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Muggleproof Caches


Calypte
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I'm going to start preparing to hide my first cache, and my foremost concern is "will it be muggled" more than anything else. I'd like to build a cache container so safe that it could be used as a TB hotel or a geocoin trading center. I also want to make interesting caches that people will enjoy more than just 'oh, great, another bison tube in a tree' thing. Since these will be placed in wooded areas, I wanted to put full effort into making these at least 'regular' sized.

 

Pulleys

The best idea I've heard is a cache up in a tree that is lowered down with a pulley system. I'd love to do this, but I'm curious...

1.) How do you make a decent pulley system?

2.) How do you get it up in the tree without killing yourself?

3.) How can it be attached without damage to the tree?

4.) How would it hold up in a wind/ice storm?

 

The pulley system would probably need no more than 2 pulleys...if not just one. I would probably attach it to the tree using a black painted metal zip tie, along with 2 or 3 rings to guide the rope out of the way. At the end of the rope would be 2 rings...one that would hold the geocache off of the ground at full height (possibly released only after obtaining a combination to a bike lock), and an other one permanently attached to the ground somehow that is long enough to be reached when the cache is fully on the ground.

 

Really, I have this thought out pretty well, but I can't think of how to get it up into the tree without climbing equipment (which I don't have nor can do) or packing a huge ladder into the woods. Also, when the cache is up in the tree, what would be a good way to hide the excess rope? Is there a device that will automatically wind the rope up for you like a name badge holder?

 

Fake Rock

I wanted to build a fake rock around an ammo can. I saw a really awesome tutorial at the website found here: http://www.aspenweaver.com/geocache/geocache_build/index.htm

 

I like the rock idea because it'd be less likely to be used as firewood. I've heard of many-a-log-caches turning up missing and I can only guess they were probably picked up to be used in a bonfire. Especially in a particular area where I wish to place one near my house, the neighbor teenagers like to go out into the woods and hold campfires. It's too a nice area to pass up, but anything made of wood would be fair game.

 

I'm kind of afraid to work with fiberglass, as well as the fact it's probably out of my price range. At the bottom of the page it's mentioned that instead of fiberglass the final 2 pictures had muslin and plaster used instead. I would use a spray foam base as shown, the muslin/plaster mix then coat the top with a layer of cement. Would the muslin/plaster hold up for a decent amount of time? I'd want this to be pretty permanent. To camouflage this better, I'd blend some whole milk with some local moss and pour it over the top so actual moss would grow on it. Maybe add a small indent to the concrete that'd allow a small area to plant a fern so it'd look more convincing. So it wouldn't be crazy difficult to figure out, I might sculpt a tiny logo inconspicuously on the top that only someone looking for it would find. Thoughts?

 

I'd like more ideas for interesting caches. I want to actually put effort into these so they are fun. There seems to be kind of a lack of innovative containers in the Kent area.

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First things first. Your #1 protection against muggles is to choose your location carefully. They can see ropes and fake rocks as easily as we can. I can list plenty of hanging caches and fake rocks that have been muggled in well-trafficked areas. The harder your cache is to see, the less likely it will be muggled. Unless you've found a lot of caches, your first few hides will be a learning experience! Since the King County area is fairly dense with caches, you might want to run the coordinates of your chosen location by a reviewer before you put significant effort into your hide. There has to be a 528 foot radius around all caches, including the finals of multicaches and puzzle caches that you may not have found yet (you won't know where they are to avoid being too close to them). I look forward to finding your cache! :shocked:

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I'd like more ideas for interesting caches. I want to actually put effort into these so they are fun. There seems to be kind of a lack of innovative containers in the Kent area.

Actually, there are some innovative containers in the Kent area but you haven't found them yet! :shocked:

 

That's true. Any suggestions?

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I'd like more ideas for interesting caches. I want to actually put effort into these so they are fun. There seems to be kind of a lack of innovative containers in the Kent area.

Actually, there are some innovative containers in the Kent area but you haven't found them yet! :shocked:

When I read Calypte's remark, I thought "Prying Pandora will jump on that one!" :o

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Truly great to welcome a creative new cacher with such thoughtful hide ideas Calypte, As I uh, happen to have a bit of direct experience w/ such "arboreal" hides, I know well the formidable struggle to find jusssst the right tree, and then somehow scampering up to rig the pulley, etc. But - as evidenced by my own such hide w/ 44 finds, 1 DNF and (knock-on-wood) no muggle/mechanical mishaps in over a year - it's surely quite doable, even for a full-sized cache "in plain sight".

 

Prying Pandora is right of course, about dutifully checking the coordinates of nearby caches for your intended hide. And you needn't necessarily solve every blessed puzzle cache in the area - just shoot a note to your reviewer (email link located at the base of the cache page of any cache in your locale) w/ your intended coords and they can best advise if there's any other waypoints (be it multi cache or puzzle) in the .1 vicinity.

 

And as far as your notion that "There seems to be kind of a lack of innovative containers in the Kent area." uh... such hubristic presumptions understandably might well step on a few local geotoes. While the ratio of creative:sameol' no doubt can always be higher (in every geosandbox), suffice there are at least a few in your area that come highly recommended:

 

CENT5 Rocks!!! by Prying Pandora

 

The Jester Doesn't Play with a Full Deck by The Jester

 

Old Burien by Sneaky Weasels

 

Fair in Height 451 by geodude2

 

And finally, likewise a "first cache" - in a tree to boot!:

 

Up a tree by Gabriella Sciuchetti

 

Hope this helps Calypte. In short, you are wise to approach your first hide with such thoughtfulness. We look forward to enjoying the fruits of your creativity.

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Muggle proof is impossible in my opinion.

 

Like the old saying, "Even a blind squirrel gets a nut once and a while". Unless you find a spot on private property where the owner knows about the cache and allows you to place it like you want, then you have to deal with people out hunting, wandering around, looking for a quiet, people looking for a "secluded" spot, etc.

 

I have a cache out along the line of what your looking for. GCNJBE - Wheres Red II.

 

It has been out about 2.5 years and no muggles yet. Send me a PM and I will fill you in on details.

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Like that blind squirrel, logscaler is right - there surely is no guarantee even the most ingenious hide won't somehow eventually go M.I.A. Nonetheless...

 

Is there a device that will automatically wind the rope up for you like a name badge holder?

Depending on the size/weight of your cache container, you could use one of those retractable key rings for the entire system. I have a hide like that (in cahoots with my dd weizguyz in Alaska) that's a bison tucked into the end of a large pine cone attached to a high (but reachable by all but the most severely height-challenged) branch by the keyring. The tree (NOT a pine) is also peppered with stray pine cones for good cammo measure. Been out over a year now and no muggle nor malfunction problems yet. An especially handy hide for Alaska - high enough to avoid the snowdrifts so it can be had year-round.

 

And nope, I see no problem w/ revealing such details of my own hides. It surely can't be any worse than the PAF system, and it serves to encourage more thoughtful hides. :)

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I like the rock idea because it'd be less likely to be used as firewood. I've heard of many-a-log-caches turning up missing and I can only guess they were probably picked up to be used in a bonfire. Especially in a particular area where I wish to place one near my house, the neighbor teenagers like to go out into the woods and hold campfires. It's too a nice area to pass up, but anything made of wood would be fair game.

 

I'm kind of afraid to work with fiberglass, as well as the fact it's probably out of my price range. At the bottom of the page it's mentioned that instead of fiberglass the final 2 pictures had muslin and plaster used instead. I would use a spray foam base as shown, the muslin/plaster mix then coat the top with a layer of cement. Would the muslin/plaster hold up for a decent amount of time? I'd want this to be pretty permanent. To camouflage this better, I'd blend some whole milk with some local moss and pour it over the top so actual moss would grow on it. Maybe add a small indent to the concrete that'd allow a small area to plant a fern so it'd look more convincing. So it wouldn't be crazy difficult to figure out, I might sculpt a tiny logo inconspicuously on the top that only someone looking for it would find. Thoughts?

 

I'd like more ideas for interesting caches. I want to actually put effort into these so they are fun. There seems to be kind of a lack of innovative containers in the Kent area.

 

Seriously don't let the idea of fiberglass intimidate you. Regular old polyester resin and glass is easy, safe, and cheap to work with. You will be suprised just how easy it is to get foam waterlogged. Even with a good coating of poly it will eventually get wet. Depends on what kind of lifespan you are looking for but if a few good years of service are acceptable I say go for it.

 

As for coating foam directly with cement, I suspect you are going to have some real issues with impact resistance, the foam is going to want to give and the cement isn't so every time it takes a hit you are going to run the risk of the cement coming off in chunks.

 

For what it's worth I've got a fake rock I built out right now. I'm going to let it go through a full series of seasons and if it's still holding up ok , next year I'm going to build one big enough to hide a rubbermaid blue tote inside.

 

I cut out a random rock shaped form from some plywood, then I cut out concentric rings from the inside, following the outside shape. All of the rings got nailed together with some risers and the center section made up the 'top' to that I added a bunch of wadded up newspaper. I also jammed wads of newspaper in random spots on the framework to hide hard spots. The whole thing got covered with an old blanket and soaked in resin (epoxy because I buy it 15 gallons at a time for boatbuilding). When that was set up I stripped all the framework and added a layer of glass for strength. So far it's holding up fine but we will see after winter is over.

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Good job with the Fake Rock instructions, I did this same thing to hide my Honda generator when camping in the woods, looks like a huge rock boulder or a dump from a dino. camo'd the extension cord also. People used to come by and watch the movies I showed on my digital projector and 60inch screen and would wander around trying to find the generator, you could not hear this thing at all, had small computer fans in the rock hooked up to heat sensors. Looked crazy but worked outstanding. Working on a cache version for one of my existing caches.

Edited by Thomas & Dingo
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