I recently watched a family-friendly movie called “Holes,” (Walden Media and Walt Disney Pictures; Directed by Andrew Davis, 2003).  As part of their rehabilitation process, a camp of “delinquent” boys are told that digging holes in the desert all day long is important for building character. What the warden, (played by Sigourney Weaver), and her crew, (played by Tim Blake Nelson and Jon Voight), don’t tell the boys is that they are really looking for buried treasure.

Thinking about the concept of buried treasures my mind wanders naturally toward the great tribulation and how helpful it will be for some folks to have supplies cached in the great outdoors. Typically, you know, we think of gold, silver, and jewels as treasure. But to one in a real survival mode these things would be virtually worthless and could even be counter-productive. To the survivor a cache of dried fruit and nuts would be worth uncovering, and a cache of clean new socks and a wool blanket might prove invaluable.

But because greed shall be readily abundant in the heart of the marked “trackers” sent out to look for survivors and bring them to town, they would only be encouraged in their pursuits if they found survivors with real treasures like gold, silver, and jewels.

And since these sorts of things would be of relatively low value in the early years of the MK anyhow, I would highly discourage prospective survivors from hiding them on their person or in the woods during the bug-out situation. It would be better to use them up beforehand on “beans, bandages, and blankets.” Good bear-proof cache containers are not cheap, and neither is good quality camouflage duct tape, (useful for additional camouflage and weatherproofing on some containers). For that matter, it takes resources to actually spend more quality time recreating in the great outdoors in the first place. Like the boys in “Holes” needing to build up calluses on their hands to handle the shovel all day, the prospective survivor would benefit by spending time in the outdoors before the real deal comes along. (See  blog-post “Deer Feet”.)

Now in my own outdoor pursuits I have yet to make a habit of hiding caches, yet I think about it now and then. Maybe when the time is right, closer to the great tribulation, I will be ready to hide some supplies. Or, perhaps by then I will not feel the need to cache, and I will be able to get by with only the stuff in my jacket pocket, or a small bug-out bag. There must exist the successful survival scenario where less is more.

Granted, there is no reason to not try caching where one can get away with it and where it may prove more than a little helpful to yourself and/or others. A guy would be so frustrated to hide things to the degree that he would be doing well to find them again himself. How tragic to be like the boys in “Holes” digging all over the place and not finding anything. (Note* It may well be illegal to dig in many places where one would think of hiding a cache. Know the rules and play along!)

When I think about the prospect that, owing to adverse circumstances, I might not even make it to the great outdoors during the bug-out situation, I would feel somewhat better if I hid my caches in such a way that “looters” would have a hard time seeing them from a distance, but survivors taking their time and keeping their eyes open, well off the beaten path, could find them.

While it may be somewhat disconcerting to imagine other survivors beating me to my cache if I did make it to the great outdoors, I find a little relief knowing that I could place a small token in each of my caches, which would help me lay rightful claim if a dispute arose. Even if the contents were gone, at least those who took it would know my claim is legitimate and perhaps they would then feel some compunction to make amends if possible. (As for the tokens I am thinking something like the small wooden arts and crafts coins, on which a guy could put a stamp or something, so all of his caches would basically have the same token.)

If I found another person’s cache and felt compelled to borrow something from it, I would think about putting in one of my own tokens with a big I.O.U mark on the back side. Or better yet, since I might not see the owners at any time, would be to trade something of like value, say a can of baked beans for a pouch of tuna fish. Or, best of all, I would not feel any great want, and so I would not even feel compelled to look in a cache that was not mine.

However one approaches the caching opportunity, it makes sense to not put all of one’s eggs in one basket. Or, if you do, at least take care to approach that “basket” from various directions. For the survivor who would concentrate multiple caches in or near a single site, bear in mind the experience of Henry David Thoreau at Walden. A path to the pond formed very quickly and it remained highly visible for years, even after he left. The perfect bug-out camp may not stay so perfect if others are drawn to it by hint of a path.

In terms of the early years of the MK, there may be some value in the movie “Holes” by way of an example of what the people do not want to experience: “Once upon a time there was a magical place where it never rained—the end!” —a quote of Mr. Sir, played by Jon Voight. (For context of the comparison I am making, read Zechariah 14:17 and blog-post “The Left Behind of the Peri-Armageddon Scenario”).

I am beginning to look at great tribulation survival not so much in terms of my ability to go hiking all day but in terms of my ability to go out into the woods and find a spot where I can be still and bide the time. Some of that time I suspect may be spent in reading, and on that note I reckon that from now on most of my PATCH entries will be from books and the written word. Still, as far as movies go, “Holes” is definitely a keeper.

In case I did not make it entirely clear before, the concept of PATCH is not so much what forms of books, music, movies, etc. will be helpful to the MK generation, as it is a means of looking at what books, movies, music, etc., might help people to actually make it there. With that in mind, I would consider looking at the book version of “Holes” (by Louis Sachar, 1998), and include that in my outdoor kit, for it would certainly help someone whittle away at least a few hours of their wait through great tribulation.

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