We all have valuables we want to keep protected and safe. Today, those might consist of heirloom jewelry or perhaps some cash for a rainy day. Tomorrow, it might be extra ammunition, a spare handgun, or some canned food. In the event of a home invasion, now or later, it is a great idea to explore the idea of having hidden stashes within the home.
Burglars and other ne'er do wells know many of the more, shall we say, routine hiding places. You might think you're sneaky when you put a roll of 20s inside a pair of socks in the dresser drawer or under the mattress but, I have news for you, they've been there and done that. You're just going to have to be a bit more creative to foil an experienced thief. Fortunately, there are several simple stashes you can create for survival gear storage.
Stash #1: Air Ducts
First, if you have a basement, go down there and look up. If the basement is unfinished, you'll see air ducts running here and there. That duct work is our first stop in our tour.
By removing one of the vents, you can place into the duct things like a rifle or a couple of bricks of ammunition. Stick to low profile items so you don't restrict air flow. Replace the vent cover when you're done, of course.
Stash #2: PVC Pipes
While you're down there, you'll also probably see large diameter PVC pipe hanging in the joists. Even the not-so-casual observer probably wouldn't notice an extra run of PVC hanging up there.
Don't put the new piece right next to the existing run, as that will be odd and somewhat obvious. But, if you run it at the opposite end of the basement, it'll blend right in. Make sure you add elbows at the ends so it looks like it is attached to the floor above.
This is a great place for canned goods and dehydrated foods. Just make sure you attach the PVC securely to the joists to account for the weight of the food if you're hiding cans.
Stash #3: Creative Labeling
Most of us have boxes and boxes of stuff stored in basements, attics, or closets. Only the most determined searcher is going to spend time going through a box labeled GRANNIE'S OLD CLOTHES. Put your goodies in the box, then cover them with a layer of two of old clothes you picked up at Goodwill.
I would advise you to be conscious of the weight of the boxes, though. If you stash several bricks of ammo in a box that is labeled as being clothing, someone might wonder just how big Grannie was that a box of her old nightgowns weighs so much.
You can, however, spread the wealth, so to speak. Use several boxes and put a little in each. If you're worried about losing track of which boxes are “loaded,” use a simple code in your labeling. For example, any box with the word “old” on the label is more than it appears.
Stash #4: Doors
If you have solid wood interior doors, and have some basic tools and know how, you can make nifty little hiding places, suitable for small objects like safe keys or gold coins.
Take the door off the hinges and bore a hole down into the door from the top edge. Be very careful to not make the hole too wide or at an angle, either of which will result in visible damage to the front or back.
After rehanging the door, put your key or coins in a small plastic bag and shove it into the hole. The bag will make it much easier to remove the stash later. If you're worried about anything rattling around, you can stuff in a few cotton balls.
Stash #5: Walls
Finally, go into your living room and look at the walls. I'm betting you're seeing some air vents scattered about, right? Think anyone would notice an extra one?
Remove an existing vent cover and take it to the hardware store to buy another that matches. Then, cut a hole in the wall down near the floor, being careful to place it between the studs. Stuff in your valuables and install the vent cover over the hole.
Be careful to not overload the space in such a way that the stuff inside is easily visible through the vent cover. If you go a step further and put a bookcase or end table in front of the vent, I can all but guarantee no one will ever notice it.
Obviously, we should all have security measures in place to help prevent home invasions. But, part of being prepared is to account for the possibility of those measures failing and someone gaining access to the home.
By having a few hidden stashes, you can help keep your valuables in the home and not ending up in someone else's truck.