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What Goodies Would Be Good For Swag?


'Jeep'ers
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Here is a partial list of things I've left in caches:

 

Small US flags

US flag pins

modeling clay

carabiners

Energizer squeeze lights

stickers and decals ("euro", bumper and child oriented)

books

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)

calculators

clip on safety strobes

bungee cords

LED key lights

mini sewing kits

maps (hiking & road)

software

travel packs of Wet Ones or Baby Wipes

Hot Wheels and Matchbox cars

key rings

bags of balloons

velcro fasteners

interesting buttons

padlocks

foreign money

rolls of film

lighters (now banned)

kazoos

Leatherman type multi tools (now banned )

movies on VHS & DVD

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

Mylar emergency blankets

decks of cards

wallets

compasses

individual packs of Armor-All & Rain-X wipes

survival whistles

Wheresgeorge bills and stamps

Geocaching.com hats, pins, patches, etc...

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I like finding homemade stuff or new stuff. Used and broken McToys, tools, or other trade is of little interest to me.

 

Following up on the previous list - I have traded with and stock caches with:

 

rolls of Duct tape

matchbox cars

jewelery

inexpensive watches

calculators

tools

mugs

mylar blankets

emergency lights

foriegn coins

flashlights

batteries

bookmarks

computer parts (memory, video cards, CPU once)

package of markers

books

cds

DVD movies

misc dollar store items

coupons

gift certificates

etc.........

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We have been planning on releasing our first cache sometime this spring, this is a list of some of the things that we plan on putting in it.

 

All items are always brand new, and when possible left within packaging.

 

Bicycle Playing Cards

Insect Science Kit (Test Tubes etc... for examining and learning about insects)

Peg and Block building kit (Like tinker toys / Connex)

Bandanna from Video Game Grand Theft Auto San Andreas

3D Wooden puzzle

1 Pack of Golf Balls (3 count) with TV Show Curb Your Enthusiasm logo on each.

- Wanted to put these in as a bit of a joke, considering so many people put

golf balls.

 

There are a couple other items that I cannot recall right now while at work, but it gives you some idea. The most expensive item in this cache would probably be the insect kit or playing cards which came to around 4 dollars canadian each. the wooden puzzle and tinker toy type toys were obtained from a dollar store but have a look to them that suggests they might not have been.

 

It is not difficult to find things while shopping that are cheap and have some wow factor for putting into caches. Not only dollar stores offer cheap items which can be used. Garage sales as mentioned above, craft stores, bargin (not dollar) stores, large department stores. It just might take a little looking around.

 

I do not expect to see items like these in caches all the time. One of the things that makes this hobby so appealing to many people is the fact that it is inexpensive. But I don't think many people can argue that it is nice to find something with a little wow factor when we open these little containers. We like to try and lead by example, always trading equal or up. And always leaving something that is new, or in so good of condition it could be mistaken as such.

 

Other items we have left and found with a little more quality....

 

A super bouncer that played multiple sound clips after impact

small wooden model kits

plaster ornaments from craft stores (we found an apple which we grabbed due to our name of course)

pen kits

playing cards

collectors cards (trading cards)

movie memorabillia

decorations for xmas trees

flashlights (tactical armour casing)

watches (approx $10 value)

rubber figurines in good condition (disney etc)

stuffed animals

beanie babies

reference guides

 

I should mention that alot of these were obtained from dollar stores or bargin stores for 2 dollars or less, usually $1

 

books with a catchy title or image on the cover are a great way to attract people to reading, hopefully you can match these up with an excellent story as well.

 

Hope this gives you some ideas

 

Apples 2 Apples

Edited by Apples 2 Apples
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Hot dogs. I really like to find hot dogs in a cache. Especially if I bypass lunch to log another couple of caches (like on a work day). :anibad:

 

However, since the evil TPTB have stated in the guidelines (who reads those darn things? :ph34r: ) that food is a no-no...

 

Anything unusual is a sure bet for popularity. Bird guide books, poisonous plant book, anything antique. I've noticed watches tend to get snagged up pretty quickly, regardless of their state operation.

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In addition to the above, one of our local sporting goods stores always has a closeout table of camping/hiking related items. I always check there first when re-supplying and have picked up some cool stuff. First aid packs, camper repair kits, small flashlights etc etc. Almost all of the items are under a buck but sold new for a lot more.

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I was thinking of putting some sports tickets in my first cache as a FTF prize this summer.

 

There's a AAA baseball team in my city that have great games/atmosphere to take the lady, kid, brother, mistress.. & very affordable tickets..

 

as for trading I have some Mini-cars (cheap/small) and various pins & buttons supporting California, It's the Cheese, Got Milk?. various other ag-oriented.

Edited by Marcie/Eric
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Just found my first cache yesterday. Very cool, I think I am going to be an addict. Anyway, I did not have any trinkets with me, so I left $1. Hopefully the cache owner will get it as a thank you for hosting the cache. <_<

 

What is the coolest thing you have found or left in a cache?

 

Can I get some suggestions for things to leave other then little plastic toys. I was thinking of buying a bunch of playing cards and leaving decks of cards for other cache hunters. Is this a good idea? :blink:

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Congratulations on your first find . . . and, yes, you are likely to become an addict . . . that seems to happen.

 

As to the cards as swag, we found a cache yesterday that had some cards in it, unfortunately they had gotten wet. If you leave cards, put them in their own sealed ziplock bag.

 

We found lot of cool swag yesterday on our successful hunt of 14 caches. I got some small colorful mini-markers, a small carabiner/compass combo and a heart fob. Some of the other things we found and liked were sort of goofy-looking things that would make good Travel Bugs.

 

In one cache I traded a small Fortress padlock and key for the item I chose.

 

I like keychains, small flashlights, and camping-related stuff . . . but then, I often don't know what I'm going to like until I see it and say, "Ooooh, I want that. What do I have that is equal to it to leave behind?"

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I’m going to go out on a limb and possibly step on a few toes here.

 

PLEASE DON’T TRADE DOLLAR STORE CRAP INTO A CACHE!!!!

 

If anyone wanted that garbage they’d just go to the dollar store and buy it themselves. Really, I’m going to spend $10 in gasoline for $1 worth of plastic or pot-metal junk? All that stuff just builds up in the cache until the lid won’t close and then the container leaks.

 

The best swag? Odd, cool, or personal items that are hard to come by. Military/police/fire dept patches, trade show items, really anything the average person might find interesting. The current favorite it seems are the sig items.

 

JMHO!

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OTOH

 

The majority of time when I trade (other than signature items) it's because I've got my three-year old daughter with me. If you put Dollar Store items in the cache you save me the hassle of navigating her around the Dollar Store and listening to her whine. Instead, she picks the one item out of the cache box that she wants and we move on to the next cache.

 

No drama, no fuss, lots of fun.

 

Bret

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Gee! That is a pretty harsh statement. If I worried what trade item I would get based on the amount of gas I used, I think I would have quit caching about 500 caches ago. I make geocaching buttons. If it is a small/micro cache I will try to leave a 1" button larger get either 1 1/4" or 2 1/4" inch buttons. This has made my trade problems non existant. Besides I get a real big kick when I run into another cacher and they are wearing one of my buttons.

 

Hawk

Team RedHawk

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I’m going to go out on a limb and possibly step on a few toes here. 

 

PLEASE DON’T TRADE DOLLAR STORE CRAP INTO A CACHE!!!!

 

If anyone wanted that garbage they’d just go to the dollar store and buy it themselves.  Really, I’m going to spend $10 in gasoline for $1 worth of plastic or pot-metal junk?  All that stuff just builds up in the cache until the lid won’t close and then the container leaks...

:laughing: I'm going to disagree with this statement (respectfully) on a number of levels:

 

1. Caching is more about hunting and finding than trading. Trading is almost incidental. Some of the best caches have nothing in them but a log book. The whole trading end of it is largely for youngsters who still wake up on Christmas morning able to think of nothing other than what they're gonna get. And along those lines...

 

2. Caching is a family activity. It's not just for college students or childless couples. Have you considered that all that plastic junk that doesn't appeal to you wasn't put into the cache for you? It's hard to go hiking with a child aged 6 to 10. Kids get bored, kids get tired. But I find that knowing that they're going to get a toy they can pick themselves usually makes them a little better behaved and more interested, and makes it easier for the parents to get out and do some geocaching. To my 8 year old daughter, that dollar store "junk" is really cool stuff, that ends up in her box of treasures. B)

 

3. Caching is supposed to be inexpensive. If I had to put an extremely unique personal item, or a $10 item in each cache I visited, I would end up blowing $50 to $60 a week on caching. Considering that makes the gas expenditure seem pretty secondary (which btw, imho, it is.) :) Raising the cost on caching will simply lower the participation level, which would not be good for the hobby (also imho). Secondly if caches tended to contain really nice items all the time like watches, portable radios, or what have you, then nice items would be less of a surprise when they did show up. Nothing makes you appreciate a nice compass or flashlight more than 10 buckets of matchbox cars and McDonalds toys. Thirdly, and finally, if caches contained items of real value more often, they would probably also be stolen more often. :D

 

4. Nice items do not necessarily have to be expensive, nor do they have to be made of stainless steel. You can find inexpensive items even at place like dollar stores that adults will take and have use (or a desire) for. Personally I like to check CVS when I am looking for cache items. They always have a nice selection of stationery, engineering pencils, small tools and convenience items, as well as some of the plastic junk that kids go for. When I visit a cache, I don't typically take any of the traditionally useful stuff out, typically I only look for 2 things--buttons and keychains. If a cache has a button or a keychain in it, I take it and attach it to my geocaching backpack. :D Over time the pack fairly jingles with little charms and decorations, and just looking at it I can see evidence of my progress. Buttons and keychains cost a pittance, so they're pretty much up there on the list of "cheap junk" and yet I love to find them. Especially custom buttons/keychains made to commemorate that particular cache or as a cacher calling card.

 

Which brings me to my two-headed conclusion: 1. one man's junk is another man's treasure, and 2. if you're into geocaching for the swag, you're missing the point, imho.

 

Don't get me wrong, I put nice items into caches on a regular basis, and it would be nice to see a little more of the same from other folks, but geocaching has a wide audience, and they all have different tastes. It might be a good idea to keep that in mind if a cache full of cheap toys gets your blood boiling... maybe if instead of imagining a bunch of cheapskate cachers, you imagined a bunch of smiling kids, you might be less annoyed. :D

 

Besides, if you show up with a $10 item, and the cache is jammed full of $0.99 items, then take ten of them. You'll be making space in the cache, putting a real nice item in there for the next folks, and to boot, you just picked up 10 small items you can drop in other caches... allowing you to space out your nicer items (or even pair them up with something for the younger crowd.) :D

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Good post, PlasteredDragon.

 

I found 14 caches yesterday. I didn't trade for something with all of them, or even most of them, but if I had to put something worth more than a dollar in each one, I wouldn't have the money for the gas to go caching . . . :laughing:

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I agree with PlasteredDragon. The stuff I picked up at Dollar Tree recently included a ver cool glass wind chime, a sewing kit, some silly putty, some playdough, a couple of small spirographs, and glow sticks. Not crap, in my book. I recently picked up a shot glass for a nearby theme cache, and I think I paid $2.50 for it at a convenience store.

 

Sure, we'd like to find a new CD or a $10 gift card, but the trade is mainly for the memories, in my opinion. Shoot, one of the cooler things I picked up recently was a little plastic frog who now sits on the dash of my Disco, partially in honor or Signal, and partially in memoriam of our little plastic frog Gollum which we lost on Guam around 7 years ago.

 

And for McToys, my daughter just about had an anurism when she found a Dash doll from McDs in a recent cache.

 

As long as it's not broken, is clean, and not garbage (i.e. candy wrappers, etc.), I think it's ALL valid.

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Yup . . . you can read all about it in my blog.

That's really terrific. Good for you! Boy, to think I was positively stoked the day I got 4 in one day.

 

BTW, I loved your blog and I just added you to my blogroll, and my bloglines feeds. Thanks for sharing that link.

 

I write about all sorts of stuff on my blog, but if you are just interested in articles on geocaching, this link shows only those.

 

If you want a real treat, you can read about this geocaching adventure I had last year which highpointed with a scary deep-woods discovery that required me to involve the local police. Of my meagre caching expeditions I remember this one most of all.

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I dont think it really matters what you put in a cache as long it adheres to the basic guidelines: no food, political or solicitation items (I think) or pornography.

 

However this topic has been talked about before in various forms. Some folks equate trading swag in geocaching with shopping at Wal-Mart or Target and lament over the "low quality" items in caches. Some loathe Fast Food toys (aka McToys).

 

With our first caches, we went to the Dollar stores too. Now the items we trade are ones have traded from other caches. It accumulates fast. Theme caches rarely stay that way. Basically, do whatever you like. Another persons art is another persons geocache swag........

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I would love it if I found a cd! especially one someone made with music they liked. !!!

The two caches my wife and I have placed have both been started out with four CDs a piece, most of them still wrapped. We always carry around several CDs to trade, though many times the cache containers are too small or two full for us to leave one of them.

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PLEASE DON’T TRADE DOLLAR STORE CRAP INTO A CACHE!!!!

 

If anyone wanted that garbage they’d just go to the dollar store and buy it themselves.  Really, I’m going to spend $10 in gasoline for $1 worth of plastic or pot-metal junk?  All that stuff just builds up in the cache until the lid won’t close and then the container leaks.

Some dollar store/thrift store stuff is crap. If you have good taste, you can find the fun/weird/good/cool stuff, which is half the fun. These items *seem* like you paid more for them, when in fact, they were affordable, and good for making caches much better than a McToy cache.

 

Here are some recent dollar and thrift store items I bought for caches:

 

* Women's socks with stripes, poka-dots, and mice (new), $1-1.25

* A pretty glass votive holder $.69

* A silver bud vase in a unique, art-nouveau design $1.99

* A half a box of Z-Cards (2 cards) $.69

* A small, artsy-looking plate $.99

* A hand-made glass fish thingy (hard to describe, but cool and one-of-a-kind) $.99

* A small leather picture frame $.99

* A pretty painted bottle $.49

 

Would you rather have these, or broken McToys and pennies?

 

Luna

Edited by Lunaverse
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I dont think it really matters what you put in a cache as long it adheres to the basic guidelines: no food, political or solicitation items (I think) or pornography.

But what about my "Liberalism is a Mental Disorder" T-shirts I was planning to swap out!?

 

Back on topic...

 

I want to find one of Luna's caches! Lunaverse is also right on about something. You can find all kinds of killer stuff in dollar, thrift stores, and the like. You people just aren't looking hard enough.

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From reading the responses to this topic, there are many here who feel each cache should be a miniature Neiman Marcus or a place to collect memorable treasures to be cherished forever.

 

I recall keeping maybe four items (a pair of hand made doilies, a screw driver and a yellow Lance Armstrong bracelet), the rest just gets moving along to the next cache.

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I really can't understand people who seem to want caches to be stocked with high value items. If all items were going to be around $5 and I traded even, a four find day would cost me $20. It's not really about the trading for me anyway, and when I do trade I try to do it with something that people might actually find a bit useful. Dollar store toys and stuff don't really annoy me though. I like the hunt, the exploring and the discovery more than anything. If I see something cool, like a little realistic plastic frog (I love those), I'll pick it up and trade for it. If I take a travel bug, I'll usually put something in. I'll also try to leave something if the stuff in the cache seems to be in need of replenishment. Here are some things I like to leave in caches:

 

Mini biners

Boot laces

Ponchos

Whistles

Playing Cards

 

Don't sweat the swag, just go out and have fun. It's pretty unrealistic to find something of real, intrinsic value in an ammo can or Tuperware container stuck in the middle of the woods.

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I write about all sorts of stuff on my blog, but if you are just interested in articles on geocaching, this link shows only those.

 

If you want a real treat, you can read about this geocaching adventure I had last year which highpointed with a scary deep-woods discovery that required me to involve the local police.  Of my meagre caching expeditions I remember this one most of all.

Nice blog! I'll be sure to add you to my list of Geocaching blogs on my Adventures in Geocaching blog.

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When we first started caching we saw that some one left a "50" in a cach not to far from us so we went and had to find it. It was just what we were thinking a 50 dollar bill. Too bad it was about the size of a quater and fake. We trade for it anyway. It was one of the best caches we have ever done.

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