Tutorial: Down To The Wire

Geocacher Derek Stewart wants to cash in on his hobby, by selling custom caches online. Here, the Canadian shows It’s Not About The Numbers how to make one of his Deke’s Cache Stash designs.

“When choosing the type of cache I want to make, I think about what I would like to find.

When caching with the kids, I look for large ones with trade items to keep their interest. When I cache with friends, I look for caches that have a higher difficulty and terrain.

Personally, I like those with a higher degree of difficulty due to the presence of muggles. Containers that are hidden in plain sight and incorporated into the landscape make for great finds.

One of my favourites is this Cable cache. It’s simple to make but can be hard to find and is good for rural as well as urban hides.

You will need: about 2 feet of coaxial cable, two F connectors, one straight connector (not a T connector), epoxy, two zip ties and a fastener to attach the cache to a pole or wall.

Most of us are fortunate to have a few extra feet of cable lying around – let’s assume that we do – so we need to take a foot off each end, ensuring that both of the connectors are still attached.

Step two is removing the plastic insert from the straight connector; the reason being so we have a place for the log to go. I prefer to drill but some I know use a heated rod to melt it.

Once that is done, remove the little piece of cable from one of the ends of the connectors attached to the cable (if it’s already attached). Leave the other attached to the second piece as it will be used to remove the log.

Now the assembly can begin. Place a small amount of epoxy on the threads of one end of the straight connector and screw it into the tip from which you removed the wire. We want the other end of the cable to be used for unscrewing and retrieving the log.

Next, screw the other cable to the other end of the straight connector then bend the cables together at the bottom and zip tie them. About halfway up, use the other ziptie to hold the cables in place until you can fasten the finished cache to a wall or telephone pole.

If possible, use Rite In The Rain paper as the space for the log is too small to use a baggie and may not be watertight.

The nice thing about hiding this cache against a telephone pole is that muggles wouldn’t think of touching any wires near a pole – even though this isn’t the correct spot for such an object!

I hope you enjoy making it as much as our fellow cachers enjoy finding it.”

*Be sure to check out more custom creations by Stewart (GC handle: Deke_177) on his Deke’s Cache Stash webstore.


Skip to comment form

  1. Eddie

    Clever, and I must admit I love ‘hidden in plain sight’ containers….

    but… 🙂

    Hiding stuff disguised as electrical equipment I think is pushing the boundaries of risk, and encourages finders to pull things apart which perhaps they shouldn’t. You say yourself that “muggles wouldn’t think of touching any wires near a pole” – so what happens at the next cache which might be a simple nano but happens to have some (live) wires poking out of the ground nearby.

    I also know that our ‘Ump’ has prohibited some prior caches that were attached to power poles.

    Party-pooper stuff I know – but it’s something I’ve become increasingly wary of. We’re all clever enough to design caches that look like ‘safe’ stuff.

  2. ADV

    Totally agree with Eddie, a very silly idea to encourage people to start fiddling around with anything electrical.

    Telecommunications wise there is a lot of fibre optic cable criss-crossing the countryside and not to be played with. Telco’s get very heavy handed when you interrupt their revenue. There is also the possible light level hazards, some of the earlier stuff I worked on across Cook Strait would burn a hole in a bit of paper, more than enough to blind you if you looked at the end of a connector.

    Co-axial cable is far less used now but chances are it will also be carrying more than a few hundred volts DC, used to power the repeaters, in addition to the signal itself.

  3. Philipp

    Seems like taking the whole sprinkler head concept to the next level – I don’t want to know how many real sprinkler heads died in the field by the hands of geocachers

  4. Deke

    I also agree with everyones concern for safety and it is the responsibility of the cacher placing the cache to ensure it is a safe and accessable location. The last thing anyone including myself would want to hear is that someone had been hurt(even minor) retreiving one of their caches. Caches such as this(custom) can be placed anywhere and its the fun of finding a unque one. One of my favorite finds was a fire hydrant 75 feet up a bluff on a beach in the middle of nowhere. I have one called creeping along (GC2X3NP) If you check it out, the name, description, and spoiler all give a bigger picture of what is to be found. I love the name KJWX gave the blog, Down to the wire. Build this cache, put it in the woods against the base of a tree and call it “poor reception”. The point of custom caches is to add more fun and entertainment to the hunt and in no way should it place anyone in and harm. Wheres the fun in that. Thank you Eddie for bringing up a very important point and that we all need to be more aware of the dangers out there that could turn a day of fun to a lifetime of regret. Cheers

  5. CraigRat

    As an electrician, caches that use wires like this (or utility boxes) sicken me.

    Encouraging people to disconnect potentially live wires or play around electricity is so irresponsible it makes my blood boil.

    Utility companies also cast a dim view on anything being attached to poles etc and hiders can be prosecuted in a lot of areas for doing this.

    Please don’t!

  6. kjwx

    Well put, Derek. I knew before posting your tutorial that it wouldn’t find favour with everybody but as a fellow fan of ‘hidden in plain sight’ containers, I’m also firmly of the opinion that such caches shouldn’t be knocked just for safety reasons. However, their use – much like bird’s nest caches – does require extremely careful placement by the owner.
    Everybody plays this game differently but endangering others’ lives should never be acceptable. As long as those of us who choose to utilise such containers do so with the utmost respect for safety and the environment, I don’t think we – or our creations – should be dismissed outright by other players.

Leave a Reply to kjwx Cancel reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>

Switch to mobile version