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Water resistant containers


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Has anyone else devised a method of determining if their cache containers are trully weather-proof? Besides AFTER you’ve placed a cache and gotten a note telling you your log is soggy?

 

I’m working on testing a few containers by putting tissue paper in them and a weight of some kind (I use large nuts or bolts dependant on the size of the container) and then placing it CAP DOWN in a bucket of water. After 3 days I’ll check. If any water got in, I’ll know by the mush that was tissue.

 

We all know ammo cans are NOT trully waterproof. Are there any restrictions to putting silica gel bags in containers to absorb any condensation? They seem to work great on much of my gear that gets stored outside (I’d know if ammo had gotten wet pretty easily).

 

I know Lock-n-locks are very very good, so are many of the Pelican case knock-offs but sometimes you just need a customized container 

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We all know ammo cans are NOT trully waterproof.

 

how did you figure that?

 

 

ammo cans are the best water proof containers you can get

 

Ditto that. I live in the Pacific Northwet. I have not found a wet ammo can yet. I found one, just one, wet Lock'n'Lock, but it had a plastic bag caught in the seal.

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Being waterproof is not the real question regarding caches. It is water migration, usually a type of capillary action, allowing small amounts in at a time. Being placed underwater, usually is not a real accurate test of that as the pressure helps to seal the container (plastic-type containers, anyway).

 

Probably the biggest problem is it being opened/closed during periods of rain or high humidity -- not something we can do much about. Add to that the addition of a log and various papers (business or signature cards) that absorb moisture from the air acting like a sponge.

 

Silca gel is fine, but it becomes nearly useless within 2 - 3 weeks. Then you are back to square one.

 

Ammo cans ARE just about the best thing there is as they are made to military standards, not consumer standards. Two different beasties, there. :ph34r: Just make sure the gasket is not broken or twisted in its' seat.

 

Lock & Lock® containers are a good #2!

 

Both of these items have already been thoroughly tested. :huh::ph34r:

Edited by Gitchee-Gummee
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I actually own two real military issue ammo cans that I got while serving in the Navy. Dont ask. And actually they do not have any kind of seal on them. These can were designed to hold cads which are explosive devices, and you would think are sealed, but are not. So please dont say that ammo cans are the best water proof containers you can get. Some are, some are not.

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Ammo cans DO have a seal. The ones used for Ball Ammo have a rubber gasket around the lip of the lid.

You can tell when you open one that has been closed for a long time. Sometimes there is an air pressure differential if the container was opened during a "low barometric pressure" day and opened on a high pressure day. Sometimes you can hear the "hiss" of air entering under the lid.

 

The moisture that gets into an ammo can is just the ambient moisture that got in when it was open. Condensation of that moisture on cooler days is what you find inside the can sometimes making metal cache items rust or logs to become soggy.

Edited by pugle and hunnybunny
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Whenever I decided to test out a new type of containier for a cache I usually will freeze it for a couple of days (if its small enough, otherwise find someone with a chest freezer that thankfully my grandparents have for those big ones), and then set it in the shower for about 20 minutes of cold running water. That way I figure if in the cold it warps I can see how likely it will be.

 

But I also believe the best thing next to testing the containiers at home is to make sure everything is in a zip top baggie, and Ive started putting the logs when I can within a waterproof match holder, or film can, or bison tube, just to be safe incase water does get in.

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Some of you guys are saying that Ammo Cans DO have a seal. I am telling you from personnel experience with them in the military that not all of them do. I have a couple from when I served that do not, and never did have a seal on them. If you want to argue with me about it I can post up pictures to show you. Maybe the ones you have gotten have had them, but again NO ALL DO. Please dont try to argue this fact as I will have to make you recant your words.

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Some of you guys are saying that Ammo Cans DO have a seal. I am telling you from personnel experience with them in the military that not all of them do. I have a couple from when I served that do not, and never did have a seal on them. If you want to argue with me about it I can post up pictures to show you. Maybe the ones you have gotten have had them, but again NO ALL DO. Please dont try to argue this fact as I will have to make you recant your words.

 

Take a DEEEP breath in......(hold it).... Now Exhale.... Good. Repeat that several times.

 

So you have some ammo cans that don't have a seal. OK. We get it. I was in the Marines. I was an 0331 Machine gunner and then got certified to drive explosives. EVERY ammo can that I personally dealt with HAD a seal. Does this mean that EVERY ammo can in the world has one? No. From now on read posts from this thread as Ammo Cans make great Caches Containers.

 

(I'd be careful dealing with an explosives/ammunition container that didn't have a seal, moisture can destabilize explosives very fast!)

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Some of you guys are saying that Ammo Cans DO have a seal. I am telling you from personnel experience with them in the military that not all of them do. I have a couple from when I served that do not, and never did have a seal on them. If you want to argue with me about it I can post up pictures to show you. Maybe the ones you have gotten have had them, but again NO ALL DO. Please dont try to argue this fact as I will have to make you recant your words.

 

Take a DEEEP breath in......(hold it).... Now Exhale.... Good. Repeat that several times.

 

So you have some ammo cans that don't have a seal. OK. We get it. I was in the Marines. I was an 0331 Machine gunner and then got certified to drive explosives. EVERY ammo can that I personally dealt with HAD a seal. Does this mean that EVERY ammo can in the world has one? No. From now on read posts from this thread as Ammo Cans make great Caches Containers.

 

(I'd be careful dealing with an explosives/ammunition container that didn't have a seal, moisture can destabilize explosives very fast!)

 

I know that it can destabilize the explosives depending on conditions. I worked around a lot of different kinds of explosives. From cads, to flares, to 20mm rounds, to stuff I dont really talk about. Loved being an Ordie. I had to get my explosive drivers license also. Actually stopped on a freeway once for someone tailgating me while transporting. Some people just arent that smart when it comes to explosives.

 

Also I wasnt trying to be mean, its just that 2 earlier posters said that Ammo Cans do have seals. If they had said that the ones they have run into, or the ones that they have seen have them I would not have said what I said. I was just correcting a mistake. If you or anyone else took offense I do apologize it was not my intention. Like I said I was correcting a comment.

 

Also none that we were given from base weps ever had seals on them. Maybe its a Navy thing.

Edited by ihorn
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Some of you guys are saying that Ammo Cans DO have a seal. I am telling you from personnel experience with them in the military that not all of them do. I have a couple from when I served that do not, and never did have a seal on them. If you want to argue with me about it I can post up pictures to show you. Maybe the ones you have gotten have had them, but again NO ALL DO. Please dont try to argue this fact as I will have to make you recant your words.

 

Take a DEEEP breath in......(hold it).... Now Exhale.... Good. Repeat that several times.

 

So you have some ammo cans that don't have a seal. OK. We get it. I was in the Marines. I was an 0331 Machine gunner and then got certified to drive explosives. EVERY ammo can that I personally dealt with HAD a seal. Does this mean that EVERY ammo can in the world has one? No. From now on read posts from this thread as Ammo Cans make great Caches Containers.

 

(I'd be careful dealing with an explosives/ammunition container that didn't have a seal, moisture can destabilize explosives very fast!)

 

I know that it can destabilize the explosives depending on conditions. I worked around a lot of different kinds of explosives. From cads, to flares, to 20mm rounds, to stuff I dont really talk about. Loved being an Ordie. I had to get my explosive drivers license also. Actually stopped on a freeway once for someone tailgating me while transporting. Some people just arent that smart when it comes to explosives.

 

Also I wasnt trying to be mean, its just that 2 earlier posters said that Ammo Cans do have seals. If they had said that the ones they have run into, or the ones that they have seen have them I would not have said what I said. I was just correcting a mistake. If you or anyone else took offense I do apologize it was not my intention. Like I said I was correcting a comment.

 

Also none that we were given from base weps ever had seals on them. Maybe its a Navy thing.

 

Not trying to argue with you or anything of the sort but why would they not have a gasket to seal them?

It just seems odd to me.

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Some of you guys are saying that Ammo Cans DO have a seal. I am telling you from personnel experience with them in the military that not all of them do. I have a couple from when I served that do not, and never did have a seal on them. If you want to argue with me about it I can post up pictures to show you. Maybe the ones you have gotten have had them, but again NO ALL DO. Please dont try to argue this fact as I will have to make you recant your words.

 

Take a DEEEP breath in......(hold it).... Now Exhale.... Good. Repeat that several times.

 

So you have some ammo cans that don't have a seal. OK. We get it. I was in the Marines. I was an 0331 Machine gunner and then got certified to drive explosives. EVERY ammo can that I personally dealt with HAD a seal. Does this mean that EVERY ammo can in the world has one? No. From now on read posts from this thread as Ammo Cans make great Caches Containers.

 

(I'd be careful dealing with an explosives/ammunition container that didn't have a seal, moisture can destabilize explosives very fast!)

 

I know that it can destabilize the explosives depending on conditions. I worked around a lot of different kinds of explosives. From cads, to flares, to 20mm rounds, to stuff I dont really talk about. Loved being an Ordie. I had to get my explosive drivers license also. Actually stopped on a freeway once for someone tailgating me while transporting. Some people just arent that smart when it comes to explosives.

 

Also I wasnt trying to be mean, its just that 2 earlier posters said that Ammo Cans do have seals. If they had said that the ones they have run into, or the ones that they have seen have them I would not have said what I said. I was just correcting a mistake. If you or anyone else took offense I do apologize it was not my intention. Like I said I was correcting a comment.

 

Also none that we were given from base weps ever had seals on them. Maybe its a Navy thing.

 

Not trying to argue with you or anything of the sort but why would they not have a gasket to seal them?

It just seems odd to me.

 

To be completely honest I dont know. That is the way we would get them from base Weps. I am not just talking about 1 base, I am talking about multiple bases from desert to very humid. We never had any problems with the explosives though.

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The only issue I see with your experiment is the fact that when the container is submerged upside down, that the air trapped within the container would prevent water from entering the container, except for capillary action.

 

I would think that leaving it lid side up would make for a more accurate representation of what would be found in field conditions.

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I've never seen an ammo can that was wet on the inside.

 

I've encountered a few. Two were my own that I wound up replacing. I couldn't tell why they got wet, as the seal appeared to be good. They weren't soaked but they were wet enough inside that it couldn't be condensation.

 

One I found was soaked like an Altoids tin. The logbook was sodden and everything was rusty and wet. I couldn't figure out why. The seal appeared to be intact and the container was upright when I found it.

 

Still out of several hundred ammo can finds and hides that is a pretty good track record.

 

I agree with Gitchee-Gummee that the submersion test is not a good one. I've had containers that passed it with flying colors, then failed fairly quickly in the wild. I think a shower test might be a better one. Put the containers in the shower and let the shower run for an hour or two while turning the containers on their sides and upside down and right side up.

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I do a sink (tub) test. Place tissue paper on the inside and then close it up. Place on its side in a sink (tub) with a steady drip on it. Leave overnight.

 

I've seen some wet ammocans but usually a piece od grass or something else was caught in the seal when it was closed - allowed some moisture to 'wick' its way in.

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Some of you guys are saying that Ammo Cans DO have a seal. I am telling you from personnel experience with them in the military that not all of them do. I have a couple from when I served that do not, and never did have a seal on them. If you want to argue with me about it I can post up pictures to show you. Maybe the ones you have gotten have had them, but again NO ALL DO. Please dont try to argue this fact as I will have to make you recant your words.

 

I didn't say you were wrong about not having a seal on them. I served in the military as well. You specified ONE type by name... I mentioned ANOTHER type by name... no need to be so defensive :o .

 

Cheers!

Edited by pugle and hunnybunny
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The only issue I see with your experiment is the fact that when the container is submerged upside down, that the air trapped within the container would prevent water from entering the container, except for capillary action.

 

I would think that leaving it lid side up would make for a more accurate representation of what would be found in field conditions.

 

Actually, testing by submerging may be misleading too even if the container has a potentially poor seal. Upside down or right side up wouldn't matter either.... the weight of a column of water on the container would help to seal it better so a submesion test isn't the most reliable way... best way to test how well it seals would be to have the container in a high moisture area ( a sealed terrarium maybe?) with fluctuating temps for an extended period.

Edited by pugle and hunnybunny
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The only issue I see with your experiment is the fact that when the container is submerged upside down, that the air trapped within the container would prevent water from entering the container, except for capillary action.

 

I would think that leaving it lid side up would make for a more accurate representation of what would be found in field conditions.

 

Actually, testing by submerging may be misleading too even if the container has a potentially poor seal. Upside down or right side up wouldn't matter either.... the weight of a column of water on the container would help to seal it better so a submesion test isn't the most reliable way... best way to test how well it seals would be to have the container in a high moisture area ( a sealed terrarium maybe?) with fluctuating temps for an extended period.

 

OR...

Submerge the container in hot water and leave it there till it cools. The heat from the water will pressurize the container as it warms up and then depressurize as it cools (which will draw in water if it leaks).

 

I used to amaze my kids by getting a soda bottle hot and then sealing it so they could watch it crush all by itself as it cools. They thought it was magic.

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The only issue I see with your experiment is the fact that when the container is submerged upside down, that the air trapped within the container would prevent water from entering the container, except for capillary action.

 

I would think that leaving it lid side up would make for a more accurate representation of what would be found in field conditions.

 

Actually, testing by submerging may be misleading too even if the container has a potentially poor seal. Upside down or right side up wouldn't matter either.... the weight of a column of water on the container would help to seal it better so a submesion test isn't the most reliable way... best way to test how well it seals would be to have the container in a high moisture area ( a sealed terrarium maybe?) with fluctuating temps for an extended period.

 

That method works too... seen it done. Also very cool is driving through the mountains with an empty pop bottle... if it was open at high altitude and resealed... it crushes as you go to a lower elevation. Had the same effect on my kids with that one...lol

Edited by pugle and hunnybunny
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OMG the work you put in to placing I get a container Otterbox, Lock & Lock or PETPreform I just place it and if a problem occurs I fix it. These more or less waterproof unless a tosspot don't close it properly witch is usualy the problem go the there change the logbook and dry the box and TADA :D

 

Why use week of freezing and showing and put it the sun?

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OMG the work you put in to placing I get a container Otterbox, Lock & Lock or PETPreform I just place it and if a problem occurs I fix it. These more or less waterproof unless a tosspot don't close it properly witch is usualy the problem go the there change the logbook and dry the box and TADA :laughing:

 

Why use week of freezing and showing and put it the sun?

You know those containers work because long ago some of us tried some test or another.... :D:(

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Unless the cache is too big to test, I usually dunk test all the caches I put out.

 

Just seams like if you test the cache it's more likely to break when placed out side.

I put 4 USMC TOW missile cleaning kit boxes (same as 50cal) under the eave of my garage last fall. Most of the winter they were covered with snow that I shoveled off the walk. They all seemed dry when I opened them recently. Don't ask where I got them.

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We all know ammo cans are NOT trully waterproof.

 

how did you figure that?

 

 

ammo cans are the best water proof containers you can get

 

I just got an email from someone yesterday telling my that the log in a cache was wet.. writable, but still wet. The log is inside of a ziplock freezer bag, inside of an ammocan, and hidden in a cave that have never been wet. Perhaps someone peed in my cache?

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I've encountered damp logs in ammo cans, but I attribute that to the same malady suffered by decon caches - finders not know how to close them correctly.

 

Before setting out an ammo can it's a good idea to inspect the seal around the top and the walls of the box to be certain the seal is fully intact and the walls are straight. If the walls are bent they are usually easily bent straight again (if this is a problem you may need to visit a cache like this one a few times.) Also, if visitors don't understand how the simple latch works on ammo cans you (and rain) may find them not fully closed.

 

Decons usually get wet because they are not closed, partially closed, half closed, ribbon pinched, etc.

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I actually own two real military issue ammo cans that I got while serving in the Navy. Dont ask. And actually they do not have any kind of seal on them. These can were designed to hold cads which are explosive devices, and you would think are sealed, but are not. So please dont say that ammo cans are the best water proof containers you can get. Some are, some are not.

That may be true for CADS (Cartridge Activated Devices), however most ammo cans are designed for bullets and are tested for waterproofness. Being a ex-ammunition inspector for the Army, I feel the need to remind everyone that all labels and military markings should be removed or covered up from the ammo cans. Authorities may be upset by misleading info on the cans.

Edited by Colonial Cats
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Ammo cans do seal. Its user error when people don't know how to close them properly that they get wet inside. One ammo can I found had rusted shut :S I had to rip it open with all my might!

 

So please please PLEASE shut things properly!

 

I have one near where i live. Was good one week.

Went back another to put a travel bug and it had some water in it cause it wasn't closed all the way.

 

I dont have my own cache yet but walmart sells little plastic boxes for like 8$ that are meant for tubing and rafting, you put your cell phone and keys and wall in them.

They seem to be pretty good. I seen them used in a few caches....

 

Alot better than pill bottles or whatever with ductape. They all leak sooner or later....

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