This is Part 3 of the Basic Self Reliance series.
Survival caches should be stocked according to the purpose you intend them to serve. I think of survival caches as falling into three basic categories: Emergency Evacuation Cache, Waypoint Cache, and Safe Retreat (or Bugout) Cache. Let’s examine their purposes to determine what to put in them.
- Emergency Evacuation Cache. This is the cache you’ll go to first if you must leave your home in a such a hurry that you can’t even grab a flashlight. It’s the first stop to your safe retreat if you must travel on foot. Naturally, you’d rather jump into your vehicle and head off with the emergency supplies already stocked in it. But if you have to leave on foot in a great hurry, you’ll need to tap the resources in your emergency evacuation cache. It should be easily recoverable, preferably without tools, and should contain what you need for a quick trip on foot. It’s OK to overstock the cache — just leave behind what you don’t need on the day you flee. Keep in mind that you might not be alone. Recommended contents:
- Flashlight and extra batteries
- Gun and ammo
- Canned food — easy pull tabs
- First aid kit. Must include bandages and anti septic wipes
- Clothing — pants, socks, gloves, hat, sweater (preferably wool)
- Cotton or linen sheet for a shemagh or extra bandages
- Fire starting materials — at least a butane lighter and a striker
- Tent, poncho, or plastic sheet for shelter
- 50 feet of paracord
- Bag or satchel of some sort
- Can opener — P38 or P51
- Waypoint Cache. This one will be discussed again in the next article. This cache might be accessed whether you’re traveling on foot or by vehicle. It should be located within a day’s walk from the evac cache, or no more than two. It does not need to duplicate all the contents of your emergency evacuation cache. For example, if you stocked a gun in the evac cache, it is not critical to have one at waypoints. (However, I always include fire starting materials in every cache). Minimum contents:
- Canned food
- Fire starting materials
- Wool blanket
- Smart extras: knife, more paracord, plastic sheet for shelter
- Safe Retreat Cache. This is the large stock of goods stored for an extended stay at your destination. You can see a list of recommended items here: Supply Checklist for Your Bugout Location.
If you’re just beginning to practice more self-reliance, don’t worry too much about getting everything perfect before you stock your cache. Go ahead and get something going, then refine and perfect your preparations as you go.
If you’re a seasoned prepper, help a friend or neighbor get his plan underway.