How to open a geocache box

Sometimes you will go geocaching and stumble upon difficult-to-open geocache. Read this guide on how to open that geocache box. First, we will go through ways of opening the most difficult boxes. After that, we’ll go through some geocaching tools to carry in your geocaching tool kit for opening that difficult geocache.

How to open a geocache box

When having problems opening a geocache, it’s a good idea to put the note in the geocaching app that it’s hard to open. Then, you can try to open them. Here are some possible troubles of opening common geocache boxes:

Open a magnetic nano

Magnetic nano is a small geocache box whose size is literally in centimeters. It is often magnetic and sticks to a metal surface. They often contain only logs for a geocacher to sign. Sometimes, a nano will be fused shut due to corrosion and hard to open. For that purpose, you can use pliers to open them.
Also, when you manage to open the nano, you have to extract the tiny logs from it. Sometimes the logs are stuck too. That’s why geocachers often carry tweezers to extract logs from nano.

Open a micro capsule

Micro capsules are often made from aluminum with an O-ring for a tight seal. Metal makes them prone to develop rust on the lid when located in damp places. That would make the lid hard to open, especially if the O-ring is missing. It’s a good idea to always carry a tool like a pocket knife and pliers to scrape off the rust and unscrew the lid.

Open an ammo can

You will come across ammo cans as geocaches, so it’s good to know how to open them. These are boxes that have a lid held by hinges on the sides. That lid often contains a rubber gasket which provides a tight seal to the box.

Also, the lid can sometimes rust and be too tight-fitting. To deal with a jammed-up lid, bend the sides of the lid out slightly and scrape off the rust. You can use the sand tool or a blade on your pocket knife. When geocaching and coming across a hard-to-open ammo box, it’s best to make a note that the geocache is hard to open.

Also, when planning ammo can geocache, you should try to open and close ammo can if you’re buying it in person. It will help you determine if other geocachers will have difficulties opening the box.
In general, the key to opening an ammo box is to open the hinges on the sides and open the lid. Check out the video of this geocacher on how to open an ammo box.

What geocaching tools should I bring geocaching

Now, let’s go through a geocaching tool list to add to your geocaching toolkit. These tools will help you in opening a difficult geocaching box.


Geocachers use tweezers to get the logs out of a small geocache container. It’s recommended to use tweezers with the pointy ends. In that way, you will reach logs more easily. The example of tweezers with pointy ends is here.

Swiss Army Knife

Geocachers often carry them because it’s like carrying a mini geocaching toolkit with you. For example, you can get this Swiss Army Multi-Tool Knife. It has small pliers, a sanding tool, a knife and a chisel for removing paint and rust from the cache, etc. It also has bottle openers to open bottles and screwdrivers and other tools, so its usefulness goes beyond hiking and geocaching, as you can use it for home repairs and other everyday stuff.

If this one seems extra to you, you can always get the Swiss Army Hiker Knife. It has blades, a saw, and tweezers for opening caches. And also can and bottle openers, screwdrivers, etc. for home repair.


Gloves are useful for the protection of your hands from prickles and thorns. Especially, when you have to reach into the darkness to fetch a geocache in the shrubs and don’t know what to expect. You can use heavy-duty work gloves as they protect you from scratches and can be used when digging through mud while keeping your hands dry.

You can also get gardening gloves like these. They might seem a reach, but they are resistant enough to protect your hands from scratches. They are also long enough to protect your forearms, which is useful enough when having to dig through shrubs. And they also have finer dexterity it’s easier to handle smaller geocaches.


The flashlight is always useful when you want to locate geocache in dark places and need to open that geocache box. Or, when you go geocaching during the night and need to open the geocache.

Important for geocaching flashlight is that you can regulate a strobe aka regulate the brightness of the light. If you are inspecting a cache close to you, then the light won’t blind you. And if you geocaching at night often, the light should also be bright enough to see what’s in front of you.

Also, if geocaching at night often, then the battery should be last long because you use a flashlight all the time. If you go geocaching at night a lot, it’s good to get the ultimate flashlight. It’s durable, can regulate the brightness of light, is light to carry, a durable battery that lasts forever, waterproof and dustproof.


The most useful pliers would be slip-joint pliers. They are the easiest to use for unscrewing, and bending stuff when doing some geocaching DIY. Use them for unscrewing stuck nanos and other small containers.

Duct tape, some string and wire

Sometimes no tool can help and you have to make your own. Duct tape, string, and wire will probably help you make a DIY thing to reach or open a cache. Also, sometimes your equipment breaks and you need duct tape to repair it temporarily. Also, those three are useful for some repairs of the geocaches.