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Chemicalized Caches


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I recently talked with a fellow cacher who is getting ready to place his first cache, and he is planning on putting a product called (at least I think it's called) "snake-a-way" along with other products that are supposed to deter animals from the area.

 

I am not sure how I feel about this idea or if anyone else even does this. On one hand, I feel it may be a very good idea to minimize possible injury from poisonous or dangerous animals in a certain area. On the other hand, I feel that anyone who wants to be out in the woods looking for hidden containers assumes the risk of possibly disturbing and coming into contact with local wildlife. I know there are some cachers out there who may see this differently, but not only is caching a wonderful hobby, it is a way of making people more aware of their surroundings and of the natural environment. I feel that geocaching encourages us to promote conservation and clean up (CITO). (Partly from caching and cleaning up after ourselves and partly by teaching others about geocaching.) Isn't about leaving an almost imperceptible footprint?

 

So, what are your thoughts? Do you think it is a wise idea to put these chemicals near a cache? How harmful do you think it will be to the environment and wildlife, or will there be any harm done at all?

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Leaving in the cache as a sealed new product for swag - no problem.

 

Putting it out to deter animals from the cache - I have some serious problems with that.

 

I don't like the idea of it being in the cache as swag. To a certain extent it promotes the use of the product and should not be there in the first place. We have to be aware of our surroundings as there is an inherit risk when being outdoors. I for one think that it should have no part of the cache at all.

Edited by sparky660
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Maybe it's my over inflated sense of entitlement expressing itself here, (I'll wait for a formal decision from Vinny), but I've always pictured caches as interacting with nature, not opposing nature. I guess if I didn't know about the chemical application, then it could never bother me, but I would have some significant issues were it to become public. Those caches would find themselves on my ignore list faster than a film canister at a Burger King.

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Maybe it's my over inflated sense of entitlement expressing itself here, (I'll wait for a formal decision from Vinny), but I've always pictured caches as interacting with nature, not opposing nature. I guess if I didn't know about the chemical application, then it could never bother me, but I would have some significant issues were it to become public. Those caches would find themselves on my ignore list faster than a film canister at a Burger King.

 

I agree with you, I feel caching should be part of nature instead of hindering it. If this starts, what's next? weed treatment to kill poisonous plants, which would also kills off other possibly endangered plant species that are indigenous to only that area? Not to mention certain wildlife that may only be indigenous to the area where he is planning to place the cache that may be driven out because of these chemicals. I told the cacher who is planning to place this cache the same thing, but it seems like he can't be deterred from this idea! It's kind of infuriating!

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I think it's a bad idea to enter the natural habitat of an animal and then place an object which would drive said animal from that habitat.

 

When I cache, I accept the risk just as I do when I hike wihout my GPSr.

Hear! Hear!

 

If the critters are a nuisance, then perhaps cache would be better placed elsewhere.

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I think it's a bad idea to enter the natural habitat of an animal and then place an object which would drive said animal from that habitat.

 

When I cache, I accept the risk just as I do when I hike wihout my GPSr.

Hear! Hear!

 

If the critters are a nuisance, then perhaps cache would be better placed elsewhere.

Very good point.

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I work for a pest control organization and know for a fact that Snake-Away does not work on poisonous snakes.

 

Sorry but doing this in a natural environment that is not your home but the animals home is dopey. If you are going to do this don't place the cache. I found a snake my very first time caching and now several years and caches later I sitll find snakes and other random animals. Doesn't deter me from caching one bit.

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Chemicals - never, ever - bad idea!! As humans we already do enough to all of

the creatures on this earth - bad idea!! With high hopes it doesn't get approved!!

 

Mom to the Three Black Labs!

 

Nah, bad plan. If you want to keep poisonous snakes away from your cache put out a breeder pair of King Snakes when you place the cache. Maybe they'll stay near the cache and eat or chase off the poisonous ones.

 

I do hope the cache doesn't get approved, I think that would be excellent. Maybe I can figure out who the reviewer will be and suggest to them that this cacher is talking about putting chemicals there.

 

I think the breeder pair of King Snakes is an awesome alternative, and I will definately bring it up to him the next time we talk. I'm not even sure why he is so worried, the cache location is not in a place that is worse for snakes than any other! I will try to bring his attention to this particular forum topic as well.

 

Thanks for all the input, I'm glad so many of you agree with me!

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I think it's a bad idea to enter the natural habitat of an animal and then place an object which would drive said animal from that habitat..

 

Like a housing development? :unsure:

 

Not to be picky with the use of "chemicals," but every cache is "chemicalized." :blink:

 

Sorry, as a chemistry professor, it's a little pet peeve of mine.

 

I live in AZ.....you might have heard that we have snakes, scorpions, etc. around our parts. I have never heard of someone trying to place any chemical on the cache for the express purpose to keep anything away (except muggles maybe).

 

I mean, what's the point? Of all the caches I've found out in the desert, none of them just happen to have a poisonous snake on them (of course, by chance, I COULD find one someday). I did meet a rattler on my WAY to the cache......now why didn't they spray down the trail?

 

If you play in the wilderness, you get to see the wilderness....and that's good! Let the "pests" roam where they belong.

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I recently talked with a fellow cacher who is getting ready to place his first cache, and he is planning on putting a product called (at least I think it's called) "snake-a-way" along with other products that are supposed to deter animals from the area.

 

I am not sure how I feel about this idea or if anyone else even does this. On one hand, I feel it may be a very good idea to minimize possible injury from poisonous or dangerous animals in a certain area. On the other hand, I feel that anyone who wants to be out in the woods looking for hidden containers assumes the risk of possibly disturbing and coming into contact with local wildlife. I know there are some cachers out there who may see this differently, but not only is caching a wonderful hobby, it is a way of making people more aware of their surroundings and of the natural environment. I feel that geocaching encourages us to promote conservation and clean up (CITO). (Partly from caching and cleaning up after ourselves and partly by teaching others about geocaching.) Isn't about leaving an almost imperceptible footprint?

 

So, what are your thoughts? Do you think it is a wise idea to put these chemicals near a cache? How harmful do you think it will be to the environment and wildlife, or will there be any harm done at all?

 

 

I think it is a fantastic idea. I don't think it will work .. but a great idea.

 

 

I also do everything in my power to increase my 'carbon footprint' daily, though I don't think I can ever reach the levels that Al Gore has. :unsure:

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I recently talked with a fellow cacher who is getting ready to place his first cache, and he is planning on putting a product called (at least I think it's called) "snake-a-way" along with other products that are supposed to deter animals from the area.

 

I am not sure how I feel about this idea or if anyone else even does this. On one hand, I feel it may be a very good idea to minimize possible injury from poisonous or dangerous animals in a certain area. On the other hand, I feel that anyone who wants to be out in the woods looking for hidden containers assumes the risk of possibly disturbing and coming into contact with local wildlife. I know there are some cachers out there who may see this differently, but not only is caching a wonderful hobby, it is a way of making people more aware of their surroundings and of the natural environment. I feel that geocaching encourages us to promote conservation and clean up (CITO). (Partly from caching and cleaning up after ourselves and partly by teaching others about geocaching.) Isn't about leaving an almost imperceptible footprint?

 

So, what are your thoughts? Do you think it is a wise idea to put these chemicals near a cache? How harmful do you think it will be to the environment and wildlife, or will there be any harm done at all?

Ewww! Gross! This idea being considered by your fellow cacher appears to be entirely unwise, for a good number of reasons. And, such an action would also be very likely illegal, under both EPA rules and under state law, if done to a cache or surrounding territory on any land other than that owned by the cache owner who is applying the chemicals.

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Here is the MSDS here of this stuff.

Mint Oil, Thyme Oil, Sodium Lauryl Sulfate, Garlic Oil, Putrescent Egg and Water.

 

Safety and clean-up: Wash it off with water.

 

All natural components... Not exactly a hazardous chemical!

 

Having read that I probably still wouldn't use it on caches, might use it around campsites and boat docks and such, but I wouldn't object to it either.

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I think it would go against what caching is all about. If they want to place a cache in a way that isn't around animals they need to place an urban cache. I tried snake away around my backyard due to me finding no less than 10 snakes in my yard within a weeks time. It didn't work! I still have snakes all in my back yard. King snakes and Copperheads. I thought the king snakes would keep the copperheads away, but not that ive seen.

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I recently talked with a fellow cacher who is getting ready to place his first cache, and he is planning on putting a product called (at least I think it's called) "snake-a-way" along with other products that are supposed to deter animals from the area.

 

Sounds like someone who doesnt go hiking too much. I doubt that those chemicals work, and they probably cost much more than the cache they are placing. :unsure:

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there's a pic. of a cache south of my area (assuming pittsburgh area) that has a snake all curled up with it. guess they didn't use snake away?? maybe they did and it attracted the snake! anyway, doesn't sound like a good idea to be using products to deter wildlife. it's their home and they're nice enough to let us play. so far this year I haven't used any bug spray. ticks are bad-so using deet would just keep them in their home and not traveling to our homes!

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All natural components.

So are Hemlock and Strychnine, neither of which would be welcome around my caches. :angry:

Well there ya go! Proves that a silly extremist position can be taken on any given comment, no matter how unrelated!

 

If anyone was considering Hemlock and Strychnine to keep snakes away from caches be advised that it is a bad idea. Hemlock will get bored and wander off and Strychnine is a poison.

Edited by TheAlabamaRambler
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Not to be picky with the use of "chemicals," but every cache is "chemicalized." :rolleyes:

 

Sorry, as a chemistry professor, it's a little pet peeve of mine.

 

That's my first reaction, too. Water is a chemical.

 

I would think that SnakeAway would disperse fairly quickly. A week or so, or a good rain, and it would need to be re-applied.

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I recently talked with a fellow cacher who is getting ready to place his first cache, and he is planning on putting a product called (at least I think it's called) "snake-a-way" along with other products that are supposed to deter animals from the area.

 

I am not sure how I feel about this idea or if anyone else even does this. On one hand, I feel it may be a very good idea to minimize possible injury from poisonous or dangerous animals in a certain area. On the other hand, I feel that anyone who wants to be out in the woods looking for hidden containers assumes the risk of possibly disturbing and coming into contact with local wildlife. I know there are some cachers out there who may see this differently, but not only is caching a wonderful hobby, it is a way of making people more aware of their surroundings and of the natural environment. I feel that geocaching encourages us to promote conservation and clean up (CITO). (Partly from caching and cleaning up after ourselves and partly by teaching others about geocaching.) Isn't about leaving an almost imperceptible footprint?

 

So, what are your thoughts? Do you think it is a wise idea to put these chemicals near a cache? How harmful do you think it will be to the environment and wildlife, or will there be any harm done at all?

I have mixed feelings I do agree with castle mischief about the fact but I also would agree to keeping the snakes away for the safety if the cacher. :rolleyes:

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In over 40 years of hiking in, working in, and otherwise enjoying snakey woods, my version of "snake away" is a 4.5' hiking stick. I've encountered hundreds of snakes (many poisonus) and killed less than 10.

It's up to the searcher to be aware of his own safety when looking for any cache. Speaking of chemicals and wildlife, I'm hiding my next cache within 50 feet of a salt lick (not mine) that seems to be attracting a lot of deer. The snakes tend to move out of an area when there is a herd of deer milling around.

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You DON'T want to know how I keep critters away from my vunlerble caches.

 

a85f0dbe-ec99-487d-adf4-47279492373e.jpg

Around the perimeter, not ON the container. It's good to be male.

 

Anyway, this is also how I keep rats, mice, raccoons and other such critters away from my house. It will also cure athletes foot (Google it).

 

Got the idea from another board. Guys would spray their motocycles with fox urine to keep the mice from building nests in their air cleaners. Fox urine is expensive at $5 an ounce. I just convert a few beers into free critter repellant and it's all natural.

 

Go ahead.... get the popcorn. Or not. It's a good idea and urine, BTW, is sterile but is acidic & contains the toxins your body wanted rid of.

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Did everyone miss the "Putrescent Egg" part? Normally when something becomes putrescent, it has rotted and become TOXIC, that's where food poisoning comes from. I might be able to wash it off with soap and water, but I don't want it on me to start with. :)

 

From this EPA facts sheet.

 

Used as pesticides, putrescent whole egg solids have a non-toxic mode of action for repelling animals.

 

The facts, as far as I have been able to ascertain, don't support the argument that this stuff is a toxic chemical. I'll admit that even oxygen can be toxic if abused. That said, I see no reason to use this stuff on a cache. If for no other reason that it has got to stink!

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All natural components... Not exactly a hazardous chemical!

 

:)

 

Two independent statements, right?

 

Another pet peeve..."All natural" and what people think it means and what advertisers want you to think it means...which is probably about the same.

 

Arsenic? All natural.........

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Your statements here and your profile seem to suggest you teach chemistry. Is that true? If so could you comment on the level of toxicity of the product being discussed? What I've been able to look up suggests that it is fairly harmless. Then again, I dropped out of high school chemistry decades ago. :)

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I think it's a bad idea to enter the natural habitat of an animal and then place an object which would drive said animal from that habitat....

 

Nice post.

I was going to post that I didn't care if they used a product for it's purpose. But that had the wrong focus. Your post clued me in to the right focus and I agree.

 

Snake B Gone is for campers scared of snakes. Not cachers putting out caches.

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Anything that keeps snakes away is fine by me. Do they make a deodorant by any chance?

 

Apparently you could just slather yourself with rotten eggs and top with a nice sprig of mint. Let me know if that works.

 

I've thought about this for a while and I'm come around to somebody else's opinion that was posted much earlier. If the landowner doesn't have a problem with it, permission has been granted, and the reviewer approves it (with full disclosure that the container has been spritzed with something that smells like brimstone in the cache description) then under the guidelines it's "okay".

 

I don't like it, I think it's silly, but...

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I feel that we already depend on these "treatment chemicals" too much as it is.

 

People put chemicals on their lawns to keep them green, which runs off into natural streams because they haven't put any block in to stop runoff from rain, and it can affect wildlife in and around streams for miles because it gets spread that far. This snake-a-way may hinder the niches of certain snakes in a particular area where they are needed to help the ecosystem run smoothly (correctly?) by controlling certain rodent or bug populations.

 

I can understand if you live in an area that is inhabited by snakes, and you have young children who like to play out in the yard. You may spread this snake-a-way stuff around to prevent your kids from getting unnecessarily hurt because they were curious or they stepped somewhere and didn't see the snake.

 

However, I am from West Virginia, and we only have two species of venomous snakes: the Northern Copperhead and the Timber Rattlesnake. Although they are part of the viper family, neither of these species are overly aggressive, and people usually get bitten when they try to handle them. I feel that it isn't necessary to put any type of "critter-a-way" solutions near our caches, and, if we are worried about curious children, education is something that will always work. If they learn to watch out for snakes, they will usually be able to avoid any unwanted contact with them, and they may even grow to appreciate their important role in our Appalachian ecosystem, instead of killing them and asking questions later. Many snakes get mistaken for a poisonous snake they resemble because snakes are very misunderstood. They are not looking to bite people, they are looking to protect themselves, and more often then not, they will run away if given the opportunity. This may not apply to all snake species, but it applies to caches in my state.

 

As for larger predators, wearing bells usually alerts them, and they run away. In nature, animals rarely set out to be "man-eaters," but they usually attack out of necessity for food because their habitats get destroyed, and humans just happen to be one creature that seems to be the easiest to kill and eat. Predators look for weak prey, an easy meal, and humans sometimes fit that bill.

Edited by sequens_vitae_mortem
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I have made one geocache that has a chamber that is a house for a mouse. Another is a bird feeder. Four others are also for the birds. I like the idea of supporting wildlife, not repelling it. If the cache gets eaten, compensate with hardware cloth or sheet metal etc.

Edited by Iowa Tom
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