CacheCrazy.Com: How to hide a Geocache - Bloodhounded Style - Part One

Saturday, January 25, 2014

How to hide a Geocache - Bloodhounded Style - Part One

Notes from the author: I consider myself a Geocache Hider who likes to seek too. Hiding a geocache to me is my way of contributing something tangible to the game. A game piece, if you will, that with the proper maintenance can last for many years. There is only a small percentage of what I consider “Bad Caches” and even a smaller percentage of “Great Caches” in my opinion. The rest are average and with no disrespect to them or the cache owners (CO’s), boring! Want to hide a great cache? One that stands out over the rest? It’s not hard and in this three part series, Each Monday for the next three, I will go through MY steps towards building, hiding, listing and owning a geocache, Bloodhounded style, as I actually prepare to set a real hide. Cool right? Let’s get started right away!

*note – you can build along with me and hide your cache as well, if you need any help just email me =)

WARNING - If you live and seek anywhere around our World Headquarters you may find this series to be a bit of spoiler, so sorry about that. It’s in the name of education.

Anyone could hide a geocache! Let’s face it, it’s not rocket science. But, how do you hide a cache that stands out from the rest? I mean, not you’re every day garden variety cache? It’s easy really; you just need some imagination and the desire to “thrill” the seeker. What does “thrill” mean in this context? Well, it means something different to everyone. To me, I always want to have people think, “wow, this is pretty cool” and see some of those responses in the logs. Your “thrill” may be an awesome view, a special place, a 5/5 challenge or a simpler plan but in all cases, you are looking for a response in the logs that reflect the effort you put into the hide. If you place a micro in a lamp skirt, expect a lot of “TFTC!” logs. If you put a fair amount of time and effort into the cache hide, the logs should reflect your efforts with additional fun and even appreciation!  After all, the log is the CO’s only reward.
So, where to start? Start by thinking about what you want your seeker to find. Dream up a plan of how you are going to get them there and maybe even some type of theme to the cache would be cool. For all of my hides, I use a dog theme. Barking Up The Wrong Tree, War Dogs, Dog Days Of Summer and The Dog Gone It cache and the highly acclaimed Scooby Doo Where Are You series are just a few.  I am going to call this cache, “The Salty Dog” and use a pirate theme (dog pirates of course) and tell a tale of the good captain (and handsome dog) Blacktail and his nemesis captain Pugface (not so handsome but still cute)who wants his treasure and claim himself the Top Dog of The Seven Seas. Before we lose that thought let’s make some bullet points of what we want as part of the cache.

I want to:
Introducing Captain Blacktail
  • ·         Name the cache – The Salty Dog
  • ·         Give the cache a pirate theme
  • ·         Use an old treasure chest I have been hanging on to
  • ·         Incorporate a treasure map in the search (simple enough for kids to use)
  • ·         Use a letter combo lock to lock the treasure chest and a word to open it (the seeker will get a letter at each stage but still have to form the word at the final)
  • ·         Fill the chest with treasure (some pirate theme stuff would be cool)
  • ·         Have a descent little hike but I am mainly keeping it short for the little ones
  • ·         Give three different ways to get from stage to stage – GPS cords – use a compass and the map to orienteer it – simply look for the landmark and go to it by using paces
  • ·         Have a fun story about why the treasure needs to be found by you before captain Pugface finds it and takes it away
  • ·          Do up a cache page that is creative and fun but, allows paperless folks to read as well

Captain Pugface
 OK, the name, the theme and the chest are decided but the chest needs some work. It’s missing some of its stones and needs a hasp for the use of the lock. It also isn't water proof so I’ll need to get a watertight container for the inside. The chest itself will last for years (it’s made of wood)but I still want to give it a clear coat so it weathers the PA weather. Seems like we are building a shopping list don’t you think? We’ll take care of the containers in this part of the series.

I need from the store:
  • ·         A small hasp to accommodate the lock (Lowes)
  • ·         I’ll check out Michael’s craft store to get some jewels, glue and see what they have in Pirate swag.
  • ·         The Dollar Store always has some of the greatest stuff (go on a swag shopping spree for under $20.00)
  • ·         I’m thinking bigger than a Lock N Lock and maybe something more creative BUT IT MUST BE WATERTIGHT I really stress this, otherwise your cache is a mess in a short time
  • ·         I have everything else I need but your list might include a small pad, pen/pencil, ziplock bags and who knows what else?

 My letter combo lock has four characters. That means four stages to find all the letters that are needed for the word. I'm using letters from an old Scrabble game and will have them in plain sight somewhere at that stage. Not too hard but not stupid either and low enough that the young cachers have a shot at finding it too (hint). I’ll attach them with braided Kevlar so they’ll be secure for a long time. My only fear is deer gnawing on the Kevlar and the wood falls to the ground (but it’s still findable).

I glue my jewels to the chest and she looks nice. Then I add the hasp and clean it all up for a good spray down of clear lacquer like Krylon or another brand will do. It seals the finish and acts as a protecting film to repel water and UV rays.

I decided on a container and I’m using an acrylic paint pen to permanently mark it with the name of the cache, my geocaching name and some contact info. I also add the month and year it was hid. In seven or eight years it will be cool to find this old-timer. The container (a bulk “fat free” pretzel container) is big enough to hold the treasure and is watertight. It also fits nicely into the chest without hindering the closing and locking actions.

I love filling the container with swag. I am focusing more on the smaller cachers but there is treasure in here for seekers of all ages and even the four legged cachers. I am also working the swag into the story and adding a bag full of jewels. The jewels are magic and are very valuable. Go ahead and take one and, If you trade even or up for them you will be rewarded with great luck and fortune BUT, if you don’t trade or even trade down, you will suffer great loss and terrible luck. This is my way of getting even with that small percentage of lousy traders, lol! The container looks nice and full. I add the logbook, waterproof pens and a Geocache “found it intentional or not” snippet. I also wrote on the bag to place geocoins, trackables and pathtags in the plastic bag so they don’t “get lost” in the cache container. Good idea, right? I’m full of them, lol.
My assistant and buddy Kovu checking it out and he approves
I love swag and this cache will have loads of it after all, it's a treasure chest
swag swag swag swag swag swag swag swag swag and more swag, check

Coming to and adventure near you, I can't wait!

 Well guys, that’s it for now. Next Monday we’ll get into the technical stuff and get the cache all ready to be placed. Start thinking of a good place to hide it or maybe you already know where it’s going? I know where mine is going…….

Go right to part II HERE


BigAl said...

This post is TOTALLY AWESOME!!!! I love it. I have been working on a cache series and I can't wait to work along with you on this one so that I'll better understand how to do my first series. And you can bet I'll have questions for you. Like my first one right here. What type of glue do you use to attach an item to the outside of the cache? Like on your Scooby Doo Series. At least I think those characters are attached to the outside of the containers. Right? I have to admit that we have not done this cache of yours yet, but it's on the list.


Thanks man,I figured it would be fun.
The hands down favorite all time weather proof glue is Gorilla Glue. Just a dab and it's waterproof too.
The Scooby Doo series does have the characters attached with Velcro. It's worked out OK so far and it's been out for over a year now. The only one who went missing is Velma (I'll catch that rotten SOB). I continue to look for a replacement. Thanks!

Kim@Snug Harbor said...

I am definately going to have to plan a roadtrip so we can come do this cache once its placed - AWESOME.

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