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Trade Items

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I am just starting out in the world of geocaching ( trying to save up the extra money to get a nice gps) and been looking through the site here. I found out about geocaching through an online friend and it really caught my interest. I have 2 small children who I try desperatly to get outdoors but the find it soooooo boring. Thought maybe a nice treasure hunt would be great to get the excited about being outdoors. My biggest question so far is what is considered good trade items? I'd like to round up a few things by the time I get my gps and really have no clue what to start with. I'd like to take some adult friendly items to trade incase I find something I can't live without and let the kids take some things to trade also. Is it acceptable to let my kids take some of their toys, given they are in good condition and traded evenly? Are cool or useful items from the dollar store good ideas? After reading the bad trade posts I'm scared to trade. LOL :) Thanks for the help.


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Big CONTROVERSIAL topic: So, where I think the middle-of-the-road is, is this; real good is batteries for gps, nice $1 items fromt he dollar store, some items are ok from yard sales (but some would just be wrong). There are those who trade used McToys, and there are those who think $5+ items would be good. A lot of times I leave my signature item and take nothing...that way I stay away from the "trade-up" problem. If, however, the cache is average, I can trade Ty Beenies, and key chains, and things like that. The real thing is, don't trade a used golf ball for a 4-pack of batteries.

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I agree. It's a good rule of thumb to trade up. You know leave the cache a litle richer than you found it. There is no perfect trade item. Just try to trade atleast eavenly. and always always always remember adult stuff is good. But make sure you trade things you wouldn;t mind if your kids found. This is considered a family sport. Geo caching isn't really about what you take or leave, it's more about spending time with your family and friends and the thrill of the hunt. I normally only sign the logs and TNLN.

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There's a store near me that sells novelty items. I find these are good if a cache is missing things for kids. Little whistles shaped like various things, little kaleidoscopes, little slinkies, squishy lizards, that sort of stuff. A buck or less, usually. Finding a place that sells nice small seashells or polished rocks is good, too.

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Here is a partial list of things I've left in caches. Many are under a buck and most are under $3:


Small US flags

US flag pins

modeling clay


Energizer squeeze lights


bags of toy soldiers

Swiss Army knives (now banned :) )

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)


clip on safety strobes

bungee cords

LED key lights

"euro" stickers & other decals

mini sewing kits

folding scissors

maps (hiking & road)


travel 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



pin on round compasses

Leatherman type multi tools (now banned :) )

movies on VHS & DVD

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

Mylar emergency blankets

new decks of cards (full sized and mini)

new wallets

individual packs of Armor-All & Rain-X wipes

survival whistles

small cans of insect repellent

Wheresgeorgebills and stamps

Geocaching.com hats, pins, patches and compasses


Things not to put in caches


Anything that you would ordnarily have thrown away. Heavily used, soiled, or broken items, bus ticket stubs, expired coupons, gift cards with 11 cents left on them, etc... Caches aren't garbage recepticles, though sometimes it's hard to tell.

Edited by briansnat
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Now just gotta get the gps and get out before the really cold weather sets in.


That's the best time. No humidity, no bugs, great reception.

Agreed. :)


Not too much I can add to Brians list but...

Bookcrossing Books

Travel Bug Tags

Tape Measures

Touch Light

Mini Mag Lights

Mini Binoculars

Dog Toys (nothing scented)


Lately my sig item is some kind of carabiner, usually with an LED on them. I'll leave one even if I don't take anything.

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Cool weather dosen't bother me but snow and freezing temps do.LOL Plus with two small kids not exactly friendly to them either. I'd move to a warmer climate but I don't do well in the heat either. Guess I'll just have to suffer either way unless someone knows where I can find a place that has about 60 degree temps year round. :o

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I used to think I wouldn't want to cache in the snow and cold too. Until I tried it, (cabin fever!!) and decided it was FUN! You have the parks all to yourself, except the occasional cross country skier. No bikes whizzing past you; no critters to chew on you. Just dress in layers and have your water in a well insulated container so it doesn't freeze too fast. The big negative is that the cold, much below 20*, drains your batteries and causes your GPS LED display to move very slooowwwwllllyyyyy. Just keep the GPSr inside your coat as much as possible. There are tons of cold weather caching topics on these boards if you search for them.


But winter is no reason to hibernate, IMO.

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I like it when someone leaves something wierd, that makes you go, "now you don't see one of those every day!"


I found a cache in Germany with the wierdest looking fuse-type thing in it, I brought it home as a souvenir.


If all else fails, I try to leave a coin from some foreign country. Those are usually interesting.

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