The Ultimate Altoids Tin Cache!

A cache by Too Tall John Send Message to Owner Message this owner
Hidden : 4/1/2010
In New Hampshire, United States
3 out of 5
3 out of 5

Size: Size: not chosen (not chosen)

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Geocache Description:

Distance from the first stage of this multi to the final is over 2 miles. The rating reflects the distance covered on foot. This cache has been placed in the same spirit as GC1PCK9. Have fun with it.

In many circles** (at least if you read the forums) the Altoids Tin is a reviled cache container. It isn't waterproof, rustproof, and holds almost nothing. The fact that they are basically free means that people will hide them with little thought as to how long they will last. There have been discussions in the Forums about how to waterproof such a container, I'm including at the end of the listing a little experiment I conducted and related in a thread titled "Waterproofing an Altoids tin." I hope you enjoy it.

There are also some locations that are looked at as being inferior by some of the same people**: Guardrails on the side of the road; Signposts and/or Lightposts; Culverts. These are frequently spots that take little thought or effort to hide (or find!).

** In the interest of full disclosure, I should say that, while I frequently enjoy the quick park and grabs, my favorite caches are the ones that require a little more effort and are better containers.

That brings us to this cache. Each stage of the cache is an Altoids container. Each stage is hidden in one of the locations mentioned above. When I placed the cache, I walked the whole thing, but you might find a car handy at times. In walking, I was amazed at exactly how many deer tracks I saw along the Ossipee Lake Road, watch for tracks while on your journey! For the first stages, there are hints to tell you exactly where the containers are. After that, you've seen it all, so there are no hints for the remaining three stages listed.

The Experiment!

Mar 12 2008, 07:31 PM

I just happen to have an Altoids tin sitting on my desk. Decided to take a look at it when I read this thread.

After putting the mints safely out of the way, I took a look at the hinge assembly. If the holes punched out to form the "body" side of the hinge (that is, not the lid) could be sealed from the inside without impeding the hinge you'd be halfway there. A bit of rubber gasket cut to fit the inside of the lid would seal the container when the lid is closed. If you really really really wanted a waterproof Altoids container you could do this and I suspect as long as you didn't screw up it'd be more waterproof than a Kodak film canister.

As I put the mints back into the can, guess what I see on the side of it? A big old patch of rust! This is a tin that hasn't been outside since I brought it in from the store.

Mar 13 2008, 06:31 PM

After writing my suggestion about how to waterproof an Altiods tin, I decided to give it a try. Sealed the holes by taping off the back of the tin & applying epoxy over the holes inside. The gasket is craft foam, which should work ok I think. It's a little thick, but once it's held together for a bit it should form to the tin nicely.
I'm gonna go sink it for a bit. Anyone want to bet on how it does?

Mar 13 2008, 07:31 PM

Well, I put "logbooks" in my "waterproof" Altoids tin and an "off-the-shelf" tin as well. I sunk them in water, took them out for a peek after 10 mins. Below are the results:

The containers. Left is the "waterproof" one, right, the "off-the-shelf" one. As you can see, I used green marker to write on the logs. It came off...

The logs read "Logbook in the 'waterproof' Altoids tin. (Wintergreen Container)" on the top and "Logbook in the 'off-the-shelf' Altoids tin. (Ginger Container)" on the bottom.

It looks like my treatment helped, it might actually work if I had the proper gasket material, as that appears to be where the leak came from.

You might notice the GC# on this cache is quite old. Yes, I've been sitting on this idea since '07!

Additional Hints (Decrypt)

[Stage 1] Thneqenvy
[Stage 2] Fvta
[Stage 3] Raq bs Phyireg
[Stage 4-6] Tbbq yhpx jvgu gung . . .

Decryption Key


(letter above equals below, and vice versa)



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Last Updated: on 1/26/2017 7:35:19 AM (UTC-08:00) Pacific Time (US & Canada) (3:35 PM GMT)
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Coordinates are in the WGS84 datum