Not So Secret Cache Part 2 Duffel Gear

Not So Secret Cache 2

The second installment of Not So Secret Cache series brings more words and more links! In the first post, we spoke about the duffel, outerwear, underwear, and insulation clothing, some shoes, and socks too, let’s throw some food, drink, and more gear into your not so secret cache 2.

Secret Cache 2 duffel

Maybe this ‘idea’ of mine was just my brain saying “Leave a bug-out bag at your friends” I am beginning to think so.


  • Make sure everything fits in the one duffel.
  • You and your family mean more than one duffel.
  • How many times can I say duffel in this series?

Drinking & Eating


I am not talking about the actual food and water, but those items you might need to eat and drink, at the same time that you mitigate any burden on your friend or family. They have been graceful enough to let you keep stuff at their house, why are you going to use their plates, forks, and glasses?

Hiking, again, yes I based my BOB off my hiking gear, some of the ultra-light gear was swapped for more durable equivalents though.

Nalgene Tritan Wide Mouth. BPA-Free.

I have the ubiquitous Nalgene 32oz (1 Liter) Tritan water bottle. Red, and at least 13 years old. It has served as a water bottle, oatmeal sleeping bag cooker, and a pee bottle. Though I never tried it, you can kind of cook in it by using the double-boiler method. It’s a hardy piece of gear, at over six ounces though, it’s not as light as its replacement in my pack. That

Platypus Platy 2-Liter Ultralight Collapsible Water Bottle.

would be those water bags. I bought some of the Platypus 2-Liter water bags (‘bottles’), they are as light as can be for a bag that has to hold four pounds of water in it. I also have a couple of the one Liter version.

Making Water Drinkable

These paired well when the time came to upgrade (and lighten up) my water filtration system with a Sawyer Mini Water Filtration System, an indispensable part of my duffel and other bags.

Sawyer Products Mini Water Filtration System.

I did not use the bags that came with the Sawyer since the Platys were already in my bag.

Potable Aqua Water Purification Treatment.

The Augmentation or back-up system to all of this is a bandanna (to filer out particulates, you know that floating stuff and bits of leaves and insects that you don’t want to drink) and some Potable Aqua Water Purification Treatment pills. The emergency kit is in a little Sea to Summit dry bag separate from the main compartment of my pack. Therefore it’s a little bag on its own inside the duffel.

Saltstick Electrolyte.

Just in case, as always, you might want to throw in some extra stuff (drinking-related) in the duffel, maybe stuff it inside the Nalgene or a shoe, and that is some electrolytes and vitamins.



You will need your pantry and kitchen in the duffel. The three-day approach has become de facto in the literature (or is it propaganda), I like a five to seven-day approach in food. I have used self dried food items, freeze-dried hiking food, and just regular off the shelf stuff for weekend camping trips, hell I even took a can of spam on a trip once.

Secret Cache 2 duffel
Western Frontier MRE 2020 Inspection Date Meals Ready-to-Eat.

I have no experience with MREs (either civilian or GI). Some MRE manufacturers are APack, Meal Kit Supply, MREStar, and Wornick Foods. The MRE linked to the right is from a company or brand called Western Frontier (I can’t find a website for them), I include it here for illustrative purposes, it has pretty high ratings at Amazon though.

Freeze-dried foods are all over and many of the manufacturers have been around a long time: Mountain House, Backpacker’s Pantry, AlpineAire, and others. I did buy and use during a short trip on The Florida Trail products from a company called Harmony House (I used the dehydrated, not freeze-dried, foods)

The hiking food approach might not work for everyone, and you might want to add variety to your duffel pantry regardless, there are plenty of emergency food kits sold on the internet and brick and mortar stores, price clubs, and so on.


Secret Cache 2 duffel
Goya Pink Beans.

Off the shelf stuff from any grocery store, supermarket, or gas station can also do, keep better track of these items though, their shelf life tends to be way less than freeze-dried foods or MREs.

Secret Cache 2 duffel
Dinty Moore Beef Stew.

Something like a can of beans has a shelf life of 5 years, and I routinely see these for less than a dollar on sale. This also applies to Spam, those Danish Hams, many canned veggies, canned potatoes, soups and stews,  canned tuna, canned chicken, etc. All of these are already cooked, they might not be great cold, but it’s food.

An emergency food source, or concept at least, of note, is the Humanitarian daily rations (HDR) dense caloric crumbly looking things, I have never had one, nor will taste one anytime soon, they don’t look palatable enough (yet).



Bag, pad, and pillow. You should be good. I can’t imagine most of our friends or families having rooms and beds for us. When I initially thought of the duffel idea I never imagined having access to a bed, maybe room enough to have an inflatable single mattress at most, therefore you will need a bed and one that fits in the duffel.

The item that is likely to take up the most room in your duffel is a sleeping bag, honestly, I did not even have one in mine, I had a queen-sized fleece blanket, which I rolled like a burrito and stuffed myself into. I would do a decent sleeping bag this time around. Montbell is the go-to brand for me for hiking, their Burrow Bag #3 Long synthetic bag is great and it has enough given that I am comfortable in it. Old school rectangle sleeping bags from Walmart, Target, or your local outdoor shop will also work.


Secret Cache 2 duffel
Therm-a-rest NeoAir
Secret Cache 2 duffel
Intex Prestige Downy Airbed Kit with Hand Held Battery Pump, Twin.

The bag lays on a Therm-a-rest NeoAir, which works great for hiking since it’s fairly light for its size and comfort (noisy though), I would not put this particular ‘mattress’ in my duffel. It’s not enough. I’d go with something more comfortable. Like an Intex twin size mattress, not the super nice 18″ high one though, that packs big. A 9″ high may just be right. The cost of the Intex is pretty low compared to all but the most basic hiking mattresses.

Secret Cache 2 duffel
MARCHWAY Ultralight Compact Inflatable Camping Pillow.

You may also want an inflatable pillow (like the one on the right), or a regular three-dollar pillow from Walmart that you can shove into one of those vacuum bags, just let it loft up before you have to use it. I don’t have an inflatable pillow, not even for hiking, I loosely stuff clothing in a clothing sack and use that, not the most comfortable setup but works for hiking.

Finally, a sheet or thin comforter would come in handy, though the space it takes up in the duffel could be too high, you can always unzip the sleeping bag and use that to just throw it over yourself.

Not So Secret Cache Part 3

Even More “Stash Somewhere Duffel Bag.” Exciting, I know. We will talk about Health, wellness, hygiene, and communication.