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321geocache

Regular size cache?

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(Sorry for asking so many questions about cache containers - just wanted to make sure that I choose a good container that will last for years.)

 

I have decided to hide a Regular size geocache. I don't want to be one of those people who hides 100 LPCs and guardrail caches and then doesn't maintain them. Instead, I want to try to hide fewer, but quality caches that are in excellent shape and maintained often.

I have selected a spot for the cache that is located in a park just off the trail. It is close to parking, and should be rated about 1.5/1.5 or 1.5/2.0. Now, I have to choose a good, durable container. Other than an ammo can, what is the best container to use as a regular-size cache? I want it to be durable and not require maintenance often due to water getting inside.

Thanks.

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I have several big lock-n-lock hides that have held up pretty well.  Outdoors, plastic will petrify, warp, crack, and the tabs break.  But that can still work if you check and replace the box when needed. My big ones aren't the official "Lock&Lock" brand, but a less expensive kind I found locally that has the same form (same latches).  My smaller ones (sandwich size or smaller) are real "Lock&Lock", where I bought several at once.

 

I've tried "boat boxes", hinged acrylic boxes with rubber seals and hinged latches.  People have trouble figuring out how to open and close those, so these things break and the seal goes bad faster than most other containers for some reason.  And they're about the same cost as a surplus ammo box.

 

Plastic jars (pickle or peanut butter jars) are not uncommon.  I don't remember ever finding one that's not moist and gross inside.  Never tested one to see what the problem is.

 

I've had a lot of luck with metal ammo boxes, especially if they're hidden in a way where they aren't sitting in mud all the time.  One issue is that people again can't figure out how to open or close them.  And water gets locked into sealed containers (if opened in the rain, or if bubble soap is placed inside, or whatever).  But ammo boxes can be cleaned-up, repainted, and placed again.  They can be less expensive in the long run than using plastic boxes.

 

Edited by kunarion
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41iginSdz7L.jpg

https://www.amazon.com/Lock-Rectangle-Short-Container-Divider/dp/B071GSH44C/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1526229545&sr=8-1&keywords=1+litre+lock+%26+lock

 

Kudos for trying to make a better family-friendly caching experience.

 

It will still be a good idea to check the cache at least yearly to make sure the contents are in nice shape. Wipe out the box, remove junk contents like pebbles, bus stubs, expired coupons; and potentially damaging contents like candy and bubble liquid (check before winter sets in, they tend to burst if they become frozen). 

Edited by L0ne.R

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I agree with kunarion about ammo cans.   The price of one should be less than what many plastics cost today.

For example, even a 50cal will already be cheaper for you than the above shown lock n lock (especially when you notice shipping's "free" only if over 25 bucks...).  :)

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Hi,

Thanks for the help. I'm looking into getting some metal ammo cans online or at a local antique/junk store.

Just curious - anyone have experience with these as cache containers? I have many of these I use at home - they just seem more durable than plastic containers.

B1152950150.jpg

Thanks.

 

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4 minutes ago, 321geocache said:

Hi,

Thanks for the help. I'm looking into getting some metal ammo cans online or at a local antique/junk store.

Just curious - anyone have experience with these as cache containers? I have many of these I use at home - they just seem more durable than plastic containers.

B1152950150.jpg

Thanks.

 

 

Shiny!  Those are not "regular" cache size, right?

 

I've found a lot of similar metal container caches, no water seal, in places where a container with a water seal is necessary.  These things are all rusty and the log sheet is soaking wet.  And now I have rusty mud on both hands from opening and closing the thing.  Yay?

 

Edited by kunarion
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We use those cans for bearings and other small stuff  that's normally fulla grease - parts trays.

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2 minutes ago, cerberus1 said:

We use those cans for bearings and other small stuff  that's normally fulla grease - parts trays.

 

That's a nesting set, too, isn't it?  Sweet!

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I used this stainless steel cook pot on a cache I placed last year. It doesn't have a seal so it isn't strictly waterproof but with the lid clamped on it ought to do a pretty good job unless actually immersed. In my case it didn't matter as the hiding place is deep inside a rock cavity on top of a ridge in a subtropical dry sclerophyll forest so it's never going to get wet anyway, and being stainless steel it won't rust even if it does.

 

DSC_0497.jpg.a914071a7e5df035b255e399a3d73061.jpg

 

Another cache I found recently used this robust plastic box, not sure if it was meant to be a small toolbox or a fishing tackle box. Again I don't know if it's strictly waterproof and in its hiding place under a rock ledge that wasn't an issue (its contents were bone dry when I found it a year after it was placed), but it certainly won't break easily.

 

DSC_0941.jpg.eb3c45e0d098dc14051ad366cae50723.jpg

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34 minutes ago, kunarion said:

 

Shiny!  Those are not "regular" cache size, right?

 

I've found a lot of similar metal container caches, no water seal, in places where a container with a water seal is necessary.  These things are all rusty and the log sheet is soaking wet.  And now I have rusty mud on both hands from opening and closing the thing.  Yay?

 

I think you don't completely understand what these are :) These are stainless-steel containers that I get from an international grocery store. (By the way, the ones in the picture aren't mine - they're just the closest I can get to the ones I have) They are food storage containers that have a gasket/o-ring around the edge. I use them instead of Tupperware/Rubbermaid food containers. They last much longer and almost never break.

And yes, some of them are quite large, and "Regular" cache size. I'll do a test with these by running them through the dishwasher while they are closed. Probably a bad idea for a cache, but I will try and see if any water gets inside.

 

barefootjeff - the first one is similar to what I'm talking about. Except some of mine have a o-ring around the edge. Google "dabba container".

 

Thanks.

Edited by 321geocache

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2 hours ago, 321geocache said:

I think you don't completely understand what these are :) These are stainless-steel containers that I get from an international grocery store. (By the way, the ones in the picture aren't mine - they're just the closest I can get to the ones I have) They are food storage containers that have a gasket/o-ring around the edge.

 

No way!  Looks like I need to make a trip to the international grocery store.  That's where I bought my big lock-n-locks, a knock-off version called "Hold Lock".  And the biggest ones look so handy, I haven't placed them as caches.  I'll be using them as storage containers.  Weird, huh? ^_^

 

One of the main issues I've noticed is that many Geocachers can't figure out how to open or close cache containers.  More to the point, they can't tell that it's not latched (or they can't manage to latch it).  Also, they are way too rough, manhandle and break it, but maybe that's wear and tear.  But when a container has no "latch" (such as Tupperware), the CO constantly discovers it not fully closed, because it's harder for the average finder to tell if it's sealed.  Also, the average finder is pretty lazy.  That's my theory.  :cute:

 

If you buy a cool container that's not already commonly known to be pretty good as a cache container, and don't mind having to buy a replacement a couple more times (or throw out that idea and buy a whole new kind), go for it.

 

The stainless steel containers interest me, because I once made a "mirror camo" prototype (posted around here somewhere) which is pretty much concealed by... a mirror.  The reflection hides the whole thing by showing more of the same bush, leaves, and pine straw.  I've considered what may happen with a mirror container.  Plus I'm looking forward to your Owner Maintenance posts where you "polished the cache". :P

 

 

Edited by kunarion
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Maybe due to the humidity here, and the other 2/3rds spent carazzzy money on 'em,   but every stainless container we had got so much condensation inside, we'd put another container inside it (a float cache) until we figured what we'd replace it with.  Not sure why, probably some metallurgical reason they didn't work out.

Even a double-walled one had a mini  LnL inside and a note to only sign the log - no trades or trackables, on the cache page.

 - Looked like a good idea...

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12 minutes ago, kunarion said:

No way!  Looks like I need to make a trip to the international grocery store.  That's where I bought my big lock-n-locks, a knock-off version called "Hold Lock".  And the biggest ones look so handy, I haven't placed them as caches.  I'll be using them as storage containers.  Weird, huh? ^_^

 

 

There's one international grocery in particular near me where almost everything is a knock-off. The kitchen items are not KitchenAid or Rubbermaid or Tupperware, rather "Kitchen Helper Brand" or "Best Container Latest Model Brand". :D

Seriously, though, the stainless-steel containers I got (from a different grocery) are extremely durable as food storage containers. I have gotten rid of most of my plastic Rubbermaid or Tupperware containers and have used the steel ones instead.

16 minutes ago, kunarion said:

The stainless steel containers interest me, because I once made a "mirror camo" prototype (posted around here somewhere) which is pretty much concealed by... a mirror.  The reflection hides the whole thing by showing more of the same bush, leaves, and pine straw.  I've considered what may happen with a mirror container.  Plus I'm looking forward to your Owner Maintenance posts where you "polished the cache". :P

Interesting, I would like to see it. The only problem with a mirror cache is if, well, the mirror breaks. :) I'm not really sure if I should use these stainless steel containers as caches, though. They will be subject to further testing in the dishwasher, sink, and outdoors. It's going to rain the next few days, so I might put the container outdoors to see if water gets in it.

Until the tests on the stainless steel containers are successful, an ammo can is sounding best. Durable, long-lasting, easy to clean, and blends in with the environment.

 

Thanks.

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6 minutes ago, cerberus1 said:

Maybe due to the humidity here, and the other 2/3rds spent carazzzy money on 'em,   but every stainless container we had got so much condensation inside, we'd put another container inside it (a float cache) until we figured what we'd replace it with.  Not sure why, probably some metallurgical reason they didn't work out.

Even a double-walled one had a mini  LnL inside and a note to only sign the log - no trades or trackables, on the cache page.

 - Looked like a good idea...

 

I visited mine in March, seven months after I'd placed it, and no sign of any condensation ever happening, everything was bone dry. It must be an environmental thing.

 

20180308_101341.jpg.fd5ddd71a30e65f9616a1641aa1dfa08.jpg

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5 hours ago, barefootjeff said:

I visited mine in March, seven months after I'd placed it, and no sign of any condensation ever happening, everything was bone dry. It must be an environmental thing.

 

Let me guess.... no seal under the lid? I have noticed that a cookie jar made from thin sheet metal may remain dry but a plastic container with rubber lip seal is always moist inside.

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49 minutes ago, arisoft said:

 

Let me guess.... no seal under the lid? I have noticed that a cookie jar made from thin sheet metal may remain dry but a plastic container with rubber lip seal is always moist inside.

 

I've never had a condensation problem with any of my containers, even those close to watercourses. I guess in the subtropical climate here, it's warm and dry enough of the time for that not to happen.

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7 hours ago, barefootjeff said:

 

I've never had a condensation problem with any of my containers, even those close to watercourses. I guess in the subtropical climate here, it's warm and dry enough of the time for that not to happen.

 

In my experience condensation inside the  cache container is a result of humidity AND temperature changes. 

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I have been using plastic jars and pill bottles that I am painting.  I agree with what was said above in that they seem to all get wet inside.  I am bagging the log inside it in hope that this helps.  I also live very close to the ones I have places already, as in I run past them several times a week, and do not mind if I need to replace them.  I have a few ammo cans that I am going to start placing soon.  

 

It is getting into garage sale season, that is a great place to find ammo cans.  I have been offered some outrageous prices for mine though, so know your local market/availability

 

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On 5/13/2018 at 9:15 AM, 321geocache said:

Other than an ammo can, what is the best container to use as a regular-size cache?

I don't know if it's the "best container", but I had pretty good luck with a wide-mouth 1-litre water bottle, which comes in right at the bottom of the range for regular size containers. I posted a step-by-step explanation of how to camouflage it in the CCC thread:

 

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19 hours ago, 321geocache said:

Hi,

Thanks for the help. I'm looking into getting some metal ammo cans online or at a local antique/junk store.

Just curious - anyone have experience with these as cache containers? I have many of these I use at home - they just seem more durable than plastic containers.

B1152950150.jpg

Thanks.

 

I once used a film developing canister very similar to this.   The only problem I had was cachers having trouble getting it open due to freezing during the early spring and late fall.   I wound up replacing it with a Lock N' Lock similar to the one L0neR posted.  

 

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I am trying to find a way to make something in my yard a good hiding place for a large cache in Florida.  Any ideas?

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9 minutes ago, Elektrazz said:

I am trying to find a way to make something in my yard a good hiding place for a large cache in Florida.  Any ideas?

 

A wishing well.

 

Or one of those large fake rocks made to cover sprinkler valves.

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21 minutes ago, Elektrazz said:

I am trying to find a way to make something in my yard a good hiding place for a large cache in Florida.  Any ideas?

I've seen photos of garden storage lockers that had been decorated to look like giant ammo cans.

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52 minutes ago, Elektrazz said:

I am trying to find a way to make something in my yard a good hiding place for a large cache in Florida.  Any ideas?

 

I've seen may great front yard caches over the years but please keep in mind that placing a cache in your front yard will let everyone know where you live.


If you do decide to move forward with this idea please make sure of two things:

  • Make sure people can without a doubt know which yard to be in (voice of experience here)
  • Make sure all of your neighbors know about it.
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Oh do tell why do the neighbors need to know?  What happens?  Do you have any pictures of cool ones?

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36 minutes ago, Elektrazz said:

Oh do tell why do the neighbors need to know?  What happens?  Do you have any pictures of cool ones?

 

Here's a fun one.

Full of Wibbly Wobbly, Timey Wimey Stuff

 

What happens?  Law enforcement is called and you have a lot of explaining to do.  A friend of mine has a bookmark list of all the caches where he's had LEO encounters.

Edited by badlands
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From what I'm hearing, a lock n lock container or an ammo can are probably the best options. I might try hiding two regular size caches - one lock n lock and one ammo can - to see which is more durable. I'm thinking the ammo can is probably better.

Thanks for your help!

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4 hours ago, Elektrazz said:

I am trying to find a way to make something in my yard a good hiding place for a large cache in Florida.  Any ideas?

 

A Little Free Library with a secret compartment. Maybe a large hinged roof.

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56 minutes ago, 321geocache said:

From what I'm hearing, a lock n lock container or an ammo can are probably the best options. I might try hiding two regular size caches - one lock n lock and one ammo can - to see which is more durable. I'm thinking the ammo can is probably better.

Thanks for your help!

 

The ammo can, hands down.  But sometimes you need something smaller but still swag size, that's when the authentic Lock&Lock(TM) is a good choice as far as god plastic containers go (except if you are hiding it under the desert sun).

 

You might want to try an experiment to see which plastic container is best: Sistema, Lock&Lock(TM), Plano Stowaway (with the gasket in the lid), Plano ammo can, Pelican box. These are all good containers, it would be interesting to see which one survives longest without losing a tab/latch or getting a crack the container. 

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13 hours ago, Elektrazz said:

Oh do tell why do the neighbors need to know?  What happens?  Do you have any pictures of cool ones?

 

If your coordinates are not very accurate, geocachers may search in the wrong yard.   How about a Little Free Library?  

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11 hours ago, L0ne.R said:

that's when the authentic Lock&Lock(TM) is a good choice as far as god plastic containers go

 

Yes, the Lock&Lock are the 'god' of plastic containers.

One reason, in my experience is that the silicon seal is more forgiving than with the harder plastic seals.  Forgiving in that when a bit of debris isn't removed from the seal, they form around it rather than creating a gap.

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15 hours ago, Elektrazz said:

Wow fake rocks are expensive!  Going to look on Pinterest.

 

If you're 'crafty' you can make your own from hypertufa, formed in a mould or over old polystyrene packaging.

 

Plenty of videos on youtube :)

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15 hours ago, 321geocache said:

From what I'm hearing, a lock n lock container or an ammo can are probably the best options. I might try hiding two regular size caches - one lock n lock and one ammo can - to see which is more durable. I'm thinking the ammo can is probably better.

Thanks for your help!

I found one of these at a thrift store for $1.    It's been out now for over 4 years basically exposed to the elements.   Just checked up on it a few days ago and it's still bone dry.   There are all kinds of containers that will make good caches.   Some are good as is.  Some may need a little modification.   Always keep your eyes open for new and interesting containers and don't be afraid to give something a try. 

630936.jpg

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18 hours ago, Elektrazz said:

I am trying to find a way to make something in my yard a good hiding place for a large cache in Florida.  Any ideas?

 

17 hours ago, Elektrazz said:

Oh do tell why do the neighbors need to know?  What happens?

 

Your first question leads in to your second.  If you are going to hide a cache in your front yard and make it difficult to find, then geocachers are going to be wandering around your yard longer, attracting the suspicion of your neighbors.  If your neighbors don't know it's OK for people to be wandering around your front yard, confrontation is inevitable, either with the neighbors themselves, the neighborhood watch, or with the local police.

 

I for one am not super comfortable searching for geocaches in neighborhoods, so the more open and obvious it is, the more comfortable I am going for it.  Often front yard caches have a combination lock to discourage muggles that happen upon them.  Besides, if a geocache is affixed on your property, it's less likely that folks would feel the need to remove it.

 

I echo the Little Free Library or similar concept - something out in the open such that your neighbors will have an expectation of folks coming by to visit it is normal.

 

Here are some other examples of front yard caches that have clever containers but are out in the open, for your consideration. 

 

Unlocked safe:

 

4ff81f31-f57a-4142-a125-973fb0d9383c.jpg

 

Cute cottage by the mailbox:

 

ade9bf4e-6778-46fd-bc5d-8603cb7e305e.jpg

 

Bucket in the planter.

 

c7a06f80-cb05-4145-8b34-ea0dd016d63e.jpg

 

You have to crank this one down to log it.

 

dbe01db4-22c8-4ca7-b675-f8b8454ee736.jpg

 

 

 

 

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19 hours ago, L0ne.R said:

 

A Little Free Library with a secret compartment. Maybe a large hinged roof.

 

There are quite a number of LFL caches here in Atlanta.  The CO attaches one of those old-school pouches they used to put inside the book cover of library books to the inside of the library structure and the log sheets are the check-out cards.

 

Example:

il_fullxfull.837985154_d2ln.jpg?version=

 

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Yes, Little Free Library caches sound good. Even though I've found few caches, I have now gotten the hang of geocaching, and things I like and don't like about certain caches. One of the top things I don't like is searching in people's front or back yards. I haven't found any caches like this, but I've looked at them online. I just wouldn't feel comfortable looking in someone's yard for a cache. I prefer caches to be in commercial areas, such as near stores, or in parks. Now, on the other hand, if a cache is unique or interesting, I'll search for it in someone's yard. However, a run-of-the-mill bison tube? Probably not.

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6 hours ago, justintim1999 said:

I found one of these at a thrift store for $1.    It's been out now for over 4 years basically exposed to the elements.   Just checked up on it a few days ago and it's still bone dry.   There are all kinds of containers that will make good caches.   Some are good as is.  Some may need a little modification.   Always keep your eyes open for new and interesting containers and don't be afraid to give something a try. 

I'll certainly be using a container that's not ordinary. Instead of the usual ammo can or lock n lock, I'll probably try using something a bit more interesting, like your container. If anything goes wrong with the container, I'll just replace it with an ammo can or lock n lock box.

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3 minutes ago, 321geocache said:

I'll certainly be using a container that's not ordinary. Instead of the usual ammo can or lock n lock, I'll probably try using something a bit more interesting, like your container. If anything goes wrong with the container, I'll just replace it with an ammo can or lock n lock box.

You can't go wrong with an ammo can and it may save you many maintenance trips in the long run. 

 

I know I always enjoy finding unique containers.  As a cache owner some of my hide ideas simply can't be accomplished with a traditional ammo can/bison tube.

 

Believe me,  experimenting with various containers has had it's challenges but in the end it's been well worth the effort.

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I was at the store today and saw that they had some large  lock n lock boxes about 2.5 liters (not lock n lock brand, but still very good quality) on sale for $5. I got one, and I'm considering going with that as a cache. It is large, inexpensive, and has a good seal that appears to keep water out well. I'm still thinking about whether to go with the lock n lock container/ammo can, or another more interesting container.

Edited by 321geocache

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1 hour ago, 321geocache said:

I was at the store today and saw that they had some large  lock n lock boxes about 2.5 liters (not lock n lock brand, but still very good quality) on sale for $5. I got one, and I'm considering going with that as a cache. It is large, inexpensive, and has a good seal that appears to keep water out well. I'm still thinking about whether to go with the lock n lock container/ammo can, or another more interesting container.

 

Many knock-offs look good but for some reason (often the gasket seal or the tabs) they don't work well outdoors. The $5 price tag for a 2.5L container has me worried. If you use it, keep an eye on it for water damage issues.   Personally, I would take the $5 and put it towards buying the tried and true real Lock&Lock. 

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I don't know where I got $5, must have been a typo. It was $9.99.

 

It is Sterilite brand. Here's a photo from their website: PD1_03938604.jpg

Edited by 321geocache

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9 hours ago, 321geocache said:

I was at the store today and saw that they had some large  lock n lock boxes about 2.5 liters (not lock n lock brand, but still very good quality) on sale for $5. I got one, and I'm considering going with that as a cache. It is large, inexpensive, and has a good seal that appears to keep water out well. I'm still thinking about whether to go with the lock n lock container/ammo can, or another more interesting container.

If your going to go with a lock n lock consider purchasing two.   A smaller one that fits inside a larger one.   By putting a container inside a container you double the protection.  I've found that this works well for a veriety of reasons.  Logs seem to keep dry for much longer.  The outer container acts as a warning device.  If the outer container fails chances are the inner one will keep the contents try until I can get the outer container replaced.  Also, the outer container allows you to go wild with camouflage while keeping the inner container clean and easy to handle.    I can usually find generic lock n lock containers at discount stores (like dollar store up here in the North East) for a buck or two each. 

Edited by justintim1999

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On 5/15/2018 at 11:49 PM, 321geocache said:

I don't know where I got $5, must have been a typo. It was $9.99.

 

It is Sterilite brand. Here's a photo from their website: PD1_03938604.jpg

 

I don't think the Sterlite will stay watertight, but maybe they make them better these days. Go for it and check it in about 3 months maybe after a thunderstorm or two and see if it holds up.

 

The tab ledge might be the problem point. I've found tab containers with a ledge that the tab locks under but the tab eventually won't sit snuggly under that ledge. 

 

The Lock & Lock container has notches, each notch fits snuggly into the tab, then tab snaps under the ledge. So it has that added tight fitting mechanism.

 

lock-lock-round-300ml-101-x-55mm-9006918

Edited by L0ne.R

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On 5/15/2018 at 11:19 AM, hzoi said:

 

 

Your first question leads in to your second.  If you are going to hide a cache in your front yard and make it difficult to find, then geocachers are going to be wandering around your yard longer, attracting the suspicion of your neighbors.  If your neighbors don't know it's OK for people to be wandering around your front yard, confrontation is inevitable, either with the neighbors themselves, the neighborhood watch, or with the local police.

 

I for one am not super comfortable searching for geocaches in neighborhoods, so the more open and obvious it is, the more comfortable I am going for it.  Often front yard caches have a combination lock to discourage muggles that happen upon them.  Besides, if a geocache is affixed on your property, it's less likely that folks would feel the need to remove it.

 

I echo the Little Free Library or similar concept - something out in the open such that your neighbors will have an expectation of folks coming by to visit it is normal.

 

Here are some other examples of front yard caches that have clever containers but are out in the open, for your consideration. 

 

Unlocked safe:

 

4ff81f31-f57a-4142-a125-973fb0d9383c.jpg

 

Cute cottage by the mailbox:

 

ade9bf4e-6778-46fd-bc5d-8603cb7e305e.jpg

 

Bucket in the planter.

 

c7a06f80-cb05-4145-8b34-ea0dd016d63e.jpg

 

You have to crank this one down to log it.

 

dbe01db4-22c8-4ca7-b675-f8b8454ee736.jpg

 

 

 

 

Love the little house by mb!

 

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23 hours ago, L0ne.R said:

I don't think the Sterlite will stay watertight, but maybe they make them better these days. Go for it and check it in about 3 months maybe after a thunderstorm or two and see if it holds up.

 

The tab ledge might be the problem point. I've found tab containers with a ledge that the tab locks under but the tab eventually won't sit snuggly under that ledge. 

 

The Lock & Lock container has notches, each notch fits snuggly into the tab, then tab snaps under the ledge. So it has that added tight fitting mechanism.

Thunderstorms are expected today or tomorrow, so I might test the container outdoors in my backyard to see if it gets wet. I'll be hiding the cache soon (next week) so I'll see how it holds up throughout the summer, and report back on the forums with "status updates" on the condition of the container when I visit the cache for maintenance.

Thanks.

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