making a cache int he woods for

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BILLy

Full Member
Apr 16, 2005
730
0
55
NORTH WALES
Hi All
We`ve been thinking of putting a blue barrel in the woods near to where we hold our meets, for basic stuff like cups, billy cans, brew kit, water, kettle, etc, does anyone have this set up? and what things do you put in them and why? any do`s and dont`s, i dont mean things like" dont leave milk in there.
thanks
Bill
 

mountainm

Bushcrafter through and through
Jan 12, 2011
9,990
11
Selby
www.mikemountain.co.uk
I'd put anything heavy. A cheap group tarp. Dutch oven maybe. With a silica gel pouch or two. Wouldn't leave water in, but tins of beans and corned beef maybe. Anything I wouldn't want to lug in. Bear in mind if you plan on leaving it there after use you'll also need to clean and dry it.
 

potboiler

Full Member
Jan 20, 2009
192
0
Dorset
Are you hoping to conceal stuff (because other people use the woods?) or do you simply want a dry-store which might be visible?
 

John Fenna

Lifetime Member & Maker
Oct 7, 2006
22,308
1,834
64
Pembrokeshire
We store
Parachute
Big billies
Cast Iron Griddle
Grills
Mug
Cheap hatchet
Cheap saw
Work gloves
Rope
Files
Odds and ends

These are in various bags and an old motorcycle top box, inside a debris shelter.
The woods are private, well away from any road and have no rights of way near them.
You have to pass a farm to get near the woods and then over some tricky ground with the debris shelter not visible until you get close.
On site we have also got permanent tables and chairs and my bed frame, where I stow my bed fabric in a BDH bottle.
We used a similar system in our last camp and never had anything go missing.
 

BILLy

Full Member
Apr 16, 2005
730
0
55
NORTH WALES
Although the woods it fairly quite so to speak, I would bury it to be on the safe side, and cover it with debris, some really good idears of what to put in, can you tell me how the water is after being in a plastic tube buried? does it affect it in any way?kindling is a good idea.
"Are you hoping to conceal stuff (because other people use the woods?) or do you simply want a dry-store which might be visible?" both to be fair.
does the gear/food/water inside sufer at all from changing weather like condensation dampness mould?
Cheers
Bill
 

smojo

Forager
Jan 19, 2014
137
0
West Yorkshire
I was lucky enough to buy a small plot of woodland this year. Although it's private I am still not confident to leave anything of value. I haven't done much bushcrafting in it yet as I'm busy clearing brambles and cutting logs but I want to leave a few things that may have occasional use and not have to think about taking them every time. I thought about burying a barrel but then you have the problem of retrieving small stuff from the bottom. You're going to have to lie on the ground and reach in. I looked at watertight plastic boxes as they are not as deep but longer than a barrel so not as hard to access. I came across these, the scuba boxes look promising and quite large so you could store quite a lot.

http://www.solentplastics.co.uk/marine-storage-products-boxes/water-resistant-boxes-and-trunks/

I didn't buy one as I found a really good aluminium box with clasps and a rubber seal on a car boot sale for a tenner. I've painted two coats of bitumen on it to protect the metal as I guess it will deteriorate when buried. I dug a hole and covered it with some old plastic sacks and brushwood. It's been there about three weeks now. I'm going to leave it a while longer then see how waterproof it has been before leaving stuff in it. Important to remember too that if you leave tools, even though you might think it's dry inside, there will be moisture from the atmosphere enters when you open it. I would spray tools with WD40 and wipe them down to protect them. Anything made from natural material like leather or paper could go mouldy eventually. Silica gel bags would help but for how long I don't know.
 

Grooveski

Native
Aug 9, 2005
1,707
10
51
Glasgow
My old cache was basically the camping setup from my teens. An old 206 stove, billy set, stainless sheath knife, cheap axe, pruning saw....
There was a ferro rod and a couple of lighters, fishing lures, cutlery, some spare tent pegs, a extra gas cannister and the rest of the space was usually filled with any unused canned goods or tipples from the previous trip.

Was hidden in a gorse bush. Good cover but always had to watch for adders when hauling it out. The bush was a popular sunning spot and they'd sometimes lie on the barrel lid.
A wrap of camo tape only costs a few quid and makes a big difference to the visibility of a barrel. Won't last forever of course but it's surprisingly resiliant.
...or you could paint it.

Was handy having the stash and made for some nice lightweight trips. Only brought it back because I got a canoe and wanted the barrel back for more regular use.

Mind grease(or paint) the metal strap if the barrel has one. For all they're galvanized they don't really cope with living outdoors too well.
 

Quixoticgeek

Full Member
Aug 4, 2013
2,483
14
Europe
In a woods I use, there are a couple of caches, nothing left in them needs to be water proof, so the barrels aren't used, *BUT*, the are all covered with camo nets. The result is that I almost tripped over one of the caches before I noticed it. you may have to wrap the barrel in a camo tarp to cover the blue, but then cover with a camo net and you're good to go.

Speaking as a geocacher, the gold standard for a geocache is a well painted well maintained ammo box. These come in different sizes, weigh something like 5.8 tons, but are near indestructible, have a really good seal, and when painted green, and hidden under a small piece of camo net, noone will find them.

If I was setting a permanent cache, I think I would choose an ammo box over a blue barrel if money allowed.

Note, we might not have bears to dig through our caches, but a mouse will certainly have a go at anything plastic. I've seen water bottles lost to this in the past.

Julia
 

Delboy

Member
Nov 13, 2014
18
0
White Rose
I was lucky enough to buy a small plot of woodland this year. Although it's private I am still not confident to leave anything of value. I haven't done much bushcrafting in it yet as I'm busy clearing brambles and cutting logs but I want to leave a few things that may have occasional use and not have to think about taking them every time. I thought about burying a barrel but then you have the problem of retrieving small stuff from the bottom. You're going to have to lie on the ground and reach in. I looked at watertight plastic boxes as they are not as deep but longer than a barrel so not as hard to access. I came across these, the scuba boxes look promising and quite large so you could store quite a lot.

http://www.solentplastics.co.uk/marine-storage-products-boxes/water-resistant-boxes-and-trunks/

I didn't buy one as I found a really good aluminium box with clasps and a rubber seal on a car boot sale for a tenner. I've painted two coats of bitumen on it to protect the metal as I guess it will deteriorate when buried. I dug a hole and covered it with some old plastic sacks and brushwood. It's been there about three weeks now. I'm going to leave it a while longer then see how waterproof it has been before leaving stuff in it. Important to remember too that if you leave tools, even though you might think it's dry inside, there will be moisture from the atmosphere enters when you open it. I would spray tools with WD40 and wipe them down to protect them. Anything made from natural material like leather or paper could go mouldy eventually. Silica gel bags would help but for how long I don't know.

Out of interest is your woodland in Yorkshire? how did you find it?
 

BlueTrain

New Member
Jul 13, 2005
482
0
75
Near Washington, D.C.
In the early days of the American West, during the day of the trapper, caches were used as temporary storage "dumps," although I use the word dump just to mean a place to accumulate things, not to discard them.

The central part of the United States is relatively barren grassland or steppes, or was at one time. The accepted practice was merely to dig a large hole and line it with some material, partly to prevent damage to the goods being stored and partly to keep it from falling in. No doubt the trappers and mountain men would have loved to have plastic barrels to store things in but they would introduce their own problems. The main problem was apparently concealment, both from people and also from animals. I suppose that's still the main problem. I don't recall any mention of the practice by early writers like Kephart, so it could be said that it was a solution to a problem that later men didn't have.
 

Fraxinus

Settler
Oct 26, 2008
935
31
Canterbury
If you put stuff in those heavy duty reusable bags from supermarkets you can retrieve them from the barrel with a hooked stick.

Rob.
 

wicca

Native
Oct 19, 2008
1,065
32
South Coast
Rations for a 5 week stay in the wood. As Fraxinus suggests, a heavy duty bin liner makes it possible to haul the contents out when you need to. In this case the top layer (ready use) is hiding the bag underneath.

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Spot the cache....

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Goatboy

Full Member
Jan 31, 2005
14,956
13
Scotland
I have to agree with Smojo about the difficulty in retrieving stuff from the bottom of barrels - above ground you can simply tip it out, but if it's buried getting stuff out of the bottom could prove downright dangerous - a while back I got trapped in a waterbutt! It was not funny.

http://gardeningboots.wordpress.com/2009/04/19/das-butt/

Sorry I know you said it wasn't funny, but it did bring a big grin to my face reading that (Cheers I needed it) mainly because I've done silly things in a similar vein and knew the feeling.

Cheers for posting and glad you made it out safely.
 

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