Preppers are always looking for alternatives on how to store survival gear. Not only inside the home but also at secondary survival sites. These sites or bug-out sites are necessary to have them listed in our contingency plans. As I like to say, we always need a plan B and even a plan C. A backup plan on where to have extra survival gear for the bug-out site, and is a safe option, is to have a supplies cache.

If there’s an emergency or crisis and gets to the point that it’s time to grab the bug-out bag and leave our home leaving behind all our supplies, we don’t know for sure when we can come back home to resupply ourselves. We can keep moving from place to place, looking for supplies (especially food and water), or we can have supplies hidden in our bug-out sites in a supplies cache.

The theory behind using these tubes is to have a supply of food, water, and survival equipment, and in case something happens to our main reserves, where we no longer can go back to retreat them, then we can fall back to plan B since we have some supplies on PVC tubes.

Supplies Cache

The most popular supplies cache among preppers is to use PVC pipes. Tubes measuring 4-6 inches wide and lengths between 2-4 feet are preferred. The PVC material should be the thickest (Sch40 / Sch80) to resist abuse, inclement weather, water.

What To Include

Inside these cache’s you can storage survival items including food and water, for years. Think about critical items such as;

  • survival knife
  • small folding knife
  • fire starters
  • extra cloth (at least undies and socks)
  • survival food
  • water (distilled only)
  • flash light/headlamp and extra batteries
  • weapons
  • 550 paracord
  • survival fishing/hunting equipment
  • first aid
  • money 
  • any other supply that can fit inside the cache

For How Long?

Make sure to pack everything individually. If possible that you pack your items using vacuum-sealed bags. Remember that your going to have everything sealed and buried for 1-5 years. Replenish your cache with fresh food, water, and any other perishable around every five years.

Where To Hide It?

As I said before, you need to have a plan B, and that includes a secondary location where you can bug-out ASAP when needed. This secondary site can be land that you own, land that your family owns, and land that a friend of yours owns. The last resource is public land, but then you need to have all eyes open for those that want to take your things.

The supplies cache needs to be buried a minimum of 18 inches on the ground. Twenty four inches is preferred. The land serves as a cellar and keeps a cool and constant temperature. Also, the supplies cache needs to be sealed air-tight. Add oxygen and humidity absorbents inside the cache before closing the cap.

You must mark the specific location where you buried the survival cache. The contour of the area chosen can change drastically in a matter of months. A GPS marker is the best option or a map of the area.

supplies cache

Including Weapons

Another use that many Preppers give to these supplies caches is to hide weapons and ammunition in different places around your bug-out site. Having a gun on your bug-out site is a must since you need it for self-defense and hunting. If possible, try to have a rifle and a pistol. But remember, that this weapon will be buried for many years, so chose wisely when looking to buy one. Nowadays we can buy cheap guns online.

When including weapons and ammo inside the supplies cache, you need to be extra careful, preventing humidity or condensation inside the cache. It’s an excellent option to seal the gun and ammo inside anti-corrosion bags.

Supplies cache

Other Types Of Supplies Caches

Besides using the PVC pipes as caches, but there are other options to use as caches. 

  • 55 gal plastic drum – Needs to be made of High-density polyethylene (HDPE – 2) If it has an HDPE 1,4 or 5, it is suitable for food but not for extended storage. Look for the triangle on the bottom of the drum. It can be very heavy.
  • 20 gal salvage drum – Needs to be made from the same material as the 55gal. – with Screw Top Lid
  • 14 gal salvage drum – Needs to be made from the same material as the 55gal.
  • Ammo cans


Having a plan B for a bug-out situation is a must. In your family plans, decide where to go if a need to leave the house right away comes into play, DON’T WAIT UNTIL THE LAST MOMENT.

Once you had selected your bug-out site, plan to have some extras supplies hidden on that site, and use the supplies caches. Remember that your bug-out bag is limited to how much supplies you can carry on it. And in survivability, extras on your supplies are never too much.

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