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.
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.
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.
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.
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.”
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
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?
6 thoughts on “Geocaching 101: What is in a Geocache? Treasure?”
Loved this post!! Geocaching is so exciting!! Unfortunately I always end up looking in all the wrong places and my friends find it first. 😛 I have never geocached while traveling but I try to do it in the summer months at home. It’s good exercise usually and tons of fun!
Thanks for reading Dawn. I’m there with you on that. Liz seems to pop up with the cache a lot when than me, but Im going to catch up. 😉 It’s great exercise and gives you a sense of adventure in your hometown. We are actually about head out for the day and cache around my hometown in west Georgia. I am still discovering new things about a town I grew up in through geocaching. Let us know how it goes.
Where can I find one in Georgia
Hello Hannah – thanks for reading! Geocaches are literally everywhere in Georgia. Usually you can find one in just a few minutes from wherever you are located. However, you will need to download the app in order to be able to search them and access the GPS coordinates to find them.
For details on how to do this, check out our post about how to get started Geocaching HERE => https://www.peanutsorpretzels.com/geocaching-101-getting-started-profile-app/
We met someone today who told us about this hobby; we had never heard of it and it is intriguing since we go hiking a lot. I’m still not sure about the process so I will have to do more research. As you talk about ‘trade’ are you saying that you replace something you have found with something you bring with you? So I need to have something with me at all times to give away?
Thank you for your post.
Hi there – thanks for reading and for the comment! Trading is totally optional. It’s just something you can do if you want to. Mostly, the point is just to find the cache and sign the log. So you will want to bring a pen, because they don’t always have those in there.
I hope this helps – have fun! Geocaching is PERFECT for hiking. It gives us a goal for the hike 🙂