How To Cache Your Survival Supplies

One of the things I personally try to do, is take whatever advantage I can of any disaster that happens.

That doesn’t mean that I rush out there with loads of supplies to sell at exorbitant prices; I’m not the kind to take advantage of another’s misery. If I rush anywhere with a load of supplies, I would be giving it away, not selling it. Rather, I take advantage of the opportunity to learn what I can from those disasters. Each of them has lessons that we can glean, helping us to better prepare ourselves for when a disaster strikes at our own lives.

When Hurricane Harvey hit last year, it was a little too close to home. I mean that literally. There was one point in time where it was heading right for the area in which I live. But it headed north, plastering Houston and the surrounding area instead. That was close enough, as far as I was concerned. But it was close enough to be a real eye opener for me.

The California fires have reinforced some of the lessons I learned from Harvey.

In particular, these two events have shown the need for supply caches. I have always balked a little about the idea of storing some of my stockpile off-site, even though I knew the need for it. But in both cases, any supplies that preppers living in those areas would have had, would have been lost, not doing them the least bit of good.

The idea of losing everything to a natural disaster is one that we tend to ignore. Instead, we prepare as if everyone else will lose everything, but we’ll be okay, because we have prepared. But the reality is that any preppers living in Paradise, California were just as bad off as everyone else in the city.

That is, they were as bad off as everyone else, unless they either had a prepared survival retreat or a supply cache located outside the area destroyed by the fire. Those preps would have helped them survive the aftermath of the fire, giving them food and other supplies to use, as they tried to put their lives back together. Of course, a lot would depend on what sorts of supply caches they had and how well they were stocked.

Herein we are faced with a bit of a controversy. On one hand, it is more efficient to co-locate supplies in a central location, where they can be counted, organized and maintained. But there is a lot of danger in that. If something happens to that location, everything can be lost.

Just look at Pearly Harbor on December 7th, 1941. Thinking that we were a neutral party in the ongoing war, the admirals in command of Pearl didn’t bother to disperse their assets, as is done in wartime. Therefore, when the Japanese attacked, the Navy’s deadliest ships, the battleships, were nicely lined up in what was known as “Battleship Row,” making them an ideal target. Even if a Japanese dive bomber missed the ship they were attacking, chances were that they would hit another.

We lost billions of dollars worth of ships and other essential military resources, as well as thousands of lives of trained sailors and airmen, because our Navy was operating at a peacetime footing. But as we can clearly see, it only takes minutes to change from peacetime to wartime.

The same can be said about our war against disasters.

While some disasters, like hurricanes, give us ample warning they are coming, there are others, like earthquakes, which may not give any warning at all, even with all the technology we have deployed to provide ourselves with early detection.

Living on a peacetime footing, in a war against forces that can switch to a war footing with no notice is a sure way of losing any battle. And in this “war,” there may not be a second chance. We have to be able to survive the first attack, or we may not survive at all. One of the ways we can do that is to decentralize our survival plans, even while we keep our home as our main survival retreat.

The Survival Retreat

The best solution is to have a prepared and stocked survival retreat, in addition to having our home prepared to be used as a survival retreat. I used to think that having a prepared survival retreat was enough, eliminating the need to have my home as well prepared for survival. But what if something happens to my retreat? I may have to bug in, even though my primary plan is to bug out.

This means splitting my stockpile between two locations, or better yet, creating two mirror-image stockpiles. Granted, that’s a whole lot more expensive; but it can be done, if it is done over time. In a time of disaster, if I am forced to move from my home to my survival retreat, I will need to take as much of my survival stockpile with me as possible. Fortunately, I have a trailer I can use for this.

I realize that many people can’t have a prepared survival retreat for financial reasons. To be honest with you, I can’t either, although I am hoping to start building a cabin, perhaps as soon as next year. But not having that cabin doesn’t mean that I can’t have a planned destination for survival and build a stockpile there. It is easy and cheap to rent a storage space in a remote town and build a stockpile there. Then, if you are able to buy or build a survival retreat later, you’ll have the supplies you need to have, in order to stockpile it.

Building a Remote Survival Stockpile

So, what should be in a remote survival stockpile? The quick answer is anything that you have at home for survival. But there are also a few items that you might want to consider, which you don’t necessarily need at home.

I’m going to operate under the assumption here that you don’t have a prepared survival retreat somewhere, and that’s why you’re establishing a remote survival stockpile. If that’s the case, it is essential to make sure that you have everything you need to have, in order to survive. When I say that, I mean everything that you would have in a bug out bag as well, as you may be forced to leave home without it or lose it along the way.

  • Lots of non-perishable food
  • Cookware for the food
  • A camp stove that will run off of gasoline (not propane)
  • Water purification system of some sort, which will last long-term
  • Water containers – perhaps collapsible
  • Some water
  • Fire starters – lots of fire starters
  • Basic survival tools – knife, axe, saw, shovel
  • Tools for building a shelter
  • Tent – preferably something larger than just a backpacking tent, such as a cabin tent
  • Air mattresses and sleeping bags
  • A cart of some sort for moving your supplies
  • Bicycle for transportation
  • Medical kit (trauma kit), over the counter medicines and antibiotics
  • Prescription medicines needed by family members for chronic conditions
  • Personal hygiene supplies, including toilet paper
  • Ammunition

As you can see, there are some items in this list, which you may not have at home. They are there, to meet the needs you’ll have, trying to survive without your home. You don’t need a tent or sleeping bags at home, because you have a house and beds. But we have to assume that you’ll arrive at your bug-out location with nothing.

Granted, you’re going to leave home with everything you can carry. But that doesn’t mean you won’t have to abandon your vehicle, somewhere along the way. While we can always hope that you’ll be able to drive the entire distance, that’s not something that can be counted on. Since it can’t be, it’s important to ensure that your cache has everything you’ll need.

MRE’s, freeze dried, and dehydrated foods have a “maximum shelf life of 25 years.” Are these claims a load of B.S.? Frankly, it’s a yes and a no…  The claims of 25-year shel…

It’s also going to be important to be able to move those supplies from your storage to wherever you end up setting up camp. Hence, items like the bicycle and cart. Carrying everything isn’t efficient and even if you arrive in your vehicle, there’s no guaranteed that you’ll be able to get fuel for it.

Additional Caches

While the remote stockpile will be your main resource for survival, if you are forced to abandon your home and bug out, it’s not a good idea to keep all your eggs in one basket. The more caches you can prepare, the better.

Granted, this can get expensive, especially if you try to duplicate that same survival stockpile in another location. But that’s not what I’m talking about. The chances that your home and your remote survival stockpile are both destroyed are slim, as you will probably locate the survival stockpile in a different area, where it is not subject to the same risks.

My bigger concern here is you having enough supplies to make it from home to your bug out destination. The average bug out bag only contains three days worth of food. How far can your family walk in that amount of time? If you have small children, probably not anywhere near far enough.

With that in mind, you need to have additional supply caches ready, to get you from your home to your bug out destination, assuming a worst case situation where you are forced to walk. Each of those supply caches needs to have enough food and other essential supplies to get you to the next supply cache, with a day’s extra, just in case. 

So, what should be in these additional supply caches?

  • Enough food to last three to five days (depending on what you can carry)
  • At least one water purifier (such as a Lifestraw)
  • Fire starters
  • Toilet paper
  • Any personal medications needed by family members
  • A small amount of ammunition

The idea here is merely to replenish any supplies that have been used in getting from your home or from the last supply cache to this point. This cache is merely to provide you with enough supplies to get you to the next cache or to your survival stockpile.

Since we’re talking a small amount of supplies here, this sort of cache can probably be prepared in a sealed five-gallon bucket, which can be buried. Just make sure that nobody sees you bury it and that you have at least two separate sets of landmarks that you can count on. That means landmarks that won’t be damaged by fire or flooding.

Even if you don’t need everything in one of those caches, you will probably want to dig it up and take the contents with you. Your other option is to take what you need and rebury the rest, so that you have it available as an emergency cache if you are ever in that area again.


Written by

Bill White is the author of Conquering the Coming Collapse, and a former Army officer, manufacturing engineer and business manager. More recently, he left the business world to work as a cross-cultural missionary on the Mexico border. Bill has been a survivalist since the 1970s, when the nation was in the latter days of the Cold War. He had determined to head into the Colorado Rockies, should Washington ever decide to push the button. While those days have passed, the knowledge Bill gained during that time hasn’t. He now works to educate others on the risks that exist in our society and how to prepare to meet them. You can send Bill a message at editor [at]

Latest comments
  • To Get from your regular home to your “Bug-Out” Hideaway, You MUST Use a Non-Standard Route and Vehicle (One NO ONE Else would think of). In the winter half ( Oct to March) we would use the Large Irrigation Canal system – they are “Dried Out” and perfect for our dirt bikes (125 cc.s) heavily loaded. In the summer half (April to Sept.) we will use branch line railroad tracks (bridges still in place). I really do not see Any Other options.

  • My thoughts on caches:

    First a couple of observations:
    Caches (plural) in the context to which this article pertains, hiding items, is pronounced ‘cashes’, and when referring to potpourri type sachets is pronounced ‘cash-ayes’.

    Singular is ‘cash’ for the hiding and ‘cash-aye’ for the potpourri sachets.

    The caches I have made have all been similar to one another in design, if not contents. I always wanted to recover the bucket so I had something to carry the items in once recovered, in case I did not have any transport or LBE when I needed the cache.

    The way I do it is a bit more expensive and labor intensive getting the cache put in than most, but much easier and faster to recover than the way some do it, which is better than the other way around, I think.

    So here goes, for an earth buried bucket cache. A tubular cache container will be about the same. Scout out a likely spot and monitor it for a few weeks or months to make sure it will not likely be discovered by accident. Check the local flood plain maps to see if the area is subject to minor or major flooding. If it is, that does not mean you cannot use the place, but you will need to use the same precautions you would when making an underwater cache.

    Make sure there is a spot some distance away where you can cache a couple of things, just under the surface of the ground. Once you are confident that the place is secure enough, make sure you have what you need.

    Bag up the items, even the canned ones, in 2-gallon heavy duty Zip-lock freezer bags and stack things as tightly as you can. If it is a food cache, be sure and include everything you will need to use that food. Including a can opener for sure. But I would put in a knife/fork/spoon, folding handle cup with water bottle, water filter, a solid fuel or gel fuel folding stove if needed. I would also have as much water as would fit in the bucket to fill it up completely.

    Special note: NEVER put fuels and other flammables in with anything they can contaminate. The same goes for highly aromatic items. If either leaks, they can ruin other items. Not only do you not want fuel soaked food or clothing, or corroded weapons and tools, you also do not want your clothing smelling like gun cleaning solvent.

    Once the bucket is packed, keeping it as light as possible, seal the lid with silicone. Use two smaller buckets that are easily carried, rather than one larger, heavier bucket if you need more space.

    Have a second, nesting, bucket for each cache bucket you have made up. Find something to put in the empty bucket that will support the cache bucket just shy of being a glove fit when inserted into the empty bucket.

    Get a good pick and shovel, plus a small shovel or e-tool, which should be oiled and put in a zip-lock bag; several more buckets or boxes, and fill them with good, clean, dry mortar sand. Take a small tarp, and some heavy duty clear plastic sheeting and head for the cache point sometime when it will be very unlikely for anyone to see or come up on you while burying the cache.

    If you can arrange to place the cache or caches in the fall, just before high winds are expected, or heavy rains, or even a snow storm, all the better. The high winds will be blowing leaves and debris around, if there are any at all in the area, and the rain and snow can help cover up any traces of the ground having been disturbed.

    You can place a cache any time of the year, just be extra careful of setting the site to rights so there are as few signs as possible that anything has been done there.

    Now this is where I do things rather different than most. Move any surface material away carefully before digging. Lay down the tarp. When you dig the hole, make it two good shovel widths larger all around than the diameter of the bucket, especially if you want to recover everything. Place all the extracted dirt onto the tarp as you remove it from the hole.

    Once you are deep enough to have the buckets at least 6″ and preferably 12″ to 18″ below the level of the ground, put in the empty bucket and carefully fill around it with some of the sand until it is stable. Put in the support and then the cache bucket. Make sure it will slide in and out easily. Fill the rest of the hole up to within 6″ of the top. Spread out the plastic sheet, digging the hole wider if it is likely to flood or get a lot of rain in the area, so the plastic covers well past the edges of the bucket. Add a bit more sand, making sure none of the plastic shows above it, and finish filling the hole with the dirt that was dug out. Do not leave a depression, but you also do not want a mound. Just enough to allow for a little settling.

    Load up the extra buckets/boxes used to bring out the sand with the rest of the dirt. Gather up the tarp and tools and take them, and the buckets/boxes of dirt and haul it off so there is nothing left indicating a hole was dug. Carefully camouflage the area, replacing any surface materials you moved before digging.

    Record the location, using coded instructions, on a coded map. Take the small shovel or e-tool to a spot nearby where you can cache it just a few inches below the surface of the ground. Drop a sawn off piece of broom handle, sharpened slightly on one end nearby, on the surface of the ground.

    Have a second set of coded instructions, using alternate landmarks, just in case one or more of the original ones are changed in some way.

    If there might be a real problem relocating the cache, such as in a large open area, among really rocky areas, or any area with plain terrain features, bury a
    Neodymium rare earth magnet just under the surface of the ground, somewhere near the cache as an ‘anchor point’ from which measurements and bearings can be taken to relocate the cache. One simply walks the area, with a compass attached to a stick so it can be kept close to the ground. Watch the compass needle. When close to one of these powerful magnets the compass needle will deflect and the magnet can be located. Then with the location of the actual cache determined.

    When the time comes to recover the cache, middle of the night, blowing rain, trying to snow, with five guys and two mean dogs after you, recover the broomstick, dig up the trowel, scoop the thin layer of surface dirt free of the sheet plastic, scoop out the easy to move sand off the top of the cache bucket, down to where it is sitting in the bottom bucket. If enough room was left when the buckets were nested, the cache bucket should pull out of the bottom bucket easily. If there is too much space sand will have worked down and locked the two together. If not enough space is left, the compression of the bottom bucket will make it more difficult to get the cache bucket out. But it is not that hard to hit the right medium.

    Pull the bucket and if you have time, try to fill in the hole best you can, hoping it will not be discovered until too late so the pursuers do not know you recovered anything, or if it is obvious you did, not what it was in the cache.

    Now, if you have plenty of time, and conditions are not too bad, you can fairly easily recover the bottom, empty bucket, if you want. By having the hole a good shovel width around the bucket, filled with that dry, loose sand, it can be scooped out enough to pull out the empty bucket for future use. The main reason to use it is to make it easy to recover the cache bucket.

    Another option, rather than just a brick or 2×4, or something to hold up the cache bucket, you can stash some additional supplies in it to do the same thing. If the cache is found, chances are the people will not dig out the bucket, not realizing how easy it is. Just get down to the lid and pull it off to get what is inside, leaving the remains of the bucket on top of the things in the bottom bucket.

    You can carry that one step further, since getting the second bucket out is not all that hard, and have some double bagged and wrapped items below the bottom bucket. Even if the cache bucket is found and pulled out, and anything in the bottom bucket, it would take someone as devious as me to keep digging to pull out that bottom bucket to see if there was anything else underneath.

    An option, if it is going to be difficult to not be observed by chance, is if the site is at all suitable as a campsite, set up a fairly large tipi or other tent with no floor over the cache spot. You can do all the work without anyone seeing what you are doing. Just leave the surface of the ground in the same condition as it was when you set up the tipi and no one should be any the wiser. Carry out the excess dirt in the same buckets in which you brought the sand.

    The basics of caching drums are very similar to those for bucket caches. But there are some differences. Here are some things specific to the drum caches (This refers to open top drums with sealable lids, not drums for liquids with bungs.):

    First, 55-gallon drums are big and heavy. Think about using 30-gallon drums if you can find them.

    Second, if you are planning to just dig down to the top of the drums, remove the tops, and recover the items, I would think about that twice. The drums will be a valuable asset in and of themselves in the PAW. Also, by recovering the drums and repacking the contents (if you have to unload them to recover), it will be much easier to move everything by simply rolling the barrel rather than moving all the individual components or containers.

    To facilitate this, I would have rope sling bridles tied up, using rope impervious to the type of ground you have, that you can put under and around the drums. This will allow the easy use of a pickup truck hoist, or tripod to lower and then lift the drums from the hole.

    Now, a shovel width all the way around a bucket is adequate. You will need somewhat more to be able to dig all the way around the drum and get deep enough to recover it. Either that, or you will need to make a scoop device specifically to get the sand from around the drum without having to get down into the hole with it, with would be the preferred method for me.

    Now, to anchor the drums from floating/vibrating out of the ground, I would use a dead-man type anchor. If you use the method I describe below, you will have plenty of room to put down a circle of sheet goods such as plywood, scrap sheet metal, or even a built up sheet made from a double layer (crossed) of one by twos or whatever. Whatever you use will need to be round, as large as the hole, minus just a little to make it easy to get down there.

    And similar to the sling bridle for the drums, put down two ropes, crossed in the middle of the hole, before you put down the dead-man. Install the drum on the center of the dead-man, place a pair of crossed two by twos on top of the drum and tie off the ropes to them. This way, for the barrel to come out of the ground, and it is likely due to the slick surface, not only the weight of the drum, but the entire weight and mass of the backfill will also have to come up, which is highly unlikely because of the additional weight and the friction of the sand against the sides of the hole.

    Some things you might not want to cache. Anything you really cannot afford to lose, for sure. Cache can be and are found from time to time by accident. Things that could get you in trouble if found should not be cached in open areas. Neither should anything that can be used against you. Such as guns or certain documents. Some of those things can be cached, but the locations must be where they would be extremely unlikely to be found.

    As to protecting firearms and other important metallic objects, if you chose to risk caching them, I would grease them up, and then slip them into silicon impregnated sleeves before putting them into Mylar or plastic sealed bag, with either an O2 absorbent or desiccant pack.

    A few words about alternative locations. Caches do not necessarily have to be buried in the ground. Using the proper containers, properly sealed, caches can be anchored under the water in ponds or lakes. I would not try it in rivers, as they can be washed away quite easily.

    Caches around the home, on the property are a good idea. Just so you can have some equipment and supplies in case you home is damaged or destroyed and you cannot retrieve things immediately. They still need to be secure and hidden, but as you can generally control access to the property, perhaps quite as secure or hidden as off-property caches. (Some good places for home caches: under the sandbox, along the fence row, under the birdbath, the middle of the garden. The possibilities are endless.)

    Caches can be placed next to steep hills or bluffs and material brought down around them. In rocky terrain, you can build a cairn to hide a cache. If there are some structures around that are not frequently used, caches can be secreted in, under, around, or on them.

    That can include trees. Especially in swampy areas or areas prone to floods that are likely to have all sorts of junk lying around, or caught up in trees and abandoned structures. Unless you are careless and do not make it look like it has been there since the last flood, that old ice cream bucket stuck up in the tree, filled with filth would not bring any attention to it. And could have a zip-lock bag with some necessities hidden in that filth.

    Which brings me to the point that not all caches need be bucket sized or bigger. You might just need to have a few things available. A gallon zip-lock, or even a quart one might hold just what you need. They can be secreted in some very small places that would escape notice unless someone was doing a very detailed search for some reason.

    And the opposite is true. You might need to cache quite a bit of stuff. If you do, do not make one large cache. Spread smaller caches out within an area. You do not want to lose everything at once.

    Here are some specific and general alternatives to buried and open caches in wilderness areas. These are more for urban areas when burial is not a very good option in some cases.

    Depending on the actual types of construction in the area, from type of roads, sanitary drains and storm drains, housing construction, business construction, public works, play grounds, parks, and pretty much everything else, a person will probably be able to find several spots where a container can be placed that will either be well hidden, or blend in well enough to not draw any attention, unless the place is disturbed for some other reason.

    Which that chance will be a major part of the location selection process. For instance, if the roof of your building is a flat roof, and there are several plumbing stacks on it, or air conditioning units and/or ducts, or antenna poles, or drains for rain water, or gutters and downspouts, or fire escapes, or roof access hatches, or… on and on and on.

    Look around carefully, but with an out of the box and pushing the envelope mindset. You do not have to use PVC pipe. Work okay for a dummy plumbing vent if it matches the others, and has internal plugs (with the top one recessed a few inches so at just a glance it will look like an open pipe), and there are not any people that actively use the roof, or can see it. If a maintenance person is up there regularly, he/she would spot a new fake plumbing vent. But not necessarily something inside and around a corner of an air conditioning unit. Or some bracing on antenna poles, or an extra down spout in an area not looked at often, or a piece of gutter somewhere that does not necessarily have to have one, and with a screen over it to keep out leaves, could hide a few things.

    If there is anywhere close that has a sandbox, such as a park, the building playground (I would stay off school grounds), large planter boxes, or pretty much anything else that has much sand in it, you can possibly volunteer to help refurbish, fix, or even simply install one, so you can make sure the sand is really deep, and you can plant a cash there, also deep, so playing children, or gardeners will not dig down anywhere near enough to hit it.

    If there are storm drains that are too small to enter, but have road side or street side grates, covers, or openings, you can rig a container that you can push back down the line, on a stand of some type to keep it up out of the water (so it does not get carried down, as it should be waterproof to the point it can stay under the water for days), with a way to hook it and pull it out when needed.

    Many things can be done if you volunteer, such as the sand boxes or planters mentions. If you help repair public works such as other things in parks, or common areas of housing units, there is a good chance you can install caches during the process of doing the work, when no one else is around, or you cannot be seen. Again, buried, or added to above ground structures and things like light poles, cross over supports, sign posts, the bases for those poles, etc.

    If you are helping build a storage shed for the property, or the park, or for a neighbor, or for anyone close, work in some reinforcing beams vertically and/or horizontally. One or more can have a hollow where you can stash some things. Even a short section of decorative beam made of foam that can be matched to real beams in an out of the way, non structural spot, so a couple of hammer blows will break it open and you can retrieve your cache.

    You can even do some of the things at your own place, even in an apartment. Build some fancy, free standing shelves, and trim them out with hollow beams. Hidden compartments. Display cases with hidden compartments or under shelf hiding spots that are hidden by a shelf front piece that projects down a couple or three inches.

    Curtain valences that are hollow, or have space on top hidden by a raised front.

    There are hundreds of ways to hide things. Sometimes in plain sight. Do you know anyone in high school taking metal shop? Maybe have them make a couple of aluminum castings of old pirate flintlocks, with hollow backs. Hide a gun in a gun kind of thing.

    Those are just some of the possibilities. Looking over an area with caches in mind will reveal many more specific to the location.

    A word on using decoy caches:
    If you suspect that people know you are a prepper, and have any inclination that you might be using caches, you might want to use some decoy or dummy caches to divert them from looking for and finding your serious caches. Unless the person(s) are experienced preppers themselves, or have caching experience, including geo-caching, they are unlikely to be very skilled at finding them. But in a situation where they might be desperate enough to force you to tell them where your caches are, or simply are willing to put in a great deal of effort to find them without letting you know, people might just be seriously looking for them.

    As with many other prepper situations, having some decoy, dummy, and sacrificial caches can be just one more tool to protect your supplies. And, possibly, your safety, if you are detained and force is used to try to get information from you.

    Either way, if you can install some caches that you will not mind being found and losing in some instances, it might just be enough to get the people from looking further, or using greater force to get you to give up some of your real caches.

    Decoy and dummy caches usually do not have to be nearly as well placed, concealed, or as much work done to emplace them. While you might not want them to be completely obvious, making them fairly easy to find without it being clear that you want them found (most people think everyone else is a lot dumber than they themselves are, and will usually believe their vastly superior intellect allowed them to find something you thought you had hidden so well), if they are decoy or dummies, with no actual cache there in the case of dummies, or one set up to be useless to them in the case of decoy caches, and you are not around for them to take vengeance upon, it might discourage them. Again, the mindset that you are not smart enough to actually have real caches when you used a decoy to try and fool them might come into play and cause them to quit wasting resources and time to look for more.

    Decoy caches can also be used to simply take the heat off, if they have some items in them, but not of a type that can be used against you, or will provide the person with much in the way of help or more than very short term sustenance, again convincing the person that you do not have anything that will actually be of great value to them, as they were hoping.

    The other situation is to have a cache a bit better positioned and ostensibly concealed, but that you can give up or they can find, that has the appearance of having been accessed and everything, or everything of importance taken already. If forced to give up the location, if you have it set up so it is believable that someone else simply found it, and you were unaware of that fact, they are less likely to take retribution for having been sent to a useless cache.

    There is a risk that these actions will create a situation where you are at more risk due to their anger, but I believe the advantages of using decoy, dummy, and sacrificial caches will be worth the slight risk.

    I am not going to get into full structure caches, such as buried tanks and such. They are a different subject in my opinion, with their own special procedures.

    A note on sealing PVC pipe caches: While everything in the tube should be itself in water proof/water resistant packaging, the PVC does need to be sealed, too. The main options have been the regular solvent weld caps (‘glue on’ caps, which is a misnomer as it is actually a solvent weld), or a female adapter with a screw in plug well sealed with silicone or a water proof grease.

    For the few PVC pipe caches I have helped set up recently I am now recommending using the appropriate sized cast iron, stainless steel banded rubber cap. The quality ones seal very well to PVC, and the stainless steel band and screw clamps hold up well in most places. To improve the corrosion resistance of the stainless steel (and even the rubber, as some things in the soil can cause rubber to deteriorate) is to coat the whole cap with a layer of silicone. (Or with hot gun glue if assembly is done where one can be used.)

    Using the screw clamp stainless steel banded rubber caps makes it much easier to quickly access the contents of a PVC pipe cache. Scrape away any coating, if used, and use you pocket screwdriver (or better yet, your pocket socket driver) to loosen the screw clamps and band, and then work the rubber cap off the pipe.

    As I mentioned, the rubber does seal very well to the PVC, so it does take a bit of effort to remove it. But not nearly as much as it does to cut the pipe if a solvent weld cap has been used, nor the effort to unscrew a well sealed screw plug in an adapter, which usually takes a fairly bulky tool (strap wrench) to hold the pipe, and large slip joint pliers to grip the plug nut to unscrew it. Easier with two people, and alternatives for the regular tools can be used, but all things considered, I believe the rubber caps for cast iron pipe is a better alternative.

    Just my opinion

    List of some types of caches:
    01) Base camp cache: provides the materials and supplies to set up a base camp
    02) Bulk trade goods cache: holds larger quantities of trade goods
    03) Financial cache: financial and monetary assets
    04) Food preservation cache: the items needed to preserve foods short and long term
    05) Fuel/Automotive trade goods cache: trade goods relating to transportation
    06) Packaged trade goods cache: small pre-packaged or home packaged trade goods
    07) Reequip cache: items to replace those lost, damaged, seized, etc.
    08) Resupply cache: fairly comprehensive cache of consumables
    09) Simple supply cache: basic human needs cache for short term needs
    10) Tradesman’s tools cache: items to set up shop for various activities
    11) Travel route cache: materials to keep a vehicle going, as well as the humans
    12) Arms and ammunition cache: pretty self-explanatory
    13) Small to large multipurpose caches: group of caches with a wide variety of items
    14) Retreat cache: items needed to set up a retreat and/or equipment/supplies for one
    15) GOOD cache: items needed to leave an area and get one somewhere else
    16) Mission(s) cache: caches of items needed to carry out various critical missions
    17) Role camouflage cache: items to change appearance for a variety of situations
    18) Short term stash cache: usually expedient to hide things temporarily
    19) Intermediate term stash cache: same as above, but for later recovery
    20) MT cache: prepared, but empty caches for use as needed
    21) Decoy cache: cache(s) that can be found either with sacrificial items or that appear to have been emptied and poorly rehidden

    Just my opinion.