Few people bother to create a really big cache. In my local Pennsylvania geocaching area, I don’t think there is a single plus size geocache. It’s obvious: they are not easy to hide. Smaller geocaches, the size of Tupperware containers, get compromised all the time. What can you expect for one the size of a five-gallon bucket? And where would you hide it?
My goal was to fill a 5-gallon sized bucket and hide it. Initially, I considered molding a fake tree stump around the bucket. But practical considerations made this impossible. It would’ve taken me more time than I wanted to devout to build the cache container. And how would I secure it into the ground?
So I went with plan B which involved taking a storage container and spraying it black. It’s been my geocaching experience that a black cache is invisible in the wild. They can be found, but wrapping the smallest container in black duct tape renders it very hard to find.
And this is what I put in the cache:
1 log book.
1 stuffed red bull.
1 DVD of “Death and the Compass”.
1 copy of the excellent spy novel ” Diamonds Are Deadly”.
1 copy of “A Dance of Dragons” by George R. R. Martin.
1 copy of the book “20,000 Leagues Under The Sea”.
1 used copy of “The Mystery of the Green Ghost”.
1 plastic ship in a plastic bottle.
1 pack of Starbrite 5-minute epoxy.
1 pack of ProCreate Terrain Putty.
1 pack of ProCreate Stick Putty.
My first idea was close to the local river. However, this soon proved to be problematic: there is a walking trail which runs on the old rail bed next to the river. The local parks service controls the trail. Any cache placed in parks service jurisdiction involves filling a 4-page document and getting the approval of Ranger John. Since my cache was at least fifty feet out of the parks service range, I didn’t think it would be an issue.
After hiking in a mile into the drop point, I placed the cache, took a GPS receiver reading, and published the cache on Groundspeak. The next day the reviewer informed me her map showed the cache in park services territory and I would need Ranger John’s approval. I hike back to ground zero and take another reading. Which shows it to be identical to the first one.
Meanwhile, I’ve emailed Ranger John who tells me his map also shows the GZ in parks services territory. I ponder over filing the paper work and maybe moving it into an old concrete storage box on the trail. Ranger John also informs me all the ground south of the trail belongs to the power company who will never allow such a thing, etc.
I am now left with no other option than to hike back to ground zero and replace the cache somewhere less troublesome. I find a densely wooded area which appears to be a municipal park. This seems to be the best course of action.
After walking around the cliffs which overlook the river, I decided on a good place for the hide. I tote the container in the general direction and what do I find? A campsite. Now this is most interesting as the area adjoins the municipal park. I’ve seen these tents posted before, but this one lay in the general direction of the drop point. It looked clean and well maintained, but the picture was taken before the first snow of the year:
After placing the cache, I avoided the hobo camp on the return hike. I didn’t see anyone around it. I’ll be checking on the hide this weekend, so it will be interesting to see if the encampment survived the first snowfall (which was much).
The hide was discovered within the first 24 hours it placed. The FTF’r didn’t take anything, which disappoints men, but I have to give her credit for locating it in a snowstorm.