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Damp and Soggy Content Protection


Chipper3
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OK, I realize that this is kinda' geeky and may not work for everyone but I am enjoying a solution to the problem of wet and soggy logs in my caches.

First of all I use a good "house" or shelter that will hold a LocknLock box for my contents including the log.  

I found that even with time a LocknLock box will not prevent logbooks from becoming moist.  No direct rain , etc. but humidity is humidity and nature abhors a vacuum.

So I obtained desiccant packages from Dry&Dry and use the ones that have a moisture indicator and place in the container.  I have two containers being monitored.  I placed a temp/moisture measuring device in both.  In one I place two desiccant packages and locked the tabs.   One container shows 60% humidity right now which matches the third meter that is outside the container. (ambient.) That the closed container reads the same as the ambient tells the story that even a LocknLock will slowly gain moisture.  The second container  (with the desiccant) always reads 5%.  At some point, I am sure that when the desiccant absorbs all the moisture that it can hold then the humidity will go up in the container.  I have found that before I added the meter that the indicating dessicant would show high humidity after about a month.  I'll use that info to time my maintenance runs on the caches to replace dessicant packages.

Edited by Chipper3
added some details
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10 minutes ago, Chipper3 said:

OK, I realize that this is kinda' geeky and may not work for everyone but I am enjoying a solution to the problem of wet and soggy logs in my caches.

First of all I use a good "house" or shelter that will hold a LocknLock box for my contents including the log.  

I found that even with time a LocknLock box will not prevent logbooks from becoming moist.  No direct rain , etc. but humidity is humidity and nature abhors a vacuum.

So I obtained desiccant packages from Dry&Dry and use the ones that have a moisture indicator and place in the container.  I have two containers being monitored.  I placed a temp/moisture measuring device in both.  In one I place two desiccant packages and locked the tabs.   One container shows 60% humidity right now which matches the third meter that is outside the container. (ambient) The second container  (with the desiccant) always reads 5%.  At some point, I am sure that when the desiccant absorbs all the moister that it can hold then the humidity will go up in the container.  I'll use that info to time my maintenance runs on the caches to replace dessicant packages.

Look into the Rite In The Rain brand. That should help out.

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1 hour ago, Chipper3 said:

So I obtained desiccant packages..

Why haven't I thought of that? I build exclusively on Lock & Lock bases these days, and those 'Do Not Eat' packages are everywhere - seems like a good idea for humidity-based moisture. I'll give it a shot on my next hides!

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1 hour ago, Lostboy1966 said:

Why haven't I thought of that? I build exclusively on Lock & Lock bases these days, and those 'Do Not Eat' packages are everywhere - seems like a good idea for humidity-based moisture. I'll give it a shot on my next hides!


Look at the thread that niraD liked above this reply (there are many other threads, too).  The “Do not eat” packs are too small, plus they’ve done their job already — absorbing moisture.

 

You need lots and lots of silica gel to dry a container’s contents.  It’s possible, and I did it by filling an ammo can with sockfuls of the stuff (and setting “disable” on the cache for a couple weeks so it stays closed for the process).  
 

I gave up on that, and resigned to just carry my cache box home to dry it out.  If just wiping it dry isn’t enough.

 

People do leave those packets in caches.  But the assumption that it keeps a cache dry, or that it does anything at all, is a flawed assumption. :anicute:

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16 minutes ago, kunarion said:


Look at the thread that niraD liked above this reply (there are many other threads, too).  The “Do not eat” packs are too small, plus they’ve done their job already — absorbing moisture.

 

You need lots and lots of silica gel to dry a container’s contents.  It’s possible, and I did it by filling an ammo can with sockfuls of the stuff (and setting “disable” on the cache for a couple weeks so it stays closed for the process).  
 

I gave up on that, and resigned to just carry my cache box home to dry it out.  If just wiping it dry isn’t enough.

 

People do leave those packets in caches.  But the assumption that it keeps a cache dry, or that it does anything at all, is a flawed assumption. :anicute:

 

Hmmmm....  My test boxes are steady at 5% moisture and return to 5% moisture after closing back-up. After one month, the packets indicate fully absorbed and doing no more good.  (Replacing packets as part of cache maintenece is part of my planned activity. ) But in the mean-time, the associated journal in the box stays dry and the one in the other box is "damp."  So I kinda' think that the presence of packets has some positive effect.  It may be that I see these results as I am using the 350 ml 3X5 inch boxes so the volume to protect is small.

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37 minutes ago, Chipper3 said:

 

Hmmmm....  My test boxes are steady at 5% moisture and return to 5% moisture after closing back-up. After one month, the packets indicate fully absorbed and doing no more good.  (Replacing packets as part of cache maintenece is part of my planned activity. ) But in the mean-time, the associated journal in the box stays dry and the one in the other box is "damp."  So I kinda' think that the presence of packets has some positive effect.  It may be that I see these results as I am using the 350 ml 3X5 inch boxes so the volume to protect is small.


Are these tests and not active caches?  If so, the real challenge will be the ordinary careless cachers creating volumes of water.  :)

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8 hours ago, Chipper3 said:

Hmmmm....  My test boxes are steady at 5% moisture and return to 5% moisture after closing back-up. After one month, the packets indicate fully absorbed and doing no more good.

 

Where are your test boxes? Inside your air conditioned home where the humidity is probably never more than 60%?

 

In the field, especially in a more humidity environment like Florida or the Pacific Northwest (or anywhere on a damp, dewy morning or a rainy day) there will be far more moisture to absorb. Especially if the cache is found on a regular basis, like weekly or more.

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1 hour ago, JL_HSTRE said:

 

Where are your test boxes? Inside your air conditioned home where the humidity is probably never more than 60%?

 

In the field, especially in a more humidity environment like Florida or the Pacific Northwest (or anywhere on a damp, dewy morning or a rainy day) there will be far more moisture to absorb. Especially if the cache is found on a regular basis, like weekly or more.

I have placed the boxes outdoors in duplicates  of my cache technique.  And we have had  very wet  spring in my area.  I open the boxes every 3rd day pull out the log and replace.  Folks, I am not suggesting that dessicant will fix open baggies or a poorly constructed caches.  I am just gaining the edge for sealed containers being able to go the extra distance.

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9 hours ago, kunarion said:


Are these tests and not active caches?  If so, the real challenge will be the ordinary careless cachers creating volumes of water.  :)

Yes, no precautions create fail-safe conditions for careless cachers.  I have placed the boxes outdoors in duplicates  of my cache technique.  And we have had  very wet  spring in my area.  I open the boxes every 3rd day pull out the log and go thru the motions and replace.   Folks, I am not suggesting that dessicant will fix open baggies or a poorly constructed caches.  I am just gaining the edge for sealed containers being able to go the extra distance. I keep data and will post a graph of the results.  

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47 minutes ago, Chipper3 said:

Yes, no precautions create fail-safe conditions for careless cachers.  I have placed the boxes outdoors in duplicates  of my cache technique.  And we have had  very wet  spring in my area.  I open the boxes every 3rd day pull out the log and go thru the motions and replace.   Folks, I am not suggesting that dessicant will fix open baggies or a poorly constructed caches.  I am just gaining the edge for sealed containers being able to go the extra distance. I keep data and will post a graph of the results.  

 

I once had similar ideas about dessicant pouches.  There's a local cache that takes on lots and lot of water, and the log book was soaking wet.  So I sealed the log book in a large ziplock bag, with a few sockfuls of silica crystal kitty litter... at least it might dry a little.  I returned in a few days to remove the dessicant and see how things worked out.  Cachers had dumped the dessicant packs into the water.

 

I'm not saying that dessicant doesn't dessicate.  I'm just saying that everyone eventually joins the "don't even bother" plan for dessicant. B)

 

 

Edited by kunarion
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1 hour ago, kunarion said:

I'm not saying that dessicant doesn't dessicate.  I'm just saying that everyone eventually joins the "don't even bother" plan for dessicant. B)

 

Yeah...  When we tested desiccants, they sorta worked, but it was finder-error that created more problems than what little moisture a quality container (ammo cans anyone ?  :-) might take in.

Guess it can't hurt if there's easy access, and a regular maintenance plan is applied, but we found it just wasn't worth it.   :)

 

 

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2 hours ago, Chipper3 said:

Yes, no precautions create fail-safe conditions for careless cachers.  I have placed the boxes outdoors in duplicates  of my cache technique.  And we have had  very wet  spring in my area.  I open the boxes every 3rd day pull out the log and go thru the motions and replace.   Folks, I am not suggesting that dessicant will fix open baggies or a poorly constructed caches.  I am just gaining the edge for sealed containers being able to go the extra distance. I keep data and will post a graph of the results.  

I don't really know anything about it, so it will be interesting to see your results. It sounds like you're testing a specific product, not just kitty litter or packets from pill bottles. That might make a difference. But for me, the fact that you mentioned replacement every month is the killer of whatever you're testing. You might go out and replace the pack every month, but in general I doubt more than a tiny fraction of COs, even the most dedicated, would keep up a every month maintenance regimen for very long no matter how strongly they feel about it when they place the cache. Within a few months, they'll decide it's not all that important to make sure the pack is always entirely fresh, and after a few more months of checking every couple months instead of every month, they'll start wondering why they're so worried about the packets, anyway, since more often than not it's the fact that someone didn't get the cache closed that got their cache's contents wet. Yes, and even as I say that, I realize we'll see 5 or 6 responses right here saying that's already how often they maintain their caches. I'm talking about normal people.

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This is definitely a problem for our caches here in So. Louisiana.  Rarely are caches placed on the ground in this area, usually they are hanging (flooding is way too common).  We have found that a combination of Rite in the Rain paper (not in a zip bag) and a small hole drilled in the cache pretty much takes care of moisture inside the cache--the hole allows the contents to dry, so even if it is moist, usually after the next dry day the log and contents dry out.

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