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how to use caches
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Kristin Hunt
(huntkristin) - F
how to use caches on 06/20/2007 13:39:41 MDT Print View

This may be a silly question, but after a forum search I didn't find much discussion of it. I'm planning some longer-term hiking trips than I usually do, and read occasionally about people stashing food/water/gear they won't need until later in a cache somewhere along their route. Do y'all use such things, and if so, how do you protect/camoflage them from animals and/or other hikers? Have you ever gotten to your cache only to find someone's walked off with your much-needed supplies?

This sounds like a great way to go lighter for longer journeys, I'm just wondering about the dangers of losing my stuff before I get there. Any experience you can share would be much appreciated!

Richard Matthews
(food) - F

Locale: Colorado Rockies
Re: how to use caches on 06/20/2007 14:57:35 MDT Print View

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.

Kristin Hunt
(huntkristin) - F
Re: Re: how to use caches on 06/20/2007 17:47:14 MDT Print View

Thank you! This is very helpful information. I suppose you usually re-stash your container and then come get it at the close of your trip? I'm thinking I could use a combo of ursack and odor-barrier bags for food caching. The gps idea is a great one, and so is the idea of caching beer!

Denis Hazlewood
(redleader) - MLife

Locale: Luxury-Light Luke on the Llano Azul
Re: how to use caches on 06/21/2007 15:58:04 MDT Print View

Don't believe in odor proof bags. There's no such thing. Animals can smell better than we can imagine. A fellow I met on the trail had seen a test where a bear picked out his favorite beer from cans that had the lables scrubbed off and had been washed in bleach. It was a "tame" bear but it could smell just as well as the wild ones. I too have left food in the grand canyon but bears aren't a problem in the canyon. If you're caching in bear areas a bear cannister would be appropriate. The paint can will probably stop most other critters. In the Sierra I generally worry more about Marmots and Golden Manteled Ground Squirrels. Any of you ever camped at Susie Lake in the Desolation Wilderness. We named one of the squirrels Kung Fu for his brazen attacks in search of food. He'd sit on your boot tip waiting for you to put your bowl down.

Edited by redleader on 06/21/2007 15:59:21 MDT.