Introduction: Build Your Own Geocache Waterproof Tube Container

Picture of Build Your Own Geocache Waterproof Tube Container
GeoCaching is GREAT!   It's basically a high tech treasure hunt game growing in popularity the world over.  All you need is internet access, a GPS; Smart Phone, or even a map and compass, and of course, something to find. 
What Geocachers need to find is called a Geocache.  And creating a Cache to hide can be almost as addictive as the sport itself.
To learn more about Caching check out geocaching.com  and opencaching.com .
Another great resource dispensing indispensable news and geocaching trivia is a top notch Pod Cast at www.podcacher.com

I've designed this container be long enough to hold a pen, and generous sized cache log.
After searching around the Instructables.com site, I found several very good instructables of two bottle tops being bonded to create a much smaller container which would be know in the Caching world as a micro cache.
Here's a few versions that may suit your needs if this instructable isn't quite your flavor:
And there's likely more to find if you look.




Step 1: LIST OF INGREDIENTS

Picture of LIST OF INGREDIENTS
Though you may substitute some or all of the items and or tools with what works best for you, here is a list of what I used in the creation of this Instructable:

INGREDIENTS:
  1. 3/4 INCH PVC TUBE
  2. PEN
  3. HACK SAW
  4. PLASTIC POP OR WATER BOTTLES WITH SCREW ON CAPS x2
  5. DREMEL OR OTHER ROTARY TYPE TOOL WITH SANDING DRUM ATTACHMENT
  6. OSCULATING SANDER WITH SANDPAPER
  7. PVC CEMENT
  8. STANDARD PAPER SHEET x2
  9. SCISSORS
  10. STAPLER
  11. SPRAY PAINT (VARIOUS CAMO) Shown in Intro Image

Step 2: CHOOSING THE LENGTH

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Use the pen you wish to place inside your container to roughly measure the length of your project.
Then mark a cut line directly on the tube..

Step 3: MAKING THE CUT

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Find a sturdy area to do your cutting and use hacksaw to cut through the tube as marked in previous step.
(I just braced it against my knee).

Step 4: TIME TO HIT THE BOTTLE

Picture of TIME TO HIT THE BOTTLE
Use your hacksaw to cut the tops off your plastic water or pop bottles.
I found that lightly scoring the area to be cut, wile slowly rotating the bottle, made for a nice straight cut all around.
The second image shows the bottle top separated from the bottle.

OPTIONAL: IF YOU BOTTLE HAS A RIDGE DESIGNED FOR CARRYING,YOU MAY CHOOSE TO CUT ON EITHER SIDE OF THAT.  I DECIDED TO INCLUDE THE RIDGE IN CASE I WANTED TO USE FOR SECURING A STRING TO LATER IF I DECIDE TO HANG THIS CACHE FROM A TREE.

Step 5: SMOOTHING THINGS OVER (PVC)

Picture of SMOOTHING THINGS OVER (PVC)

There may be some rough edges caused created during the cutting steps.  (my plastic bottle melted a bit from the friction created by the hack saw).
Try fitting the bottle top over the end of the PVC tube as shown in the first photo of this step.
If they will not fit snugly together use a sander (or hand sand)  to smooth the outer rim of the PVC tube.
I found that a Dremel with sanding drum attachment worked well on the inner rim of the PVC.

Step 6: OUT OF THE ROUGH (Bottle Tops)

Picture of OUT OF THE ROUGH (Bottle Tops)

Next try using the Dremel with sanding attachment to remove the roughness from the inner rim of the cut bottle top.
Try fitting the PVC and Bottle tops together again.
Notice the tapered outer rim of the PVC in the second photo of this step.  I used the sander in an attempt to assist the PVC into a snug fit, but found using the Dremel again in the NEXT STEP proved to be a better solution.

Step 7: MAKE IT FIT

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Using the dremel proved to be a great time saver in this step. 
Rotating the PVC tube incrementally while attempting as best as possible to remove equal amounts of material all around, apply the Dremel sander attachment lightly, and check your fit with the cut bottle top often until a snug fit is obtained.
Do this for both ends of the PVC until you are satisfied with the results.

Step 8: STICKY FINGERS

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Using ABS or PVC cement, select a well ventilated work area and read all safety precautions and directions before proceeding.
If your choice of cement came with a dabber affixed to the inside of the lid, apply lightly to both the outer rim of the PVC tube area you've sanded, as well as to the inner neck of the cut bottle top.
Depending on your cement, and amount applied, it may dry quickly, so just work on one bottle top / PVC combination at a time.
Once both parts have cement applied, fit them together and apply some pressure while rotating approximately a quarter of a turn.
This will help both parts to bond better.
Once satisfied, repeat the process on the other bottle top / PVC set.
NOTE:   As a precaution, leave the screw on caps off their perspective bottle tops until the cement has dried and cured to avoid accidentally permanently affixing them to the bottle tops.  Cement should cure completely after several hours.

Step 9: OPTIONAL ADDITIONAL STEPS (Log Sheet Pt 1)

Picture of OPTIONAL ADDITIONAL STEPS (Log Sheet Pt 1)

If your goal was to create a waterproof container to store small items, then you're done.  Congratulations!  Excellent job!

However, if you would like to continue with completing a ready to hide geocache container to impress your fellow Cachers, you'll need to include a Cache Log.

Take a couple pieces of paper and set your Cache container near one edge.
From here you will decide which length is best to fold in half to create a Log Sheet suitable for your container.
After making the fold, use a pair of scissors to cut along the fold.
Stack your resulting sheets of cut paper, then place a couple staples at one end, effectively creating a small booklet.

Step 10: OPTIONAL ADDITIONAL STEPS (Log Sheet Pt 2)

Picture of OPTIONAL ADDITIONAL STEPS (Log Sheet Pt 2)

Now using the pen, you can hand draw horizontal numbered lines for geocachers to sign and date, marking their presence at your Cache.
Alternately, you could create a more refined Cache log on a computer and print before the cutting stage, download and print a log sheet online at Geocaching.com, or use lines paper and just add information you want displayed on your Log Sheet.

Once the log has been created, you might like to wrap it around the pen and insert the rolled package inside your new container, replacing the screw on bottle caps as shown in the last photo of this step.

Step 11: CAMOFLAGUING YOUR CACHE

Picture of CAMOFLAGUING YOUR CACHE

Using spray paint which can be found in the sporting goods section of some retailers might be one option to consider for adding additional camouflage if required for your new geocache container.
I hung my container from a thread while making short brisk passes with various spray paints to obtain a nicely camouflage look. 
Maybe covering your container with glue and rolling it in fallen pine needles, dirt or sand might be another option (not shown here)
Be creative, and most of all, have fun.

Comments

4freds (author)2013-06-19

I would not advise building geocaches that look anything like a bomb. : (

letstormdufield (author)2012-10-23

This works well with 1 1/2 inch PVC pipe and large juice bottle screw tops.
Travel bugs can fit into these and can hold more geoswag.

goodness181 (author)2012-08-08

This is awesome and i am deffinatlly going to be building one of these. Thank you very much i am a very active Geocacher up in maine and have several of my own out in the field. THANK YOU!!!!

Hi there goodness181,
Thanks for your enthusiastic comment. :)
I've gotten a bit of unanticipated feedback on this type of cache after showing it to friends, and also on the www.podcacher.com geocaching pod cast (a very good geocaching show if you've never listened to them.
The thought had never even crossed my mind while creating this, and I've got 22 years in the Infantry, plus an additional 6 years in the air force, but more than a few folks have suggested that this cache type looks like a pipe bomb.
Pod cacher suggested painting it pink, and other ave suggested hiding this type of cache very well in a non-populated area, like the woods.
I'm convinced now that both of these are good ideas.
Personally, now that I think of it, my cache does resemble what we call a para-flare. :)

heathbar64 (author)2012-06-30

Do you find it necesary to have a removable cap on both ends? Or could you just glue a pvc pipe cap on one end?

Cache Slinger (author)heathbar642012-06-30

Hi Heathbar64.
I placed the cap on both ends for two reasons.
1. To save money, using the bottle top which came with y purchase of the beverage it originally held.
2. For ease of just pushing the pen and log sheet out the other end.

I suppose those building their own will modify it any way they like, so the possibilities are endless.

Good idea though.

I suppose rather than painting the container, you could also wrap bark from a dead branch around it for a more natural camouflage.

Thanks for your suggestion.

CaseyCase (author)2012-06-29

Please consider hiding traditional caches--micro caches are not as much fun!

Cache Slinger (author)CaseyCase2012-06-29

CaseyCase, though this would be considered a "Small" as opposed to a Micro, I personally know may cachers who especially enjoy hunting for NANO and MICRO caches.
I would certainly enjoy reading your thoughts on my Instructable in addition to what I've learned about your opinion to looking for Micro Caches. :)
Happy GeoCaching!
- Cheers!

P.S. My Geocaching name on www.geocaching.com is also Cache Slinger. if anyone else has a geocaching account, feel free to link to your profile or add your caching name and number of find if you like. :)
Here's the link to my profile though you may need a free account to view it: Cache Slinger http://www.geocaching.com/profile/?guid=f8699c0d-eae7-4d55-8790-ae37f52929c9&wid=cd403676-25f5-4d17-8d23-f02f6f160991&ds=2

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