Monday, September 8, 2008

PVC Is My Friend - Hiding In Plain Sight Caches

I love making caches out of PVC pipe. It is inexpensive and extremely durable plus with a little sealant can be down right water proof. When it comes to doing a well thought out cache you sometimes have the challenge of having to hide it in plain sight. In other words you are placing the cache in an area that is extremely visible and yet must be undetected by muggles. Oh and there is that whole creating an interesting hide for cachers too. PVC may be a solution to your problems.


Say you have an area that is just screaming for a cache but it involves a high traffic strip mall area. Sure you could go for the easy skirt hide but what fun is that? No you need something clever that will make it challenging to the cacher and easy to keep an eye on. So after getting permission from the store owner you begin your project - a simple water drain cache.

Water Drain Cache

You will need:
  • 1 - 12" x 1.5" PVC pipe
  • 1 - 1.5" cap
  • 1 - 1.5" elbow connector
  • 1 - 35mm canister
  • 6 - 1.5" circular magnets / (Velcro strip optional)
  • PVC pipe sealant
  • Some krazy glue or other permanent glue

I have found that a 35mm canister fits absolutely perfect within a 1.5inch PVC elbow and pipe. Which is perfect for this cache. Simply use some pipe sealant and glue the cap to the bottom of one of the 12" PVC pipe ends. Then glue the elbow to the other end and allow to dry. It should look like a big candy cane when complete.

Now take some krazy glue and glue one of the circular magnets to the bottom of the 35mm canister. Allow to dry. This would be a good time to print out a logsheet for the 35mm canister and get that ready. *** Don't forget one of those little log book baggies to keep it dry.

Take the four remaining circular magnets and glue them to one side of the cache host. *** You are going to have to know if you have a magnetic surface to attach your cache to and which side for this step. If a magnetic surface is not available you can substitute the magnets with velcro. Allow to dry.



Place the 35mm canister bottom side first into the elbow and guide it until it falls all the way down into the pipe. Take the last circular magnet and place it on the bottom of the cache into the cap. It should fit just right and you will feel both magnets attract to each other. This ensures the cache stays in place and adds a bit more challenge to the cacher who has to figure out to remove the magnet to get the cache out of the tube.



Place your cache with the cap side down as close to a wall and let the magnets hold it in place on some metallic object like a drain or electrical box. It should look like it is a natural pipe coming out of the ground.


There you have it a unique and clever cache made from scratch.


If you have a clever PVC cache idea, photo or comment please send your submissions to cacheinventor@gmail.com.



8 comments:

Trader Rick said...

Not so sure on the placement of this next to the electrical box--You could be teaching cachers to tear pipes apart or try to mess with the boxes...

wvangler said...

This is brilliant. One tough cache that gave me fits was simply a piece of pvc with a screw end cap sticking up in the middle of a flower bed. I assumed it was a water well access for a long time.

I'll be trying this one!

Erik said...

This is a good idea, but I think you could make it even more waterproof if you just make the pipe the cache itself instead of hiding a film canister inside. I've done a couple PVC pipe caches myself (including one which looks like a water spigot (if you do this, make sure you hide it somewhere where no one will actually want to use it)), and I usually end up plugging up one end of the pipe with a permanent plug or cap and using a removable rubber pipe plug (the kind that twist to lock) on the other end. Those are easy to open and they are extremely waterproof. You won't even need to put the log in a baggie. (If you're using smaller pipes, you can use bailing plugs that can be purchased in the boating section of a department or sporting goods store. They work exactly the same way.)

It's great to see more people hiding plain-sight caches. Those are my favorite.

(geocaching ID: ErWenn)

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