View Full Version : Use a Bazooka trail supply

2003-09-24, 15:37
Thanks for the e-mails. I know long term and short term supply is a problem. This is what works for me. Cuts the pack weight.

Back in the late Seventies some survivalist type came up with an idea for food and water storage in a PVC pipe. We jusy call them Bazooka's.

Just go to your local home improvement store and buy the largest diameter PCV pipe they sell 3 to 5 feet long, I normally use the six inch round tube. have it threaded on both ends. Take it home and figure out how many compartments you will need then cut six inch pieces of the thickest cardboard you can find, for as many compartments that you will need.
Seal one end of the pipe with an end cap, first use teflon tape to waterproof the seals.
Now figure out what your re-supply needs are. I have filled our Bazooka's with all kinds of stuff, food, water,those female hygene things that have wings, clean clothes film ammo or any luxsury items you may not want to carry. Separate each component with the cardboard circles, and seal the remaining cap waterproofing again.

Next we figure out which trail we project to be humping and use the weekends in between to plant our Bazooka's at various parts of the trail. If we enter a trailhead on the north end, we will spend a day or even a couple of nights seeding the south trailhead, you can also drive to the various towns along the trail some weekend and take a day hike to plant your Bazooka. The hiking and digging are good workouts in between trips. I try to dig my tube trench at least 16 to 18 inches deep to be below the frost line. I have had and currently have tubes I planted nearly two years ago NC SC GA. (the M.R.E can last five years or more in cool storage)They do not damage the environment, after digging up the tube you just fill the hole back in.

You might ask Pappy how do I find my Bazooka's at night. Well, fear not my friend aside from my map where they are planted, I break bike red reflectors into small pieces and drill a hole in them enough to drive a small tack nail through them, and tack them to the some of the trees we will be walking towards.I start at about a thousand yards from where I planted the tubes. My headlamp or flashlight will pick up the reflections, and I pull them out as I go.

I started using the Bazooka back in 95 during the start of the five year Carolina drought. In the Wharrie National Forest to store water as even in a good year its hard to find water in the Wharrie. If the water is older than three months iodine it first and re-aerate it by mixing it as old water can taste flat. It stays pretty cold if you keep it under the frost line. Have fun with it, they are easy to make and pack. Let the kids carry them, by the time they grow up they'll forget the hump anyway <<...>>

2003-09-24, 22:42
So are you saying that "leave no trace" doesnt apply to you??? Have you ever stopped to ask a ranger what he/she thinks of you going around digging up the place and tacking peices of junk to the trees??
burying luxury items?? How about ,if you cant carry it ,you dont need it ,leave it home!! Streamweaver

2003-09-24, 23:14

2003-09-25, 13:07
Well, you must have missed the part where we said it does not hurt the environment, and the reflectors are smaller than a thumb tack. They are not nails. We also retrieve them as we go. there are no holes left in the ground. the sites are restored to the exact status they were, they damage nothing. unsightly trashed filled fire rings, and the paper and plastic message notes left nailed to our tree's by groups passing are far worse than anything we bury 50 to hundred feet off any trail, and restore. Your point is moot.

2003-09-25, 19:51
I wouldnt call the point "moot".

Around here (where I live), leave no trace is a fairly big deal... but its not the be all and end all of things. Many of the places I go to are so remote that any damage I may do is likely to be repaired by nature long before anyone else finds it. Thats not an excuse, its just the way things are. Thats not to say that LNT practices arnt followed, but a well placed and maintained campfire will no longer exist to even the seasoned eye by the time the next guy comes within 400 yards of where I made camp.

In the same way, a small tack put into a tree is FAR less harmful than a ax blaze, and even less harmful than the designted trail markers that are spiked into the tree (and replaced every 3 years at lower - eye - levels)

However, Burying 5 foot long chunks of PVC is a different matter. Especially in areas close enough to civilization as to have a road near by but even then, situation may make it "ok" to some extent.

My question is what do you do with these large peices of PVC when they are empty? You mentioned the shelf life of MRE's... that makes me think these are buried for quite a while. Also, wouldnt it be more prudent, in the long run, to do without "luxury items" and carry only what you need - and no more?

2003-09-26, 10:02
Very good questions, first I want to make it clear that I always practice L.N.T. I doubt anyone could locate a buried tube except me. Looking for a tube would be like looking for a needle in a haystack, its simply not going to happen. The tubes have never been compremised.This program was designed to protect the tube, therefore leaving any indication it's there is counter productive (theft or damage)
As I said the tubes can be cut three to five feet. Five feet is really for home storage in an urban setting for disasters, I prefer to cut mine 24 to 40 inches depending what they will be used for.

When empty the tube is about as heavy as a closed cell sleeping pad.
I normally strap it to the side of my ruck and use it to store trash while on my way out. When solo the most I have taken out is two.
I aparrently made an error on the luxury items. In my part of the world luxury items are clean underware replacement items that may wear out on the trail, not microwaves or battery operated TVs. the Bazzooka is designed for long term excursions, not weekend treks.

Finally I was responding to four e-mails I received, the post was easier than writing individual reply's. I thought that was what the posts are for. I did'nt invent this system it has been around for decades used by hunters, hikers, miners and even bikers.

2003-09-26, 13:14
Originally posted by Pappyhighlife
I did'nt invent this system it has been around for decades used by hunters, hikers, miners and even bikers.
Should be easy to find, just follow the beer cans.

2003-09-26, 13:55
Pappy, you are contradicting yourself!! First you say you practice LNT then you talk about going around digging holes in the ground and tacking peices of plastic to trees. IT dont matter if they never find what you buried ,digging that hole in the first place is against LNT practices!! Streamweaver

2003-09-29, 11:31
Okie Dokie....

Chief, like the beer can thing.. <<...>>

2009-01-02, 10:55
Neat idea, Pappy! Thanks for sharing (and taking all the heat for it!) :ahhhhh:

"Leave No Trace" means just that....leave no trace. Not "dig no holes." Sheesh.... You've probably walked past one of Pappy's caches half a dozen times (in the six years since he posted that!) and never noticed it. Because he left no trace.

2009-01-02, 12:50
Thanks Binford that was back in 2003 I could of used you on my SIX back then it was a frustrating time for sure. Most them folk are no longer posting anyway. Really glad someone got it. Thanks again

2009-01-02, 16:13
Hey Pappy,

I use this system regularly and agree with you that LNT is neither violated or dictates that no holes should be dug. I use this system every year on the AT but where it really shines is on the CDT. I saved countless off trail hours on the CDT by placing my tubes the fall before my hike. Re-supply on the AT is kids play compared to the CDT but even on the AT it saves me a lot of zero and nero days of getting off the trail and going in search of sometimes scarce, and most of the time, over priced food.

I've retrieved every cache I ever put out except for one in the Grand Canyon that was buried by a rock slide. Looked for it for several hours and decided it was LNT (left no trace). I've never had one discovered by animals or people and I never bury mine more than a foot deep. I use no optical marking method, just a written description on my map along with a standard geological formation that I always locate the cache near. I would venture to say that after I remove a cache that no one could locate where it had been buried even if they knew the quarter acre it was in.


Just Jeff
2009-01-02, 16:38
I think the bazooka is a great idea, and in most places is certainly acceptable. Digging a hole in the eastern mountains, while not technically "no" trace, will be repaired so quickly by nature that no one will notice. I wouldn't put one in fragile alpine or desert environments, or right in high-use areas (which isn't a good hiding place anyway), etc. But used in the right places, sure...nothing wrong with that at all.

I think the red reflectors are a bad idea, though. That's litter. But a GPS, or a little planning so you don't show up there at night, and you won't need them anyway.

LNT is a good goal but it isn't practical. Unless you brush every footprint and carry all your poo out in a ziplock, check yourself before you get all high and mighty about LNT. :D I pick up enough of other peoples' trash on my hikes to more than make up for a few responsibly buried bazookas! That's why the more simple, "Leave it better than you found it" works best for most people...unfortunately, some people DO need every little rule spelled out for them. And that's who campaigns like LNT are aimed at...people who don't already know how to use the environment responsibly.

2009-01-02, 23:44
If you have ever night hiked in a state gamelands area you will see many little round reflectors that hunters buy and stick to trees to find their favorite spot before dawn. During the day you would never find them.
I try to practice LNT but about once a day I dig a cathole and cover it up unless at a privy. Sometimes we focus on the negligible things and ignore the big ones like mountain top removal mining or fly ash piles.

Wise Old Owl
2009-01-04, 03:27
reflective thumbtacks for bushwacking are available at Walmart now. Just remember to put them on the wrong side of the tree.

As for LNT, if you dig holes to hide your poop - I cannot see a problem with planting a Bazooka, I know what I will see next (well what if we all do that?) but Pappy I would like to thank you for sharing your idea.

2009-01-05, 11:56
I want to thank everybody for your kind words I suppose that post was a few years ahead of its time. Over the last 20 years I too have only lost one Bazooka one that me and my 10 year old grandson hid so nice…well that’s another story. Anyway I figure someday someone will find it and think it’s a time capsule I seem to remember he put a couple of action figure Power Rangers in it.

I still use the tubes when we had the drought for so long here in the South-east I cached survival water bags that last five years in the Uwharrie forest which can get miserably dry in the summer. That cache came in real handy September of 2007 when we found our normal small creek was dry as a bone. We had to cancel the trip due to lack of water, but that Bazooka with a gallon of water in it got me and my buddy back to the jeep a day and a half later fully hydrated.

2009-01-05, 22:54
Pappy, that's a good idea and imagine that more and more good citizens will be using the pvc pipes in the next few years for different storage ideas (not just re-supply). Unfortunately most so-called environmentalists have got their heads stuck up their a***s and they can't see the real threats (like mountain top removal, fly-ash slurry ponds, freedom-grabbing politicians). Just keep teaching your grandson what is really important and he'll make it to teach his grandson. Seems like to me I heard something about Australians using that pvc idea.:biggrin:

2009-01-17, 03:51
Great Idea Pappy,

I've used a similar method when hunting/hiking on a ranch we frequented a ways back.

Happy New Year all!

Nearly Normal
2009-01-17, 19:25
No such thing as LNT. You can only leave as little trace as possible.
Great Idea for re-supply.
It's been done since people used established routes.

2009-02-08, 14:30
Thanks Pappyhighlife for sharing this system! I wouldn't be using it so much on the hiking trail but it would be very practical for stashing supplies for survival situations.

With the current interest in Bushcraft/Survival techniques here in the UK due to the growing concern about draconian laws being introduced by the EU and NWO elite, (apologies, do not mean to get off topic) this system would be invaluable to some. I'll be sharing it.

Thanks again,


SGT Rock
2009-02-08, 14:38
Seen these sold before. Maybe that would help some people.


2009-02-09, 13:55
That's about right Top, only the price is high you can make 5 tubes for that price at the local home improvment store, and just a tad bigger.

2012-11-03, 14:23
Sorry to necropost. I looked closely at this system for several resupply caches I'm working on. Although I like the tubular design for ease of burying, and the variability of sizes, I am leaning more heavily towards ammo cans. I have found like-new 5.56mm/M27 Link ammo cans locally for $15 each, approx. 3 gallons of storage, rubber gasket, lockable with a little doing. The PVC parts needed for the bazooka come to >$30 each container, due to the cost of 6" end caps and threaded plugs at home improvement depository. Internet has not been much help in finding a better deal than that on PVC parts, but I'm open to suggestions :-) .

SGT Rock
2012-11-03, 23:57
Ammo cans can be a good option. I would be a little concerned a raccoon or a bear might be able to undo the latch, but you can probably use lacing wire to prevent that.

Sent from my SCH-I500 using Tapatalk 2

2013-01-12, 08:51
I've always tended to believe sustainability is more important than leave-no-trace. Sustainability, along with the principle that we should strive to be part of nature and work with nature rather than try and remain apart from it. I'm not talking total stone-age back to nature, but I don't like the idea of turning nature into a freak show. You gotta get out and roll around in it, see it, smell it, hear it, taste it, shoot it, eat it, whatever you gotta do to keep in touch with it so you know what it is that you are trying to sustain, and why. There is something far more essential out there, even more essential than any constitution or amendment. Our natural habitat, and our true nature, is our ultimate constitution. How's the state of your constitution? If not so good, time to go hunting or fishing, or our for a long solo hike or paddle. Bring a grandson or grand-daughter? All the better.