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Swaps are the items that you trade in and out of caches. See also Finding a cache.

It is considered good geocaching etiquette to leave something in the cache better than (or at least as good as) what you took out of it. It is also considered good etiquette to, where possible, swap something in and out of a cache that you visit, even if you cycle the same items in/out of other caches in the future.

Swap items are usually of low dollar value, with the most common items being available from $2 shops.

The value of swap items, however, consists of more than just the dollar value for which it was purchased.

Good swaps

Good swap items that don't necessarily cost a lot of money include:

  • Themed swaps - themed on either the cache (see themed cache), cacher or location (eg: international visitors to Australia may appreciate Australian keyrings or stuffed koalas - these would be good swaps for caches frequented by international visitors);
  • Home made swaps;
  • Unique items (that may not be readily purchased in retail stores).
  • Importantly, brand new items (ie: not previously used, not second hand, and easily purchased for under $2.00).

Some more suggestions for good swaps can be found here.

Bad swaps

Potentially bad swap items include:

  • Material that isn't appropriate for all age groups;
  • Dangerous or potentially dangerous items (eg: matches, scissors & stanley knives);
  • Food (all food is inappropriate for all caches);
  • Anything used or abused (old kids toys, dirty second hand golf balls);
  • Any items which are dirty, grubby, or unclean. -Think of the children in caching families
  • Items which you would otherwize have thrown in the bin ie: Broken, missing bits, useless

Travel Bugs

Most people do not consider travel bugs (or other trackables or hitch hikers) to be a swap item & their value need not be considered when estimating the value of what to swap in or out.