Jump to content

Cache Maintenance

Recommended Posts

You place a brand new cache and stock it with 25.00 worth of swag, you have placed a good cache. Jump in time to a month later and it's now full of junk trades. You know what I mean, old golf balls, broken or even new Mac D toys, the basic stuff that people found in their house that they no longer want.


My question is...Should it be the responsibility of the cache owner to clear out the junk and restock it with decent trade items?


I want to hear your opinon. You can read mine in the August issue of Today's Cacher


El Diablo

Link to comment

While I think a cache owner should maintain the cache itself by cutting the junk, I believe that it is the responsibility of cachers to keep it nice. Once it is placed in a community's cach for the purpose of trade, it belongs to that community. Taking high end swag and leaving Mc Toys is just wrong. If it is the community's cache, and the community's swag then it is the responsibilty of the community to keep it nice.

Link to comment
My question is...Should it be the responsibility of the cache owner to clear out the junk and restock it with decent trade items?


El Diablo

If you are a responsible cache owner and properly maintaining the caching (physically checking them periodically) and in so doing this gives others the pleasure of the hunt, then yes, you do restock your caches. If you are in it purely for the numbers and don't care once you place it, or care only in that it survives, then I suppose you don't.

I prefer the former way.... :blink:

Link to comment

I think the 50th finder deserves as nice an experience as the 1st, so keeping the cache in good shape is important to me. When I initially place a cache, iI try to fill it with plenty of decent swag, so I don't have to go back frequently to replace it. But when I do make a maint visit, I usually re-seed the cache if it needs it. Each cache is a part of me in a way and I want people who find it to leave with positive feelings. If they find a soggy cache with a moldy logbook, filled with rusty garbage, that would be less likely.

Edited by briansnat
Link to comment
old golf balls, broken or even new Mac D toys


My son likes finding golf balls and Mac D toys.


Just because one person thinks the cache has junk in it does not mean the next will.


So why should I go clean "Junk" out of my cache?


This reminds me of a old post that a cache owner posted that they did not like the trading cards another person kept leaving in there caches. :blink:


My question is...Should it be the responsibility of the cache owner to clear out the junk and restock it with decent trade items?


I would not remove the "junk" but would restock (add items) the cache if it's getting low on items.


I would remove items that should not be in the cache such as food, candy, knives, etc....


What if it was someone like my 8 year old son who left a golf ball in a cache for a trade item and the cache owner notes that he cleaned the cache out because it was full of junk?


Ya, I bet he would just love reading that note on the cache page. :lol:

Edited by Milbank
Link to comment

I think that the ultimate responsiblity lies with the owner. Yes, it's all well and good to say that "Trade even or trade up" is the creedo to live by, but let's be honest. Does it really happen? No. Some 'caches degrade quickly, others take time, but every 'cache I've seen that I haven't FTF'd (or been in the first few finders) has obviously degraded. My personal fave was the one that was full of rusty closet door hardware!


At any rate, if as Brian says, you want the 50th finder to have the same experience as the first, then ya' gotta get your butt up there and clean out the carp. That said, not all McToys are junk. A friend of mine is a serious collector of these things, and I have a list in my pack of ones to be on the look out for. Old, broken ones, out they go, but if they are new and wrapped? Leave 'em in. Someone will like them!


What if it was someone like my 8 year old son who left a golf ball in a cache for a trade item and the cache owner notes that he cleaned the cache out because it was full of junk?


Ya, I bet he would just love reading that note on the cache page. 


In this case, I would say that my McToys analogy applies. If it's a new, good quality ball, sure, it's a trade item, especially for an eight year old, but if it's an old, beat up one, then I submit that you, as the parent should take the time to explain to him why it's not suitable.

Edited by tirediron
Link to comment
My question is...Should it be the responsibility of the cache owner to clear out the junk and restock it with decent trade items?

My opinion is that the cache owner's job is to ensure the cache is in fact in place, has a usable logbook, and is not full of slimy water. Beyond that they're just being nice. Its not their job to provide a box of free gifts for finders to peruse threw. If they want to go around giving out toys and stuff to people theres a better quicker way than caching them in the woods.


Personally, I do try to remember to add a few more new items after they've been out, as I visit for check ups and such (during which I do remove busted stuff and spam, etc.). But that quickly gets old, both expensive and just plain annoying waste of time, call me cheap if you want. I once considered just placing caches and waiting till I felt they had degraded to old ticket stubs and busted toys and then removing and archiving them. The reason I never did that, is you have that smaller group of the people that come along and help build the cache back up.

I also considered just placing log only caches, but I don't really care for them. Some of very good, but others sometimes give the impression 'i just wanted to place a cache'. Then there are those people that find trading a very important part of caching. I usually don't trade, unless there is something I just can't go buy (read sig items), but I know a number of cachers around here have and cache with childern, who seem to focus on checking out all the stuff inside and being able to trade :lol: .


I guess the short answer is restock No, but if they want to be nice they can. And clear out junk yes, totally useless busted toys, rocks, leaves, dead bugs, old ticket stubs :blink: , is no use to anyone and need to be relocated to a trash can.

Link to comment

I think that the owner needs to maintain the cache interms of log books, pencils, and keeping some trade items in them. It gets expensive to replenish them all the time. I wish that people would trade fair, but unfortunately not everyone has the same judgement of what is valuable. As someone has already said, junk to one person may be valuable to another.


What irks me more is finding your cache opened, so that it is flooded with water. To top it off the ziploc bags that were provided are left open. Now chances are this proabably doesn't happen alot, but it's unlikely the cache was put back in its orignial spot by a non-cacher. What is most irritating is that this was a good container who's lid seals quite nicely.


I also wish that people would give some update on the caches' condition in their log. Providing this information helps the owner know what to take when going to check on the cache.


So, that's my 2 cents worth. Thanks for the opportunity to speak up.


And by the way, I really enjoy the Today's Cacher!!!! Job well done!

Link to comment
You can read mine in the August issue of Today's Cacher

It's still July.

I know it's July...but I promise you that August will follow. :lol:


El Diablo

How do we know it will be YOUR opinion, and not a conglomeration of OUR opinions?? :blink:

I think that anyone that has been around the forums for awhile know that I have my own opinons about things, and I'm not shy about voicing them.


El Diablo

Link to comment

My team does our own maintenence on our cache hides. If something came up and a cacher notified us it needed maintenence before our scheduled 'maintenence day', one of us would go fix it up the next day.


I have found caches that had 'trash' inside. I am not talking about golf balls and Mctoys. I am talking about empty cigarette packs, expired coupons, etc. I will remove those and replace the trash I took with brand new items from my swag bag.


Ultimately, the maintenence is the owner's responsibility but if another cacher can help out OCCASIONALLY, I believe it would be much appreciated and help everyone enjoy the game even more.

Link to comment

Many of my caches start out totally empty besides a logbook while others are full of very desirable stuff, depending on the difficulty.

If you're looking to go shopping for good stuff geocaching is not for you.


The maintenance visits to my many caches usually incorporate removing dirty broken toys, spare sports cards, rubber balls, and broken, plastic jewelry.

When I'm done purging, the cache container is almost empty.

Link to comment

As a cache owner I check on my cache's every so often to pull out anything that's obvously junk (broken, dirty etc)

I also check to make sure there are no cracks and that the cache is still water proof and hidden well.


Other then that I leave the contents alone, it's already been pointed out that one adults trash is another kids treasure.

If I see a cache that has more then it's share of McD toys I will take a few and add some higher end items.

Link to comment

I love checking up on my caches and wish some of the more prolific hiders felt the same way.


While I'm sure there is a certain amount of pride to be had from owning dozens of caches the true pride is in aking care of them as well. I like to visit my caches, read the logs, grab the signature items for my trophy case, replace the slow-moving or unpopular swag, etc.

Link to comment

Yesterday I found a crumply, dirty, folded comic book in a cache, and I was going to trade for it to throw it away, then I saw that it was Powder Puff Girls (Huh?) so I figured some kid might go for it, so I traded for an ultra-cheap little car.

What gets me is how they can just get a lot of paper in 'em.

Link to comment
I thought that was just what you were supposed to do, when you owned a cache? :lol:

It is what a responsible cache owner is supposed to do. :blink:


But some people will hide a cache and then never go back to check on it or only go back when the log book is full.

Link to comment

I will investigate any credible report of a missing or damaged cache container, a full logbook, etc. In addition, I visit all of my caches periodically just "because." I believe that a cache owner should not set out a cache unless they enjoy returning to the location several times per year if for no other reason than to have a nice hike in the area while also checking the cache.


But when it comes to cache contents, I'm with those who have said that it is NOT the owner's responsibility to keep the cache stocked like it is some sort of mini-WalMart or Dollar Store. I spend an average of $15 to $20 to place a regular size cache and to stock it with good, new trade items. If it degenerates to $6 worth of used trade items, I may or may not add a few things when I visit. That is more the responsiblity of the cachers who visit the cache, and that is what I do when I visit someone else's cache and decide to take nothing, leave something. I will clean out any junk items or impermissible items left in my caches, however.

Link to comment

You need to hunt down the trash-cachers who took the good stuff and left the junk and beat them with your GPS! It floors me that people are so cheap to trade down. I went to a new cache the other day and this was it's contents:


Container contents include:

Log & Pencil




Golf Tee


$.50 worth of geoswag. Copied fake money and a golf tee. So I wrote:


"The geoswag was so good I decided to leave it for the next person."


I don't think the cache owner got my drift. I just kept thinking, I drove 25min for a cache who's coords were 70' off, it was a old wornout small margerine container and crap swag. Kinda peeved me, I guess I take pride in leaving somewhat decent geoswag in my caches. And if they end up full of junk, well that's on the cheap cachers who visited it prior. I won't restock my caches, but I have several times taken all the junk from a cache and replaced it all with cool stuff, only to have the junk rearrive in it within a few months. I give up!


I had one person say: Took calculator, left little green army man. To say the least I went off on them!

Link to comment

As a cache owner I do not feel I have a responsibility to keep it filled with quality items. When I placed the two I have placed so far I put a variety of stuff in there. There were a few nicer things for the first few finders but alot of the stuff was stuff that I had retrieved from other caches. If, over time, the contents become mostly or all junk then so be it. As long as there's room in the cache for trade items then I don't think there's anything else I should be required to do with the contents.



Link to comment
My opinion is that the cache owner's job is to ensure the cache is in fact in place, has a usable logbook, and is not full of slimy water. Beyond that they're just being nice.

This pretty much sums up my opinion too. Trading is something I do quite seldom, and I don't pay much attention what the cache contents are. So I don't expect any cache owner to maintain a nice variety of brand new toys (or whatnot) in their caches.

Link to comment

I guess it really depends on why you are caching and/or hiding.


If you are just in it for the hunt then I am guessing what is inside (other than no water and a log book) really does not matter. I do find looking through to see what people have left to be fun sometimes. But I don't think I am really going to drive somewhere to go walking in the woods in the hopes that someone will be leaving something hidden under a fallen tree that I really need or have to have. I just find it a little easier to go to the store where all the aisles are marked.


It is nice that a hider spends some time and money to stock a cache. But I don't think anyone should expect them to keep it filled with nice (whatever that may mean) stuff. That should be our job as finders. Somebody went through the trouble of creating a cache can't people just show a little respect. Yes we already know the answer to that.


In case someone out there is a complete idiot: trade even or up or don't take anything at all. And don't leave crap that is usless to you, like empty packs from your smokes or the ticket stub from that bad movie you saw last month. How stupid do you have to be to think that is even a good idea.


But no I do not think anyone should expect the hider to do anything other than making sure the cache is in good shape (I define that as a log book that is not full and the cache is not filled with water) and hidden in the same spot as it started. Anything else should be thought of as a gift from the hider or other cachers that have passed that way.

Link to comment

I've placed caches with cool swag and caches within nothing but the log. To a fault I let them follow their natural course. I've seen them get traded down and back up.


Swag is cool. It's like cheking your mail when 99.9% of what you get is junk and bills. That 0.1% makes it all worthwhile.


If I pull a cache I'll dump the junk and keep the cool and recycle it in the next cache.


The ups and downs of swag in a cache are like the pulse of the community. The cache owner is under no obligation and shouldn't feel guilty if they let the community trade as they choose. A cache owner that keeps their caches stocked with great stuff though is going above and beyond the call of duty and in so doing they do make the experience for seekers of their caches a better one. Even if you don't trade at all.

Link to comment

Cache maintanance, IMO should involve ensuring the container is in good shape, the log book is still usable, and has a useable writing instrument . Restocking a cache with swag, is purely up to owner. I think it is unfair to expect a cache owner to restock their cache when cacher finders make unfair trades.


Cache swag in a cache is a reflection of the caching community in the area.

Link to comment

I rely on finder's logs to inform me of a cache's condition.

If the container is broken or leaking I replace the container.

If the container (and contents) are missing, I'll replace it all.

Maintance is replacing logbooks only if needed.

I always (and hope others) trade up. If a cache of mine is low on quality items, I know eventually someone will trade a better item. There are times where I leave several items in another's cache to boost it, but rarely my own.


My .02...



Link to comment

As stated about a million times thus far, I think a cache owner should maintain caches like they're supposed to. Replace the stuff inside? Depends. Get rid of the old crap some cachers leave. Tanis and I don't have kids, but we don't mind the toys unless they're just something someone grabbed from underneath the back seat of their minivan. What I really don't like finding is: USED hair-bands, screws, a key, a rock, coupons, pocket lint... I've been in a situation where you get to a cache and realize "Nuts, I don't have my great trading item with me," so you think, "Do I have anything good on me." At that point, people just need to TNLN.


Off topic, once we did a night cache by a REALLY creepy old barn. In our rush to log the cache and get back to the safety of the car, we grabbed an item, but forgot to leave one. Didn't realize the mistake until we got home. We were going to put a few things back in as replacements, but then the cache went deactive because the barn was torn down.



Link to comment

I've been geocaching for ...ummm... about 5 weeks. I noticed early on that the contents of some caches appear to have been burgled. Without prompting or instructions, I've purchased some unusual items to trade.


My favorite items are small but fun, like hair ornaments for women and girls, "bargain" CDs from well-known musicians, pretty little household items, symbolic medallions, "southwestern" items, all of which are still in original wrapping. My favorite places to find such tchotkes are Ross Dress-For-Less, T.J. Maxx, Target or the local stores that carry cool little souvenirs.


Most of the items that I choose to place are aimed at women and girls since I've noticed that there are plenty of women in this sport but lots of masculine swag! :(


When I start placing my own caches, they will be stocked initially with a variety of cool stuff. I have some ideas for thematic caches too. Don't know yet what I'll do if they end up full of junk... Ask me in a year.


One more thing: Santa Fe gets lots of tourists, so the contents of any accessible cache likely do not reflect the local caching community as much as visitors who want souvenirs. Just my humble opinion.

Link to comment

I just check that the container is still dry, there is room in the logbook, and that there is a pencil in the cache. I'll throw out obvious junk or inappropriate items.


The local cachers bring the junk on themsleves. I've read to many logs that say:


"Took waterproof brass match case, left a lottery scratcher I got for free at the at the quickie-mart."




"Took Mini Maglite, left a golf ball I found on the trail."

Link to comment

We'll clean out the trash and if there are only a few items left we'll add some more.


We don't have a problem with folks not trading properly around here. While there is the occasional questionable trade item, for the most part the community is doing a jam up job trading.


Another way to look at it is the level of quality of the trade items is a measure of how the community wants it.


If folks are thinking they're trading fairly...


Excellent topic, BTW. Gets to the core of caching.

Link to comment

As a newbie, I am still learning the "trade up, even or don't trade" concept....


For instance, I have traded everything from playdough to cheap cars to hotwheels/matchbox cars, to ceramic figurines, to McD toys (new), to Mellon Arena/Penguins swag......Now, the cheapie cars were like 5 for $1....the Matchbox cars are about $1 each....the Mellon Arena swag, some of it was selling for as much as $15.00 each (I get it much much cheaper)......


I have seen some nice stuff in caches and some bad stuff......


One cache had nothing other than paperclips and binder clips in it......you can imagine Tyler's (5) and my face when he saw THAT stuff.....in that instance we definately traded up...left things like cheapie cars and playdough....


Another cache we were FTF and took a bota bag...but nothing really kid related....Tyler wasn't pleased but i was.....left Mellon Arena swag.....


On another, it was all stuff like marbles and GI Joe men and such......I wasnt crazy about the swag but Tyler and Dylan (2) were ecstatic! Left more Mellon Arena swag.....


I guess the point is, determining "what is good swag" is as difficult as figuring out the "WOW" factor I read so much about......


Empty cig packs and such though is an obvious no-brainer.....


But in the end, we enjoyed each and every cache...just becasue we found it and had a good time doing it.....


I loved walking away with a bota bag, but had it been a cache full of cig butts I would have enjoyed the cache just as much.....would have been irked by the rudeness of whomever left butts, but still would have enjoyed the experience....


So, hopefully, the trades my sons and I do won't irk anyone..... :( Can't please everyone all the time though....



Link to comment

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

  • Create New...