Today, we often hear talk of how important it is to stock up on food and water supplies in case of an emergency situation. Stocking up is important at home and at the bug out location. In fact, stocking up on supplies is mandatory for survival. But have you ever heard of a survival cache?
Just think about when you are not at home or at your bug out location (BOL). Have you considered the notion that you might end up between the two locations or you will have to leave one of them unexpectedly and in a hurry?
This is where the concept of a survival cache comes into play. A survival cache is a secret hiding place for a valuable, emergency stockpile that is needed to survive when you have no other options.
There are a few reasons why you would want to have survival caches. Keep reading so that you and your family are prepared to survive in an emergency situation.
In a perfect world, you will be at home when a disaster hits, or in a reasonable distance to your home or bug out location. However, this world is anything from perfect. There are several situations in which you might not have access to the supplies you have stocked up at home or at your bug out location.
In these situations, a survival cache can mean the difference between life and death.
These situations include the following:
Survival caches are a good way to split up your supplies so that they are not all kept in one location.
This method offers better security for a couple of reasons:
If anything happens to your home or BOL and you have to leave, your survival cache will provide you with the means to survive. The survival caches need to be in close proximity to your home and BOL in case the SHTF.
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There might be times when you need to travel. You will need access to supplies during these situations, which include the following:
With all the above information in mind, you need to give careful consideration to what you will stash away in your survival cache. The contents of any emergency stockpile you assemble will depend on why you need the cache, at each location.
The supplies you hide for traveling to your BOL will not be the same as the supplies you hide for when you have to flee your home or BOL. If you have multiple caches along a route or scattered around your home or BOL, they might contain different supplies depending on the use at each cache location.
For example, consider the situation in which you are bugging out to a location that is 100 miles away. You have just left your home with your bug out bag and you have to go on foot. At the 10-mile mark, you uncover a cache you have hidden that contains some extra rations and water, a small tent, and a change of clothes.
Now say, the next cache is buried near a river at the 25-mile mark. It might contain fishing gear to help catch food and extra ammo, in addition to rations and water.
The point is, the contents of your survival caches are not carved in stone.
If you are forced to flee from your home or BOL, you might have nothing but the clothes on your back. To prepare for this, you should have a survival cache that contains a bug out bag. This will ensure you have what you need if you can’t get back to your home or BOL.
The key is to put into the survival cache what you need based on your personal situation. Just remember, creating a cache isn’t as simple as throwing a few things into a bag or box. There are considerations to be made when choosing how to store your supplies.
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An Ammo Box is a solid Survival Cache container
The most important consideration for your survival cache is finding the right buriable storage container.
You do not want your supplies to get wet. If this happens, they will be ruined. The container must also be rodent and insect-proof. You don’t want critters to eat your food.
Fortunately, there is no need to build a container of your own. There are plenty of options you can purchase, including:
Many ammo boxes have a waterproof seal. However, they are still susceptible to corrosion and rust. This is best used if you think you will need to hide a survival cache for the short term.
These can hold large quantities of items. Just be sure they have a waterproof lid. A food storage container with a waterproof or screw-on lid is ideal. The drawback with buckets and barrels is that they are harder to bury due to their size. However, if you need something that big, then by all means, use them.
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This is a go-to for many preppers when considering underground storage containers. The key to sealing a PVC tube against moisture is as follows:
Ideally, you would store all of your items in multiple Ziploc bags or vacuum bags before putting them in the container. This will add extra protection against moisture. Placing desiccants and oxygen absorbers in the container, and/or into each bag, is also important.
Abandoned buildings are not a good place to hide your Survival Cache as they can often be over-run or even burned down.
There are a number of options you can explore when it comes to hiding your cache. One prepper said he hid his in an abandoned vehicle in the forest. He hollowed areas of the vehicle out, stored his supplies, and replaced parts so his stash was concealed.
This is an example of ingenuity and working with what you have. Having said this, there are some places you should never hide your cache.
First, let’s look at where you shouldn’t hide your survival cache:
With this in mind, let’s take a look at where you should hide your survival cache. . .
Instead of the above locations, your survival cache should be stored well away from your place of residence. Ideally, the cache is hidden in a remote area. This is a place to which you have relatively easy access. Yet, it is out of the way enough so people cannot see you hide or retrieve your supplies.
Ultimately, when all is said and done, the best place to hide a survival cache is in the ground. Burying your cache will keep it well out of sight. The key is to know where to bury it.
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It is best to bury your survival cache in a place that allows easy access. This means close to your home or BOL or along the most likely path of travel. For example, if you are forced out of your home and cannot regain access, where would you go? You should have a fallback position, even if it’s a camping area set up in the forest.
You would hide your cache at or along the route to your fallback position. If you have the means to take your house back from the people who have taken it, your cache might be within a mile of your house. Or it could be five miles away, where you have decided you will make camp if necessary.
Another alternative is that you are hiding survival caches to help you as you make your way to your bug out location. If this is the case, burry your caches a few feet off of the highway, in strategic locations, along your routes of travel.
Be sure to bury your cache so that the top of the container is a few feet below the ground surface. However, don’t bury it so deep you will have a difficult time digging it up. And, be sure to bury the cache near a natural marker and to mark the location of each cache on a map.
In all circumstances, make sure the location of each cache is such that you can access it from different directions. There is a chance that someone will see you going to and from your cache. If you go in empty-handed and come out carrying supplies, or vice versa, you will give your cache away.
For this reason, always watch your back when going to and from your cache. You want to know if someone is following you. And, NEVER, take the same route out as you take in. Mix it up so your route is unpredictable and the cache location remains undiscovered.
Plan ahead to bury your Survival Caches in the best places.
Ultimately, if you plan ahead when creating and hiding a survival cache, things will go smoothly. Just remember to consider your individual situation and needs. You will base the contents, number, and location of your caches on these details. Then, your survival cache(s) will contain precisely what you need for your particular survival situation.
Think we missed something? Let us know in the comments below. We would love to hear your survival cache experiences.
And, if you find this information useful, be sure to share it with your family and friends so that, they too, will be prepared to survive in an emergency situation.
Roman is a notable figure in the sphere of emergency preparedness and has been featured in various news broadcasts, publications, and documentaries to weigh in on the subject. He has made multiple appearances on HBO, BBC, CBS, and other media outlets to provide insight on the critical importance of readiness under all circumstances. When he is not hard at work being the CEO of Ready To Go Survival and MIRA Safety, he enjoys riding his motorcycle, shooting, handball, and scaring his neighbors by taking out the trash in full MOPP gear.