Viewing 3 posts - 1 through 3 (of 3 total)
  • Author
  • #11228
    Gypsy Wanderer Husky
    Gypsy Wanderer Husky

    Are you thinking about building a cache to store some SHTF survival gear in? Before you go out and start buying materials, let’s go over some basic questions you should ask yourself first.

    What kind of a disaster are you storing gear for? Chances are a cache is not going to be of much service after a hurricane, wild fire, or earthquake. In most cases, cache tubes are put down for a complete collapse of society situation.

    What kind of gear do you want to store in the cache? In a complete collapse of society, we would need access to food, water, fire and security.


    Seeds would be something to store in a cache, but chances are weevils would eat the seeds. We would also need a place to plant the seeds and wait for the crops to grow. If you are planning on using a cache to help you reach a bug-out location, then focus on foods that are portable.

    Mountain house 7 year freeze dried meals would be a good choice. Being freeze dried gives the pouches at least a 7 year lifespan. Plus the pouches are light, easy to transport, and will not take up a lot of room in the cache. The only problem with freeze dried meals is they require boiling water to reconstitute them.

    Lifeboat ration bars contain anywhere from 2,400 – 3,600 calories and are designed to sustain life when no other food is accessible. Depending on the size of the cache tube, chances are you will need to go with the 2,400 calorie bars rather than the 3,600 bars. The 2,400 bars are two rows wide, while the 3,600 bars are 3 rows wide. Lifeboat ration bars do not require boiling water, like freeze dried food does. Nor do they contain any animal byproducts, which extends their lifespan.

    MREs would be an excellent choice for storing in a cache, especially since they have their own water proof bag. If water happens to leak into the cache, you have a full meal, matches, candy, spoon, paper, and other odds and ends.

    The drawback to the MRE is its size. The meals can get bulky and heavy and bulky rather fast. There is not a lot of room in a cache, so size does matter.


    Rather than storing bottled water in the cache lets look at other options.

    Water filters, most water filters designed for camping, hiking and backpacking will remove bacteria, protozoa and parasites, but will not remove viruses. Viruses are killed or removed through UV light, chemical treatment, or through the use of a special filter that was designed for virus removal.

    If virus removal is important to you, there are some water filters on the market that will remove or kill viruses. When in doubt about water filter specifications, contact the manufacturer.

    UV light, SteriPEN makes a device that uses UV light that will make water safe to drink. Before UV treatment the water needs to be filtered to remove heavy sediment. UV light only works if the light can reach the pathogen.

    Partials in the water can block UV light. In other words, if the pathogen is in the shadow of a partial in the water, the UV light can not kill the pathogen. So for UV light to be effective the water must first be filtered.

    UV lights also eat batteries like they are going out of style. This means no rechargeable batteries, and only long lasting batteries such as energizer lithium.

    Boiling water is a time-honored way of making water safe to drink. The problem is you have to build a fire, boil the water, wait for the water to cool, then drink it. So boiling water is not a grab and go option, and then there are the Opsec concerns. As the world collapses around you, do you want to take the time to build a fire?

    Chemical treatment is a cheap and effective means to make water safe to drink. Some of the issues with chemical treatment are allergies to the chemicals, such as Iodine. Iodine is not 100% effective in killing pathogens, and chemical treatment is not suggested as a long term option.

    Note that Cryptosporidium, a common waterborne pathogen, is resistant to chemical treatment. However, Cryptosporidium is easily removed by most hiking/backpacking water filters on the market.

    Grab and go bag

    Due to their size, cache should not be designed for staying in one area. If the SHTF, recover the tube, grab the contents, then head to your bug out location.

    It would be helpful if there was some kind of small bag, or backpack inside the cache. We are talking about something the size of a school book bag, or a Maxpedition Sitka. Something that you can use to carry a rain poncho, water bottle, first aid kit, knife, compass, and other essential gear.

    32 ounce water bottle

    The nice thing about a 32 ounce water bottle is that it can also double as a secondary storage container. Even if the cache tube leaks, the contents of the water bottle should stay nice and dry.

    Between the MRE and contents of the 32 ounce water bottle, you should have the bare essentials. Even if everything else in the cache is ruined with water, sealed food and a sealed water bottle should be good to go.


    Various other items



    Rain poncho, can double as a shelter

    First aid kit (as compact as possible)

    Fire starter with tinder

    Map of local area

    Paper and pencil (for leaving notes, pencil shavings can be used as fire starter)


    Cord, 550 cord or trotline string



    Where are you going to bury the cache at? Do you want it in the backyard, or on the way to the bug out location?

    If you bury the cache on property owned by someone else, it would help if you know the land owner and have obtained permission. Nothing would be worse then burying a cache, then the land owner builds a shop directly on top of the tube. Have fun digging through a cement slab to get to your cache.

    Areas that stay wet are not advised, as being in water all the time increases the chances of leaks..

    In other words, pick a place that is high and dry to bury your cache.

    Prepare for the unknown by studying how others in the past have coped with the unforeseeable and the unpredictable.
    George S. Patton

    Gypsy Wanderer Husky
    Gypsy Wanderer Husky

    We are creating two different sized Caches small and large. these will be placed on our travel route to the BOL.

    Seeing we’ll be having our BOBs with us, these will just carry small extras, like….


    more water,

    first aid items,

    packs of soup,

    light sticks,

    fire starters.

    extra flashlight.

    fishing line and  hooks.

    small sewing kit

    Extras that make large:

    One set of clothing per person

    can food Changed out once a year.

    fleece blankets.

    small two man tent.(Yes I know not much room, but sitting up in side will fit a family of four, and will keep the weather out.


    Prepare for the unknown by studying how others in the past have coped with the unforeseeable and the unpredictable.
    George S. Patton

    Profile photo of freedom

    Gypsy, I think you have a lot covered here. Having two is good. I would add a hand gun of a take down 10/22 with some ammo. I also like a tarp you can find two or three trees that are close together with the 550 cord tie it to the trees.

Viewing 3 posts - 1 through 3 (of 3 total)

You must be logged in to reply to this topic.