Cache tube lids

topic posted Tue, April 14, 2009 - 4:54 PM by  Unsubscribed
You know, I was thinking about capping off the caches....

so let's say you dig this thing up. It's the dead of winter, you're tired and weak and possibly being pursued or hiding, hence the need for your cache. You were smart enough to know how to recognize the spot under a foot of snow, and you desperately need the matches, heat packs, sterno cans, space blanket, survival food bricks and other goodies inside. You don't even have a knife on you. you're lucky to have the clothes on your back with the way you ended up in your 'cache needed' situation.

And now, after an hour of digging with worn out fingers and a sharp(ish) piece of flat stone, you kneel back in the snow to catch your breath and behold your prize.

Scenario A:

A cache tube, quarter inch thick PVC sealed off with caps and purple glue at both ends. You're screwed. you have no tools and the natural 'bounciness' of the plastic makes any efforts with rocks pointless. MAYBE you could crush it with a boulder to get inside, destroying your carrier (because you were smart enough to leave a carrying strap inside of it) and possibly damaging or destroying the goodies within.

or, B:

A cache tube, quarter inch thick PVC sealed off with a solid cap at one end, and a threaded 'plug' at the other end, complete with a handy square block built in on the end which is normally grabbed by a wrench, making removal easy. hey, you were even smart enough to know that you probably wouldn't have a wrench with you, and so you wrapped the threads in teflon tape so it would unscrew easily. You even tested it several times before you buried it.

But right now, in sub-freezing temperatures and after years and years of underground storage settling the cap in place (a practical plastic weld), and with your weakened condition and cold fingers, you just can't get the damn cap to budge.

Now you're screwed. You scratch for hours with a sharp stone, trying to cut a ring around the top to get it off. That didn't work. You tried wedging the tube in a crack in some boulders and 'snapping' one end off, but you weren't strong enough for that iether. PVC is tough as hell when it's this thick!

Finally, you start hitting it with a rock. Oops. Need a bigger rock. In fact, you might as well upgrade to a boulder that you KNOW will smash the tube open, and just deal with the loss of whatever gets destroyed, at least you will have the remnants, which is better than nothing.

But, all the knocking and smacking noises were overheard by:

A: a patrol of NWO 'noncompliant' roundup officers

B: a stranded refugee/survivor who is more desperate than you, and armed with a gun, and you are not.

C: a grizzly bear with an insatiable thirst for ripping men's balls out through their eye sockets

And now you're dead.

Now, how SHOULD you have attached the lid on your cache tube, so that you could guarantee open it, without any tools, and regardless of temperature or time passage or trapped dirt etc.
posted by:
  • I am not a 100% sure but with the cold temps you where describing the PVC should break with a little work. It is strong I know I spent a year as a plumber apprentice, but with age it does become more brittle and with the cold more so. Now if you where to plan ahead you could use a plug style end and add a coupling then add a couple extra inches to a foot to the end of the tube. Then in the extra space you put a PVC wire saw and wrench to unscrew the plug or a hammer to smash things open. Then closer could be the style used on the ends that plumbers use to make copper pipe storage containers that they mount on the vans/trucks. The tools could be put in a zip top bag and would be relatively protected and ready to use upon arrival. Just my $.02 on the subject.
    • Unsu...
      you know... those old style jars for jam and jelly. Glass jar, with a rubber gasket, glass lid, and some sorta wire contraption that you flip down and it locks the lid on, under tension, against the rubber gasket.

      or, similar clasps are used on hard musical instrument cases.

      I want the cache to be re-sealable. My idea is that it would be useful, if you needed the contents of the cache, to be able to store a sling inside, and upon opening you could attach the sling and take the whole cache with you.

      Now the cache becomes a backpack (well, a gear portable device). you may need quick access at times, and you will still need to seal out the elements so opening and resealing must be easy, require zero tools and little effort.

      would there be a way to do this concept on a pvc pipe? anybody done it or something similar?
      • Why not put a backpack or bag in the pipe?
        • Unsu...
          why not both?

          I just think the tube is useful. If you're down to living out of caches, you want to make the most use possible out of every item at your disposal. So transfer the inner items to a duffel sack stored in the cache. The tube can carry a huge ammount of water if you needed it to, or serve other useful purposes.

          But yes Night. That is a great idea. I'm going to start looking for a suitable sack for the cache.
  • Unsu...
    How about a 155mm M1 Howitzer ammo tube? 22" long with an inside diameter of 6.5" The screw-down cap looks easy to grip. Just $5.00.

    Or for $7.50, 40" x 7"
    • Unsu...
      Those are great as a ground cache!

      One important parameter is being long enough to hold a rifle. the longer one would hold some guns. A mauser, however, is just shy of 43 inches. A marlin .22 semiauto is just shy of 41 inches, won't fit. '92 levergun with 20 inch barrel comes in at 39 and so does a 12 gauge pump with 18'' barrel.

      But for the price! that is a killer good price, even with shipping!

      one problem is weight. It would hardly be totable at an empty weight of 22 pounds, plus whatever gear you put in it. i wonder how much the same size pvc pipe would weigh? anybody?
    • I bought two of these howizter tubes, but ended up dumping them. They will rust up quickly, if buried. The lids will rust closed. Also, though they were sizable and heavy, they didn't have much room inside. Not enough to justify using them. PVC is a better way to go.
      • Unsu...
        Thanks for that Horse. I was gonna get one I've been eyeballing at the local milsurp but haven't checked it out yet.
        • One thing I would recommend is a smaller plastic shell tube I have seen online in the past (and bought). They have screw-on lids with rubber gaskets. They are quite small, but would be good for holding loose/bagged ammo.
          • Might I also add that PVC is flexible to a point, but then shatters. Not that I have personally shattered any, but I have seen the results. Also, it is quite possible to glue a length of small-diameter PVC to the end cap of your PVC cache tube. This piece can act as a handle to allow you to remove the end cap. And since it is hollow, you can slide a stick into it for more torque/leverage.
  • Personally, I envisioned using a "wooden wrench" to open the threaded end.

    Later I realized it might make more sense to bury a pre-made plastic wrench with the cache tube.

    Now, not to lecture anyone here, but you really MUST have a knife on you at all times or youre just plain fucked. If you do have one, if all else fails, you can make a wrench using one stick just by carving out a square notch, or out of two sticks by cutting out rectangular notches and stringing them together tight with either paracord or your boot laces.

    Alternatively, you can bury one of the buckets I used in the tribe main pic :)
  • Jim
    offline 2
    Great minds think alike. I pondered these same questions and arrived at a solution: Make a PVC board wrench that is buried with the tube, attached by a length of nylon cord so it doesn't get lost. Also, since the pipe itself must be held, I used a heavy steel riser clamp that you can bolt onto the pipe and leave in place, giving you some good handle with which to hold or rotate the pipe. My method is to insert the square lug of the plug into the wrench, which is laid flat on the ground. You then stand on the wrench in order to keep it from turning and, using the handles, turn the pipe to loosen or tighten the plug.

    After testing Teflon tape I went back to my original idea of wax sealant. For one thing, despite being stiff in cold weather, it provides a helpful lubrication so the plug binds less. You should go through my whole Web site where all of this is explained, with photos:
  • Unsu...
    Does anyone have an idea how long rubber such as an innertube would hold up underground? I am thinking a couple of layers wrapped over the top with seams offset and held in place by hose clamps. You could then tape a screwdriver in plastic to the tube to either unscrew or break the clamps.
    • Unsu...
      seams offset?

      If there are seams, it won't hold. period. if you can get a bigger piece of rubber, like a tractor tube, so you have solid rubber. But I don't know how long it would last.

      I've used inner tube rubber to make gaskets for a carburettor. Can't get much more corrosive than gasoline, and they seem to be holding up. They do expand a lot in gas, so I usually soak them first, then cut them to size. But that probably won't apply unless you plan on caching your tube in a chemical spill site.
      • Jim
        offline 2
        Butyl rubber is very resistant to deterioration. That's what standard inner tubes are made of. You could also get a scrap of butyl rubber membrane roofing material from a roofer, something that's already plenty flat.

        Another rubber gasket approach is to buy a screw-tightened test plug and silicone the wing nut after you tighten it.
      • Unsu...
        Any time you try to wrap anything over a 90 degree angle on a tube and down the sides you will end up with more material than you need creating a situation where you either need to fold the excess material or trim it out. The fold will allow water in. By removing triangles from the edges of the wrap you can get a good fit. Place a second layer over the top and remove the same triangular sections and you can get a good tight fit laying flat all the way around. But you would need the second layer to offset the seems you create. I know from experience you can create a water tight seal in this manner.
  • I have had reasonable success with this -

    Only use new pipe and caps so the surface is smooth.
    Glue on the bottom cap.
    Install a Shrader Valve in the top cap.
    Vasoline the pipe and top cap.
    With the valve removed, push on the cap.
    Now use a bicycle pump with the check valve reversed.
    Suck a vacum on the cap.
    It will be pulled down hard.
    Cover the pipe with plastic sheet and backfill.

    When you want to get back in.
    Use a small bicycle pump and the top lid will slowly pop off.
  • I dunno. I've had good sucess with a 5 gallon bucket sealed with a gamma seal. Course the inide is lived with a trash bag. ;-}
    I usally have those in my areas.

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