Geocache Trade Items: Things You Should NEVER Leave Behind in a Cache

Geocache Trade Items: Things You Should NEVER Leave Behind in a Cache

Learn more about geocache trade items you should NEVER leave behind in a cache

When you are just starting, you may be thinking a lot about geocache trade items. It’s so much fun to think about what you might leave behind in each cache you visit. However, it is equally important to think about what you shouldn’t be leaving behind in a cache. I have visited a lot of geocaches over the years, and at times I have been astonished at some of the things that were left behind.  I had to wonder if the person had no common sense.  Seriously, I have found more lighters than I can count!  How could anyone think that is a good idea?

When deciding on geocache trade items to leave behind, you need to ask yourself a few questions…

  • Could this item be considered dangerous?
  • Is this an item that is appropriate for a child to see or handle?
  • Will this item attract animals?
  • Is this item properly packaged to protect it from moisture?

Many people geocache with children.  It is so easy for a child to grab something out of the cache without the parent seeing, especially if they are preoccupied with signing the logbook.   Here are some items that are not a good idea to leave as geocache trade items because they are inappropriate or dangerous for children

  • Lighters
  • Matchbooks
  • Ammunition
  • Pocket knives
  • Other weapons
  • Drugs and Alcohol
  • Anything adult-oriented  (We found nude playing cards once.)

Anything scented is also not appropriate as a geocaching trade item.  Animals can smell food or other scented items and will try to rip apart the cache to get to whatever is inside.  I have seen many geocaches that have been ruined after being used as chew toys by animals.  So avoid leaving any of the following behind as trade items.

  • Food of any kind
  • Perfume or cologne samples
  • Sample toiletries
  • Any scented toys, stickers, etc.

Also not appropriate as a swag to trade is anything unprotected from moisture.  We have seen more moldy paper products left behind in caches than we can count.  Moldy things make the entire cache container stink and that is no fun for anyone to find.

Caches get wet.  It happens despite the hider’s best intentions and precautions.  People go geocaching in the rain.  Caches don’t get sealed properly and moisture gets in, or the cache container wasn’t waterproof in the first place.

If you are going to leave anything that is made from paper, wood, fabric, or any other materials susceptible to mold, be sure to put it in a sealed plastic bag.  A zipper sandwich bag that is completely sealed is an inexpensive way to protect your geocache trade items from moisture.

Some common trade items that definitely need to be sealed in plastic are geocaching wooden nickels, stuffed animals, stickers, and anything made from paper.

If you ever find any of these types of items left behind in a cache, do your good deed for the day and remove them.  You can deposit them in the trash when you get off the trail.  The next geocacher who finds it will thank you!

So tell me…  What other geocache trade items are big no-no’s?

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