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Leaving Bottled Water In 'caches?


tirediron
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A friend (who is about as interested in geocaching as I am in housecleaning) suggested that bottled water might be a good thing to leave in 'caches, especially those requiring a hike to get to.

 

I started to wonder if this wasn't such a bad idea. What do you think? It wouldn't have a smell, and it's not really food per se - would it violate the food rule? Provided that the seal on the bottle was intact, would you take/trade for a bottle of water in a 'cache if you were thirsty after a long hike?

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Yes, what the toe said.

 

I can't imagine taking anything out of a cache and putting it in my mouth. I saw a cache yesterday that had a really fun novelty kids' toothbrush in it. It was in packaging and all, but still..."here, Suzy dear, take this object that's been sitting sealed in a box in the woods under a rock for six months and brush your teeth with it." I don't think so.

 

Maybe my problem is that my other hobby is microscopy.

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Provided that the seal on the bottle was intact, would you take/trade for a bottle of water in a 'cache if you were thirsty after a long hike?

 

No,

 

If I found a bottle of water in a cache I would remove it just like I would with any food or candy item.

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I find them frequently and usually trash them out. Some people leave them next to the cache because of the possibility of it bursting when frozen, but they get filthy and nasty after a while.

 

I wouldn't drink one unless I was desparate, but I do recall one local geocacher who was on a long, multicache hike and forgot his water. He found a water bottle at each cache and eagerly downed it.

 

As far as it being "food", I don't think that's an issue because its odorless. I think the GC.COM site once (and might still) listed bottled water as a possible trade item in the geocaching tutoriall.

Edited by briansnat
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I have been buying the liter or so size of plastic bottles of water to take to work for over a year. I immediately pop them all in the freezer when I get them home from the store. I carry two with me to work every day, one out and one in the cooler to keep my lunch cold (and by then it is thawed enough to drink.)

 

I have never had a bottle burst. They expand a bit, but the ridges and such can accomodate this growth.

 

We left some in 2 of our harder caches as original items along with other things such as new socks and dog toys.

 

As for eating things from a cache-depends. CR ate a chocolate covered cricket and I wouldn't hesitate to drink water from a sealed bottle. I also ate plenty of local food while in Tijuana and drank the beer (yes, I know what they do with the bottles.)

 

I guess it depends on how risky you think the world in general is and for us, realizing that the cleanliness and sanitization that Americans take for granted is really quite a luxury in the rest of the world, but people manage to survive there too.

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I have been buying the liter or so size of plastic bottles of water to take to work for over a year. I immediately pop them all in the freezer when I get them home from the store. I carry two with me to work every day, one out and one in the cooler to keep my lunch cold (and by then it is thawed enough to drink.)

 

I have never had a bottle burst. They expand a bit, but the ridges and such can accomodate this growth.

 

We left some in 2 of our harder caches as original items along with other things such as new socks and dog toys.

 

As for eating things from a cache-depends. CR ate a chocolate covered cricket and I wouldn't hesitate to drink water from a sealed bottle. I also ate plenty of local food while in Tijuana and drank the beer (yes, I know what they do with the bottles.)

 

I guess it depends on how risky you think the world in general is and for us, realizing that the cleanliness and sanitization that Americans take for granted is really quite a luxury in the rest of the world, but people manage to survive there too.

Finally a sane voice; I hadn't expected geocachers to be so hysterical.

Freezing and popping is no problem. Odor is no problem. If the seal isn't broken, there's

nothing wrong with water.

Really, water bottles are among the most valued things I have ever found. I have often wished for water in remote caches, which I reached after a long and exhausting hike. On the rare occasion that I do find water, I take it, and am grateful for the person who carried it up the mountain.

Trashing water out? I'd sooner trash out a yellow jeep TB. If you don't value it, at least leave it for someone else.

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I guess since Long Island is a relatively small area most of the cachers around here know each other. So if I found a sealed bottle of water in a cache I wouldn't have a problem drinking it. Call me a little naive but I think I can trust the people I know well enough. I don't see anyone around here putting poison water in a cache.

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Bottled water in summer is not a good idea because hot water and exercise are not very friendly.

 

I recently had a trip to one of my customers home and it was the first time that a buddy come with me because this time i needed the help of take a desk to the costumer home.

 

During the trip i was very thirsty and i decided to drink warm water from a Thermos flask I had in my car, then we had to carry that desk upstairs, i am not used to doing the work of our deliveries, inmediatly I noticed that the water drinked was turning my stomach due to that simple exercise.

 

Our computer produt inmediatly failed once installed and while my buddy was arguing with the costumer i spent an hour and half vomitind and the other thing in his bathroom.

 

I spent two days without eating and just drinking water and aquarius in bed.

 

It was very amusing when my boss call me saying that the costumer said him that my buddy was an incompetent but on the other hand the ill man was an excelent professional :( , he only wanted to see me soon and sort the problems.

 

I learned that if i see a warm bottled water in a cache during a hike i never will drink it.

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Bottled water in summer is not a good idea because hot water and exercise are not very friendly.

 

I recently had a trip to one of my customers home and it was the first time that a buddy come with me because this time i needed the help of take a desk to the costumer home.

 

During the trip i was very thirsty and i decided to drink warm water from a Thermos flask I had in my car, then we had to carry that desk upstairs, i am not used to doing the work of our deliveries, inmediatly I noticed that the water drinked was turning my stomach due to that simple exercise.

 

Our computer produt inmediatly failed once installed and while my buddy was arguing with the costumer i spent an hour and half vomitind and the other thing in his bathroom.

 

I spent two days without eating and just drinking water and aquarius in bed.

 

It was very amusing when my boss call me saying that the costumer said him that my buddy was an incompetent but on the other hand the ill man was an excelent professional :( , he only wanted to see me soon and sort the problems.

 

I learned that if i see a warm bottled water in a cache during a hike i never will drink it.

This concerns me. I've never heard of this before. Why would warm water and exersize do this to you? :D

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Guess it all depends on your area and environment.

Absorutery.

 

I did a forest cache today that was hairy with mold. It was a good hide and a good container and somebody had visited it a month ago without mentioning problems. I found it with a quarter inch of water in it and stinking of mildew. I did what I could with paper towels and fresh baggies, but it was a smelly prospect.

 

Once you've squeezed a few of these out of mosses, you'll have a care what you raise to your lips from the forest.

 

If I lived in the desert, I would feel differently.

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Consume something found in a cache? …Ah….no.

 

Use common sense.

 

Bacteria will grow in quickly in any un-refrigerated water. Consider any found water as not potable. Note your location Before entering and treat water accordingly.

Edited by Elf Danach
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I think i visited the cache listed above that was dedicated to containing water bottles. It appeared to me that the cache was restocked with fresh water daily, and it was nice and cold since the cache was mostly underground. I apprecaited the water since it was a very hot day. I can see circumstances where consuming the water in a cache would be just plain stupid, but this wasn't one of them.

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I believe we have been talking about sealed bottles. Where do you think all the bottled water for office buildings is stored? They don't have giant refridgerators. Also the delivery trucks out in the sun on the city streets aren't refridgerated. The water you buy in the store sits in a backroom for days even weeks before it is put on the shelf.

 

A SEALED container of warm water won't hurt you.

 

Now if it wasn't sealed, then I wouldn't drink it unless I was going to die of dehydration.

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Well, The bottom line is I don't plan a trip figuring I'll find water in a cache. If I enter an arid area, I'll take precations. (which includes emergency situations)

 

If someone wants to offer water in a cache, I'll stand back to let you drink it. Any cramps are your problem.

 

Edit: Typos

Edited by Elf Danach
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It looks as if this topic has changed from whether it was OK to leave water in a cache (the answer is: only in sealed containers) to whether one should drink it (the answer is of course: only if you want to).

 

I would be happy if those who won't appreciate water would leave it for others, just like any other trade item.

 

"Trashing it out" as a matter of principle, however, is quite something else. We have established here that there is a certain percentage of cachers who appreciate finding water. Since no damage is caused by a sealed water bottle to the rest of the cache, to the environment or to GC.com. So just like you don't trash out mactoys, cards or hotwheels, don't trash out water. if you don't like it, don't take it. If you do like it, trade up and enjoy.

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I have been buying the liter or so size of plastic bottles of water to take to work for over a year. I immediately pop them all in the freezer when I get them home from the store. I carry two with me to work every day, one out and one in the cooler to keep my lunch cold (and by then it is thawed enough to drink.)

 

I have never had a bottle burst. They expand a bit, but the ridges and such can accomodate this growth.

I also routinely freeze bottles of water and have never had one burst...

 

however...

 

there are plenty of places where the temperature varies from above to below freezing every 24 hours. The expanding and contracting will cause the plastic to wear out.

 

I know this from experience in using a 2 liter bottle that had the neck (where the bottle starts to shrink in size) to make a large chunk of ice - after a couple of weeks the jug will split down the side.

 

I have also seen posts by people who stored a few cases of water in their garage and most of the bottles bursted due to the freezing/thawing process.

 

So... crazier things have happened...

 

And I wouldn't eat or drink anything I found in public, even if it looked sealed.

 

southdeltan

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What SD said. The ridges in water bottles are there to allow it to freeze. Once. I've had water bottles left in the back seat of my car freeze and split, and I've had them split in summer heat. Leaving them in a cache would take up all or most of the room in most caches, if it fit at all.

I know as at least one cacher who leaves them next to the cache, and I've always had mixed feelings about it. I've trashed out a few that had leaked or had gotten nasty and looked like litter. I've found a few caches easier then intended because of the tell-tale water bottle. I've even drank them once or twice on long hikes.

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It looks as if this topic has changed from whether it was OK to leave water in a cache (the answer is: only in sealed containers) to whether one should drink it (the answer is of course: only if you want to).

 

I would be happy if those who won't appreciate water would leave it for others, just like any other trade item.

 

"Trashing it out" as a matter of principle, however, is quite something else. We have established here that there is a certain percentage of cachers who appreciate finding water. Since no damage is caused by a sealed water bottle to the rest of the cache, to the environment or to GC.com. So just like you don't trash out mactoys, cards or hotwheels, don't trash out water. if you don't like it, don't take it. If you do like it, trade up and enjoy.

Sorry, I assumed they meant they were leaving drinking water not trading water.

Edited by Elf Danach
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It looks as if this topic has changed from whether it was OK to leave water in a cache (the answer is: only in sealed containers) to whether one should drink it (the answer is of course: only if you want to).

 

I would be happy if those who won't appreciate water would leave it for others, just like any other trade item.

 

"Trashing it out" as a matter of principle, however, is quite something else. We have established here that there is a certain percentage of cachers who appreciate finding water. Since no damage is caused by a sealed water bottle to the rest of the cache, to the environment or to GC.com. So just like you don't trash out mactoys, cards or hotwheels, don't trash out water. if you don't like it, don't take it. If you do like it, trade up and enjoy.

Sorry, I assumed they meant they were leaving drinking water.

Hey Elf,

 

We appear to have a misunderstanding, but I don't know what it is :(

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Wow... :blink: That sure went off on a couple of different tangents! It's not something that I plan on doing for any of my 'caches, as they aren't far enough away to warrant it, but I don't see a problem with sealed, bottled water. I don't think that there is a need to trash it out... if it's sealed, it's not hurting anything. As for the warm aspect... well, I have been thirsty enough once or twice to almost try boiling water! :lol:

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I don't see a problem with sealed, bottled water. I don't think that there is a need to trash it out... if it's sealed, it's not hurting anything.

I can't speak for the others in this thread, just my own examples. There usually is not room in the cache for a waterbottle, so it's left next to the cache. After a year outside, the bottle is usually either cracked and 1/2 empty, or so covered in dirt and mold and fungus that nobody is gonna touch it. Usually, the cache camo wasn't designed to also conceal a waterbottle, so the bottle is exposed and visible from some distance. If you saw a dirty old bottle of water along the trail, wouldn't you CITO it out? How is a dirty old bottle of water next to a tree any different? Besides the fact it changes a 3 difficulty hide to a 1.

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I find lots of bottled water in caches in our neck of the woods. Very hot, dry summers.

I bring my own water and would have to be delirious to drink any I found in a cache. Of course I'm old and careful, now. :blink: To each his own.

Never seen bottles cause any problems, breaking, animal damage, etc. So I have no issue with them. :lol:

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I came across some cases of water in plastic bags a few months back. Any tampering is immediately obvious and they can freeze and melt over and over again. (I used them in my lunchboxes and would re-freeze the leftovers each day)

 

I wish I had bought more as I can't find them any more.

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I have seen bootles of water in caches before and normally don't take them out. I had to take one out yesterday so I could fit a large TB into the cache. Personally I wouldn't take a bottle of water from a cache. I bring plenty of water with me and will leave it behind for the next person.

 

Zack

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There usually is not room in the cache for a waterbottle, so it's left next to the cache. After a year outside, the bottle is usually either cracked and 1/2 empty, or so covered in dirt and mold and fungus that nobody is gonna touch it. Usually, the cache camo wasn't designed to also conceal a waterbottle, so the bottle is exposed and visible from some distance.

 

This has been my experience too, which is why I trash out the water bottles. A clean, sealed bottle inside the cache wouldn't bother me, other than the fact it would take up a lot of room.

Edited by briansnat
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I now know of at least a handful of bacillophobes in this thread. People, give your head a shake! How often do you wash your hands? And do you realize what you are breathing in ... _right now_ ??

 

If the water is sealed, it is FINE.

 

Oh and for humor's sake, when I read that "hard work and warm water" make you sick, I almost died laughing. Sounds like somebody has never really worked before. Try backpack camping in the mountains - lol!! I'm stll laughing.

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Oh and for humor's sake, when I read that "hard work and warm water" make you sick, I almost died laughing.  Sounds like somebody has never really worked before.  Try backpack camping in the mountains - lol!!  I'm stll laughing.

Okay fine !!! :blink: How about 'warm work and hard water'! Now that'll make you sick ... hehehe

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There usually is not room in the cache for a waterbottle, so it's left next to the cache. After a year outside, the bottle is usually either cracked and 1/2 empty, or so covered in dirt and mold and fungus that nobody is gonna touch it. Usually, the cache camo wasn't designed to also conceal a waterbottle, so the bottle is exposed and visible from some distance.

 

This has been my experience too, which is why I trash out the water bottles. A clean, sealed bottle inside the cache wouldn't bother me, other than the fact it would take up a lot of room.

Fair enough. But now you're talking about removing trash, not about removing water.

 

If you generally remove moulded items from a cache, no reason to leave the water.

If you generally leave good items in a cache, no need to remove a clean sealed water bottle.

If you don't generally trash items just because they're bulky, don't trash a clean sealed water bottle either.

 

My point is: it's just like any other item, and appreciated by lots of people. No reason to deal with it differently.

 

(Edited in an attempt to sound more diplomatic. Maybe this time it will work)

Edited by Shunra
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Okay... just so that we are all on the same page (and thanks for the voice of calm reason Shunra).... I am ONLY talking about a clean, sealed bottle of water in a 'cache with enough room for it. Obviously (I hope) anything green, slimy, or moldy (with apologies to webfoot! :blink: ) should be CITO'd!

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