Most geocaches contain not only a log book, but also a number of items in the spirit of "hidden treasure". It is rare for these items to be of any large value; dollar store items are very common, although some cache hiders like to stock their caches with more expensive prizes.
It is a tradition and unwritten rule of geocaching that when you take something from a cache, you should also leave something in a cache. Because of this, most geocachers carry with them a collection of trinkets to trade for something from the cache when they find the cache. The term trade items refers to these items that geocachers carry, but is also used to refer to items already in the cache, also known as cache items.
Special trade items
There are specialized trade items that have a unique meaning or function. Some examples include:
- Hitch hikers are trade items that travel from cache to cache. Sometimes they have a specific mission, like to travel from New York to Florida, one cache at a time.
- Signature items are usually hand-made personalized items made by a geocacher who leaves one in every cache that he or she finds.
- Geocoins are a type of hitchhiker shaped like a coin and imprinted with a tracking number.
Guidelines exist about prohibited cache items