will never agree weather its ok or not. It does not matter that the knife is small and dull, to one group a knife is a knife and can do as much damage as a gun in the right hands. If you don't believe me check out the link child unfriendly on the general page. Personally knives are cool with me, so are painted rocks someone took the time and effort to make, if someone puts time and effort into any cache item then I would consider it a well placed item. If however someone picks up a severed dolls head from their childs bedroom floor just before going caching and leaves it then they are a jacka$$

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A cache should have a variety of items in it. My son always goes for the toy cars - he thinks sig items are worthless. I'll take an interesting geegaw and leave some party store things for kids (rubiks cube keychain, el cheapo sunglasses, noisemaker, etc) and usually trade up in quantity. Park interpretive stores often have cheap neat things that work well as trade items - I recently picked up pewter acorns for < $1.00 each and packaged arrowheads for 50c each. I also recycle finds to a certain extent. It's been said before - you might think that spiderman McToy is crap, but some 5 year old at the cache will tell you it's the best thing yet. Geocaching appeals to all ages, and so should the items found.

 

ps1. Went caching a few weeks ago with someone who developed blisters on the trail. Cache had a few band-aids in it. They were a great find for her.

 

ps2. In regard to if the 'treasure' even matters or not. Do you go after caches if they're missing? Is a missing cache a 'big deal', or not? Is a virtual as satisfying as a regular? (to some people they are, I'm sure.)

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