I place a cache almost every time I hike an out and back trail. Most of the time the cache is just a bottle of diet Coke left in the first stream crossing. I generally mark the trail/stream junction and the location with engineers tape. I am very careful to remove the tape.
Going into the Grand Canyon I have left water and food caches that were used on the hike out. Water in a two quart PET soft drink bottle and food in an unused gallon paint bucket. The cache should have a phone number and date the cache will be removed. The location is marked with engineers tape that is removed along with all trash, etc.
It is not that difficult to hide a small cache. I have never lost even a beer.
I have placed caches in a five gallon paint buckets on long hikes. I can get ten days food in a can even with extra toilet paper, batteries, and other consumables. Be sure you have a way to open the paint bucket. It is very, very nice to have a big can of fruit and a soft drink on a long hike. It is more difficult to hide a five gallon bucket near a road so I use a GPS to locate the cache. The logistics to place and remove the cache are clumsy. In my opinion, I want to go to town for a resupply once a week to call home, recharge the batteries, do laundry, etc.