I’ve always had a problem with the typical bug-out bag. The problem is that most people talk about putting three days worth of food in them. I guess that’s fine if you’re planning on going to the FEMA relocation camp and let the government take care of you, but that’s not part of my plan. I don’t want to go anywhere near FEMA or their camps.
If you end up bugging out on foot with your family, you’ll be doing good if you can make ten miles a day. That may not sound like a lot, and really it isn’t, but that’s the average speed that the wagon trains made when our ancestors were moving west.
With only three days of food, that means you’ve got enough to make it 30 miles, before running out. That’s why I put five days worth of food in my bag. Five still isn’t enough, but it’s much better than three. Fifty miles is almost far enough to get out of some disaster areas. Another 50 and I’d have a pretty good bug out going.
But if I’m going to go another 50 miles on foot, I’m going to need more food. So, what do I do? That’s where survival caches start coming into play. A survival cache is nothing more than some supplies that are stashed away in a safe place, so that you can retrieve them if you need them.
It’s never a good idea to have all your eggs in one basket; so if you only have your supplies at home, you’re asking for trouble. What if you have to abandon your home? Doesn’t that mean you’ll lose all your supplies too?
So, it’s a good idea to have some of your supplies located in other areas. These areas should take into consideration both your bug in plan and your bug out plan. In other words, keep some of them near your home and others near your bug out location. But you should also consider burying some along the way, so that you can restock as you are bugging out.
A survival cache doesn’t necessarily have to be large. Actually, you should probably have some large ones and some small ones. The large ones can be near your home, an alternate location near your home and some locations near your bug out. But don’t stop there, put some smaller ones along the way to your bug out, so that you can resupply.
So, what should be in these caches?
Keep in mind that you’re going to have to carry it, so don’t get carried away, especially with the ones that are along your bug out route, for resupply. The main thing there is getting your hands on some more food and maybe a roll of TP.
At least one cache should have a complete bug-out bag, with all your survival gear and a weapon. This one is there so that you have something to use, if a disaster strikes and you can’t get into your home to get to your bug-out bag. That one should be no more than two days walk from your home.
A typical cache can be put in a five gallon plastic bucket and sealed. If you pick your food correctly, you can fit a lot in that bucket. Larger caches can be put in 55 gallon plastic drums, if you can find the kind that have removable lids.
If you have friends you can leave your caches with, who live out of town, that’s great. A second alternative, especially for the larger ones, is to rent a small storage space. But the most common means of stashing a cache is to bury it. The five gallon buckets work great for this, as they are waterproof and pests can’t get into them.
Bury it so that the lid is a couple of feet below the ground. Then, bury a couple of pieces of metal hardware at least a foot above it. That way, if anyone is searching for a cache, they’ll find the hardware and think that they’ve found what was there. Hopefully, they’ll give up and leave your cache alone.
The big danger is burying any cache is in finding it again. Make sure you have good landmarks and that you pace off the distance from more than one of them. Avoid trees, as they can be cut, die, or burn off in a forest fire. You’re better off with landmarks like rock outcroppings and cement culverts, things that are too big for someone to cover up or take away.
With a few caches in place, you’ll be much more secure if you have to bug out. More than anything, you’ll have food to eat, in order to get you where you are going and hopefully while you are getting established there. That will greatly increase your chances of survival and that makes it worth doing.
So, get to work. Build yourself some caches and find good places to put them. In the mean time, keep your powder dry and your survival equipment close at hand.
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