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Geocaching Containers


kykyred
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Hi iv recently gotten back into geocaching and started hiding them more than looking for them. iv been using pill containers which are fine and convenient but i have run out. Im wondering what stores like walmart or target carry that meet the individual size requires per different size geocaches

in other words im asking what does target/ walmart sell thats a micro cache container all the way up to the large cache container sizes..... obviously the really big ones that are 5 gallon buckets are obvious but im wondering about the rest. Tupperware seems to be obsolete because iv come across more and more caches where the plastic is dead or cracked or just crushed. im looking for sturdy containers than can take a beating that are relatively cheap

 

Basically i just want containers that are durable and meet geocaching standards. i find that the geocache websites containers are really expensive and it seems that alternatives could be used that are easily purchased at the store

 

thanks all for reading and give me some answers please hehe :D

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Hi iv recently gotten back into geocaching and started hiding them more than looking for them. iv been using pill containers which are fine and convenient but i have run out. Im wondering what stores like walmart or target carry that meet the individual size requires per different size geocaches

in other words im asking what does target/ walmart sell thats a micro cache container all the way up to the large cache container sizes..... obviously the really big ones that are 5 gallon buckets are obvious but im wondering about the rest. Tupperware seems to be obsolete because iv come across more and more caches where the plastic is dead or cracked or just crushed. im looking for sturdy containers than can take a beating that are relatively cheap

 

Basically i just want containers that are durable and meet geocaching standards. i find that the geocache websites containers are really expensive and it seems that alternatives could be used that are easily purchased at the store

 

thanks all for reading and give me some answers please hehe :D

Look for the lock n lock bundles at JC pennys.

$19.99 for many that brings it down to a buck or two per container.

then theres the match containers at walmart for 88 cents.

nalgene bottles at dollar store for a buck.

plastic was never meant for 15 pound rocks to be placed on top.

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Micro - bison type containers are available at various places (as pill containers at drug stores, as pet ID containers in pet stores) in the $1 range and up. Pay attention, at the cheaper end ~ $1, these can have poor threads, which makes a poor value, even at $1.

 

Micro, roughly equivalent to a pill bottle - Matchsafe, currently $1 at Wally world (my area), in the camping gear, can be hard to find 'em in the store, hanging on a rack with assorted small camping accessories. I like this container a lot, holds up well, takes a decent sized log. Bright orange, however. A wrap with tape will cover that if it needs to.

 

Micro - soda preforms, ie, available online, google it, you'll see lots of options.

 

Nalgene bottles for both micro and small - again google it...

 

Smalls - I'm mostly hiding Lock and Lock brand containers. I buy these on sale for ~ $2 each, in sets from JCPenney (watch for sales) available on-line from assorted places. The tabs will break off with enough use, and sun exposure is hard on them too. The cheaper knock-offs are not worth the price, in my experience.

 

Regular - ammo cans. Can't beat 'em. Even if a bit pricey. Generally you'll do best at gun shows, flea markets, and maybe, depending on your area, Army surplus stores.

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Plastic containers don't do well over time. They need something done to them to cover them from the sun and the elements, and then they need to be monitored.

 

one cacher in my area used a rubbermaid container with the flexible rubberized lid that just fell apart. I did him a favor and replaced it with an ammocan yesterday. yes, that can get expensive, but there's not much that sucks more than finding a container that's a POS and it's falling apart.

 

Put in the work and the money into a container that's going to be durable and other cachers will appreciate it.

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Plastic containers don't do well over time. They need something done to them to cover them from the sun and the elements, and then they need to be monitored.

 

Put in the work and the money into a container that's going to be durable and other cachers will appreciate it.

 

True, neighbor. But in an urban environment, they are less likely to accompany someone as they egress the cache site. As they are less expensive, I do plan on replacement occasionally as I do maintenance. Just part of owning a cache to me. There are a few places where I would agree they are totally inappropriate, but then there are places where any cache would be.

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Plastic containers don't do well over time. They need something done to them to cover them from the sun and the elements, and then they need to be monitored.

 

one cacher in my area used a rubbermaid container with the flexible rubberized lid that just fell apart. I did him a favor and replaced it with an ammocan yesterday. yes, that can get expensive, but there's not much that sucks more than finding a container that's a POS and it's falling apart.

 

Put in the work and the money into a container that's going to be durable and other cachers will appreciate it.

 

This depends on the plastic. In our climate I have yet to see a container that seriously rivals the Lock&Lock for durability.

 

I wouldn't touch Rubbermaid with a barge pole, as far as geocaches are concerned. The issues with those containers have as much to do with design as material.

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Leave one side uncamoed, particularly on urban caches, in the event the bomb squad needs to peek in with a camera before sending your cache on a never-ending journey into the ionosphere.

in the event the bomb squad needs to peek in with a camera, your hide has failed at the most basic level.

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Leave one side uncamoed, particularly on urban caches, in the event the bomb squad needs to peek in with a camera before sending your cache on a never-ending journey into the ionosphere.

in the event the bomb squad needs to peek in with a camera, your hide has failed at the most basic level.

 

From my experience on the forums if the bomb squad is called the cache is blown up no matter how much you mark it or leave a side clear, etc.

 

Bisons and matchsticks for micro.

Lock n lock for small and medium (Rubbermaid does work just not as well if you cannot find lock n lock brand near you)

Ammocans for regular and large.

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Can't beat an ammo can. However, I had had a lot of luck with the plastic screw top Metamucil container from COSTCO. I used one back in 2003 because I was out of ammo cans as a temp. container and planned to replace it after a few months.

 

7 years latter and it is still going strong. I've used these plastic screw bottles for several caches since with no problems. I carry one as a replacement if I find a broken container.

 

I do run them through the dishwasher first.

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I think the keys for a good container are durability and a gasket that will keep the moisture out.

 

Preforms are certainly durable, but many are sold with lids that lack gaskets. But it's easy enough to swap a real soda bottle lid that has a gasket.

 

Name brand containers (Bison, Lock & Lock, Witz, etc.) are often much more durable and/or have much better gaskets (or O-rings) than cheaper brands. Some can be fixed inexpensively; some can't. For example, a new O-ring from the local hardware store is all it takes to make some off-brand Bison-style tubes serviceable. But others are machined poorly, and the threads wear out quickly in the field.

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Can't beat an ammo can. However, I had had a lot of luck with the plastic screw top Metamucil container from COSTCO. I used one back in 2003 because I was out of ammo cans as a temp. container and planned to replace it after a few months.

 

7 years latter and it is still going strong. I've used these plastic screw bottles for several caches since with no problems. I carry one as a replacement if I find a broken container.

 

I do run them through the dishwasher first.

 

As a cache finder I'm noticing that many screw top plastic containers seem to do a pretty good job. Metimucil bottles, peanut butter jars, mayonnaise jars, even (and I'm surprised to say this) disposable Twist 'n Loc/screw top Ziploc/Gladware containers.

 

As a CO though, always be prepared to quickly replace a container if it turns out you made a bad choice and it's not durable outdoors.

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I have sterlite containers that so far are doing ok. We had a bunch of ran and snow and so far they have held up. We will see how long that lasts.

 

Miejers and JC penny sells lockn locks which seem to work well.

 

At walmart in the camping section they have a clear blue container that is supposed to be shatterproof and waterproof. I have two caches that I am using these on and they really seem to be holding up well and are really waterproof so far as I can tell. They go for about 9$ I believe.

Edited by Team_Searchgeo
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For regular size, you can't beat a Rite in the Rain logbook, placed into a freezer ziplock which is placed into a Lock 'n Lock which in turn is placed into an Ammo can.

 

Overkill? Not if your cache is placed on an island 500 km from where you live and you don't want to be running out to service it every few weeks.

 

I'm looking forward to seeing how two of mine survive the winter this year (fwiw, I do have a maintenance plan for them - skidoo access when the river is frozen - canoe the rest of the year).

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We've been seeing a lot of German Army Butter Dishes around our parts lately. Small round containers, metal of some sort, that twist together about a quarter of a turn and seal around a rubber gasket in the top portion of the dish. I haven't seen one leaked through yet.

 

You can get them at local MilSurp stores for about $2 each, but that's only when you can find them. Apparently they're pretty popular for a whole lot of things.

 

They're also very paintable, which makes camo work a lot of fun.

 

IMG_8931.JPG

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We've been seeing a lot of German Army Butter Dishes around our parts lately. Small round containers, metal of some sort, that twist together about a quarter of a turn and seal around a rubber gasket in the top portion of the dish. I haven't seen one leaked through yet.

 

You can get them at local MilSurp stores for about $2 each, but that's only when you can find them. Apparently they're pretty popular for a whole lot of things.

 

They're also very paintable, which makes camo work a lot of fun.

 

IMG_8931.JPG

 

That would rust out in a day in an Ottawa winter :rolleyes:

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Micro - bison type container

Micro - Matchsafe

Micro - soda preform

Micro - Nalgene bottles

Small - Nalgene bottles

Small - Lock and Locks

Regular - ammo can

IK has compiled a great list of containers that work well, in almost every environment.

 

I think the only thing I could add to it would be:

Small: Therapak Canisters, which can be found here. The medium ones shown on that webpage are the ones I use. They are roughly 2.5" wide by 6" tall, made of durable plastic, and have a screw on lid with a gasket seal. They come 15 to a case, in that size, and sell for around $30 a case. I currently have 64 active hides, (I think), with a varied selection of containers. To date, my Therapak canisters are the only ones that have had no failures.

 

I would also like to give you a list of containers that don't work well in most environments:

 

Black & grey film cans.

Gladware

Fake Lock & Locks

Prescription medicine bottles.

(Yes, I know you said you used them)

Coffee cans (metal or plastic)

Altoids tins

Hide-a-keys

Cookie tins

Baggies (as the primary container)

 

When talking to folks about their hides, one question I like to ask is, "Did you use a baggie?". If the answer is "Yes", (which it almost always is), my next question is "Why?". Quite often, the answers are worded to the effect of, "To keep the log dry". A mantra I like to blabber is; "If you must use a baggie to keep your log dry, your container has already failed at a very basic level". I then promote the axiom of "Take Pride In Your Hide", part of which includes the ideal of never utilizing a substandard container.

Edited by Clan Riffster
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Forgot to add: Small - Military decontamination kit. But make sure it has an O-ring.
I wouldn't use a decon kit. I've found too many of them that hadn't been closed properly. With Lock & Lock containers it's obvious that you need to snap all the latches closed. With decon kits, it isn't obvious that you need to snap all four corners closed, so a lot of people leave the lid only partially closed.
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At walmart in the camping section they have a clear blue container that is supposed to be shatterproof and waterproof. I have two caches that I am using these on and they really seem to be holding up well and are really waterproof so far as I can tell.

 

I had one (won it as a door prize). It was an Outdoor Products watertight box. It lasted 13 months. Condensation built up in the cache. The log was damp, and there was a thin layer of water inside the bottom of the box. It smelled bad, and the gasket looked a little moldy, although that may have been the damp foam swag disintegrating.

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polycarbonate plastic gets brittle and cracks with sun exposure, temp changes, and time. I've seen a good share of cracked and leaking polycarbonate nalgene containers.

 

the softer PET plastics tend to hold up better, IME.

 

lock n locks seem to fare well, but not a lot of people where I live use them. I have a few smallish ones waiting to be used, but haven't found too many others.

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At walmart in the camping section they have a clear blue container that is supposed to be shatterproof and waterproof. I have two caches that I am using these on and they really seem to be holding up well and are really waterproof so far as I can tell.

 

I had one (won it as a door prize). It was an Outdoor Products watertight box. It lasted 13 months. Condensation built up in the cache. The log was damp, and there was a thin layer of water inside the bottom of the box. It smelled bad, and the gasket looked a little moldy, although that may have been the damp foam swag disintegrating.

So far I have had no issues but we have had some really cold weather here lately so I am going to check them again soon. That was one thing I wondered about them as far as cold weather. I only have 2 out and both easy access and 5 minutes from the house so I will be able to check on them to see if they hold out. If not then I will replace them with a lockn lock.

 

I have a ammo can that I want to put out soon. I had an experience with a cache I found were the ammo can was washed down into a run off stream. It was half buried in mud and when we finally got it out it was bone dry. That really made me a believer in ammo cans. Probably worth the extra cost.

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I can get cookie tins of various sizes at Goodwill for about 50 cents each.
It's a good thing they're inexpensive, because you'll need frequent replacements as each one rusts out.

I don't know what you consider frequent, but a cookie tin will easily last many years where I hide them.

Anywhere rain falls a cookie tin seems to be a bad idea. They get dented up and rust which makes them very hard to open. We just replaced a cookie tin that had been cut open from the top to get to the log. The CO said it was ok to replace.

 

Ammo cans are the best. Just remember to put your log in a baggie because there will be that time when the cache will be opened in the rain/snow or just simply not closed properly.

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We've been seeing a lot of German Army Butter Dishes around our parts lately. Small round containers, metal of some sort, that twist together about a quarter of a turn and seal around a rubber gasket in the top portion of the dish. I haven't seen one leaked through yet.

 

You can get them at local MilSurp stores for about $2 each, but that's only when you can find them. Apparently they're pretty popular for a whole lot of things.

 

They're also very paintable, which makes camo work a lot of fun.

 

 

That would rust out in a day in an Ottawa winter :(

 

They are aluminum and hold up very well.

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For Micro/Small I have a devised a more sealable container than the standard 35mm film can. I have taken the top off the 35mm can. Then cut the top off a 2 liter bottle. this cut is just beloww the "ridge" of the bottle (flush). Then I attach this to the film canister with hot glue. Since the lid of the bottle must be water/air tight, as long as the glue job is done correctly, this makes my cannister air/water tight.

 

If you would like to see step by step pictures, email me.

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