Monday, November 2, 2009

The Cache or secret Stash

Stash : to store in a usually secret place for future use

Cache: a hiding place especially for concealing and preserving provisions or implements

We’ve talked about everyday carry gear, bug out bags and other kits but I don’t think we’ve every talked about the cache or stash. As you can see above, both words by definition fit the bill well.
A person’s stash or cache is a small amount of gear and supplies hidden and secured in some way, intended for future use in times of need.
This is nothing new. Woodsmen and rangers have been known to hide supplies for emergencies, buried or inside caves or trees.
Common also in action movies such Bourne Identity, where the hero opens a bank safety box, where he finds cash, a un and passports.
Even animals hide or burry a carcass, in case they need it later on.
A survival stash is not a bad idea.
Recently there’s been a thread going on about just this and I’d thought it would be interesting to share some ideas.

What to keep in it?

If I had to leave my house right now with absolutely nothing at all the Bourne stash wouldn’t be a bad idea. I can get pretty much anything I need with enough money, so a big wad of cash is definitely at the top of my list for most emergencies. A gun also may be a lifesaver and it’s one of those things that amy not be as easy to purchase during an emergenc, at least in most western countires where we have waiting periods and such.
But there are other things worth adding to our stash, such as a bottle of water, some medicines, and other items that will depend on your location. For example, in cold climate areas, a jacket and spare set of clothes might be the most important item you can stash.

Here my list of suggestions:

1)Handgun+IWB holster+2 spare mags+200 rounds of ammo
2)Money(500 bucks? 2000? Enough to buy a plane ticket would be good)
3) A few 1oz silver coins
4)A couple gold wedding rings, gold chain, a couple small gold coins. Just like in a WWII "Gold kit"
5)Bottle of water
6) A few cans, pouches or MRE servings(meal ready to eat).
7)First aid kit: Large dressing, superglue and stitches, small bottle of saline solution, Amoxicilin Antibiotics
9)Multitool (Leatherman Wave would be nice)
10)AA LED Flashlight with spare lithium batteries
11)2 Bic lighters
12)Survival kit tin
13)Copies of important documents, and small USB drive with copies of those documents and other infromation (accounts, passports, etc, )
14) Cellphone with charger
15)Spare set of keys
16) Jakcet and spare set of clothes. Socks and underwear.
18)Camping gear.
19) If location and money allows: Bike, motorcycle or old car. Also a carbine, bag and spare mags and ammo.

Have your own list? I'd love to read it so please comment.

Where to stash it?

Bank Safe Deposit Box: Bourne had his stash in a Swiss or German bank, don’t remember. Fancy, and certainly well secured, but one thing I’ve learned is that as soon as looting starts ( and I’m not talking just 2001 riots like the ones we saw here) every time protests start or tear gas gets fired, the first thing you notice is that shops have closed for the day, and the banks are usually the first to close and the last ones to reopen.

PO box: In some countries the owner can leave a small package there, no one being the wise. Again, you are still counting on the building being opened.

Office: Works better if you have a safe location where to keep stuff locked and have access to the building.

Train/bus station locker: Takes serious trouble for a terminal to shutdown, they usually have security and you can leave stuff in a locker for a long time. If you commute often through that same place, this might just be what you need. Airports also have locked units, but are spartan regarding knives and guns. Then again, you might keep your stash there and simply rent a car.

Storage units: A survivalists classic. You can keep lots of stuff in there, even a vehicle. Make sure to find one that is within your range and that, preferably, you can access to at any time (one way or another).

Friend’s house: Must be someone you can really trust, and again, what if he’s not home? Maybe you can leave your stash buried in the ayrd or hidden in his shed.

College Locker: Hey, they are open most of the time, pretty big and no one looks twice if you throw a backpack in there. Careful with the regulations, some colleges don’t allow knives or guns, so stick to your local laws.

Burried: Make sure you have a well marked location, even after heavy snow. Big boulders usually last more than trees that may fall or get cut down. Find yourself a place that’s out of sight for both burying and retrieving and loock into burial vaults. A PVC tube with well glued caps is usually enough, but burying stash pipes is almost an art with plenty of tricks to learn. Metal parts must be covered with rust resistance oil, and how will you open your pipe in the middle of the night when you need it the most and have nothing? Some have suggested burying a shovel a few inches under the ground, and a greases saw, in a sealed bag as well, to open the tube.
The bucket cache is also a good idea. Here’s a very good link. Good website too with plenty of information.

Few more recommendations:

1)Don’t waste a lot of money. A cheap Hi Power might make more senses than a Glock.
2)Make sure the stash is located in a route you travel often, preferably next to city exits or terminals in case you’re leaving.
3)Its best if the stash is secured physically as well, not just hidden.
4)Better if you can access it 24/7.
5)Wad of cash, passport, a jacket, some food, a bottle of water, a multitool or knife and a gun will more than likely get you anywhere you want to go, so that’s always a good start.



Blackeagle said...

"Don’t waste a lot of money. A cheap Hi Power might make more senses than a Glock."

Here in the U.S. it would be: "Don’t waste a lot of money. A cheap Glock might make more sense than a Hi Power."

Anonymous said...

One thing about burying - I've done this and pulled stuff up after one-several years. No matter what you think of your container or the ground where it's buried, assume it will be submerged in water. Water gets in through tape, caulk (usually, which isn't meant to handle water submersion), or most rubber seals. It has to be a GOOD seal. And even so, the advice to coat metal with grease is not overkill, it's essential. Plastic pails with the white viscious seal material in the lid are not nearly good enough. The pail lids with a black O-ring are much better and usually, but not always, good enough if the lid is pounded down right. Also, never assume the container will keep water out because it's oriented upright and the cap over hangs the container, as if to protect the contents from falling rain. Water will be pushed in by high moisture levels seeking to level out with the drier moisture levels inside your container. You do not try to make it "water" tight, you need to make it "air" tight.

Anonymous said...

This story has been growing for a couple days. New, bad flu?

Nov. 2 (Bloomberg) -- The World Health Organization sent a team of experts to Ukraine today to investigate an outbreak of respiratory disease that’s sickened a quarter of a million people and left pharmacies without masks or flu remedies.

Ukraine faces an outbreak of flu-like illness that’s killed at least 67 people and infected 255,000, according to the country’s first deputy health minister Vasyl Lazoryshynets. About 22 patients tested positive for swine flu, Lazoryshynets said. It’s “difficult to tell” whether the pandemic H1N1 virus is responsible for all the cases, according to Hartl.

Anonymous said...

If you intend to keep a motor vehicle in the stash make sure it gets used regularly. You can't count on just sticking a car in a storage unit for a couple of years and just jump in and drive off. Even with a bicycle you need to be concerned about rotting rubber long term. And chain lubication.

Anonymous said...

1.well, personally i like the Gerber
multi-tools. they recently replaced
one of mine at No Cost. Gerber has
a life-time warranty.
2.your buried treasure: that's the
old-style Russian "midnight garden".
3. finally, anon is right. AIRtight.
water pressure will defeat just
about anything.


Anonymous said...

I used to travel to Chattanooga Tennessee each week. When leaving, the airport security required you to dump any toothpaste and other items. I started putting mine in a small plastic bag and hiding it under the sink in the airport bathroom. On Monday, I'd walk in there and pick it up again.

Project ended suddenly so it may still be there - second sink, downstairs bathroom.

Anonymous said...

Anything under the control of others is a dangerous idea- PO Box, Bank safe deposit box, etc.
Just reference the latest raid in Britain- mass raids on Bank Boxes looking for contrabrand.

Anonymous said...

Burying your cache is the safest way to go. No bureaucrats to mess with it. This is why it's a timeless method. I have used PVC pipe buried vertically with great success. All metal objects , including guns should be packed n grease or cosmoline. This will remain safe indefinitely. One important point- you must know EXACTLY, to the square foot- where u buried your cache. I once had land with caches that I later sold and had to dig them up. One cache took me an additional hour or so to locate, because I was digging a few feet to the left. Under stressful circumstances, this would have been disastrous.

Anonymous said...

In the USA, you can have your lawyer rent your safe deposit box or storage unit, and then it won't be in your name. There is no paper trail to link that storage unit to you.

I suppose that this is most often used by husbands hiding wealth during a divorce, but it may be useful at other times.