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Over Christmas holidays I went sledding two days in a row with my favorite lake family. On the second day, we spent four fun-filled hours vigorously sledding through Battle River territory, through a beautiful canyon and up  what we call “Battle Mountain”. When we reach the top of the mountain and were taking a break to enjoy the view, one of the men started talking about the cache that was hidden there. I had no idea what a cache was, so one of the girls crawled under a large spruce tree and came out with a metal box, looking a hundred years old and painted in ‘camo’ colors. Apparently geocaching is a very popular sport among people who love treasure hunts and who regularly travel through wilderness areas around the globe via sleds, quads, jeeps, skis, horseback, by foot, etc.  One is given the geographic coordinates of the cache and then must use all of their orientation skills (and/or a good GPS) to find the hidden cache. Once you find the cache, you can open it and can take anything out of it as long as you leave something of equal or greater value. (Our cache had a few hot wheel cars still in the packaging and a cigarette in a ziplock bag.) Of course the main reward is the satisfaction of the finding.

I loved the idea of a cache hidden away with treasures stored within… I had already begun Christmas shopping for little gifts for Mitch and Erin, mainly for practical things that they can use at their fort. I decided to create a cache tin for each of them to hide at the fort. That way they can store their treasures and supplies in a way that is safe from weather and animals, and is easily hidden.

I started with a brand new, empty paint can. You can buy these in a variety of sizes at your local hardware store for under $5 in the paint section. I also bought 3 different colors of ‘camo’ Tremclad (for metal) spray paint. I began with a few coats of the light green.

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As it is winter, I had to do this project indoors in my craft room. To minimize the vapors, I sprayed each can in it’s own cardboard box. Instead of a stencil, I randomly cut out small rounded shapes out of newspaper and taped this around each paint can. I also used a round piece for the top.
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I repeated the same process using the light beige paint and then the dark brown. Then I stenciled their first names on the can using a bright red Tremclad paint (for metal).
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The fun part was filling and sealing the cans!
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Both cans contained OFF bug spray, Band-Aids, sunblock and hand sanitizer.
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Mitch’s can contained work gloves, a variety of carabiners, a paint brush, Gorilla Glue, a sanding block, a small clamp, padlock hardware and a small, but sturdy pair of pliers.
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He also received a thermometer, a set of journals and some snacks.
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Erin’s can also contained the same snacks as well as a small can of chalkboard paint, chalk, a paintbrush, work gloves, a sanding black and a roll of pink twine.
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She also received a variety of stickers, rubber stamps, a mini office kit, a note pad and a leather journal, funky, paper clips, animal post it tabs and Burt’s Bees chap-stick and cuticle cream.
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Both cans came with a “key”: a paint can opener and I threw in one mini hammer to close and seal the cans.
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It was so delightful watching my friends open their Christmas caches. Both Mitch and Erin were really happy with their gifts. They actually just opened them today which is why this post is so late as I did not want to spoil the surprise! It’s going to be fun visiting the fort this summer and seeing the many innovative ways that Mitch and Erin have made use of their cache!