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Supply caching

One of the things I have noticed about our US cousins is that many are into burying caches of supplies out in the wilds and away from civilization. I don’t know how common this is but one thing is certain most of us in the UK don’t do it. I’ve looked at it and can see many benefits but the controller in me does not want to bury critical supplies somewhere that I cannot monitor. You really need your own land which I do not have.

However, buried caches have certain advantages. They can be put in position out of the way and with no traffic they are likely to be untouched. They will be, if put away correctly, stored in a cool, dry environment away from vermin which is ideal. You can put illegal items in them knowing if plod visit your home you will be protected and when TSHTF you simply have to dig them up when they are needed. Unwelcome visitors will find nothing on their visits.

Of course the disadvantages are that someone digs them up, deliberately or accidentally, that they are damaged in some way, perhaps by vermin or the are made unavailable by some means, either by being built on or you forget where they are.

It is much easier for us to keep our stores in house and under our control than it is to simply put it away and leave it. However if you have the capability it is a very good method of storing our supplies and it should seriously be considered.

The usual method used it to store them in a cache tube. These can be bought or made very easily. They are simple a tube sealed at both ends. Simply buy a piece of PVC waste pipe with two terminations. There are two options, a simple stop and the other a terminator with a screw top or another simple stop. The difference is if you will revisit the cache to take things out or not. The simple stops seal the tube and are unable to be opened without cutting them off.

To use; Apply a good coating of PVC glue and seal one end with a simple stop. If putting a screw top on glue that to the other end. Wait 24 hours and then add your goods packed as necessary. Put in some CO2 and either screw the top on or glue the second stop. Bury somewhere where you can find it. By a tree or a landmark. Make a note of the location and don’t assume you can use GPS. Geo-cachers sometimes cannot find items they have buried and they have the GPS coordinates. Leave it buried and never go back. Bury as many as necessary and remember not to put all your eggs in one basket. Don’t bury them all in the same place not put all your key items in one cache either. Oh, and remember landmarks can move especially over years so be careful where you store them.

After an event dig it up. Unscrew or cut off the end and retrieve your goods when it is safe. If you split your stores you can dig them up as required. Remember what is in each cache so when you need that you know where to go to collect it. Prioritise as well. No point burying your cooker in one and the gas in another but at the same time don’t put all your gas in one cache. Finally, bear in mind a tube can be damaged. Don’t just buy one of anything key just in case it gets damaged and is useless.

6 comments to Supply caching

  • Skvez

    “Put in some O2”, did you mean CO2 (dry ice?) to force out all the O2?

    Caches may need visited periodically to rotate the contents depending on what is in them. A good knife and cookpot won’t need checked for a decade but a cache of food may need rotated / checked yearly.

    I’ve been looking into the availability of GPS after an event, worryingly it appears that the information about orbit of the satellites is updated every two hours and after as few as 6 hours without this the accuracy will be degraded. A week after no communication from the ground and the almanac will expire and your GPS won’t know what satellites to look for. I’ve been unable to get clarification as to whether GPS will still work at this point (but taking longer to ‘find’ which satellites to lock onto) or whether it will unavailable.

    Of course this assumed that the event is sever enough to stop the US military being able to update the information on the satellites. Most scenarios we prep for aren’t going to be this bad.

  • Skean Dhude


    Ooops. I did mean CO2. Fixed.

    I didn’t know that about the GPS. I was under the impression that if it was not switched off by the DoD it would be accurate for a few years. Although as you say only a few scenarios we prepare for won’t result in the loss of GPS.

    As far as caches are concerned I would not bury out of my control something that needed checked yearly. It would be simply buried and left with anything that needed a yearly check buried in my back garden so I could dig it up easily.

  • PEACE ^_^

    Here’s great video to making a Cache. Thanks for the post Skean here you go:

  • Skean Dhude


    Thank you for that. YouTube certainly has a lot of useful information on it. The only problem is finding it.

  • swagger

    if you have a 2 storey house lift sme floorboards upstairs and hide some stuff in there. leave a hatch and relay your carpet or put a mat over it. in a bungalow with an attic you can lay a false floor and do the same thing.

  • SJS_UK

    I recently looked at purchasing the bits to make a cache (or several).

    I did a quick look around the local DIY store, plumbing supplies. 4 inch pipe (or the metric equivalent) isn’t to expensive. 3 meter length £40, end cap £20, screw end cap £35.

    So to make 3x 1m would be …
    1x 3m (100mm diameter) pipe (cut to 3x 1m lengths) = £40
    3x end caps @ £20 = £60
    3x screw end caps @ £35 = £105
    == £205 for 3x 1m cache (£68 each)

    I would suggest an additional 6 inch pipe (not available from my local DIY), so that the 4 inch (actually 4 1/2 with caps) would fit inside it, to make it easier to remove the 4 inch pipe.

    I’m sure some prepper could make plenty of money selling ready made 1m caches.

    If someone is willing to make some 1m caches for sale please contact me.

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