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Glass Caches


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The guidelines don't mention this but I feel caches should not be enclosed in glass jars. Today, my 6yr old daughter, Ginger, our golden, and myself, came across a cache housed in a glass jar. My 6yr old was walking it back to its nest when she slipped and dropped it on a small rock, shattering the glass. We were on a slopey hillside and my heart skipped a beat as I witnessed my daughter struggle momentarily to maintain her balance over the shattered glass. And it didn't shatter into pieces, but rather into large jagged pieces.

We all came out okay, but I hate to think what could have happened if my daughter fell on the broken glass or if Ginger stepped on it.. I cleaned up the mess and used a plastic jar to rehide the cache. See my 2-28-04 log for GCGMGZ.

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I'm trying to sort this one out.


I can understand that you don't think glass is an appropriate container because children might get hurt. I may not agree with it, but I can understand it.


What I can't figure out is why you had your 6 year old carrying the container if it's not appropriate for children.


There are places glass isn't appropriate. I'll agree with that. There are places I don't think tupperware is a good choice and other places where tupperware is probably preferable to an ammo box. Kind of a "The right cache for the right location" sort of thing.


But asking for a universal ban on glass when even you thought it was ok for your child to carry the container? Doesn't that seem a little odd to you?

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... I hate to think what wouldn't have happened if you were carrying it instead of your daughter.


I could have dropped it as well; I have dropped containers before (sooner or later, you will drop one too).

In this case there was hardly any rocks; most of the slope was covered with soft earth (it was drying on 2 days rain). As a matter of fact, I am assuming it hit a rock because I never actually saw what the jar landed on. It was a thick peanut butter size jar.


But asking for a universal ban on glass when even you thought it was ok for your child to carry the container? Doesn't that seem a little odd to you?

Hindsight is 20/20. Then again, not really: not too long ago people thought it was OK for children not to wear seatbelts in their cars. I was watching her; I just wasn't close enough to prevent this.

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I can understand that you don't think glass is an appropriate container because children might get hurt. I may not agree with it, but I can understand it


I think the idea of kids getting hurt is a red herring. Kids can get hurt tripping on a rock on the way to the cache. The question is whether glass is a suitable container at all. I know as a cache owner, I wouldn't want one of my caches in glass because of the likelyhood of it being broken. Whether its by a a rock shifting in its hiding place, or someone dropping it, there is a good chance it will break sooner, or later. Heck, I've cracked my share of plastic caches accidently. At least a little duct tape (which I always have along) can fix those up long enough for the owner to get there and make repairs. Break a glass container and there isn't much left to salvage...unless you want to spend an hour or two there with Crazy Glue.


I can see using one in sandy areas, where there are no rocks to accidently smash the things, but otherwise, glass is a poor choice, especially when there are so many other good containers out there.

Edited by briansnat
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I've had the night to think about this and then took some time after reading your reply.


Here are my thoughts on this issue.


1) A ban on glass caches doesn't mean there will be no broken glass in the vicinity of the cache. As a responsible adult caching with your child, this is a problem you will have to deal with sooner or later.

2) It is not the job of the listings service or the cache placer to protect your daughter from your decisions. You let her carry the jar. As such, you're responsible for both her and the jar. If I had broken the jar, I would have been responsible for it, not the cache placer.

3) Caching is a family friendly sport, but, not all caches are meant for all ages. Many of those caches that are family friendly still require adult supervision.

4) There are areas that are not appropriate for glass containers. I agree with that. But that's a far cry from thinking they need to be banned universally. I have no problem with city parks and rec or a local caching group making a ruling against glass containers, but I believe that rule is not the kind of rule that should be made by a worldwide listing service.

5) I can understand Jeremy making a decision not to list cache containers made of glass, much as I can understand his decision not to list cache containers known to contain knives. I may not agree with it, but it's his listing service. That simply means that such caches will have to be listed on other websites. In a way I suspect that, over time, geocaching.com will be the primary lister of safe urban caches and some other site will inherit the mantle of "adult caching". If I'm lucky, Criminal will tell me where that site is when I need it.

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:ph34r: My first hide was and still is a glass container. At the time, it was available. I use clear plastic containers now. I may replace the container, but I think not. The area around it is flat and hard dirt. It has survived there for two years with no log entries saying that the container is unsafe.

It's a quandry....


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Should the glass container break, the person breaking the container, not the cache owner, is responsible for disposing of the glass fragments properly for it is now trash that you just created. In a park or urban setting this may not be such a big deal as there are usually plenty of trash cans around, but on a 2 mile hike, the closest trashcan may be the litter bag in your car. That means you will have to pick up the pieces and carry them with you. I would rather pick up and carry broken plastic pieces than glass fragments.

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I am certainly not going to tell that cacher, or anyone else, what they allow their child to do. Let's not try to point the finger of blame at either party, finder or hider, but rather try to bring about a knowledge of what would be a better container to use, rather than glass, in order to prevent future incidents such as this. I have seen too much broken glass out here in the desert, from idiots who threw their beer bottles out the window as they drove down the road, rather than waiting a few minutes to find a nearby trash can. Sometimes the entire desert shimmers from the glass shards that are scattered all over an area. Once broken, there is no way that it can ALL be picked back up, and what remains creates a hazard for us as well as any animals that might come across it. ANY glass container that is placed outside will manage to break one way or another. Like that great geocacher Nancy Reagan said: "Just say NO to glass!". Please use a plastic or metal container that won't break and can be removed in its entirety once its useful lifespan has been expended. Or, if you are Tim Robbins or Susan Sarandon, try using a completely biodegradeable cardboard or paper-mache box for your caching needs.

Edited by TEAM 360
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The problem with some plastic containers is that they can be chewed through. I've placed one plastic cache inside an Ammo Box after the lid was chewed through and the contents had gotten wet (and that was not the day to try and dry them out.) (Yes, I notified the cache owner.)


I don't even want to think of how a "completely biodegradeable cardboard or paper-mache box" would fare in the wild, but I'll bet even money the cache and log book become bedding for some creature.


Glass containers have the disadvantage of being broken but they don't get chewed through, they weather well, they're often completely waterproof, and they're transparent. For certain conditions they strike me as a reasonable choice. For other conditions they don't. It's up to the hider to place their cache properly and the finder to treat it properly. And that's not the finger of blame, that's making sure people understand they have a responsibilty. There's a difference.

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In general, glass containers shouldn't be used as a cache, just not a good idea. THowever, there are places where it appropriate as pointed out above. Plus, there are glass containers that are pretty tough.


Should there be yet another rule? NO! It's up to the cache owner and/or the land manger to determine the appropriatenss of the container and no one else.

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Glass is not a good idea in my opinion. Yes it could get broken and yes someone cut. You may be in a sandy area and drop it on a small rock that you didn't see and it could break. There are many what if's. I've found them and sometimes the tops are hard to get off if they have been there for a while. They are also not good in areas with ground cover that might be dry. A hot direct sunbeam could have a magnifying glass effect and start a fire aswell. Another what if.


Another thing to consider is that not everyone carries extra containers or duct tape that matter. If I find a glass cache container I would take the stuff inside, but I woudln't feel the need to mail it to the owner. I maym but I wouldn't feel that I am required to or that I am expected to. I would let the owner know I have it and that their cache is out of commission. Even with broke plastic ones I feel the same way. I may or may not have duct tape to repair it. Just like many other cachers out there. At least plastic normally can hold on for a little until the owner can get out there. A glass container can easily just go into pieces much easier.

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