Escape and Evasion Survival Kit [aka Wilderness Survival Cache]
Please note: I wrote this post way back in 2010 and wanted to share it here with you by re-posting. I hope that my writing ability has improved at least some since then.
I’m sure everyone reading this is familiar with the bug out bag – essentially the escape and evasion kit is based on the same concept, but with several advantages.
Don’t get me wrong, having abug out bagis a good idea, however a back-up plan, for your backup plan is even better – let me explain.
Depending on the situation, getting to your bug out bag may not be an option and let’s not forget the possibility of loss to fire, theft or another unforeseen event.
If the bug out bag is plan B, the escape and evasion kit should be considered plan C.
I know what you’re thinking – what is an “escape and evasion kit” and how do I get one? For the purposes of our discussion, an escape and evasion kit is basically a cache of supplies, hidden in a secure place.
Unfortunately, I don’t know of any ready-made kits or at least none on par with what we need, so you’ll have to assemble yours yourself.
Obviously, the first thing you’ll need is a container for securing your kit. I make mine from four-foot sections of 6-inch Schedule-40 PVC pipe with a permanent end cap on one end and Cleanout adapter and Threaded Plug on the other, both held in place with PVC cement.
Contents will depend on location and need – every situation will be different with kits being modified toward specific individual needs. Here are several areas to consider…
- Shelter – Space Blanket, Plastic Trash Bags, Thermals.
- Fire – Matches, Flint and steel, Magnifying Glass. Cotton wool.
- Water – Sterilizing tablets, Filter, Collapsible Canteen and Cover.
- Food – Fish-hooks and Line, Snare Wire, Slingshot Rubber, Food.
- Cooking – Sheet of Aluminum Foil, Small Cooking Pot, and Utensils.
- Medical – First-aid kit and Related Gear.
- Tools – Mora Knife, Swiss Army Knife, Multi-Tool, Ka-Bar Kukri Machete.
- Navigation – Compass, Topo Map of Area.
- 0514173144/Light – LED Flashlight, Headlamp, and Batteries.
- Rope and Cordage – Fishing Line, Spool of Dental Floss, Para-Cord.
- Repairs – Sewing kit, Duct Tape, Crazy Glue.
It’s a good idea to pack items with a potential for leakage at the bottom of the tube, and items of an immediate need (first-aid, etc) near the top.
Remember this is an escape and evasion kit, a last-ditch effort at survival, you could be wounded, pursued or both. Keep those items near the top and within reach.
Since you won’t be checking or replacing contents often, food items should be of low moister and suitable for long-term storage. You may find it a good idea to have a separate cache of food items aside from your main escape and evasion kit. I have one stuffed full of Mountain House Pouch foods and another with beans and grains.
After you get your tubes assembled and filled, it’s time to start thinking about security, or more specifically where and how to hide your kit. You don’t want to go through all this trouble and expense, just to have some two-bit thief or jackboot thug come along and steal what you’ve worked to put away.
Bug Out Bag Checklist (Ultralight Survival Pack)
The escape and evasion kit should be hidden away from your home or retreat and not buried in your backyard. Remember this is an effort of last resort. The escape and evasion kit acts as an insurance policy should you lose or be denied access to your home storage. Having it buried in your backyard would be self-defeating.
These tubes (if constructed properly) are waterproof and could be submerged underwater without risk of damage to the contents. But erring on the side of caution, I look for a well-drained area not easily accessible to heavy machinery such as logging equipment.
When moving to the cache site, it’s a good idea to have someone scout the area ahead, hopefully averting the possibility of you being seen. The last thing you want is to run face-to-face with a group of hunters, hikers or police.
The scout can move ahead alerting you, by two-way radio if anything is out of the ordinary or if someone is heading your way, allowing you time to react and avoid detection.
When digging, it’s best to go slowly – stop often and scan the area for potential threats. Again, the scout can offer security by watching the most likely avenues of approach and giving advanced warning.
Use a manual post hole digger to excavate a hole straight down and as deep as possible. Insert the tube in a vertical position into the hole and bacK-fill with dirt.
Carry an old tarp to pile the dirt on as you dig. Dispose of this in a discreet way out of sight and away from the cache area – when you finish, the area should look the same as it did when you started.
Foiling Metal Detectors:
- Bury in a junkyard or a dump.
- Seed the area with ferric chloride
- Litter the area with metal shavings and debris
- Old abandoned farms usually have pre-existing metal debris
- Abandoned surface-mines are naturally seeded with discarded metal
- Deserted log landing and yards can be good areas
It’s best to hide in an area with “naturally” occurring and pre-existing metal debris in fact seeding an area with metal can have the negative effect of drawing attention to it.
Look for locations where such metal deposits would be considered normal and if needed add to this. Remember the best security is keeping your mouth shut.
A bug out bag is great for getting out of dodge in a hurry – a bug out bag combined with an escape and evasion kit and you just might make it. What do you think…?