Once you stock up enough food and water to last your family a few months, the question becomes: where do you put it all? While some simple shelving in the pantry or basement will do the trick, it’s also smart to stash some in secret locations. Hiding your hard-earned survival food stash can protect your rations from potential looters in emergency situations. Here are a dozen sneaky places you can hide your survival food.
1. Inside a Box Spring
While most people are hip to the idea of stashing money underneath a mattress, fewer would think to check inside the box spring for hidden goods. Box springs are rather large and mostly hollow, making them a great reservoir to hide food.
2. Inside Empty Suitcases
Inside an empty suitcase is a smart hiding spot for a few reasons. Usually, unused suitcases are stored in out of the way areas of your home like the basement, attic, or back of the closet, making them more work to find. Secondly, few thieves would think to look inside. They’re also secure. They zip up tight, protecting your food from sunlight or potential pests. Finally, they’re mobile. If for some reason you need to evacuate your home, your survival food will already be packed and ready to hit the road with you.
3. In Shoe Boxes or Appliance Boxes
Like empty suitcases above, shoe boxes and appliance boxes tend to be tucked out of the way rather than placed front and center in your home. Plus, a box clearly dedicated to a pair of worn shoes or an old TV would hold little appeal for a potential thief, and is likely to throw them off the scent.
4. Buried in Your Garden or Yard
This hiding spot takes a little more work and you’d probably only access it in a true-blue emergency situation, but an unmarked hole in the ground is one of the last places anyone (except who knows) would look. Be sure to use a heavy-duty, airtight plastic containers that seal well. That way, your food will stay fresh, and you’ll keep out water, dirt, and critters. It would be a shame to protect your survival food from looters only to lose it to some pesky mice or rabbits. Or the elements. You could also fill PVC pipes with canned food and bury them.
5. Beneath Floorboards
Putting food beneath floorboards is not only sneaky, it’s also a smart way to utilize empty space. And not only is it a great way to conceal and store your survival food rations, but you can even go the extra mile and put a throw rug on top.
6. Hard-to-Access Places like a Crawl Space
Most thieves try to be quick about their work and won’t mess with hard-to-access places like a crawl space. Plus, they’re cool and dark, the perfect conditions to store your survival food and max out its shelf life. In an unfinished crawl space, you’re going to want to keep your food in tightly sealed containers, the same as you would if you buried it. A pro of leaving your crawl space unfinished is it makes it a super uninviting place to go casually rummaging. Conversely, with a little effort, you can convert your crawl space into a safe-haven storage area. Learn what’s involved in this process, according to Bob Vila.
7. Behind Furniture like the Couch, Washing Machine, or Headboard
If your couch is against the wall, you can leave a little gap and stack some cans or boxes of pasta behind it. You could do the same behind your headboard, or better yet, behind larger pieces of furniture like your washer and dryer. Most burglaries are a grab-and-go situation. It’s doubtful potential thieves would think to look behind your bigger appliances (or would want to linger and do any heavy lifting).
8. Inside the Wall
Most thieves aren’t going to wander around your home knocking on walls and straining to hear if they’re hollow. The expression “out of sight, out of mind” holds up when it comes to hiding food. An easy place to use this tactic is if you have an unfinished basement or attic where wood framing is exposed. You can use the wood as shelving units and put a piece of plywood or drywall in front to completely conceal your hiding place.
9. In Falsely Labeled Plastic Storage Bins
This hiding spot is another two-fer. You can place your bins in out of the way storage locations like your basement or attic. Then you mark them as “Winter Clothes” or “Christmas Decorations,” laying a false trail. If you want to take it a step further, you can even place some ornaments or sweaters on top to really seal the deal.
10. Under the Stairwell or Inside Stair-Step Drawers
If you have an empty area beneath your stairs, this hiding spot also uses space that would otherwise sit empty and go to waste. This can be especially important if you’re looking for (sneaky) storage solutions and have less square footage to work with. If you want to really up the ante, and you’re in the mood for a DIY project, you can turn your steps into drawers. It just might be the ultimate clever hiding spot and ingenious way to create extra storage space.
11. Behind Books on Bookshelves
While false books wouldn’t hide more than a few packs of crackers, canned goods and other larger items can easily fit tucked behind books on bookshelves. It’s doubtful any would-be thieves will be interested in your reading material, and they likely wouldn’t look behind your literature collection.
12. In Plain Sight
You might be thinking, “that’s a terrible idea!” But there’s a solid logical reason why storing some of your stash in plain sight is a smart idea: Potential looters would probably take what they can carry and go. So if you leave some food in plain view, it’ll keep them from poking around in less obvious places.
Think Outside the Box and Your Survival Stash Will Stay Safe
As you can see, with a little ingenuity you can find plenty of sneaky places around the house to hide your survival food. To ensure your food stash lasts the longest, keep your hiding places out of direct sunlight and take temperature and humidity into account. And remember to keep track of expiration dates and swap out food as needed – it can be harder to keep tabs on an out-of-sight, stealthy stash.
Let us know what other creative ways you can think of to store and hide your stockpile of survival food!
Before storing food items, make sure that all storage containers in whatever ways, are clean, sanitary, away from dust. Keep safety for all young children in mind. If a person does not do any baking, the oven may be a good place to start storing.
Caches are great if they are on your property. But they have to be really well hid. If you dig a hole to put your stuff in keep in mind your soil conditions and your flood plain. In my go bag I have a small hand held metal detector. It works well for finding medium to large items.