Time to hide some stuff. Yup, the time has finally come. But, rather than calling it “hiding stuff” let’s refer to it as caching supplies, that sounds a whole lot better…and far more accurate. Here’s the trick…how you hide it predicts how useful your gear will be when it comes time to actually use it again.
We bought our retirement property that can also serve as a very suitable BOL (BugOut Location). A problem exists in that the property is a five-hour drive away from our current home. If the time ever comes that we need to actually bugout to it will we be able to have the right supplies there. And following my Seven Survival Priorities you want the right supplies to help mitigate those top seven risks. Let me review what those risks are for just a minute –
- Threat of violence
- Threat of injury or sickness
- Lack of or poor communications
- Lack of or poor organization
If you haven’t read my “Proper Preparedness Principles” article it would be worth your time and help you better understand this article.
OK, so we have our priorities in proper perspective and proper order. Doing so can give us a clear, practical, and logical way to decide what to store. But, knowing how to store it is the thrust of this article. Well, that may not be entirely true, I will go into detail on what I stored which is very useful and helpful as well. Now remember, my situation is different than yours, you may want to vary the list to meet your specific needs. But the Seven Survival Priorities remain constant, how you meet those threats is up to you. I will share how I am doing it, I hope it gives you some ideas.
Top Priority –
The #1 threat or risk in any emergency, disaster, or grid-down is the threat of violence. It can strike anyone, anytime, and without warning. You or your family could end up badly injured or dead as a result. So we must mitigate this risk first or the other preparations might be for naught.
How did I do this? A 5.56 carbine for my wife and I. No silly, not a shared carbine, we will each have one. And that brings me to the next point, let’s get started. However, before that I want to lay out the worst case scenario…complete grid-down and virtual martial law. What I am getting at is the possibility that we can minimally move around (i.e. travel) but with almost no supplies to speak of and absolutely no weapons. Meaning, if you are found with a weapon you get incarcerated on the spot, so we have to leave weapons behind.
What In –
Since I am assuming that both my wife and I would be arriving at the property, the items that get cached at the property are “times two”, one for her, the other for me. That means two storage containers. And since it is never wise to “put all your eggs in one basket” not only are there two storage containers, there are two separate locations for these containers. That is redundancy…and redundancy is a good thing. Bad guys might find one location, maybe by pure chance, but you don’t want to lose all your cached items by having them all in the same location. Think Pearl Harbor during WWII…all the ships were docked together and they were easy pickings by the Japs.
Before I get into the list of items that are being cached let’s talk about the storage container itself. I did a lot of research a few years back and found one specialized storage container that met all my requirements. Actually, it exceeded my requirements and truly shined as the right option for this need. It is called a MonoVault.
The MonoVault is essentially a long sturdy plastic tube with a screw-on lid that with a gasket. Then there is a cover that goes over the lid that overlaps about 4” of the tube itself. The thickness of the plastic is plenty sufficient, probably thicker than it needs to be, so it will hold up well. The gasket ensures that water will not enter the tube. Actually, from my testing I believe the tube to be airtight as well. The cap cover the top of the tube, including over the lid, helps ensure that any water migrating down will move over and past the lid…a shedding affect, kinda like a tight fitting umbrella.
For the two that I used, the MonoVault’s exterior measurements are 30.5” tall. The interior measurements are 28.5” tall by 8.75” diameter. I wasn’t real sure that this was going to be large enough for the mission…I was wrong. This thing is plenty large enough for everything I wanted to store in it and then some. So, here is what I wanted to store in the MonoVault –
- 5.56cal carbine < see this article for more info >
- 40cal. semi-auto pistol < see this article for more info >
- 7 magazines (30-round)
- 100 rounds of 5.56
- 50 rounds of 40cal
- Tactical vest < see this article for more info >
- Gerber StrongArm knife < see this article for more info >
- Gerber multitool
- nDur water filter (Lifestraw) < see this article for more info >
- Spyderco Paramilitary2 knife < see this article for more info >
- Individual first aid kit (IFAK) < see this article for more info >
- .22 cal bore snake
- Hoppes Silcone Cloth moderately soaked in EWL2000
All of that went into the MonoVault with ease. But, I did prep some of the gear first and I want, actually need, to share that with you because it is so important. Yes, the MonoVault is billed as waterproof. But, I never take anything for granted. And yes, our place is in Arizona known for being very dry compared to other some areas of the country. But…there is still that residual moisture that might migrate into the storage vault and I don’t want that to ruin my day…or either of my weapons in each vault.
Weapons Preparation –
Preparing each weapon was not complicated nor difficult but should be done…in my opinion. First thing I did was strip the carbine down, pulled the bolt carrier group out, etc. I used a bore snake and soaked it very liberally with EWL2000. < click here to read more about EWL2000 > I ran that snake a couple of times making sure the barrel was spotless and well coated with EWL2000. I made that all the other internals of the weapon were spotless and well coated with EWL2000. Notice I have said “coated” not saturated, not dripping, just coated.
I reassembled the carbine but left the upper and lower detached. I placed both in a ProTecht gun storage bag, sealed the bag with masking tape, then placed the bag in the MonoVault. I did the same with the pistol.
As far as the ammo is concerned I placed them in separate Ziploc bags, double bagged actually. In each bag with the ammo I placed a silica absorbent for any stray moisture that might enter the double bag. Prior to putting the ammo in the bag I rubbed the ammo with a silicone cloth…no oil on the cloth. That placed a micro-thin coat of silicone on each round of ammo. Doing so will inhibit corrosion but absolutely not interfere with feeding in your weapon.
For the Gerber Strong Arm and Spyderco knives I essentially did the same process as I did for the ammo. I wiped the knives down with the silicone cloth, bagged the knife, dropped in silica moisture absorbent, and then bagged it again.
When it came to sealing the unit I did not add anything to the gasket, threads, or apply anything after-the-fact. The instructions didn’t say too and I was trusting the manufacturer to be accurate. The manufacturer wouldn’t last a year if this product didn’t work. So I figured I would do as they instructed.
I had fully prepared both MonoVault’s contents, placed them in the MonoVault, and then it was time to bury the whole thing for safe keeping. Boy, now it got interesting. But, that is for the next article in this series.
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