Supply Caching

Leonard_JansenLeonard_Jansen Charter Member
edited April 2012 in General Discussion
Here's a topic I've never seen discussed: supply caching.
When I train in the open water I have no one else to train with and almost never have someone who will kayak for me. Consequently, I have to try to carry whatever energy drinks, etc with me. I have one of those inflatable swim safety devices (GOD, I LOVE THAT THING), but I've found that it can only carry at most 2 hours worth of drinks and a few other things like car keys. If I go for a 4 hour swim, the last hour or so was usually bonk-city from trying to ration my drinks. The problem of swimming for a while and getting out to go back to the car to resupply is that the parking area is an inconvenient distance from the water. Solution: I made something that I can use to cache my supplies that I can hide under the water. What I did:
1) The cat litter I buy comes in large (about a 5 gallon pail-size) green plactic containers. I drilled a hole in the bottom of one and put a several inch long stainless steel bolt through it, threads sticking up into the container. I secured the bolt to the pail with some duct tape. I then put some old chicken wire I had inside the pail and duct taped it 1/2 way down the bolt.
2) I poured in enough cement to cover the chicken wore and the bolt and let it harden.
3) I drilled 4 holes at the top of the pail and then 4 holes in the cover that lined up with the 4 holes in the pail.
4) I drilled 2 holes a few inches apart about 2/3's of the way up the pail on one side and attached 25' of this weird synthetic brown string I have through the 2 holes. BTW, the string sinks - important.
5) To use: I put my drinks in old 1 liter plastic seltzer bottles and squeeze out any air if it's not full, put the cap on tightly and put in the pail. I also throw in a few RED wire wrap ties and anything else I might need if it can be made waterproof. I wade out near where I want it hidden and fill the pail with water, making sure nothing floats out of it. I put the top on and secure it with 4 GREEN wire wrap ties through the lined up holes that are drilled into the pail and top. In the last wire wrap I also secure a small steak knife I got for $0.20. I sink the pail in about 5 or 6 feet of water (the lake it typical east coast mirk, so seeing more than arms length is impossible) and then run the attached string into about 12-18 inches of water and put a larger rock on it. When I need a refuel, I can find the rock & string, follow the string to the pail, lift it, cut the wire wraps with the knife, get what I need, resecure the top, resink it, etc. The reason I use different color wire wraps is that if some one were to find it and tamper with the contents, the only way they could resecure the top would be with the red wraps when I expect green ones, thereby tipping me off.
Obviously this only works for certain situations where there is no current, not many people swimming there, etc, but it does work for this situation. I also will sometimes cache stuff in places I can hike into and then leave them in the lake there. If you try this, be sure you don't litter with the wraps, etc and don't forget to retrieve the pail(s) at the end of the day.


“Moderation is a fatal thing. Nothing succeeds like excess.” - Oscar Wilde


  • david_barradavid_barra NYCharter Member
    Inflatable SUP. Cargo includes: dry bag w/ drinks, cell phone, marine radio, whistle, hand drawn map (on scuba slate), spare goggles, $$$, camera.

    ...anything worth doing is worth overdoing.

  • evmoevmo San FranciscoAdmin
    edited April 2012
    GF who likes to paddle?
  • david_barradavid_barra NYCharter Member
    evmo wrote:
    GF who likes to paddle?

    wife won't let me have a GF....

    ...anything worth doing is worth overdoing.

  • loneswimmerloneswimmer IrelandCharter Member
    1. Plastic bucket
    2. Rope
    3. Weights (dive weights are good)
    4. Inflatable kids flotation ring
    5. Flag

    Cut hole in bottom of bucket, thread rope though with knots on either end. Make rope long enough to allow for tidal range.

    Add weights to end of rope and knot in place.

    Inflate ring and put bucket in it.

    Add the (bright) flag so you can see it from a distance.

    Doesn't need to be waterproof, water flowing inside will help keep drinks cooler and the ring will still keep it on the surface.

  • bobswimsbobswims Santa Barbara CACharter Member
    @ Leonard - what if you are red/green color blind?
  • Leonard_JansenLeonard_Jansen Charter Member
    bobswims wrote:
    @ Leonard - what if you are red/green color blind?

    Several things come to mind, but the easiest is to put two wraps in each hole initially (total=8 wraps) and then only put 4 wraps in the bucket.
    You can also start with long wraps and only have short wraps in the bucket and don't trim them so you always know the length.

    If "poaching" is a constant problem, it might be more fun to put several giant spring-loaded rubber snakes in the bucket and then skip the swim, hide and wait until someone opens it. You might want to know CPR in that case.


    “Moderation is a fatal thing. Nothing succeeds like excess.” - Oscar Wilde

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