Creative Caching

September 15, 2012 at 10:22 am (Geocaching, How-to) (, , , )

Most anyone who knows me knows how much I love to geocache. If you aren’t familiar with the term, *geocaching* is basically a high-tech treasure hunt. A container, or *cache*, is hidden somewhere (anywhere, from a park to a field to a parking lot) by the hider and the coordinates are recorded and published to a website. Then the seekers view the published listing and go searching for it, using a GPS unit or a GPS-enabled smartphone (iPhone, Android). When the cache is found, they sign a log inside the container, then log their find online. It’s loads of fun, largely because it can be done anytime, anywhere.

The containers are classified into sizes ranging from nano (tiny) to large (really big). Common examples include film containers (very popular for what’s known as *”park ‘n’ grab”* hides because they are usually very quick and easy to find), magnetic key boxes, lock and lock (Tupperware-type) containers, and ammo boxes (metal cans once used for storing ammunition are popular for hides in the woods).

So, with that explanation of introduction, I’ve been having a great deal of fun making my own geocache containers recently. Some call them “evil” caches. I prefer to call them “creative” caches 😉 These can be made out of just about anything. Before deciding what type of cache to make, and how to construct it, you have to answer a few important questions:

• Where are you planning to hide it? A hide in the woods might use a pine cone or a hollowed out stick, whereas a city hide might be more suited to a fake electrical switch, a retrofitted cable, or a bolt on back of a signpost.

• How devious, er, difficult, do you want it to be? Geocaches are rated in difficulty from level 1 (easy) to level 5 (difficult). The rating takes into account both the difficulty of the container as well as the likely amount of “muggle” (non-caching persons) traffic in the area.

• How much time and money do you want to put into your creations? Many creative caches can be fashioned with little more than some good glue and household items. Duct tape comes in many patterns and colors now, camouflage being one of them. A clean plastic jar, such as a peanut butter jar, covered with camo tape makes a great container for hiding in a tree stump or under some branches. Add a rotary tool, such as a Dremel, to the mix, and you’ve just upped the ante quite a bit in terms of what you can do. Making whizbangs (see previous post) is super-easy and costs nothing but a little time. If you have some money to spend, you can make some diabolical cache containers with things like PVC pipe, water hose and spigots, drain covers, and more.

Here are just a couple of examples that I’ll leave you with today.

Penny cache

The first one is similar to the Bottle Cap cache I detailed in my last post.  However, rather than using a bottle cap from a beer or soda bottle, this one uses a penny as the decoy.  .The penny is glued to the screw top or flip top of a small cylindrical vial. When dry, drop in your log and you’re good to go.  These work great as hides in neighborhood parks or parking areas near a convenience store where there is a little gravel mixed with dirt. Just dig up a little bit of dirt, slide it into the ground, and the penny is flush with the ground as if it was just dropped. Sneaky 😉  I recently saw it done with a small colored rock as well. It was glued in the same way, but was just a little different. Put your own individual touches on it.


The next one is still a work in progress. I hollowed out a small stick, and slid a bison tube inside. I was thinking about hinging the other part of the stump where I’d cut it, but I think I’m going to just glue the bison into the hollowed out portion, and leave it sticking out slightly. That way, it (hopefully) won’t go missing from the stick that houses it, and it won’t be too difficult to find. Then, the finders will simply have to unscrew the top of the bison container, sign the log, screw the top back on, and replace the stick.

What ideas have you come up with for your own creative caches? Let me know in the comments. Until next time, cache on!


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