What To Include
Many people arrive at this page after Googling for "Time Capsule Ideas" or "Time Capsule Contents"…without realizing that this site demonstrates how to create a wilderness adventure out of a simple Time Capsule. So if you landed here wondering what this is all about, you may want to learn more about our wilderness time capsule adventure from the beginning.
Time Capsule content ideas are hard to come by for some people, so here we include a few possibilities. The main prize of the wilderness adventure is not the small gems you choose to hide for future retrieval, but the thrill of search and discovery. So if your only insert is a short, hand-written letter protected through the years in a sealed stainless capsule covered by a camouflaged Geocapsule, think how meaningful that alone will be for a descendant… or friend…of yours to find.
There is no need to stuff a capsule full of “things”. The journey of retrieval itself should be enough to delight your descendants. Finding a few small treasures is all that will be necessary.
Capsule Volume: Our recommended stainless capsules are small. The internal volume of the small double walled GEOcap is 14 oz, which is a little larger than the typical 12 oz. soft drink can. In fact you may be able to find this time capsule sold as a resealable vacuum food jar in houseware departments. The larger stainless GEOtube holds 64 oz., or two quarts. Links to resellers of these capsules are found here.
First…What NOT to Include: Make certain your Geocapsule never contains any liquids, food products, matches, explosives, or unenclosed items with any discernable odor that… by smell… would attract wildlife. (For a more complete list, see the References page for What NOT to Include.)
Time Capsule Ideas: You might insert a few small semi-valuable items that could boost future motivation to start the journey. And you may want to include minor pieces of family memorabilia, or historical benchmarks. But certainly notes of personal interest or letters with your recollections of your intended family member. If your time capsule is for future kids or grandkids, you can include a few photo prints they have never seen, or special objects their parents, relatives or childhood friends have given for inclusion in the Geocapsules.
You’ll find a link to an interesting document on our Time Capsule References page. It’s a website that will insert your own life events neatly within the decades of other historic events. There are many other different different ways this document can be used to create benchmarks of time. A perfect insert for your time capsule! (Look for the link under Time Capsule Time Line.)
Remember that every organic article (documents, photo prints, cloth, newsprint, etc.) should be sealed inside protective polyethylene bags to help preserve them… as described in the Protecting Your Time Capsule Items section.
Risk Assessments: You can eliminate virtually every possible environmental peril…and more…by reviewing two checklists included on our Geocapsule Products page. The checklists are entitled Before You Leave Your House and Before You Leave Your Drop Site.
This is an adventure of small risks, but they are risks that can be minimized with your own intelligent planning and secure preparation. If you can complete all our checklists, your chances of guaranteeing a successful time capsule adventure for your future family are excellent.
Trigger Ideas: Here are more small items that may prompt you to think of your own list. All were actually included in previous Geocapsules.
• Psychic predictions for the future
• Written comments on the news of the day
• Some school test papers to be reviewed years hence
• Crisp, small denomination bills
• Never before seen personal photos
• Single newspaper page of the day
• Personal notes
• Future greetings from family members and childhood friends
Non Organic Items
• A concrete chink from the Berlin Wall
• Route 66 jigger glass
• Mardi Gras beads (At last a place to store them!)
• Small items donated by parents, great grandparents and family friends
• US Flag lapel pins
• Hiking stick medallions from various National Parks
• Skipping rocks
• Items retrieved from desk and dresser drawers
• Susan B. Anthony and Sacagawea U.S. dollar coins
• Commemorative medallions
• U.S. Mint Coin set from 1999
Many items would be of literally no interest to anybody but the few retrievers who may remember them when they are grown. Can these small treasures survive up to a few decades unscathed and undisturbed? Shucks yes. Some things may not endure as well as others. But that will be part of the mystery… and part of the adventure. For certain, there will be historic curiosity in rediscovering the cache.
Always, the greatest message for your descendants will be that their friends, parents or grandparents cared enough to remain a part of their lives in a small way.
Want more preservation tips? Go to the References page.