seems like more than a couple of you have intentionally cached some survival type supplies in case of emergency--some buried in the ground, more stashed at the home of a family member or friend.
I received a few questions about what exactly to put in a cache, so I wanted to cover off on a few basic strategies as I see 'em. Here, we're not going to delve into the dedicated weapon's cache, where weapons are stored and concealed for use at a
future date. That one explains itself.
So, onto the other kinds of caches. Some of these labels are my invention, but they represent the various caching strategies that I've typically seen.
First up, we have what I've heard referred to as a "speedball"-- a cache of supplies that allows a group on the move to quickly resupply consumables. This could be any kind of important consumables--ammunition, fuel, batteries, food, water in an arid region, heck, even cold hard cash.
The cache is placed strategically along a route of travel or inside an area of operations and accessed when needed. Survival types often place these kinds of caches along their evac/bug out routes, to help refuel while enroute to their bug out location. This kind of cache assumes that you will have the items needed to use the consumables--firearms for the ammunition, electronics for the batteries and so on.
A second cache strategy to
consider: pre-positioning supplies at your location that would be
difficult or impossible to take along during your journey. A year's
supply of food, building supplies, or large amounts of fuel, for example, would be tough
to bring along during an evac--especially by foot--but would be very useful upon reaching
A final strategy would be the re-equip cache--should you find yourself without any of your gear, this kind of cache would contain a full compliment of kit for your intended mission. Unlike the speedball, doesn't focus on just the consumables, but also contains the appropriate tools. Think bug out bag type contents, basic fighting gear, appropriate clothes and sturdy boots. You can show up in your boxers, retrieve the cache and be prepared to do battle, bug out to safety or whatever your mission might be. If you do have all of your gear, this kind of cache becomes a little bit less valuable, though there will still be some consumables to raid.
Cache strategy should dictate Contents
After selecting a strategy for the cache, the contents become simpler. A speedball placed along a bug out route would look different from a re-equip cache at a friend's house.
The speedball would contain the consumables to support your standard gear, so list out the things you might be carrying at the time. For the typical survival type, you might want some rifle and pistol ammunition, a compliment of magazines, batteries, cash, long term storage food, socks and so on. Potentially some spare parts or maintenance gear. Fuel for your vehicle could also be wise.
A re-equip cache would contain a full set of gear - firearms (if possible and depending on your mission) and support gear, knife, clothes, boots, flashlight, multitool, backpack and so on. First, second and third-line gear. Backups of important documents. And you would of course also want to have the consumables to use all of the stuff and keep you going.
Obviously, the more extensive your intended cache, the more you're going to have to invest in it. A full set of bug out and battle gear is not cheap, and when you throw in firearms, mags and ammo, a cache could easily set you back a couple thousand dollars or more.
One way to reduce the cost is by using older gear kicking around your closets. Older, perhaps a bit beat up, and it's probably been replaced by something shinier and new. That doesn't mean it still doesn't work and wouldn't serve you again in a pinch. These kinds of extras make perfect candidates for caching.
If you don't have extras kicking around, if you're still working on pulling together your first set of gear, then you're a ways off from needing to worry about caching stuff.
Garage sales, flea markets, gun shows, gear swaps with buddies and so on are other great candidates for cache equipment. It's contingency stuff, and given our limited resources, I would be hesitant to drop a bunch of money on anything to put into a cache. Think beat-up Mossberg Maverick versus a tricked out AR, well worn old camp knife versus a $400 custom, etc.