Tuesday, October 11, 2016

Cache Flow

Sometimes, you need to stash things. Sometimes, the place you want to stash your stuff is wet, either part time or full time. With a little work, these locations can prove ideal.

Wet locations have quite a few things going for them, in regards to hiding a cache:
  1. Their usually cool nature can extend shelf lives on some items. 
  2. They're usually less accessible than dry areas, discouraging thieves and scavengers, who may not even think to check for a watery cache. 
  3. Sealing your cache to keep it dry also keeps smells from getting out, which will prevent animals from locating and destroying your supplies.
Wet caches do have some drawbacks, though:
  1. That inaccessibility that keeps them safe also can impede your access. For example, getting to a watery cache in December might be trivial for Erin, but ice and snow might make it almost impossible for me. 
  2. Also, water getting to your supplies can damage or destroy them, rendering the cache worthless.
If you are going to sink a cache, the two big problems are keeping it dry and keeping it down. Using a length of PVC pipe to contain your cache puts you on the road to solving both of these problems. Other cache containers will work, but will require some testing before you trust them with anything critical.

Making a Watertight Cache
  1. Consider the largest items you plan to cache when sizing your pipe. Make sure you have sufficient pipe length and diameter to hold these items and anything else you're planning on stashing. 
    • Vacuum sealing items in your cache and including desiccant packets are also good ideas.
  2. Use PVC cement to seal one end of your pipe with an appropriately sized pipe cap and allow it to dry. Do all of your gluing in a well-ventilated area, as PVC cement smells terrible and is generally nasty
  3. On the other end of your cache pipe, glue on a female threaded adapter. This, combined with a threaded plug, allows access to your supplies. 
  4. A bit of thread sealant whenever you remove and replace the plug should keep the contents dry.
As a side note, everything linked to in this article is 4" material, because that is a convenient size for general storage use. Larger and smaller sizes are available at your local store, for larger and smaller prices.

Dive! Dive!
Now that our things are dry, we need to make them sink. How easy or difficult this is hinges upon how heavy your supplies are. A heavy cache won't need much help staying down, but a light cache will need all the help it can get.
  1. Adding weight to a light cache is a good way to get it down; a handful of steel hardware (nuts, washers, screws, etc.) will always be handy in supplies, in addition to adding weight. 
  2. Caches also need to be anchored in place, so epoxy or otherwise attach a length of cord (paracord works great) to the side or end of your cache, then tie or otherwise secure it wherever you'd like your cache to stay. Shorter lines are less subject to fouling, and keep your cache in one spot, but use whatever length fits your needs. 
  3. Mark or otherwise note your cache location, and you're good to go, knowing your stuff is safe and in a very inconspicuous location.


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