|Concealing your cache in difficult-to-transport trash like a roll of discarded carpet a quarter-mile from the road might make it harder for others to find.|
|Hiding them in old tires is another option. The risk is that somebody might dispose of the trash by burning it which will either destroy or expose your cache.|
I cheerfully concede that caches are life-saving for some situations. Take Joel who is the author at The Ultimate Answer to Kings. It is entirely possible that Joel could find himself separated from his home and support system by a sudden flash-flood. He lives in the high-desert, an area with low population density. It makes all the sense in the world for a guy like Joel to have a few steel drums stashed in various places with blankets, sleeping pad, sunscreen, hammock, solar battery recharger for phone, food and water.
Ditto for folks in Alaska who might go for long snowmachine rides. The manifest of what they would store would be different that what Joel would put in his barrel, but having a few belts, a couple gallons of fuel and a warm sleeping bag when you are stranded in the ass-end-of-nowhere is a great comfort.
For most of the rest of us, I don't see much utility.
But, but, but....
Some of you are sputtering.
Hey, I am with you regarding caches being a great IDEA. The problem is the execution.
Where are you going to put it? How are you going to get it there? How are you going to find it when you need it? Will it force you to detour when you might be able to avoid detours if you already had it in your pack? If you are trying to be unfindable, will your cache be your undoing? What is the real "shelf-life" of the items you put in your cache?
City people driving through the country-side think "There is nobody here. There are a million places to hide things." And that is partially true.
Every once in a while there is a story of a skeleton found at the edge of the woods. He is sitting on a five-gallon bucket holding a rusty shotgun. DNA determines that the skeleton belongs to somebody who disappeared 20 years ago.
That is the exception for most places in the Eastern US. SOMEBODY owns every square foot and is likely to notice a stranger burying things. Somebody is likely to take exception to the fact.
Short term caches
You can convince me of the value of short-term caches. I know many hunters who leave an Mil-Surplus ammo-box in their hunting blind year-round. They replenish it sometime before or during the hunting season.
The short-term nature addresses the issue of perishability of many items. The fact that it is in a hunting blind gives the owner of the cache some claim to recover it and makes it findable. It is still vulnerable to being found and pillaged by others.
But for most of us, the idea of secretly hiding a vault next to I-96 and it remaining unmolested and unmaintained for decades is not very realistic even if you cover the hidey-hole with a plaque announcing "Evidence of Hunter Biden's Wrongdoings"
But if I did have a cache somewhere
It would be a few boxes of .22LR ammo, a small knife, some butane lighters, water purifier using elemental iodine, two fresh pairs of socks and compression shorts, two twenty-dollar bills, and two-pounds of M&M candies. ---Edited to add: 15 extended release acetaminophen, diphenhydramine, 4 instant coffee packets, toilet paper, hotel sized bar of soap---
If the cache was located on the land of a Progressive, I would also include a shotgun with a 10" barrel and the buttstock shorted behind the pistol grip.
Comments will be much appreciated. Roughly describe your area-of-operation/travel (desert, urban, suburban, coastal etc.) and what you consider the minimum essentials to put in a cache.
Note: Due to the large number and high quality of the comments, I wrote a follow-up post.