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Hiding it.

Discussion in 'Survival/Preparedness Forum' started by Bolster, Apr 21, 2012.

  1. Bolster

    Bolster Not Ready Yet!

    Jul 23, 2011
    State of Stupidity
    What are "best practices" for hiding goods? Part of prepping is getting your preps out of sight, so what are clever hiding places in the house, garage, garden, cabin, car? Where are the last places anyone would look for stashed items?

    What are the techniques used? (For example, I have heard of people filling ABS pipe with items, sealing it with caps and ABS cement at both ends, and burying it.)

    OR, do you believe hiding preps is a waste of time & effort? Is it easy to find most anything hidden with the right tools? Metal detector? Ground radar? If so, explain.

    If your question is "what items," let your mind wander on that one. It would be whatever the non-prepared (or Big Brother) will come looking for.
    Last edited: Apr 21, 2012
  2. cowboy1964


    Sep 4, 2009
    Personally I'm not too worried about hiding stuff to any great degree. Some stuff, ok, but the bottom line is you need to defend your main cache. If things are so bad that you main cache could be taken then you are in trouble anyway and have bigger problems.

  3. Chindo18Z


    Apr 17, 2010
    Today, you can't actually hide anything from a concerted search. If the Eye of Sauron focuses on you...nothing you do will work...with the possible exception of caching goods at a random and very distant location. Even then, if you have left the slightest hint or clue of travels...the search will simply re-focus to that location. The technology, man-power, dog-power, and search experience available to the authorities can generally find anything you can hide.

    Actually, if you can emplace a cache within a day's round trip travel (including emplacement), exercising cover for action and cover for status, you might effect a reasonable and successful cache effort. Until your stupid neighbor reminds everyone that he saw you dump empty Twinkie boxes in the trash right before you loaded up the shovels and pipe (and drove North on the only road out of town...).

    In other words, if you want your buried PVC pipe full of Twinkies to remain'll need to throw a dart at a map of the USA, go to another county or state (cash only travel), conceal it, and come back. Without detection, observation, or having left a trail.

    The real question when it comes to defeating confiscation is to make a realistic threat evaluation. Just how many resources can the authorities reasonably devote to looking for just your opposed to everyone else's Twinkies?

    If they are just looking for your's, you might as well break out some Coca-Colas for the searchers. That way they'll have something to wash down the discovered Twinkies and be nicer to you when they lead you away in handcuffs. :cool:
    Last edited: Apr 21, 2012
  4. Stevekozak

    Stevekozak Returning video

    Nov 9, 2008
    This confused me AND made me hungy!! :)
  5. mac66

    mac66 Huge Member Millennium Member

    Oct 28, 1999
    Blue Planet
    Caching may be a good idea, but then again maybe not. In my experience if you stash something away you are likely to forget about it. Out of sight, out of mind. In a SHTF situation and under stress, you are unlikely to remember that you even stashed stuff let alone where it is.
  6. Donn57

    Donn57 Just me

    Aug 11, 2006
    Sunny Florida
    The question is a little broad.

    What you can hide from looters and what you can hide from a search by the government are two different things.

    Hiding your collection of silver dollars is way different than hiding your six month supply of food.

    I can hide a lot of stuff in my house that won't be found during a casual search, but would be found if someone spent a lot time looking and tearing up the house.
  7. GLOCK17DB9


    Dec 30, 2011
    Troy, MI
    If I told you now it wouldn't be a good hiding place now would it?:supergrin:
  8. jdavionic

    jdavionic NRA Member

    May 1, 2008 owe me a new monitor :rofl:
  9. jdavionic

    jdavionic NRA Member

    May 1, 2008
    I've had this discussion with a friend at work, who is a fellow prepper.

    Hiding has the advantage that you don't allow someone to just say 'oh yea, that's where it is...' and then work on defeating the method of securing it. For example, you put a large safe in your BOL in a cabin in the woods. What are the odds that your stuff will be there when you arrive?

    On the other hand, hiding has the obvious risks that you may have sacrificed more security for the advantage of making it hidden.

    I'm a big fan of a little of both. I've seen some very clever ideas of false walls, fake shelves, etc. I think those are great, but I wouldn't want to leave the firearm unsecured. For example, I have some firearms hidden. What I've done is remove the bolt/firing pins so that even if discovered, I don't worry about walking in and having them used against me.

    It gets more difficult / challenging when hiding at a BOL. You are relying on it being absolutely secure. This guy actually cut into the concrete foundation, used a PVC setup and cosmoline, put it underground, put the cut block over, and then put flooring on top. I'd say the odds that his stash gets discovered are very low.
  10. gunowner1


    Jul 11, 2011
    Jensen Beach
  11. Akita

    Akita gone

    Jul 22, 2002
    Easily Post of the Year.
  12. Bolster

    Bolster Not Ready Yet!

    Jul 23, 2011
    State of Stupidity
    So does the cosmoline/seal-in-PVC have a good track record? It works well? Does that sort of setup work for years, decades? Indefinitely?
  13. jdavionic

    jdavionic NRA Member

    May 1, 2008
    Not sure. He has not run tests, except a crude one that I don't think really answers the questions. He did it on a smaller scale with a piece of steel for a couple of weeks. I wouldn't view that as a valid test.

    With that said though, armies have used cosmoline for storing firearms for many years. I have not heard of someone buying a surplus firearm nor have I experienced in the ones that I've bought...where a firearm is caked in cosmoline and underneath the metal has rusted. Granted they have not been buried. However in many cases, the guns have sat in crates in storage locations that are far from ideal.

    P.S. I should add one word of caution. You are not going to have a functional firearm until you remove the cosmoline. Point being, if you use it, you have to clean the stuff off before using the gun.
    Last edited: Apr 24, 2012
  14. kirgi08

    kirgi08 Watcher. Silver Member

    Jun 4, 2007
    Acme proving grounds.
    HIPC.The Idea is ta be off the radar.Those "bonus" cards one uses ta save at the local grocer can be tracked.

    When a chain has a "card" sale they save those results ta plan on future "buys". Those purchases go inta a data base fer research/IE-public buying patterns.Most folk don't realize that those records are kept.So .gub can "audit" a chain and see whom is buying what.

    Anybody that gives "real" info on those apps can be found,also anyone that uses c/cards/debit can be also.

    Cash for preps,folks.No paper and YOU know what youse can afford. '08.
  15. Kieller


    May 18, 2007
    Kansas City
    Hiding from the masses and hiding from Big Brother are different. Hiding something from a random house search or a mob just hell bent on going down the street searching homes would be relatively easy. Hiding from Big Bro who has metal detectors, dogs and a whole host of free time and tax payer dollars to waste is another thing.

    I believe in not only being smart on hiding but also being deceptive. If they come expecting to find guns/ammo/food...make a small cache easier to find than your main stash. They will be satisfied that they have found what they are looking for and you can retain the majority of your items. Its important to portray the proper attitude.

    I also like to use items that no one wants to deal with. My favorite is kitty litter boxes. They make great containers and can easily hide various items. Sure you can't stash a rifle in a kitty litter box but ammo can easily be stashed. There are several others that I like to employ also. The 'Garbage Heap' technique is also fun :supergrin:
  16. DrSticky


    Nov 28, 2005
    Last edited: Apr 25, 2012
  17. pugman


    May 16, 2003
    Amen to this. One day I'm in my father's basement and he says "oh yeah, btw if I die tomorrow see that 4th cinderblock from the corner...behind the insulation there about 3-4' are 5 fireboxes with your mother's silver coin collection."

    If he would have been hit by a bus the day before no one knew this - tens of thousands of dollars worth of silver coins (1,000 silver dollars from the late 1800-early 1900's)

    Best place I saw was a place you wouldn't really want to go.

    My uncle has a farm with one outbuilding full of old, rusty farm implements. Ignoring the fact its a metal building full of sharp rusty equipment you would really want to get the to places he has things buried to step foot in the place. Spiders, mice/rats, and enough waiting to cut you Tetanus covered crap I would think most searchers would just ignore the building. I personally think he intentionally throws old pieces of barbed wire in there just to make a point.
  18. Chindo18Z


    Apr 17, 2010
    What's confusing? Perhaps I can do a better job of explaining...

    If YOU are the only person of interest subjected to search (by the authorities, a mutant warlord and his army of raiders, your money-grubbing relatives after you die)...every likely location that intersects with your known Pattern of Life will be analyzed as a hiding spot. Where you live. Where you work. Where you pursued your hobbies or recreation. Anyplace you frequented. Any place you owned. Your Girlfriend's apartment.

    If the authorities are so inclined, they will (at a nuts & bolts level) disassemble your house, your outbuildings, your vehicles, your landscaping, your workplace, your cabin, and any other possession or piece of real property associated with you (or anyone you know). They will turn any suspected piece of ground (or water) into an archaeological dig... gridded, flagged, and sifted. Searched with electronic/chemical snoopers, turned by shovel and wrecking tools, dug up by excavators, penetrated by radar/thermal scopes/metal detectors, sniffed by trained canines, etc.

    The Beltway Sniper. Remember? The FBI tracked him back to his former residence in the Pacific NW. They located and pulled up the tree stump he had once used for target order to effect ballistic matching of his weapon and those found at the scene of the homicides. They dug up every square inch of his former yard. Had he had a cache at that (or anything else they wanted to find) would have been found.

    If you are just trying to keep stuff from casual prying eyes (burglars, nosy kids, random hikers, etc.)...then it's a case of choosing standard concealment techniques (hidden safe, inside-the-house concealment location, above ground cache, buried cache, plain site concealment cache, submerged cache, etc.).

    Most folks screw up when they try to make their cache concept fit into a "Keep It Close & Convenient for Access" model. That model can be figured out by folks interested in claiming your stuff. Your back yard, basement, or attic ain't gonna cut it. Nor your relative's or best friend's house. Nor the obvious vacant wooded lot across the street from your house.

    You need to figure on locations that are essentially random and somewhat distant (little connection to your normal daily activities/routes), unlikely to be compromised by other humans visiting that location, unlikely to be affected by natural or man-made changes to the location (frost heave, flood, construction, clear cutting, etc.), and at a place where you will not be seen, remembered, or remarkably noticed for visiting (back when you emplaced the cache).

    If you get noticed (chance meeting with a farmer, deputy sheriff, game warden, kids out hiking while you were digging) need to have a reasonable story to explain what you were just doing. One that doesn't involve telling folks that you just buried an SKS, ammo, cash, and survival crap.

    If all your family and neighbors know that you periodically hike to the top of Gobbler's Knob with your dog (to have a beer and watch the sunset)...don't use the top of Gobbler's Knob for a cache location. But you might find a suitable location somewhere around the base of a multi-square mile mountain that is useful for future emplacement. And you already have a well established reason for being there...walking your dog.

    You: "Hey there officer...I'm just walking the dog. I usually walk him on this mountain a couple a times per week. We just decided to take a different path tonight."

    Officer: "No problem Mr. Smith. We had a report of a suspicious person wandering behind the Jones' house on the north side of the mountain. Have a nice night!"

    When emplacing or recovering a cache, you need to have a casual throw-away verbal cover ID (I'm Joe Somebody, Butterfly Collector) and a reasonable story that explains why you are where you are, doing what you are doing. If you meet an actual law enforcement officer give your real name and ID, but have a plausible and legal explanation for your presence and activities.

    You: "Hey Officer...I'm Joe Smith. I came out to this field to do some hobby landscape photography. Here's my DL."

    Officer: "Hmmm...Where's your camera?"

    You: "Doh!" :wow:


    Farmer: "Hey there Friend...Whatcha doing out here along my property wood line? Dintcha see that Private Property sign?"

    You: "I'm Joe Somebody (not your real name) I'm collecting the North American Twinkie Eater...It's the mating season. I've been looking to capture this butterfly for my daughter's school project. I'm sorry for trespassing...I didn't realize I'd strayed out of the BLM forest." You might want to have a net and a dead butterfly as props...instead of a visible PVC pipe, Multicam, Glock, and a shovel. :upeyes:

    Urban areas (for city dwellers) offer a different set of challenges, but the principles remain the same.

    You've got to balance time and space (how fast or desperately would I need to recover my cache items) against security (how likely is my cache to defeat casual vs. deliberate discovery). What risk can you effectively live with?


    Twinkies just make good cache sense. They'll last a thousand years and Hostess will probably quit making them soon (according to latest news reports). Good barter items. You could set yourself up as King if you've got Twinkies in the PAW. Zombieland Rules.
    Last edited: Apr 25, 2012
  19. KG1F


    Dec 29, 2010
    Anybody ever hidden a casch at a cemetary? Was thinking about that last night. Find a recent grave where the dirt is still all loose and bury it there. I haven't done it but it seems like a place where nobody would look.
  20. Chindo18Z


    Apr 17, 2010
    Yes. Folks have used that technique for centuries. It's been used as a plot device in countless modern movies.

    Likely a felony in many states to desecrate a grave site. Not to mention committing criminal trespass on private property.

    Also...a new grave is likely to start receiving visits from the newly bereaved. They are going to notice any changes to the plot or disturbance to any memorial items (flowers, candles, photos, etc.). "Who moved that wreath? Why is there new dirt spilled in the grass? Whose footprints are these? Why is there an empty MRE wrapper in the grass next to my Mom's grave?"

    You have to weigh the risk...and the situation.
    Last edited: Apr 25, 2012