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The Secret Double Lives of Geocaching Containers

Not all of these containers we specifically developed as geocaches.
Not all of these containers we specifically developed as geocaches.

Even though some geocache containers seem like they were handcrafted specifically for geocaching, most of them have been repurposed from something else. With things like Ammo cans, it’s pretty obvious what they used to be. For others, it requires a little bit of a deeper look into history:

A preform tube
A preform tube

 

Those Small, Clear Geocache Tubes aka Preform PET Tubes

These small, waterproof, durable containers are perfect for micro-sized geocaches. They can be attached to different camouflage and will last a long time. Plus, the larger tubes can hold both a logbook and a pencil. But their story isn’t just geocaching. In fact, you’ve probably used these hundreds of times and not even know it. Hint: There’s a key word in the heading to this section, “preform”. These small tubes are manufactured to be heated and expanded to form plastic bottles. Check out this video to see an animation of the process:

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Nano Caches

An example of a similar LED light.
An example of a similar LED light.
Nano geocaches in Shop Geocaching
Nano geocaches in Shop Geocaching

Oft-maligned in the geocaching community, these smaller-than-small, magnetic geocaches are popular for high-muggle areas and urban geocaches. With so little room inside, it’s hard to believe that these geocaches were actually created for a reason other than geocaching. Mark Yvanovich, one of the early makers of these containers told us a little bit about the history, “These containers were originally LED blinking jewelry. The space where the log sheet is stored was where the button cell batteries went. They came with a separate rare earth magnet that could be used to attach it to clothing, etc…” Once these lights obtained new lives as geocaches, Mark and his wife made thousands of these, hand rolling all of the logbooks!

 

Bison Tubes

What did the buffalo say when he dropped his kid off at school? Bison. #dadjokes
What did the buffalo say when he dropped his kid off at school? Bison. #dadjokes

It’s no secret that these tubes look nothing like real bison. Not even close. So what’s the reason behind the name? These containers were originally created by a company named Bison Designs. The company originally made aluminum carabiners in multiple shapes, including dog bones, mouse ears and more. Seeking out new things to create out of aluminum, the need for a small, waterproof container to carry medicine in arose—and thus, the Bison Tube was born.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Have you repurposed a container originally made for something else as a geocache? Tell us in the comments.