The importance of the secure cache – your survival could depend on it!

vaultsI’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. has a wide variety of cache tubes, in fact, I recently purchased one of their MonoVault, 248s caches.

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…?

About M.D. Creekmore

M.D. Creekmore is the owner and editor of He is the author of four prepper related books and is regarded as one of the nations top survival and emergency preparedness experts. Read more about him here.


  1. Thunder ba says:

    Don’t forget to remember where it’s at. I’ve had to get resupplied from caches and also emplaned caches for others to resupply from. In the army your taught to have markers large to small. An example is from the trail intersection (something large and permenant very rasy to identify) go at whatever direction and distance until you find a fallen over tree (something permenant but not as large or obvious as your initial marker). Next it should be an exact direction and pace count to your cache. You can save it in your gps as well. Even with it in a GPS we always use this method as well. It will be hard to remember later if you don’t take the notes.

  2. JP in MT says:

    Although I love my GPS, and surely recommend land marks, make sure you don’t depend upon them. GPS and fail (EMP?) and smaller landmarks can be moved, removed, or changed.

    I have a friend who has several and his advise to me was map and compass. He uses intersection and resection on mountain peaks and other LARGE, generally immobile land marks. We have many mountain lakes around here, he says they would be somewhat suitable for distant caches.

    He takes the section of the map where he has placed his cache, cuts it down to 3×5-ish, laminates it, and puts it in his kit. He carries regular sized maps of the same scale as his “mini-map” and just overlays them when checking on his cache.

    Works for him. Sounds like a sound plan to me.

    • Thunder ba says:

      We are basically talking about the same thing i just didn’t include all of the navigation techniques needed to get there. I’m not saying it won’t happen but with out land marks it would be really hard to navigate a large distance and arrive at exactly the correct completely unmarked and natural looking spot of the cache. This is even more difficult in the dark. Even using “attack points” along the way to find the exact spot after several months or years (with terrain most likely changing especially vegetation) would be extremely challenging. I’m with you on land marks being moved but that’s why you have to be very selective with what you use and when possible pick objects that wont move. The military has used this method for a long time with a great deal of success. Over the years the units ive been in has tinkered with differnt techniques and judged this method to be highly effective. I missed a resupply once when another recon team implaced a cache for us and their cache report wasn’t detailed enough. This was a very seasoned team with detailed imagery, maps, GPS, and basically instructions to find the cache.

    • JP in MT,
      A word on GPS. In our hunter education courses we cover a small section on map and compass, and quite often we’ll get a comment from the students about not needing them because they have a GPS. I first ask them what happens if the battery goes dead or they cant get a good signal. Then I write a set of Long / Lat coordinates on the whiteboard and ask them where this coordinate is. It’s actually the coordinate of the clubhouse where we teach, but generally no one knows that, and it does send the point home.

  3. Hillside cache

    Rather than digging a hole to hide your cache, dig a tiny cave in the side of a hill. I dug our hillside cache in near the middle of a fairly steep slope in a very small valley (50′ across) away from roads and buildings. It is 30″ wide, 30″ tall and 4′ deep. It’s walls, roof and floor are held in place by pressure treated wood. The entrance is covered by a homemade 3 sided box that holds nothing but local dirt and rock. You cannot see it even standing right in front of it, let alone at any distance.

    It is well drained to keep moisture out. So far, no critters have messed with it. Everything in it is moisture sealed and inside sealed containers. This little hidey hole will hold a lot of stuff. It is awkward to get to, which keeps the curious away. I doubt anyone would find it with a metal detector either.

    This is not a cache for quick access, but rather for significant supplies for a small group to resupply.

    The local grass (weeds) have grown back over everything now, I had a heck of a time finding it to check it out, and I know where it is! I placed a particular rock exactly below it on the valley floor and another 15′ to the side of it so I can find it quicker next time.

    I took awhile to dig this out and prepare it for holding supplies safely. It is paramount that curious eyes cannot see what you are doing while building it.

  4. I’d be inclined not to carry my cell phone with me when placing or checking a cache. Dear Leaders minions seem to have way too much data on locations of cell phones for me to think there is any security with one. Ditto GPS units, unfortunately. I haven’t heard that they are tracked, but the ability is there, and why would they tell us what they are doing?

    • Tom B,
      How is the ability there to track a GPS unit that is not a cell phone? That is an old myth that simply won’t go away.

    • Rob Crawford says:

      A GPS receiver is simply that. It doesn’t have any means of sending its coordinates anywhere.

  5. We have a large cache at a prepper friends house. Two smaller at sons houses out of state. One within a mile of our home. Four others in the wilderness.
    We are cache rich!
    Or really…poor. It killed me to leave firearms hidden away from home. There is over $500.00 in supplies each of the small caches. When you leave a weapon and ammo, well it adds up.
    I hope I never need them but dang!

  6. I also recently bought a Mono Vault but the complete kit from Custom Survival Solutions ( that comes with all the moisture absorption and dry storage bags. I thought it would be better for storing things that I wanted to keep moisture and rust free than just having the tube. They also have a smaller type personal cache that I’m looking at for use with money but I’ll still need the bags to keep it dry.

  7. riverrider says:

    i’m thinking more of a sustainment cache. like about 1/3 of my food/ammo/etc in a storage unit or something, though storage units are risky and leave a paper trail. the main reason i need to cache would be forest/house fire. being overrun is not an option, i’ll go down swinging. too old to run, too ornery to quit. i like the hillside idea posted above. i spent all spring clearing a section that would of made a good concealed spot for a cache. i could have even kept an eye on it. doh!

    • hvaczach says:

      “Too old to run Too ornery to quit” I like it you should post that on a sign at the end of your driveway to prevent hoodlums from lurking! I have not stashed any caches as of yet, partially because I am not sure where to put them. Alot of farm ground around me that I know like the back of my hand but all within 10 miles or so of home. I have thought about trying to find some place halfway between work and home, but have not found a suitable place yet. Maybe I am looking at the cache in the wrong light as well always thought if it’s just a few miles to home why not have it there, but you can leave alot of bad behind in three miles I guess.

  8. I am assuming that when you are to retrieve this cache you will have a vehicle and tools to dig it out and open it up?? What if you are on foot and do not have a shovel or any wrench to open the top?? I have pulled fence posts out of the ground with only a foot or two buried and they are a pain to pull out of a vertical hole due to suction pressure, would horizontal or in a hillside like Retread mentions be better. And I also know if you screw that clean out cap down tight to prevent water infiltration it will require a big wrench or a hack saw to get it open.
    Just wondering if anyone has dug one up and opened one that has been buried for a while.

    Great idea just wondering out the potential pitfalls.

    • Winomega says:

      Good point, George.

      Perhaps there is a way to make the retrieval easier.

      If you’re going to be burying it in clay or good dirt, perhaps widen the hole and line it in with sand, gravel, twigs, grass clippings, plastic bags… Grass clippings might cause an indentation if the underside of the ground isn’t supported.

      For opening the pipe, tape or glue a tool or two to the outside in a more fragile container. (One of those wire saws in a glass bottle.) Or the pipecap itself could be modified to accept an ordinary stick for leverage.

      Putting something to dig with nearby might be useful. A broken plastic jug that looks like it was abandoned by campers, perchance. If you own the land, you might put some sort of sign on a metal pole nearby.

    • george & all,
      There may be just the opposite of getting it out of the ground in the northern climates, and that is keeping it there. I suspect frost heave could be a problem, but don’t currently have any buried items. Anyone care to comment?

      • hvaczach says:

        The Feeze Thaw effect I hear ya, there is good reason why in south dakota footings are buried 48 inches down or they will heave due to frost. also if you need the cache in December ground is froze hard, forget the shovel you will need a pick axe. Abandoned barns are getting burnt down to often in my neck of the woods, so options are limited. Any suggestions for severe winter storage that doesn’t involve digging or the wims of a farmer maximising his crop land by burning abandoned buildings?

        • Winomega says:

          Perhaps the “frozen ground” problem could be solved by taking advantage of what is there or what is expected to be there.

          The pipe that baby Jessica got stuck in was still there 20 years later, and I imagine that many of them didn’t get welded caps.

          What I’m thinking of doing is far stupider than a fake tank access.

    • George,
      I don’t bury my caches in soil or use pvc pipes. I cant get them open. I tried to open an 6 inch pipe that was not glued and it was too hard for me to get the end cap off with my hands.
      We hide our wilderness caches in rock piles.
      We use buckets painted the colors of the rock it is hidden in. Some sandstone, some moss rock, We cover the bucket in paint, and glue. Smear with soil, grass, and forest duff.
      Some have been hidden for up to 7 years and when we check them they are still dry and intact.
      The only problem with our wilderness caches is getting to them when the snow is deep.
      My son had one that was torn apart by a bear. He didn’t hid it well enough. Don’t put candy bars in them.
      None of mine have been touched.

  9. If I had one it would be on a piece of property I purchased through a corporation I once held, across the border in another state/country.

    It would be on a farm with 17 acres of land, a well, a house with a wood burning stove, barn, and small pond stocked with fish.

    There would be geese, duck, pheasants, squirrel, and many deer.

    It would also have 10-12 fruit trees. If I had one?

    • Rider of Rohan says:

      Good to see you posting, my friend. And great idea on the cache. I have my two caches on different parts of a 65 acre farm that belongs to my family. Putting a cache on someone else’s property without their permission doesn’t seem right to me. There are several reasons why. As for public land, finders keepers, I guess.

      • k. fields says:

        Kind of makes you feel you’re in a Twilight Zone episode doesn’t it – old former posters reappearing. (note the dates)
        I almost commented but then noted that I already had … last year.

  10. I rented a storage unit that is about a mile from my home. I keep a cache of weapons, ammo, food and water in it. It would take some work to get all the junk I have stacked in from of and on top of the cache moved but it is fairly secure.

  11. Winomega says:

    I’m very unsure about what direction I would want to bug-out, or where would be useful, or if I could make it far enough where a small cache wouldn’t be more useful buried in the yard.

    • Win omega,
      I’m with you. I don’t plan to bug out, but if for some reason my main residence was over run I would want my cache burried close enough to get it and fight to get the house back. I would bury it in my 27 acre back yard!

      There are lots of areas that would be good for a hide-hole, yet remote and far enough from the house thet I wouldn’t be observed unearthing it. And I would want a tube long enough for a rifle w/scope.

      • hvaczach says:

        Think shorter rifle 30-30 lever or a collapsible mini 14. Personally if I would be hitting this cache then things got real bad, I want a twelve gauge with buck and #4 shot. Short range but devastating payload, and if you are on the run requires less fine motor skills to aim and operate.

  12. Lets talk about the actual cache vessel, be it a huge polly pipe or some sort of sealed clay pipe? I like polypipe but getting one large enough to function as a small food/gear cache etc would be costly and the screw on lid especially. I just can’t think of anything 2 feet or wider that is waterproof and can be easily opened and resealed.

    • k. fields says:

      The easiest way I’ve found is to use septic tank access riser material.
      You can get it in 30″ diameter by any length you want up to 13′ or even longer if you piece it together.

      The product is made to supply access to septic tanks so they can be checked and pumped out without having to dig up the top of the tank, but I have also used them to build effluent pump basins by bolting/glueing a lid to the bottom of the tube which is what you would want to do for a cache. The basins I’ve built have had to go through the same leakdown tests as septic tanks before receiving County approval, so I know from experience they can be made completely waterproof.
      A photo of a prefab pump basin made from this material is here
      but, of course yours won’t have the inlet and outlet pipes cut through the sides.

      Since the lid bolts on, such caches are easy to get gear into and out of – a lot easier than trying to dig up a 4′ X6″ tube of PVC pipe. In normal use these risers/basins are designed so the lid is at ground level or about 6 – 12″ below ground. You obviously wouldn’t want to use one of these in an area that might get heavy vehicle or foot traffic.

      It takes a lot of digging to bury a vault this size but it also provides a lot of room for supplies. I currently have 3 of these buried – 1 on the far edge of my property and 2 at campsites I frequent (1 a days mule ride to the north and 1 a days ride to the east). They’ve been in the ground for 15+ years now and I’ve had zero problems with them.

    • regular sanitary cast iron pipe ( used for plumbing and sewage) would work well. commonly buried, lasts 50 plus years, large size pipe available, and waterproof. wont crack under the pressure of earth, but with a good smack from a decent sized rock will crack it open. downfall, its heavy pipe.

      • Rob Crawford says:

        And it’ll show up really well for a metal detector. And if it’s in a place a waste pipe has no business being, the “ick factor” won’t keep someone who finds it from seeing what’s in it.

  13. JeffintheWest says:

    This is a really good article. Most people don’t think about this kind of thing, but let’s face it, if something goes catastrophically wrong with your basic plan, you need to have a “fail-safe” back-up that at least gets you out of the immediate problem you’re in.

    For those who are concerned about remembering where it is, I wouldn’t rely on “geocaching” or GPS — if something ever goes wrong with society (especially if you’re looking at a government versus us situation) it’s entirely possible GPS could be shut down to non-military users, or even jammed, which would leave you clueless. I’d recommend taking the time out to figure out a good location, that you can easily remember, and then taking compass bearings on various permanent landmarks to make sure you can find the place regardless of the time of year, vegetation coverage or snowfall. By all means, figure out the GPS coords too, but don’t solely count on them. You might also want to go find the site during differing weather conditions so you can see how the area changes with the season and so on — that doesn’t mean walking right up to it, but at least head in that general direction and make sure you can recognize your landmarks.

    • JeffintheWest,
      Turning off or jamming GPS in the them vs. us scenario would hinder them as much as us, so I don’t really see it as an option. Turning Selective Availability back on would only make the system a bit inaccurate, and one of the reasons SA was abandoned was that DGPS was overcoming its restrictions.

      • JeffintheWest says:

        OP, I stand by my recommendations wrt using a compass. No matter how oppressive the government chooses to get, they can’t “turn off” magnetism….

        People should take the time to learn land navigation.

        • hvaczach says:

          It has become over looked in the Tech world we live in. I am 35 and I believe the computer hinders mankind more than helps it. The old ways tried and true are the best and always will be thts why they are tried and true. I took a search and rescue course through the fire dept, and not a GPS to be found everything was taught with topo maps and compass because they always work. Most people my age and younger don’t have the patience for it they want to have it now with no work or putting any thought into it. It’s like going to a campground and smelling all the lighter fluid because nobody really knows how to build a fire anymore.

        • JeffintheWest,
          I absolutely concur with everyone learning land navigation with map & compass, including having a decent compass and maps (preferably topo) of the area. I was just saying that I don’t think the government would completely shut down GPS, since our entire economy now heavily relies on it, including the governments own use.

      • Rob Crawford says:

        Commercial differential GPS depends on the WAAS (Wide Area Augmentation Service) provided by the US Department of Commerce. There are non-commercial solutions, but you need one or two fixed sites with well-known positions that can see most of the same satellites your mobile site can see.

        (My college roommate did his senior project on differential GPS. I picked up some of it.)

  14. Whichever method you use, map and compass or triangulation, make sure you have a QUALITY compass and/or protractor. Many of those Chinese made, “military type” compasses just aren’t accurate enough. Neither are the plastic protractors you used in high school.

    Remember, you’re looking for a six inch tube, hurried for long periods of time and camouflaged. Land scape changes with the seasons, and topography looks vastly different at night than it does in the day. Dawn and dusk are very deceiving to the eye because of rapidly changing shadows.

    Food for thought.

  15. k. fields,
    Nice one, I’ll look into that.

  16. Draq wraith says:

    Theft also happens to those who cache.
    one man found out his generator was stolen for his BOL on one show I watched. Another found his supplies stolen he buried under ground with his wife. (Wanna bet who?) Also other types of marauding animals as well.
    as for caching batteries don’t do it! They will not store well. Electronics do not cache well either they are made with corrosive components (electrolytic capacitors and such) and have a tendency to be useless when stored in a damp environment such as an underground cache.

  17. Outstanding post and comments. I’ve been considering caches for a while now and will act on that consideration with all of these great thoughts and ideas in mind. Thanks for the post!

  18. Another location that tends to have *a lot* of metal debris is along railroad tracks. It’s also a location, should you chose a long barren area or long area in woods, that has little traffic.

    While being on the RR right-of-way is trespassing (don’t get caught!), I wouldn’t rule it out.

    Don’t bury near roads (construction projects) or areas that could be developed (ditto), and don’t bury anywhere where you see any evidence of any sort of buried utility crossings (buried electric or gas — because those get periodic upgrades and your cache might be compromised).

    The nice thing about railroads is that it may be easier for you to find your cache because of mile markers!

    • Depending on where you live , there could be several abandoned RR tracks . When I lived in Maine , they were all over the place , some abandoned sense the 1960’s and 70’s . They are overgrown outside where they go through the towns , but intact . They may still be owned by the railroads , but people walk them once in awhile ……..nobody cares .

  19. Agreed , but a firearm of some sort is a must with ammunition .

    • T.R. agreed,
      Pump shotgun 12 ga. , a couple barrels, maybe a scope, bird, buck, and slugs as ammo. You can hunt anything from rabbit to Bear.
      Both sides used side by side shotguns in The War of Northern Aggression and it was as much “The Gun that won The West” as the Colt SSA or the Winchester lever action.

      The pride of my collection is a Mossberg 590A1 named “Black Jack”.

      • True , the pioneers had to play the weight and bang for the buck game going west …..all they had was what they could carry in the wagon . A great many of them chose a shotgun because of the versatility it offered . Unlike the government today , the government protected its citizens then , or tried to , by building forts as people expanded west . In WW1 , the German government made an official protest for American troops use of shotguns in the trenches . I think we were the only ones that did that …..apparently it was effective .

  20. Tracker says:

    Reminds me of when we were kids in the 50s. Burying “pirate treasure” and trying to find it a week later. We always had some sort of secret sign or marker to help locate it but always made a crude map of some sort.
    My grandchildren now help me bury caches on camping trips.
    A small personal item from one of them is near each site. They then help me create maps to the location decorated with pirate ships, swords etc.
    I now have maps to my caches in plain sight, posted on my fridge as my grandkids art work. Each drawn in crayon but accurate enough to locate cache. If you know what “treasure” each child has donated.

    • I will try to post if I can find the link , but a family bought a house , it was an old house , so they decided to do some work to it and possibly make an addition . When they cleared away some shrubs in the back yard , they found the entrence to a 1950’s bomb shelter ….it was like a time capsule , FULLY STOCKED then forgotten for decades .

    • Winomega says:

      T.R. I got the impression that the cache survived because nobody cared.

      I remember burying pirate treasure, accidentally found it due to erosion ten years later. Actually, select properties down our block were troves of bottles and broken glass because there wasn’t curbside pickup in that area at the time.

      • Could be , I read the article a few months ago . What I remember reading was that the family may have known that there was one on the property , but never looked for it .

  21. Another place you could definitely find enough metal debris to mislead detectors , are the OLD landfill site locations . What I mean by old is doing some research from say the 30’s to 50’s to see where they were located back then . That way you know it will not be reused as such again , as there are probably buildings on or close to it by now . The house I grew up in was surrounded by desert on three sides . Its a small town , so the history of it is easily found . Very fun place to live as a kid , because on one side of the desert area was where Camp Jones used to be back at the turn of the century . We would find Army buttons with the eagle on them , RR tokens , even spent cartridges once in awhile and other artifacts . Another side was where the old landfill was in the 1920’s and 30’s . We would find old glass stopper bottles , etc . Way back then , both were far outside of town at the time they were in operation , but the town had grown a lot sense then in modern day .

  22. Survivor says:

    I’ve had a small cache in the ground for several years. I just kept keys and nonperishable stuff in there for storage. I’ll open it up this weekend to inspect.

    Mine is only 18″ long and 6″ tall. I buried it near a rock pile so digging down wasn’t an option. It’s basically a 4″ T connector with 2 sealed endcaps and a threaded cap for access. I buried it so the threaded cap was at ground level so that when you move the rock covering the cache all you see is the PVC threaded cap. I chose this site because it is infested with copperheads. Keeps the faint of heart away 🙂

    A couple of observations with your article…

    “…as deep as possible. Insert the tube in a vertical position into the hole and back-fill with dirt.” I would suggest you carry in a couple of pounds of pea gravel and drop that in the hole first. That’ll help keep it dry. If you’re worried about condensation, try insulating the cache on the outside before dropping it in the ground.

    Another thing I see as a waste of time is digging the thing up. All you need is access to the cache opening device. I would also reccommend placing a backpack or other hauling device in the cache. Have a method of retrieving everything from the cache without having to dig it up. I would suggest a plywood disc, with a line attached, at the bottom of the cache so you could pull it up and everything comes with.

    Perhaps, instead of one big cache, have several smaller ones in the same area. Easier to dig and less to loose if someone finds one.

    Remote government property is probably the safest place to bury the cache. Look for state/national parks. Hit the road with a spot of spray paint where you go into the woods. The paint will be there for years! Once in the woods, line up some rocks to point to your cache and maybe use rocks in a triangular pattern to mark the actual cache. I’d still use a GPS unit and take compass readings. I’d also write this down someplace, because I’d sure hate to know I died and my shotgun was lost until someone dug it up in a couple of hundred years from now.

    • Survivor says:

      I opened the cache yesterday and found it held about a quarter inch of water in the bottom.

      I believe this is condensate, so I’ll dig it up, insulate it and plant it someplace else. Anything in the cache would have been destroyed had it not been separately wrapped. I had left nothing in the cache.

  23. hvaczach says:

    A question really more than a comment, does any one see the benefit of say some one wanting to stash a .38 revolver in said cache should one wrap the pistol in rags then vac seal the package just incase you sprung a leak? Would hate to need the gun only to find the action rusted tight!

    • Survivor says:

      ABSOLUTELY!!! Sorry for all caps but yea, condensation will eat it up. And I would pack the thing in gun grease as well. You won’t be digging the cache up if you’re under fire, so you’ll have time to clean it ready for use. Double vacuum pack the ammo, too!

      I’m digging mine up and replanting it after it gets insulation and a bed of pea gravel. I may wrap the thing in metal flashing, as well.

  24. Be careful around large trees too, tree roots can be a bitch to dig around and can grow and damage your hidden stash.

  25. Urbancitygirl says:

    We do not have a cache. I’ve considered something in our raised garden beds, and under the shed floor. Maybe something halfway between DH job and home, however we would be hard pressed not to be seen. I like the idea of a railroad…

    Prepping has become a mental challenge on so many fronts as I’ve never kept much on hand my entire life. Now, I have food hidden all thru the house. Oh my!

    So much to consider, and so much to get done. I don’t know if this is something we’d do right away.

    Hey, what about hiding something in the walls of the chicken coop..maybe money/metals? That way it wouldn’t be under frozen ground. Is this a stupid idea? Now that I’m on this mindset, and our ground is frozen a good period of the year-maybe a stash of some sort in the compost?

    Ok, I think I’m getting crazy now.

    • I cache money/small items in canning jars. Just place items in jar with lid and ring, heavily spray paint the metal. When you wanna open, you have to run a knife along the seams or break the jar with a rock. Longest I ever left one alone was probably 4 years, when I was kid in Mississippi. It was exposed to floods and generally wet ground, but never leaked. I have also used the metal ammo containers. They are waterproof and come in fairly large sizes. Same thing, when you close them up, heavily spray paint the seams and paint the surface area of the box to add to the rust prevention. I buried a .30 cal ammo can on my parents property in Wyoming the week before I went to boot camp. I checked it after 20 years and it still had my copy of “Grunts”, “One Shot, One Kill” and some pictures. That part of Wyoming is High Desert; dry and sandy, and without the moisture in the ground, I did not have to worry about frost lifting it out of the soil.

  26. mom of three says:

    Well, forget it I don’t have any place I could use. If we had to I would make it down to my parent’s and ride it out. Funny but several of my family member’s, have just said the same thing if any thing happens we all head to grandma’s. I’m glad they are waking up.

  27. Texanadian says:

    When I get resettled I am toying with idea of burying an old freezer and using that as a cache for a variety of items.
    Anyone have experience with this?

  28. Thank you , good post .

  29. Chuck Findlay says:

    I don’t have anything in an underground cache. I’m not sure where I would put one. And I see the small size as very limiting. Other then PVC pipe does anyone know of another container you could use / build that would be watertight, last a while and able to hold something like a fully loaded backpack?

    • Thisall H says:

      I’ve not looked and can’t at the Moment. but something like a plastic toolbox / tool chest spring to mind. I’m fairly sure you can find a waterproof version. Might we worth looking at Scuba gear sites as well.

  30. What’s the reason for burying it vertically, like a post sticking up & down?
    I don’t have a post hole digger but may be able to get one at a pawn shop.
    I have 2 places in mind, 1 in a public park w/in a mile of home, & 1 in backyard that’s hidden from back of house & neighbors.

  31. Retread, just make sure your stash does not turn into one of those
    lost treasure stories [ smile ]
    you have a good idea.

  32. Great ideas and all on where and how to hide a cache. However, the new high end metal detectors have a mode to tune out or discriminate junk. So someone who has info that something is buried in the area isn’t going to give up so easily. The longer something is buried the better reading it gives. So don’t give up on the idea of a cache, just make sure you take extra care in hiding it. Deeper is better. Find a place that you wouldn’t go into if you were paid to. Hopefully, the guy with the metal detector won’t want to go there either.

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