Creative Caches: Bottling TripCyclone’s Genius


It’s Not About The Numbers has long been a fan of TripCyclone‘s creative flair. Now the science teacher from Grandview, Missouri shows us how to make his new geocache design.

If you are new to geocaching, every time you find a different geocache container, it can be exciting.  Those of us who have been at this for a while start to find new and exciting containers less and less frequently. 

Creativity is not a skill that everyone has and developing it can take time.  Sometimes, seeing one new idea sparks another.  Thinking outside the box can be rewarding in designing a different kind of geocache.

Micros are often the simplest way to come up with something creative.  There are so many different ways to hide a micro that sometimes you don’t even need to redesign the container to make the hide interesting.  Yet that is often the fun part. 

So let’s look at a different way to camouflage a micro cache.  We’ll start by gathering some supplies:


  • One metal beer/soda bottle-cap
  • Weather-resistant glue
  • A round micro cache container
  • PVC pipe (wide enough to fit the micro cache inside)
  • A gardening spade
  • Logsheet

One of these supplies, the glue, is adjustable depending on your final design.   The PVC pipe needs to fit the actual cache container itself.  The cache container needs to be small and round.  A bison tube is one example of what works.  A small specimen container works well too.  We’ll design our plans around a specimen container. 

Yet there is one key element of this design that fits for both the PVC pipe and the container … their width needs to be smaller than the width of the bottle-cap. 

Oh yeah, have fun obtaining the bottle-cap.  Beer is the easiest way to find them as you see glass soda bottles less often these days.  If you want an easy way to obtain a collection of these, and you don’t drink enough, find a friend who does or go visit a bar.  You might find a bartender willing to set a handful aside for you.

The idea behind this design is to use the bottle-cap to camo the container.  To do this, you need the first three supplies on the list (remember, we are using a specimen container for this discussion). 

Apply a small amount of glue to the inside of the bottle-cap.  Provide enough to cover the lid of the specimen container but not so much that it drips down around the lid.  This could glue shut the container, making opening the geocache MUCH, MUCH harder.  If some glue does drips down, carefully remove it before it hardens. This is what the inside lid might look like when dry:

Now I mentioned earlier that the glue is adjustable.  I once saw this design with a bison tube.  The owner had attached a small hook to the bottle cap to hang the bison tube using a small key ring.  With our specimen container design, opening the container has the risk of detaching the glue.  With a hook in place, the container can be removed from the cap before opening, nearly eliminating that risk.

While your glue is drying, measure out the total length of your design.  Cut out a section of PVC pipe that is two centimetres longer than that measurement.  This provides a housing for the geocache to sit within. 

This will seem odd at the moment, but remember that gardening spade I said to get?  This design is meant to rest on the ground, preferably in plain sight.

Once your glue is fully dry, and a logsheet is inside the cache, you just need to find the right location to hide this.  Now you might be thinking: “But the geocache placement guidelines say I’m not supposed to bury the geocache.” 

You aren’t. If there is a concern about digging, then don’t forget that caches should always be placed with permission.  Talk to the land owner and obtain their approval before placing this cache. 

You aren’t really digging up the landscape.  In fact, I would be surprised if you found a land manager who would be distraught over how much ground this disturbs.  You only need to dig out a hole big enough to fit the small section of PVC pipe.

How much is that?  I don’t think I’ve seen a version of this design that exceeds 6cm by 3cm in total dimensions, and that’s including that extra 2cm on the PVC pipe.   So very little earth is actually moved.  As you can see above, the design is rather small.

With permission from the land owner and a description of what is being placed, many reviewers will be more open to allowing this method of camouflage. 

Back to the task at hand: Dig away some soil and place the PVC pipe into your hole.  Pack the soil back around the PVC pipe to secure it in place.  Then just rest the bottle cap geocache into the PVC pipe.  If you want to camo it, a small sprinkle of soil or a leaf should do the trick. 

If you want to have a bit of fun, you could paint the Geocaching.com logo onto the top of the bottle-cap, so that eagle-eyed geocachers might spot the container faster. 

The idea behind this design is that the bottle-cap will just look like another piece of debris.  The first time I found this kind of hide, it was in a spot where several random bottle-caps were sitting around the area, so I didn’t think twice about examining them.  I finally got tired of looking and started picking up the trash when I discovered the cache.  Tricky, huh?

Now just publish your geocache and enjoy the logs.

* For more of TripCyclone’s creative cache designs, visit Creative Caches & Containers. You can also read his blog here.


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  1. GSV

    What part of

    If a shovel, trowel or other pointy object is used to dig or break ground, whether in order to hide or to find the cache, then it is not permitted.

    was unclear in the guidelines?
    At the right location in loose debris I’m sure the PVC can be ‘nestled’ in there but please, step away from the shovel!

    1. Cumbyrocks

      So does that mean hands or non-pointy objects can be used? 😀

    2. andy

      I’m sure I could nestle some PVC with a non-pointy mallet… 🙂

    3. TripCyclone

      I’m all for following guidelines. In most cases, they are spot on. The guidelines about burial were designed to avoid disruptive damage to the landscape. I’m sorry GSV, but where would you need a shovel for this cache design? If you seriously pull out a shovel to place this, then I have other concerns to raise. You’re talking a few inches deep. As Cumbyrocks points out, you could probably place this using only your fingers. Assuming you ask permission like you’re supposed to (seeing as you’re quoting guidelines), then find me a land manager whose complaint would be the disturbance to the ground that this design causes instead of the more common complaint about having all the people wandering around. And if you can show permission to place THIS design, then many reviewers will likely be okay with this since the land owner is.

      I’ve seen worse damage to the landscape from geocaches placed in bushes than this would cause.

      1. GSV

        Got explicit permission for that hide? No problem!

        Can use hand/fingers/ No problem!

        Actively encourage breaking the guidelines because in your view that isn’t too big a deal in this particular case? That is a problem! Yes I know it’s only a toe, and only a little over that line drawn in the sand but the line is there for many reasons.

  2. Tony

    That’s a really clever cache


    Once again simplicity always works, busy getting blueprints for a cryptex and saw this idea, gonna definitly plant some of those!!!

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