Selecting Cache Locations
Once you’ve built a cache, you need to find a home for it. One of the best locations, of course, is hidden on property you own. If you own the property, there’s nobody to complain about digging holes. Next on the list would be property owned by someone you know and trust and who has given you permission to place a cache there.
The next option is public land. Here’s the thing, though — legalities. There may be a nice park down the street that has an out-of-the-way corner you like or you might fancy the area right beneath the headstone of a deceased relative, but if there’s a big patch of dirt that looks like it was recently dug up, some city employees or groundskeepers who routinely landscape and service the area might check if someone put something there they shouldn’t.
The trick is to find places that won’t be disturbed or look like an obvious burial site. You wouldn’t put that hide-a-key that mimics a rock in an area where it’s the only rock and sticks out like a sore thumb, would you? Even if you have that perfect place next to a power pole in an easement that gets little foot traffic, you’re likely prohibited from digging in public locations. But like Ed Calderon (featured elsewhere in this issue) would say, “What you’re allowed to do and what you can do are two different things.”
Think it through and determine what direction you’ll likely head in an emergency and bury caches along the way in areas that make sense. Do your research on the ownership of the land, any proposed future construction, or any other circumstances that could put you in jeopardy if your belongings are found. If you cache a firearm, you can imagine what would happen if someone finds it. If you feel you have to store in locations that flirt with legal ramifications, do so at your own risk.
Also, don’t be like Vern in Stand By Me, with only a general idea of where your jar of pennies was buried. Keep a map (and copies of that map) in your bug-out bags, vehicles, in your wallet, and anyplace else you can think of to help you easily locate your caches. Practice finding them to help become more familiar with those locations in case of an emergency. Sometimes geography, foliage, landmarks, and various other surroundings change over time. Think of all the times you’ve returned to a location a year later to find that it looks quite a bit different. What good are caches if you can’t find them? Check your locations at regular intervals to ensure your survival trove is still there.