Survivalists are always thinking ahead. We have imagined every end-of-the-world scenario and prepared our lives around them. Sure, we are safe and sound on our homestead, but what happens if we were forced to abandon our land and move on? Where would you find supplies?
For those of us who think ahead, you can create an underground cache near or far from your home. This means you have a supply option outside of your home base in case of emergencies. You must be sure only you can access the underground supply and that the gear is in a water/temperature/biodegradable-proof container.
Here are 8 items to never store underground. Before that, let’s visit how to store supplies underground in the first place. The earth is an unforgivable place, especially deep within the soil.
Throughout most of human history, we have taken to burying our goods for many reasons.
The earth acts as a natural safe, allowing for the burial of almost anything. It makes your items difficult to find for others. Only you will know where your storage is buried.
What you want to avoid is burying in an obvious location. Nothing is worse than looters finding your precious items only to haul it all in their truck and leave you on empty. Planning to use markers? Don’t make it obvious. Planning to make a map to your treasure? Don’t lose it!
The ground naturally decomposes whatever is buried in it. For the longest-lasting cache, your locked container will need to be mold-proof, waterproof, temperature resistant, and able to withstand pressure changes in the soil.
What To NEVER Store Underground
1. Immediate Items
Any items that you may need within weeks or months should be kept out of your underground cache.
The first thing you want to avoid is having to dig up your underground storage soon after burial. Be prepared to not see these underground items for a long time.
The point of underground storage is to save the items for an emergency. The cache should only be accessed in a desperate situation. All items will likely sit there for a few years or longer before use.
2. Opened Food
Many of us open nonperishable foods only to reseal them in vacuum or mylar bags. Rice, grains, and pasta are often stored this way. While this works for at-home food storage, this does not work for underground long-term storage. Any foods that are opened from the factory seal are at risk for critters.
Remember that this food storage is being buried in the dirt. Animals can smell food for miles. Once they have locked their noses onto your open beef jerky, the animals will stop at nothing to get ahold of it.
Even if the food is sealed inside ammo cans, a rodent will happily make its way home with your still-sealed ammo can of food.
3. “Loose” Items
You don’t want cans or glass jars/bottles banging around when you’re burying your underground cache. Loose items can knock into one another and break, rendering your efforts useless. Wrap glass or breakable sealed containers in cloth, t-shirts, socks, or anything that will pack the cache.
Broken glass can result in moisture from the contents of the jar, leading to rot and critters taking over. Shards of glass can also shred protective bags when moving your cache to bury. Be sure the container is packed tightly and efficiently.
4. Moisture-Absorbing Items
The earth’s soil is a very wet place. During rainy seasons, your areas may see multiple inches of rain just within a few hours. Any items inside your cache that are known for absorbing moisture should be left out. No matter what, items that like moisture will absorb it from their environment.
Even if you are storing items like sponges, you will want to double or triple wrap moisture-absorbing items within your weather-proof container.
Additional chemical moisture absorbers can be used, just be careful of what chemicals you add to your food cache. I’ve even seen people sprinkle mothballs in and around their underground storage for extra protection.
The rubber or plastic toppers on Tupperware are easily penetrated by critters. Any rodent can chew through the tops of the container.
If you do have items stored in Tupperware, be sure the items inside are double wrapped, especially if the items are food.
Then, wrap the entire Tupperware in moisture-resistant bags. Finally, place the wrapped and sealed Tupperware inside your sealed cache.
6. Plastic Containers
Many casual readers may think plastic containers are great for burial because they are water-tight. However, plastic containers are to be avoided when creating an underground cache. They are not temperature-proof, critters can easily eat away at the material, and they can crack/warp under pressure.
Many preppers use plastic and have no issues with it. To each their own, but I think plastic is a little too flimsy.
This is especially true if you plan on storing food in your plastic container food cache. Save the more durable containers for your food storage, such as steel drums or old metal toolboxes.
7. Perishable Food
You may have seen that storing root vegetables in the winter ground is okay, but this is not a long-term food storage option.
Perishable foods should never be kept for long-term prepper storage, especially underground.
Keep in mind that you likely will not be babysitting your underground cache, so it must be as element-proof as humanly possible. Animals will always smell fresh food and will stop at nothing to get to it.
8. Wood Containers
Any biodegradable material will completely disintegrate into the soil within a few years. Wood is biodegradable, even if it is treated. Wood boxes, palates, or chests are not to be buried, no matter what the inside contents include.
Remember, you are likely not regularly checking on these items and you are certainly not digging them up often. Wood degrading for a few years in the soil will ruin your hard work and spoil your contents.
Here, we have examined a few of the items you should never store underground. If you chose to create an underground cache, you must be 100% confident that the contents will still be there in 1, 5, or 10 years.
You never know when an emergency will strike, but you want to be ready at any time. Storing survivalist items underground can help you and your loved ones survive any impending crisis.
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