Lets get back to today's topic--Cache contents. People can get really bent out of shape and go overboard on cache items. I've heard of guys caching vehicles on the extreme side, we will be a bit more toned down than that.
A lot of your cache contents will be dependent upon the application of the cache. Such as, a cache for your bug out route may contain items like food, water, and fuel. Whereas in your onsite cache you may have 2000 rounds of ammo for a shelter-in-place scenario or to keep looters from stealing it. Whatever the reason you need to think about how it will help you in that situation. If it helps you in a certain situation then it most likely will be a worthwhile investment.
Ask yourself these questions to help determine contents for various applications:
- Is this a resupply point?
- If so, what items will I have consumed by the time that I reach the cache? (ammo?)
- What items will help me to keep moving if I reach the cache? (food, medical gear, caffeine, water, or fuel?)
- How large is the cache container?
- How can this cache supplement my BOB or Get Home Bag loadout?
- Can I survive with what is solely in the cache?
- Will I need to reach this cache by vehicle or can I reach it by foot?
- Can I carry the contents of the cache on foot or will I need a vehicle?
These are just a few questions that you need to ask yourself when determining what type of contents to place in your cache.
Below I will list out different types of caches and recommended item list.
- Resupply cache (to resupply during travel)- food, water, ammunition, and fuel
- Onsite cache- identification's, passports, encrypted thumb drives, currency, firearms, ammo, bug out supplies, and whatever else you deem necessary
- Urban Evasion Cache- lockpicks, tools, weapons, burn phones, pre-paid credit cards, cash, and disguises
- Survival Cache- essentially this is a survival kit with items that will help you survive (I will detail mine below)
Here's whats in my survival cache.
Survival basics such as a knife, fire kit, compass, cordage, and something to carry it all in (bag). You want to make sure you choose quality items. They need to be reliable. Usually when I upgrade gear, I will place older items into caches. If your still working on getting your primary quality gear such as BOB's or Get Home Bags; I think its okay to then use less quality items for your caches. Something is better than nothing in a survival situation.
Illuminations devices are always key to making a survival situation a bit more comfortable. For my cache I chose an inexpensive headlamp. ($4.99 Energizer Trailfinder/Link Below), Mini-Maglite with red lens, and a few chem-lights. The Maglite brand is decent quality and can take a beating. I also included a red lens to protect my night vision as well as to help with going undetected during the night. Since red is harder to see from a distance than a traditional white beam.
Food and water is critical to us. It also gives us energy to keep moving by providing precious calories. In a cache; you will want to have food that will last a long time and can be eaten without needing to cook it. I like MRE's for that reason. They can be ripped open and eaten on the move. Notice I didn't include an MRE heater in this kit. That's because when on mission's we always ate our chow cold, we never wasted precious time by heating and eating. We ate them cold and on the move. I also added Emergency Drinking Water Rations. I could have added water purification tablets but I would then need to pack a container. The water rations are in their own container and can easily be carried and drank when needed
Shelter will vary depending on your location. Mine current environment doesn't get too cold any time of the year. That allows me to be a little more conservative with my sheltering options. For my kit I have two contractor grade trash bags. They can be used to make a hobo sleeping bag by placing one in the other and filling the outside bag with leaves and debris. They can also be used to make poncho, tarp, tent, or to gather water. I've also included a military space blanket that is an OD green color. This will help retain body heat as well as helping me remain undetected if I'm in evasion mode. The trash bags can also be used as a sort of camouflage if need be. I've also included a brightly colored rain poncho in the case I do need to be seen or rescued. The duct tape is mandatory (I've made it into a smaller roll to be easily pack-able).
I've also included a first aid kit (that included boo-boo items, painkillers, as well as trauma related supplies. I've also included currency, handcuff keys, lockpicks, and a bobby pin. These items will help if I've been restrained or with the possibility of becoming restrained.
This was just some gear from one of my caches in the future I'll go over other contents for a variety of other caches. Hopefully this may have helped you in deciding what gear to place in your cache.
Here are a few links to some low-cost/decent quality items for your cache: