Buying Geocaching Swag
In preparation for my big upcoming geocaching event in September, I’ve been going through all my drawers looking for good swag as “seed swag” for the caches I’ll be placing. But, I’d pretty much already done that when I started caching and have placed or traded most of it.
Last weekend I was doing some shopping and decided to look into just BUYING swag. Of course, the toy department at my local Walmart had a ton of selection: for a ton of money! And the toys at the dollar store, while priced better, were just too cheap and boring looking.
Then, I hit upon it: Goodwill!
Now, I don’t know if every Goodwill store offers toys. Of the two here in Prescott, I think only one does. But it was still worth the trip!
There were about twenty bins attached to a back wall, each filled with a selection of plastic toys. And the sign above the bins:
10 for $1.49
4 for $0.99
ESP Boss & I spent about thirty minutes carefully going through each and every bin. The next result: 7 bags of toys (70 items) for $10.43. It turned out to be a lot less than anywhere else. Plus, I really liked it that I wasn’t driving all over to hit yard sales, the money goes for a good cause, and all the items were in good condition. (They’ll get a bath, though since some were a bit dirty or sticky!)
And, if I had gone in on Saturday (it was Friday) it was a 50% off Saturday. Our Goodwill stores offer specials that every-other Saturday are 50% off everything in the store.
We picked up a large selection of plastic snakes, toys from a variety of fast-food kid’s menus, “army” men that are PIRATES, and a lot of exciting random toys including a bendy Oreo figurine, M&M characters, dinosaurs, and bugs.
So the next time you need seed swag for a cache, think about stocking up at your local Goodwill or other re-sale store.
At these prices, I think that it’s a good idea for ALL cachers to carry a bag of trade with them when they’re caching. Too often the “adult” cachers forget that just because they don’t trade doesn’t mean that they shouldn’t make sure that the caches they visit aren’t full of great trade items.Looking for #geocaching swag? Try Goodwill! Click To Tweet
After all, geocaching is a family activity and kids always enjoy trading for swag. As geocachers we take care to remove any trash, food, or inappropriate items from the cache, but how often do we ensure that the cache is filled with fun trade items?
I know that even after my event, I’ll carry a bag or two of Goodwill goodies to replenish and refresh any caches I visit!
Readers Weigh In:
- Do you trade for swag?
- What toys or kid-friendly items do you leave?
- Do you make it a point to refresh any caches that are in need of swag?
Find Your Geocache: Swag | The Outdoor Princess
August 20, 2011 @ 11:33 am
[…] Buying Geocaching Swag […]
August 20, 2011 @ 3:46 pm
I’m a big fan of MAKING swag 😉 I actually have a shirt that I just recently made that I’m willing to donate it you want it! It’s probably good for a skinny person or child 😉
My e-mail is on my contact page if you are interested. I cold probably whip up a few other things too! (I have a lot of extra craft materials to get rid of!!
August 21, 2011 @ 2:47 pm
Trash into treasure–brilliant!
I’m a new geocacher, but I’ve thoroughly enjoyed our few outings. For me, the best part isn’t so much uncovering the cache, as exploring places I’d otherwise never see.
Your blog rocks. Keep up the good work!
August 22, 2011 @ 8:23 pm
Check out Archie McFee
August 22, 2011 @ 9:24 pm
A great source for SWAG and watertight containers (beach containers) is Orientaltrading.com. They even have a variety pack of items with smilie faces. Wish I could attend your event.
August 22, 2011 @ 10:09 pm
With our 10 year old son with us, we always love to trade.
Unfortunately the swag has been very disappointing lately.
So we try to leave a few things even if we don’t take anything out.
Some of our favorite kid friendly items to put in are bouncy balls & stickers & rubber bracelets.
It is important to keep caches stocked with good kid swag so that the little ones won’t loose interest in the sport.
August 23, 2011 @ 6:03 am
Silly bands are a good swag item. You can get a bag for a dollar or two, and there is usually about 12 in a bag. And they weigh nothing to carry around.
August 23, 2011 @ 6:09 am
I prefer to go to this company – Great assortments.
August 23, 2011 @ 8:52 am
I like to get stuff at the party store or flea markets.
August 23, 2011 @ 10:06 am
Thanks! I’m glad you enjoyed the blog.
August 23, 2011 @ 10:08 am
@retrorambler — I THOUGHT about Archie McFee but I figured the shipping costs would just eat me up. Same thing with Oriental Trading Co. BUT @Ron, I hadn’t thought about OTC for containers… I’ll have to go look it up!
August 23, 2011 @ 10:24 am
@Edenfield3 — I agree with you about a lack of quality swag out there. I rarely actually TRADE but I love browsing and I like to have a big selection of clean, quality trade items. I try to avoid sitckers in caches, however, because in Arizona they tend to melt and get everything sticky. Or they get damp and THEN get everything sticky!
I always feel bad when I visit a cache that’s in need of a refresh of really GOOD swag and I have NOTHING with me!
August 23, 2011 @ 11:18 am
I try to leave caches full of swag, whether I trade or not. I take out trash, like empty cigarette packs (gross), condoms (no comment), and other inappropriate things and fill as much as I can. It’s not as fun to open a huge container with nothing in it. . . . as a mom, I have access to all the swag I need. The bottom of the toy chests and closets always have little toys (I always ask my daughter if there’s anything she wants to keep before I SWAG it), and I keep all the trinkets I get at conferences (keychains, little sewing kits, pens, pencils, clips, etc.). If I was going to buy swag, I’d hit the thrift store or Oriental Trading (they sell some toys by the gross).
August 23, 2011 @ 11:37 am
@Shelley — Wow! Cachers like you make the game amazing. Thank you for being a swag-filling-geocacher. And I LOOKED at Oriental Trading Co and I just didn’t see anything that was worth the money. Ideas? Maybe I’m looking in the wrong spot.
July 2, 2012 @ 8:26 pm
I always look at roadside after yard-sales “free” stuff, usually small toys and cheap jewlery are given away free at the end of the weekend.