A throw-down cache (also called an angel cache) is a "replacement" container hidden by a geocacher who was unable to find a cache. Assuming that the unfound cache is missing, the geocacher hides ("throws down") an inexpensive container like a film canister.
The problems with throw-down caches include:
- The original cache may still be there, and the seeker just couldn't find it. Future seekers may find the throw-down cache rather than the more interesting original cache.
- Even if the original cache is missing, future seekers may not recognize the throw-down cache if it doesn't match the description of the original cache.
- If the geocacher who hid the throw-down cache logs a find rather than a DNF, then the owner may not realize that anything is wrong, so it may take longer for a missing container to be replaced properly.
- If the owner is no longer maintaining the cache, then the throw-down cache becomes geolitter when the unmaintained cache is archived.
- The missing container may have been a puzzle-cache decoy, with a note explaining that the finder still needs to solve the puzzle correctly to get the coordinates of the actual cache. Future finders would not know that they had solved the puzzle incorrectly.
- Some locations experience wind storms. The original cache may have been secured to keep it from blowing away, but throw-down containers that aren't secured become geolitter.