Sep. 12, 2017

Caching 101 (Part 1)

Caching 101 (Part 1)

Fore word: Caching is such an important part of survival and preparedness. Try to keep one thing in mind, “long-term”. Cache with the mindset that you may have to live the rest of your life off grid. That doesn’t mean store enough MRE’s to last your group the rest of their lives, of course that would be impossible. It means have the tools, resources, supplies and knowledge to hunt, prepare, grow and store your own food.  “Give a man a fish, feed him for a day, teach a man to fish, feed him for life.” 

What is caching? Caching is the act of storing supplies, tools, valuables, etc. It could be some extra food in your pantry or an elaborate series of burial vaults. For this article im going to give you some of the basics and suggestions.


Types of Caches

Lets run through a few different categories or types of caches.

Medical/Dental – Things like surgical kits, dental kits, reusable items such as ace bandages, wire splints, braces, lots of band aids (only use when you really have to), bulk peroxide, iodine and alcohol. Storable medications for preexisting conditions, antibiotics and much, much more.

Tools – Pulleys, ropes, carabiners, assortment of screws, nails, bolts, hammers, screw drivers, saws, wrenches, bolt cutters, ratchet sets, duct tape, axes, rope, webbing, etc, etc, etc..

Food – As many MREs as you can feasibly purchase and store, special diabetic or other dietary foods you may need, flour or corn to make into flour, beans, candy, pets foods, etc.

Water – stored in BPA free containers, water purification (filters, chemicals, UV), water containers, etc.

Fuel – If you have anything that runs, that needs gas, you need to store some fuel.  Ensure its stored in fuel approved containers and remember you will have to add stabilizer to your fuel. Oil and other fluids.

Security – Weapons, ammo, perimeter security devices, knives, explosives, you get the idea.

Garden – Seeds (lots of them!), gardening tools, sprouting materials…

Library – Here is one a lot of folks overlook. The library cache is critical, this should have medical manuals such as the physicians desk reference, special forces emergency medical books, survival manuals, how to manuals such as homesteading, building, gardening, edible and medicinal plants, etc, etc, etc. You wont have google anymore.

Clothing – Lets say you have children, if you do, you know how fast they grow out of shoes and clothes. That said, now imagine you have to live off grid in a survival setting for years or god forbid the rest of our lives. Your kids, if not everyone are going to need new clothes.  There are lots of strategies here, just think it through.  We can definitely talk more about all these issues.

Survival – These are what I call tactical survival needs.  Things you will need for the first 6 months to a year until you sharpen your skills and rebuild your life. Instead of matches, have magnesium fire starters. Things that will last.

Hygiene – Another cache some folks forget about. Let me say this from experience, when you have gone through hell , seen things and done things that are unimaginable, you begin to not feel human.  If things come to the point that we have to bug out, you can count on going through these things.  One of the best ways to regain a sense of normalcy and being human again is to get clean.  Shave, shower, brush your teeth, these things have a profound effect on morale.


Cache locations

Consider your caching locations and contents classified and protect them at all costs. You cant possibly carry everything your going to need for a long-term situation on your back, you have to cache. So where to put your caches? I make recommendations to my clients based on their individual situations, so no two are the same. You may find it beneficial to have some at your home.  If there are things or supplies you want protected or hidden that you will need prior to or in order to bug out, home is a good locale. You may want to have caches spread out along your bug out route.  These could be food, water, fuel, medical. You absolutely want caches at your safe spot or final destination. This is where you will be planning on staying for the long term.

Methods of Caching

Stored or buried are pretty much your best options. No matter how remote your caches are they need to be protected and hidden. Stored means placing them in a cave or a Waco, buried means just that, buried in the ground.

In many cases, especially in the mountains and desert the ground is very rocky making it next to impossible to bury. In some cases there may not be any rock or caves and burying is your only option.

Here are some key points regarding your caches;

  • Don’t rely simply on GPS coordinates to mark and locate them.  There are some types of event that may render your GPS useless.  Things like geomagnetic storms or EMPs could turn your GPS into a paper weight.
  • Use landmarks, pace counts, measurements and pictures to mark and locate your caches.
  • Consider thermal protection for your caches, both heat and cold.
  • Think through your contents well. For example when things freeze, they expand and that in many cases may lead to leaks or explosions which could damage the cache and its contents.


Remember to document the contents of your caches.  There should be an inventory placed with/in the  cache and a list of contents in your printed bug out plan.


Its important that you check on your caches at least once per year.  Dig it up, open it up and ensure all the contents are in good condition.  Replace desiccant pouches, remove and replace any items that have gone bad, etc.