*Medium-Long term food cache*
By: Zymurgist
17 August 2006

The storage of food and supplies is one of the things that separate survivalists from the rest of society. The ability to provide for our families and loved ones in the face of any emergency is why we prep. But what happens when there is an emergency on top of an emergency? If TS has HTF, and your house burns to the ground, or the government decides to "redistribute" "hoarded" supplies for the good of all those people that decided a new car or trip to Hawaii was more important than food storage? Or your supplies are stolen by force by someone other than Uncle Sam? In desperate times the thin veneer of civility can disappear rather quickly, and while we also generally prepare to be able to defend ourselves from such actions, making a "last stand" is not an option for my family. There are no goods worth the life of my wife and children.

Let's face it, most all of us that have been prepping for any length of time have several people who know we store supplies. Everyone you have ever tried to convince to start a storage program will remember you if times get tough, some may have already told others about you, and they will remember you also.

I wanted a food cache that would be able to spend a lot of time in the ground that would be separate from my supplies, and one which only my immediate family knew the existence and location of.

I started with a 60 gallon food grade barrel with a screw on lid that used to hold pickles. I placed the barrel on two cinder blocks with a space between them because I planned on using dry ice (which sublimates in to CO2) to provide an oxygen free environment. I wanted to be able to feel the bottom and see if the dry ice had completely sublimated. This is important. I have heard horror stories of people closing their containers up too early and blowing up their containers. Dry ice is MUCH colder than regular ice, so I assumed that with only 1/4 inch of plastic barrel as insulation I would be able to tell by feel if it was done.

After that, in went 5 lbs of dry ice in the bottom. This is well over double the dry ice you need for this volume. It may have been a bit of overkill, but better safe than sorry.

I left the ice in the butcher paper to keep it from direct contact from the food going in.

Next I dumped in 250 lbs of Canadian Gold Whole Winter Wheat. The barrel still had room so I added 50 lbs of white sugar, 10 lbs of brown sugar, and topped it off with 30 lbs of oatmeal.

 

I then placed the lid loosely on, and waited for the dry ice to sublimate. I did this on a summer day, and it still took well over 24 hours for the sublimation to be complete. For the first few hours there was a heavy layer of frost on the bottom that later turned to a small sheet of ice. When the bottom of the barrel was room temperature, I caulked the lid with silicone caulking, and screwed the cap on. It is now waiting to be buried.

My plan is to have a half dozen of these buried with a variety of food and supplies. Next time I will make each barrel a more diverse cache so that if one is lost I don't loose a whole category of items.
Zymurgist



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