The Deep Sleepers

Being a survivalist, you tend to ‘go long’ on stuff…a hundred rolls of TP at a time, canned goods by the case, socks by the dozen, etc. On a long enough timeline, all this stuff will get used. Some sooner than others. For example, the canned goods will probably get used up within a year or two, but some things, like the #10 cans of freezedrieds, are meant to never be used. They are a ‘only in case of apocalypse’ sort of thing. Some other items, like the bulk AR mags I bought a few weeks ago, aren’t meant to be used but rather tucked away safely for, probably, at least a decade or two.

Items that are meant to be put into long, long, long-term storage are referred to around these parts as ‘Deep Sleepers’. They are items that are not intended to be used anytime within the foreseeable future. And, honestly, probably not even after that.

Case in point, the recent stash of Magpul AR mags. I have no intention of using them. I have enough mags on hand to handle my needs for quite some time. So, this recent batch of Magpuls are Deep Sleepers. They are there as a ward against a new ban, in case the next civil war breaks out, or some other Very Bad Thing happens.

First thing we do is stuff them away into a clean, solid, ammo can with good seals. They’re arranged carefully and sealed up in the ammo can. Once the can is closed up, I put a couple loops of poly strapping around it. This serves two purposes – first, it makes sure the lid stays closed. Second, it keeps me from sneaking a mag or two out of there when I think “Ah, I’ll just take a couple from the stash and put them back later.” (Trust me…you are your own worst looter.) Once that can is sealed up it gets marked up with the contents and quantity on it..preferably on each side and top so I can see at a glance whats in it. After that, I write the contents on a ‘key tag’ and wire it to the bail on the ammo can. After that, the can gets tucked way back in storage and…byebye, baby…see you in twenty years. Once that’s done, the records (I use Evernote and Excel) are updated. In Evernote, this is tagged as “magazines”,”Deep Sleeper”, “Storage”, “AR”, and “MagPul”. I also make a note that this is an item that does not need to be periodically inspected.

20161120_110025That’s it. Right now, as I think about it, Deep Sleepers include stashes of magazines, clothes, freezedrieds, and a few other things. But, most importantly, I know what I have, how much of it I have, where I have it, and how well it is stored. Peace of mind.

19 thoughts on “The Deep Sleepers

  1. A 2nd life for out-of-date freeze drieds is as chicken food. Friends had a large stash of different flavors of tvp that wasn’t stored correctly – some of the cans were getting rusty. So they gave them to me. I make the chickens a hot mash of tvp, white rice (also donated), & whatever odds & ends I have on hand. When the chickens are laying, my friends get eggs. Perfect trade & nothing gets wasted.

  2. So what do you think about off-site storage of preps? I live in a townhouse with limited storage, I’ve been thinking about getting a storage locker down the street for some of my “deep storage” items. I’ll still keep a closet full of preps for the short term, probably out to two weeks to a month but then expect to move the rest of my stuff back to the house if it’s a longer term situation.

    • Two things to consider when storing gear off-site in this fashion: security from theft and security from legal loss.

      Security from theft depends on both the overall security of the storage facility, and the security of your unit. Pick a facility that has a high degree of physical security — fenced, locked gates, on-site manager, located in a bland white-bread community? — while keeping in mind that if it’s difficult to access now, it may be even harder when the SHTF.

      Then make your unit unattractive to thieves. Think OPerational SECurity at all times, starting with not letting anyone see you load your gear. Rent a locker large enough that you can stow your equipment and supplies in the rear, disguised as low-value middle-class suburbanoid junk that outgrew your garage and basement. Be inventive: boxes labeled “baby clothes” instead of “storage food,” gear hidden inside a stained old sofa rather than sitting out in plain sight in a Pelican case, cardboard “boxes” constructed around storage containers. Unless thieves have reason to believe your locker is full of good stuff, they’re not likely to waste any time emptying it out to check what’s in the bottom layer of boxes. Let them think there’s nothing of value so they’ll move on to the next locker — but keep in mind they’re likely to start in one locker and kick/pry/chop their way through the sides or back into the adjacent units rather than cut locks and open doors.

      And protect yourself from legal loss of your supplies. Far more storage lockers are emptied because the renter stopped paying the rent than because of a break-in by thieves. Pre-pay the rent, and make sure you keep track of when it’s due. Make sure the facility has current contact info for you. Check the locker regularly to be sure there’s no management padlock on the door of your unit.

      • And, morbid though this may be, include relevant info about your storage unit(s) in your estate trust (or will), specifically, in the “critical info for my trustees” section* at the front you create after the attorney has worked his magic on everything else. More than a few storage units have gone to auction because the owner died and no one in the family knew he had one.

        *By “critical info” consider that you know where everything is kept, what keys fit what locks, what bills get paid when, what passwords are for which account, etc. but no one else does. BTW, it goes without saying that the original signed trust document – the one that carries all the legal authority – and the critical info that goes with it, is secured in the fire resistant safe, not stuck in a drawer somewhere (passwords, account numbers and other important stuff, remember?). Or, there’s a copy (with the critical info included) in the safe and your attorney has the legal original (your trustees, or at least your attorney, do have a way to get into the safe, don’t they?)

  3. when i put magazine’s away. for every 30 rounder, I add in 3 stripper clips of ammo. one isn’t any good without the other. make sure i can charge my standard load-out of mag’s or more in few minutes. if your breaking into those magazine must only mean things have went down-hill and empty magazine are no longer an option. one less step.

  4. I haven’t yet arrived at the “deep storage” stage yet but in my ammo cans I include a mag spoon, a couple desicant packs, a clean dry rag and thirty six empty stripper clips to go with the twelve 30 rounders. I wrap the spoon and stripper clips in the rag and wedge it in there with the desicant packs (desicant packs courtesy of work because they toss them by the pound). I figure I might start including a small bottle of CLP and a tooth brush as well since there is some space left.
    PNW Prepper in Training

    • Consider making a “kit” for each rifle: basic load of magazines, cleaning rod, some patches, rags, bottle of CLP, toothbrush, bore brush(es)… Stripper clips and spoon. Basically everything you need to pull a rifle out of storage, clean and lube it, and have it ready to go.

      All in one portable, secure, weatherproof container that will keep everything clean, dry and free of rust until needed. But keep in mind that lubricants can creep out of bottles, and some bore cleaners can off-gas corrosive fumes. A small bottle of GI CLP inside another sealed container— even just a heavy-duty ziplock bag — should prevent any issues, but I would still keep ammunition in a separate ammo can.

  5. “Once that’s done, the records (I use Evernote and Excel) are updated. In Evernote, this is tagged as “magazines”,”Deep Sleeper”, “Storage”, “AR”, and “MagPul”. I also make a note that this is an item that does not need to be periodically inspected.”

    You’ve encouraged me to up my game with record keeping. Right now, it’s just a physical notepad…
    Does evernote talk to excel, or is excel just where the spreadsheet is?

    • Everthing goes in Excel, and if I really wanted to go nuts I’d export it into a database in Access…but I like Evernote because it’s so damn handy. Haven’t tried it , but Im sure theres an import/export ability in Evernote. What I really like about Evernote is the document scan ability…when i pay bills, I scan them in and then I can always call them up to see if they were paid, etc.

      • You can drag or copy your Excel file into Evernote where it will be stored in the cloud and accessible through any of your devices.

        We love Evernote and use it for business and personal. I have bug out directions, inventory lists, copies of useful articles, etc. Just keep in mind that if the infrastructure and power goes down, you better have a hard copy or a way to access it on a local laptop.

  6. Ammo cans are an excellent storage plan for magazines and other gear. Air-tight, waterproof and physically strong enough to withstand harsh treatment.

    An otherwise well-prepared friend lost quite a bit of expensive gear in a house fire. The fire — in the attic — did almost no damage to his equipment and supplies, most of which were stored on shelves and in cabinets in his basement. But the thousands of gallons of water the fire department pumped into the attic made its way to the basement and caused extensive damage — especially as it combined with the high temperatures of an East Coast summer to cause extensive mold and mildew growth.

    Ammo in sealed ammo cans was OK. Ammo in cardboard boxes was corroded within hours. Magazines in ammo cans were untouched — in plastic bins they were rusted by water that leaked in and pooled in the bottom, then created 100% humidity inside the bins. Storage shelves made with particle board — “Supports 500 pounds per shelf!” — were waterlogged and collapsed, spilling their contents into the water and soot on the floor that pooled two feet deep when the electric power to the sump pump was shut off.

    And evacuating the contents of the basement was handicapped by its waterlogged state. Ammo cans could be picked up by their handles and carried to a trailer, then simply wiped down and stacked in storage — magazines and other gear spilled from collapsed shelves and waterlogged cardboard boxes had to be gathered up in milkcrates, hauled away and immediately cleaned and dried if there was to be any chance of salvage.

    He now stores all of his gear in ammo cans or other containers that provide similar protection to their contents. It wasn’t a cheap measure, but still cheaper than disposing of damaged ammunition, moldy gear and rusted magazines.

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