A few of the Groundspeak Lackeys went geocaching this weekend. We went on a long hike to a geocache in the mountains that hadn’t been found for nearly a year. It was in a beautiful spot and the snap closure geocache container was in perfect condition on the outside, but inside was a different story. It contained two empty chewing tobacco containers, a jolly rancher, a pack of ibuprofen, a few miscellaneous pills, a business card and a few other small things.
The “other small things” were things you would expect to find in a geocache – a fun key-chain, a small mirror and a plastic horse. But when we retrieved the key-chain, we found that it was covered with blue goo. The culprit was the Jolly Rancher, which had melted and escaped its wrapper. Although a Jolly Rancher may seem like a fun thing to place in a cache, food and other scented items do not make good SWAG. They can mess up the inside of the cache container or attract animals.
The tobacco containers and pills were not great cache contents either. Geocaching is a family-friendly activity and the items you place in a cache should reflect that. If you were a 6-year-old geocacher, would you want a pack of ibuprofen in exchange for your toy? Consider what type of SWAG makes sense for an audience of all ages. Please remember, the item that you place in a cache should be of equal or greater value than the item that you are taking.
Fun items to trade include small toys, patches, pins, or an item that symbolizes who you are (a signature item).