The Importance of Having a Good Survival Cache

Ever since we started watching the Doomsday Preppers TV show I’ve really been thinking a lot about what our family would do if, or should I say when, the day comes that there is a major breakdown of our “civilized info structure”.

This has inspired me to write a series of articles on the subject of preparing for that all important day. As my collection of survival articles continues to grow, I’ll provide you with links to the other articles so you can have easy access to the entire series.

Today I would like to talk about the importance of having some well stocked survival caches hidden along your evacuation route. Having easily accessible survival caches could be the difference between whether you live or die during a true survival situation.

What Is A Survival Cache?

It stands to reason that you should stockpile supplies in your home but there is a very real possibility that during a major disaster you will have to “bug out” or grab what you can carry and leave your home in a hurry. If the only place you have supplies stored is at your home, you’re going to find yourself in a world of hurt.

Simply put, a survival cache is a well hidden stash of emergency supplies that you can make your way to during an emergency situation. Most survival experts agree that you should have two to three emergency evacuation plans in the event that your primary planned evacuation route is blocked off for one reason or another.

When you bug out, you’re probably going to grab your bug out bag or 72 hour kit and hit the road. When it comes to being prepared for emergencies, the more supplies you have the better off you’ll generally be. That is unless you have to carry those supplies on your back. So what are you to do if you end up needing more supplies than what you can actually carry on your back.

If you’re smart, you’ll have taken the time to think ahead and prepare for this by strategically positioning several emergency caches along your evacuation routes.

Some Ideas For Survival Cache Containers

A cache container can be made of all kinds of materials. The main characteristics of good survival containers are that they are waterproof, insect proof, and easily concealed. You can use your imagination when it comes to what materials to make your emergency supply caches out of but here are some ideas.

  • An inexpensive PVC cache can be made to suite a variety of needs. These PVC built caches are easy to make and easily concealed.
  • Many farm and garden stores sell plastic barrels that have water tight lids that make good cache containers.
  • Sealed ammo cases can be purchased from military surplus stores that can be used as caches.
  • Some people make caches out of plywood but keep in mind that these may present problems because if you bury them, they will eventually rot out. If you’re going to use a plywood box to store your bug out supplies, make sure that you take extra precautions to protect the contents from moisture and insects.

How To Make a Survival Cache

One of our favorite materials for building a survival cache is PVC. You can build one with five simple items. All you’ll need is PVC pipe, a saw, PVC primer and glue, a glue on PVC end cap, and a screw on PVC end cap.

  1. To make one of these caches, just cut some PVC pipe of your preferred diameter to your desired length.
  2. Apply primer to the outside of one end of the pipe and the inside of the glue-on end cap.
  3. Next apply PVC glue to the outside of the end of the pipe that you just primed and the inside of the cap.
  4. Press the cap on the end of the pipe, give the cap a slight twist to make sure that the glue makes a good seal, and let the glue dry.
  5. Apply primer to the outside of the other end of the pipe and the inside of the screw on end cap fitting. The inside of this fitting is the smooth glue-on type that you applied to the other end.
  6. Apply glue to the areas that you just primed. (don’t put glue on the threads if you want to be able to easily open the cache container when you need access to it.
  7. Press the screw on fitting onto the end of the pipe, give it a slight twist, and wait for the glue to dry.
  8. Stock the PVC cache tube with the supplies that you’ll want to hide and screw on the end cap.
  9. The last step is to hide the cache. The trick here is to hide it well enough that some random hunter won’t accidentally come across it and discover it but not so well that you won’t be able to find it when you need it.

Here’s a 3:51 minute video that shows the type of PVC cache container that the steps above describe making.


As you can see, this type of construction makes an ideal survival weapons cache because it can be made from a variety of diameters and lengths of PVC pipe and the container will be both air and water tight. It’s probably worth taking the time to treat any metal surfaces of items that you plan on storing in these caches with some kind of oil or preservative to prevent rusting. You also may want to consider stocking the cache with a good gun cleaning kit that you can use to remove the preservative.

What To Put In a Survival Cache

What you choose to put in your survival cache containers is very personal but here are some ideas of the types of things that we put in ours. We like to put first aid supplies, water, food, maps, basic hand tools, some money (small bills and coins), survival knives, fire starting supplies, water purification tablets, cordage, and personal items such as feminine hygiene products, toilet paper, toothpaste etc.

Where You Should Hide Your Emergency Supply Containers

One of the most important things to keep in mind when it comes to picking a place to hide your survival containers is whether or not you will realistically be able to get to them. If your cache is 100 miles from your house, this would be fine if you are actually able to bug out in your vehicle but what if you have to evacuate on foot? The best cache in the world will be no use to you at all if you can’t get to it. For this reason, I suggest that you place caches that are close enough along your evacuation route that you can get to them by walking if you have to.

Depending on where you live, you may end up hiding your caches in different types of places than we do. We live in a rural wooded environment so it’s easiest for us to hide our caches in the woods. If we lived in an urban setting, we would probably hide our caches in places like storage units, cars that were stored on storage lots, etc.

I think it’s important to have emergency supply stashes at various points along your planned evacuation routes. For example, if your truck can travel 200 miles without refueling, it might be a good idea to stash fuel that has been treated with a fuel stabilizer additive to extend it’s shelf life before you hit the 200 mile mark.

By now, you should start seeing a pattern begin to emerge. The point that you should be getting is that it’s probably not sufficient to have just one or two survival caches. Of course, having one or two is better than having none at all.

An Important Note About Hiding Bug Out Caches

If things actually get bad enough that you have to bug out in a hurry, you’re probable going to be experiencing stress to some degree. When you’re stressed out, there’s a good chance that you won’t be able to remember where you hid your caches. If you can’t find your cache it won’t do you any good at all. For this reason, you might want to consider writing instructions for how to get to your cache and storing them in your bug out bags and or your wallet.

If you’re interested in emergency preparedness, be sure and visit preppersillustrated.com again real soon as I’ll be adding several new articles about this subject in the weeks to come.

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