What would you put in an Operational Cache?

Operational Cache: A storage unit of supplies meant to be accessed while traveling to resupply on the go. Often these caches are buried but not always. Defensive supplies are often a major component.

Scenario – You have a few friends in the area surrounding your home or your bug out property. You have stationed operational caches with these friends. Vacating your property is always a possibility or you may find yourself away when it all comes crashing down. The availability of an operational cache which to access needed supplies is invaluable.

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What supplies do you have in the caches?

Are they buried?

For the sake of this exercise there are two sizes of cache:

  1. 50 caliber military ammo can/large PVC pipe
  2. 35 gallon or so large tote – such as this


Alright – share your ideas on what to put in the cache.




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13 thoughts on “What would you put in an Operational Cache?”

  1. I’d like too… and I’ve looked at it .. and just am in denial about the whole thing.. How do you guys
    1.) have a secondary location to go to
    2.) find the $$ to squirrel away what essentially is food and BOB like content at the least ..
    3.) continue to build you cache at home

    I don’t struggle with the mechanics/techniques of it .. that’s fairly simple almost easy..
    When I started I had already decided to move out and away from city and onto land with water .. lucky. I’d have built entirely different and likely much smaller if I had known what I know now. but it is what it is. You have to dance with th eone you brung.

    • Good question goingray58.

      #1 – I have several potential secondary locations with two main ones. Secondary locations come from friends and relatives mainly. If neither one of those are an option then look to where you could relocate to and then consider cache spots along the way and nearby.

      #2 – Depending on the contents the cost does not have to be severe. Everyone’s budget is different but one cache may include a few MRE’s or Mountain House pouches, a water filter, knife, spare clothes, radio, rain jacket, tarp, and paracord. This quick list would not add up to a lot of money. Adding in a pistol, ammo, magazines would certainly increase the amount though inexpensive models could be bought.

      By the way extra money could be raised by selling a few things or working doing some odd jobs.

      #3 – At home? A little bit at a time. Food is critical. Local grocery store has 20 pounds of rice for under $9.00. Shop bargains.

      Possibly you could be more specific as to #3. WHat is it your trying to stock up on? Are you speaking in general of preparedness on a budget?


      • don’t get me wrong.. What you say makes sense ,, and home is in a great location. #3 was more about trying to do cache’s when getting Bob up to speed and everything all at once.. buying and training radios .. ammo.. food .. solar.. hot house .. root cellar .. planting.. canning.. yada yada.. The list is daunting and time even more so.. I’m a technical architect in IT .. and basically do not have a life .. Oh and then there are 4-5 workouts a week taking 110 – 180 .. so odd jobs are not an option .. not many undedicated minutes.. I’ll figure it out .. I guess over all I don’t like what I see and hear and feel the pressure of being ready right the heck now ya know .. and I don’t think I am being dramatic .. or dark .. I’ve made quite a few friends local and near .. and that helps.. I’m not sure one person can do it all alone .. and if you do.. what happens if something happens to YOU? right ? so trying to teach and educate as I go as well .. take someone along when I do stuff.. We did a group “Trading Blanket” barter session this week that was a very good learning experience… if you ever get a chance.

  2. Goingray58: Here is an idea: It worked for me, but everyone’s situation is different. There is a location that I must absolutely positively get to that is 351 miles from my front door. Obviously that distance cannot be traveled by vehicle under teotwawki circumstances. So, the stash and dash method became the only reasonable alternative to me. And her goes:

    1: Approximately at 20 mile intervals along the entire route are buried two five ft. long pieces of 4″ schedule 40 pvc with 8 quart jars of food and other essentials. The ninth jar is filled with 25 ’00’ 12ga. buckshot. Next to the pvc is buried one 5 gal. bucket of tap water., along with one Life Straw. Another bucket with hygiene essentials, and a change of clothes and socks are at each 50 mile interval.

    2. At 10 mile intervals is another 5 gal. bucket of water. I’d rather have too much water than not enough.

    3. Nobody, absolutely nobody, knows where these stashes are but me. I firmly believe what Benjamin Franklin said to be true, that being, “Two people can keep a secret as long as one of them is dead.”

    4. One mile from my home, in the woods, secluded, hidden from sight and sound are enough preps and water to keep me alive for 90 days before the journey begins. Maybe the great die off will be over by then and the walk will be safer. I’m talking, walking across country, never along the roads and highways.

    5. While I’m there for the 90 days there are also five gallons buckets already buried slightly beneath the surface. These are for body waste and nothing else. I cannot draw attention to myself by sight, sound, or odor. Gross but necessary.

    6. At the end of the journey is the big stash that will hopefully keep me going until I’m proficient at guerrilla gardening and foraging.

    7. The center of gravity for this operation is operational security. No contact with anyone for any reason whatsoever. No cell phone, no ham radio, no computer, no solar chargers, rather anything electronic is working or not after the collapse is immaterial. There will not be a word spoken to anyone for any reason whatsoever either. Avoid contact, visual, verbal, or otherwise. No exceptions.

    In closing, I’m convinced that most preppers do not realize just how critical our national situation really is and how much back breaking, bone crushing work it really takes to ensure one’s success. Yesterday, I was attempting to help a family find a secluded spot for their own stash and after just a few hours in the woods of searching and then digging, they simply quit, dropped their shovels, and walked away, saying they would rather die, because survival was not worth the trouble. This is a true event and I’m much concerned that it infects most of our population. God help us. thanks for your time.

  3. Funny you should bring this up because I’ve been actively preparing my Cache items for the past 3 weeks and am about to go locate them underground. My scenario is that I’ll be Bugging-In due to my location but there’s always a possibility that my Bug-In location could be overrun or the Gubmint could come alookin to confiscate. That’s the reason I’m looking to locate “extra” items on nearby BLM land. I plan on digging a square hole then placing a wooden pallet on the bottom and 4 others as the sides. I’ll then line it with heavy plastic, place my items inside the hole (all of which will be vacuum sealed and put in 5-gal plastic buckets and PVC tubes), close the hole with the plastic then place a 6th pallet on top. All of this will then be covered with at least a foot of dirt then I’ll scatter metal auto parts and metal cans around to discourage all those “treasure hunters” with metal detectors. I plan on including an extra M4 I built for about $380 from Palmetto State Armory (all parts on sale in kit form) plus mags, ammo, MRE’s, Other Food including Freeze Dried, Seeds, Water Filters with Coffee Filters, Cooking Gear, Firestarting items, Clothes including Cold Weather Clothing, Rain Gear, First Aid Kit, Sleeping Bag and Tent, Tarp, Emergency Tools, Fishing Kit, Uno cards, TP, Toiletries, Flashlight, Molle Gear, etc. As you can probably see from my condensed list, I’m looking at needing the Cache to survive and start over until things stabilize. Just my thoughts.

  4. I’d keep it simple if its resupply. A 2 liter soft drink bottle filled with water, a nesting pot (40 oz. food can?) with picture wire bail to heat it, 5 ramen packs with beef jerky, large trash bag, a windbreaker and a small bail of wire cordage. Every 10 – 15 miles if possible in case you have to skip or miss one. Its for getting from point A to be, not re-equipping, you need to stay light and move fast. Though a string pack for someone adding on would be easy – string pack compacts to virtually nothing.

    • good thought Anonymous ..

      So is it for resupply and A to B to C to D or as I was thinking in case of more .. like losing important pieces of your gear.
      I guess the answer is depends… maybe both … an equipment cache near home base you can easily keep an eye on .. and “A to B to C” caches that won’t kill you if one gets found .. I think I like the dichotomy. resupply way points is a good idea .. maybe making like a geocache and paper too of course.. and the big cache near home would allow cycling things in and out of the cache as needed.. ageing or new / additional .. as acquisition allows… I’m thinking a seed vault at the destination as well .. I’ll have to think it through some more.

  5. I currently do not have any “operational” caches, although I do have as secondary location to go that is fully stocked.

  6. Don’t forget batteries for your metal detector. That way you can find everyone else’s caches and dig them up…Yes just kidding, but with all of the supplies I read about being cached out there, I wonder if people are putting too much trust in their cache being undisturbed when they get there. I remember one article where a person said that they had buried a large PVC tube with a rifle and some ammo in it off of the freeway in some trees just in case they needed to bug out and firearms had been ‘Hillary-ized’. After a rain storm they decided to check on it and when they pulled up to their stand of trees, they saw half of their PVC pipe sticking up out of the ground due to buoyancy, and the rain-soaked soil. Remember to learn basic woodcraft skills so that you can still survive if your cache(s) have been compromised. Also keep your operational security in mind as you create / modify / remove your cache.

  7. All exc. comments.This site helps us all. Going gray58.I hear you. We have to bug in .We could not afford to have a home site and a retreat site.
    We do have an agreement with another prepping family though that they are welcomed here and us there-which would be a long way.We also have a tent and small shelter in case our home burned down or if a tornado hit .
    Going Gray58-yes seeds are important as well as tools to garden.
    Everyone –
    vitamins are also small yet very essential.
    Taxn2Poverty-wow thats incredible that you were kind enough to help that family and they didnt have the time and energy to bury their cache.Many people will surely die rapidly.
    Lets pray for the best and plan for the worst. Arlene

  8. When thinking about the size of the cache, I remembered the five gallon buckets with Gamma Seal lids that I use to store animal feed, seeds, and fertilizer. They are a good size to store and carry.

    For me ,every cache has to have a knife, fire, and shelter plus food and water. I will have two two liter bottles of water plus two two liter bottles of gasoline in the cache. Sealed protein bars and sealed powdered Gatorade drink mix. A cooking pot or metal food can that a two liter bottle can sit in would be nice.
    Enough space blankets, tarps, and parachute cord to make a survivable shelter. Soap, toothbrush, paste, and basic first aid supplies with medications. A small rechargeable radio either for monitoring or communication. A LED headlight with extra rechargeable batteries. A Fiskars hatchet and folding saw would complete the cache.

  9. goinggray58: When you say, “Sounds like a lot of work”, I’m not bragging or complaining, but I have worn myselves out mentally, physically, and almost financially to accomplish this task over the last two years. But it’s done, and I thank Christ for that every day. You hang in their my friend, and let nothing discourage you, ever. thanks


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