There are numerous articles dealing with the caching of supplies on this and other Prepper sites. Within the context of abandoned mines, my principal suggestion is to evaluate caching locations that are not in the immediate vicinity of the mine workings. The simple reason as that recreationists visit abandoned mines and there is no point in setting a cache that can be discovered by people wandering around the site.
By most definitions, abandoned mines are located in and surrounded by rugged terrain. That gives you virtually limitless ways to conceal a cache that no one will ever find. Take your time. Plan the cache with an eye toward a secure location. One suggestion would be to set the cache some distance beyond the primary point of interest. Most casual visitors are only interested in seeing and photographing a historic mine site; then they are on their way. Mines that are more distant from well traveled 2-tracks, or that are not visible will be less frequently visited.
Out of 400 nearby mines, there are twelve sites on my preferred-use list if circumstances require that I abandon my home. A far greater number are ‘workable,’ but not desirable. Even where the use of 4WD is necessary, I can reach any of these twelve locations without consuming more than a quarter-tank of gas. Some are more difficult to reach than others. Some offer superior defensive advantages. Some are more suitable for long term occupation than others. Nevertheless, I would not hesitate to use any of these sites should the situation require it.
It is my choice to stockpile fuel reserves on my property, rather than near the mine site. Simply stated, they are all viable and I cannot predict which of these dozen sites I would want to use in a SHTF situation. I’m fortunate because I have a multitude of choices, but it is impractical for me to preposition fuel and other supplies at or near that many sites. Your options may be better or poorer than mine.
Here are some suggestions that you should factor into your planning:
The thought here is that you need to evaluate the availability of morning and afternoon light, the direction and flow of air in the adit, as well as the structural space where fires might be best located.
There are several factors for determining whether any mine site is suitable for your needs. I have compartmentalized them into a series of S’s, followed by bullet notations. These lists are by no means comprehensive. They represent my best effort for a geographic environment that I am most familiar with. Hopefully, they will be useful and inspire you to consider issues that are unique to the locale that you would consider.
Frankly, it is advisable to use option ‘a’ plus whatever other means are at your disposal. Shiny reflective surfaces, such as chrome bumpers, wheels and windshields can reveal the vehicle’s location, even at night. Your objective is to be a hole in the dark.
These are tough questions, but they must be answered with absolute objectivity.
Over the course of 30+ years of exploration, I have lost count of the number of mines that I’ve entered. I have also lost count of the number that I refused to enter for safety reasons. The notion of entering an abandoned mine – much less living in one for a period of time – may be intimidating to many people. They are dark and mysterious places where unseen dangers (real or imagined) may lurk. It is unfamiliar ground to the vast majority of people. Nevertheless, the contemplation of extreme events, particularly if they threaten your survival, can challenge you to examine options that you would not ordinarily consider.
As a Prepper, you contemplate potential risks and choose to deal with them in a proactive manner. You understand that mere reaction is often inadequate and that it is never preventative.
Hopefully, this article series has provided you with information and tools that you had not previously thought about. I cannot say that using an adit will work for you, but this primmer can get you started on a safety-based course of study and evaluation that can give you the answers you seek.
I welcome in your observations and questions on this topic. Drop me a note any time.
Thank you for subscribing to the Final Prepper! Whenever I post a new article (usually once per day), or have something interesting to share, you will receive an email.