That Shouldn’t Be In A Geocache

Sometimes new geocachers will place items in a container that just shouldn’t be in a geocache.  I recently noticed a post on one of the geocaching groups on Facebook that surprised me.  ” I left some coins, couple 22 bullets, a knife and a prayer.”  Who can guess which of the four items listed are not appropriate?  A seasoned geocacher would probably consider this a no brainer, but a brand new member may not see anything wrong here.

If you said the 22 bullets and the knife, you would be correct.

Now, to a young man in the south on a chilly fall morning, this may have been the perfect give to leave behind for one of his buddies.  But remember, the weather can change and people of all ages, walks of life and cultures like to geocache.

According to :

People of all ages hide and seek geocaches, so think carefully before placing an item into a cache. Explosives, ammunition, knives, drugs and alcohol should not be placed in a cache. Respect local laws at all times.

Please do not put food or heavily scented items in a cache. Animals have better noses than humans, and in some cases caches have been chewed through and destroyed because of food items in a cache.

What if you own the cache?

If you happen to be the owner of a geocache that someone places an inappropriate item that shouldn’t be in a geocache and this is reported, the cache may be temporarily disabled. As the cache owner, you may be asked to remove the questionable item before the cache listing is re-enabled.

The GC Doc on YouTube once found some illegal swag that had to be removed:


So What exactly shouldn’t be in a geocache?

Mostly, you should just use common sense.  If you are severely lacking in common sense, be sure to bring a buddy with you that has some.

Items that could be considered illegal:
  • Explosives, fireworks, ammunition, lighters – This should be obvious, especially in the South Eastern United States this year! (Can we say wild fires?)  And have you seen what changing temperatures and moisture can do to explosives and ammunition.  No matter how good the geocache container is, there will always be some moisture to find its way into the container.  In most locations, the temperatures will rise or fall seventy degrees or more.
  • Knives and other sharp objects (including pocket knives and multi-tools)- This is a family friendly sport.  That means someday a three-year old may be opening the container.  Would you really give a knife to a three-year old to play with?  Then it shouldn’t be in a geocache.  Also, many geocachers, myself included, like venturing out into the darkness to find a cache.  I really wouldn’t like getting stabbed while reaching for the log!Drugs, Alcohol and any other illicit material(this includes cigarettes) – Once again, by placing it in a geocache container, you are possibly placing it in the hands of a small child.
Items that are legal, just not smart:
  • Food or items that are scented – Most geocaches are placed outdoors where wild animals like to live.  Most animals have a much better sense of smell than you and I do, so even a light scent would possibly attract unwanted attention from the local residents.  Many geocache containers have been destroyed by a curious animal due to scented items.
  • Items that might freeze or melt – A bottle of water might be nice for a thirsty geocacher after a hot hike, but not so good during the winter months.  A child would love to find a new box of crayons in a cache container, but no one likes the melted crayons you would find during the summer!

Use your head to determine what shouldn’t be in a geocache!

It’s very hard to get specific about what should and what shouldn’t be in a geocache.  I’m sure the list would go on forever.

When placing or trading swag in a geocache container keep these things in mind and you should be okay:

  • The next person to find this cache could be a minor.  Could I legal dispense this swag to them in person?
  • Is this swag reasonably dangerous in any way?
  • Will heat, cold, or moisture have a negative effect on this swag?
  • Will animals, insects, or bugs be attacked to this swag?

There you have it a few commons sense thoughts to take with you on the geo-trail.  (if necessary, feel free to copy them down so you won’t forget)

What did you find that shouldn’t be in a geocache?

What is the weirdest, strangest, most thoughtless, unusual, dangerous, or most illegal thing you have found in a geocache?  Tell us about in the comments below.

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