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Molon Labe
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Discussion Starter #1
I'm at the point where I'd like to do this. I have a basic understanding of what I want to put in them but my question is where do I store them at?
Do I literally bury them in the ground at random points along my route?
I did some searching on the site but I couldn't really find my answer.
My biggest concern would be someone finding them. My bug out "route" is basically country roads. I live in Central IL so it's mainly corn fields to my BOL.

Thanks.
 

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Been around the block
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Weapons along a bug out route would be the least of my worries. A 5 gal pail buried with enough food to get you to the next stash with a day extra JIC should be good. Maybe extra ammo for your big out long gun and hand gun, possibly a few magazines for each as well. The few stashes I have is food and ammo. Not going to bury guns on the route, by the time I get to the location I wouldn't be able to carry everything.
 

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If you are weapons caching Read "Modern Weapons caching" By Ragnar Benson. You can download the pdf or find it on scribed. For food/water caching research "highest to lowest" hike. It's a hike covering 80 miles from Badwater basin (lowest point in the United States) to Mt Whitney (highest in the lower 48).
 

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Live Secret, Live Happy
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I'm at the point where I'd like to do this. I have a basic understanding of what I want to put in them but my question is where do I store them at?
Do I literally bury them in the ground at random points along my route?
I did some searching on the site but I couldn't really find my answer.
My biggest concern would be someone finding them. My bug out "route" is basically country roads. I live in Central IL so it's mainly corn fields to my BOL.

Thanks.
Depends on how far you expect to travel.

I have two prepared bags, a three day Get Home Bag I keep in my Jeep, and a Ten day Nomad Pack I keep cached in an out building.

I also have substantial food and gear stored in a 20ft Conex box. I plan to burry this in a series of sustainment caches made from steel 55 gal drums. I live on a small ranch, so I will locate these caches on my own property.

If I expected I might need to Bug Out and travel 50-60 miles, I would start with my Nomad pack loaded with ten days of food, and burry a single 55 gal drum about half way with duplicate weapon, gear, food, in case you get robbed of your primary pack.
 

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I'm not a BOL kind of guy but can understand that many are, either through necessity or potential SHTF.

My thinking is usually based on worst likely scenarios. So I usually work backwards. In this case my concerns would be winter conditions. I'd wager that Central Illinois has at least, sometimes, below freezing temperatures and snow cover. Which raises the retrieval questions of frozen ground and locating the caches. Too, how does one even bury something on property not their own? You don't mention how far you must travel but since you indicated plural sites presumably it's either JIC or some fair distance.

Given that canned goods might be impacted by freezing you might have to go with dry foods. That of course means you must have access to water. And the very concept of BOL caching, means clothing, tools, medical supplies, spare parts, fire starting etc. etc.

Were I a BOL caching kind of guy, I would have to find something that was at least moderately temperature controlled as I live in the Northeast where temperatures in Winter would cause many problems.
 

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I mention it below, in a round about way, but unless I had a real surplus of weapons, did not mind losing them, or having them used against me, I would not cache them in an area where they are somewhat likely to be found and taken. That is not to say do not do it, but be very selective on where and how you cache weapons.

My thoughts on caches:

The caches I've made have all been similar to one another in design, if not contents. I always wanted to recover the bucket so I had something to carry the items in once recovered, in case I didn't have any transport or LBE when I needed the cache.
The way I do it is a bit more expensive and labor intensive getting the cache put in than most, but much easier and faster to recover than the way some do it, which is better than the other way around, I think.
So here goes, for an earth buried bucket cache. A tubular cache container will be about the same. Scout out a likely spot and monitor it for a few weeks or months to make sure it won't likely be discovered by accident. Check the local flood plain maps to see if the area is subject to minor or major flooding. If it is, that does not mean you cannot use the place, but you will need to use the same precautions you would when making an underwater cache.

Make sure there is a spot some distance away where you can cache a couple of things, just under the surface of the ground. Once you are confident that the place is secure enough, make sure you have what you need.

Bag up the items, even the canned ones, in 2-gallon heavy duty Zip-lock freezer bags and stack things as tightly as you can. If it is a food cache, be sure and include everything you will need to use that food. Including a can opener for sure. But I'd put in a knife/fork/spoon, folding handle cup with water bottle, water filter, a solid fuel or gel fuel folding stove if needed. I would also have as much water as would fit in the bucket to fill it up completely.
Once the bucket is packed, keeping it as light as possible, seal the lid with silicone. Use two smaller buckets that are easily carried, rather than one larger, heavier bucket if you need more space.
Have a second, nesting, bucket for each cache bucket you have made up. Find something to put in the empty bucket that will support the cache bucket just shy of being a glove fit when inserted into the empty bucket.
Get a good pick and shovel, plus a small shovel or e-tool, which should be oiled and put in a zip-lock bag; several more buckets or boxes, and fill them with good, clean, dry mortar sand. Get some heavy duty clear plastic sheeting and head for the cache point sometime when it will be very unlikely for anyone to see or come up on you while burying the cache.
Now this is where I do things rather different than most. Move any surface material away carefully before digging. When you dig the hole, make it two good shovel widths larger all around than the diameter of the bucket, especially if you want to recover everything.
Once you are deep enough to have the buckets at least 6" and preferably 12" to 18" below the level of the ground, put in the empty bucket and carefully fill around it with some of the sand until it is stable. Put in the support and then the cache bucket. Make sure it will slide in and out easily. Fill the rest of the hole up to within 6" of the top. Spread out the plastic sheet, digging the hole wider if it is likely to flood or get a lot of rain in the area, so the plastic covers well past the edges of the bucket. Add a bit more sand, making sure none of the plastic shows above it, and finish filling the hole with the dirt that was dug out. Do not leave a depression, but you also don't want a mound. Just enough to allow for a little settling.
Load up the extra buckets/boxes used to bring out the sand with the rest of the dirt and haul it off so there is nothing left indicating a hole was dug. Carefully camouflage the area, replacing any surface materials you moved before digging.

Record the location, using coded instructions, on a coded map. Take the small shovel or e-tool to a spot nearby where you can cache it just a few inches below the surface of the ground. Drop a sawn off piece of broom handle, sharpened slightly on one end nearby, on the surface of the ground.

Have a second set of coded instructions, using alternate landmarks, just in case one or more of the original ones are changed in some way.
If there might be a real problem relocating the cache, such as in a large open area, among really rocky areas, or any area with plain terrain features, bury a Neodymium rare earth magnet just under the surface of the ground, somewhere near the cache as an ‘anchor point’ from which measurements and bearings can be taken to relocate the cache. One simply walks the area, with a compass attached to a stick so it can be kept close to the ground. Watch the compass needle. When close to one of these powerful magnets the compass needle will deflect and the magnet can be located. Then with the location of the actual cache determined.
When the time comes to recover the cache, middle of the night, blowing rain, trying to snow, with five guys and two mean dogs after you, recover the broomstick, dig up the trowel, scoop the thin layer of surface dirt free of the sheet plastic, scoop out the easy to move sand off the top of the cache bucket, down to where it is sitting in the bottom bucket. If enough room was left when the buckets were nested, the cache bucket should pull out of the bottom bucket easily. If there is too much space sand will have worked down and locked the two together. If not enough space is left, the compression of the bottom bucket will make it more difficult to get the cache bucket out. But it isn't that hard to hit the right medium.
Pull the bucket and if you have time, try to fill in the hole best you can, hoping it won't be discovered until too late so the pursuers don't know you recovered anything, or if it is obvious you did, not what it was in the cache.
Now, if you have plenty of time, and conditions aren't too bad, you can fairly easily recover the bottom, empty bucket, if you want. By having the hole a good shovel width around the bucket, filled with that dry, loose sand, it can be scooped out enough to pull out the empty bucket for future use. The main reason to use it is to make it easy to recover the cache bucket.
Another option, rather than just a brick or 2x4, or something to hold up the cache bucket, you can stash some additional supplies in it to do the same thing. If the cache is found, chances are the people won't dig out the bucket, not realizing how easy it is. Just get down to the lid and pull it off to get what is inside, leaving the remains of the bucket on top of the things in the bottom bucket.
You can carry that one step further, since getting the second bucket out isn't all that hard, and have some double bagged and wrapped items below the bottom bucket. Even if the cache bucket is found and pulled out, and anything in the bottom bucket, it would take someone as devious as me to keep digging to pull out that bottom bucket to see if there was anything else underneath.

An option, if it is going to be difficult to not be observed by chance, is if the site is at all suitable as a campsite, set up a fairly large tipi or other tent with no floor over the cache spot. You can do all the work without anyone seeing what you are doing. Just leave the surface of the ground in the same condition as it was when you set up the tipi and no one should be any the wiser. Carry out the excess dirt in the same buckets in which you brought the sand.

The basics of caching drums are very similar to those for bucket caches. But there are some differences. Here are some things specific to the drum caches (This refers to open top drums with sealable lids, not drums for liquids with bungs.):

First, 55-gallon drums are big and heavy. Think about using 30-gallon drums if you can find them.

Second, if you are planning to just dig down to the top of the drums, remove the tops, and recover the items, I would think about that twice. The drums will be a valuable asset in and of themselves in the PAW. Also, by recovering the drums and repacking the contents (if you have to unload them to recover), it will be much easier to move everything by simply rolling the barrel rather than moving all the individual components or containers.

To facilitate this, I would have rope sling bridles tied up, using rope impervious to the type of ground you have, that you can put under and around the drums. This will allow the easy use of a pickup truck hoist, or tripod to lower and then lift the drums from the hole.

Now, a shovel width all the way around a bucket is adequate. You will need somewhat more to be able to dig all the way around the drum and get deep enough to recover it. Either that, or you will need to make a scoop device specifically to get the sand from around the drum without having to get down into the hole with it, with would be the preferred method for me.

Now, to anchor the drums from floating/vibrating out of the ground, I would use a dead-man type anchor. If you use the method I describe below, you will have plenty of room to put down a circle of sheet goods such as plywood, scrap sheet metal, or even a built up sheet made from a double layer (crossed) of one by twos or whatever. Whatever you use will need to be round, as large as the hole, minus just a little to make it easy to get down there.

And similar to the sling bridle for the drums, put down two ropes, crossed in the middle of the hole, before you put down the dead-man. Install the drum on the center of the dead-man, place a pair of crossed two by twos on top of the drum and tie off the ropes to them. This way, for the barrel to come out of the ground, and it is likely due to the slick surface, not only the weight of the drum, but the entire weight and mass of the backfill will also have to come up, which is highly unlikely because of the additional weight and the friction of the sand against the sides of the hole.

Some things you might not want to cache. Anything you really cannot afford to lose, for sure. Cache can be and are found from time to time by accident. Things that could get you in trouble if found should not be cached in open areas. Neither should anything that can be used against you. Such as guns or certain documents. Some of those things can be cached, but the locations must be where they would be extremely unlikely to be found.

As to protecting firearms and other important metallic objects, if you chose to risk caching them, I would grease them up, and then slip them into silicon impregnated sleeves before putting them into Mylar or plastic sealed bag, with either an O2 absorbent or desiccant pack.

A few words about alternative locations. Caches do not necessarily have to be buried in the ground. Using the proper containers, properly sealed, caches can be anchored under the water in ponds or lakes. I would not try it in rivers, as they can be washed away quite easily.

Caches around the home, on the property are a good idea. Just so you can have some equipment and supplies in case you home is damaged or destroyed and you cannot retrieve things immediately. They still need to be secure and hidden, but as you can generally control access to the property, perhaps quite as secure or hidden as off-property caches. (Some good places for home caches: under the sandbox, along the fence row, under the birdbath, the middle of the garden. The possibilities are endless.)

Caches can be placed next to steep hills or bluffs and material brought down around them. In rocky terrain, you can build a cairn to hide a cache. If there are some structures around that are not frequently used, caches can be secreted in, under, around, or on them.

That can include trees. Especially in swampy areas or areas prone to floods that are likely to have all sorts of junk lying around, or caught up in trees and abandoned structures. Unless you are careless and do not make it look like it has been there since the last flood, that old ice cream bucket stuck up in the tree, filled with filth would not bring any attention to it. And could have a zip-lock bag with some necessities hidden in that filth.

Which brings me to the point that not all caches need be bucket sized or bigger. You might just need to have a few things available. A gallon zip-lock, or even a quart one might hold just what you need. They can be secreted in some very small places that would escape notice unless someone was doing a very detailed search for some reason.

And the opposite is true. You might need to cache quite a bit of stuff. If you do, do not make one large cache. Spread smaller caches out within an area. You do not want to lose everything at once.

I am not going to get into full structure caches, such as buried tanks and such. They are a different subject in my opinion, with their own special procedures.

Just my opinion

List of some types of caches:
1) Base camp cache
2) Bulk trade goods cache
3) Financial cache
4) Food preservation cache
5) Fuel/Automotive trade goods cache
6) Packaged trade goods cache
7) Reequip cache
8) Resupply cache
9) Simple supply cache
10) Tradesman’s tools cache
11) Travel route cache
12) Arms and ammunition cache
13) Small, medium, & large multipurpose caches
14) Retreat cache
 

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cache in rural areas

My ideal cache location would be identifying moderately old hay barns in rural areas. It would take time and observation of a farmer or ranchers habits and use of the structure.....but....

1. a hay barn is rarely filled to absolute capacity. Many are 3 sided with a open side. Yet this allows some privacy during caching and recovery.
2. Hay barns are rarely visited during certain times of the year. This makes it easy to have the time to bury what you need to.
3. After burial, the loose hay can be scattered over you site to conceal.
4. Hay barns are typically well drained, many ideally have a sand floor.
5. A cache could be buried with reference to a pole in the barn.
6. It is unlikely that anyone would be using a metal detector in a hay barn.
7. While there is always risk of any cache area having a changed use, most hay barns will be used for many years without a change in use, and unlikely to be disturbed, torn down and paved over.

Just some thoughts. YMMV
 

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I have two types of caches.

Most of mine are waypoint caches alone my projected march routes to several BOLs. A bit of canned food, spare ammo, some junk silver, a few basic tools, Sawyer Mini kit, Bic lighters, light cordage and repair supplies, and other small odds and ends. They are all buried in 3" pvc pipe, relatively shallow. One glued and one screwed end. Shallow enough to find with a few good strikes in the right place with a gardening trowel. All heavy enough that floating is not a real worry. Mostly roadside on well established utility easements. Being shallow these require checking on every few years.

Then near my home and main BOL I have a bigger one that has more of everything above, a cheap nylon day pack, basic first aid supplies, and old trusty police S&W .38 wheel guns that a got as part of trades. Just something that dependably goes bang at short range. These are 4" pvc buried pipes, cap and thread, ready in case either location is compromised before I get there. These I will add to what I already have with me as I start shifting to alternative BOL options.

My last type is actually in my extended family homes that constitute my alternative BOL plans. Like most old preppers I have been modernizing and upgrading my packs for years. I end up with boxes of gently used quality gear that still works. At some point you realize you have enough leftovers and castoffs to make a complete pack. So I buy the last few items to fill any last gaps and go drop these completed packs at family houses. If I don't need them then perhaps my family will. Most of my family are not preppers. But they humor me because I am good to them. I just ask them to put these packs away in a discrete but easy to get to space.They may not prep but they know I know what I'm talking about, so they see some value in an emergency pack waiting ready in their front hall closet.

Even if you use alternative cache systems or don't use caches at all, my prior paragraph will always have value. Why fill old boxes and totes of underused pack gear? Instead of just stacking it up and filling space you should make those packs of older gear up and preposition them at family and friends homes. That gear stands a better chance to save someone's life than just parked in an attic box.
 

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Lots of good info here. I dont plan on bugging out, but I also dont think that anyone should leave all their eggs in one basket. There may come a time where you need to leave your secure "home" location, either by force or by necessity. Having a few caches, or at least one other property where you have food and ammo, at the very least, could be a life saver.
 

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I have a little different approach than Jerry, but agree with needing the ability to carry the contents even if you lost stuff like your pack and LBE.

That is why all my caches (still building and deciding where to place them) are going to have a carry bag with them. Way I see it, I cannot know what my own state of supplies is, if I will be in a hurry, or if I will ever be able to come back for anything when I use a cache. Under most circumstances, I plan to empty it completely and just fill the bag that is with it (or my pack if I have it).

The container may or may not come with me based on need and speed.
 

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Live Secret, Live Happy
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I have a little different approach than Jerry, but agree with needing the ability to carry the contents even if you lost stuff like your pack and LBE.

That is why all my caches (still building and deciding where to place them) are going to have a carry bag with them. Way I see it, I cannot know what my own state of supplies is, if I will be in a hurry, or if I will ever be able to come back for anything when I use a cache. Under most circumstances, I plan to empty it completely and just fill the bag that is with it (or my pack if I have it).

The container may or may not come with me based on need and speed.
You can buy 60 L dry bags from Sportsmans Guide at a reasonable price.
These are heavy, waterproof bags, and mine are camo colored. http://www.sportsmansguide.com/prod...oll-top-waterproof-dry-bag-60-liter?a=1750382

Ive used these for many years to hang backpacking food in overhanging tree branches while camping in bear country.

They could be slid into a burried cache tube, then used to carry and store the contents after recovery.
 

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Pusher of brooms
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One thing it seems that people forget, you don't have to open a cache if you don't need what's in it. Pass it by.

You can always come back for a bypassed route cache or pick up (or repack) the items from an opened cache when you didn't need everything.

More than once a cache has been opened, an item is removed/replaced and the cache resealed.
Helped a friend change guns in a batch of caches right after Sandy Hook. He pulled all the AK's and sold them making a tidy profit, which financed a mess of AR's, some of which replaced the AK's in the caches.
 

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reluctant sinner
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I wouldn't cache firearms that could be traced to me. However, a homemade slam fire shotgun is cheap and effective. Some ammo for it would be handy.

I would do like 3 day re-supply points every 2 days. An extra day of food/water is cheap. Plus you might need a rest day or bad weather, sickness whatever.
 
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