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
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.