Convenience is one of the most practical reasons for having a location with a cache of goods. An example of my own: I have items that I leave at my client site that I fly into every week. My client site cache includes bottled water, pouched meats (chicken, tuna), pouched rice, nuts, etc. It also includes many of my hygiene needs including body wash, toothpaste, etc. I even have a small pocket knife I leave behind. It would be incredibly inconvenient for me to have to check my bag because of the knife. I certainly could not carry on anything above 3 oz in regards to the liquids. It really is comforting to know that when I arrive at my site for the work week that I have some things that I would normally have if I was home. And the fact that I did not have to pack it all up is a bonus!
Those who take disaster preparedness seriously would do well not to have all of their eggs in one basket. The reasons for this are obvious. If your home goes up in smoke, and you did not have any caches, then your preps just went up with your home. I actually know a married couple and another gentleman that lost a vast majority of their possessions to a home fire. Hearing their stories starts the wheels turning in your head on how to prevent a total loss. Caching certain items goes a long way to getting back on your feet.
The first thing that popped into my head when I first started thinking of caching some items was secret locations in the woods where the cache would be buried underground and a map where X marked the spot. This of course could be done, but unless you own the land and can water proof that container chances are that the contents will either be water damaged, inaccessible (or at least not easily accessible) or outright vanish. An easier way to cache items is to simply work out a deal with your trusted friends and family. Ask them if they would not mind storing some of your items. If they have a crisis of their own, then they are welcome to use the items. Otherwise, they leave the cache alone in case you need it. It is a win win for both parties involved.
Those are three main reasons that I like the idea of caching supplies. Now, what items should you cache? That all depends on a few things:
Are you simply trying to mitigate loss? If so, then I suggest having physical and digital copies of your important documents in the cache (secured in a lockbox if possible). You also might consider some petty cash, clothes, digital pictures, etc. Are you putting back food in case of a disaster? Canned or freeze dried foods along with bottled water, purifiers and water treatment tablets would probably round out your food cache.
How far away are you from your caches? If you have perishable goods that may need to be rotated out, then it would probably be wise to only store what you would feel comfortable losing in the event that you cannot make it to that location for an extended period of time.
Size and Weight Constraints
How big is your cache? How portable is it? Ideally, in a catastrophe such as your home burning down, there should be some way for you to take items from your cache and transport those items in the event that you show up with nothing besides the clothes on your backs. In other words, if the cache needs to be utilized, then are you physically able to take possession and put the items to use? A good idea might be to include a backpack or to store your items in a case. Pelican cases that the army uses are great for this sort of use.
A cache of convenience is not as critical to keep stocked. However, the idea of an emergency cache is that you have an alternative means to supply and support yourself in case of a disaster. These items should not be utilized at all (perishable stock should be rotated out, of course) unless there is a legitimate need.
These are just some thoughts that I wanted to share with you all. I hope you enjoyed reading. Let me know if you have ideas or comments in regards to caches. As always, please share the blog with others that you feel would like to read. Also, follow me on Twitter @P_Patriot1 and Like the Prairie Patriot Facebook Page,