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I make PVC-tube buried caches

topic posted Wed, March 11, 2009 - 6:45 AM by  Jim
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About a year ago, after I had cashed out my Simple IRA and converted to gold and silver (boy am I glad I did that!), I decided my home was not the safest place to keep it.

I split my loot up into several off-site buried caches using one-foot sections of Schedule-40 PVC pipe with a cap for each end glued on with PVC cement. By pushing the second cap onto the end I found I was compressing the air inside so I had to use a lot of pressure to send it all the way home, give it a quarter turn, and hold it in place till the cement grabbed. This design approach requires sawing the tube open to retrieve the contents.

I reasoned this approach was better than a home safe. I've watched how huge, multi-ton logs are yanked off logging blocks up onto the landing and it would be nothing for a big truck to back in, the driver run a big choker cable in through a smashed house window and around my safe, then yank it right through the walls, floor-bolts and all, where it could be winched onto the truck. Five minutes is all it would take.

My rationale was that I needed to protect my assets against not only theft but confiscation, recalling that FDR had ordered gold turn-in by the public during the last great depression. Do I trust my government or what!

I then began to have increasing concerns that a major gun-grab might be in the works and resolved to make a few longer, larger-diameter tubes, one of which would contain a semiautomatic rifle and lots of ammo. While at work on this project I discovered that LOTS of people shared this concern so I thought there might be a market for such tubes. Not only that, the market could only get better the closer we got to Armageddon, a great depression business maybe.

Anyway, I completed my project with a few design changes: sealed, threaded plug on one end, heat-sealed Mylar bag liner, oxygen absorbers, and some adaptations for tightening and loosening the threaded plug, which, in this larger diameter, required a great deal of torque due to the sticky wax sealant I used. I took great care in burying this and my other caches in order to leave no tell-tale trace of disturbed earth. I choose a spot that nobody probably walks over for years at a time, maybe decades.

I eventually decided to make a business venture out of my idea and made an array of sizes with my new design approach and began marketing them. My Web site even contains tips on how people can make their own. The detailed use instructions with photos are worth a read as well. See www.preparednessequipment.com.

I plan to bury other things as well. If civil unrest and food shortages result in martial law, food storage will be classified as food hoarding. It will be illegal not to turn extra food you have over to the authorities. Add this to the danger of desperate, starving people conducting an armed raid on your stored food supplies. I therefore plan to sock away several tubes of foodstuffs in good ole' terra firma. In addition, pending severe supply interruptions, alcoholics and cigarette addicts might find themselves cut off. They would do anything for a smoke or a drink. There may be some officials in this boat that you will need to bribe and a buried stash of liquor and cigarettes could be your ticket NOT to ride to the FEMA death camps (or substitute your own conspiracy idea ;-).

In case I need to flee on foot, I have made a number of short-term survival caches with power bars, money, pain-killers, fresh socks, fire-starter, clip-on flashlight and a light rain poncho among other items. I also want to bury some emergency temporary shelter materials: rope, cord, a roll of 6-mil polyethylene. I've got shelter for myself in my bug-out bag in case I need to spend a few months in the woods but only a few of us are prepared. If I want to help others, a roll of plastic would be invaluable.
posted by:
Jim
offline Jim
New Hampshire
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  • Re: I make PVC-tube buried caches

    Wed, March 11, 2009 - 8:26 AM
    Spam.
    • Re: I make PVC-tube buried caches

      Wed, March 11, 2009 - 12:02 PM
      How can it be spam if it was only posted in one place? It is on topic to this tribe.
      • Re: I make PVC-tube buried caches

        Wed, March 11, 2009 - 5:22 PM
        It's an unsolicited commercial appeal, even if it is on topic. The dude, with a one-day old profile, no friends, and ONLY one post ever, is only here to sell something.
        • Re: I make PVC-tube buried caches

          Wed, March 11, 2009 - 6:21 PM
          I still want to know if people really pay him for this stuff. It is so over priced and easy to do ones self it blows my mind that he could make money off this.
          • Jim
            Jim
            offline 2

            Re: I make PVC-tube buried caches

            Wed, March 11, 2009 - 9:55 PM
            You're right, they are pricey. I don't expect starving students or struggling artists to buy many. However, the large-diameter PVC pipe and fittings are also pricey and the kit components are hardly cheap, especially when you consider what an individual would pay for minimum orders of the materials. There is also some know-how involved in fabricating and pressure-testing the product.It would be well worthwhile for a busy and prosperous person to buy the kit rather than spend time trying to make it themselves. Those less prosperous will find tips on my Web site for making the tubes themselves.

            I haven't sold many but it's a brand-new start-up business. Beyond sales I want to spread the idea of burying caches to prepare for what is soon to visit us.
            • Unsu...
               

              Re: I make PVC-tube buried caches

              Thu, March 12, 2009 - 1:01 PM
              Large diameter pvc is expensive. I bought one section years ago and paid near 50 bucks for it 6 inch. The caps are also expensive. I have built several like you are talking about back in the early Clinton years when they were talking about taking all of our semi auto rifles. I have had one buried with some ammo and basic survival items since 1994. Pvc is one of the only products that will stand the test of time under ground. To the rest of you I would not get too excited over Jim wanting to sell a product here. After all this is the stuff we are looking for. Ok Jim, offer us a 10% off deal for belonging to this tribe eh? Call it an act of good faith. Michael
        • Jim
          Jim
          offline 2

          Re: I make PVC-tube buried caches

          Wed, March 11, 2009 - 9:37 PM
          Sure, I'd like to sell something but I also give tips on my Web site for making them yourself that I thought would be of interest to anyone contemplating a buried cache. I am new here but I recall reading in the guidelines that the site was okay for business pitches. Otherwise I might have linked to my blogger blog. Do you have specific suggestions for a new member?
  • Re: I make PVC-tube buried caches

    Thu, March 12, 2009 - 9:12 PM
    I think Jim did the right thing.

    He disclosed his financial interest clearly, and the product is relevant to the tribe.

    'Expensive' is in the eye of the beholder, or wallet holder, as the case may be. Do it yourself if you dont like the price, or pay somebody else to do it if you dont have the time. Nobody has a gun to your head.

    I think ill post a policy for advertisements and let you guys comment on it/ suggest changes.
  • Re: I make PVC-tube buried caches

    Thu, March 12, 2009 - 9:14 PM
    PVC gets VERY expensive once you get to 6" and 8". I suggest looking for PVC scraps in these sizes (in junkyards, recycling yards and plumbers yards), but the end caps have to be purchased new, and they are not cheap. Think of a PVC cache tube as a safe, one that will last for a long, long time. It's a long-term investment. I think your cache tubes rock, Jim!
    • Re: I make PVC-tube buried caches

      Fri, March 13, 2009 - 1:14 AM
      Jim, can I ask about your materials costs?

      I'd imagine youd get more takers as you bring those costs down. From the mark-up I noticed at the retail level, it appears that a couple bulk purchases might enable you to sell a finished product at a cost comparable to buying the parts at retail, while still preserving a heatlhy margin to cover labor and business expenses.

      I was searching for a pvc pipe distributor, and stumbled across this site. Didnt see lengths of PVC, but they did have end caps.

      www.flexpvc.com/cart/agora.cgi
      • Re: I make PVC-tube buried caches

        Fri, March 13, 2009 - 1:55 AM
        Sean, thanks for that link. Very good prices, in my experience.
        • Re: I make PVC-tube buried caches

          Fri, March 13, 2009 - 2:29 AM
          I had a random brainstorm that if you could somehow make these things absorb radio waves, they would be invisible to metal detectors. This would allow you to stash metal items without worry.

          However, I cant think of what might absorb radiowaves other than water and lush vegetation.

          Oxygen? Carbon?

          Just a thought. :)
      • Jim
        Jim
        offline 2

        Re: I make PVC-tube buried caches

        Fri, March 13, 2009 - 8:33 AM
        Hi Sean,

        I get better prices on my fittings than that site offers and I don't pay shipping. You can find some prices on my "Make your own" page (www.preparednessequipment.com/115...tml) My total material costs for the 6L kit are only $73.36 but there is a fair amount of work involved in making and testing each tube, the kit components, and even packing for shipping as the cardboard boxes have to be reinforced. I can wholesale that model for $150. Considering overhead expenses (ordering, advertising, Web costs, vehicle costs, fees, etc.) this represents undert $15/hr. labor. This leaves a substandard 1/3 mark-up for retailers but no-one thinks they can market this model for more than $200, me included. I cannot undercut my retailers' price if I expect to have any, plus I need to allow some profit margin for my own retail sales.

        The concession I have made to buyers is that I offer free shipping to the contiguous 48 states. That way they do not pay more than they would from a retailer.

        If I can find less costly materials and can streamline the production, I may be able to lower the price somewhat. Believe me, I will be looking for those opportunities because it should increase sales and place more tubes in use.

        Let me know if you have more questions.

        BTW, one of the most frequently voiced concerns regarding buried caches is their possible discovery with a metal detector. I expect to test a couple prototype stealth shields for buried caches next week.

        Beyond merely spreading the cache concept my hope is that, by describing my own efforts, others can be moved to develop similar survival oriented businesses that may prosper as conditions get more desperate.
        • Unsu...
           

          Re: I make PVC-tube buried caches

          Fri, March 13, 2009 - 3:11 PM
          I was having lunch at a small town diner after a motorcycle ride with my wife, and we overheard a couple grumpy old men up at the bar talking about politics of the past presidency and this new one, blah blah old men blathering on and on.

          And then they started mentioning guns. Both of them are looking for a way to cache some guns in the yard. Cosmoline dip and straw packing in a pine box doesn't make for a 'ready to use' cache dig-up.

          Jim, I think if you could streamline your system, you'd have a STRONG product at a very timely introduction to introduce to some of the retailers at Survivalblog.com.... or you could just talk to JWR about becoming one of his advertizers. he'll throw you a plug now and then, and your ad will be on a website that is visited by 140,000 serious survivalists daily.
          • Jim
            Jim
            offline 2

            Re: I make PVC-tube buried caches

            Fri, March 13, 2009 - 5:53 PM
            Thanks, A Thousand...

            Great minds think alike :-) I've been in communication with Vic Rantala at Safecastle, which is a lead advertiser on Survivalblog.com. They're going to carry one or two models. I've also emailed JWR in hopes he'll check 'em out and give me a mention.

            If my efforts to create a stealth shield are successful, those grumpy old men can go ahead and bury their guns in the back yard and not have to worry about the Obama troops discovering them with a metal detector. Gotta visit a machinist Monday and I could be testing them by Tuesday.

            BTW, to reduce the magnetic signature of cache contents I recommend going for stainless steel as much as possible. That way there is less likelihood of them being found with a magnetometer.
            • Unsu...
               

              Re: I make PVC-tube buried caches

              Sat, March 14, 2009 - 11:49 AM
              stainless steel...

              Well SS guns aren't hard to come by, and smarter for caching anyway, corrosion resistance. I understand they would have less of a magnetic signature, but don't modern detectors use some sort of density-resonance scanning technology?
              • Jim
                Jim
                offline 2

                Re: I make PVC-tube buried caches

                Sat, March 14, 2009 - 7:09 PM
                As I understand it, the better metal detectors operate at two radio wavelengths, the longer one having a deeper range. In the hands of a skilled operator they can supposedly distinguish between steel and copper/gold/silver. I want to test my planned materials sandwich on both wavelengths and with a variety of metals as targets.
  • Unsu...
     

    Re: I make PVC-tube buried caches

    Sat, March 14, 2009 - 8:21 AM
    whats the proper way to store guns and ammo in a pvc capsule?
    • Jim
      Jim
      offline 2

      Re: I make PVC-tube buried caches

      Sat, March 14, 2009 - 9:24 AM
      Let me refer you to someone who recently dug up a rifle they had buried 15 years earlier:

      Bury a gun and ammo
      for 15 years
      (and be assured everything still works when you dig it up)

      By Charles Wood

      Back in the early 1990s the outlook for the nation in general and gun owners in particular seemed rather grim to many people. A few years earlier in 1986, Congress had banned civilians from owning newly manufactured machine guns. There was ever more strident talk of banning semi-automatic weapons or so called assault weapons. Many of us regarded a semi-automatic rifle as the foundation of a home defense battery. Many of us believed that more laws banning ever more types of guns were imminent. About that time I acquired a Ruger Ranch Rifle through a private sale. I decided to stash it away in a safe place just in case my worst fear was to materialize, another gun ban.

      continued at: www.backwoodshome.com/article...115.html

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