I think this must be one of the greatest misunderstandings about geocaching. It is an electronic treasure hunt, but there is very seldom any treasure. When I tell people about geocaching, roughly 50% of the people always get distracted by the word treasure and ask “So, this treasure you say, what might be in it?” I try to explain that the treasure is finding the cache itself, and sometimes there is indeed something that you want to trade, not for monetary gain, but just for the memories – a kind of sentimental treasure.
My son and I almost never trade things in cashes as the “treasure” tends to degenerate over time. Neither do I pick up trackables (read more about trackables here) very often as I never know when I’ll be out next time; we are kind of slow but persistent geocachers nowadays. But what we do trade for when we have the chance is pins and buttons. These pins and buttons are added to my son’s first geocaching-hat as a kind of treasure map of memories. Sometimes we take a look at the hat and I talk about the memories I have connected to a specific pin. I don’t know how much he understands, or if he makes the same connection I do, but I’d rather keep doing it in case he makes the Connection, rather than rob him of the memories by not talking about it, even if I can.