The Art of the Cache, by James C.

Wednesday, Nov 17, 2010

I am sure many of you have planned for the possibility of a wide scale disaster, but you cannot carry all of your equipment when you get out of dodge. So caching is the best option however your cache cannot just go anywhere. Obviously certain locations experience heavier traffic, so in time of natural disaster, large scale riots, or terrorist attacks, it is good to choose locations away from this traffic. These caches also need to be on your bug out route, so if you have not prepared an escape route, do not plan your cache locations yet. These locations should be marked with things that most people would overlook. For example you can mark your cache site with a cross, giving it a resemblance to a grave, or a memorial. Depending on the location most people might overlook this. But in certain areas this may draw attention to the site. So work with what is in the area and use your best judgment.

Location
Next is the actual location of the cache. When choosing it, as mentioned above, remember to choose a site on your bug out route or a place you will visit long after you bug out. As a hunter I have come in contacts with hundreds of private and state forests where the area is perfect. One example is Rock Rimmon State Park, only 400 acres; the park is heavily wooded and located near a pond. On top of this consider the land elevation; is there a hill that you could observe from? The site you cache needs to be secure without showing how secure it is. Other areas that can work are the back wooded edges of cemeteries, while this is consecrated land I believe God will understand the situation at hand. Your first cache should be within a five to ten day hike of your home or current location. This should equal out to somewhere between fifty to a hundred miles. What seems like a long distance, but in the events previously mentioned all you want is distance. While I recommend this it is also possible to place your first cache in your backyard, however if you keep a well stocked G.O.O.D. Kit this shouldn’t be necessary.

Preparation of the storage container
First and foremost your container needs to be large enough to carry all of the supplies you have selected for the cache, a .50 caliber ammo can might be enough to fill your needs, but a twenty-five gallon tote may be more your  size. Either way you need to properly prepare the canister. With the ammo can you can simply use a tar sealant, or similar waterproof sealant along the outside because it is made of metal, but the tote is much more challenging. First everything you put inside the tote should be in either ammo cans sealed against water, or double bagged in heavy duty black trash bags. Then you should fill the empty space in the tote with some kind of insulation, whether you just fill it up with paper scraps or pink panther, it is up to you. Then take the tote seal the edges with duct tape or spray foam. Finally end by double bagging the tote and insulating the inside bag. The insulation should prevent freezing of the supplies inside the newly made cache container.

 

Supplies need for preparation:
1 Tote (25 gallons or up)
2 Fifty Gallon trash bags
10-20 Five to Ten gallon trash bags
1 small insulation roll
1 small spray foam tube, with applicator
1 container tar or water sealant
# any number of fifty caliber ammo cans (as you deem necessary)

Supplies for your Cache
The supplies you place in your caches are very important, especially your first cache, they can easily determine if you live or die. Now you can have different caches that specialize in certain supplies so you can visit reload and rebury, but I suggest that you stay away from that because chances are the one item you will need the most just won’t be there. Everyone you talk to will have a different list for you so I settled down to give you just a couple examples. The following includes comments from one of my writing collaborators.

 

 

#

Item

Comments

1

Combo .22/410 (Allows greater variance then a straight .22)

 

150

.22 rounds

(1) I think since this is a buried cached, I would tend to up the ammo a few rounds. .22 is not large, and a few more boxes may fit in when it is all said and done.

25

.410 Shells #4 Shot

(1)Here is your 'bulk' in ammo, but I think you have the .410 ammo dialed in there. Maybe a few more slugs would fit later on. Definitely would work for emergency defense against most Earth creatures. The slugs would be really nice to have a few more of.

10

.410 Shells Slug

 

10

.410 Shells 000 Buckshot

 

1

Leatherman type tool (Gerber Multi-Tool)

 

1

Bowie Type Knife (K-Bar)

 

1

Sharpening Stone

 

1

Flexible Saw

(1)Try a 'Sven' saw as they pack small and do not easily break, but they will still allow you to cut large trees. Wire saws simply break after 5 minutes of use.

1

Bottle multi-purpose (3 in 1) oil

 

1

Flashlight, AA (Mini-MagLite)

 

4

Batteries, AA

(1) Ok I think I would do the same with the batteries. Add a few more to the cache.

2

Bulbs, Flashlight, Mini-MagLite

(1)I noticed you have two extra bulbs and I know the bulbs are small, but you don't have enough batteries to really be worried about burnt out bulbs.

4

Candles (plumber type)

 

1

Small Radio (AA)

(2)On the subject of radios. I have a very small one that uses little headphones that plug into the ears. I wear a single earphone and have an ear open to hear the environment. A radio speaker can be heard quite a ways off in a quiet woods. If you need the magnet, you can snip off one of the ear plugs and still have one that works.

5

Spare Flints for Zippo type lighter

 

1

Bottle Lighter Fluid

 

1

10' Duct tape (wrapped around water bottle)

 

1

25' Para Cord

(1) I might up the length of the para cord as well. I know cause I just ran out yesterday, and had to get more. Definitely had what I thought was enough, but its incredible what you can do with that stuff. Make sure you get the type with 7 to 10 individual fibers in the center of the core.

1

Compass

 

1

Local Area Map (Waterproofed)

(1)You might want to throw in a few common highway maps or State or USA map.

1

Generic Dark Colored Nylon Shoulder Bag (waterproofed)

 

2Large, lawn type Trash Bags (Black or green)
1Sheet of plastic 10' x 10'
1Emergency Blanket
1Towel
1Bar Soap
1Bottle Bug Repellent
1Bottle Foot Powder
1Roll Toilet Paper

 

1

Poncho

 

1

Pair boots/Spare Socks

(1) Triple up on the socks. No feet, no move. I suggest natural wool actually, even in the summer. Good place to throw in some moleskin or mole foam too. Small and fits anywhere. Spenco second skin is small too and great to have for emergency hot spots on your feet.

1

Set of clothes (Dark colored [not camo])

 

1

Hat (Bush type)

 

1

Mess Kit

 

2

Water Bottles (1 Quart)

 

1

Metal Cup (Sierra)

 

1

Spoon (Large)

(1)Trust me on this one, throw in several extra disposable spoons.

1

Roll Aluminum Foil

 

1

Bottle Water Purification Tablets

 

1

Rice small bag (in mess kit)

 

1

Dried Split Peas small bag (in mess kit)

 

2

Packages Raman noodles

 

1

Salt (in mess kit)

 

1

Sugar (in mess kit)

 

1

Bottle Multi-Vitamins

 

1

Tobacco Can with Tobacco

(1) Definitely think before you light up. I can smell tobacco a long way in the wilderness. I agree in packing smokes though. We don't need a nicotine fit now do we? I think stress should be combated with familiar practices.

1

Spare pack Rolling Papers

 

4

MRE's

 

1

Bag of Hard Candy

  • Ahh, here is the sugar for that long walk. Its amazing how much longer you can travel while eating a peppermint or a butterscotch.

 

 

 

 

1

First Aid Kit

 

1

Fishing Kit

 

1

Snare Kit

 

1

Fire Starting Kit

 

1

Sewing Kit

 

First Aid Kit

1

Military Trauma Bandage

 

1

Triangular Bandage

 

1

Roll Gauze 1 1/2"

 

10

Band Aids

 

1

Tube Neosporin

 

1

Bottle Iodine

 

1

Tweezers

 

5

Razor Blade's

 

2

Female Hygiene Pad (Great Trauma dressing)

 

1

Roll Medical Tape

 

10

4x4 Gauze Pads

 

1

Needle

 

1

Bottle Aspirin

 

1

Ace wrap 3"

 

2

Safety Pins

 

(1) Few suggestions, throw in some butterfly bandages or cat gut. Also see above about moleskin or second skin. One last suggestion would be some antibacterial soap like Phisoderm or similar and a wash cloth or two. Then you could ditch the bar of soap from above.
(2)In your med kit, pack a tube of Ora-gel. Not just for a toothache. The stuff works on any wound or blister. If you ever have a gash that needs stitches, the Ora-gel can be used to numb the area while you sew yourself up.

Fire Starting Kit (Film Canister)

1

Small Lighter (Bic)

(1)Once again, I would get several of these for the Cache. It will set you back a big $3.00, but its nice to have several lighters in your equipment.

1

Set of Matches (waterproofed) and Striker

 

1

Small Piece of Sandpaper

(1) Waterproof the sandpaper as well or use wet/dry paper Automotive sanding paper)

1

Small Magnifying Glass

 

1

Cotton balls

 

1

Piece of Steel Wool

 

 

 

(1) How about a few trioxane bars? Or Hexamine tablets? Wet rotten wood that you will find is not easy to get going with cotton, or a candle. The lighter fluid or Everclear would help, but you really need a prolonged heat source.

 

Snare Kit

3

Small cable Snares with lock tabs

 

2

Large cable Snares with lock tabs

 

2

Spare Lock Tabs

 

1

Length Piano Wire

 

(1)I like this idea. Snares make a lot of sense. Piano wire can be bent right? Or is it like spring steel? If it can be bent, I could find a lot of uses for it.
(1)Maybe you could drop in a length of surgical tubing, for both a solar still drinking straw and an emergency slingshot.

 

Fishing Kit (Film Canister)

10

Hooks varying Sizes

 

1

100' fishing line 15lb

 

2

Small Bobbers

 

5

Plastic Worms (no time to dig for them)

 

 

Sewing Kit (Film Canister)

10

Needles varying sizes (Leather Needle)

 

1

Roll heavy thread

 

1

Roll light thread (Sutures)

(1)I see you have though this through. ;) Cat gut or Ethilon comes with the Curved needle attached and in small foil packets as well as being sterile.

5

Razor blades

 

1

Threader

 

1

Piece of Silk (to magnetize needles)

 

The List shown above is a perfect example of a large and extensive cache that will supply you for a small time until you can get longer lasting supplies. Now obviously when it comes to ammo if you are packing a .45 and a larger caliber rifle or shotgun (.308, 12 gauge, .30-06) then pack that ammo and other specific needs you may have, adjust and overcome. Good luck on the making of your caches.

JWR Adds: I do not recommend using plastic tote bins for cache containers. They are very difficult to seal and they are not rodent proof. If you want something that holds nearly the same volume, then buy 20mm ammo cans. These have a time-proven seal design. Paint the exterior of the can with either two coats of Rust-Oleum or one coat of asphalt emulsion. But first attach a sacrificial zinc anode, to minimize corrosion. (Be sure to leave the zinc unpainted)


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