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black_cat1

Where do you buy the little micro container thingies?

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Ebay.  We find pill containers like that off n on at CVS too.     :)

We don't like the flat top (that ice building on it thing...) and prefer a bison more rounded at the top, like those found at Shop Geocaching, or other caching supply businesses.  

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1 hour ago, The Jester said:

Bison's are also available at REI, if there's one near you.

What does REI stand for?

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I don't even know but they are a higher-end sports gear place.  REI Co-op. 

 

Regular sized bison tubes can be found online:

https://www.ebay.com/i/253073258323?chn=ps&norover=1&mkevt=1&mkrid=711-117182-37290-0&mkcid=2&itemid=253073258323

 

https://www.amazon.com/Geocaching-Containers-Holder-Supplies-Geocache/dp/B01ATVF7ZC

 

The ones you pictured are a little different, though.

 

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17 minutes ago, SamLowrey said:

I don't even know but they are a higher-end sports gear place.  REI Co-op. 

 

Regular sized bison tubes can be found online:

https://www.ebay.com/i/253073258323?chn=ps&norover=1&mkevt=1&mkrid=711-117182-37290-0&mkcid=2&itemid=253073258323

 

https://www.amazon.com/Geocaching-Containers-Holder-Supplies-Geocache/dp/B01ATVF7ZC

 

The ones you pictured are a little different, though.

 

Thank you for the links! The ones pictured were just what I vaguely remembered from finds. I'm not looking for the exact ones in the pictures, just the general idea :) .

I was wondering about REI because on a chicken forum that I"m on, we use TSC to refer to Tractor Supply Co. This made me expect some hidden meaning behind the words, not just it being the name of the store.Leave it to me to overcomplicate things :rolleyes:

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2 hours ago, black_cat1 said:

image.png.6514502a0ca82936523ac5f687d15d75.png

These things. Where do you get them?

 

My go to is Amazon, or Ebay.  Sometimes Michael's or Hobby Lobby has some containers that can be repurposed as geocache containers.  I use the geocaching.com shop area to get ideas, and buy if there is a good deal, but mostly to get ideas for containers here at home that I can reuse, or buy in bulk on Amazon (centrifuge tubes, preforms, bison or pill cases).  Have fun being creative!

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28 minutes ago, CAVinoGal said:

 

.  I use the geocaching.com shop area to get ideas

I really like the tiny ammo cans on there. Do you find the preforms that are on the official shop are more expensive than preforms that you buy elsewhere?

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3 hours ago, black_cat1 said:

What does REI stand for?

Recreational Equipment, Inc.

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At a Little Micro Container Thingies Store ... buuuuutttt I might be wrong

Edited by humboldt flier
typo correction
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On a more serious note they are sometimes available at pharmacies, however, that can be hit and miss. Variability in your size requirements may stymie your search.

 

As earlier stated REI, Amazon, eBay are excellent options.  Groundspeak store has been a source over the years.

 

NOTE: read the sellers descriptions very carefully.

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12 minutes ago, humboldt flier said:

On a more serious note they are sometimes available at pharmacies, however, that can be hit and miss. Variability in your size requirements may stymie your search.

 

The O-rings tend to be unsuitable for outdoor use, they crack, get gummy, or break.  Prepare for the challenge of finding replacements.  The maintenance schedule of these can be so tough, these caches are often soaking wet, moldy, unmaintained.

 

Cachers' opinion, based on other such caches, may be that it's gonna be a terrible cache.  Unless I see a lot of maintenance runs to ensure these are fine ("NM" or not), I tend to not even hunt them.

 

Edited by kunarion
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1 hour ago, kunarion said:

 

The O-rings tend to be unsuitable for outdoor use, they crack, get gummy, or break.  Prepare for the challenge of finding replacements.  The maintenance schedule of these can be so tough, these caches are often soaking wet, moldy, unmaintained.

 

Cachers' opinion, based on other such caches, may be that it's gonna be a terrible cache.  Unless I see a lot of maintenance runs to ensure these are fine ("NM" or not), I tend to not even hunt them.

 

Are there others that don't have O rings, or are those hard to find?

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20 minutes ago, black_cat1 said:

Are there others that don't have O rings, or are those hard to find?

 

They all use O-rings, but the quality of it and of the container varies.  It's difficult to find replacement O-rings, that fit correctly and if you do, they're sold individually.  Quality O-rings are expensive.

 

I bought a bunch of "pill holder" tubes on ebay, and the lip of the container is rough.  It's practically serrated.  Plus the tubes aren't machined to fit together nicely.  That combination means the O-ring can be broken or missing upon every Find.  The first cacher finds it perfect, then twists the cap down super tight which damages the seal, and the next finder reports that the log sheet is soaking wet and torn.  The container's great if just used as a pill holder.

 

There are plastic screw-top vials that seal like a soda bottle does, no O-ring.  Also there are "pre-forms" which are un-inflated soda bottles.  Either one can accept a new cap if it fails, and the bottle may be OK.  I bought a box of 50ml centrifuge vials on ebay, and they are a lot roomier than a "pre-form" (and less expensive), and slightly bigger than a match tube.  I try to use the largest container that a cache spot can accept, so I almost never use tiny bison tubes.  They are too much trouble to maintain, and I certainly never want a finder to be disappointed by a wet, moldy cache log.

 

 

Edited by kunarion
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16 hours ago, black_cat1 said:

Do you find the preforms that are on the official shop are more expensive than preforms that you buy elsewhere?

 

It depends - sometimes there are sales or clearance items on both geocaching and ebay and amazon.  I recently got 5 tubes for about $7, so a bit more than $1 a piece.  They weren't true preforms, but they seal well and we camo painted and glued some dirt on the outside so it works well.

 

Another source of containers is our local Harbor Freight store - containers, UV flashlights, extendable magnets, all kinds of TOTTs!  I've seen packages of assorted O rings there too, some do work for the bison tubes, but you may end up with a bunch you don't use.  The upside is, they don't cost much at Harbor Freight!  Without the O rings, moisture is a problem with bisons if they are exposed to the elements.  We've got a couple of bisons but they are enclosed in other camo (a giant fuzzy spider, a bug, and other themed camo) so they have held up well over time.

 

Edited by CAVinoGal
Typo corrections

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Bison logs should definitely be rite-n-rain paper. Cut a section of plastic straw that the logsheet can be rolled up inside so it doesn't get wedged in.

 

Bison tubes are best used where you need their small size. If you want cheap, durable micros but can use a larger container preform tubes are the way to go. Hard to damage, don't leak unless not screwed back on properly, no O-ring.

 

(Yes, performs are Micros, not Small. They have a volume of less than 100 mL, and no room for trackables or swag.)

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Are there preforms that come in the super small sizes? Or are you stuck with the larger ones?

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You've been geocaching for 2 months. With 12 finds I would suggest that you wait at least 2 more months before you buy your containers.

 

Wait until the honeymoon phase of being a new cacher passes. Most people get keen in the first few months then drop out.   

 

If a 2-more-month wait is too long to wait to hide caches, you may not be committed to ownership yet.  When you hide a cache, hide just one. Learn from the experience. I recommend that you hide only one cache at first. Wait a month to see if you enjoy the experience and are still committed to monitoring and maintaining more caches. 

Edited by L0ne.R
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3 hours ago, kunarion said:

 

The O-rings tend to be unsuitable for outdoor use, they crack, get gummy, or break.  Prepare for the challenge of finding replacements. 

 

I've never had a 'challenge' finding replacements, but then maybe the local hardware chain (McLendon's) is just that good.

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14 minutes ago, black_cat1 said:

Are there preforms that come in the super small sizes? Or are you stuck with the larger ones?


I have a couple that are a little more compact, not a smaller version, though.

 

But there are screw-top centrifuge vials.  I bought the tiny 1.5ml kind, with built-in O-rings.  And after dropping and losing a cap during maintenance, I abandoned that idea, and upgraded the size twice. I settled on a small lock-n-lock instead. :anicute:

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40 minutes ago, black_cat1 said:

Are there preforms that come in the super small sizes? Or are you stuck with the larger ones?

Rarely see the shorter ones "come to market".

 

   About three years ago I found "The Mother Lode" of smalls ... about 3.75 inches; nothing since.  

 

   If you stumble on them grab them.

 

Best of luck in your search.

     

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1 hour ago, L0ne.R said:

You've been geocaching for 2 months. With 12 finds I would suggest that you wait at least 2 more months before you buy your containers.

 

Wait until the honeymoon phase of being a new cacher passes. Most people get keen in the first few months then drop out.   

 

If a 2-more-month wait is too long to wait to hide caches, you may not be committed to ownership yet.  When you hide a cache, hide just one. Learn from the experience. I recommend that you hide only one cache at first. Wait a month to see if you enjoy the experience and are still committed to monitoring and maintaining more caches. 

Oh yeah, definitely. I've already made like four other threads asking about hiding caches- I definitely won't hide one anytime soon, I just feel the need to plan everything 13402 years before it happens. 

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Just now, black_cat1 said:

Oh yeah, definitely. I've already made like four other threads asking about hiding caches- I definitely won't hide one anytime soon, I just feel the need to plan everything 13402 years before it happens. 

I can't cache during the week, but I'm planning to be caching every weekend or so in the future.

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I treat O rings with a smidgen of silicone oil or lanolin which preserves what passes for rubber and adds a little water resistance to the tube threads. Spray-on tyre "shine" and similar products contain silicone. IIRC it's also in Mr Sheen. I had a couple of ounces of silicone oil given to me about 18 years ago by a friend who used it as a lubricant servicing photocopying machines - I'm still using it.

I get resupply O rings from my local Aldi store in boxes with a variety of sizes as I use O rings for other things besides geocache containers.

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When I hid bison tubes, I bought them from Amazon. However, I prefer hiding creative caches. If you want to hide a bison tube, then go ahead. But I prefer finding big caches with lots of swag. Or a clever field puzzle. I think that your first hide can really give you a reputation in your local area. Make it a good one.

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22 minutes ago, FootyFan123 said:

I think that your first hide can really give you a reputation in your local area. Make it a good one.

True, but it's also not possible for everyone and I think that it's really hard to do. You have to learn on your own mistakes and gain more experience. Huge effort isn't going to help if you don't know the basics. My first cache was not a disaster, but it was a micro-magnetic which was not actually showing anything. I still think it was good to create it, because I learned how the owners webpanel looks like, what are the options and so on. With time I combined the knowledge I gained and after I guess 1.5 year I started making better caches, which people liked. Being hyped and having the thing stuck in your head, that "my cache should be awesome, good and great", we would have 75% less caches in the world :D

I don't recommend starting with god knows what, but with a standard cache which is not unpleasant for the finder. Not being hyped is also very important, to be objective.

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44 minutes ago, sernikk said:

True, but it's also not possible for everyone and I think that it's really hard to do. You have to learn on your own mistakes and gain more experience. Huge effort isn't going to help if you don't know the basics. My first cache was not a disaster, but it was a micro-magnetic which was not actually showing anything. I still think it was good to create it, because I learned how the owners webpanel looks like, what are the options and so on. With time I combined the knowledge I gained and after I guess 1.5 year I started making better caches, which people liked. Being hyped and having the thing stuck in your head, that "my cache should be awesome, good and great", we would have 75% less caches in the world :D

I don't recommend starting with god knows what, but with a standard cache which is not unpleasant for the finder. Not being hyped is also very important, to be objective.

I do agree with you on that, but hiding a decent sized container rather than is a bison isn't that hard

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8 minutes ago, FootyFan123 said:

I do agree with you on that, but hiding a decent sized container rather than is a bison isn't that hard

 

It may be hard in cache-saturated areas where most of decent hiding spots for non-micro sized geocaches are already occupied.

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3 hours ago, rapotek said:

 

It may be hard in cache-saturated areas where most of decent hiding spots for non-micro sized geocaches are already occupied.

 

It is hard.  I've placed a bunch of Regular, Small, and even a Large Ammo can in places where caches such as Micros were previously muggled.  Nocacher could keep their cache in these spots, so the place was available, but placing a cache required some thought, and a lot of work.  A Micro is easy to hide and can be almost impossible to find -- so it needs to be a place I love to be, during this long search -- likely the only cache I have time for today, it takes so long. 

 

I considered ideas for a while (one took five years, and I'm still thinking about others).  "What is the biggest container I could expect to place here, cache and contents staying clean and dry?"  I sometimes see a cache hide style that I can adapt, or I invent something, but it's designed for that one place on Earth.  So when I hike out into the forest and there's a bison tube tied to a branch, huh...  With a little creative camo, this spot could easily sustain a huge container.  Go figure.

 

However, in order to have big containers there, it's absolutely essential that Finders make an effort to return the container to its spot so it remains viable.  Otherwise it will be gone, and now some Micro will be hanging on a branch.

 

 

Edited by kunarion
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On 1/12/2021 at 4:43 PM, kunarion said:

The O-rings tend to be unsuitable for outdoor use, they crack, get gummy, or break.  Prepare for the challenge of finding replacements.  The maintenance schedule of these can be so tough, these caches are often soaking wet, moldy, unmaintained.

 

Cachers' opinion, based on other such caches, may be that it's gonna be a terrible cache.  Unless I see a lot of maintenance runs to ensure these are fine ("NM" or not), I tend to not even hunt them.

 

The short life of O-rings when exposed to sunlight is a major problem on cheap bison tubes. There are bisons with good O-rings, but I don't know how to spot them.

 

BTW, bisons come in many varieties, and at least for a while I could get them very cheap. A quick dive in my cache material surfaced five different sizes, and I have at least one more, plus that I also know of the "bullet" kind that I don't have.

 

The variety of sizes gives some freedom. I like the smallest best, 14mm I think, because it is small enough to comfortably drill a hole in a piece of wood (not a living tree, of course) to hide it. And hiding it where the sun doesn't shine on it will prolong the O-ring's life by years, literally. The bigger ones are harder to make enclosures for but it can be done. Not to mention that the popularity of the cache will be a lot higher if it is more than just a plain bison tube. I have one that is protected by a small plywood box looking like a very small birdhouse. Much more fun to find!

 

Protecting the O-ring can be even easier. I figured out that I could make small caches with locks with a transparent plastic test tube with a 14mm bison. I hade one of those hanging from a tree several years. Finally, the test tube fell apart from the wear of the sunlight but the O-ring was fresh! The transparent plastic had protected it from the UV so it hadn't deteriorated!

IMG_1172.JPG

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Miscellaneous responses.

Bison is a brand name.  Actual Bison® will cost more than the ~ $1 pill fobs that are widely available. Threads are milled, not pressed. They're anodized, so the thread resists oxidizing.  Somewhat counter to expectation, the thread is coarser than you'll see on cheaper versions.  They're more water resistant and they don't cross-thread as easily as the cheap pill fobs (generally pressed aluminum, not anodized, tho I have seen silver-tone plastic). O ring is better, but will still degrade.  You can buy Bison® from Shop Geocaching, just FYI.

 

I own only a few pill fob caches, and have replaced even the Bison® with stainless or knurled titanium pill fobs,  with captured silicone o rings (Amazon). they haven't been out long enough for me tell that they're wonderful :-) they look wonderful. 

 

Smaller size preforms, I bought 50 from an Ebay seller. The caps were separated, loose in  the box, which worried me, but they were fine. That deal is still available.  By the time I painted, labeled, attached hanging device,   I had about $1 in each.

 

preform assembly line after stickers.jpg

Edited by Isonzo Karst
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Standard aluminum pill fob and stainless, pic below.

 You can see that stainless has no visible o ring, came with 2 spares. I don't think the focus is real good, but tried to show the thread difference.  The aluminum thread will clog with aluminum oxide or dirt and then wick moisture or invite cross threading.

stainless compare bison.jpg

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On 1/12/2021 at 11:52 AM, The Jester said:

I've never had a 'challenge' finding replacements, but then maybe the local hardware chain (McLendon's) is just that good.

+1.  In fact, I keep a supply of o-rings for bisons that have a slightly larger O.D. then normal.  The ones that come with most bisons are too fragile, so a little fatter one, even if it sticks out from the bison just a little, is a good investment.  You can get them from more durable rubber than the originals, and being a bit fatter, they don't cut as easy.

I get them at my local Ace, though there are a myriad of cheaper places.  I just don't buy enough of them to investigate the options.

 

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