As you get more into prepping and stockpiling, you will get a better understanding of how important and valuable your things are.
It may not make a lot of sense to hide a first aid kit or a case of canned corn today, but in a situation that makes those two items very valuable and highly sought after, you need to keep them out of sight.
Hiding your preps is a fail safe. If your main supply is found and looted, you still have a backup plan. That is a prepping motto. A backup for your backups.
Preppers are notoriously secretive. It is a lot like the Fight Club motto. You don’t talk about it.
You can talk about some ideas and a lot of hypothetical situations, but you never come right out and say what you have and where it is. That would be painting a giant target on your back.
Even within your own prepping group, you need to maintain a level of privacy and security. Your stockpile is extremely valuable and not just in a monetary sense. It is truly what will mean the difference between your family surviving or perishing.
Not only is it important you not talk about specific details related to your prepping, you also need to keep it out of sight. You don’t want visitors that stop by to see your massive stockpile of food and other supplies. This applies to your children’s friends as well
Imagine life after a major disaster. Little Johnny’s best friend just happens to remember there was a closet full of food at your house. He tells his daddy and his daddy decides he wants it. A fight to the death will ensue. You don’t want to be in that situation.
While it may seem like sharing is the right thing to do, you have to think of your own personal safety and your long term survival. Do it on your terms. Keep your stuff hidden and only bring out what you can afford to give away. Don’t make it obvious you have food to give.
Now, if you are trying to figure out where you will stash a year’s worth of food, it isn’t as hard as you think—even in a small house. Here are some ideas.
#1 Secret Walls
This is a little more elaborate, but it isn’t all that difficult to put up a couple pieces of sheetrock or even use plywood to create a wall in a room. The wall is placed in front of the existing wall to create a small space.
It can be several feet wide or just a small narrow area that can be used to stash food and supplies. You wouldn’t want to make the hiding space too large as this would be obvious. Shaving off a couple of feet is the better option and won’t be immediately visible to the naked eye.
#2 Closet Floors
Your closet floor is typically littered with shoes, boxes and what not. You can create a small space, high enough for canned foods to be placed in at the back of your closet or on the sides where it isn’t obvious when the door is open.
Place a piece of wood over the floor inside the closet. Use a can or small pieces of wood to create a space between the wood and the original closet floor. Toss a piece of carpet over the added wood to help it blend in. Stash your supplies and then place boots or shoe boxes on the floor to hide the gap. A dark closet filled with coats and other items will conceal your goods.
#3 Behind the Couch
There are actual canned food racks that are made to go behind the couch. The racks are about 4 inches wide. They are placed between a wall and your couch. You can stack the racks the height of your couch.
Place a piece of pretty wood over the top rack and either side if they are exposed to create a shelf of sorts. A pretty cloth over the wood with a couple pictures or candles and it will look like a sofa table. You could actually purchase a sofa table to put over the racks if desired.
#4 Inside the Furniture
If you have end tables, nightstands and even potted plants, you can hide some supplies in the cavities each of these pieces of furniture has. Some people prefer to make their own furniture built with hollow centers to hide their goods.
If you want something cheap and basic and aren’t too worried anybody will notice, a 5-gallon bucket, a piece of wood, marble or glass and a pretty piece of fabric makes an excellent end table or legs for a coffee table. Fill the buckets with your supplies and no one will know they are there.
#5 Behind a Door
Those over the door shoe holders are great for holding first aid supplies, soup packets, spices and other small preps. In general, when a person walks into a room, they don’t close the door.
Shoe holders are very inconspicuous and will not be obvious. Some people will hide a rifle on the back of a door with a bathrobe hung over it to hide it.
#6 Under Bathroom Cabinet
People don’t tend to want to look under sink areas for food they will eat. This is a good thing for you. Stack your food towards the back of the cabinet areas and pile the typical bathroom or under the kitchen sink items in front.
Be careful what you put in these spaces because they are prone to be damp. Some people will hide valuables in feminine hygiene boxes. This a clever way to hide small items like gold and silver coins or even ammunition.
#7 In the Ceiling
Depending on the build of your home, ceiling tiles can be lifted fairly easily. There are typically crawl spaces in the ceiling as well. Find the entrance and stash your supplies out of sight.
Conceal the entrance as best as possible. Be careful storing anything that will spoil in excessive heat. Canned goods, pastas and food in general should not be stored in the ceiling. The heat can cause rapid spoiling.
#8 Under the Beds
Under the beds is a bit more obvious, but you can try and disguise your goods by stashing shoes, blankets or discarded clothing in front of your supplies. Those can holders they make for pantries are excellent under the bed.
You can also buy those totes designed to slide under a bed. Line the tote with clothing and fill the center with your supplies. Hopefully, a potential thief will see the clothes and move on.
#9 Bottom of the Laundry Hamper
Nobody wants to dig through a dirty laundry hamper, which is why the bottom is an excellent place to hide your valuable supplies. You can use wood or heavy plastic to create a shelf of sorts.
Add your goods, place the cover over the top and toss in some clothing. They don’t necessarily need to be soiled, but whatever helps sell the look. You can apply this same hiding technique to trash cans in and out of the house.
#10 In Plain Sight
Hide your emergency supplies in some of the obvious places, like your garage, basement or closet, but in disguise. Use dark colored rubber totes or cardboard boxes to store your supplies.
Label the outside of the containers with things like, “Christmas Decorations,” “Winter Clothes,” “Grandma’s Stuff” and so on. People that are starving and in a hurry will not immediately go for these boxes. They have their heart set on food, not grandma’s shawls.
#11 Wall Safes
Wall safes that are hidden behind pictures are old school and have been around for a while. You can stick with what works. Make sure the picture you choose to conceal the safe is not obvious. You want it to blend in with the décor and not stand out like a sore thumb.
The safe doesn’t even have to be an actual safe, but more of an open box with the opening hidden by the picture. Some pictures are actually designed with frames that have small compartments built in. A quick Google search will reveal there are all sizes and styles to choose from.
If you have a bookshelf in your home, you can use the books on the shelf to conceal supplies tucked neatly away behind the books. Pull the books out to the front edge and stack your items behind the books.
A can of food is about as tall as a standard paperback and can fit nicely. Take it a step further and head to the thrift store and buy some nice, big books. Cut out the pages from the center and you have a nice hiding place there as well.
#13 Floor Spaces
This is another oldie but goodie. If your home has wood floors, you can easily create a nice hiding space underneath. Make sure you choose an area that isn’t obvious.
Placing your bed, a dresser or some other piece of furniture over the area is a great way to further conceal it. A rug is a little too obvious. Make sure you seal whatever you are stashing to avoid any moisture damage or pest infestation.
Even homes without wood floors will typically have a crawl space. The crawl space entrance is usually located in a closet. You can stash goods here as well.
#14 Under the Deck
If you have a deck or raised porch, you have a ton of storage space waiting to be filled with your emergency supplies. Put up some lattice around the area to make it visually appealing, while concealing what’s underneath. Store your goods in 5-gallon buckets with lids on tight to keep out animals and insects. Store the buckets away from the front so they are not completely obvious. Even if a person were to see them, they wouldn’t automatically assume the buckets were filled with life-saving food and other necessities.
#15 Linen Closets
Linen closets provide plenty of cover for food and other emergency supplies. A pile of sheets and towels near the front will conceal everything you have in the back. You can hide items under a pile of linens as well. The trick is to make it look natural. Don’t make it obvious there is something in back.
A slightly messy linen closet will appear normal and not attract attention. The back of a linen closet is always nice and dark. This provides an excellent hiding place for larger items. Those 5-gallon food safe buckets are excellent choices for hiding food and keeping it safe from bugs and moisture. They don’t look inviting and many people will just ignore the bucket at the back of the closet.
#16 Bury Your Treasure
Some people choose to bury caches all over their property or along trails that lead to a secondary location. This is a great idea and can ensure you always have access to basic supplies. These caches need to be buried deep enough that they won’t attract attention, but not so deep you will need to spend any real time digging them up.
If you are going to bury your goods, it helps to keep some kind of map handy. No matter how important it is, you may forget exactly where they are placed. Come up with some inconspicuous way to mark the spot to make it easier for you to find. Don’t bury your stashes on anyone’s private property. You are inviting trouble for yourself.
No matter where you choose to put your items, make sure you consider temperature, possible rodent or pest problems and moisture. Check on your items from time to time to make sure they haven’t been discovered.
In some cases, you will want to freshen the supply of goods. Replacing bottles of water every six months is a good idea. You don’t want to rely on your stash of goods only to find it is compromised when you actually need it.