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I'm sure you've seen the occasional cache where the log is wet or the container is damaged, etc.


How about some tips on what works and what to avoid?


Things like film cans, those that I've found sitting with the lid upright stay dry, when they are left on thier side they get wet, same with pill bottles. But they can get brittle and crack, so they should be changed out as needed.


A baggie doesn't help because it is usually torn or has a hole poked in it from the pen/pencil.


Plastic containers that I've found that are just out in the wild are going to leak, either from a warped or cracked lid or from the local vermin gnawing. Several that have been tucked out of the way say under a rock or just not covered with leaves last longer but these things are just going to require periodic maintenance.


So far 2 types that I've seen hold up real well. The trusty ammo can as long as the seal is intact have sat for months, some in periodic running creeks with little signs of trouble. The other has twist on lids like a reused water filter case or small Igloo-type water jug.


Locknlocks.....seems you need to write "this side up" on the lid.


Bison tubes, the UV breaks down the o-rings so these need to be changed based on exposure.

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You have a pretty good synopsis there. Two other containers that I've had good luck with are Rubbermaid Seal n Savers (the ones with the blue rim on the lid) and Nalgene Straight Jars.


Real Tupperware, though expensive, seems to leak after about a year in the wild. I don't think I've found an old Tupperware continer that wasn't soaked. Gladware is just plain poor, as are those Chinese food/deli containers that you get with your hot and sour soup and potato salad.

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I've also had good luck with a blue rimmed Rubbermaid container. It's under a footbridge, so it gets no sun exposure, but at times has been underwater. It's doing fine at 2 and half years old. I also have matchsafes out. Most of them in shaded locations. Those hold up well. I have noticed that if people spray paint them with the o ring on, the o ring tends to fail, perhaps the paint solvents damage it.

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Bomb squads seem to like transparent containers.

Yup, they blow them up at a higher rate than any other container type.


Back to the OP. The baggie around the log books I have seen it keep the log dryer than the mush in the cache even with the pencil holes so I'm a believer. For wet logs the Power Tank pens are nice. They are cheap and the ink doesn't run. They don't write on sopping wet logs you have to dry them a bit. Gel pens do write better on wet, but the ink runs more than the power tanks.

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Google "army surplus" and you'll get lots of sites. Then type "decon" in the search window. You can also just type "decon" in Google or Yahoo.

Much better than free film canisters are the dollar-something orange waterproof match containers at WalMart. Get some camo duct tape at the same store, unless you want it to be really easy. :)

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Decon kits, AKA: M258A1 Plastic Box, are kewl. About twice the volume as a cigarette pack. They are also very water resistent. I found one tied to a brick, in a culvert, that had been submerged for two months. It had a half inch of water in it.


You can buy them here: http://www.armysurpluswarehouse.com/itemDe...%20Box&item=559

Did I miss something here? The container is waterproof yet it had a 1/2 inch of water in it?


As mentioned already, I like ammo boxes (but I don't like opening them!) and Lock and Lock containers.

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Decon containers are good. Recently I've found a few caches made of PVC pipe with screw on lids. One of them was on the coast of Florida tied to the rocks on the sea wall. Everything dry inside...

These do keep the contents dry, but also bear a striking resemblance to a pipe bomb.


My number one choice would be an ammo can. Lock-n-locks are okay when a clear container is required.

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Decon kits, AKA: M258A1 Plastic Box, are kewl...They are also very water resistent. I found one tied to a brick, in a culvert, that had been submerged for two months. It had a half inch of water in it.

Did I miss something here? The container is waterproof yet it had a 1/2 inch of water in it?

It was said they are water resistent, not water proof. I'd say being submerged for two months with only 1/2" of water is pretty good.


I also have used lots of decon containers and they are very good for small containers...although I do know that some people have a hard time getting the lids off.

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Ahhhh, I read it wrong, I see that now! Yeah, water resistant isn't the same as waterproof! Thanks for setting me straight.


Someone mentioned Lock and Locks when a clear container is ok. I put camo tape on my Lock and Locks. Don't know yet how the tape will hold up in the long run but it definitely makes the container a lot less obvious.

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:( Decons are great in the rain. lock N lock are also, the ever present waterproof matchcase is. All do better with spray paint than tape. Regular army cammo paint works great. You might try "stone" spray paint. I don't know what people use it for, unless you want to give your home decor the Bedrock look, but it work great as cammo.
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Aren't the Decon containers supposed to be very good for this?

Decon containers do leak. I've pretty much stopped using them, except for the middles stages of multis. There seems to be a wide variation in the dependability of the seal. With some I have I can jiggle the lid when its snapped in place. Others are solid.

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A baggie doesn't help because it is usually torn or has a hole poked in it from the pen/pencil.

This is exactly why I've started specifically mentioning in both the online cache page and the flyer in the cache to NOT (I repeat NOT) put the pen or pencil IN the baggie with the log book.


You are right, it just ends up poking a hole in the bag. And someone please tell me why they think they need to keep a darn pencil dry? Sure, by putting the pencil in the baggie you are keeping the logbook and writing tool together but I think folks can dig thru the cache to find the pencil... they're going to be digging around looking for something good to take in trade for their broken McD toy anyway. :o

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I just bought 2 .30 caliber ammo boxes for $3 each and a .50 caliber box for $5. They are in great condition and the seals are really tight. I can't imagine a better container. Neither of the surplus stores in my town had any idea what I was talking about when I asked about decon containers though. ;)


I've found enough cheap, broken, cracked, leaky pseudo-tupperware to make me want to go with the ammo boxes.

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I like the ammo boxes too. We put out one of our caches in an ammo box and it came up missing. Whoever took it left all the swag and the log book in nice ziplock baggies, but took the container. Since then we are experimenting with some cheaper alternatives but we are checking on these more often to see how they hold up.

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My first Decon find kinda freaked me out because the lid is clearly stamped "Poisonous - Do not open" or something to that matter.


<true story>

At first I thought "Decon" might have meant "Decon - as in the Roach Spray" company, so I opened the cache container and quickly dumped the contents all over my friend. She thought it was funny once the convulsions stopped. I laughed and laughed and laughed. When she realized it was just a harmless army surplus container she was embarassed for being so silly - but she never did figure out where all of those red splotches came from.

</true story>


BTW if you use a clear plastic container that gets any sun exposure moisture will build up on the inside.


I've used a plastic pringles can, a small red plastic folgers can, a clear plastic film canister and a metal popcorn bucket with lid (wrapped in camo tape). No foraging animal attacks yet, but I ran them all through the dishwasher before I used them. The pringles can gets moisture in it (from leaks) as well as the film canister (from condensation) but the other two stay dry. The red coffee container has been in place for over a year but it hidden under a rusty paint can so it gets some shelter.

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Otter boxes are supposedly waterproof, airtight containers.


I use one to carry my Glock, cellphone & GPSr while kayak fishing.

The problem some folks have is they'll leave the pressure valve open, allowing moisture in.

Kinda pricey at $20 to $60 a pop.

I'd be afraid someone would steal the cache just to keep the Otter box. Are they the same as Pelican cases? They look similiar. I'm hunting for a box to use for my first cache. I may end up at the Army surplus store this week. Ammo box seems like the best price/performance solution.

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I like ammo-cans, nalgene jars and bottles, otter/pelican cases, and lock & lock containers...in roughly that order.


In UT, alomst any container will do, but in the northern adks containers have to withstand lots of extreme weather...I woke up to about 2 inches of fresh snow this morning.



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Recently I've found a few caches made of PVC pipe with screw on lids. One of them was on the coast of Florida tied to the rocks on the sea wall. Everything dry inside...

Really? How old were these containers? did they have tape around the threads??

Everyone of the pvc containers i've seen (6? i think) ended up wet inside within 4-6 months, both screw tops and those expanding rubber plugs. I think part of the problem is to get them water tight you need to use a wrench and maybe tape or glue. While most only get hand tightened.


Also, 35mm film tubes are good for holding CITO bags but not as caches, they end up wet. If you want a cheap container go get one of those 'waterproof match holder' they're usually around a buck. Some places have them molded in black or green. Walmart has 88cent orange ones, but you can fix that with some camo tape, spray pain, dark nail polish, etc.

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The problems so far that I've seen with film cans are that those left out in the elements end up on thier sides, have ill-fitting or cracked lids from sun exposure, or chewed upon by some of the local vermin all three things leading to a soggy inside. A few that have been tucked out of the way and upright seem to be fine.


True of most of the plastics out there that I've seen so far, leaving them in a position other than upright is asking for dampness.

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Decon container lids can be tuff to remove and also to get back on correctly. Some folks apparently don't take the time to see that they are snapped back on tightly and therefore the seal is compromised. I have had good luck using pickling salt containers. They are about the size of a king size peanut butter jar, plastic with a screwtop lid and cost under $2.00. Only problem is figuring out what to do with the salt. Before use I wash them out with hot water and pine cleaner to remove any salt residue and to discourage rodents.

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