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ShoesBologna

Water logged containers

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Just wanted to start a dialogue about common techniques for preventing water intrusion in a humid environment.

 

I live in Okinawa, Japan and it seems that even though we plant water proof containers, they always seem to be soaked.

 

Desiccant filters don't seem to be the answer.

 

How do you keep your logs dry?

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In similar situations, the answer has always been idiot proof containers with quality rubber seals of some sort. Ammo cans in good condition, real decon containers, OtterBox style containers, match tubes, waterproof 'beach tubes', and similar sorts of things. Need to watch the decon containers, though, as they sometimes turn out not to be idiot proof - some finders just don't seem to be able to close the lids properly. 'Beach tubes' in various shapes can also be a problem if they are threaded with rubber gaskets. In fact, any threaded container (including bison tubes) are a problem because finders inevitably crank down to hard on the rubber seal and kill it eventually. Of all of them, I've had the best luck with ammo cans, match tubes and real (not cheap knock off) OtterBox style containers.

 

None are cheap, but all survive better in the elements than most of the containers you find otherwise. As secondary protection, our region has taken to using EZDose pill pouches for smaller logs. These are a heavy gauge little ziploc style pouch.

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Once the dessicants become saturated I don't think they work anymore.

 

What containers are you using? Does it have a rubber gasket or silicone seal?

We use real Lock & Lock boxes. The kind with the logo embossed on the lid and the container. Can you get Lock & Lock in Japan?

 

 

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For logbooks, use a sandwich bag with a ziploc. For the container itself, LockLock are the recommended containers.

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I can personally attest to the fact that ammo cans are not "idiot proof". I can think of at least four or five instances where I've found one that was not properly closed.

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For logbooks, use a sandwich bag with a ziploc.
Sandwich bags are too thin to survive long in a geocache. Freezer bags are heavier, and last longer. Heavy pill bags are better yet.

 

But any bag has a limited lifespan before it starts leaking. And if someone folds the ziplock seal, then the seal will leak.

 

I can personally attest to the fact that ammo cans are not "idiot proof". I can think of at least four or five instances where I've found one that was not properly closed.
Yep. I haven't found any ammo cans that were not properly close, but I've seen plenty of beginners struggle, trying to figure out how to close the ammo cans that they had just opened minutes before.

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I can personally attest to the fact that ammo cans are not "idiot proof". I can think of at least four or five instances where I've found one that was not properly closed.

I can attest to the fact that it seems NO container is idiot proof, but you get as close as you can! At least there's no guessing as to the correct torque against an o-ring when screwing one back together. The o-rings on match tubes are usually so durable that it doesn't matter, but ...

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Doubling up containers works well - mainly for larger containers of course.... I've seen ammo tins where a similar sized plastic container inside holds the log/swag, always dry.....

We have New Zealand made 'Sistema' containers here that I believe are similar to Lock n Lock, and are very waterproof....

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Ok, but isn't it weird that most of the caches in Okinawa are always soaked? I usually use high quality containers.

Oh well, it's a mystery.

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Is it highly humid? thus seemingly dry when opened but by letting in humid air it will condense and make everything damp when the weather cools.

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Even in my area where there is not much rain or humidity, with good containers, there can be water. The critical item is the log book. I have replaced some of my soggy logs with waterproof "paper." I bought some TerraSlate. Not paper,but types of plastic, other brands include: Duro Copy, igage, Adventure paper by Natural Geographic. They do not tear or let ink bleed through. Some are used by divers under water. If you want your log books to last 100 years, use these...

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Ok, but isn't it weird that most of the caches in Okinawa are always soaked? I usually use high quality containers.

Oh well, it's a mystery.

 

I checked out some of the caches on your list to look at the photo gallery for pics of the containers. I'm seeing mostly bison tubes. Bison tubes are not quality containers. Most of the bison tubes I've found in my area, if older then 6 months have damp or wet, almost always moldy log scrolls.

 

I'm not seeing much owner maintenance (actually none so far on caches marked with a red wrench).

 

Here's an example of one of the larger caches (the CO is active but has many wet caches which s/he does not maintain), note that there is no gasket on the cache lid:

 

5e6f0415-daa7-4e8a-95bd-26dfae3859be_l.jpg

 

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Even in my area where there is not much rain or humidity, with good containers, there can be water. The critical item is the log book. I have replaced some of my soggy logs with waterproof "paper." I bought some TerraSlate. Not paper,but types of plastic, other brands include: Duro Copy, igage, Adventure paper by Natural Geographic. They do not tear or let ink bleed through. Some are used by divers under water. If you want your log books to last 100 years, use these...

I've placed that in some of my Micros, and finders are impressed by the quality log sheet. It is nice "paper", except pencils don't work well on it. One of my printers' black ink smears (inkjet). The dry ink lines can be brushed around with a fingertip. So I've returned to using ordinary printer paper.

 

On that "plastic" paper, various printer inks and pen inks do in fact bleed or fade away, in wet conditions. The "paper" gets moldy as everything else in the container, and can still need to be dried before being signed, or ruin the cacher's pen. But it doesn't shred when wet.

Edited by kunarion

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Ok, but isn't it weird that most of the caches in Okinawa are always soaked? I usually use high quality containers.

Oh well, it's a mystery.

 

I checked out some of the caches on your list to look at the photo gallery for pics of the containers. I'm seeing mostly bison tubes. Bison tubes are not quality containers. Most of the bison tubes I've found in my area, if older then 6 months have damp or wet, almost always moldy log scrolls.

 

I'm not seeing much owner maintenance (actually none so far on caches marked with a red wrench).

+1

 

Bison tubes sure get soaked when the O-ring breaks. In an area that gets frequent rain, most any container can get water inside, and with lock-n-locks, something may have once broken the seal (ziplock bag or duct tape under the seal). I rarely get a log that a cache may be getting wet, the finders wait til everything's ruined before saying anything. So I check all my caches and dry them out. Sometimes having the cache log book in an appropriately-sized ziplock bag helps a lot. Sometimes cachers close a corner of that bag in the seal. :rolleyes:

 

I don't know if Japan has a greater percentage of wet containers. But places I've visited where the containers are in practice not maintained, more and more small amounts of water (from being opened in the rain or whatever), eventually makes a mess. And then having the water sealed inside doesn't help things.

 

There is a local bucket cache that shows how humidity and air pressure can cause water to get inside. Lots of water in an otherwise "sealed" (Gamma seal) container. That one is like a science experiment. :anibad:

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If you're in the service go to supply and get some (hopefully) empty .30 and .50 ammocans.

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When depending upon any sort of ZipLoc, be CERTAIN that there will be no reason to fold the bag when reinserting into the container, and do NOT skimp on the quality of the bags. Many really aren't good for more than a couple of 'uses' nor were they designed to be. Have seen far too many baggie cracks, rips, and seal failures.

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