Before you start stocking your survival cache you need to think about your preparedness plan as it will have an impact on the type of gear you stash inside them. There are literally hundreds of different types of scenarios that we can try and prepare for so trying to cover every one of these as best we can is where things start to get a bit complicated. None of us know where we will be if and when a particular disaster will strike so all we can do is try to come up with solid plan and hope for the best as nothing in life is guaranteed. Everyone one of you will have a different idea as to what items should be stocked. While many of you will make your decisions by relying on knowledge, experience and instinct, others will have a harder time and keep second guessing themselves.
In the rest of this article I’m going to talk about a complete preparedness plan that focuses on three main scenarios. I will go over how and where to hide your caches in my next article. To some of you this might not sound practical or realistic as we all have our own opinions, but you need to remember that you can never be too prepared and I can’t stress this enough when I say it, don’t limit yourself to just one survival cache. The last thing you want is to find yourself up shit creek without a paddle. I will now go over the three scenarios in more detail and yes, you guessed it, that means having at least three (but not limited to) different caches.
This one is extremely important. It’s all fine and dandy to have our bug out bags ready to go but the reality is that most of us won’t have them on hand when a disaster strikes and it could happen where you find yourself completely cut off and unable to access it. A land slide could have taken out a road, your home could be completely destroyed by a tornado or maybe society has broken down and it’s too unsafe to try and get home. For this reason, it’s important to stock a survival cache which will act as a secondary bug out bag. I had mentioned in my previous post that you can add a shoulder strap to your PVC cache to carry it, however, if you can fit it inside your cache, you should include a spare backpack or bag of some sort as it will make carrying your gear much easier and can come in handy later on down the road.
Bugging in will “usually” be your safest choice unless something very drastic has happened. As I have said before, preparing yourself for only 72 hours is useless as you could be on your own for weeks at a time or longer depending on the extent of the disaster. With that aside, you will want to hide one or more survival caches that are not to far away from your home. If you life in the country, you will most likely hide your cache in a tree, in the ground, or under some rocks at a secret location. If you live in a town or city, you will have to be extra careful when hiding your stash. In either scenario, you will want to stock supplies to compliment your existing stock pile that you have at your bug in location. This means storing extra food, medical supplies, batteries, ammunition, etc.
Whether you decide to bug out on your own or not, you could be forced to and for this reason it’s imperative that you have a bug out plan in place before hand in conjunction with your bug in plan. As part of this plan, you will you will want to have a bug out location selected (preferably multiple in the case that you can’t get to one of them). This could be a friends house, a camp, or a secret location in the woods. Regardless where it is, it’s important that you carefully choose a secret or less traveled path to get there. Along the way at predetermined intervals (perhaps every mile or every few miles) you should strategically place a survival cache. Including essential survival supplies that can be used to restock or replenish your bug out bag is important, but you should also include specific gear that will help you reach your destination. This could be rope, a climbing harness, a gun with extra ammo, a shelter (tarp), tools or anything else you think you would need depending on where you are going and the path you are taking to get there. Having another cache near your destination is also a good idea so you can replenish your supplies.
You also need to remember that water and humidity will be a concern and protecting the contents inside your cache is vital. Simply placing random items in your container isn’t safe enough in my opinion. Everything should be placed in waterproof sealed bags (preferably vacuum sealed mylar bags) to ensure your items and food are fully protected. It’s also important that you rotate the food supplies in your cache regularly. Emergency meals (MRE’s) will last for many many years while some canned foods only have an approximate shelf life of a few years depending on what it is.
With that said, please consider taking these three extra steps and adding survival caches to your preparedness plan. Yes I know that this can get expensive especially if you are going to fully stock each cache, just do what you can – you’ll be surprised at just how fast your stock of emergency items can accumulate!
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