Sunday, July 18, 2010
Praxis: Some Experience in Storing Items in a Humid Climate
This is why I always store any perishables in the proverbial "cool, dry place." And if the place is not cool and dry, I pack it and cache it so it is.
My source for free used food-grade 5 gallon buckets -- WalMart -- has recently changed policy and no longer gives them out. There are other grocery bakeries who still do. Sealing anything in a 5-gallon plastic pail and burying it below the frost line in a cache (or stashing it in a cool cave) will almost always keep it fresh. We recently opened and tested some 15 year old five gallon bucket caches (some buried, some caved), including ammo and MREs. No signs of corrosion or spoilage.
Large items -- ALICE packs on frames, USGI packboards, large sleeping bags, small tents, camouflage netting -- can be stored in footlocker sized "Tuff Boxes."
You can seal any container with a large enough bead of silicone.
Remember that any container (except steel ammo cans) can be chewed through by rodents to get at what's inside. After about 1998, we would include a liberal spraying of the outside of the sealed containers (and the storage area if possible) with pest repellent.
We have always sprayed inside of containers with insecticides of various kinds (be sure and let them dry out completely before sealing).
For electronic stuff such as radios and field telephony equipment that requires the improvising of an EMP-resistant Faraday cage, I am fond of the South African steel ammo cans in 7.62 NATO and .50 BMG.
South African ammo can in 7.62 NATO (The .50 BMG can is larger).
These require some hole-plugging with silicone-daubed bolts/nuts in the drainage holes on the bottom and, if cached, a bead of silicone around the lid.
For storage of books and other perishables in conditions where rodents are known to be, I prefer USGI 20MM steel ammo cans as below.
I have a quite extensive collection of US Field and Technical Manuals stored in 7 of these. Smaller collections of FMs and TMs can be secured in intermediate size ammo cans such as the SAW ammo can.