7 Survival Cache Containers

7 Survival Cache Containers

Survival Cache Containment

This is part 2 of the Survival Cache series. Part 1 covered the suggested packing list for a survival cache. Read Part 1.

A survival cache doesn’t necessarily have to be buried in the ground. You can stow a supply of emergency goods in a barn, shed, or cave, hidden under a tarp behind some tools or in a garbage can labeled “composted manure.” In urban environments, you might try an unlabeled crate in a warehouse, or rent a storage facility. The point is, you have a lot of flexibility.

Just be aware of what it takes to hide an item in plain sight. Ammo cans draw more attention to themselves than a trash can, for instance, so you’ll need to conceal them. We’ll cover concealment in Part 3 of this series.

The key to good storage is protection from the elements and pests — including the human kind. That’s why sealed containers are so popular. Here are a few examples:

7 Types of Survival Cache Containers

  1. PVC pipe.  An 8-inch pipe will hold an AR-15 with the handle still on it, but the six-inch variety is easier to find at building supply stores. That’s what I use. They’re easy to seal completely shut to protect from water infiltration.
  2. Used ammo cans. If the seal is still good, you can make these airtight, but long exposure to damp conditions may cause corrosion. This is a good option for storage in some sort of building, like the aforementioned shed, barn, or basement.
  3. Pelican cases. These are expensive, but they are a good option. They are watertight, airtight, and crush proof, and some models have a pressure-equalization valve.
  4. Food storage buckets. These buckets are what I use for long-term food storage. I haven’t tested them underground, but the lids do seal, so they should protect the contents from water infiltration.
  5. Plastic trash cans and storage bins. You can store your supplies in a trash can or storage bin labeled “chicken feed” or some such thing. Be sure to use the kind that is not translucent. Keep in mind they won’t be airtight, but they will work for certain types of supplies like canned goods, water containers, tools, and shelters.
  6. Vacuum bags. The FoodSaver is a popular brand, but there are many others. Important tip: check your vacuum-sealed goods after a week to make sure they sealed properly, then hide them.
  7. Old suitcase. Like the trash can, it won’t be airtight, but you can store it aboveground and cover it with a tarp, then camouflage it with branches, leaves, or grasses. Just be careful to do it so the wind won’t uncover it.

Feel free to share your survival cache storage ideas in the comments.


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  • http://www.junocrates.co.uk/packing-crate-hire Chealsi Cook

    Vacuum bags are preferable to me to the plastic bags because there is a possibility of spoiling the food quality so I try to avoid it as much as I can. I'm reading about the 'Pelican cases' for the first time and interested to use it. I guess it'll be nice, too. Thanks for giving some affordable options.

    • 187thAHCDoorgunner

      Vacuum bags are a great way to keep large soft things like bandage from taking up a lot of space in your cache too. Packing the most in the smallest space is not a bad idea. Things like winter underwear, gloves, socks, etc work by trapping air, air that is not a necessity for storage. Sort of a microcosm of the vacuum bags used for storing bedding over the summer.

  • http://www.cratehire-uk.co.uk Billy Zander

    Great article I like the idea of using plastic storage crates labelled with chicken feed to keep all your necessary supplies for surviving.

    • 187thAHCDoorgunner

      A can liner full of chicken feed on top of your cache contents is a cheap and effective way to conceal contents. Unless someone KNEW there was something valuable in a can or drum just seeing the feed would probably turn their attention elsewhere…

  • http://www.adventurestrong.com/survival-2/best-survival-knife-guide Tim

    The PVC pipe idea is cool. I'd rather use a DIY option than shell out lots of money for something like a Pelican case.

  • http://projectmanagementacademy.net/select-location.php pmp exam prep

    I never thought these things that it was part of the survival series. I am glad that I read this post.

  • Max

    How would you seal a PVC pipe for storage purposes?

    • 187thAHCDoorgunner

      PVC glue on caps can be put on one end and a threaded adapter with a screw plug or cap on the other. I use these to store long thin tools like Levels or long feeler bits and they work well. Teflon tape on the threaded plugs would make them water tight and keep the threads from galling . Two glue caps would also work for long term storage and a wire saw would be a quick access means in this instance.

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