This is the first installment in a new series about things we make. I don’t expect to post something every week, which means “Maker Monday” will be somewhat irregular. I do expect the “things” will be quite varied: custom geocache containers, art, sewing projects, electronics projects (we’re just getting started with Arduino and Beagle Bone) and more. Please leave a comment to let me know whether you’d like to see more or less of this kind of post. Your suggestions for Maker projects are also welcome.
If you don’t know anything about geocaching, please read our Geocaching page for a quick introduction.
Geocachers in the Calgary and Canmore area are probably well aware that Mr. GeoK constructs fairly intricate geocache containers in his woodworking shop. My involvement is pretty much limited to being the test subject who tries to figure out how to get past the various tricks to access the logsheet.
But not every hiding spot is suited to a constructed geocache container. In fact, in urban settings a see-through container is generally preferred, so that anyone who accidentally comes across a geocache container can tell at a glance that they don’t need to call the bomb squad! Sometimes, a see-through container is too easy to spot, which is where a camo cache bag can be helpful. We’ve also used this type of camouflage where we want a geocache to be hung in a tree where it will be accessible even when there’s a fair bit of snow on the ground.
When I checked my supply of camo cache bags a couple of weeks ago, I discovered that both of the bags I had in inventory had failed. The stitching was too close to the cut edge of the fabric, which frayed and came loose from the seam. So it was time to go back to the drawing board and come up with a plan to make some new ones.
This my the third design/construction iteration. The first time around I used a printed cotton fabric, which rotted away after a couple of months of the freeze/thaw cycle and heavy snow. The second time around I used straight stitching for the seams and the poor results are shown above. I’m hopeful the changes I implemented this time around produced a durable camo cache bag that will last at least a year when exposed to the elements.
NOTE: A sewing machine that can sew straight seams and compound zigzag seams is required for this project. Materials include fabric, nylon or polyester thread, straight pins and a durable length of cord (such as an old bootlace).
FABRIC: I used some of the 1.9 oz uncoated ripstop nylon fabric in a woodland camo pattern that we purchased online from Seattle Fabrics. Because it’s uncoated, the fabric is breathable and will quickly dry after rain or snow.
SIZE: To figure out how large to cut your fabric, take the geocache container you want to hide in the bag – in my case a lock ‘n’ lock container. Measure the container’s length + height and add about 4 inches. This is how long you need to cut your fabric. Then measure the container’s width + height and add about 2 inches. This is how wide you need to cut your fabric. Cut two pieces of fabric the same size.
That’s it – your bag is finished! Slip your geocache container inside and get out there to find a hiding spot.
I’ll report back with a comment once we put one of these bags in the field and will try to remember to provide updates as we observe how well it survives the weather.
Please leave a comment with your suggestions for improvements to this design or a link to your own design/construction ideas. And stay tuned – I also sew gift bags and birthday party loot bags and will share those instructions in another “Maker Monday” post in a week or two.