Geocaching: Creative Caching Redux

March 18, 2014 at 5:39 am (Geocaching) (, )

With the exception of “Can you help me fix my (insert Apple product here)?”, I probably get asked about geocaching more than anything else, by friends and strangers alike.  I have written a couple of posts about geocaching, and folks frequently ask me about new caches that I’ve made.  Since it’s been awhile since I’ve mentioned any here, I decided an update was in order. Following are a few of my recent “creative caches”.

 

SmileyCache

  The first is a small finger puppet that fit perfectly over a pill container sold at the drug store for a few dollars.  It has an 0-ring, making it waterproof.  I just glued that puppet onto the top of the container, so it will still unscrew without any difficulty.  Just add log and hide.

 

 

 

BirdCache

  Next, is one of my favorites.  It is a bird decoy that I picked up at the hardware store for a few dollars.  It has a small plastic tab at the feet, which is where I chose to place a plastic screw top container that came inside a nano bison container.  The size was perfect. Now, I can just add a clamp onto his other foot, and perch him on a branch in a tree.  

 

 

NestEggsCache

  To go along with the bird, I have a nest with a couple of eggs.  I used one of those “everything tools’ to hollow out the inside of one of the eggs, and glued a plastic screw-top container inside (again, one of those little tubes that was inside the nano bison tubes). I lightly glued the eggs into the nest, to make it easier all around.  The nest will be attached to a tree branch with some brown wire to enhance the camouflage. 

 

 

Lantern cache

  Next is a little lantern that I picked up in the miniature section of the hobby store.  The lantern is a couple of inches tall, and it was the perfect size for the top of a nano cache to be attached to the bottom of it.  I did a test run and hid it hanging on a gazebo that gets a lot of foot traffic to see if it would get “muggled” (that’s when a non-geocacher either destroys or steals the cache); it has been there for about 3 months without incident. I even received an email recently from someone who “discovered” it whilst scoping out hiding places of his own, and he signed it as the “First to Find Before Publishing”.  That isn’t an actual designation, but it happens occasionally, and I’ll definitely give him credit for it.  

MushroomCache I think I’m finally ready to publish the coordinates and let folks find these caches for real.  🙂   Last, but not least, is a little mushroom that I picked up at Walgreens in their seasonal section along with other gardening-type decorations.  It had a little spike attached for sticking it in a plant.  I glued a plastic screw-top container to the underside of it, and stuck it in the ground near a tree stump.  It is just the right color that it looks like it belongs where I placed it.  I’ll be excited to see that comments that come back on that one. 

 

 

 

I hope you enjoyed getting a sneak-peek into a few of my recent “creative caches”.  Let me know what kind of caches you’re making these days, and if there’s something in particular you’ve run across that’s particularly creative or devious, let us know about it.  I’m going to go double-check my coordinates and publish some new caches for folks to find!  Until next time, cache on!

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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.

BranchCache.jpg

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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