Hiding-Caching Your Beans, Bullets, & Bullion

Welcome to this week’s Survive The Coming Collapse newsletter, brought to you by Tim Larkin’s Target Focus Training–the empty hands combatives program that I’ve been using successfully since the mid-90s and the only system that I trust for both my 102 pound wife and my parents who are in their 70s.  Tim’s got an incredible offer for my readers this week, and you can find out about it by going >here<.

Survival Diva here to discuss effective strategies to hide critical survival goods at home and survival caches for a time we might need them. Whether you live in the city or in the middle of nowhere on an off-grid homestead, there are no guarantees that you’ll be immune from looting. By setting a simple workable game plan in motion now, the outcome is more likely to go in your favor later if you ever do find yourself in a situation where looting is prevalent.

A critical mistake would be to pretend we’ll never be a victim of looting, yet I hear this fairly often from those who’ve moved off grid who tell themselves they will never experience the lawlessness urban areas may suffer.

The truth is, no matter where we live, there will be neighbors and those that will show up looking for a safe place to escape. With luck, they will be good people simply wanting to find a way to survive. It’s the people who have lost their moral compass, or never had one to begin with, that we should prepare for. That starts with doing what we can to secure our survival goods at home, and caching survival goods away from our immediate area  should we need to flee, if only for a short duration.

(David’s note:  two other important considerations for caching is that they will protect you before a disaster in the event of a random break-in, flooding, fire, tornado, or other potentially catastrophic events AND they’ll allow you to be more “transparent”, open, and inviting with guests in your house.  The more you have cached, the less stuff that it’s possible for guests and visitors to see.)

Several months ago, I had a series of frustrating conversations with a friend who had convinced himself he had the perfect plan to avoid looters and lawlessness. Over the years, this friend had always been brutally honest with himself about his capabilities and his prepping strategy…except when it came to the bug out cabin he was planning to build. In hindsight, it become clear he was “stuck” on his idea that he’d been holding on to for years, and no amount of logic would open his eyes to the fact that this bug out solution was not going to let him hide in plain sight. After months of hearing about this Shangri-La, where he could live and survive unmolested and undetected without incorporating safety backups, I switched tactics, and that conversation is posted here—partially to show that humor can be found, even with a subject  as serious as survival, and partially for you to examine if you’ve been guilty of doing something similar. If so, there’s good news. It’s never too late to kick safety measures into gear!

Now, getting back to my friend’s plan. He was going to build a bug out dwelling that would be carved into a hillside. The front of this hideaway was the only portion of his getaway that would be visible, but he planned to camouflage this with an overhang, allowing its location to “blend” with its surroundings. It would be far off grid, but would have a road leading to it. Automatically this meant he would have neighbors even if acres of land separated them, and in a crisis, it was likely these off-grid neighbors would have family members fleeing to the area, which meant more neighbors.

Upon the 20th or 30th phone conversation, hearing about this perfect place that would allow him to hide in plain sight, I cracked. It went like this:

Me: “Okay, let’s pretend you’ve built this perfect hideaway. Will you have any family members joining you, and if so, will there be children?”

His answer, “Well, there’ll be my daughter and two sons and their children.”

ME: “Will these children be put in permanent ‘time out’…where they’re never allowed outside?”

Him: “Of course they’ll be allowed outside! Do you see me as some sort of monster?!”

Me: “You don’t have to yell. Now, will you be growing a garden for when your food storage is gone?”

Him: “You know I have heirloom seed. Of course we’ll be growing a garden!” By now, he was getting a bit ‘testy’.

Me: “Are you still planning to build an outhouse?”

Him: “Where are you going with this?…of course we’ll have an outhouse. The septic could fail. There needs to be an outhouse for backup!” He’d moved from testy to belligerent.

Me: “Will you family be arriving on foot, or by vehicle?”

Him: “I have better things to do with my time, you know. Obviously, they’ll be driving. We’ve already discussed this!”

Me: “This won’t take much longer. And if you don’t mind, I’d appreciate it if you’d stopped yelling into the phone. Those chickens you talked about…are you still planning to build a chicken coop?”

Him: Frustrated sigh. “Yes, there’ll be chickens and a chicken coop. If we don’t have chickens, how in the heck will we have fresh eggs and meat?”

Me: “We’re just about done, and I don’t appreciate your tone, by the way. Now, do you still plan on having solar panels and running your generator once in a while?”

Him: “Now you’re being ridiculous! We’ve talked about all of this! Yes, I’ll have solar panels, and yes, every once in a while, I plan to run the generator so we can have a movie night.”

Me: “Then, any person with the intelligence of a bag of rocks is goanna know someone is living on your property and you don’t have a backup plan.

Kids make noise and if they’re allowed outside after being cooped up indoors, they’ll be out of control.

I can see them now; laughing and singing on the way to the outhouse—just you wait and see. And those cars everyone will hopefully be arriving in are going to announce to a looter that people have congregated at your location. Of course, you could set the cars on fire, throw clothes and sundries around to make it look like you’ve been burned out, I suppose. But what about the solar panels and that garden that won’t tend itself, and the outhouse that’ll still smell like new lumber. And what about the chickens and movie nights with the generator?

“If I were on a search and destroy mission, had recently had a frontal lobotomy, and starvation had taken the last bit of reason I possessed, I believe I’d still find it suspicious that whoever was tending to that garden, grabbing sunlight from solar panels, using the outhouse, keeping the chicken’s plump, and every once in a while firing up a generator for movie night just might be hiding a pretty good stash of survival goods, seeing’s how their home was stuck into a mountainside, ‘hidden’.

“You know I love you and your family more than color TV, but if you ever tell me again how you’re going to hide in plain sight, I WILL HANG UP ON YOU!”

The story I’ve related isn’t fiction. It happened only recently, and I am relieved to say after that long distance conversation…and a cooling off period, my friend called to tell me that after thinking it over, he had determined his plan was flawed. He is now making up for lost time, setting up safety measures and planning his survival caches for a day when he and his family members may have to flee, if only for a while.

We don’t need to panic over the possibility of looters; we just need to be prepared for them. When confronted by a looter, it comes down to a decision; whether to stand and defend, or leave until your home is safe to return to. If you decide to leave, it’s important to have a safe place already picked out to relocate to until you’re able to return. On the way to your safe place, having a cache or two available for retrieval along your escape route will be a lifeline. In fact, having more than one cache is ideal.

Protecting your supplies at home is just as important for long-term survival and the trick of keeping what you have requires thinking outside the box. A looter will usually take the path of least resistance, which means looking in all the obvious places where most of us hide our valuables: under the bed, in bookshelves, in the freezer, and behind paintings. Unlike today’s thief, a post-disaster looter might be comfortable taking their time while they nose through your things. Law enforcement numbers are likely to have dwindled while some stay at home to protect their loved ones, and communications may be down or jammed which would make calling for help impossible.

So keeping in mind a looter may not be in a hurry while they’re ransacking your home, have a look at some possible solutions to harden your home against looters and ideas on hiding a survival cache.

Conceal Your Stash

  1. A hide-a-bed with the mechanism and mattress removed offers space to build a wood box to hold survival goods.
  2. Boxes stacked willy-nilly marked with identifiers such as “2011 IRS INFO”, “Christmas Stuff”, “Brandon’s Old Toys”, “Brandon’s School Stuff”, or something along these lines is a workable decoy, especially if they’re stacked high and are cluttered. Think about the overwhelming frustration a looter would feel just looking at the work that lay ahead should they decide to route through those piles of boxes. The top boxes, the ones easiest to inspect, are the bait, filled with whatever’s marked on the outside of the box.
  3. Along these same lines scuffed and dented metal file cabinets probably won’t be perceived as a golden opportunity to a looter. But as already mentioned, they might take their time to open a few drawers—stack files and paperwork on top of what you’re hiding beneath!
  4. A laundry hamper with dirty clothes spread over the top of your supplies will probably be overlooked by a looter.
  5. A washer and dryer with clothes concealing what they’re hiding may also work.
  6. Vases topped off with artificial flowers or plants will hold smaller valuables, but keep in mind it wouldn’t take much for a looter to double-check. .
  7. Tennis shoes are a viable place to hide money and coins and other small valuables: Cut along the tongue of the tennis shoe and sew the valuable into place. You might also want to split apart the sole of shoes that have a hollowed-out heel and use this heel to hide valuables. This is similar to   what people did when fleeing Hitler’s Germany when they sewed valuables into hemlines—which is another idea–the hemlines of clothing are a good hiding place to stash small valuables.
  8. The bills of baseball caps can likewise be utilized to hide small valuables by un-stitching around the bill, tucking the item inside, and then carefully re-sewing the bill.
  9. Outdoors, hollowed-out 4 X 4 fence posts will store valuables and food items—but food must be placed in rodent-proof containers. Make sure to protect non-food items in heavy Ziploc bags, and if need be, wrapped again in heavy mill plastic.
  10. Cinderblocks used for fencing or landscaping offer plenty of opportunity to hide things in. Just by stacking them (filled with your survival goods), and giving the impression they were placed there for a future landscaping project wouldn’t likely catch a looters attention.
  11. An outdoor garbage container is a hiding spot most looters aren’t likely to gravitate towards. Protect what you place in a garbage container with plastic or smaller plastic containers and make sure what’s on top is actual garbage. This strategy can work for indoors garbage containers as well.
  12. Hiding items in an automobile or a bicycle (including the tires and handlebars) could work, but only if a looter has no reason to steal them. An EMP may mean a looter wouldn’t be interested in a vehicle….but would probably be VERY interested in a bike! A broken down vehicle offers more possibilities; side panels, steering column, gas tank, and under the seats.
  13. Overhead areas of outdoor structures may make for a good hiding spot, especially if the structure were to have a false ceiling with room to stash things. The same goes for the floor area when the structure isn’t on a concrete pad.
  14. A hollow-core door can store flatter, thinner items like dry soup packages, dehydrated food, garden seed, and the like.
  15. Between the springs of a bed may work, but keep in mind robbers are known to look in mattresses and behind picture frames, behind books in bookshelves, and in freezers for the simple reason that’s where the average person hides their valuables.
  16. Most couches have a dead space beneath the seat cushion and the industrial cloth that is stapled in place at the bottom of the frame. If you’re handy, it’s possible to fit a piece of plywood there for storage. Just re-staple the industrial covering back in place so your hiding space won’t be obvious.
  17. A child’s play structure is another opportunity to hide things. Especially if they’ve been repurposed with false floors or ceilings. A child’s sand box is another good hiding spot.
  18. Lengths of PVC pipe buried in a garden or lawn makes a perfect combo to hide food or valuables.
  19. If you have a yard, burying food caches in water-tight buckets is something most of us have heard suggested on preparedness sites. Burying a bucket works only when the water table allows for it. Some use steel barrels or smaller steel drums to combat a low water table.  If possible, find a location away from your immediate area for a second, or third, or fourth survival cache. This may require thinking outside the box, but if you must flee to safety, and the cached goods hidden on your property can’t be safely retrieved—at least until the looter tires of your place and leaves—you’ll have a backup. Some preppers rent a nearby storage unit. Just make sure to keep a copy of your rental agreement, so if you’re spotted scaling the fence during a power outage, you’ll have a legitimate reason to be there.
  20. Under a ground-level deck is another possible hiding place. A Survival cache packed in heavy plastic buckets or heavy mill plastic, or buried in PVC it will be there for you when you return.
  21. The space between the ceiling and cupboards in kitchens and bathrooms can be converted to storage space. Cover it with drywall or something decorative like breadboard, and you’ll have gained quite a bit of usable storage space. The same goes for the dead space under cabinets at floor level which is typically covered by baseboard trim.
  22. A false wall is not a new idea, but it’s worked to hide people and goods for centuries. Look around your home. If there’s room to build out a false wall, it will give you plenty of extra space that few looters would even think to look for.
  23. Your garage offers more possibilities. Something like an old coffee can hide smaller items. Just top them off with miscellaneous screws or nails. Old paint buckets are another possibility.
  24. Not ideal are bookshelves or the area behind closet shelving used to store linens, clothing, etc. because they are easy to access. But in a pinch, it’s better than not hiding critical survival goods at all. When you go outside the obvious hiding places and make a looter really work to uncover your survival goods, they are much less likely to be discovered.
  25. For those with farm animals or a dog, consider stashing items in feed barrels. A barrel marked “Chicken Feed” or “Dog Food”, and topped off with that feed to camouflage what’s inside will have a looter looking elsewhere.
  26. When hiding a cache of weapons or ammo, placing scrap metal over the site will thwart a looter armed with a metal detector. This also works for canned food. Any scrap metal like metal roofing, rebar, or old car parts will work.
  27. Consider dangling a carrot by keeping a few shelves of “give away” food in plain sight. The real stash can be hidden out of sight.

A few quick considerations:

Once you set a cache, LEAVE IT ALONE.  Time is one of your best assets in hiding your caches.

If you are setting caches along a route that you plan to travel, make sure they’re easy to retrieve.  If, on the other hand, you’re setting a worst-case-scenario cache, consider making it so that it will take an hour or more to retrieve.  As a note, that means that it may very well take 2-6 TIMES as long to initially place the cache.

What are your favorite strategies for caching…both inside and out?  What do you believe should be included in a survival cache? Have you found creative places to stash survival goods where a looter will never think to look? Please share your ideas by posting below!

Last weekend, America lost a hero, warrior, and all around great man, Chris Kyle.  I wrote a brief article about him on Monday >HERE<

God bless and stay safe,

David Morris and Survival Diva

 

 

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Comments

  1. Highpockets says:

    I like the obvious things, like if your area uses fuel oil for heat, put a fuel oil fill port just inside a garage door and spill a little oil around it. Inside could be just a PVC pipe or an actual floor safe. If you are out in the country and use propane, get a second tank and use it for your stuff.

    • Survival Diva says:

      Highpockets,

      These are great tips. Decoys are one of the best approaches to deflect a looter. Same goes for a post suggestion made months ago by a member; to scatter clothes on the lawn/property, or another contribution about using spray paint applied strategically that will to make it appear as if there was already a looting and the homeowner was burned out. Anyone lurking or actively looting an area may decide to keep moving–or in the case of your suggestions, they may be satisfied with a decoy and leave the majority of hidden items alone.

  2. great ideas and alot to think about.
    Question, if one burries ammo and a gun inside a PVC tube in the ground will the air in the tube create moisture and rust the ammo and weapons? just been thinking about
    this. thank for any and all replies and idea’s.

    • Survival Diva says:

      Ron,

      It’s hard to find specifics on protecting what is buried in PVC pipe. One level of protection is to wrap it in heavy mill plastic and then cover it once again with duct tape. Perhaps someone on the site has hands-on experience and can guide you further.

      • To Ron,

        Re: the PVC and heavy mill plastic–there is a specific heavy yellow color plastic, not sure of the mill thickness, but it is thick, specifically for what you are talking about–for covering and keeping safe from moisture–it has a 5 year life period!

        Most stores that sell the items you are concerned with will have the yellow plastic that is in the form of long items and short items ,like a pouch and ready to go–I am sure there will be some type of instructions with the purchase of the yellow plastic article–maybe by now it comes in another color, not sure!

        Good Luck,

        P S–Highpockets has some very good suggestions also! Read below my article!

        Mike

        • The P S sentence should read : Read below Highpockets (his) article! Sorry for the error–do not want to take credit for someone’s info!

          Mike

    • Highpockets says:

      Re: guns and ammo stored in PVC pipes, I would coat the gun with some type of preserving oil like LPS3 or the old stand-by cosmoline. I would also highly reccomend using a dessicant pack to reduce the humidity. You can get the pellets at Hobby Lobby for drying flowers. Use cloth bags so the silica pellets can do their thing. Also, put it in some type of container so if it continues to pull moisture it won’t make a puddle in your container. This also works in “fire resistant” safes that tend to be high in humidity inside. FNV (Facta non Verba)

    • Potentially yes, condensation can be a problem. I filled mine with carbon dioxide from a welding bottle before I sealed it up, but you could either save the little desiccant bags that come packaged in EVERYTHING, or buy some oxygen absorbers on the web. As condensation is oxygen and hydrogen, you only need to remove one or both gases to be in good shape. If you’re a welder, you can use 7018 welding rod. When placed in small containers it will absorb the hydrogen inside making it unavailable to condense into water… but only if the rod is fresh or was previously kept air tight to begin with. Rice also makes a decent moisture absorber. Use a cloth bag or some such and use copious amounts.

      • The moisture in the vessel is the moisture that was in the air when the vessel was sealed. Warm air holds more moisture that cold air. You will have less condensation potential if you pack your vessel in cold, dry winter weather than in summer. Air conditioning dries out the air somewhat so you could even carry it for a while in the car with you with the AC on while running errands and pack it in the AC dried air of the car before you get out. As others mentioned, use corrosion inhibiting wraps, include desiccant and an oxygen absorber. Rust is oxidation which requires free oxygen to occur, so if you eliminate oxygen from the environment by any of the methods suggested here (absorption or gas substitution) you go a long way to preventing rust.

  3. M. T. Brawner says:

    Survival Diva:
    I have Mylar bags, 5 gal. buckets, and O2 absorbers. I want to start putting aside some foods. If I have 25lb of bagged rice or 25lb of bagged beans, what is the point of opening those bags? Can I just slip them into the Mylar bags, activate the O2 absorbers and iron them shut?
    Second question: if they can be stored safely, do I actually need the Food-Grade buckets?

    Thanks in advance for your advice.

    • Survival Diva says:

      M.T. Brawner,

      Sorry for the delay replying to your questions. I had problems with my sattelite Internet provider.

      There are a couple of ways to prepare beans and rice for long-term storage. To start, you do need to remove beans and rice from their original packaging, so the O2 absorbers can do their job. You can place rice or beans in Mylar bags (remove as much of the oxygen from the bag as possible before sealing) and you can store them on shelves—however, this only works when the area where the bags are stored remains free of mice—not always possible when the location you should always store bulk goods should be in a dark, moisture free location. Temperature fluctuations will drastically reduce bulk food’s shelf life. The shelf life of dry goods, properly stored, can last three times longer (and sometimes longer) when it’s stored in the coolest temperature possible—40 to 50 degrees (AKA a cold room or root cellar), but never below freezing. Having said this, most of us must settle for 70 degrees, which still increases shelf life over bulk items stored in higher temps.
      The answer to your question about food-grade buckets might surprise you. In my book, Survival: Prepare Before Disaster Strikes, I recommended Home Depot paint buckets for those on a budget—those orange 5-gallon paint buckets with lids. They are food grade. They cost around $3.00 each, rather than the $8.00 – $11.00 charged by survival stores. Look for a triangle on the bottom of buckets with a triangle and inside that triangle is stamped HDP2 (HDP stands for ‘high density polyethylene’). This indicates the bucket is food grade. With the Home Depot buckets, you should hammer down the lid. Get their plastic lid openers. They cost around $4.00. Without it, getting lids open is very difficult. You can get free buckets at deli’s and bakeries, too.

  4. I’ve read some good ideas here. And some really wacky ones too. Seriously? Pvc pipe in your septic tank? I think I’ll pass on that one.False walls,buried vaults,and storage units are all excellent ideas.After the SHTF,I still believe the best way to deter a looter is two to the head.Leave him hanging on the fence out front with a sign around his neck that reads “looter #1”.Looter #2,I’m sure will take notice.As far as the LEO/Feds coming to my house,if it ever comes to that,I’d rather die in a smoking pile of brass,than on my knees,alittle each day. My county,town and house are defendable.I’m not too worried about most of the people where I live.We are all preppers.And most of them think I’m crazy,so they pay me no never mind.Nice cover,huh? All my #10s are already in place.(not at my house).Water is not an issue.Guns and ammo…check.Fuel for the genny…check.Seeds for the garden…yup.Parts to make my old pickup run,(in case of an EMP)aquired.If it’s gonna happen,let’er rip.I’m ready.

  5. Great ideas! I especially love the idea of hiding things in a wahser or dryer, masked with clothes, because when my girlfriends were just out of highschool and had their first apartment, that’s where we hid the booze whenever anyone’s mom came over. Good memories!

  6. Great Grey says:

    Also remember that depending on the looters they may set your place on fire when they leave.

  7. For those who want poultry, but not the rooster, check out ducks. They are easy to keep and quieter. Some of the breeds are prolific layers. The eggs are larger and good. They do not need a pond. What’s not to like? They’re birds, I guess. I had mine in a corral, away from the house, didn’t want duck slime at my back door. Locked them up at night and let them out in the morning. They were all killed by coyotes one afternoon while we were away.

  8. To make a safe room, you can toughen the existing walls with rebar by drilling holes a little larger than the rebar you plan to use. Drill holes in each stud the same height. I’d put rebar avery 12 inches in height.
    After that, put 3/4 inch plywood on each side of the wall, and cover the outside with panneling, sheetrock, or whatever you like.
    The 3/4 inch plywood is not something they’ll expect, and it is very difficult to get through. If they breach the outside wall, they still have to get thru the rebar. Most saw blades will not handle this, especially if the rebar is loose enough to roll when being cut.
    If they get thru all this, they still have to get thru another layer of 3/4 inch plywood on the inside of the wall.
    This should discourage almost anyone except an extreeme idiot.
    By the way, you do have to start with bare studs. I’m just saying.
    A room like this can have many uses, just use your imagination.

  9. A couple good stashing areas. First, install a false return air grille in your wall that opens into a wall cavity. Many of them have hinged fronts so access is easy. For that matter return ductwork (even false ductwork) can store a few items as well. Second, many times there is room above a stairway to enclose into a cavernous area. If your house plan allows, access to these areas often can be thru the back of a closet.

  10. Thanks to everyone for their postings.

  11. If you have an old style mirrored medicine cabinet in your bathroom or half bath, hinge the unit so it will swing out,and fasten it in with a couple of screws so it will not swing out until the screws are removed. Store valuables between the studs behind the unit.

  12. With respect to metal detectors, keep in mind that they will be non-functional in the event of an EMP or CME. Also, as pointed out below, most common looters will not be carrying around such a bulky device from house to house, nor will he have time to scour the house with it. Even post-apolyptic looters sweeping though an area will not take enough time to search the house completely. Metal detectors will be most problematic in the hands of “officials” who may come looking for long metal objects which go BANG!

    With that strategy in mind, plan your stash accordingly.

    • You can thwart the metal detectors by burying your stuff under the existing concrete foundation or a building. The re-bar will trigger the detector. Just don’t bury enough stuff to compromise the foundation itself by leaving large areas unsupported as you can’t repack the dirt very well once you’ve removed it.

  13. Willa Lee Wasson says:

    If we were to hide food, medication, vitamins, guns, bullets, and bullion in a crawl space or behind one false wall in a closet, what could we use to mask that areas from a metal detector?
    What could we do to harden an Armstrong single car garage door?

    We have been working on making a stand in an urban area for 5 years now, no money to move elsewhere. I wonder if others feel this way it’s been hard to come up with the money for all that’s involved, Plus it’s the first time we now feel we are getting burned out! The more we work at the security factor we feel it’s never going to be enough. At this point in time we realized we sure are going to have to put a great deal of trust in our God. We went to Home Depot for S or U shaped brackets and was shown little S or U brackets that looked like the little letter’s S or U. We were getting ready to make Katy bars. We sure couldn’t put a 2 X 4 or a pipe in what they showed us. We did find some heavy duty brackets but the one end isn’t opened to slip down a 2 X 4 or pipe. Could any one have a suggestion?

    Has people seen the KICK DOOR JAMS by ARMOR AT lOWES , THIS TO PREVENT YOUR DOORS FROM BEING KICKED IN. they are very well made!!!!!!

    • Survival Diva says:

      Willa,

      Canned Food, guns, bullets and bullion will be picked up with a metal detector. A long metal shelf, or something like a metal refrigerator may ‘throw off’ someone with a metal detector, depending upon how long the wall is opposed to the shelves or fridge or whatever metal object is placed in front of a wall to mask it. Metal detectors are mentioned in the original post because it is a possibility, but an average looter is not likely to have one. You would want to hide smaller objects in things like paint cans and misc. metal containers, or bury them in water tight containers under a metal object(s) like rebar, car parts, metal roofing scraps, etc…
      As far as the Kick Door, it is an excellent product!

      • kick door, if you are handy enough to install a door, you are handy enough to remodel the wall the door would go into. think about building your own door that has steel tubeing inside that steel pipe will slide into just like on a high security safe, buy your metal from a scrap yard from the pile of scrap metal. shop around and find a door at a yard sale, or make your own. never put a nail where you can put a screw and never put a screw where you can put a bolt, is a good rule to live by! you are reading this forum because you wish to think outside the box, some 2×4’s screwed together to form a 2×36 inch by 8 foot beam to use as door. before screwing it together drill holes for steel water pipe . steel rod can be placed in the wall to be slid into place from both sides of the door, if there is plenty of slop in the rods, a sawzaw will only roll the steel rods back and forth instead of cutting threw them. frustration will send all but the hardest determined thugs to easier pickings.
        items 15 and 16 speak of hiding places in furniture and mattreses. they use to make couches that you folded the back and seat to make a bed but was nice looking couch. these had the ability to lifted by front of seat edge to reveal a storage area for bedding, but because the couch had furnature legs this did not seem aparent if you kneeled to look under the couch. also the “foundation” type of box spring under matress if a light weight matress for your bed that your mattress lays on. if is a hollow device with the bottom covering stapled on. in 1996 i was raided by the black suited criminals. inside the couch i described was information they sought but never found. and inside the foundation matress was more items they never found either.
        item #21: in early 1990’s in a medium security wisconson prison that had individual cells that had a wooden closet bolted to the concrete block wall, with the kick plate nailed to it. some convict pulled it off with a crowbar from maintaince, took the kick pannel to the hobby shop and cut it at a 45 degree angle on the table saw, took it back to his cage where he then put a screwed 1/2 of it back in, with a modified back plate so he could slide the other piece back in and once painted could not be detected untill 2 years and several shakedowns later when a doper got cought with dope and snitched it out in an attempt to not be sent to the hole at a maximum security, where he ended up anyway with no protection and his name on a list. and inside the hiding area was stolen state property such as falmeable liquids, weapons, poisonious substances etc…. all available threw a open records request(same as a fredom of information act request). lesson learned is “your hiding place is only safe ,if NO ONE BUT YOU know of its existance.” security door is not needed if you have a mud room entrance with a concealed,loose fitting concrete ceiling that will fall if a certain item is not placed in a certain concealed point, before the door to the house is opened, forcibly or not. and that item can remain in place untill your “security system” needs activated. and every prepper should know that if there is even a imagionable reason you might ever have to get rid of a body so no one will know something happened somewhere, then you need several alternative ways to make use of said body with out leaving a trace it was ever there, long before the need arises. if you are not prepared to take a humans life, then the only ammo you need to stock up on is BLANKS!
        another idea is to build your house on a concrete slab. once the outside shell is up, cut out the floor where a closet is going to be. place something in the hole where the concrete was and place thin pannel over the hole and thin layer of floor leveler on top. build your house. then uncover the closet floor, and start digging. a hydrolic forklift mast can be utilised as an elevator to your underground shelter where the floor to the closet is a permanite part of the forklft mechanisim so it s not detectible. excvated dirt can be disposed of off property. think OUTSIDE THE BOX.
        think about this.if i were a criminal, or if i was someone that wanted to find a hiding place for something, i would google it. i would then be able to find not only this post, but all kinds of books etc… so with this in mind, read the info available to you and modify it to fit your needs so that is not readily findable by someone who read the same stuff as you did, that is unless you want to make it easy for them to find what you do not want them to find.

    • If you are really worried about the metal detectors, after finishing your hidden storage build another wall immediately in front of that one. This time use metal studs. When they find metal studs and insulation this should stop most. Nothing is perfect but the more layers of security the better.

    • Kaysue4 says:

      I also am I. The city setting. Most of the people or teens down the street thinks my family is crazy anyways. Long story why and like them to keep it that way. They don’t know that I am a prepper and my kids think I am crazy for couponing and stock piling. Even my husband thinks I am crazy.
      So, I feel like I am on my own on prepping with things. We are going to start redoing the house this summer, if we have the money, and I would like to make some drop in areas in the floor for stashing items.
      I feel I can ask on here, I am disabled and wondering what people would suggest for someone who cannot walk a far distance or in really good shape. Thanks in advance,
      Doing the best I can.

      • Survival Diva says:

        Kaysue4,
        You’re ot alone…you can come here and vent : ) Most of us are in the same boat. Lately with the economic news, some folks are waking up though. Keep the faith! They can thank you later.

  14. I added a bedroom to my house. I had more than enough room so I built the back wall of the closet about four feet from the outside wall. Shelving in the hidden room provided a lot of storage. The closet was the full length of the wall and was lined with a dark wood panel. While there was no door the shadows and dark paneling hid the entrance. A hidden door would have been easy to install.

  15. Carefully measure the distance between exposed wall studs(shed?). Cut 2×4(s) to length, drill out ends for your coins, and wedge it in the wall. Looks like support board. Make two close together with a metal electric box tacked in between.

  16. Clan leader says:

    This morning my wife and I were pricing plastic septic tanks. We found some with a 2 foot cleanout extension large enough for us to climb in and out. We plan to bury it and fill it with sealed containers of food. It will be hidden in plain site as very few people will want to open a septic tank. It will be below our frost line and provide a temperature controled environment, be safe from fire, Tornado, and flood as the tank is waterproof with a waterproof gasketed lid.

    • This is an excellent idea. One thing to be aware of, if the water table rises to the level of your tank it can float. While a full septic tank will not float out of the ground an empty one will. Depending on your area, the septic tank installers might fill the tank with water after backfilling to prevent this situation.

  17. joseph Lee Morehouse says:

    I read about a lot of good ideals in doing stashs , I have a older home and there is assortment of craw spaces honey combs throw out the house and porches .The house floor plans has change at least 3 times over hundred years so there plenty of hollow spaces in the house. I have started to use some of these spaces ,I am in the middle of building a safe room , I can alway use more ideal to stay safe in my home , I don’t have a bug out sight at this time money is a issue right now.

  18. LasVegasEric says:

    Best I found to bury items without having to dig it back up.
    1. Dig a whole large enough to put what you want in it, make it a foot or larger and deeper.
    2. Line it with a water proof membrane i.e. a water pond liner works well.
    3. Pour a thin layer of concrete 2″ is plenty. Build the walls with cement blocks pour solid with cement and rebar (depends on how deep it is) 3 blocks high shouldn’t require much reinforcement.
    4. get a good cover for it a steel plate would be nice, just strong enough to hold about 2 or 3 inches of dirt. If steel isn’t available or too pricy you can also use a few 1″1/8 plywood braced with some angle iron to take the bounce out of it depending on the span that is.
    5. Wrap the pond liner over the lid then cover it with what matches the surrounding area.
    This way you only need to remove a few inches of dirt and it’s strong enough to walk on and people standing on it will not know anything is under them.
    One person I know actually put his stash UNDER a water pond using the same method above just had to use another liner for the actual pond on top after he buried the stash box. He has tanks to pump the water out to use for washing and whatever. It was a bit more work but I can pretty much guarantee no one will be getting to his stash without a lot of work.

  19. You can use a dead vehicle as both a marker and a decoy for a buried cache. Burry your PVC tube, then put a ‘dead’ vehicle over it. That will keep anybody with a metal detector from sweeping the cache, because there is a car there. It also makes it easy to see where your stuff is, because there is a car there. You will need a come-along to pull the car when you come back to get your stuff, but you know that and no one else does.

    Also, this won’t work in an area where leaving a dead car will cause the local authorities to come remove it. This won’t work for every one in every situation, but it does work.

    • The dead car idea would definitely work, another idea would be to take a car/truck that you might wanna use after SHTF and take the battery and tires off of it and set it on the ground over the stash. Everybody will think its a dead POS and ignore it, when its time to bug out or otherwise retreive your stash you can put the tires and battery/fuel in and start the thing up and drive it off, along with your stuff after you dig it up. This might work in a post EMP situation when everyone elses car is dead and some get the idea that the oldies are the only ones working, they might walk right by your old truck since its sitting in high grass on the disc/drums. Might also work for G-Men looking to commandeer vehicles “for official business”.

      • Great Grey says:

        One problem with letting your auto sit is that mice like to nest in it and chew the wires. So you need to check it out for damage at least twice and keep the mouse/rat control up to date.

  20. How about just making booby traps that are louder than hell and blow all the bad guys to kingdom come? A few dead bodies in the front yard and other pertinent places will make a man think twice or more. If it is the law of some type and you don’t have buddies from the Vietnam era or later, than you probably should bug out.

    • David Morris says:

      That’s one approach…but it doesn’t handle times when you’re not home, nor does it take care of losing everything due to a fire, flood, or other natural disaster.

  21. Speaking of pets. If you have a cat with a litter box, I’m guessing a looter wouldn’t spend time looking through actively used litter. Well sealed valuables could certainly under said litter. For that matter, you have a litter box even if you don’t have a cat. Leave it outside and the neighborhood cats will find it.

    • Heres where thinking outside of the box comes into play, while its probably true that no one will plan on digging thru cat s*** for usable items, another thought about making your area less appealing to looters, perhaps making your area more disgusting than most can tolerate may deter many from proceeding. Meaning, dumping some human crap and other waste, such as some dead critters, etc nearby to make the area look like a bunch of scumbags had been in the area. Of course that will probably only work after TSHTF cuz most aren’t gonna tolerate poop and stiff critters scattered around stinking up the place. If you have any things nearby like a pond or garden you’d probably wanna put those items down range so runoff from rains don’t carry the nasties into your area. Again, just a thought, gotta think outside the box sometimes, eevn if it is totally disgusting now.

  22. Patty Stribling says:

    Check out all of Karl Von Mueller’s books on treasure hunting. He gives a massive amount of practical hints for FINDING stuff, which means they were hidden well if you need help to find it. My late husband and I often went to the mountains to “hunt plants” since he was a nurseryman, and wound up “finding” lots of things we never even told the kids about. We also had a lot of fun that way.

  23. Being a retired building contractor I can tell you that there are many place in any home to make very good hiding place . Two of the places I like the most are the lower parts of interior walls and the back side of stairs .Tthe lower walls being tongue and grove and a chair rail . you cut the dry wall at four foot wide and side ways just under the chair rail. You then glue the T and G wood on to the 4′ long piece cut the back off the groove and the tongue off the other side the wood will be longer than the cut drywall in height and will slip under the chair rail . you then place your base board on and it is only finishing nails so that can be removed very easy and time …It is a great place for can good (almost and thing).Being dark and dry …You place shelves in between the 2×4,s and you’ll be surprised at the amount of the storage area .If more info is needed I’ll be glad to help as one center room in a home can have storage on three wall and this can be done even if the room is finish now .

    • Hi Rick, this tip is great and I appreciate it. It is my understanding that to do this the room must be paneled. I would like to correspond with you concerning this. Perhaps we could share information. I was in the military for 20 years in a variety of interesting roles and was also a police officer for 21 years.

      Best regards in preparing.

      • Year late is better than never, The lower 3′ of the room is done in a pine board and the upper part is still the drywall painted . People just add the pine boards over the drywall and then a chair rail on the top edge of the boards . The boards are tongue and groove so it takes some planning for the panel , the base and the chair rail to open together.

  24. About your friend’s plans to stay low profile and hidden during a post-apocalyptic collapse, anyone raising chickens as a renewable source of meat will need to have a rooster, as well as the hens. Trying to keep a rooster quiet will be very difficult/impossible. If society has really ground to a halt, given the absence of the routine sounds of everyday life that pervade modern society, the crowing of a rooster will be obvious from a considerable distance, and in the early morning hours, even more so. Maybe someone can tell me how you gag a rooster.

    • David Morris says:

      The most effective way to keep a rooster quiet is to separate the head from the body 🙂

      Other than that, unless you keep them in an underground or sound insulated enclosure and use a broad spectrum lamp, you’re going to have noise to contend with.

      This brings up the point of how different everyone’s situation is…if you’re in the middle of an urban area, you may decide to kill your rooster ASAP after a disaster, and harvest eggs from your chickens for as long as the feed:egg ratio makes sense. In Diva’s friend’s case, he’s fairly isolated and has SEVERAL audible and visible markers that identify him as a target. I would think that, in his case, the increased risk due to a rooster crowing would be marginal at best.

    • Duct tape?

    • You are right about that. If you want to hatch eggs and keep on raising chickens, you have to have roosters, and I can tell you they crow day and night. I haven’t figured out how to keep them quiet, but I have noticed that some roosters make much less noise than others. Get rid of the loudest and keep the quietest.

      • Another option is to kill the rooster and immediately set a clutch of eggs. when these peeps become old enough to identify themselves then choose the quiestest and let him fertilize all the hens for a week or two then Kill the rooster and repeat. Or keep him indoors. it takes at least 12-16 weeks for the peeps to mature, more if you don’t supplement their feed but let them forrage, and that’s not counting 40 days for them to hatch in the first place. you could conceivable be past the point at that time where concealment is necessary. OR, by that time you could have given several friends in different areas sets of hens to start their own coops and be on the way to a position where no one would bother stealing your whole stash just a chicken or two. LOL
        about concealment what about taped under the deck of a Junk mower or two? would that conceal a hand gun? we have enough of them, for sure.

      • Any competent veterinarian can silence a rooster with a snip of his/her surgical scissors.

    • Another thing about chickens is that hens will be much more productive at egg laying if they have a better diet than just the dried scratch grains. They need fresh greens and will eat almost anything, even chicken leftovers. The problem with keeping chickens contained in small places is their lack of ability to find the stuff they need, like bugs, greens, worms, etc.

    • You could threaten the rooster with no conjugal visitation rights……

    • Remove the vocal chords… surgically of course!

  25. I’ve been thinking about this problem for a while and the problem of a looter with a metal detector complicates the issue regarding coins. They have to be “shielded” with other metal preferably steel that doesn’t appear out of place. Large appliances might work but with your stash hidden inside the working parts such as near the motor. Tunneling under an AC pad outside and sliding a PVC pipe into the tunnel should work. If you have any old gas engines, remove the cylinder head, lower the piston to the bottom, fill the cylinder and bolt the head back on. If you have a safe use it as a decoy for the looter to waste time on. Cement it to a concrete floor so they just don’t pick it up and walk off with it. Don’t leave anything valuable in it, there not that hard to break into. A lawn tractor has several possibilities. Inside the gas tank although with a plastic tank it may be visible. Even just under the deck won’t be found without doing stuff a thief is unlikely to do. I haven’t come up with a good way to hide food, too bulky.

    • I can imagine using a gas auger to bore a hole under a concrete slab (or several holes) to place large PVC tubes in at an angle, with the screw on tops, countersunk enough to cover wih dirt or gravel and retreive at a later date. When it comes to caching food, this would be where that 25 year stuff would really come in handy for long term storage.

  26. Check your house and identify all potential ‘dead’ spaces. A DIYer can cleverly conceal access points. Some potentials:
    Corner areas of L shaped cabinets.
    HVAC return, if the grill is near the floor and unit is upstairs.
    Center room fireplace (be cautious of radiant heat).
    Area between ceiling and attic flooring &/or bury small stuff in insulation.
    Bathtub plumbing access.
    Need DIY drywall repairs? Fill non insulated wall.

  27. Consider having multiple cachs rather than one big cach containing everything you would need.

    Once a cache has been used, consider it compromised. If I need several meals out of my cache and that’s it, then I have to either take the ammo, maps, clothes at the same time, or leave them for someone else. That would be a heck of a way to loose that Glock 21 I put away just in case.

    The childrens sandbox is a great place to cache PVC tubes. Bury them standing up so they can remain in the ground after they have been used. Keep the sand about 6″ deep or slightly deeper around the tube so rain water will quickly flow away.

    Consider placing a small plastic cap a couple of inches above the top of the tube. I typically bury 6″ PVC tubing with a removeable plug under about 2″ of dirt. I then place a Frisbie on top of that and then cover with more soil to a level site. Hopefully the Frisbie will deflect any rain water away from the top of the tube.

    If you have built a new home, or done some landscaping, having some extra building supplies scattered in the yard would look ‘normal’. I found mechanics wire hidden in the weeds. I found it with my mower. I also found a spot that the cement truck rinsed out his drum. There is now a PVC tube under it. A couple boxes of small nails scattered about will help throw off a metal detector, as will some buried paint cans, wiring scraps, license plates.

  28. @David – I’d like to here if you or any of your LEO/military contacts can give us some insight as to how they do/would conduct searches … especially with regard to guns and ammo. Details would be helpful.

    TIA

    • a search by LEO will be for a firearm or any part of a firearm and the locations that those parts can be hidden, usually in the obvious places to include closet floors, floor joists, and under stairs. Realize that if you look at an aerial view of your house they can closely determine what is in certain areas of the house. Check the window placements as you drive through town and look at houses; it will give you an idea of what the home looks like on the inside. Make sure that the false walls are not given away by the homes layout.

    • I’m not LE but from what I recall, if the G-Man wants to find your stash, they have ultrasonic equipment that can ping the ground and turn up anything and everything in the ground, IMHO, the best bet for stuff like guns/ammo would be to cache it off site somewhere remote enough that it won’t be discovered by accident by some construction crew or forestry service and definitely won’t be discovered by the gov’t, if they check out your property, all they’ll find is what you’ve allowed them to find by storing it at your home site.

    • Soldier4hire says:

      Bubba and others, think about putting your chest freezer up on 2X4 or 4X4 blocks around the base and use the area below for storage. My element overseas found a PKM MG and cash in an Iraqi house, anouther good location is under the heat/A/C pump outside your house. Make a sidewalk near your storage shed or even stepping stone blocks and store things under them. In the attic (oven hot) but hid things under the insulation. Lost of room there. The 25 year shelf food will not last in that heat. Better to dig caches under the crawl space of your house. Where ever you dig a cache make sure you can find it again. a friend of mine last several cans of ammo due to sloppy land marks. In the Army I was taught to use the stright edges of buildings. We would hide a piece of string with 2 nails/stakes to measure the distance from 2-3 different starting points. Hallow trees make good locations for easy access. When useing colverts take a drill and screw on straps or velcro to the ceiling of the colvert. ou should make sure it is large enough for you to get into but not so large for easy viewing. Make sure you water proof this type of cache due to possible floding. GPSs help but may not work if an EMP is used.
      In GOD We Trust, all others verify

  29. Katherine Malinauski says:

    Behind the cover plate for unused telephone land lines is ideal for concealing a medicine bottle containing rolled cash.

  30. Although I haven’t tried this yet, one place I’m considering is to suspend a VERY WELL SEALED length of PVC pipe (large diameter) inside our septic tank, or to lower it into the “slurry” in the tank and have one end of a light nylon line attached securely to the pipe and the other end of the line to the lip of the access port of the septic tank for when it needs to be retrieved.

    If you are using PVC or similar pipe, you may consider cementing the caps onto the pipe, with a small hole drilled into one cap to let out air when the cap is put on the pipe, and then sealing the air relief hole with silicon before burying it …. wherever. On the other hand, NOT drilling the small air relief hole would create a slight positive pressure inside the sealed pipe, lessening the chances of water seeping in once the pipe is buried.

  31. samnjoeysgrama says:

    I have been collecting junk silver. I went to the big box hardware store and bought threaded short sticks of iron pipe and the matching end caps and silicon caulk for waterproofing the seal. My coins are stacked inside the different diameter pipes and hidden in the ceiling of my basement, along with all the other iron pipes that my house has for plumbing. If you have PVCP (white plastic) plumbing, you can do the same thing, however a metal detector will still pick it up. PCVP will eventually damage the finish on the silver, however. If you have copper plumbing, you might need to bury these in the back yard, possibly near where the plumbing comes into your house from the street, to confuse a metal detector. Your electric meter will also have a copper grounding wire that will confuse a metal detector if you can drive the pipe down beside the grounding stake. Or just put other junk iron on top of it in the ground. Hope we don’t need to do any of this, but I intend to protect my children and grand children. Also, tell someone in your family where these are! If it’s well hidden, they won’t find it alone.

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