> TEOTWAWKI Blog: Cache Contents Lists: Speedball/Resupply Cache



Cache Contents Lists: Speedball/Resupply Cache

The overview of various cache types that I posted last week generated some more questions, with many of you wanting to get more into the specifics of what would actually go into each kind of cache.

The first cache we're running through is the "Speedball" or resupply cache, which focuses on replenishing the consumable items in your kit, versus entirely outfitting you with new tools and gear. The point is to get you topped off, refreshed and back out into the field.

There are of course no hard/fast rules to any of this, and I think it generally makes sense to throw some supporting tools that you wouldn't normally carry into one of these as well.

Now, keep in mind, when putting together any cache, deciding on the mission it will support upfront will give you better results and guide what you are putting together. A vehicle borne bug out is going to have different needs than an on-foot one. Scout operations will require different contents than E&E operations. Low-profile urban operations with society mostly intact will have different needs than Mad Max rural. So, if/when you actually decide to put a cache like this together, do some of that thinking.

Now, for general, survivalist type purposes, what would I store in a resupply cache? You want the list, right? We love our lists.

Here you go--for one individual. Multiply by the number of people you want to be able to resupply.

The Basics:
  • Rifle ammunition and spare magazines to re-outfit a fighting load, plus some extra--for the average survivalist with an AR-15, this would be 240 rounds in bandoleers, plus 5-7 magazines.
  • Pistol ammunition and spare magazines to re-outfit a fighting load, plus some extra. 100 rounds of pistol ammo, plus 3 magazines.
  • Spare batteries - two sets for flashlights, weaponlights, headlamps, commo gear and optics. Lithium store the longest.
  • Water (stored separately) - two gallons. More = better. As an alternative, a filter and purification tablets.
  • Small cleaning and spare parts kits
  • Source of caffeine/stimulant - pills like No-Doz
  • Pain killers - Ibuprofen
  • A few thousand calories of MRE grab-and-eat food (sides, snacks--the sandwich things, desserts, tortillas, crackers, peanut butter, cheese--that kind of thing)
  • In an urban/suburban environment, potentially cash or maybe precious metals or jewelry--would need to be very transportable and liquid
Nice to Have:
  • Change of socks; potentially clean boxers, t-shirt, too.
  • Wipes
  • Inexpensive but quality knife - Moras for me, all day long
  • A couple Bic lighters or a ferro rod
  • Boo-boo kit - especially with foot/blister care stuff
  • And probably some basic tool/repair stuff - needle, some cordage, contractor bag, duct tape, etc.
Keep in mind that this list is broadly focused, with a lean towards replenishing the average survivalist's fighting load out. You can, obviously, take this numerous ways.

For funsies, here's an idea of a more wilderness survival focused, Dave Canterbury-esque speedball cache might look like:
  • A mix of 12 gauge in birdshot, buckshot and slugs
  • A few hundred rounds of .22lr hunting ammo (CCI Stingers or Velocitors)
  • Mora knife
  • A couple saw blades
  • Cheap multi-tool
  • Sharpening stone
  • Ferro rod and tinder
  • A few Bic lighters
  • Headlamp batteries
  • 100% cotton cloth
  • Socks
  • Cordage - bank line and paracord
  • Roll o' duct tape
  • Cheapie tarp and/or contractor-grade trash bags
  • Sail needle
  • #110 conibear traps
  • Fishing kit
  • Food - common man stuff
  • Salt
  • Beeswax/fixing wax
  • Slingshot band
For those who will inevitably ask about how to package the cache, store it and so on, I will get into the actual container and concealment part of caching in the future, but there are plenty of great resources out there for the impatient--hit up YouTube and Google.


  1. AnonymousJune 19, 2013

    I'd suggest a pretty good multi-tool, a SAK is good, but the larger Leatherman type even better. Inexpensive 'used' Leathermans can be purchased for 1/3 - 1/4 the price at pawn shops often enough, these will do fine. For a kit re-supply - a good choice, they take up the same room as a cheapie Chinese crap tool with a much longer life and tool quality.

    Stainless steel 'Camper' pattern knife (spear blade, can opener, screw driver and awl) are good choice for pocket knife, quite a bit of utility and they are tough!

    Very good list above - thank you for the post! This should generate some good discussion and contributions.

  2. Depending on the exact concept of use I have some thoughts. First (and I don't know where in the 'several' range you were) probably a bit more food. At least 2-3 days worth for however many people will be with you.

    The other thing is fuel. Of course this depends on the cache location and such. If it's on a side road 2 miles off a route from your place to 'the Farm' then you might need ammo but definitely need fuel. On the other hand if it is 5 miles from the nearest quad sized goat trail in the Rockies you're pretty much on foot.

    1. Agree on both - amount of food will be dependent on your intended mission.

      Fuel would be a major consideration if you were planning on supporting vehicles - I would also think about including some other fluids, cans of fix-a-flat and other vehicle repair bits.

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  4. AnonymousJune 20, 2013

    If it's a cache you don't plan on checking very often I'd throw a couple of Datrex 3600 emergency food bars in there instead of those other food sources. Especially if it's buried and kept cool. If you're in a bad situation and don't have the right gear with you to cook, one of these will keep 2-3 people moving for at least 24 hours.

    I always keep two of them in the fridge because they last for years. If the day ever comes where I need to bail out I'll be bringing them along. Not the best food source obviously, but if you're on the move and don't have time to stop and camp/cook then these are ideal for longer treks.

  5. Datrex shelf life = 5 years. MRE shelf life at 70 degrees = 5 years. I'd rather eat MRE components on the go any day. But, if you gotta store in weird temps, Datrex can be useful.

    1. AnonymousJune 20, 2013

      The MRE's are certainly more palatable. But the caloric density in something that requires such little pack space is what won me over with the Datrex bars. That and getting your hands on quality MRE's isn't very cost effective here in Canada, as is the case with most things. :(

  6. AnonymousJune 20, 2013

    One thing that I think might be handy in a re-supply kit are some basic gun cleaning items. Can of CLP, patches, rod, brushes, AR chamber brush, and jags. Or CLP, patches, a three piece rod, and one of those 10 dollar pistol cleaning kits should cover most weapons except shotguns.

    I feel these items are a good match for a cache since they often don't make it into fighting load-outs or bug-out bags due to weight/bulk limitations, or are just overlooked.

  7. AnonymousJune 20, 2013

    The Case against Caching...

    Okay, I'm going to rain on this parade, just a bit:

    I've seen on TV where people cache firearms, ammo, whole vehicles. I will give you a few examples of why I think this is not rational. Take my advice or let it go. It is all good to me. Understand that I am planning to survive no matter what happens, and I am not caching.

    First, we can not really predict what type of situation we will face. Will it be an EMP? A Earthquake? A pandemic? A drought? A "Rodney King Riot"? A Katrina/Sandy? A Cartel gone wild? A Gov't decided to go Weimar? Who's crystal ball knows exactly what will happen to YOU. Not me, not him, or her, but YOU. Riddle me that people.

    Second, because of our inability to predict the form of the emergency, we will not be able to predict the physical manifestations of the events. That means that you may not be able to move in the direction of your precious cache. North, South, East, West may be in their turn poison directions to move. Because of this it is fundamentally impossible to predict where to place a "POMCUS" stash (Google it). If you are a Government, you can afford to stash important stuff everywhere. People like us can not. Because of this I think that caching in a hidden hole is ineffective as a tool for TEOTWAWKI survival.

    Instead, I suggest you build very efficient kits to pack on your back, bike, car, SUV, whatever. Also, have a very good plan for bugging in if that is the direction events take you. If you really must Cache,then use your sphere of like minded friends and cache each other's property. so that if you have to abandon your property everyone has sufficient resources at theirs to carry the increased load.

    Cowboy logic at work...


    1. Caches would be in addition to kits that you had prepared, and if you read come of my earlier posts on the topic, you will see that I recommend working with friends/group members to place your cache on their property. I also recommend avoiding burial whenever possible.

      Caching in and of itself is an effective survival strategy - people have been using it for thousands of years. But, it should also be a part of a diversified plan.

  8. Iodized Salt is a must, both in the packs and the cache, especially for people away from marine life. Remember that even tiny, freshwater grass shrimp carry iodine.
    Traps and snare sets. Don't underestimate rat and mouse traps either. Even if you plan to stay urban. That kitty down the road will taste soooooo good in a pinch, and if you can take him quietly even better. Also rembember that rat and mouse traps can catch more than rats and mice, plus they can make excellent mines if someone is on your backtrail or creeping up on your camp.
    It seems rarely mentioned but don't forget the arrows!!! Arrows, Arrow heads (broad heads, field points, fishing tips and gator rigs), Fletching, Shafts and shaft making tools too. This might seem like a lot of stuff but it won't weigh much or take up much space at all. Figure 1# salt, 1½# shafts, 1½# snares & rat traps (more if u go for conibear traps which i can't find a need for), 1½-2# fletching, heads & tools and add another 1½# for a nice 4“ x 42" pvc tub with glue cap and screw cap + 1 roll teflon tape/electrical tape (used to seal/reseal the tube which also makes an excellect water/food storage container).
    If you guys are not thinking bow i urge you all to reconsider. For real cheap, you can pick up a very decent, highly portable, extremely leathal, very silent, easily fixable takedown longbow or recurve. And your amunition is easily replinished from nature. Even urban areas harbor sufficient resources for arrow making. For your survival and that of your family please please please pick up a bow. Remember that for thousands of years the bow was the ultimate weapon!!! No other weapon rivals it's versitility or longevity. Arrows go through kevlar like a hot knife through butter, field points crack skulls at 80 yards and you can't hear it from miles away. ;-)