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Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Cache and Carry

No matter how carefully you prepare, how nifty and comprehensive your everyday carry gear might be, there may come a time when you cannot get to your primary supplies, or are separated from your EDC equipment. You may find yourself in a situation in which you are left with nothing more than the clothes on your back. What then?

I’m a big fan of small emergency caches as a solution. Generally you needn’t spend a lot to create them, they are relatively easy to make, and have ancillary benefits to making and emplacing them. They shouldn’t be your primary preparations, or plan B or even C, but they can have their place.

Myself, I have several caches located on the routes leading away from where I live. I also have caches emplaced in areas I often frequent, such as some of the provincial parks in Manitoba. They are small, well hidden but easily found by me (WITHOUT a GPS!!!), and contain materials that I feel will benefit me should I be without gear.

My favorite container for caching is a large metal coffee can with plastic lid. It has a generous amount of room, but is still easily prepped and buried. The materials in the cache can vary, but it should be noted that most of them are every day things from around the house, or dollar store or garage sale finds.

Here are the contents (so far) of my next cache:

Large zip-loc bag
Large field dressing (free from a military friend)
Tape, gauze, band-aids, triangular dressing (rotated out of old first aid kit, but still good)
2 ‘space’ blankets (yard sale, .25 cents each)
Small folding knife (promo item, free)
Matches, cotton balls (I’ve got lots of both)
2 compressed camp towels (3/$1.00)
2 emergency ponchos ($1.00 each)
Hooks, baits, weights and a float (All from a HUGE box of fishing gear I got at a yard sale, for $5!)
2 small candles (Yard sale, I think .05 each?)
Pencil with a LOT of fishing line wrapped around it

There is more to add, such a food in the form of a small amount of beans and/or rice and some other things, as the can is far from full. No two of my caches are exactly the same, although there are commonalities such as fire making materials and first aid supplies.

To get it ready for emplacement, I line the can with the large Zip-loc. This will protect the contents somewhat if the outer coverings are breached, and will serve as an expedient water carrier, among other things. The contents are placed in the Ziploc, and closed up then the plastic lid is put on. The can then goes into a heavy duty-garbage bag, which is tied shut then another of the same except that the opening is opposite to the first. It’s a little tricky folding the bags around the cans, but with a little practice, you can make a pretty neat package, and you will have enough plastic to make shelter building easier. I then do two more bags (small kitchen sized ones this time) in the same manner as the first, and it is ready to go.

The contents are now protected by four outer layers of plastic (two of which can be used as shelter material if they survive) a layer of metal, and an inner layer of plastic. I’ve used this method for many years, and have only seen one cache fail, and part of that was due to a tree root growing through it.

The benefits to this are several: You are thinking about preparedness, you are doing something about preparedness, and you’re having fun. That’s right. You’ll have a blast, putting these together, scouting locations, and secretly emplacing your caches.

Now of course there are many other ways to create caches, and I urge you to explore the possibilities. They can be larger, include more gear, or use a different method of weather proofing. Think about how caching might fit in to your overall preparedness scheme, and create a few if you feel it might make surviving a crisis a bit more comfortable.

Me, I’m off to scout locations!!

A. Dragon.