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When we start explaining geocaching to someone, the first question they ask is ‘What’s in a geocache? Treasure?’  This is a tough question to answer.  Depending on your age and personal interests, it could be either “Yes or No.”  So we will do our best here to answer the question both ways, and you can decide for yourself whether this is your kind of treasure hunt.

What is in a Geocache?

If you are out finding your first geocache, you may find one that is filled with all kinds of “stuff”.  This is not just stuff, it is what we call Geocaching Swag.  Or you may find a tag that has strange numbers and letters on it.  This is called a Geocaching Trackables.  These are tons of fun.  

No, You will not win the Lottery by finding a Geocache

No, you will not strike it rich with discovering a geocache.  There is no hidden cache with a million dollars inside that will change your life (at least that we know of).  And although you may find some change and perhaps some old coins (that could be worth something), that would be the extent of the “treasure” you may find in a geocache.  We like to share some of our leftover foreign currency from our travels in caches to pass along.

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YES, you may find “Personal Treasure” in a Geocache

This depends on your definition of “treasure.”  In many geocaches, you will find a bunch of items called “swag.”  “Swag” is what geocachers call little trinkets that get left in caches for trading between other cachers.  Kids are usually the ones that get most excited over “swag.”  This is one of the aspects of Geocaching that makes it such a great family activity.  Kids LOVE going on “treasure hunts” and get very excited to trade things out and see what they can find next.

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This is one of my personal treasures I found in a cache

However, even us adults can get in on the “swag” fun.  One of my favorite “swag” items would have to be a 1995 Atlanta Braves World Series lapel pin.  Since I grew up a huge Braves baseball fan, this was a big win for me.  So I traded one of my travel lapel pins in its place.  Even trade.  The pin is now and will be forever will be on my Atlanta Braves hat that I wear to all Braves baseball games.  I don’t know who would have given that pin-up, but to me, this was a piece of treasure!

Learn more about the Geocaching Glossary of Terms HERE

So What makes good Geocaching Swag? 

Trading swag is always fun for the little cachers.  We enjoy taking our niece caching for “treasure”.  She enjoys finding the cache and seeing if there is anything in there to trade.  She seems to always love tattoos or stickers.  Swag can be fun to trade for us adult cachers also.  I know I have traded for golf balls, geocaching trinkets, path tags, and stickers.

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What’s inside a Geocache?

What is NOT Good Swag to trade in a Geocache?

There are things that you can not leave in caches.  Food is a big one that’s not allowed.  Since caches are mainly hidden on trails, we don’t want to attract wild animals to the location.  This means gum, little candies, or trail bars.  Also, bottles or bottle caps are not allowed.  No illegal substances shall be placed as a trade item.  This is a family-friendly game, please keep that in mind.

*Make sure that when you do trade, trade equally and please respect the rules and etiquette of Geocaching and your fellow cachers.  Always also make sure you Leave No Trace when you are out caching on trails.

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Liz stamping our GA State Park Passport

The Geocaching Destination Could be Considered Treasure

Liz and I love incorporating Geocaching into our travel adventures.  Part of the reason is that we have stumbled onto some pretty amazing places that we wouldn’t have discovered if we weren’t in search of a Geocache.  It’s like finding that “gem” – a secret beach that no one knows about, or an amazing local restaurant that isn’t in a guide book.  Being travelers, we consider all of this “treasure.”

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Meet Jose Ramon, keeper of a cache in Playa de Carmen, Mexico (One of our Favs)

The Geocaching Experience Is the Treasure Itself

To us, the experience of discovering geocaches is a treasure within itself.  It’s a great opportunity to spend quality time with friends and family that could lead to some pretty cool memories.  We’ve also found that we have met some wonderful people through geocaching.  Whether it’s other cachers or even people who have hidden and maintain caches (restaurant owners, etc.).  Everyone has a cool story to tell.

Read about our Beyond the Postcard experience with a Geocaching Owner in Playa de Carmen, Mexico

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So what do you find in a Geocache?  So to answer the question, “Do you find treasure in a Geocache?”  We would have to say, yes…yes we do.  But what about you?  What is the coolest thing you have found in a geocache before?  


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