As a prepper, it is important to understand that hiding your supplies is different than caching them. These are two different tactics and a cache is a long-term investment meant to provide you with help when all other options fail. If you plan to have a cache as your backup plan there are a few caching strategies you need to learn before you start digging.
Hiding your supplies means securing your valuables from an unwanted intrusion, but at the same time, it also means those supplies will be handily available in case you need them. Caching on the other hand means having a long-term storage that you may or may not need for months or even years. A cache is not meant to be accessed unless there is no other option available and your survival depends on it.
Various caching strategies have been learned from major wars fought this century and the tactics of the Viet Cong are probably the best example to showcase how caching can really make a difference. Weapons caching was one of the main strategy used by the Viet Cong army and it enabled them to withstand the armies of countries that had superior arms and fire power. The ability to plan and set up elaborate weapons caches made a huge difference and there are some amazing examples of human ingenuity. Guns were woven into the thatch of the huts of the villagers. Ammunition was hidden in bamboo poles and rice granaries. There were even arms and explosive found under smoldering cooking fires. Not to mention that the tunnels dug under the huts and the large network they were part of became world news. Cemeteries were often a favorite place to plant caches and coffins were used to smuggle large quantities of guns and ammo. These are all examples of how the imagination and improvisation of the Viet Cong made survival possible in a war-environment.
Hiding guns may become a necessary measure during a SHTF event and you need to look at your surroundings and resources to get the best feel of what can and cannot be accomplished.
Suggested reading: Three places to hide your guns
Caching Strategies to master
Once you gather all the supplies you need to cache, there are a few caching strategies you need to look at:
- Lookouts availability
- Landmark characteristics
- Escape routes
Burying something in your backyard is not indicated and there are two main reasons that will compromise your cache. First, all your neighbors could see what you’re up to and the location of your cache is no longer a secret. And second, the backyard is the first place authorities will look for weapons or any other supplies, once they are done searching through your house. You need to be able to camouflage your cache using landmarks that make things look natural. Your best chance would be to use location that would keep the weapons as far away from you as possible. This means you’re better off hiding your guns in places such as garbage dumps, country roads, abandoned building, ponds and so on.
If you plan to hide your weapons or any other supplies in your septic tank or sewers, just don’t. These are locations well known by government agencies and in all raids conducted today, if there is a septic tank on the premises, the authorities will search it. The same goes for sewers and garbage cans and bins, and these locations are known to be hiding spots for contraband items.
Regardless of where you plan to hide your survival supplies, your cache site should have surroundings where you can place lookouts to watch for prying eyes. You don’t need strangers to know that you are concealing or digging up your cache. Only you and your loved ones should know about your caches and for the love of God, stop bragging to your gun buddies about your methods and your tactics.
Landmarks are crucial for identifying your caching spot and you can use them in conjunction with a GPS system or a compass. There’s no point in setting up a cache if you can’t find it. You should avoid improvising artificial landmarks because a trained tracker could easily spot your caching site.
Recommended article: Tracking Techniques learned from our ancestors
Accessibility is another aspect that may be overlooked and people tend to believe that things last forever. For example, if you cache your supplies in an abandoned warehouse, you don’t have any guarantee that the building will still be there 6 months from now. You should be able to get to your caching site without having to bypass security measures or without having to keep passersby at bay. You shouldn’t be put in a situation where you have to explain to people why you are digging in a flower bed in the city park.
A cache is considered secure if the concealment factor is being taken care of. This is something you have to plan for in advance and you should take pictures of your caching site before your start digging. This is one of the caching strategies that many fail to consider and they do not realize that the site should be return to the condition it was in before you started digging.
Although you cannot predict exactly how things will unfold during a disaster scenario, you still need to make sure your safety will not be threaten if there is the need to retrieve your cached supplies. This means that you should have more than one escape route in case your position is compromised. You should never be cornered and you should make sure that your cache site is equipped with misleading dummy sites. This will allow you to deceive any followers that are after you or your supplies.
The caching challenges of the urban prepper
If you happen to live in the city, your caching strategies should be adapted to your environment and you may have less caching options than your rural brothers. This may sound like an impossible task at first, but it’s not. You just have to be much more inventive and prepared with your caching strategies. You must know your city and urban exploring should be no stranger to you. One rule should be respected when caching supplies in the city: don’t put all your eggs in one basket! When caching items in the city, most preppers will look for nasty places that would be repulsive for the average Joe. In the end is just a matter of prospecting and identifying the places which are ideal for caching items.
Setting up a cache is not something that can be done in a hurry and you need to carefully plan for it. The more you master the caching strategies listed here, the safer and successful your cache will be.
Stay Safe and God Bless!
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