Jeremiah Johnson is a retired Green Beret of the United States Army Special Forces (Airborne) and a graduate of the U.S. Army’s SERE school (Survival Evasion Resistance Escape).


This article details an E&E (escape and evasion) system to complement the bug-out measures you may have already emplaced for yourself.  The system involves micro-caches for use along a preplanned route from where you’re caught when it hits the fan to your initial hide site and eventual return home.  The system can be tailor made to fit your individual needs, locale, and climate.  The mindset will be thoroughly explained to give you a base from which to make your adjustments to your program.

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First we must define a few things.  The word micro-cache may be a bit misleading, because while we are talking about one cache, the micro-cache is actually one of the component parts (or a “stage”) of the entire system, made up of 3 parts.  The micro-cache system is not your primary!  I place emphasis on this statement.  It is your backup, your “plan B” and should be used as a last resort.  If you “deploy” this system, it can serve you in good stead both in the short-term immediacy, or to place “on hold,” banking it for a longer duration for future use.

The micro-caches are emplaced (all three stages), to 100 meters (300 feet, approx.), 200 meters, and 300 meters, away from your immediate location where you’re operating when the substance hits the fan.  You must first conduct an assessment of your workweek and where you will be during the course of your day.  As an example, you may work in a paper mill.  Your vehicle may be parked near a main administration building, and where you actually perform your work may be ¼ mile from there.

You may actually have varied locations that you spend during the day…an office building for your planning in the morning, and a job site a few miles away, for example.  In either case, with the paper mill scenario, you must correlate 1 set of 3 micro-caches for both of your paper mill site locations, and you must have 2 sets of micro-caches for the second scenario (1 set for the planning office and 1 set for the job site).  So what are these micro-caches, you may ask, and what is their purpose?  Here it is:

The micro-caches are for use individually (per stage), and preferably in combination when gathered together to add up to (1) complete backup “bug-out”/A-bag when your primary bag and supplies are compromised.

Here is our hypothetical situation.  The Chinese have just attacked with an EMP device, and the radio reports that the DEW line and NORAD have a dozen incoming ICBM nukes heading toward the U.S.  Pandemonium breaks out, and the IHM (the Incredible Human Mob) manifests itself at your workplace.  You leave your workplace by the back door to grab your bag and weapon from your blazer and you notice many bad things occurring in the immediate vicinity of your vehicle.  You also notice many cars and trucks have smashed windows, and your rear window is one of them.

So there is no retrieving your equipment from the vehicle.

This is where your micro-cache system comes into play.  Each micro-cache has a tiny amount of food, water, tools, medical gear, ammo, and small equipment.  The micro-caches are set in a staggered, yet linear distance of 100, 200, and 300 meters respectively from your workplace.  They can be set in anywhere that you are almost 100% sure they will not be compromised in any way!  This is the toughest part of the job: ensuring they are safe and will be there when you need them.

Returning to our hypothetical situation, our hero (that’s you!) proceeds 100 meters in a Southwesterly direction to micro-cache point # 1: a big niche in the wall of a storm drain’s junction point.  Our hero prepped this niche by waterproofing the micro-cache in a small box and then wrapping it all up in 2 heavy-duty, large garbage bags.  He then placed this into the niche and actually closed the entrance to the niche with stones and debris and then troweled over it with a 1” thick coating of cement, smoothing it out to the sides of the pipe.  Now it’s a simple matter to take a stone and smash the cement, removing micro-cache 1 with all of its gear, in a tiny shoulder bag/mini backpack.

All of the contents are intact and safe: a couple of cans of corned beef hash, two packages of ramen, (25) rounds of .45 ACP…yes, our hero is packing…a leatherman tool, a space blanket (mylar), waterproofed fire starter, matches, and a lighter, a small golf-range-scope, a couple of power bars, a 1 quart Gatorade bottle filled with water, and a ½ lb. bag of beef jerky.  Our hero then leaves the location, and proceeds to the next location.

Micro-cache point # 2 is located approx. 100 meters from point #1 in a Southeasterly direction [200 meters from the workplace] on the roof of a parks and recreation storage building.  The equipment has also been waterproofed and stashed beneath the corner of a large HVAC duct where it will not interfere with any airflow and covered over with some pieces of steel plating and the gravel upon the roof.  Our hero retrieves it and inspects the contents that are approximately the same as #1 tying the two small shoulder bags together.  Our hero leaves toward the next location.

Traveling in a line due South for 100 meters, he comes to micro-cache point # 3: a cemetery with a large tool shed located in the center of the grounds.  Climbing atop the shed, he removes a prepositioned piece of sheet metal from the corner of the roof and recovers the micro-cache.  Adding this third shoulder bag to the other two, he produces a D-ring and clips all three of them together.  He has successfully recovered all of the three stages.  Assuming once more a duplicate/close duplicate, let’s see what he now has with him:

6 cans corned beef hash                                   6 packages of ramen

3 fire starters                                                   3 lighters

3 packs of matches                                          3 space blankets

75 rounds .45ACP                                          6 power bars

3 quarts of water                                             1-½ lbs beef jerky

1 golf range scope                                           1 small compass

1 small mag lite flashlight                                6 heavy-duty trash bags

The flashlight, scope, and compass were the only things that varied per bag.  The 6 heavy contractor trash bags can be used for ground cloths, expedient ponchos, or even a small hooch to keep off the rain for a while.  Equipped with these items, our hero now has a little more of a fighting chance, and he proceeds to head toward his home.

The point to the system is that it is staggered and will at the bare minimum give you at least one tiny cache with usable supplies even if the other two are compromised.  For more in-depth information on caching, please refer to my previous articles on the subject.  This differs in that the micro-caches are not deeply set into the ground, where they cannot be recovered when the ground is frozen solid.

Multiple locations give you multiple chance of being able to obtain assets for yourselves when the conditions of the frenzied mob prevail.  In addition if you had been able to leave your workplace with you’re A-bag and equipment, you can leave all of your micro-caches intact for a future time.  You can also simply decide, “I won’t be able to take them out later, and I’d better grab them now,” and then retrieve them.  Either way they’re yours and you have prepped beforehand, increasing your chances for survival.

As mentioned earlier, this is all food for thought, as your situation and conditions will vary considerably.  Such is why a good, accurate assessment should be made of your locations.  It needs to be done in a manner that it is set up with nobody knowing about it except your closest loved ones.  I hope this article sheds some light on a technique that may give you an added advantage if the substance hits the fan.  Hopefully you’ll never need it, but if you do, I hope you have it in place when it happens.  Take care of yourself and your preps, and fight the good fight.

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Jeremiah Johnson is the Nom de plume of a retired Green Beret of the United States Army Special Forces (Airborne).  Mr. Johnson is also a Gunsmith, a Certified Master Herbalist, a Montana Master Food Preserver, and a graduate of the U.S. Army’s SERE school (Survival Evasion Resistance Escape).  He lives in a cabin in the mountains of Western Montana with his wife and three cats. You can follow Jeremiah’s regular writings at or contact him here.