I’m sure everyone reading this is familiar with the bug out bag – essentially the cache kit is based on the same concept, but with several advantages, such as being more secure and not having to carry it on your back while you escape danger.
Don’t get me wrong, having a bug out bag is a good idea, however a back-up plan, for your backup plan is even better – let me explain. Depending on the situation, getting to your bug out bag may not be an option and let’s not forget the possibility of loss to fire, theft or other unforeseen event that could make your bug out bag unavailable to you.
If the bug out bag is plan B, the cache kit should be considered plan C.
I know what you’re thinking – what is an “cache kit” and how do I get one? For the purposes of our discussion, a “cache kit” is basically a cache of protected supplies, hidden in a secure location. Unfortunately, I don’t know of any ready-made cache kits, or at least none on par with what we need, so you’ll have to assemble yours yourself.
Obviously the first thing you’ll need is a container for securing your cache kit. I make mine from four-foot sections of 6-inch Schedule-40 PVC pipe with a permanent end cap on one end and Clean-out adapter and Threaded Plug on the other, both held in place with PVC cement. But the six-inch opening is limiting to what you can put in the cache, and larger pipe can be difficult to find.
Contents will depend on location and need – every situation will be different with kits being modified toward specific individual and their needs. Here are several areas to consider…
- Shelter – Space Blanket, Plastic Trash Bags, Thermals.
- Fire – Matches, Flint and steel, Magnifying Glass. Cotton wool.
- Water – Sterilizing tablets, Filter, Collapsible Canteen and Cover.
- Food – Fish-hooks and Line, Snare Wire, Slingshot Rubber, as well as ready to eat foods such as MRE’s.
- Cooking – Sheet of Aluminum Foil, Small Cooking Pot and Utensils.
- Medical – First-aid kit and Related Gear.
- Tools – Mora Knife, Swiss Army Knife, Multi-Tool, Ka-Bar Kukri Machete.
- Navigation – Compass, Topo Map of Area.
- Light – LED Flashlight, Headlamp and Batteries.
- Rope and Cordage – Fishing Line, Spool of Dental Floss, Para-Cord.
- Repairs – Sewing kit, Duct Tape, Crazy Glue.
It’s a good idea to pack items with a potential for leakage at the bottom of the tube, and items of an immediate need (first-aid kit, handgun, ammo etc. ) near the top.
Remember this is an essentially an escape and evasion kit, a last-ditch effort at survival, you could be wounded, pursued or both. Keep those items near the top and within reach.
Since you won’t be checking or replacing contents often, food items should be of low moister and suitable for long-term storage. You may find it a good idea to have a separate cache of food items aside your main cache kit. I have one stuffed full of Mountain House Pouch foods and another with beans and grains.
After you get your tubes assembled and filled, it’s time to start thinking about security, or more specifically where and how to hide your kit. You don’t want to go through all this trouble and expense, just to have some two-bit thief or jackboot thug come along and steal what you’ve worked so hard to put away.
The cache kit should be hidden away from your home or retreat and not buried in your backyard. Remember this is an effort of last resort. The cache acts as an insurance policy should you lose or be denied access to your home storage or bug out bag. Having it buried in your backyard would be self-defeating.
These tubes (if constructed properly) are waterproof and could be submerged under water without risk of damage to the contents. But erring on the side of caution, I look for a well-drained area not easily accessible to heavy machinery such as logging or construction equipment is best.
When moving to the cache site, it’s a good idea to have someone scout the area ahead of you, hopefully averting the possibility of you being seen. The last thing you want is to run face-to-face with a group of hunters, hikers or police. It’s best to go at night and during a week day, to lower the possibility of running into anyone.
The scout can move ahead alerting you, by two-way radio if anything is out of the ordinary or if someone is heading your way, allowing you time to react and avoid detection. Just be sure that the scout is someone that you trust.
When digging, it’s best to go slowly – stop often and scan the area for potential threats and listen. Again, the scout can offer security by watching the most likely avenues of approach and giving advanced warning. Use a manual post hole digger to excavate a hole straight down and as deep as possible. Insert the tube in a vertical position into the hole and back-fill with dirt.
Carry an old tarp to pile the dirt on as you dig. Dispose of this in a discreet manner out of sight and away from the cache area – when you finish, the area should look the same as it did when you started.
Tips for fooling metal detectors when needing to hide guns or gear from operators.
- Bury in a junkyard or a dump.
- Seed the area with ferric chloride
- Litter the area with metal shavings and debris
- Old abandoned farms usually have pre-existing metal debris
- Abandoned surface-mines are naturally seeded with discarded metal
- Deserted log landing and yards can be good areas
- So can old long abandoned home sites, as long as there is no chance of future construction.
It’s best to conceal in an area with “naturally” occurring and pre-existing metal debris in fact seeding an area with metal can have the negative effect of drawing attention to it.
Look for locations where such metal deposits would be considered normal and if needed add to this. Remember the best security is keeping your mouth shut. A bug out bag is great for getting out of dodge in a hurry – a bug out bag combined with strategically located cache kits and you just might make it.
What do you think…?