In this age of uncertainty, many people have realized that keeping survival supplies off site from their homes is a good idea.

The idea of caching is a very old one, as in times of war people buried coins in jars. These jars may have been broken over the years, and the coins tarnished, but remain hidden as the owners have long left this world. On occasion, someone finds these treasures through the use of metal detectors.

In the great outdoors historically, caches placed on long poles out of the reach of bears and vermin hold an emergency supply for a lost wilderness enthusiast. A modern cache is built on the same principle, to secure something of value in an unknown place until the owner needs it. Usually underground gets the nod though to avoid human theft.

Here are some basic steps to help you create a valuable cache which is there when you need it most.

Keep it safe

You will definitely need a waterproof container, first and foremost. The MTM Survivor Ammo Can available from is a pre-made kit that has all you need to bury except a shovel to do so.


While a true cache can be made just about anywhere, indoors or outdoors, for our purposes an outdoor cache is the best possible option, as it’s truly off-the-grid and underground. First off, you need to have an idea of what you want to cache.

List the ideas on paper to see what will fit in your container. If it is longer items like a rifle, shotgun, or tools, you may have to use a section of white heavy duty PVC piping available at your local hardware store which can be cut down to the proper length based on what you need to store. If you use PVC, make sure the end caps are glued on to keep your items sealed in. Also have a hacksaw at easy access to get into your cache when necessary, or you will be out of luck at the worst possible time. Metal ammo cans are also a prized way to store your goods. Make sure the seals are good and buy the U.S. military surplus ones if possible as they are much better than any foreign copy.

Placement is key

Place it with care. Make sure you can get to the cache, but that it is not obvious to others.

A well drained piece of land beats a river valley at keeping your cache dry. A large rock over the buried cache will keep it from working out of the ground due to freezing and thawing in the more northern areas.

Metal detectors could possibly find your cache, and some hunters place caches in old junk heaps, or under things like old abandoned moonshine stills that will throw off the metal detectors.


Though you may have a very good memory now, get a GPS reading for the cache in case you need to send some one else to get it. Mark it down as something other than “cache” on your unit in case any one else sees it. Draw a map too as back up.

Make sure you use a grease or military cosmoline on metal objects for added insurance, and desiccant packets to keep the moisture in check, as condensation can wreak havoc on the contents.

Also keep in mind if times get bad you may be on foot to access the area. Too far away your cache might as well be on the moon. Be certain a housing development won’t be built on it either!

Take your time at preparing and placing your cache and it will be there when you need it most.

Do you like articles about the outdoors? You can follow him @ericthewoodsman on Twitter, The Classic Woodsman on Facebook, and @theclassicwoodsman on Instagram, and The Classic Woodsman YouTube Channel.