The need for making sure you have the necessary equipment and supplies for survival can’t be overstated. While it is theoretically possible to survive off of what you simply find, the reality is that the less you start out with, the worse your chances are of survival. That’s why people store items in survival kits.
But what if you can’t get to your survival kit, bug-out bag, everyday carry bag or get-home bag? What then? While we like to think that we keep ourselves equipped and supplied at all times, the reality is that there are always times when we’re not. What do we do in those times? Or what do we do if our home is destroyed and we can’t get back in to pick up our bug-out bag?
A lot would depend on the disaster that was happening and how much warning you’d have. But there are some cases that would make it impossible. Maybe they’re not very likely, but they do exist.
Take a nuclear war, for example. Granted, we’re not living in the Cold War anymore and the chances of a nuclear confrontation have been reduced drastically. But that doesn’t mean that they don’t exist. Both Russia and the United States still have large stockpiles of nuclear weapons, with other countries having considerably less. Rogue countries would like nothing more than to detonate such a bomb in America.
But there are many other things that could make it impossible to get back home, such as an earthquake, a chemical spill, a major storm or certain acts of terrorism. In any of these instances, you might suddenly find yourself without your bug-out bag or the ability to go home and get it.
That’s why you need at least one spare bag or kit, hidden in an alternate location. This set of gear might not be quite as good as your main bug-out bag, but it should still cover all of the bases, giving you enough to live off of. It should also have the necessary food and other supplies that you’ll need to stay alive. Ideally, it would be a mirror image or your bug-out bag, but the reality of cost will probably force you to go with some lesser expensive options.
For that matter, why stop at one? If an extra set of gear is a good idea, why not have two or three of them, secreted in different locations? Not only will that help ensure that you have access to them, but that you have access no matter where you are.
Your spare kits should also include at least one good sturdy set of outdoor clothing, a jacket and a good pair of walking shoes. Odds are that when you are away from home, you won’t be dressed for heading out into the wilderness, so you’d better make sure you have what you will need. Bugging out into the wild in a shirt and tie or a short dress just doesn’t work out all that good.
The other thing to consider hiding with your spare kits is weapons. If you have a concealed carry license and are carrying every day, then that might not be much of an issue; but if you don’t, then any weapon you stash with your backup kit would be the only one you’ll have.
Find a Good Place to Stash It
Stashing your backup kit too close to home totally negates its purpose. On the other hand, you don’t want to stash it so far from home that you can’t get to it within a day, even if you’re on foot. So, you need to pick the location or locations carefully, making sure that they are someplace you’ll be able to get to.
If you own a business that’s a ways away from your home, that might be an excellent place to make a stash. For that matter, you might want to do more than just stash a bug-out bag there, splitting up your stockpile and keeping part of it at your business. That gives you a secondary bug-in location, if you can’t use your home.
Another option is at someone else’s house if you have a like-minded friend who lives in an appropriate area to leave your stash. That could even be a reciprocal agreement, where you keep a kit at their house and they keep one at yours. Doing it that way will motivate them to say yes and probably to leave your kit alone, so that it’s ready when you need it.
A third possibility is a storage rental. These are available all over the place and some of them are quite inexpensive, especially if you’re just renting a small one. Like your business, this would provide you with a place where you have room to store more than just a bug-out bag, for a small monthly fee. While most of these places say that they’re only open during the day, if you can get over the fence during an emergency, you can pick your stuff up at night, too.
Finally, you can always consider burying your spare kit in the middle of nowhere. There are a number of ways of waterproofing  equipment that you want to bury underground, such as using PVC pipe or a five-gallon bucket. Burying it will make it hard for others to find so that it hopefully won’t be bothered. Just make sure that nobody sees what you are doing so that it won’t be stolen. (Recommended: How To Build A Waterproof Underground Cache On A Budget .)
There are two problems with burying a stash. The first one is making sure that you have good landmarks to find it once again. Remember that some landmarks may disappear, such as trees that die. So have more than one set of landmarks that you can use. Secondly, you’ll need something to dig it up with. That can be a problem if the soil has a lot of clay in it or is difficult to dig in for some other reason.
Don’t Stop There
Having a spare set of gear is probably the most important reason to set up a survival stash. But let me give you one more. That’s to stash extra food. A typical bug-out bag has only three days worth of food in it. That’s not enough, as far as I’m concerned. So you might want to create some stashes which are just food.
These stashes will be easier and cheaper to set up, because you don’t have the cost of all the equipment. You can easily stash five days worth of food in a five gallon bucket and bury it somewhere, giving you accessible food when disaster strikes.
Do you have secondary caches? What advice would you add? Share your suggestions in the section below: