Three Letters Re: Hiding Things in Plain Sight

I have very carefully concealed my gun safe but in order to fool potential crooks, but I also have an old one that is very poorly hidden. It has stickers on it from my favorite firearms manufacturers. Once the [burglars] get it back to their den and peel it open, they will find themselves the proud owners of five large sandbags full of gravel. – Andy B.


My wife and I were recently discussing hiding places – what about inside a bucket of paint? Securely wrapping “the valuables” up in appropriate containers (likely several layers of Ziploc sandwich bags) and just dropping it in. If the valuables aren’t heavy enough to sink, a rock or piece of metal should be added to keep them at the bottom. Hey, you could even write “Treasure” on the bucket of paint and people would just think it’s the name of the paint color, but it would help you remember which one has the stash.


Take a look at Habitat For Humanity’s ReStore directory. ReStore only accepts new paint or stain donations, so you don’t have to worry about buying some toxic brew some schmuck dumped off. I buy from here because the only thing I care about is that it is water based latex paint, and that it is in five gallon buckets. I don’t care about the brand, or color, and it’s inexpensive and the money goes to what I happen to believe is a laudable effort. Never mind Jimmy Carter.

I then go to another hardware store and buy new, metal one gallon paint cans and lids. The ones that have the lids that fit into the center of the can, and have to be hammered down, and then pried up with a screwdriver. The plastic ones don’t work that well, so don’t bother with them.

A suitable amount of paint is removed from the five gallon can.

I place my gold, and silver into the one gallon cans along with a desiccant, hammer the lid on, and then submerge them into the five gallon can. Each five gallon container will hold two one gallon containers without any problem. More than that, they get a little heavy, and the paint doesn’t always conceal what is inside the can if the lid should be opened.

I only use this technique for things I will not need to get at readily. It might be good for long term hiding of small handguns, and ammunition as well.

Your site is a welcome find. Have fun! Sincerely, – JTH

JWR Replies: It is interesting that two readers both mentioned the same idea. Because steel paint cans might rust when submerged in water-based paint, I’d recommend using only plastic containers.

One of my favorite “in plain sight” caches that can be used outdoors is a length of 4″ diameter PVC pipe, with a glued-on cap on one end, and a threaded cap on the other end. The pipe is buried vertically, with the threaded end cap left protruding from the ground, looking just like a typical septic clean-out cap. Unless you hire someone to pump your septic system or to “snake” your drain pipes, it is highly unlikely that anyone would ever disturb one of these caches.