December 18, 2017

What is Caching?

Have you ever heard of caching?  I don’t mean geo caching, which is somewhat similar, but not quite the same thing.  Caching is most often burying supplies in a water proof container in a low traffic area in the event you might need them in a future emergency.
Why Would Someone Cache?

I can think of a couple different reasons; first let’s say that you own a few widgets and you think that someday someone might make widget ownership illegal.  You might decide that you think you won’t want to give up your right to own widgets and decide to bury them as a method of hiding them.  Another reason you might cache is to use it as a resupply source.  If you have a BOL (Bug Out Location) and think you may have to walk to it, you might find strategic points along the route where you might need to resupply and bury a cache there.
 Where Should Someone Cache

The goal is to have it not be found except by you.  If you decide to cache, you’ll want to do so in an area that doesn’t get a lot of traffic and is not easily seen.  For example, if you are going to put a cache near a popular hiking trail, you’ll want to bury the cache a good distance from the trail.  You’ll also want to take into consideration what is around the area you decide to cache.  If you’re in the middle of a large forest, then you’re probably safe.  But if you’re near a housing development, you might find your cache built over if the development expands.
While it is possible to cache under water, I don’t recommend it.  First it’s not easy, you have to weigh the container down and possibly tie it to an anchor of some sort.  Second you have to be absolutely sure the container won’t leak.  You can use materials that are waterproof and apply caulking to keep water out, but can you guarantee it will last for years?  Third, if the water table lowers, your cache could be seen and looted. Fourth, retrieving it quickly could be difficult, especially if you live in an area where the water freezes.

What should Someone Put in a Cache?

This would depend on why the individual would be caching.  Some ideas that I have are foods that do not go bad, such as honey, rice, pasta that has been stored in Mylar with O2 absorbers and a means to purify water.  One might also want to cache something to make fire, a small first aid kit, a firearm and some ammo, a knife, some currency such as dollars and maybe gold or silver.

Keep in mind that the goal here is for this cache to never be found.  That does not mean it never will be. Do NOT put anything in the cache that you cannot afford to lose.
How Should Someone Cache?

I have seen various tubes designed for caching.  They can be quite expensive.  PVC with end caps is much less expensive and works just as well if you use sealant on both ends.

Thoroughly document where you have placed the cache.  If you look for it even a year later, the area will have most likely grown over. 

Have a means to unearth your cache stored nearby as you cannot be certain that you will be able to bring a shovel with you on your return trip.  Hiding it in plain site could prove very tricky, so maybe bury it a foot or six inches below the surface.

Take a “plug” of topsoil containing grass and set it aside, dig the hole and put the cache in place.  Now put dirt over the cache and then replace the “plug”.  Have a plan for what you will do with all of the dirt you just displaced, leaving it there is a pretty good calling card.  If you take the extra dirt with you, with the “plug” back in its original place, this might nicely conceal the cache.

I cannot stress enough to be very careful where you choose to cache.  I have read stories of people going back to retrieve their cache and finding an empty container.  I have also seen stories in forums where someone found a cache while hiking.

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