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Pros vs. Cons of Ammo Boxes


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They won't fit under a lamp post's skirt.

 

:)

 

No, seriously, there are no drawbacks that I can think of to using an ammo box for a cache, so long as it'll fit where you're putting it. If it mentions that it's holding explosives you may want to paint over that.

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Straight sides are easy to spot, thus hard to camouflage. :)

If they get wet then freeze it can be tough to get them open. :P

They aren't clear, so if a bomb squad wants to see what's inside they'll simply blow it up. :P

You have to find more swag to put in it than a micro. :laughing:

...they cost more to replace.

I'd say it's one of the cheaper traditional sized cache containers. Despite the cons, I just picked up 3 today, $5 each at the local surplus store. A Lock'n'Lock half the size runs for almost that at Wally World & isn't nearly as durable. Of course, if you're talking about vs a film canister, you are correct. Personally, having worked in a photo lab & having access to many canisters, I've found it's more fun to use them to make an air gun. :laughing:

Edited by Too Tall John
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They don't cost that much more.

Lock-n-lock $3-$5 (small-medium)

Ammo can $4-$6 (30 cal. size)

 

If your space will support it use an ammo can.

If you want a better selection of sizes, lock-n-lock.

 

Other containers, well, "also ran".

 

Note- micros are a whole different ball game.

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"they cost more to replace."

 

At my local army surplus store, a good-sized ammo can goes for about $5. An equal-sized Tupperware container is anywhere between $4-8 bucks at Wal*Mart. I'd say the trade-off in sheer coolness makes up for any small drop in price.

 

There is one drawback I do know of. A cache around here, hidden in a false log, is an ammo can from back in 2001, and is starting to get pretty rusty. The hinges are starting to bend and it looks like hell ... yet it's sticking together after over five years of use and abuse in an insect-ridden log in the middle of the woods. Although I'm sure Tupperware holds up just the same, I think anything that can hold its own for more than five years is good enough for me.

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... Personally, having worked in a photo lab & having access to many canisters, I've found it's more fun to use them to make an air gun. :laughing:

 

I worked in a muffler shop. We used exhaust pipe and fired 'em with an oxy-accetelene mix.

Lost more tennis balls that way. :)

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Straight sides are easy to spot, thus hard to camouflage.

 

This is where you start gluing twigs and leaves to the container to make up for that. Besides, I've overlooked many a camo'd container with sharp edges...it really depends on what is around it and how shaded the area near the edges is...

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They don't cost that much more.

Lock-n-lock $3-$5 (small-medium)

Ammo can $4-$6 (30 cal. size)

 

If your space will support it use an ammo can.

If you want a better selection of sizes, lock-n-lock.

 

Other containers, well, "also ran".

 

Note- micros are a whole different ball game.

 

One thing that's gotten popular over on "that other caching site" are wide mouth Poly Carbonate water bottles. ( you know like Nalgene or other brand ).

 

They're more durable than tuperware. They hold a reasonable amount of swag, but it has to fit into the mouth. They're water tight, light and easy to carry. They're a bit pricey though, at $7-9 each.

 

Like any plastic container, they should NOT be exposed to sunlight. The UV will degrade the plastic and make it crumble.

 

As for Ammo cans, they're very very durable. That's the best reason to use them. I've got about 12-15 of them in the field and I know I don't have to worry about them much, other than fire or bulldozer or bomb squads.

 

But they're heavy to hike into the woods with. They should be sanded a bit and re-painted first to avoid rust and to remove markings that might freak out some muggles.

 

And I'd never use one in an urban environment because they look too much like a traffic counter. Although you could disguise one as a lite-brite advertisement and maybe get away with it. :)

Edited by headybrew
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I have yet to find a lock&lock or an ammo can with any siginficant amount of water damage inside.

 

I ran across one about 1/2 mile from I-15 at the Nevada/California border (GCH2ZJ - Welcome to Nevada). The lid was closed but the inside was as wet as the outside of a glass of lemonade on a summer's day. The log was completely soaked.

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I have yet to find a lock&lock or an ammo can with any significant amount of water damage inside.

 

I ran across one about 1/2 mile from I-15 at the Nevada/California border (GCH2ZJ - Welcome to Nevada). The lid was closed but the inside was as wet as the outside of a glass of lemonade on a summer's day. The log was completely soaked.

 

Wow! you mean the *ONE DROP* of rain that actually falls in that area each year, just happened to hit that cache? :)

 

Ah, but seriously, That brings up the point of having the container suit the climate. Several of the (admittedly small number of ) caches I've found have been in a used tin cookie container, and their contents seemed to be in fine condition. But those were out in the dessert. Of course Primm NV is pretty much the dessert... so go figure...

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I'd say the chief negative is that size and shape makes them more difficult to hide. Sometimes I will wander around with an ammo box for 45 minutes before I can find a spot for it. If I'm hiding a cache in a Lock n Lock, I can bring a variety of sizes and shapes along and use the one that is suitable for the first hiding place I like.

 

The next negative is that some parks that have geocaching regulations require clear containers, which rules out ammo boxes.

 

Another negative is that the miltary look might be more likely to cause alarm among non geocachers.

 

Finally, they are more attractive to thieves.

 

Expense isn't an issue. They are cheaper than most decent plastic containers.

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Ive only found 510 caches though so Im sure that Im going to run into one sooner or later with significant water in it. Maybe the water got inside those containers when the cache was open and being loged, maybe not. I like em both

Edited by gh patriot
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I have yet to find a lock&lock or an ammo can with any siginficant amount of water damage inside.

 

I ran across one about 1/2 mile from I-15 at the Nevada/California border (GCH2ZJ - Welcome to Nevada). The lid was closed but the inside was as wet as the outside of a glass of lemonade on a summer's day. The log was completely soaked.

 

I owned one that I had to replace twice because the contents got wet. I also found one that was soaked.

 

My cache was likely underwater a few weeks of the year so that was understandable, but the other one, I can't figure out what the issue was. Maybe a plastic bag got caught in the seal along the way or something.

 

These however are the exception. I'd estimate that close to 100 of my caches are hidden in ammo boxes and I've only had a problem with one and probably 200 of my finds were ammo boxes and all were perfect but the one mentioned above.

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... Personally, having worked in a photo lab & having access to many canisters, I've found it's more fun to use them to make an air gun. :laughing:

 

I worked in a muffler shop. We used exhaust pipe and fired 'em with an oxy-accetelene mix.

Lost more tennis balls that way. :)

Hoo yeah, those were the days!

 

We made mortars of exhaust pipe - stick a 3' length in the ground with a touch-hole about 4" above-ground. Drop in a potato, skeet in some oxy-acetylene and fire that puppy off!

 

It would launch a potato several blocks - we used to bombard the Corona Ca. Police Station parking lot with what had to total hundreds of pounds of spuds!

 

Oh - the topic - can't think of any con to an ammo box.

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Con - try to find one for sale that doesn't have rust on it - i dare you

 

Perhaps that depends on location. I can easily find them in like-new condition here in LA. On the other hand, they're not nearly as cheap as others keep saying. They're at *least* $7 or $8 here for the smaller ones.

 

Of course there are lots of rusty ones too. But I don't buy them.

 

One funny thing is that if I buy one in Burbank and then drive "over the hill" as they say, to my home in the Santa Monica area (with about a 1000ft elevation change) they always make loud bonk noises from the air pressure change and scare the bJeezes out of me as I'm fighting the traffic on I-405. That's how I know it's got a good seal. :)

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Con - try to find one for sale that doesn't have rust on it - i dare you

 

Perhaps that depends on location. I can easily find them in like-new condition here in LA. On the other hand, they're not nearly as cheap as others keep saying. They're at *least* $7 or $8 here for the smaller ones.

 

Of course there are lots of rusty ones too. But I don't buy them.

 

One funny thing is that if I buy one in Burbank and then drive "over the hill" as they say, to my home in the Santa Monica area (with about a 1000ft elevation change) they always make loud bonk noises from the air pressure change and scare the bJeezes out of me as I'm fighting the traffic on I-405. That's how I know it's got a good seal. :)

 

Just got 26 ammo cans from a fellow cacher last night.

Took them from his cold barn and put them in my warm dinning room until I sort them out. All night long I've been listening to the ghost.

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Pro - you can use it as a weapon if needed

 

Con - try to find one for sale that doesn't have rust on it - i dare you

I'll take that dare. If you need some pretty, non-rusted cans, just pm me. I can ship them out from here (ozarks)

 

oh, and the biggest con - bomb squad. :)

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I have yet to find a lock&lock or an ammo can with any siginficant amount of water damage inside.

I found one ammo can that had pretty severe water and insect intrusion. Even though it was hidden off the ground in a tree, it had not been found for quite some time. The hinges had rusted and the lid had started to come off. A nice family of roaches had taken up residence in it, as well as a family of white-footed (exotic invasive) ants. Every single thing in it that was capable of absorbing water had done so. I can only assume that the can may have been faulty to begin with or someone in the past didn't seat the lid back on properly.

 

-eP

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I think the biggest con to ammo boxes is cache owners who can't be bothered to paint over the original military markings and slap a Geocaching label or stencil on it. C'mon, how expensive is a can of spray paint anyway?

 

Bret

4 color spay cans, a leaf stencil, and instructions all in one box. $12.85 at your local outdoor supply store. I bought some, again, day before yesterday.

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I think the biggest con to ammo boxes is cache owners who can't be bothered to paint over the original military markings and slap a Geocaching label or stencil on it. C'mon, how expensive is a can of spray paint anyway?

 

Bret

4 color spay cans, a leaf stencil, and instructions all in one box. $12.85 at your local outdoor supply store. I bought some, again, day before yesterday.

 

And you can probably use it on more than one ammo box, huh?

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Pro - you can use it as a weapon if needed

 

Con - try to find one for sale that doesn't have rust on it - i dare you

I'll take that dare. If you need some pretty, non-rusted cans, just pm me. I can ship them out from here (ozarks)

 

oh, and the biggest con - bomb squad. :rolleyes:

 

Well thanks for the offer. It looks like i may be the only one with this problem. Maybe my local supplier get all the dreggs.

 

so how about a new con - and we'll see if i am the only one with this problem too: They all STINK inside, at least when the have been closed for a while.

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so how about a new con - and we'll see if i am the only one with this problem too: They all STINK inside, at least when the have been closed for a while.

 

How is that a con??? There's nothin' quite like the smell of an ammo can in the morning. Smells like victory! :rolleyes:

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I think the biggest con to ammo boxes is cache owners who can't be bothered to paint over the original military markings and slap a Geocaching label or stencil on it. C'mon, how expensive is a can of spray paint anyway?

 

Bret

4 color spay cans, a leaf stencil, and instructions all in one box. $12.85 at your local outdoor supply store. I bought some, again, day before yesterday.

 

And you can probably use it on more than one ammo box, huh?

:rolleyes::(

 

Depends on thick you put it on and how big the ammo can is. ;)

 

:(

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Pro - you can use it as a weapon if needed

 

Con - try to find one for sale that doesn't have rust on it - i dare you

I'll take that dare. If you need some pretty, non-rusted cans, just pm me. I can ship them out from here (ozarks)

 

oh, and the biggest con - bomb squad. :rolleyes:

 

Well thanks for the offer. It looks like i may be the only one with this problem. Maybe my local supplier get all the dreggs.

 

so how about a new con - and we'll see if i am the only one with this problem too: They all STINK inside, at least when the have been closed for a while.

stick-on carbon filters for the cat box. $2.50 a dozen at PET the big pet supply store

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I find them a bit resistant when trying to open them. They seem to take a lot of force to open. Lock and Locks are much easier to open.

I would have too agree that after a while they can get stiff. I my former line of work I open plenty of them. If they got stiff, we would put some gun cleaning slovent on the hinges. I'm sure something like WD-40 would work.

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Straight sides are easy to spot, thus hard to camouflage. ;)

If they get wet then freeze it can be tough to get them open. ;)

They aren't clear, so if a bomb squad wants to see what's inside they'll simply blow it up. :D

...

Wouldn't the first two apply to most plastic containers also? :(

I actually don't like gladware junk and other thin plastic containers, because when it gets cold out they have a tendency to become brittle and crack.

 

As for the bomb squads... they're paid to be paranoid, if they show up I would think they're bound to blow something up. Of course maybe clear might help keep muggles or whoever from calling it a 'bomb' when they call police, that would be good :( .

 

The only con I see for ammo boxes is that muggles seem to like to steal them more than just regular Lock and locks, etc. Which is amusing to me since large Lock n Locks cost as much as, if not more, than ammo cans around here :rolleyes: .

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Straight sides are easy to spot, thus hard to camouflage. ;)

If they get wet then freeze it can be tough to get them open. :D

They aren't clear, so if a bomb squad wants to see what's inside they'll simply blow it up. :D

...

Wouldn't the first two apply to most plastic containers also? ;)

I actually don't like gladware junk and other thin plastic containers, because when it gets cold out they have a tendency to become brittle and crack.

 

As for the bomb squads... they're paid to be paranoid, if they show up I would think they're bound to blow something up. Of course maybe clear might help keep muggles or whoever from calling it a 'bomb' when they call police, that would be good :( .

 

The only con I see for ammo boxes is that muggles seem to like to steal them more than just regular Lock and locks, etc. Which is amusing to me since large Lock n Locks cost as much as, if not more, than ammo cans around here :rolleyes: .

Yeah...but ammo boxes are cool. :(

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Straight sides are easy to spot, thus hard to camouflage. ;)

If they get wet then freeze it can be tough to get them open. :D

They aren't clear, so if a bomb squad wants to see what's inside they'll simply blow it up. :(

...

Wouldn't the first two apply to most plastic containers also? :(

I actually don't like gladware junk and other thin plastic containers, because when it gets cold out they have a tendency to become brittle and crack.

Ammo cans generally come in one shape: Boxy. Even Lock'n'Locks come in a variety of shapes, like round.

I agree on the gladware, it is junk**. It also doesn't take much to bend it & loose that waterproof (is it really even in ideal situations?) seal.

As for the bomb squads... they're paid to be paranoid, if they show up I would think they're bound to blow something up. Of course maybe clear might help keep muggles or whoever from calling it a 'bomb' when they call police, that would be good ;) .

Clear containers can help people identify the fact that the box is full of plastic toys, not plastique explosives. Not dissing the bomb squads here, if I got called in & had to gear up, drive to the scene, get all hyped up I'd want to blow something up even if it wasn't the proper thing to do (which it really is for safety's sake!)

 

** Speaking of "junk" containers, how about those film canisters? For all you who've been messaging me about the film canister gun, a much better use for those pesky objects, here's how it goes:

First off, while this is a relatively safe contraption, like any gun, DO NOT POINT IT AT ANYONE!

You need one clear film canister (the type that the cap nests inside the can) and a few (at least 4, you can experiment...) of the black type. With an awl, poke holes in the bottoms of all the film canisters but one of the black ones. Stack the cans with the hole-less can on bottom and the clear one on top (only the clear should have a lid). Press down on the stack, forcing each canister into the one below it. Again, this takes some experimentation to find how hard to press. You've now built up pressure! By pressing on the side of the top canister, the lid will be forced out and propelled by the air. It makes a loud popping noise and will fly across the room when you get the right balance of pressure. :rolleyes: Adding a little water to the top black can makes for a water-jet propelled cap!

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I keep wanting to place an ammo box, but there's almost never a particularly clever way to cammo it. Sure, I could cover it with moss, paint it, put it in a cairn, or such, but I'm finding that the most impressive containers seem to be adaptations of things that were not originally made to be containers. I like the ones that everyone can plainly see and no one thinks anything of it, as opposed to the ones that hide behind a bush and try not to be seen at all.

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I reckon the qualities of ammo boxes but this side of the pond they are expensive and not that easy to find, so the ones I have I just use them for what they were designed for, store ammos, bullets,primers etc... :D

 

To prevent them from rusting which usually occurs on the bottom where it touches the ground, use tar like products used to protect car undersides. It is available in auto parts store.

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I keep wanting to place an ammo box, but there's almost never a particularly clever way to cammo it. Sure, I could cover it with moss, paint it, put it in a cairn, or such, but I'm finding that the most impressive containers seem to be adaptations of things that were not originally made to be containers. I like the ones that everyone can plainly see and no one thinks anything of it, as opposed to the ones that hide behind a bush and try not to be seen at all.

 

I took 2 foot long section of a very wide tree trunk, cut a hole in the bottom large enough to fit a .50 cal ammo box and carried it to a nearby park (well two of us had to because it was very heavy). It's within a few feet of the parking lot in a fairly high traffic area and is camoed so well that some searchers have sat down on what they thought was a tree stump to ponder where it could be.

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About half the ones I have found have leaked. Either from improper closure or the seals going bad.

 

They are easy to spot. Look for straight lines and sharp corners and they pop right out of their hiding places.

 

They cost a few $$. I have several, but I use them to store ammunition (what a novel use!!), and carry basic tools in the vehicles.

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About half the ones I have found have leaked. Either from improper closure or the seals going bad.
Really? I've found tons of them and hidden a few. I've only seen one with moisture inside and I have a strong suspicion that it was found in the rain previously.

They are easy to spot. Look for straight lines and sharp corners and they pop right out of their hiding places.

Proper camo can help with this. Take a look at the pic I posted previously. That can pretty much disappeers when set in the shade of a bush.
They cost a few $$. I have several, but I use them to store ammunition (what a novel use!!), and carry basic tools in the vehicles.
I don't know. I paid three to five dollars each for mine. I'd be hard pressed to find another large, weather-resistant container for that price.
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