4.3. Cache containers explained
The popularity and longevity of a geocache often depends on the cache container. Before you choose a container, check out these helpful resources:
- Watch our video 5 Geocaches in 30 Seconds.
- Be inspired by these creative cache containers.
- Browse containers on Shop Geocaching.
- Read about container sizes.
Cache container guidelines
Suitable in all weather
Your container should be waterproof to protect cache contents from rain, snow, ice, and condensation. If you place your cache in direct sunlight, choose a container that won’t degrade quickly from exposure. The lid and base should be made from the same material. If they are made from different materials, the seal will degrade faster.
Suitable for the location
Choose a container that’s appropriate for the environment and population density of the location. A micro is hard to find in a forest, while a large cache may be too obvious in an urban setting.
Don’t reuse food packaging for your cache container. Coffee cans and cookie tins may seem like great containers, but they retain food odors. This attracts animals who may damage the cache and harm themselves in the process.
Non-geocachers may be confused if they find your container on accident. To avoid alarm, consider these tips:
- Label your container as a geocache.
- Choose a transparent container to show that the contents are harmless.
- Don’t use containers that could be confused with bombs or other dangerous items.
- If the container has military markings, permanently cover or remove them.
Cache container examples
These common containers all make great geocaches:
- Polypropylene boxes
- Ammunition boxes
- Boat supply containers
- Film canisters
- Disguised micros
- Micro capsules
- Magnetic nanos
Polypropylene boxes are transparent and watertight. Clasps hold the lid to the base and make a tight seal. Since the lids and bases are usually made from the same material, the seal holds up well over time. Shop Geocaching carries a branded line of these products.
Note: Please don’t use food storage containers like GladWare. These aren’t made for outdoor conditions.
Military surplus ammo boxes usually have a rubber gasket, which is watertight. They’re green, which is good camouflage. But ammo boxes may look dangerous to non-geocachers. Remove any military markings with isopropyl alcohol, sandpaper, or a wire brush. Or turn them into cammo cans! You can also buy transparent ammo cans in the Geocaching Shop.
These containers are designed to keep supplies dry on boats. They’re generally 10 inches (25 centimeters) in diameter. The gasket in the lid makes them durable and watertight. Their main disadvantage is that they’re highly visible. And they’re made of polyethylene, so they’re hard to paint any other color.
A 35mm or APS film canister is a classic micro cache container, but choose your cannister wisely. Use our branded film canister or find an opaque white one. Avoid canisters with black bodies and gray lids. These are not waterproof.
These “devious” micro cache containers are disguised as day-to-day objects, such as bolts, reflectors, rocks, and even chewing gum! They’re tricky to find, but fun to discover.
Micro capsules come in different sizes and are perfect for micro caches. They are often called “Bison® tubes” because many capsules are made by Bison Designs. You can attach them to key rings, which makes them easy to hang in trees or other tricky places. Plus, they tend to be waterproof.
These tiny metal containers make great nanos—the smallest type of micro cache. They stick to magnetic surfaces and tend to be waterproof