View Full Version : Caching food and more

Ron Mauer Sr
8th February 2013, 04:46
If or when things get ugly and thieves come to your door, be they in uniform or not, nothing is safe if hidden inside the house.

Cached food and other supplies, including those susceptible to rust or decay are much safer if buried outside the home, and not buried all in one location. One inexpensive way to do this is by first enclosing the buried asset in a Food Saver bag. This material is available at Walmart. (http://www.walmart.com/ip/FoodSaver-11-x-16-Roll-Bag-2-Pack/10992841)Bags can be formed up to 16 feet long. The end of the bag can be sealed with a common household clothes iron, or with the FoodSaver vacuum sealer.

Hopefully the situation will not degrade to the extent this precaution will become necessary, but it is good to think about simple inexpensive solutions and be prepared with Food Saver bags, a clothes iron and a shovel.

8th February 2013, 09:37
Remember to vermin-proof your food cache. Rats will chew through plastic to get the food. Metal or glass containers are very useful.

8th February 2013, 09:47
These are actually very good suggestions.

Aside from *possible* hungry looters ... consider *possible* earth change events.

American Indian tales suggest of times (presumably when the magnetosphere has collapsed for a brief time) when they had to take to caves and would periodically throw out a stick to see if it caught on fire.

Looking at the clear evidence of earth's history suggests times of volcanism such that there are periodic times (at least in certain areas) where vegetation will be burned/killed from the ash.

You cannot live forever on buried food ... but could certainly save you and yours lives until circumstances returned to normality.


9th February 2013, 01:11
Food caching is indeed an interesting topic.

Some basics: (Advanced is below)

• Colder is better for long-term storage. All foods and seeds last longer at lower temperatures. Every degree above, oh, 50F or 10C reduces storage time exponentially. We can’t all keep everything that cool year-round, but beware of caching supplies in attics or rental storage units without air conditioning. Heat kills. Go below ground, if you can..

• Drier is better. Dampness rots. Items buried in desert sands have become totally desiccated – but have remained viable for hundreds or thousands of years (n.b. I didn’t say tasty!) Beware of leaky, swampy low-lying areas – or basements that are prone to flooding.

• Rodents and critters are not your friends. They’ll happily chew through almost anything to get at your food. Secure all your supplies in thick plastic buckets with lids, Tupperware bins or some such before stashing. Solid metal is ideal, but not foil..

• Label these bins, for crissake, so you can find what you need.

• Look up “root cellars” for some good storage designs. Amazon has books on this.

There are a lot of good websites with detailed info on packing food supplies in mylar and nitrogen-flushing them for maximum freshness. You can do this yourself. Pack these mylar bags into the plastic bins.

Now, (ahem):

The Advanced Seminar: (deception and detection):

• If you are stashing food, don’t ever tell anyone how much you’ve got. Seriously. If you want to encourage your friends/family to prepare for themselves, extol the virtues of “having an old-fashioned pantry” or “putting up some canning for winter”, “I’ve got a few things for a few days…” Don’t go beyond that, ever. Reason: Your family and friends will delay setting aside their own preps – because they’ll all think they’ll be so f***ing clever and come over to your house for food instead. They will become the raiding party - or the first wave. And word will get around really fast – don’t think they can keep a secret when their friends are also hungry. I know this is hard, but .just. don’t. You can admit others to your inner circle later, when needed.

• And keep encouraging them to prep for themselves. That’s more humane and productive.

• Divide up your food stash. Don’t put everything in one place, because if it’s found you’re screwed. (Unless, of course, you are a philosophical saint at that point and happy to feed raiding parties and starve gracefully.)

• Set out some bait. That is, if the gestapo comes knocking, have a few days’ supply – your current menu - set out in a closet or shelves that they can confiscate – or “accept as a gift…” Show this off to your friends, if you want. Keep your real stuff deeply hidden, in several other places.

• Go deep bafflement: That is, after you’ve set out the bait, keep a convincing stash carefully hidden in a plausible spot. You will be greatly distressed when the clever raiding party finds this, your “real” cache… Let them take it, fight, whatever. Don’t let them imagine the rest is concealed behind a false wall or shelves…..

• If you are going to dig up your garden/yard to create a storage space, come up with a plausible reason for digging to tell your friends and neighbors. Septic system. Sewer line. Foundation repair. Roots interfering. New wing on house. Migod the expense… They will notice. Explain something. You get the idea.

• Eventually, you will want/need to barter with your stash for other goods.

1. Never trade or barter from your home or the location of your stash. Go to whatever flea market has been set up (there will be one, trust me) in your community.

2. Bring only a few pathetic amounts from your stash – just enough, with some clever bargaining – to get what you need that day in exchange.

3. Corollary: Don’t bargain with that whole 5 lb bag of sugar or jar of freeze-dried coffee; divide it up into smaller packets. (Set aside some small ziplocks for this.) Gives you more leverage (“Okay, I’ll trade you three packs for that…”) If you have seeds, consider starting them as seedlings in egg cartons, rather than trading an entire pack for something. The upside is that you can help a whole lot more people by giving them viable plants – they may not really know how to start seeds.

4. Never, ever indicate that “there’s more where that came from…” Always suggest that this one is the very last one….you were lucky to find this…parting reluctantly with… etc. Don’t become a reliable supplier. They’ll follow you home.

5. Never go to the market alone. You will quite literally need someone to watch your back enroute. Food can be more precious than gold.

Hope this is helpful.



9th February 2013, 02:59
Thanks Selene, all good advice except for the plastic bins. Rat's will eat through those in one night if they can smell what's inside.

9th February 2013, 03:07
Thanks, Cjay!

That's probably why most experts - and I am not one! - recommend packing foods into mylar bags w/oxygen removers before stashing these into hard storage. But a 50 gallon metal oil drum would indeed be pure gold.... (barring rust!)



Ron Mauer Sr
9th February 2013, 03:40
Preventing rats from getting to buried food might be accomplished by digging a deeper hole. But I don't know what depth is enough.

If the cache is for something other than food, then rats should not be a problem, and a sealed FoodSaver bag should be adequate protection from moisture.

Ron Mauer Sr
21st August 2015, 18:18
If or when things get ugly and thieves come to your door, be they in uniform or not, nothing is safe if hidden inside the house.

Those living in community should not tell others where items are stored, or what has been stored.

Diverse storage locations may become extremely important.

Mason jars make excellent containers for storing dehydrated food.

Diverse locations for stored items is needed. Never store everything in one place.

Caching (http://ronmauer.net/blog/?page_id=3027)

Vacuum Packing At Home (http://ronmauer.net/blog/?page_id=4097)