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‘Twas the Night After SHTF- Part 2, by H.C.

The intent of my article is to first, bring to view the reluctance issues we have that keep us from securing our stuff, and also to think ahead when actually doing it. The only thing worse than not hiding your preps, is hiding them poorly!

Common Arguments About Caching (continued)

In part 1, we began listing and addressing some of the common arguments against caching. Let’s continue with this.

I Will Defend My Stuff If Necessary

Will you defend your stuff? Have you thought all of that through? If you are caught off guard with a couple of nasty people or a group pointing assault weapons at your spouse and children, are you going to start pulling that trigger? Probably not.

It is far safer to have all your stuff far away and give up what you have to “fight” another day. I brought up points in my poem from part 1 that point to the forefront too. Everyone knows your best laid plans are rarely how you envisioned them. Also, chances are you will never have a heads-up that someone is about to loot your goodies. You must be prepared enough to walk away and know you still have supplies. Besides, if you did decide to get shot for the cause and your family was spared, where does that leave your family? It probably leaves a dead husband with a pissed off wife because you died for “stuff” or footing it to the FEMA camps alone, hoping for scraps of foods and praying they are not forced to stay there. Think it through.

Nobody Will Know I Have Stuff

There is a fine chance that others do know you have stuff. If you have ever bought prepper stuff on Amazon, bought with a credit card online, talked to neighbors, or if they saw you working on a prepper project, you posted guns and stuff on Facebook Garage Sale Pages, or had stuff shipped to your door, it wouldn’t take much for anyone to know you do have “stuff”. Ever talk about it with your buddies in public? Who is overhearing that and can spread this information?

There are also thieves that patrol prepper sites and Facebook sites looking for people that have lots of stuff. They may follow you home, case your place, or just jot down your address in case SHTF.

What To Do If a Marauder Shows Up At Your Door

If you look like a prepper, act like a prepper, and the perp has done any homework, they are going to know you have stuff. So if they can’t find any stuff, it is easy to deduct you are hiding it. Therefore, you must plan to have “stuff” to give up. Call it “burner storage”. What a horrible thought it is to plan to willingly give up a percentage of your stuff. However, if you think about it, that is what you are doing now with all of your stuff. All you can do, intelligently, is prioritize the stuff that you want to hide and have “throw aways” that can be sacrificed to thieves.

Where To Hide Your Valuables

Whether you have lots of cash, food, or ammo, the most secure way is to bury them away from your property. Public land is the best place to bury it, preferable on a route to a planned bugout location. This is especially true if you deduct that someone could search you on the Internet and find evidence that you prep, own guns, store food, or post pictures and jokes about such things. If you have always been well under the radar, you might get away with burying it on your property. Keep in mind that if they think you have stuff, they will be swarming your property looking for evidence that you have hidden or buried a cache or two.

Hide Many Caches

Many small caches (buried or hidden supplies) are much better than big ones. This adage applies, “Don’t put all your eggs in one basket.” If a cache is found, your encasement breaks, or weather gets to it, you will still have plenty elsewhere.

Hitting the Road To Hide Your Stuff

If you hide your stuff on public land, remember that the public is on those roads too. Never park near the entrance of the trail to your cache, and never walk a straight line to your cache. Also, do not ever walk the same way each time to your cache, because it beats down a trail you can see. Don’t hide your stuff off a main forest road. Make your cache at least 100 feet off of a less traveled forest road.

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Keep Out of Water

Don’t bury anything in a dip, where water will sit, or in a ravine, where large amounts of water will flow. Bury it deep enough to beat the frost line and keep animals out of it.

Use Natural Markers

Never mark your trail with man-made markers, like tree flags. These are way too obvious. Markers have to look completely natural. Look for major natural markers for easier finding, like boulders or trees that will not be moved in the future.

Bring everything in backpacks and look like you are hiking. If you do walk in with tubes or 5-gallon buckets and someone drives by, go find a new spot!

Use Tarp For Dirt To Leave No Trace of Digging

Dig onto a tarp so that you can replace the dirt without leaving a trace of digging. Look at your area after you hide your cache. You must return it completely to its natural state. Leave no trace! Cover your cache with a tarp before it is buried, or use a heavy trashbag if the stuff will fit inside, no matter how well you think you have sealed it.

Take a GPS With You

Lastly, take a GPS with you, not a traceable smartphone device. Use a handheld. You might get away with a car GPS, if it is an aftermarket portable, but you will not get the coordinates on top of your cache. You’ll just have the location off the road.

Resist Checking On It Frequently

Resist checking on it frequently, and limit a check to once or twice a year, usually after a heavy seasonal change. In the first year, you might want to check it a few extra times until you feel it is a successful location.

Develop a Simple Code For How To Get There

If your cache is hidden well, you very well may lose it too! Take a GPS reading of your cache location. GPS numbers are easy for coding. Making a map may seem tempting, but the risk of someone finding the map is especially dangerous. Instead, make a code from something you already know, so that it is burned in your memory without needing a written code breaker.

Example For Making a Simple Code

Here is an example of making a simple code. Say that you want to remember the following:

GPS Coordinates: 46.732127, -117.001055

Convert to basic alphabetic equivalents (a=1, b-2, etc.): DFGCBABG AAGOOAOEE (Since this code has no two digit number translations, you can use J-Z to designate a zero; I used O since it is so similar to zero.) Don’t worry about the minus. You should know your area well enough to know that automatically.

If you have a small library of books, pick your favorite book or passage. Something you will not forget. The Bible is a favorite, since most people do have favorite passages and the text is so vast that it would be virtually impossible for someone to find the one you picked. Lay a 4×6 piece of plastic wrap or trace paper on that passage, and using a marker mark letters in reading rows that correspond to your coordinates. Make sure the beginning of your passage starts (in this example) with a D, for your first punch. That way it will line up correctly. Transfer this onto an index card and punch holes in it. Check that it all still matches. Store it in a different book. A hand punch is recommended, because punching with something like a skewer will leave raggy edges that will close when you store it in a book, and this makes it difficult to use.

Alternately, if you keep a recipe file, you can write your own code in disguise of a recipe. This is an easy way to write your own code. Keep the punch card in a random book in your library. It is always preferable to make more than one copy, especially if you have family.

Make a Portable Version of Code For Your Go Bag

If you want a portable code that you can take in your go bag, you can make a mini version using your SAS book or a portable New Testament, assuming you carry either one of those in your pack. You will have to buy a 1/8″ punch, as the normal hand punch tools will reveal two letters in a tiny book like these.

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Spouses and Children

If you have a spouse, make sure he or she also knows how to use it. Physically show them where the caches are too. Decide whether your children are old enough to know as well.

Hiding a good chunk of your supplies will allow you to thrive in a survival situation should you lose everything. If you live in a nuclear family home situation, you are at even greater risk of losing your things if SHTF. With less people there is less security and a bigger target.

If you do nothing else, at least bury a couple caches that might allow you to survive. This would be the equivalent of the supplies in an I.N.C.H. (I’m Never Coming Home) bag. Include the pack as well. You can find tons of articles and videos if you would like to know what is in an I.N.C.H. bag.

Whether you decide to cache a lot of things or a few things, in the end, you’re left with the heavy hearted decision on whether you want to thrive, or just survive, if SHTF. The most important thing to take away this holiday is… “So Bury Your Goods For Goodness Sake!”

Have a Merry Christmas! God Bless!

See Also:

SurvivalBlog Writing Contest

This has been part two of a two part entry for Round 79 of the SurvivalBlog non-fiction writing contest. The nearly $11,000 worth of prizes for this round include:

First Prize:

  1. A $3000 gift certificate towards a Sol-Ark Solar Generator from Veteran owned Portable Solar LLC. The only EMP Hardened Solar Generator System available to the public.
  2. A Gunsite Academy Three Day Course Certificate. This can be used for any one, two, or three day course (a $1,095 value),
  3. A course certificate from onPoint Tactical for the prize winner’s choice of three-day civilian courses, excluding those restricted for military or government teams. Three day onPoint courses normally cost $795,
  4. DRD Tactical is providing a 5.56 NATO QD Billet upper. These have hammer forged, chrome-lined barrels and a hard case, to go with your own AR lower. It will allow any standard AR-type rifle to have a quick change barrel. This can be assembled in less than one minute without the use of any tools. It also provides a compact carry capability in a hard case or in 3-day pack (an $1,100 value),
  5. Two cases of Mountain House freeze-dried assorted entrees in #10 cans, courtesy of Ready Made Resources (a $350 value),
  6. A $250 gift certificate good for any product from Sunflower Ammo,
  7. American Gunsmithing Institute (AGI) is providing a $300 certificate good towards any of their DVD training courses.

Second Prize:

  1. A Model 175 Series Solar Generator provided by Quantum Harvest LLC (a $439 value),
  2. A Glock form factor SIRT laser training pistol and a SIRT AR-15/M4 Laser Training Bolt, courtesy of Next Level Training, which have a combined retail value of $589,
  3. A gift certificate for any two or three-day class from Max Velocity Tactical (a $600 value),
  4. A Three-Day Deluxe Emergency Kit from Emergency Essentials (a $190 value),
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  6. Two 1,000-foot spools of full mil-spec U.S.-made 750 paracord (in-stock colors only) from (a $240 value).

Third Prize:

  1. A Royal Berkey water filter, courtesy of Directive 21 (a $275 value),
  2. A large handmade clothes drying rack, a washboard, and a Homesteading for Beginners DVD, all courtesy of The Homestead Store, with a combined value of $206,
  3. Expanded sets of both washable feminine pads and liners, donated by Naturally Cozy (a $185 retail value),
  4. Two Super Survival Pack seed collections, a $150 value, courtesy of Seed for Security, LLC,
  5. Mayflower Trading is donating a $200 gift certificate for homesteading appliances.

Round 79 ends on November 30th, so get busy writing and e-mail us your entry. Remember that there is a 1,500-word minimum, and that articles on practical “how to” skills for survival have an advantage in the judging.

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