How Build an Impenetrable Survival Supply Cache (+Item List)

You’ll never know when you will need to flee or be forced to flee, but whatever the real reason is, the next question will always be – Are you prepared?

Preppers like you should always have a plan B if you cannot sneak out with your trusted bug-out bag.

So if you need to stash some gear or supplies then you need to consider Survival Supply Caches, the Prepper’s Safe Deposit Box!

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Survival Supply Caches
Caching OpSec Considerations
Types of Caches
    1. Waypoint Cache
    2. Exile Cache
    3. Fugitive Cache
    4. Weapon Caches

Survival Supply Caches

There are many choices and schools of thought when it comes to survival caches.

If you want to bury things, you can choose a pre-made solution like the Mono Vault tube,  designed for this very purpose, or leverage buckets with water-tight lids, rain barrels or PVC pipe solutions.

PVC Burial Cache

The quick and easy method would be to run down to your local hardware store and get some properly size PVC pipe and the fittings needed to create your own burial tube.

pvc burial cache vault

Make sure to use some form of thread compound or Teflon tape to ensure that water doesn’t work its way into your container. Be sure to use some zip lock bag, dry bags or vacuum pack all the items you want to keep safe.

Options for Hiding the Cache

First, you need a plan. Where are you going to put your cache?

1. Hide it: Wrap it with camouflage tape or wrap and tie it to a high tree limb or stick it in a hollow tree.  This is less ideal since it could be spotted, but is a good alternative if the ground is solid (rock, frozen, etc) to get you by until it can be buried.  

2. Bury it:  Dig a hole, someplace far from prying eyes.  To give the cache the best chance of survival, avoid areas that have or will have ground water or dampness where thaw/freeze cycles could wreak havoc and water can get in.  If you do bury it, develop your own well though out system to pinpoint the exact location that will be reliable years later, even after your memory fades.    

Caching OpSec Considerations

Coyote Works

Make sure you can find and retrieve your cache. Landmarks can change, so make sure you know exactly where it is, and that you will be able to find it again when you need it!

Bury the tube in a remote location, where you can’t be observed,  including aerial observation, and cell phone tracking.

Leave the cell phone at home, or at a minimum remove the battery, or boot the phone into DFU mode (Device Firmware Update), which shouldn’t have have any drivers loaded, except for the USB input and internal storage access. 3G, 4G and GPS, should be unactivated… but this might change in the future.

A waterproof container will likely be buoyant. Make sure to bury it in a place where groundwater or rain, won’t force it back to the surface, exposing your dry box or tube. Avoid soils heavy in clay, as water doesn’t drain quickly and may exacerbate “floating”!

If you are burying metallic items or using a dry box or tube that is metal, make sure to bury your vault deeper, then salt the vicinity with metal scrap such as old engine parts, nails, nuts, bolts, food tins, soda cans or other debris that might be encountered in the area, or bury it in an area where metal is expected to be encountered.

These ideas apply to your own property.  We do not condone any activity, like littering, on public property.  Please verify any applicable federal, state, or local laws.

Types of Caches

There are 4 main types of caches, there might be more, but these are the ones we consider most likely to be needed.

  1. Waypoint Caches
  2. Exile Caches
  3. Fugitive Caches
  4. Weapons Caches

1. Waypoint Cache

Waypoint Caches are hidden supplies at intervals along your route, allowing you to restock on an extended journey. This would likely be food, water or water purification essentials and other reloads for consumable goods.

When we are discussing a Waypoint Cache to resupply a motor vehicle, we need to consider the nature of this kit and its size, you won’t be able to bury all of it, so maybe use a storage unit for the larger items, unless you know of another good spot or two along your way.

The Contingency Plan

If you intend to drive to your location, this cache would also likely include tools for your vehicle, tire repair kits, fuel and essential automotive fluids.

Waypoint Cache:

Survival Theory

Automobile Waypoint Cache:

  • Tire Pump
  • Tire patch or repair kit
  • Spare tire(s)
  • Spare jack and universal tire iron
  • Extra Fuel with stabilizer added
  • Extra Oil
  • Transmission fluid
  • Jumper Cables
  • Replacement belts
  • Replacement headlamps and bulbs
  • Battery?
  • Wipers and wiper fluid
  • Tool Kit for Auto repairs
  • First Aid Kit
  • MRE‘s or Dehydrated camping meals
  • Water or water purification tools (LifeStraw or Sawyer Mini water filter straw)

You should already have a base set of car supplies in your Automobile’s EDC Kit.

2. Exile Cache

Exile Caches are hidden supplies that will allow you to cover all your survival needs if you are forced to flee with nothing or return to your home to find it inaccessible or occupied by non-familiar individuals.

This cache would provide what you need if you were at zero. It would have ways to provide for shelter, fire, food, water and protection.


Exile Cache contents:

3. Fugitive Cache

Survival Theory

Fugitive Caches are made up of select essentials from the Exile Cache with some extra specific purpose gear, in the event that you are on the run, for whatever reason.

Maybe you saw or overheard something sensitive and a mega-corporation has deployed assassins to take you down or some government agency has decided that they need to terminate you with extreme prejudice. Whatever the reason, you have to stay alive and on the move until you can clear your name.

The Fugitive Cache may not have to be buried, but could be in a self-storage locker if you can find one that lets you rent without an ID…unless you have an alternate ID <wink wink> or a discreet friend who would let you share some storage space.

Fugitive Cache contents:

4. Weapon Caches

Weapon Caches are used by those who aren’t so sure that their firearms are safe. Burying some of your firearms in a remote area ensures that they will still be accessible regardless of the current laws or political climate.

Most firearms cost many hundreds of dollars, so you should probably go the extra mile and buy a container, like a Mono Vault tube,  designed for this very purpose.

mono vault burial tube survival cache

The Mono Vault Features:

  • Heavy-duty construction, tested and designed to be buried, with guns inside!
  • Air-tight seal
  • Two Lids – an inner lid with a waterproof gasket and an outer ‘Burial Shield’ lid

mono vault burial tube survival cache 2 lids

Make sure to dip your firearm in some type of grease or cosmoline for long term storage, or invest in some Vapor Corrosion Inhibiting bags (aka VCI bags) to prevent rust and corrosion.

If you are concerned enough to bury some of your essential firearms, make sure to take extra precautions for every part of this project.

Keep some gear in a location away from your residence for safekeeping. When you are ready to stash this gear or supplies then you need to consider Survival Supply Caches, the Prepper’s Safe Deposit Box!

Atlas Survival Shelters


  1. I have built the exact pvc tube pictured. Some lessons learned :
    If you tighten it enough to keep out moisture, you will NOT be able to open it without a tool, and it is too big for normal wrenches or pliers. Be sure to hide a cheap strap wrench nearby sealed in plastic.
    If you use for guns, consider using a post hole digger to bury it upright and put long gun in butt end up to minimize metal detector signature.
    I also made a circular disk out of tin can lid with a string attached to top, so I can lift small items like ammo or hand guns to top if it is buried upright.
    You can also get creative and hide it in plain sight, such as paint it appropriately and use it for a fence post, to look like a roof vent, garden decoration ,etc

  2. Here is a question for you. Where can I find a seller who will post me a Mono Vault Dry Box to Australia? I want to buy half a dozen Mono Vault 248 Dry Boxes, but nobody I have contacted will post them to Australia. I understand postage to Australia may be more expensive then the actual box, but I don’t mind paying it, so why the hell is every American website refusing to sell me one?

    • Dear Australian,

      Just a thought. Do you know anyone who would be willing to get these for you and mail them to you? If so, that might be a way you could do this.

    • Australian,

      You might try to make one from PVC tubes. Should not be very hard to do. Paint the exterior if you want to keep the color a bit more subdued.

      Jerry in AZ

    • There is another option.
      Plastic barrels; they come in many shapes and sizes here in the USA. I suspect you could find some down under also. As they are often left over, after their original use, they should already be “in country” and relatively cheap.
      They also would not attract unwanted attention coming through Customs, like Mono vaults probably would.
      I would consider adding the truck bed lining to the outside to add strength to them. Some Barrels come with a waterproof seal in the lid.
      You can also purchase “dry bags” to put items in, to help protect against moisture.
      I hope that helps.

  3. Thanks this was great. Never heard of mono vault and since it would be near impossible to make your own this helps a lot.

  4. I would like to use a photograph of yours in my upcoming book, Avalon the Retreat, revised edition. The one showing the burial tubes. Will you give me permission? I will give you full credit. My book sold several thousand copies before I pulled it off Amazon to rewrite and edit it.

    • why would you say that online ? Don’t you know that the government see’s almost everything online,Including your comments.

  5. As an added precaution, I coated mine with bedliner. You know, that incredibly tough stuff that you roll onto your truck bed. (No, you dont coat the top. Just the sides and bottom). It absolutely ensures a water tight seal as well as adding strenth to whateve you coat it with. It dries to a very tough, abrasion resistant and waterproof coating. Freat for metal boxes too!

  6. I threw some O2 eaters and silica packs in mine… left it buried for 3 years and when I went to check it everything appeared like the day I packed the tube. Also, I put everything in a trash bag then dropped the tube into a 55 gallon trash bag. I left about an in of bag above ground to make it easy to find. I also smeared Vasoline on threads to give good waterproof seal.

  7. If you build your own from PVC parts, use liquid thread sealer – like white Teflon tape but comes in a can with applicator. It’s more waterproof than teon tape ut you can still get it loose when you need to.
    Screw it down almost to “lock” and do have either a strap wrench or, in a pinch, make a wooden wrench from a notched 2″x6″ about 18″ long. Make the notch just fit the square drive on the lid, about 4″-6″ down from the end. That will be sure it won’t split on you if the top is really tight. The home-made version is clunky but you can leave it lying around and, unless someone is desperate for firewood and is in your exact hiding place, it’ll be there when you need it. Or, bury a strap wrench near by but not too close. You can make an impromptu strap wrench from piece of 2″x and some chain or a bicycle tube, rope, etc. You just have to be smarter than the PVC pipe. 😉


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