Friday, September 19, 2008

Cache Inventor Updates

Greetings all - HeadHardHat here,

Email Subscription

Couple of things going on. First off we received a very nice comment about our blog from emcofnorthridge who asked if we could set up an email subscription. Not a problem, if you go to the right side column of either of our blogs and you will find an email subscription widget. Put in your email and do a quick comformation and anytime we post you will get the update. You can also visit our California friends of northridge by going to this link: and thanks again for the suggestion!

Upcoming Article About Glues

Been asking around by people who know, a.k.a fellow cachers, as to what are the best adhesives we can use to make caches. For example, what is the best glue to use for connecting a magnet to a 35mm container or what do you use to connect PVC pipe to concrete. I have been getting some really interesting information of which will be shared to you when I get back from my Boston trip. If you have any comments or suggestions, please send them in.

GeoSnippits You Tube Videos Welcomed

If you go over to my "I'm Not Obsessed" blog or put headhardhat in You Tube's search field you can see my first edition of GeoSnippits which will be a series of tutorials about everything geocaching. I have received a host of nice compliments and suggestions for other videos. Even though I am not even close to running out of ideas any from you will come to the top of the list so send them in.

Well that's it for now. I should be able to get at least some posts in next week but if not I will at least send in a postcard from Boston, Mass.

See ya soon,


Monday, September 15, 2008

From The Email Bag: Wvangler's Random Musings

Just in from our Email Bag: Just some random musings on caches I’ve found. One was a slender microtube that was pushed into the end of one of those pieces of plastic landscaping edging. The top part of the edging is a long tubular section attached to a flat section that is pushed into the ground. The cache tube was inserted into the end and was a tough one to recognize.

One more that gave me fits was around a mall area. It was one of those random number/letter magnets stuck to the outside of an air conditioning unit. I looked forever and logged it as a “did not find” and then one day was researching cache’s on ebay when I discovered someone selling these. I knew instantly that was what that particular cache was so I returned and logged it.

Lastly, at a local rest area someone made a cache out of an electrical box. They put fake screws on the cover plate and attached magnets inside. Then they screwed the electrical box to the wall right beside the payphone. I have no idea how or if they got permission to do this, but it was an ingenious cache.

I have a metal lathe and have some ideas on boring out bolts to put microcaches inside. I hate to order stuff like bison tubes online. Are there any small nano style containers that you know of other than the bison tubes that are more readily available?

The best that I can think of is the small Carmex lip balm cans, but hate to waste all that lip balm just to get the can and it is still kind of large.

Thanks. Phil Smith (wvangler)

Great Stuff Phil! Maybe you could send in some lathe photos boring out bolts. Would be a fantastic addition to our ingenious collection. BTW - I have actually stopped in Sissonville, WV going back and forth from NC to Michigan. Small world! -HHH

Saturday, September 13, 2008

The Simplistic Genious of the Bison Tube

Micros, either you love them, hate them or love to hate them. They are small and usually just big enough to hold some small log sheets and that is about it. Caches in the micro size range from small bags, 35mm containers and bison tubes.

Bison tubes are very popular and can be used in a multitude of ways. They are small, water proof and designed to drive the average cacher completely out of their minds.

They come in every color of the rainbow but the most common colors are silver, black and green.

A bison tube is made of three main components:

  • A small ring attached to the bison tube top
  • The bison tube top itself
  • The tube base which screws to the top

The bison tube ring is very useful for hanging the bison tube cache just about anywhere. You can find bison tubes attached to trees branches, on string, fishing line or chains. This allows the cache to be hidden in very creative places not easy to spot. Want to drive a cacher crazy? Hide a bison tube in a heavy grape vine. I get the heeby-jeeby's just thinking about it.

The bison tube top is smaller on the inside than the tube base. This is important to know because if you want to put the log book back correctly it has to fit in the top section first before you can put everything back together. - a helpful hint from HHH

If you would like to print off your own bison tube log sheets, you can go here: for a variety of log sheet choices.

Ideas for ingenious places to hide a bison tube:

- In the top of small bendable trees

- On a chain or string in a fence post

- Any place that has many hiding areas in the search area (grape vine)

- Inside a piece of wood or log (drill hole and insert)

- Covered with pine cone components

So as you can see a bison tube can be a real bugger in the hands of a real ingenious cache hider. They can go anywhere (with permission) and are not easily spotted. For every cacher that loves these as a challenge to find there is another who can't stand looking for them. I personally love to hate them. I will cringe every time I go after one but the puzzle of the placement always keeps me glued to the find. The choice as always is up to you, have fun!

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Favorite Caches From Equador

Steve King from Equador wrote in about one of his ingenious cache favorites.

Steve writes:

HHH: I like this new website. Thanks for pulling this together.

One of my favorite caches is in the picture I’ve attached. So as not to create too much of a spoiler, I won’t say where it is or give specific information about the actual cache. A friend and I searched around expecting a magnetic. Finally the name of the cache proved to be the clue and I found it. Now I don’t know what permission the owner had to do this but to me this was a unique and ingenious cache. He took a nut and bolt, fixed them together so that when the nut is screwed onto the bolt fixed to the guardrail structure there is a permanent opening created within. That’s where the plastic sleeve with the log was located.

Steve King

Quito, Ecuador

Thanks Steve, it always amazes me how creative the geo-inventors can be. Thanks for your contribution. -HHH

The Beginnings of Something 'Evil'

This just in out of the email bag. A really nice tutorial sent in by Scott Schorner

Scott writes:
I think your site is going to be a great resource for those of us who aren't naturally evil!
That said, my first hide wasn't exactly the most elaborate or ingenious, but it's a simple trick that could be the start of something that's in the "evil" class.

Here's a link to the page I presented for review: <>
Keep up the good work!
Thanks Scott, it's an ingeniously clever cache in my book. Thanks for the info! -HHH

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

Basics: Painting Caches

Lets face it, anybody can slap on the cover of a tupperware bowl or Lock'nLock box, hide it under some sticks and call it a cache. For many that is more than acceptable and gives the same reward of a smiley just like any other hide. But does it really give the same reward to the overall geocaching experience? I think not.

I guess it would depend on what you define as your preferred style of caching. For me if it comes to hunting the elusive woodland cache and the end result is "oh there it is", compared to "holy cow, how did they do that"? I will take the latter. Nothing gets my heart a pump'n like a good, well thought out cammied cache. Sure you can use tape or some other sticky medium but for the best bang for the buck I like spraypaint. Why? It is easy to apply, comes in a multitude of colors and above all now has some really striking textures to choose from. Let's start with the basics; colors.

One of the first things you need to consider is of course cache placement. Ask yourself, where is the cache going to be hidden and what color should I use? If it is in a wooded area your first reaction may be to use green. Well duh, but is that actually the correct answer? Consider the following:
  • Is your cache area always the same color all year round? Are seasons a factor?

  • Is there other objects nearby that may be of other colors your cache should include?

  • What is the shade of color that will hide your cache best when people walk by?

Lets go with some basic colors like green and brown for a moment. I have walked many wooded areas and depending on the terrain green can fluctuate from an almost neon (swampy areas), to a rich emerald mixed with all sorts of browns. In North Carolina we have a ton of pine trees and that means the floor is covered with dark brown pine needles and a lot less actual green. Now what? I highly suggest blending a series of colors to match the surroundings. The examples to the left show a series of ammo boxes with the initial spraying of a green background with brown overtones. I used a basic non-glossy Krylon spray paint to accomplish this. When properly dry another blending coat of green and brown softened the harsh lines.

The same principle can work with urban caches. In those cases I have seen many more rust or brick colors mixed with shades of brown. You can also experiment with metallic colors such as silvers and greys. Urban caches tend to be much more of a challenge having to hide the caches much more frequently "in plain sight".

What about textures? Oh there are some really cool textured paints out there. Want your Lock'nLock to look like part of a stone, no problem. How about a 35mm to match some rusty metal, can do. What about an ammo box to look like part of a brick wall? Check out the photo to to the left. This cache was extremely well done and overlooked for about an hour before I made the connection. It was positioned just right to look as if it was part of the wall. This is one of my absolute favorites.

So there you have it, would you like to find that plain 'ole clear white plastic or make something truly ingenious for your fellow cachers to find? Your choice but I would hazard to guess the resulting logs will be much more lengthier and more appreciative.

These of course are some very basic considerations for creative caches. You may have much more to add to this discussion. Please send your ideas and comments to

Welcome ALL Ingenious Cache Inventors!!!

Release the Geocache Mad Scientist in all of us!

Geocaching is a very addictive game where you use a GPS unit and a multimillion dollar satellite floating around in outer space to find creatively designed containers or “caches” hidden all around our planet.

This blog is dedicated to all the Ingenious Cache Inventors out there who love making these wonder boxes almost as much as they do finding them. So whether you spend countless hours with pvc pipe, pinecones and waterproof glue or just appreciate the effort. Read through this collection of photographs, how to tutorials and good old fashion discussions on our favorite subject – unique and imaginative geocaches.
Please feel free to send any and all submissions (include photos when possible) about your inventive caches to

This cache is a spin-off from HeadHardHat’s frequently visited geocaching based blog: “GeoCache: I'm NOT Obsessed... Right?”. Be sure to stop on by and read more about the ongoing adventures of HeadHardHat.