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Monday, February 22, 2010

Urban Survival Skills – Caching Supplies

If your Urban Survival Plan is to Bug Out at the appropriate time to a safe location, which may be a family farm or a friends cabin, you need to consider pre-locating some supplies, material and equipment close to this safe location in case you do not have the chance to upload your vehicle with everything you are planning on taking, or, in case you are regulated to moving on foot to this safe location.

One method to pre-locate Survival supplies would be just to have your friends or family stock it for you. However if you drop off a few pad locked foot lockers at your safe location, you run the risk of it not being there when you arrive. What happens if you are late in arriving there and they get curious as to what you have in those foot lockers or worse yet, didn’t plan well themselves and are scavenging for food or whatever you have in these foot lockers? What happens if your friends or family get overrun?

One of the best ways to pre-locate Survival Supplies is by Caching. Caching is the art of preparing, packaging and hiding items so you can retrieve them when needed.

There are a few considerations for emplacing caches. You want to emplace them in a location where you can get to them in case the safe location is compromised. What happens if you finally get to your safe location and you see forty motorcycles parked out front and your friends hanging in the tree or laying face down on the ground?

The caches have to be well hidden and survive accidental discovery by passers by and from discovery by people who may think you have hidden something in the area. You have to be able to find these caches, months or years after you emplace them – don’t trust your memory, prepare a cache report.

The Survival items must be prepared well and the cache container should provide protection from the elements, most notably water or moisture.

Good cache containers are surplus military ammunition cans, sealable buckets and large PVC tubes. Polyvinyl Chloride (PVC) makes excellent cache containers since it is relatively cheap and easy to find, can be water proofed easily (using PVC cement) and painted to help camouflage and hide. Plus PVC pipe in available in many different sizes (diameters) so you can custom make cache containers to what you want to cache. However, the larger the container, the harder it is to hide it.

So you will have to determine which cache concealment method (below ground cache, above ground concealment cache or submersible cache) is necessary. The general idea being to bury the cache’s containing your Survival supplies. Some locations, such as rocky areas, may require an above ground concealment cache.

You will have to determine if you want each separate cache to be a mix of Survival items you forecast a need for, or if you will have separate caches for each Survival item group,, water, ammunition, matches/butane lighters, clothing, etc.

Food will obviously be an important item. Ammunition as well. Batteries…..maybe,…if you can use them before they deteriorate.
The ability make a fire, maybe some clothing, spare footwear, flashlights, water, medical supplies are all items you would want to consider.

When you emplace the cache you will need to record, in some fashion, where it is. It is not a simply recording the coordinates on your GPS.
Consider an easily recognizable Initial Reference Point (IRP) which should be a terrain feature which will not move. Crossroads, maybe a bridge for example.

From the IRP a distance and direction to a Final Reference Point (FRP) which should be another terrain feature that will not move, such as a rock outcropping or a large and distinguishable tree for example.

From the FRP a direction and distance to the buried, submersed or above ground concealed cache. You may want to consider recording what tools you will need to recover the cache, such as a metal rod for probing for a buried cache and a shovel to dig it up with.

One way to gain some experience in a type of caching is to get involved in the sport of Geo-Caching which is a high-tech treasure hunting game played throughout the world by adventure seekers equipped with GPS devices. The basic idea is to locate hidden containers, called geo-caches, outdoors and then share your experiences online. For more information go to:


  1. Any information on how to package firearms inside the PVC pipes to maintain them as ideally as possible while emplaced?

    1. Unique Outdoor Survival Skills

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      Not to mention trapping, catching, skinning and cooking a rabbit...

      These may seem advanced outdoor survival skills now, but back in the days, they were merely called "Living".

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      Thanks again.


  2. From my military experience, when there are metal parts or weapons to be shipped around the world the equipment is painted with cosmoline. This is probably not practical to purchase for civilian use. An alternative would be the purchase of Vaseline in drums. It is only necessary to submerge the weapons or parts in a warm vat or tub of Vaseline and wrap them in a dry blanket. After the parts are cool and completely covered the last thing to do is place the entire thing in a heavy plastic or waterproof wrap. The weapon/parts will be as good as new when removed for use and easy to clean.

  3. Cosmoline comes in spray cans.

    1. Yes it is marketed in the name of: Crown Corrosion Suppressant 101-6013 .(AERVOE INDUSTRIES- Gardnerville, Nevada 89410.) I have used it and it works .Also referred to as TOOLMATES.

  4. Consider filling the PVC container with gear oil. Position the guns slightly above the bottom in case some moisture gets into the container.

    John D

  5. Midway usa sells cosmoline in 12 ounce jars.
    here is the website to cosmoline direct that sells many differnt types of cosmoline.