Survival Guides

Outdoor Caching, Part 1

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Outdoor Caching

First and foremost, caching items does not exclusively mean burying them in the ground. Not only is burial labor intensive but it is not possible in some parts of America due to permafrost, a high water table, clay soil, and other considerations. Conceptually, however, your cache location needs to meet some basic criteria to be effective:

  • The cache location needs to be located off site of any premises that you have custody and control of. The very first places that will be searched are those which you control. Keep in mind that sometimes even locations that are close to your property may undergo a search – for example, your land backs on to a small park or piece of national forest. Expect the first few hundred meters of those areas to be searched thoroughly, even though it’s technically not your land.
  • The cache location needs to be somewhere that you can access under most any condition. Avoid locations that are impassable by nature certain times of the year or are closed to entry often.
  • The cache location should not be something obviously connected to you. Burying stuff in your brother in law’s yard will eventually be found simply by putting the pieces together if and when you become a person of interest. Forget the idea of renting a storage unit – ever since 9/11 these places log all of your information and will allow the authorities access in a heartbeat.
  • The cache location must be close enough to you to have some value. You need to be able to access this in your time of need, whether that is on the road while bugging out or simply near your home during an emergency.

For this reason, the locations that make sense for a cache are places like:

  • National forests
  • National parks that remain open year round
  • Large city green areas or parks
  • Other public lands such as Bureau of Land Management (BLM) lands.

On the other hand, there are some places that you definitely want to avoid caching anything on:

  • Lands that are connected to you via business or family relationships or any other obvious connection.
  • Lands that belong to other private individuals. It may seem tempting to place a survival cache on “Old Farmer Joe’s” land because he has a few hundred acres that you can access, but the penalties for trespassing upon someone else’s land are stiff and may only get stiffer under a societal collapse scenario. Right now, you might incur a misdemeanor for trespassing upon and digging up someone’s land. Under a societal collapse scenario, you might get shot at or worse. Stay off privately owned land!
  • Lands that are sensitive in nature and where you will incur extra scrutiny for just being there. These include places like military installations, gas pipeline lands, utility easements, nuclear sites, and other sensitive areas.
  • Small city parks and fields that are always being observed by passers by.

After going through the above lists, only you can make a determination of where – and more importantly, where not to put your survival cache. Choose wisely!

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