Everything You Want To Know About Geocaching Swag

Moderator Note: This article is by Andrew “HeadHardHat” Smith. HeadHardHat’s Award Winning Geocaching Blog “Geocache: I’m NOT Obsessed… Right?” is a geocache treasure trove of geocaching information. HeadHardHat’s GeoSnippits Geocaching Videos can be seen on You Tube and HHH is now Host of the Internet TV show Geocaching World (RVNN.tv) and also Co-Host on the Geocaching Podcast. To read his blogs or view his GeoSnippits Geocaching Tutorial Videos, GOOGLE headhardhat blog or headhardhat geosnippits.

Everything About SwagAhh Swag, in the geocaching world it is the “treasure” in treasure hunting but what is it really?

When a geocache gets initially “hidden” many times the owner places trinkets, knick-knacks and treasures inside for other geocachers to find and trade from. The idea is that the “finder” opens up the geocache, signs the log book and trades items they are carrying for the swag found in the geocache. The rule of geocaching states that if you trade an item from the geocache you should replace it with something of equal or better value. The idea is to keep geocaches stocked with rotating supplies of swag-like goodness. Does that always happen, no. Many times some geocachers just take for the sake of the moment but it is still best to replace with equal or better stuff. Keep in mind that the majority of the swag found in a typical geocache usually ranges from $1.00 to $5.00 in value.

What are some examples of swag?

Basically anything that will fit in a particular geocache that fits your budget.


  • Store bought items as: Toys, Tools, Jewlery, Electronics, CDs, DVDs, etc.
  • Handmade items
  • Coins
  • Bags of Polished Stones
  • Books

Where are some of the best places to get swag for geocaching?

Listed below are some suggestions from actual geocachers. It is not the end all beat all but it sure will give some things to think about when looking for swag. The list is not in any particular order.

  • The Dollar Store – Can get oodles of swag for a buck. Sort of the common man’s swag store.
  • Garage Sales – You never know what kind of stuff you can find for trade.
  • Target: Dollar Wall – all sorts of bargain items.
  • Ebay: Wholesale lots – you never know what is out there for a great deal to trade. Ebay – Vintage coins and arrow heads
  • www.orientaltrading.com – Multitudes of swag items for a small amount of $$$.
  • Claire’s bargain area – kids love jewelry, purses and other dressup stuff.
  • Joanne’s or other craft store – tons of craft stuff for making swag items or to trade.
  • Fast Food Chains – Kids love wrapped or new happy meal toys

Some final things to keep in mind about swag and geocaching. The big thing is you do not HAVE to trade. If you do not have something to swap then don’t. Sign the log book and earn your smiley.

Also Travel Bugs and Geocoins are NOT swag. They are personal items owned by someone else. These specially ID’d travelers are handled differently than swag and move from one geocache to the next. They are not swag and not trade items.

Is there REAL treasure in Geocaches?

The answer I will give in my humble opinion is YES. Sure there is a ton of playing cards, happy meal toys and chip clips waiting for you when geocaching. I asked a bunch of geocachers what the most expensive items they found and here were a couple of answers.

  • One geocacher heard of someone finding car keys but only felt that was 10% true
  • Two separate geocachers have found real 1oz gold kruggerands.
  • A harmony ball. The geocacher didn’t know what it was at the time but they value around $40.00.
  • A brand new Gameboy Micro with game included.
  • A $35.00 chunk of Citrine
  • A bolo tie placed in honor of another geocacher. It had a rare jasper stone worth over $300.00.

Of course there are the stories of championship game or box seat tickets, new Rolex watches and other gold, diamond and other treasures. Whether true or not you never know what you are going to find until you open the geocache up and look for yourself. There are currently 1,938,706 geocaches around the world waiting to be found. What treasures do you seek???

Visit HHH’s blog, GeoCache: I’m NOT Obsessed… Right?, at http://headhardhat-geocache.blogspot.com/

And don’t forget to visit HHH’s GeoSnippits Geocaching Tutorial Videos Website at http://www.geosnippits.com

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