> TEOTWAWKI Blog: Cache Contents Discussion: Re-Equip/Operational Cache



Cache Contents Discussion: Re-Equip/Operational Cache

For an overview on various types of caches, hit up my original post on cache contents.

To recap, the purpose of a Re-Equip cache is to do just that--equip you in case you are separated from your gear. Where the last cache discussed, the Speedball, is all about refueling your consumables and allowing you to go farther or operate for longer. The Re-Equip cache sets you up with the tools AND consumables you would need if forced to start with nothing but the clothes on your back.

Always, the exact contents of the cache will vary based on your planned mission--it could be something as simple as a redundant set of EDC items, or as complex as full fighting gear, loaded bug out bags and a vehicle. Both serve the same purpose--re-equipping you.

Decide how big you need to go and develop a list from there.

Of course, your list will need to be adjusted based on the various constraints we're all subject to--size/weight, shelf life, and of course, cost!
One note on cost: If you don't have excess, redundant gear floating around and are still pulling together some of the basics, you're probably getting ahead of yourself worrying about caching. That extra gear is a perfect candidate for this kind of thing - perfectly functional, but upgraded for something newer and shinier. That old gear will likely sit in a closet or get sold at a deep discount otherwise. Throw in some bargain shopping and up-cycling and out of pocket costs can be minimal.

As I've mentioned before, place caches only in areas you know to be secure/under control of you or trusted friends/family. Especially if you are planning on caching any kind of firearm. If you can avoid burial, that's generally a good thing, too.

A Sample List: 
Everyone's planned mission and list are going to vary greatly. But, here's a somewhat generic list for a fairly capable re-equip cache gear for post-collapse survival. Multiply by the number of people you plan to equip.
  • Long Gun: Balance the trade-off between resources required and effectiveness - the best/most effective firearm you can afford to cache would be the general answer. This topic bares some more discussion - stay tuned.
  • Handgun: Same as above.
  • A fighting load worth of ammunition and magazines, plus extra
  • A means to carry ammunition into a fight: A chest-rig, bandolier, belt rig or magazine satchel
  • Holster for the handgun 
  • Small cleaning/spare parts kit
  • IFAK, boo-boo kit and some basic meds - pain killers, stomach, antibiotics, caffeine
  • Enough food to do the job - MREs, freeze dried or well packed shelf stable foods
  • Water (stored separately) - lots
  • Metal container/water bottle
  • Water filter and purification tablets
  • Change of clothes - sturdy, earth tones, plus spare socks
  • Gloves
  • Boots
  • Flashlight and plenty of extra batteries
  • Headlamp and plenty of extra batteries
  • Walkies and plenty of extra batteries
  • A handful of glow sticks
  • Burner/disposable cell phone
  • Fixed blade knife
  • Multitool
  • Bic lighters and fire starting kit
  • Other outdoorsy basics - cordage, duct tape, sail needle, compass, sleep system and shelter if you can fit 'em, etc.
  • A backpack or bag to carry the excess stuff in
  • Cash-money
BTW, James Yaeger has a pretty good series on this variety of cache - he calls it an Operational cache, which is pretty much the same thing we're talking about here. (If there's some International Agency of Cache Naming Conventions that has officially named these things and my made up names are going against the norm, lemme know.) Yaeger is a polarizing dude and uses some colorful language, so heads up on that. Link to the first of the 3 part series right here.


  1. Makes sense all around. As to weapons I think we have to consider the concept of use. The guns you want to fight Chinese Hordes would be different from the ones you want to hunt and forage at a genuinely remote site. The first would be a military pattern and a probably semi automatic handgun. The second would probably be a shotgun and a .22. An advantage of the second setup is you can get a shotgun and a decent .22lr pistol for about $400 out the door. Of course at the end of the day the best gun to cache is probably the one gathering dust in the safe, or the ones you buy with the proceeds of the dusty gun.

    1. Very true - I will have a post up with some thoughts mostly along those lines.

  2. For a rifle, I would say a Mosin Nagant would be a good choice. If you use it some before you put it in the cache to work the kinks out of it and make sure their are no flaws. Ammo is cheap and so is the gun. Then you get a Smith & Weson (cheap handgun) with an extend magazine, all your basic need would be covered and it would be about $400 dollars (not including ammo). Not bad.

  3. Depending on the the reason for accessing this cache a small affordable HAM radio (BAOFENG) / police scanner or a small emergency weather radio with batteries would be a excellent tool for monitoring a situation (or your situation) as it develops and communicate with friendlies.

    For a rifle, Kel - tec SU-16 might be a great compromise for the price (600$) and the fact it uses both the same ammo and magazines as a AR-15 type rifle and can fold up for easy concealment and carry.

  4. I've been reading for a while, and felt like it's time to post a comment. You've got some really great stuff posted up here.

    If you haven't heard of it, Geigerrig makes a damn fine water bladder. I've got the 3 liter version and it is far and away the best bladder I've used. My last one was an MSR Dromedary, and the Geigerrig is superior in all respects. Unlike many other bladders it is essentially two hemispherical bags connected together, one for water and the other for air. The air side has a tube and bulb pump used to pressurize the bag. A few squeezes of that then you squeeze the water tube and the water sprays out. No more bite valves, freedom!

    Also, I want to mention a new rifle I've heard of. The Chiappa Little Badger. It's a single shot break action minimalist 22. Might be worth a look as a possible cheap little cashe gun.

    1. I like your thoughts on the .22 i might suggest a rossi .22lr/410ga. combo in the youth size. I spend a lot of time in the woods and swamps and i find it is my most reliable and versitile firearm. Being youth sized it is highly mobile, can be handled easily with one hand and i can keep the other barrel in my belt. Plus .22 & 410 are both pretty small, light and cheap loads that are sufficient to take down any game i have come across, from black bear and deer to birds and squirrels. With a well placed .22 round there is nothing that can't be killed. And barrel change is a snap too!!!

  5. Oh i forgot. I would add to this a nice little takedown bow with the arrow rig i mentioned under the speedball section. So make it a
    6" x 40" pvc tube. In a rig like this i would add 2 6v gel batteries and a compact solar setup. I picked one up from ebay for about $45 bucks. It is about the size of an acer netbook and has several output modes and selector switches. A screwdriver and a tube of sealant and it's impervious to light rain and humidity. It came with several different adapters. I added a small converter i bought for around $10 at the pawn shop and a 12v accessory jack/car cigarette lighter in case i need 110v for anything. It worked well this last trip in the swamp. 2 weeks of the swamp life and it's all still working. I used the 110v to charge my cell phone where i keep numerous pdf files and many wildlife calls as well as a decent solunar calender/map which requires no connection of any sort. I suppose you could use it sparingly to get fish if you needed to or electrify a food storage area to keep varmints out. When shtf there will be no shortage of car and truck batteries and if a fella had a mind to he could make life mighty comfortable with such a rig. You could even do a bit of arc welding with those batteries if you were in a bind. I just picked up some "liquid solder" to try out too, but jb weld has worked before. An industrious guy or gal could make any sort of device with a scavenged electric motor or two as well. The batteries could get a little heavy if you are on the move so a good dog, a boat, a sled or something of the sort would be handy. My charge rig gets me about 6 hrs of use with a loaded 8' flatboat in good conditions. It's quiet and saves the arms for shooting or labor. Just something to think about. Sorry if i ramble.