Cache Points Part II
Establishing a cache point is likely an advanced consideration for most of us. It may be difficult for you to consider leaving money and supplies in a location over which you’ll have little control… GASP! Such an act represents a big step forward and commitment to your combat mindset and situational awareness. It makes logical sense to me and I have no problem stashing money and supplies in secret locations for a time when I’ll need them. If I never need them they’re always there for me to snatch. If you cache your items well, you’ll have little to worry about with anyone getting into the site. Of course, there’s always that slim chance someone finds it by accident, so be prepared to deal with it. Think of it as a low-risk investment if you select and care for your cache point. It’s a pretty good investment in the SHTF situations, as having this site may be a lifesaver in the long run. Know that you don’t have to put money in it, you can just add supplies, if it makes you feel a little more secure knowing that you won’t lose too much. When I suggest actions in the articles, it’s a suggestion based on my experience that I pass on to you. Everyone arrives to this topic with varied economical backgrounds and may have a different interpretation of the actions for which you and I are really preparing. In this instance, I’m leaning toward the worst case but since you don’t really know what situation you’ll be facing, planning for the worst and hoping for the best can serve as a guide.
Considerations for cache sites:
► The cache site should provide ease of access for you or for your team. (Can you get to it easily? Can you do this covertly?)
► You or a team member must be able to locate the cache without an extensive search that draws unwanted attention to the site and can be accessed easily (i.e., someone who’s not been there before needs to be able to locate it from your map and directions)
► When building, placing, or checking on your cache point you must be able to do this secretly, so that no one sees your location or items you’re storing.
► Select your cache point in a way that no one will find your cache.
► Ensure that others accessing the cache site take all precautions when retrieving items from the site (you have to be careful who you let into your site).
► Ensure your cache site provides all-season access. Think about a foot of snow, rain, etc. You don’t want to reach your cache site only to find it’s destroyed by weather or buried in two feet of snow.
► Sterilize anything going into the site. You don’t want the site coming back to you in a worst-case scenario. Think about whom the enemy is and if they find the goods, can they track it back to you? This may be a little deep thinking within a type of resistance situation where you are hiding from an occupying force but again, we never know what the future may bring.
How to Select and Build Cache Site:
Now you’re interested but are asking, how do I select and build my cache site? The first step is to locate your evacuation place, this could be a cabin in the woods, a location you know where you will be safe and you can set up a camp. Once you select the location, you need to decide a movement or route plan. How are you going to get there? How many miles is the final destination away from you? How are the roads and how much time will it take to arrive? Alternate and primary routes are considered in this, as is the vehicle you’re using and its condition and range. Also factor in you might never make it home due to an event and you’re moving without your car and Go-Bag. I know, I know, lots of things to consider but start thinking as an asymmetrical warrior now. Think outside the box about all these possibilities. As you continue to determine where you need to place the cache points, remember we’re looking to mitigate exposure to the population, so contemplate all the scenarios you could expect along the route. Armed with your combat asymmetrical thinking you can now advance to planning where you’ll go and what you need to have with you. Anything you don’t have on your body or in your vehicle you’ll need to find somewhere or at your cache, precisely the stuff you should consider caching.
As to what you need to place in your cache, it’s difficult for me to counsel on that; everyone’s needs and conditions are different. At a minimum cache money, food, water, fuel (with weather stabilizer in it), maps of area, flashlights, batteries, fuel for cooking & lighting, ammo resupply, fire making gear, shelter, and first aid gear. Reflect on your personal needs then advance to the selection of the location. First, grab your computer and get to Google Earth. Locate your evacuation area and start aerial reconnaissance of the surrounding area. Look for key terrain features (rock formations, unique terrain features, even physical structures (water towers, antennas, and buildings). If you don’t have personal land where you can locate your cache, you can look at public land that’s somewhat isolated and easy to find years down the road. As you select an area or several areas, look for a place where no one would wander or build, a hide type of spot where no one will likely wander off trail to take a leak or to picnic. Animals are also a concern, as we all know their noses are incredible and may find your cache only to dig it up. We don’t want that. Avoid areas near military bases or factories and bridges. Also don’t use what is known as a choke point where vehicles or people are channelized into a certain area. With the preliminary map study you should be able to get a sense of the location you’ll use.
Also keep in mind your tracks in and out of your cache point; you don’t want to go to all this trouble only to leave a path directly to there, DOH! Identify key terrain features (things unlikely to change). River bends, spots between taller features, directional area of a lake or other body of water (north end of lake). These locations should be unique and easy to find, even for someone who has never been there. If you have never done land navigation, or it’s been a while, take the time to go out with your family and practice these skills. To make it more entertaining, maybe start off with checking out Geocaching to get the younger ones excited and into the mindset. Then, once they’ve got the hang of it, have each person set up a small cache and go back and brief one another on your cache point. After providing the brief, see if you can find each other’s cache points. Follow up with a debrief session on the good and bad and make improvements based on the feedback.