Do we still need swaps in caches?

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    Avatar photoDartmoor Dave

    I received this found log yesterday on one of my caches “Cache and log OK. It’s nice to see a cache with just the basics of a log and pencil, and not full of wet calling cards and rusty swaps! Many thanks.”

    A nicely maintained cache full of good swaps is great to find but how often do we find them? Many caches are micros or nanos so useless for leaving swaps, etc. Of the bigger caches I would suggest that 80% of them match this description exactly – full of wet calling cards and rusty swaps 🙁

    It seems to me that only children are interested in swaps and that geocaching is dominated by adults who are rarely accompanied by children – or not by children who are interested in swaps. So should we abandon swaps? Even those caches specifically aimed at children seldom seem to be found by them and the logs suggest that swaps are rarely made.

    What do others think?

    Avatar photoreb10

    I feel that swaps in caches are a waste of time. I changed one of my caches to a smaller container recently and when i emptied it out it had a balloon in it (not blown up) and little cracker toys. And amazingly the most recent finder said they left something in the cache, which i can only assume must be something very small as the cache is now a magnetic keyholder.

    Avatar photofinderman

    My children are both under the age of 10 and like swaps. We always carry a pocketful of Toy soldiers and similar items. I recently bought a bag of 50 soldiers for £1 at Trago Mills. My children particularly like the more generous and unusual swaps. Things like Foreign or Old coins and stamps go down really well with my two. I think swaps in the family caches in places like cadover, dartmeet, burrator etc is great. But there is not much point at cut hill or ryders hill and places like that as young children wouldn’t really visit too often.

    Even if I’ve been caching on my own I’ve often thought of the children if I’ve found something interesting and made a swap.

    I do know what you mean about rusty, smelly toys. Recently I travelled some distance away from home and got a cache. I had a TB that I needed to drop. The cache was more than adequate size to fit the TB but was full of toys of varying quality. (Not sure if it was right) I removed a sticky bug thing with one eye. A badge that was rusty and a key ring minus the ring. I was then able to fit the TB.


    Team VS has 4 geokids under 12 in it. They love swaps and for them it’s all part of the fun. Unfortunately, most caches with swaps usually have very dodgy ones! Rusty bits and pieces, sweets, broken things and my 2 most hated to date – a lighter (which i removed even tho I didn’t have the kids with me) and a fish hook. We found a cache this morning with that little delight in, which we discovered when my 6 year old (who had found the cache) opened it, liked the look of the fish and got it stuck in her finger. I was only 2ft away but couldn’t see thru her head into the box! I read down thru the logs when I got home. It seems the cache had a run in with some fisherman in April. It’s had 14 finds since then, many with kids and not one of those finders thought to remove it. I shouldn’t have to scroll thru a dozen + logs to discover that someone knows there’s a fish hook in there, especially when I can honestly say that if I came across it, even without kids, I would have removed it.

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