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Monday, April 18, 2011

HHH's GotD: Not All Geocache Containers Are The Same

Cami Peanut Butter Container Geocache
Today's Geocache Of The Day deals with geocache containers themselves. You see not all geocaches are the same. I am not talking about size in this discussion but the quality of the container itself. There are some really good ones out there and also some really bad ones. When placing a geocache you really need to be asking yourself: "Is this geocache container water proof and how long will it actually last until there is a possible problem with it?".

Sure a peanut butter container may seem like a really good idea because it holds peanut butter just fine. The problem is that peanut butter is not the same liquid density as water or water vapor. It may keep your extra crunchy from oozing out but a good rain storm or continuous humid days that can create condensation - not so much. I personally won a complete geocache at an event a year or two back which consisted of a nicely camouflaged peanut butter container with log book and full of swag. I quickly placed it in a very nice gnome hole near a fishing stream and was amazed how quickly it went up for need of maintenance. Sure enough when I check on it there was a lot more water inside then I expected. Keep in mind this is in a gnome hole within a tree and a cover over the hole itself. Yet condensation became a key factor and a large amount of water accumulated quickly. Whoda Thunk?

This issue also happens with many other geocache containers as well. What I highly recommend doing before placing a hide is completing a "dunk test". If the environment you are going to place the geocache is prone to moisture then try this. Take a piece of tissue paper and put it in your geocache. Close the geocache normally. Then submerge it in a bucket of water for five to ten seconds (other people like to just hold it under the faucet for a longer period) then see what shape you paper is in. If it is wet then so your contents and logbook will be. Try it out, you will be amazed.

The key to all of this is to make sure your geocache is as waterproof as possible depending on the environment you are hiding it in. Do your homework first which will save you and your fellow geocachers some grief down the road.

Until tomorrow's next geocaching adventure.


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Just hike said...

Did you ever see the video of a bear 'breaking' in to a cabin? They filled a table with assorted cans of food and the bear tore through all of them except the cans of sauerkraut. Goes to show that even though the peanut butter container is 'clean', critters and animals can still smell it.

John said...

In the Pacific Northwest, one other important consideration is the rain. When people find your cache, the first thing they do is open it, breaking that fine waterproof seal to get at the log and swag. And once that seal is broken, its trivial for the pouring rain to get inside.

I've had to replace logs before that were wet solely because they had gotten wet when people were signing them. Other than a wet log, the rest of the cache was just fine.