Stashes - burial containers, what to put in them, where and how to hide them

Burial Containers

Is storing stuff in a buried container a good idea? Yes, provided you get a decent container and you put the right stuff in it. 

Decently sized storage containers that can be buried range from less than $50 to $200 or more. As with most items, the warning "you get what you pay for" applies here. 

Here are some brief guideline for picking an underground container: 


  • Size. It has to be big enough to hold whatever you what to bury. A stash of cash, silver and gold coins can be the size of a quart jar. Storing a gun and ammonia, even with a tactical breakdown gun, means more room. 
  • Wall thickness. If the description does not include how thick the lid and walls are or how heavy it is, skip that purchase. Weight can give you an idea of how thick the walls are. 
  • Seal. How does the container seal? Latches or screw-on? Screw on is best. In addition to an o-ring seal, the threads can have additional sealant. 

If you make your own, use Schedule 40 PVC pipes. 


With limited space in any burial storage can, what to store is a major issue. 


Topping that list is some sort of money. Fiat paper currency may be worthless, besides which it loses value over time. Gold and silver coins may be purchased from banks. These hold their value over time. 

Anywhere from a few hundred dollars to more than $1,000, depending on your budget is good. As you are able to invest more in emergency money, get another can and drop metal money in it. 


Without question, a gun and ammo need to go in the container. Don't get fancy. You need something, inexpensive, reliable, multi-duty and a common caliber. The Rossi Trifecta was listed as "Best Value" by Field & Stream a few years ago. It has improved since then. You can get .243, .22, .44 mag and 20 gauge barrels. Ammo for all is plentiful and inexpensive. Other companies offer similar gun combos. 

Get some Cosmoline. Russia stored Mosin-Nagants in Cosmoline more than 60 years ago. It may take a while to get all the Cosmoline off, but it has kept these old war rifles in pristine shape. Coat the gun in Cosmoline, wrap it in a plastic garbage bag and stow it. 

Get some moisture-absorbing packs. Put some in sealable freezer bags with the ammo. These go into the container. 


Survival knives with paracord-wrapped handles are cheap. Treat with Cosmoline, wrap and drop in the container. 

Some other things to put in are: 

  • Rope, paracord is best
  • Flint for fire starting
  • Assorted stainless steel fish hooks and braided, not monofilament, line
  • Wire for making small game snares. Coat with Cosmoline and keep in a plastic bag. 
  • Waterproof maps of the area and any reservoirs nearby 


Burying the container is going to take more work than anything else. Do not use GPS. The satellite system may stay up, but GPS devices require power. You cannot count on that. 

  • Stay away from buried utility lines. 
  • Avoid flood zones. 
  • Use lasting landmarks.

Don't count on trees staying put. Hurricanes, tornadoes and fires can eliminate entire forests. Some good landmarks are road intersections, cell tower complexes in rural areas and rural airports. Use these structures as reference points since you need to bury your stash a distance away from these markers. 

Burying cans in a power company's right of way, where the lines are elevated, can work. Utility poles and high-voltage towers are good landmarks. This also makes it easy to mark the location on a map to keep at home or in a vehicle. Be aware that phone companies sometimes bury lines right alongside the elevated power lines. Moving out of the immediate area under the lines is a good idea. 

Got other ideas for a SHTF storage can? We'd love to hear them in your comments below.