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Topic: Geocaching “enlightenment” Chapter 3, Containers< Next Oldest | Next Newest >
DudleyGrunt Offline
Cache Master

Group: Members
Posts: 544
Joined: April 2008
    Posted: May 18 2010,10:58 am QUOTE

Third piece written by a Northern Virgina geocaher
Original NoVAGO Thread

Geocaching "enlightenment" Chapter 3 "Containers"
by twowheelin

To paraphrase a statement made by Forrest Gump - "Containers are like a box of chocolates, you never know what your going to get". How true...I've seen some good ones, I've seen some bad ones, and I've seen some that never should have been used at all. No, I haven't seen them all, but I can tell the difference. I was tempted to include some thoughts on where containers (by type) should or shouldn't be placed...but I'll save that for the Chapter on "Location, Location, Location". Regardless of what container you use, there is something you should do for the good of geocaching: Mark it as a "Geocache", maybe even place a "Official Geocache Sticker" on it, include the name of the cache, your GC ID, and the website contact information. Most of you are not the target audience for this, or the other chapters...but maybe you know someone who is. You don't have to come right out and tell them they "really need" this information, but an invitation to join NoVAGO, with a gentle reference to all the information available there might go a long way for improving things for all of us.

Chapter 3: “Containers”

Just a simple question; what makes a good geocache container? The answer - just about anything. That answer sounds equally simple, right?…well it is, IF you take some basics into consideration. Some of those basics include: What is the container made of?; What was the container originally used for?; How does the container open/close/seal?; How much does the container cost?; What does the container look like?; Will the container withstand repeated (sometimes rough) handling?; and where or how will the container be hidden?

Containers come in all sizes, and are therefore more-or-less tied to the 4 cache sizes (micro, small, regular, and large).

Some examples of “good” micro containers are: Pico Buttons; Bison Tubes; Match Stick Holders; Preforms; Diabetes Test Strip “cans”; and Pill Caddies. All those containers come with a rubber O-Ring, or snap seal that greatly improves water resistance. The O-Ring can degrade and break over time, but O-Ring replacements are available in almost every size in your local home improvement store plumbing section. Note that I left out 35mm film cans, Altoids tins, and magnetic Hide-a-Key containers. By themselves they are not water resistant, but by placing the log in a small ZipLock bag, and hiding the container where it has protection from precipitation…they are suitable.

Small containers include: 3” round Lock & Lock; 2” X 4” Lock & Lock; pill bottles (careful that the neck of the bottle isn’t so small that log removal is next to impossible); Beach Safe containers; 3” X 5” Pelican™ cases; 3” X 5” Otter Box™ some small food containers IF thoroughly washed to remove ALL scent of food (GatorAde powder, plastic peanut butter, plastic mayonnaise, plastic coffee jars, etc..) Re-sealable deli meat containers, Gladware and dollar store food storage containers are usually poor choices - they get brittle over time and a prone to cracking.

Regular containers include: The “King”, an ammo can (remember to paint over or remove all military markings); 6” X 6” or 6” X 8” Lock & Lock; larger plastic (thoroughly washed) peanut butter, and mayonnaise jars; 6” X 10” Pelican™ and Otter Box™ cases; Vittles Vault™ jars; Rubbermaid™ and Tupperware™ cereal and bread containers (although after a year or two in the elements both Rubbermaid™ and Tupperware™ will take on moisture/water).

Large containers include: 5 gallon plastic paint buckets, mortar cans(remember to paint over or remove all military markings), 8” X 30” map tubes, large equipment Pelican™ cases and Otter boxes™.

Please note - plastic is mentioned often, and glass and tin are not mentioned at all - one breaks, the other rusts closed!! Both are poor choices.

You can spend a lot, or a little…you can place a maintenance free cache, or one that will constantly receive “wet log”, “water inside”, “wet contents”, or “mildew” on-line logs, and a fair number of Needs Maintenance logs. Over the course of many years, and many caches I’ve seen some doozies: A ZipLock bag (that’s it…no container, just a ZipLock bag); cardboard Pringles tubes; paint cans; cookie tins; containers “protected” by being placed in plastic garbage/grocery bags (think “greenhouse effect“, the bag provides the perfect hot and humid breeding ground for slugs, bugs, mold, fungus, and slime…yuk)!

Take pride in your hide…it’s less work for you, and a more enjoyable experience for those who find your cache.

There is a current topic on the Groundspeak Forums with photos of poor choices for cache containers. If interested, Look Here

There are undoubtedly many other suitable, and/or unsuitable containers out there...your comments are welcome, and please remember to stay on topic for "Containers".


Dave - Happy Trails!
"We never seek things for themselves—what we seek is the very seeking of things."
- Blaise Pascal (1623-1662)

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