Cache tube burial how to hide guns in the ground is gaining a lot of attention, especially with new proposed gun laws. Vertical cache tube burial provides easy access and minimizes ground disturbance for better concealment. However, long tubes may require holes over 5 feet deep. As you will see later, vertical holes require a lot less dirt removal compared to horizontal holes. Digging deep vertical holes used to be difficult, but now, with the Holey-Moley Digger, by Cat 6 Tools, that has changed. Burial of guns is now easy when you can dig a hole 20 feet deep and up to 12 inches in diameter in minutes. To find the right place for your cache tube may take some searching, however, it is now possible with intelligence information described here to find the right place to secretly bury your cache tubes. Underground cache tube storage intelligence is what this article is all about.
My Experience with Cache Tube Burial
Some Valuable Intelligence Information
Sometimes it is easy to overlook the obvious method because of the difficultly in doing it. This holds true with the burial of cache “cash” tubes.
Cache Tube Burial – the Indians did it first
The concept of hiding water and food is not new, it has been done for centuries. The American Indians that made the trip from the Los Angeles basin to the Colorado River relied heavily on cache sites. Imagine walking through the Mojave Desert, several hundred miles on foot, They stored water underground in clay jars, and kept each other apprised of the cache condition as they came and went. Due to their excellent caching, they could do 50 miles a day carrying minimal supplies, a feat that seems incredible to most people today. When traveling across the Mojave, their lives depended on the secrecy and the integrity of these cache sites, just as your life may depend on your own cache site, its secrecy, and its integrity. This is what INTELLIGENCE is all about.
What is a Cache?
a collection of items of the same type stored in a hidden or inaccessible place.“an arms cache”
store away in hiding or for future use.
There is a reason for adding the word intelligence to this article. Here is the definition:
- the ability to acquire and apply knowledge and skills.
- the collection of information of military or political value.
Keep it Secret
There is also a reason for adding the word secret to this article. Most noteworthy is the definition:
- something that is kept or meant to be kept unknown or unseen by others.
- something that is not properly understood; a mystery.
- a valid but not commonly known or recognized method of achieving or maintaining something.
Cache Tube Burial – Knowledge and Skills
The purpose of this article is to supply you with some knowledge and skills for cache tube burial. In addition, there is some information about underground cache tube burial that is not properly understood or commonly known. Also some methods on how to put this information to use is included. Even if you know a lot about caching and prepping, I hope the following information will add some additional knowledge and skills to your intelligence portfolio to help you when considering cache tube burial of guns.
First of all, with any project, to get it done, you must make it happen. Therefore be prepared to commit to a plan and then to execute the plan.
It takes commitment to prepare a cache tube and to execute an underground cache tube burial plan. This is not an easy process but it can be fun. You will need to be committed to accomplishing your goal from the beginning to the end. It is too easy to stop after you get just the tube made. You need to load it and then finally bury it. Make your goal and set your plan to reach it.
I usually prepare the contents of an emergency cache tube, then make the tube, load it and then take some time to ponder what is in the tube and how I will eventually use it. In the meantime pre-scouting locations is a valuable process for planning the actual burial of your cache tube.
– Just Do It
Second, just do it. Execute your plan! Even if you are just putting a 1st aid kit together. Learn how to plan and then to execute the plan.
- Planning – Start with a cache tube burial plan that includes everything you are going to do. Putting a cache tube together and stashing it is an excellent exercise in development of your personal constitution. This is also a great exercise for young kids. One must plan for each of the four steps below. Each step is an achievable goal.
- Execution – To reach a goal you have to ACT! Acting is the process of executing a plan. Don’t let everyday routines interfere with your plan, include your plan into your everyday routine. You can plan what you are going to do, but if you do not ACT, the planning is weightless. Remember reaching a goal takes Execution and execution is ACTION. Make a habit of acting. First PLAN, then ACT!
Caching – A Burial Strategy
There are four basic steps to an underground cache tube Burial Strategy:
- Contents – What are you going to store inside your cache tube? There are many things that can be put into cache tubes and for various reasons. One example might be hunters that cache fuel, water, and food and even a small emergency tent during the summer months for fall and early winter hunts. These cache tubes will allow them to hunt with lighter loads making steep mountain travel much easier. Fire arms and ammunition are also common items to store in underground tubes.
- Cache Tube Size – What size tube do you need? The tube type and size is generally dependent on the contents and the environmental conditions that they will be exposed to. Tubes that will be exposed to extreme moisture and temperature changes will need to be sealed and capped. The contents of these tubes will need to be put into evacuated bags and even desiccants added to remove any moisture that might condense.
- Caching Location – Where are you going to cache your tube? Sometimes this is easy, such as in your back yard, under a fountain, or a walkway stone. You can have a number of underground cache tube locations with supplies to get you from one location to another. It could be as easy as lifting a floor board in a cabin and having it buried an inch under the ground. You can even store tubes above ground in the rafters of a cabin or in a pile of rocks.
- Cache Tube Burial – Burial usually means digging a hole. Prepping the site and camouflaging it must also be considered. Underground cache tube burial is a main topic of this article.
The Four Step Cache Tube Burial Strategy
I’m now going to take you through the four step strategy mentioned above. As we move along keep in mind that step #4, Cache Tube Burial is the most difficult. There are only a few articles on the subject of underground cache tube burial because the process is difficult and once done, the actors who buried them do not want to divulge anything about the location or how they did it. Now that sounds reasonable. The secrecy around underground cache tube burial, limited to generally one person, prevents the skill from being transferred.
Here is an example of a fairly complete first aid kit put together for my wilderness cabin. This is an excellent cache tube for an underground cache tube burial plan. This could just as easily be your kit that is put into the ground outside of your house. The cache tube is 8-inches in diameter and 2-feet long. An incredible amount of stuff can be put into this size tube. This tube uses an expandable plug to seal the access port and a slip on cap to protect the plug. This kit floats and it is water proof. You can keep it in your garage, in your car or boat, vacation cabin, or bury it, because it is perfect for an underground cache tube.
– Your Job
Your job is to figure out what you want to put into a tube, lay it out like in the photo below and then determine the size and length of tube you need. Take a picture for future reference and have a good list of everything in your kit and the expiration dates. If it requires batteries to operate, remove the batteries and put them into a separate container to protect everything from battery corrosion. In addition, double-container any liquids. Plan on the primary container developing a leak. Iodine, has a very low vapor pressure and will permeate your entire tube. Leave it out.
Below is a 6-inch PVC pipe 2-feet long. The contents of this underground cache tube includes an M-6 survival rifle with 22 hornet and 410 shotgun ammo. Also shown is a first aid kilt. These are invaluable in bear country.
Below is shown a 6-inch cache tube made of PVC pipe covered with protective pipe tape with threaded access port with an O-Ring seal. This tube is easy to install inside a casing for rapid access. Shown are the M-6 Survival Rife and a 1st aid kit. Not shown are several MREs. The tube also makes an excellent water container for transporting water.
2. Cache Tube Burial Tube
An underground cache tube generally consists of three parts, the Backbone Tube that is typically PVC pipe, the Bottom Cap normally glued on, and the Access Port. The tubes are typically 6-inches to 8-inches in diameter and 2-feet (24″) to 5-feet (60″) long.
Why Use PVC Pipe?
An underground cache tube made from PVC pipe provides the best bang-for-the-buck when considering the cost vs. volume and when considering cost vs. protection from the elements. PVC pipe provides excellent strength against crushing, especially when buried. Sewer pipe has excellent flexibility to accommodate shifting ground and can be bent to some degree. Sewer pipe is made to be buried and is engineered to be flexible in changing geologic conditions. PVC pipe containers are watertight and can be completely submerged. A sealed cache tube will float if not too heavy.
– Material Cost Benefit
The best material cost benefit for an underground cache tube is PVC Sewer Pipe ASTM D-3034 SDR 35. The D-3034 is the Standard Specification for PVC Sewer Pipe and fittings and the SDR is the diameter/wall thickness ratio. These standards for underground pipe are good for underground cache tubes.
Because of the outstanding properties of PVC pipe, its availability, low cost, and design flexibility, there are almost no benefits for going to custom products other than convenience, unique size of the contents, or personal preferences. Most importantly, with PVC pipe, you can do-it-yourself. This gives you the greatest flexibility and control over your cache tube.
– PVC Pipe Properties
Here are some more reasons to use PVC pipe for your underground cache tube:
- Lifetime – 100 years is an extremely conservative estimate for the service life of properly installed PVC Pipe.
- PVC pipe is a resilient product with good resistance to abrasive conditions.
- Plastic PVC pipes are resistant to almost all types of corrosion including chemical and electrochemical. PVC piping is nonconductive so galvanic and electrochemical protection is not required. It cannot be damaged by corrosive water or soils. It is also highly resistant to degradation or deterioration caused by biological attack.
- Surface damage can occur when PVC pipe is subjected to long-term exposure to ultraviolet (UV) radiation from sunlight. PVC pipe is not recommended for applications where it will be continuously exposed to direct sunlight without some form of physical protection (such as paint or wrapping).
- Thermal Expansion Considerations – PVC pipe will expand and contract in response to changes in temperature. The PVC coefficient of thermal expansion is roughly five times the normal value for cast iron or steel. Expansion of 3/8-inch for every 100 ft of pipe for each 10°F change in temperature should be considered.
- The availability of plastic pipe provides excellent long-term survivability for storage tube contents and eliminates the issues associated with metals, bimetallic issues, and the effects of corrosive soils.
– Some Rules-of-Thumb about PVC Pipe Volume
- Doubling the pipe length doubles the volume
- Double the pipe diameter quadruples the volume
Here are some examples of the length you need for the same roughly 3,000 cubic inches of volume for different diameters of pipe.
- 9 feet of 3 inch diameter pipe = 3,054 cubic inches
- 5 feet of 4 inch diameter pipe = 3,016 cubic inches
- 2.25 feet of 6 inch diameter pipe = 3,054 cubic inches
- 1.25 feet of 8 inch diameter pipe = 3,016 cubic inches
Many items will not fit in a 6-inch diameter pipe such as some medical instruments, #10 cans, binoculars, boots, and some firearms. Firearms are unique in size and may require a minimum 8-inch diameter pipe at least 5 feet long.
– Some Rules-of-Thumb about PVC Pipe Diameter
The biggest advantage from increasing the diameter instead of length is the reduction in hole depth for vertical burial.
When it comes to volume, don’t over look the value of your underground cache tube as a water container. Here are some especially relevant reference numbers:
- 1 inch of water in a 6-inch vertical PVC pipe weighs 1 pound
- 1 inch of water in a 12-inch vertical PVC pipe weight 4 pounds
Here is an especially relevant PVC Pipe Volume & Water Weight Calculator that will compute the pipe volume per unit length in inches and its weight when full of water.
– Some Rules-of-Thumb about PVC Pipe Cost
Increasing the diameter of your cache tube has the biggest impact on the overall cost of the container. When you consider cost, here are a few rules-of-thumb.
- End Caps and Fittings can cost from 5 to 20 times the cost of a foot of pipe.
- Increasing the diameter from 6-inches to 8-inches increases the fitting cost by 4.5 times
- Increasing the diameter from 6-inch to 8-inch doubles pipe cost.
- Double your pipe length doubles the pipe cost.
– Access Port
The access port, can be a glued on PVC Cap which would need to be cut off to gain access to the tube. The port can also be a threaded plug, as shown above in the exploded view. A threaded port makes access easy but requires special care to seal. A third option is an expandable plug seal with a cover cap that is sealed with grease.
– Oxygen and Moisture
Many options exist for for cache tube burial to keep contents dry and oxygen free. You can accomplish this by using sealable bags, desiccants, oxygen absorbers and rust inhibitors.
Here is a link for determining how much desiccant to use: “How to calculate the amount of desiccant needed for rigid containers”
For firearms, there are many suppliers for bags including Oxygen and Moisture absorbers. Oxygen absorbers will remove 21% of the gas in the air space. This will pull a vacuum on a closed container. If there is a small leak, moisture and oxygen will migrate into the tube. It is therefore advisable to use oxygen absorbers in an evacuated bag, and then insert the bag into to container. Here is a link on how much Oxygen Absorber is needed: “Oxygen Absorbers”
3. Cache Tube Burial – Quick Access
When considering cache tube burial, I have found that for quick access, it is much easier to have a casing in the ground, usually 8″ diameter. A 6-inch diameter cache tube fits perfectly inside an 8-inch casing. This allows for easy access and easy withdrawal of your sealed cache tube. The cache tube makes a great carrying case, it is water proof, and it conceals the contents while transporting. A casing is easy to conceal and to cover back over for later use if you need it.
4. Cache Tube Burial – Location
I like the option of carrying my emergency cache tube with me and having a secure location for keeping it safe at my destinations. For example, you can have a cased hole with easy access near your house as well as one near your vacation cabin. Your cache tube then becomes a useful item. The tube can be transported intact without disturbing the contents. If you are going on a car trip, remove your cache tube from your casing or storage location, and stick it in your car.
– Your Own Yard
The most secure and easiest place to bury a cache tube may be in your own yard. When you consider the amount of time that you would be at home, 8-12 hours or more each day, you are within proximity to your cache to keep an eye on the surroundings. You can also pick the best time to bury the tube to be the least conspicuous. The cover photo for this article shows a tube burial process in a back yard.
We have dug holes for testing at least a dozen tubes and casings in this one location without ever having a raised eyebrow. The point is that doing work in your own yard is not out-of-the-ordinary. However when you drop you cache tube in the ground and cover it over you might want to do it under the cover of darkness or concealment.
– Remote Locations
Cache tube burial in a remote location becomes a bit more complex. Installing it in the least amount of time without gaining too much attention is preferable. I have personally dug a number of cache tube holes and casings a short distance from a major country road. At a road turn-out I took my equipment a short distance away from the road and went to work. Using my vacuum assisted post hole digger and engine driven vacuum it only took a few minutes.
– How To Fit In
I usually would wear a hard hat, reflective vest and have a fully prepared story about being an engineer and doing soil sampling for earthquake evaluation. I have visited this site a number of times. Once a curious tourist came into the turnout to take pictures of wild donkeys nearby. Who would have guessed. Still after a few years the site is just as I left it. What I like about this site is how easy it is to disguise the hole. Even when you know exactly where to look, it is hard to explain to someone how to find it.
– Minimize Your Gear
One Joshua Tree looks like another and a gray sage bush quickly looks like all the rest. The equipment shown here is light weight, easy to carry and digs a hole pretty fast. It is noisy but not as attention getting as one would expect. If I would have gone another 100 yards towards the mountains I would have had more time to conceal what I was actually doing. I used one of my early post hole diggers made of PVC pipe. I now make light weight diggers that dig holes very fast.
– Build Up Your Confidence
Go out and spend some time in a few locations that would be appropriate for your cache. Since getting a feel for what is going on is important, take your camera and a tripod and spend some time taking photos. In particular look at the ground closely and see if it might be easy to dig in. If your location is primarily rock you will have to consider stashing your cache above ground. This may be as easy as hiding it in a pile of rocks and adding a few rocks for camouflage. Install an empty tube in a location and see how well it works for you. Then when your confidence picks up put the real deal in place.
5. Cache Tube Burial – Burying it
I don’t know anyone that likes to dig holes unless they have a tractor or someone else to do the digging. A friend, in his 60’s recently claimed that he didn’t need a hole digger, he needed a grave digger! Now grave digging is inherently a job for someone else, involves a deep hole, and some machinery. Using machinery to dig a hole usually makes disguising the location nearly impossible, draws a lot of attention and requires days to complete the task. Sharing the cache tube burial location with workers compromises the secrecy and purpose of hiding the cache tube in the first place. Cache tube holes are relatively easy to dig. In addition, you can dig one in a short period of time using a Holey-Moley Post Hole Digger and a Gas Powered Vacuum Bucket.
Its nice to know how much dirt to remove from your cache tube burial hole before you start digging. Here are some valuable calculators that will help you determine the weight and volume of dirt coming out of your cache tube hole. One is for circulator holes and one for rectangular. In addition, the swell volume is the actual volume of the dirt after you remove it from the hole.. Two other calculators include the constant volume pipe length calculator that shows the difference in length for different pipe diameters for a constant volume. Lastly is the water volume and weight for different pipe lengths discussed earlier.
- Circular Hole Soil Volume Weight Calculator
- Rectangular Hole Calculator
- PVC Constant Volume Pipe Length Calculator
- PVC Pipe Water Volume Weight Calculator
– Vertical Vs Horizontal Burial
There are big difference between vertical and horizontal burial. Both have issues which leads us to the reason most people don’t like to dig holes.
Gaining access to a horizontal cache tube almost always requires uncovering the entire tube. This tends to be a one time deal. Most important for consideration is horizontally buried cache tubes require removal of over 300% more dirt than vertically buried tubes.
Gaining access to a vertical cache tube requires uncovering only the top dirt layer and removing the cap. Cache tube burial in the vertical position is especially relevant because there is no limit to how many times you can open the tubes and easily cover them over and conceal them again.
Cache tube burial requires more and more soil to be removed as your tube’s length and diameter increases. If you want to minimize your labor remember this one key rule-of-thumb – “Vertical Burial Minimizes Dirt Removal”.
This may seem obvious but the troubling nature of vertical burial is the depth of the hole. If your tube is 5 feet long and you want to bury it 2 feet under the ground, you will need a hole 7 feet deep. Let’s see what this really means to bury an 8-inch tube 2 feet under the ground in clay soil:
– Vertical Example
44 ft3 of soil (18.28 gallons) weighs in at 244 lb. This is a lot of dirt.
Digging a hole 7 feet deep is not easy with common posthole diggers.
– Horizontal Example
Now what if you were do cache tube burial in a horizontal hole in the same soil (8 inches wide and 32 inches deep) if you have a perfect fit:
89 ft3 of soil (66.49 gallons) weighs in at 889 lb. This is 364% more dirt!!
Now imagine what your hole will look like that is almost 3 feet deep, 1 foot wide and 5 feet long. You might as well be digging a grave. Besides hiding your cache tube, you will have to be good at disguising your operation and the site when complete. To avoid contaminating the surrounding area with soil that you remove from the hole will be challenging.
– Swell Factor
Did you know that soil you remove from a hole has a swell factor? Compressed soil, when excavated, will increase in volume from 20% to 50%. Keep this in mind when you are trying to hide the hole you have just dug. Make dirt removal part of your digging strategy. Use the hole calculators above which include the swell factor for different soils. “This is why people normally don’t consider cache tube burial as an option. Until now it has been a painful process.”
– Portable Vacuum Assisted Hole Digger
I personally use a Holey-Moley Vacuum assisted Post Hole Digger for digging holes for cache tube burial. Because it is easy to use I can dig holes 6-inches in diameter that are perfect for 6-inch cache tubes. The digger will dig in hard ground at rates of 2 to 5 inches a minute. In addition the 8″ EZ Reamer Quick Change Head will ream a 6-inch diameter hole 5-feet deep in just a few minutes. In remote areas I use the Gas Powered Vacuum Filter Bucket which works very well. You can learn more from the additional blog articles here.
– Underground Cache Tube Burial Site Disturbance – Rules-of-Thumb
To minimize Cache Tube Burial site disturbance here are some good rules-of-thumb:
- Bury you cache tubes in the vertical position.
- Use the largest diameter tube possible to minimize depth.
- Transport the removed soil to another location for disposal.
- Plan your entrance and exit strategy to minimize disturbing the soil.
– Metal Detection
Underground cache tube burial discussions seem to always come around to tube detection with the use of a metal detector. One can easily picture the Gestapo showing up at your house with a metal detector. In addition, they somehow know the approximate area where you buried your stash, they do a few scans with the metal detector, the buzzer goes off, and they dig up your stash.
– So what about metal detectors?
Inexpensive metal detectors will have a hard time locating something more than a foot under the ground. An expensive metal detector, in the $3,000 to $5,000 range with an experienced operator maybe able to detect something down to 3 feet. Even then they need to be right on top of it. Good ground penetration radar units cost $20,000 to $100,000. As a result of high technology components, these will probably detect anomalies down to 20 feet.
– Disguise your site, Nails are cheap
Some people suggest spreading nails and other pieces of metal around to keep metal detectors busy finding stuff you don’t care about. However, that gets them to digging and in the area you don’t want them in. Personally I feel when considering cache tube burial of guns that the least amount of metal the better. Consequently the quickest way to discourage someone from digging in the area is for them to not find anything. Therefore, the deeper the better. Try finding your own tube and you will understand what I mean.
– Three feet and deeper is harder to detect
To make intentionally finding your cache unlikely, cache tube burial in a vertical hole provides the lowest surface profile and smallest disturbed footprint area possible. When burying your cache tube keep metal objects at least three feet under the ground. You can have PVC pipe and caps for a casing only inches under the surface and they will not be detectable. A cased hole allows you to lower your cache tube that may contain metal, to depths lower than three feet and still be easily accessible.
So that you don’t get yourself up in a paranoid tizzy, minimize the number of people that know about your cache tube location and camouflage it well. I personally like big rocks that are several hundred pounds on top of my tubes, or nothing at all, just dirt with large rocks as a point of reference.
– Remember – Vertical holes are your friend.
The simplest way to bury your underground cache tube is to dig a vertical hole and then you drop your tube into the hole with the top only a few inches below the surface. Increasing the diameter of a 6″ hole to 8 inches is quick and easy, so consider an 8 inch hole as a casing for a 6 inch cache tube. For cache tube burial, consider fast and easy access. You can use an 8 inch EZ Reamer that takes only minutes to increase the size of a 6 inch hole to 8 inches for an 8″ PVC pipe casing.
I hope you enjoyed this article. For more articles visit my Cat 6 Tools blog at: https://cat6tools.com/cat-6-tools-blog/