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Topic: Cache contents, Quality and quantity of cache contents< Next Oldest | Next Newest >
banjo Offline
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Posted: June 01 2004,8:19 pm QUOTE

First of all, I apologize if this topic is covered in another forum or has been posted before.  Lately, I've been disappointed with the diminished quality and quantity of cache contents.  It seems that this wasn't the case a couple years ago.  (I'm talking about the typical large ammo can; I realize that smaller containers limit the type of contents).  It seems that the caches now contain more junk and McDonald's happy meal toys than ever before.  We used to find knives, batteries, key chains, toy cars, beany-babies, etc.  Now we've made it a practice to either take nothing, or if the kids want a couple trinkets, to leave more (in both quantity and quality) than we take.  We visit the dollar store before caching to stock up on some "good" items.  Another thought - Matchbox toy cars are less than a dollar.  I've also heard that garage sales are a source for items.  It shouldn't be a cache owner's responsibility to keep a cache filled with good stuff.  I assume that each cache started out well stocked, but over time has become depleted.  Finding a cache should be more than half the fun, but to keep the kids interested, there needs to be some reward in the container...

Has anyone else noticed this? Does anyone have a similar complaint or a suggestion to solve the problem?


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Scout Offline
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    Posted: June 02 2004,8:33 am QUOTE

The standard reply to posts like yours is that the hunt for the cache is what matters, not the contents of the cache. Or that the situation cannot be changed. It's human nature.

All of which makes me think, so what? So what if human nature is hard to bend. So what if the hunt is more important. Why can't we still try to improve this last aspect of geocaching, what you find when you open the cache itself?

So, let's brainstorm. How about establishing a "trade up" circle of geocachers?  (I hate that term, by the way, as it means the opposite of improving the cache through trading, but that's another thing we're not going to change ;-) You could have a "trade up" icon that cachers could use in their logs indicating when they improved the cache. Maybe even business cards that cachers could leave behind when they trade up, so cachers who come later would be reminded to do the same. Maybe the visibility of the icon and cards would catch others' attention and encourage more to do the same.

This is just brainstorming. Other ideas?


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virgo91967 Offline
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    Posted: Sep. 05 2004,9:43 pm QUOTE

When I started caching a year ago, i had also noticed that some of hte treasures were , well, lame and unimaginative for the most part.  But lately things have been getting better.   All caches seem to undergo a form of "Swag Entropy" where the cace goodies will diminish in quantity and quality over time.  Yes, it is the responsiblity of the cache owner to replentish the goods. It should also be in aa cache hunter's best interest to trade in something other than the usual Swag.. and Actually, McTrinkets arent too bad .. some of their toys are actually pretty good  :p
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welch Offline
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    Posted: Sep. 06 2004,9:40 pm QUOTE

Quote (virgo91967 @ Sep. 05 2004,10:43 pm)
When I started caching a year ago, i had also noticed that some of hte treasures were , well, lame and unimaginative for the most part.  But lately things have been getting better.   All caches seem to undergo a form of "Swag Entropy" where the cace goodies will diminish in quantity and quality over time.  Yes, it is the responsiblity of the cache owner to replentish the goods. It should also be in aa cache hunter's best interest to trade in something other than the usual Swag.. and Actually, McTrinkets arent too bad .. some of their toys are actually pretty good  :p

Thats something I disagree with. Don't get me wrong, if it would be nice if someone where to go around refilling caches with 'good' stuff after everyones taken and left whatever they want, but you'll be disappointed if you expect it.
If the cache is damaged, missing, in need of a new logbook,etc, yes the owner is responsiable for that, but not for stocking up every visitor with trinkets (which is basically what its like IMO).


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Semper Questio Offline
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    Posted: Sep. 07 2004,6:37 am QUOTE

It's a normal cycle for caches that the SWAG quality drops off due to many factors.  There are some cachers out there how make a point to re-stock caches or simply drop off a few good items in each cache they visit even if they don't take anything.  Personally, I seldom trade anything but if I have something handy I'll usually use it to boost a cache's contents and still not take anything.
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mother wolf Offline
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    Posted: June 28 2010,7:22 am QUOTE

As a CO of 70+ caches it would put me in the poor house to keep them all stocked at the level that they were when placed however when I make my site check runs, about every 2 months or more if need be, I always drop some new stuff in them. It may just be things I picked up at the dollar store but I try to make it sturdy & different. MW
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DudleyGrunt Offline
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    Posted: June 28 2010,8:13 am QUOTE

Quote (Scout @ June 02 2004,10:33 am)
So, let's brainstorm. How about establishing a "trade up" circle of geocachers?  (I hate that term, by the way, as it means the opposite of improving the cache through trading, but that's another thing we're not going to change ;-) You could have a "trade up" icon that cachers could use in their logs indicating when they improved the cache. Maybe even business cards that cachers could leave behind when they trade up, so cachers who come later would be reminded to do the same. Maybe the visibility of the icon and cards would catch others' attention and encourage more to do the same.

I almost always "trade up" since I will most often try to leave something, but rarely take anything.  As the BSA teaches, I like to leave a place (or cache) better than I found it.  I also remove items that have become trash by getting wet or broken and try to dry to just wipe down the inside if it has gotten wet / messy.

Most of what I leave is not of super high quality and may be of interest mostly to younger cachers,

I'm curious, does anyone regularly leave items that are valued much above one dollar in caches they find?

[small typo correction]


Edited by DudleyGrunt on May 09 2011,7:42 am

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mother wolf Offline
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    Posted: June 28 2010,10:13 am QUOTE

It depends on what I have with me. I have left crystal (ok fake crystal) pieces such as a paper weight with etched designs from the Chesapeake Bay ; shells, lighthouses, flowers etc. I have left small stuffed toys, a few bucks each. I dont do McDonalds so I dont have happy meal junk. I use to put a nice FTF item in the larger containers but I only once got a response from 3 cachers who didnt take it because they didnt live in the area. (It was a pass for 2 lunches up to $20 at Kentmore here on the Island.

Now I just stock the caches with the nicer items I can p/u at Dollar Tree or the $ store that arent real junky.

I also replenish my caches with a little bit better stuff too as well as often drop a few things in caches I find. I seldom ever take anything but thats ok as its for the kids or the person who looks for something real special.
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UncleVinnys Offline
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    Posted: May 06 2011,2:06 pm QUOTE

I like the idea of improving the cache quality. I posted a question on this in the Getting Started forum.

Is it possible to ask that people include a $1.00 gift, or is that too snobbish??

Yes, I agree it's the hunt that matters, but still, I think some folks would really appreciate a minimum quality standard.
You spend 1/2 hour hunting, drop off a $5.00 pocket knife,
and there's nothing in the cache but a marble and a button!

:p
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DudleyGrunt Offline
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    Posted: May 09 2011,7:51 am QUOTE

Quote (UncleVinnys @ May 06 2011,4:06 pm)
You spend 1/2 hour hunting, drop off a $5.00 pocket knife...

I know this is Navicache, but hopefully, you're not dropping those $5 pocket knives in GC.com caches, as it is against their swag guidelines.

Navicache really doesn't have any posted guidelines, per se, but I'm sure we could have a discussion of whether it is good to leave knives of any sort in caches, that might be found by random kids.  Of course, depending on where you've placed your cache, that may be less of any issue.

As BSA scout leader, we have training boys need to take before they're allowed to have a pocket knife at a scouting event, so I tend toward not leaving them or other "dangerous" items as swag.


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PC Medic Offline
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    Posted: May 09 2011,3:25 pm QUOTE

As mentioned in the 'What kind of things can be placed in a Cache?' section of our FAQ, knives and other dangerous items should not be placed in caches.

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scalpel Offline
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    Posted: June 30 2011,2:18 pm QUOTE

I have a box of stuff in my vehicle I use to mostly fill up caches when I visit them.  There is alot of the 'cache entropy' a previous poster mentioned.  Also, too small of container ends up restricting alot, I believe.  I think the 'dangerous items' really shouldn't be applied to useful tools, leathermans or pocketknives... Better than some lame happymeal toy.   oh well.   At least a recent visitor to one of my caches commented on all the swag in it. hehe.   Better than some lint and a soggy logbook.  And, crappy containers also are lame.  Those blue lid wimpy glad containers in a cold/wet environment?  give me a break. hehe.
So I just leave a cache more stocked than when I found it.  Think terracaching started as a more quality alternative to the ,pilfered of quality items, 'bigsite' cache listings.    Too bad people aren't as wide ranging and just remain with one site.   This cache site is great, too bad people aren't looking for them as much.
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DudleyGrunt Offline
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    Posted: July 04 2011,5:18 am QUOTE

scalpel - Agree with the comment that it is a shame so many people will only use one site - whatever that is.  I'm very happy to use GC, TC, OCUS, and NC.  They're all caches, after all.

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