What is a Cache
For those of you who are new to this concept, a survival cache is "a collection of items of the same type stored in a hidden or inaccessible place."
Essentially, your own private, hidden treasure chest. This particular treasure chest however, is full of survival gear.
Why is this important?
If you've read the articles on building a bug out bag, you'll know that both space, and weight are very important things to consider. A survival cache can work as a resupply point in which you can refuel with items you ran out of or were unable to bring with you.
If you've read ANY of the survival blogs I've posted, you should know by now that shelter, water, fire, and food are the four basic essentials to survival. This should be the foundation of your survival cache.
Shelter - perhaps on your travels your tent gets shredded. Putting an emergency shelter or even a patch kit for a tent would be a wise choice.
Water - Spare filters or even new entire filtration systems are a good idea. Storing water itself isn't always a wise option because water can go bad. The only way I would say go for it is if you plan on regularly changing out your water... which is a pain.
Fire - Replacement batteries for your flashlight, a new lighter, extra body warmers all make great additions to your cache. Maybe even replacement electronics (if you've got the... cash!)
Food - Freeze dried food and anything else that will store for a long time is what I would recommend. Make sure you pack another three to four days worth to keep you going.
Imagine the circumstances
These cache's will act as a major morale booster in the event you are forced to bug out.
Imagine you're out of supplies. Your kid is crying because he/she is hungry or thirsty.
You look at your map and see that a mile up ahead is a cache that you buried last year.
You have a little more pep in your step knowing that in less than a half hour your family will be fed and happy.
Now imagine you don't have a cache and are in the same scenario. Your family is depending upon you for survival. Be smart. If your plan calls for you eventually leaving your current location, prepare your cache's now.
Should I only cache the basics?
Absolutely not! Your cache should be tailored to you. Just like everything else. Weapons, ammunition, spare gear, and first aid kits are all things that can help you along the way. Even new changes of clothes!
Think about how nasty those undies are going to be after a trek like that. Build your cache with as many possibilities as you can think of. Just make sure that you can carry everything you want to take.
Maybe even throw a treat in there for yourself. Imagine going through all that trauma, opening up your cache and finding a bag of candy or chips... or maybe a nice bottle of scotch?!
Your mental awareness is just as important as everything else. If you're taking the time to ensure your physical longevity, do yourself a favor and stash something for your mental longevity as well.
How should I store my cache?
Caches should be stored in airtight, weatherproof containers. I would also add desiccants inside with your items. This will keep moisture away from your items and increase the shelf life.
Some people use pipes with caps on the ends known as a tube catcher. Others simply bury totes or boxes that are well sealed from the elements. More than likely wrapping many layers around their gear.
If you're storing weapons, and ammo be sure to grease them down really well and seal them in a plastic bag or wrap of some type. It would be a shame to need a weapon from your cache only to find it rusted and unserviceable.
Where should I store my cache?
This is where things get tricky. The location of your cache depends on lots of factors; weather, location, event, size, quantity and how willing you are to possibly violate someone else property rights.
If you want to know "where" you must first know the "what for". Some extra cash could be buried in your backyard, but a bug out situation is going to require a certain spot some distance away.
Your bug out bag should be packed for three days. Therefore, if bugging out on foot, your survival gear should be located three walk from your previous location.
If bugging out in a vehicle, this distance is stretched a bit longer. Just don't expect the driving conditions to be the same as they are now.
Caches need to be stored somewhere they can't be found (except by you.) Maybe you want to store some stuff out in the backyard?
Backyards can make excellent cache locations as long you remember to take it with you in the event you move. Sometimes out of sight really is out of mind.
If your cache is for some kind of bug out scenario, you'll quickly find that most property is claimed by someone... which would imply trespassing. I do not condone that sort of action. In fact, it could be detrimental to your cause.
Imagine hiking through three days worth of zombies or mobs of hooligans to get to your secret cache, only to get shot by the owner of the property.
Instead, I would recommend picking out a spot on some public land. Find something that stands out to you, like a tree or a rock, and place your cache a certain distance and direction from that particular object.
A distance that only YOU know. Be sure to mark this location on a map. Not exact coordinates but something that will make it easy for you to find.
If you're burying your cache, make sure your bug out bag has a shovel of some type. It would suck to get there and then not be able to get to your things.
Here's a great tip
Be sure to occasionally check on your things. Places change. It would suck to go through all this trouble only to bug out and discover that your spot has now become a parking lot for a Costco.
Pay extra attention to these locations because you have a vested interest in them. Being prepared requires work. It may seems time consuming now, but this is an investment. An investment that you don't want to cash in on, but if you do will be the greatest investment you ever made.