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Society of Better Swag


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#1 skippyp

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Posted 04 March 2012 - 05:08 PM

Fully recognizing that I'm fairly new to the sport, I'm totally lost on what people think is appropriate for swag. Used bottlecaps? a rock? advertisements? Frankly I'd prefer a TNLN than a penny.

So call me a charter member of the SOBS (society of better swag) because if I were to advertise my business I'd at least do it with a bottle opener or pen or some other fun, useful thing. Today alone I CITO'd a 2 year old business magnet calendar, paper straw wrapper, some torn up stick-on letters, and a bent beer bottle cap. I also notice the number of trackables that are going missing.

Am I just being a crab? I love seeing the little dinosaurs and other fun things for the kids- though I leave that stuff for the next cacher. Maybe I'm bad at choosing which caches to go after? I have a bunch of fun swag things I was going to start putting out, but if people are going to leave trash in trade, then I'll just be the SOB(s) who TNLN.

So all kidding with the name aside, has this always been the way? If not, how can we up the ante on the swagstakes?

#2 SockPuppet

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Posted 04 March 2012 - 06:34 PM

I learned long ago not to try to control the habits of other cachers.
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#3 KeyResults

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Posted 04 March 2012 - 06:37 PM

I have a good friend who routinely carries a bag of very high quality swag from very nice places. Puzzles, Jewelry, cache containers ready to roll, nice geocoins, etc. They tend towards nicer things for adults, but there is a kiddie bag if the cache warrants it. The kiddie bag tends to be new small toys like hotwheels, small lego kits, beanies, gift cards, video games, and small kid books. To this day, I've never seen my friend take a single item in return. Zilch, and we have cached several times together. Their identity is a sworn secret, but if you come behind them one day you just might find a Rolex, Stock Certificate, or Bearer Bond, or keys to a car parked nearby...I'm not kidding. They would kill me if their identity became known, it's just not how they roll. Let's just say they've been blessed and they do this because they enjoy it.

Anyway, I thought I'd mention that in balance. There's swag, and then there's SWAG and there are some who are serious about it.
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Why am I all sweatty and late? Umm...

#4 skippyp

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Posted 04 March 2012 - 07:15 PM

Note to self: stalk ALL GC friends of KeyResults :coolsmiley:

I usually tnln when I'm on my own, and the kids have left some of their toys...... I guess the hope would be to swag by example. It's the trash that I just don't get. The log is enough evidence you were there.

now for the fone taps...
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#5 SockPuppet

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Posted 04 March 2012 - 07:20 PM

Since trades are supposed to be even make sure yo carry a Rolex so you can exchange it for the other Rolex. :stirpot:

Edited by SockPuppet, 04 March 2012 - 07:20 PM.

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#6 2katz

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Posted 04 March 2012 - 08:02 PM

Generally, I don't take anything from a cache, with the exception of a TB. However, on a fairly regular basis, I leave little goodies for the kids. I purchase bags of army men from the dollar store and target has a nice selection of trinkets (bouncy balls, erasers....).
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#7 HoustonControl

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Posted 04 March 2012 - 08:19 PM

I think most cache owners start their caches out with decent swag, but over time it dwindles to the used golf balls and business cards or other cachers sig items. As a rule, most CO's don't "re-swag" their caches very often, if at all. I'm usually just happy if the cache is there and the log is signable.

Trackables are another subject altogether. It used to be fun to release them and watch them travel, but it seems nowadays they make a move or two and go missing. I feel the explosion of phone app cachers -- many who have no idea trackables are not swag, much less how to log them -- is the main reason for missing travel bugs and geocoins. Just my .02 anyway...
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#8 TravelingGeek

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Posted 04 March 2012 - 11:49 PM

I tend to TNLN, or maybe just leave a fun item. If I take a bug, I try to leave one behind, but since I *know* I will at least get it one step farther in its journey, I may take a trackable with out leaving another. I know some are for and some are against this practice. Rally it comes down to the individual situation.

For swag, i tend to get mine at party stores and trade shows. I had a good year after my company was purchased because all the old branded stuff was not to be used at trade shows anymore.... I think I still have a tray or two of light up pens.
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#9 skippyp

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Posted 05 March 2012 - 08:00 AM

Here's a vote for premium membership... did a pocket quiery for caches near me only of the *large* size... in the hopes large would mean more interested swag. I was NOT disappointed. And while I didn't take anything, I felt great about putting in a nice thing of my own. Thanks beinlause!

#10 TAZ427

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Posted 05 March 2012 - 10:24 AM

Swag definitely varies. It's usually great for keeping kids interested, and that doesn't have to be that good. But most adults I'd say the swag has little value. I lean towards the TNLN. I also have removed trash and or destroyed (water damaged) stuff from caches. That said, there's plenty of things that while I know I consider crap others like my son would not, so I make sure it's actual trash (wrappers, sodden paper, mildew covered cards, etc) that I remove. I don't remove for example bottle caps, while I don't collect them I know others do.

I cache for the smilies not the swag. That said, I have taken swag and made it into TBs.

As for missing TB's and Geocoins. It's going to happen. Early on I targeted caches because there was indication of TBs and Geocoins in them. Now, that I've collected a ton of them (and moved a ton along) I don't go after caches specifically because that have TB's (well I'll go to a TB Hotel before/after a trip to move stuff around.) That said, yeah, there's a lot of trackables that have gone missing and they don't do a good job (or make any effort) to retire these guys. It would be nice to have a 'missing' status that one could apply if a couple comments come in that people couldn't find the TB's in the cache and later allowing the owner to retire it.

To go a bit further on this subject. If you release a trackable, you might as well expect it to go missing at some point. Especially Geocoins as they're less obvious as a trackable item that should get logged and go from cache to cache and newbie cachers see them as swag and most newbie cachers loose interest. TB's go missing too but they're usually a lot less valuable and they tend to travel a lot more before someone pockets them. I own some Geocoins, and I've got a lot that I've picked up and move around. And I tend to only drop Geocoins in caches that I think are primarily visited by the more dedicated cachers (i.e. I don't drop them in a 1.5/1.5 in a LnL at the base of a tree - Instead I drop them in a 3/4 way off the beaten path.)

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#11 Great Birds

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Posted 05 March 2012 - 12:24 PM

As a owner of urban caches, most of my hides are small or micro containers with no room for swag, so there is no seeding them for trades. As far as personal trading, I stopped doing trackables after my geocacheing bag became a black hole. Swag trading for dime store items never apealed to me, but occationally I will buy a bag of goodies to have some to leave something behind in a deserving cache, in case some kids will come along.

#12 Betty Draper

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Posted 05 March 2012 - 01:10 PM

Aiden would like to thank everyone for his stash of swag. He is like a little magpie, so he is happy with anything shiny. He especially likes the beads.
K

#13 OneStepCloser

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Posted 05 March 2012 - 01:30 PM

We've made it a habit to restock our caches regularly (by that we mean every 3-6 months), especially the themed ones (we had a Smiley Hunt cache filled with...wait for it....Smiley stuff - it was quite yellow inside)...
:angel:
Trading swag has definitely declined over the years as the proliferation of micro spew has transpired. It's a fact that "is what it is..." We're not casting judgment or whatever. But as ammo cans and regular caches have gone way of the dodo, the reason for the lack of swag is obvious.

We had fun with a cache once and called it "Cache Crap Drop" http://www.geocachin...f2-6a666a1e5e9b where it was encouraged to leave the junkiest stuff you can....so you can have some fun with this, too!

It would be nice if swag was a more prevalent part of the game but it isn't right now....maybe that trend can reverse in the future....

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#14 pagirlintx

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Posted 17 March 2012 - 07:37 AM

Aiden would like to thank everyone for his stash of swag. He is like a little magpie, so he is happy with anything shiny. He especially likes the beads.
K


A lot of the muggles we introduce to caching are kids. They LOVE to find good swag...army men and legos and small toys. For a while someone was leaving Blockbuster-type one rental gift cards. Boy, those were popular in our house. We'll also sometimes buy the McD's dollar coupons and leave one with a note in a cache that is off the beaten track.

As for TB's and coins going missing...it's really a shame. I think that is why there are so many "proxy" coins traveling - paper replicas of the real thing. I get the logic behind it but it's not really any fun to pick up a laminated card instead of the real coin.
Blessings Be, S

#15 georeyna

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Posted 17 March 2012 - 08:54 AM

I enjoy collecting home made Swag that people have created. I enjoy that someone has taken the time to make an item, leave it in the cache for the next finder to possibly collect it.

When my kids go caching, they love the kiddie swag and will take some for themselves which will lead me to leave a P.T or the likes. I also have gotten into the habit of CITO'ing the cache. There may be odd things in the container, which would cause the container to look like an ammocan full of trash, so I pull out all the trash (forks, bubblegum, stir sticks and the likes) and throw it away.

There is nothing we can do about coins...they just sprout feet and walk away from the cache. I did purchase some proxy coins from GXPROXY.com and plan to virtually send out coins because I may have only one copy of the minted items.

#16 SockPuppet

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Posted 17 March 2012 - 02:34 PM

I enjoy collecting home made Swag that people have created. I enjoy that someone has taken the time to make an item, leave it in the cache for the next finder to possibly collect it.

Some of my favorite swag was handmade by legendary cacher geowyz!
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#17 Texas Dreamweaver

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Posted 17 March 2012 - 03:57 PM

I think most cache owners start their caches out with decent swag, but over time it dwindles to the used golf balls and business cards or other cachers sig items. As a rule, most CO's don't "re-swag" their caches very often, if at all. I'm usually just happy if the cache is there and the log is signable.

Trackables are another subject altogether. It used to be fun to release them and watch them travel, but it seems nowadays they make a move or two and go missing. I feel the explosion of phone app cachers -- many who have no idea trackables are not swag, much less how to log them -- is the main reason for missing travel bugs and geocoins. Just my .02 anyway...


I agree with HC that we have a new "breed" of cachers who through no fault of their own don't understand how it is all supposed to work. This is one reason that I called for the TXGA to create the position of Education Director. That person is DaksVolks (Barbara) and she is currently recruiting folks to be a part of her statewide education team. TXGA doesn't just want to teach new cachers how to use their gps, but how to create better hides, containers, puzzles and how to deal with trackables, etc. If you are interested in helping, go to the txga.net website, click on about us and you will find the Education Director's email link. If we all jump in to assist these new cachers... then perhaps we won't continue to have the issues that we are facing.

#18 GrangerFam

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Posted 17 March 2012 - 04:39 PM

I still have my Pi sticks....

They were simple and awesome and represented solving a finding some of the best caches I've done from Piman314.

Having said that, I have not gotten into a habit of restocking. I try to have some cool swag when I first place a cache...and then hope that others will follow the rules, but I understand that doesn't always happen.

Generally, I just sign the log and move on. It's more about the hunt for me. Also, I really don't get along with TB's, so I just leave them alone.

#19 Mr Muddy Buddy

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Posted 18 March 2012 - 10:00 PM

Pi sticks. One of my most coveted FTF prizes.
It just goes to show that the FTF prize doesn't have to be valuable in terms of $$, but it has value to the finder.


I still have my Pi sticks....


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#20 spywall

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Posted 02 April 2012 - 08:26 PM

I'm new at this and haven't really gotten all of the abbreviations and jargon down completely. I think TNLN is "take nothing, leave nothing" correct? I've only found 2 caches so far and the intent is to go locally with my kids while hitting others around the country & world while I'm at work. I'm in the music business & have custom guitar pics that I have made... I figured it'd be kind of a signature thing to do... are there others that leave the same type of signature?




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