How to Hide Your Food

Unless you know the context of the subject matter “how to hide your food” sounds somewhat and possibly, totally ridiculous. Why would I want to hide food? Well, maybe hide my candy bars from my blood-hound nosed grand-kids. Other than that, why would I want to hide food? If that’s your answer, obviously you are not a member of the Prepper community.

Stockpiling food and other survival supplies is the centerpiece of a motivated Prepper’s ultimate goal… stockpile items that are essential for the survival of your family and anticipation of nearly immediate shortage of such items. I believe everyone will agree food will be high on the stockpile list.

For the novice Prepper you may think this isn’t rocket science.

  • Do some research to identify the best food to store and remain edible.

  • Withdraw money from the savings, make a loan or max out the credit card.

  • Buy the food, bring it home, store it in the house.

What is the big deal you may say.

There are a couple of big deals and a lot of small ones.

  1. Anyone who has been building a stockpile, or rents a U-haul and fills it with food, will most likely run into a space problem. Unless you have storage space, such as a basement where you can build a dedicated storage room, space quickly evaporates. No basement, house is built on a slab … no problem, use the spare bedroom for storage. What? No spare bedroom, in fact the kids are doubling up. See what I mean?

  2. Lack of space is one matter, but a much worse problem is keeping the food you have stockpiled. That’s no problem, you’ll just keep having stored food a secret. Yeah, right. Good luck with that.

  • Your kids will tell their friends what you’re doing. Sorry, but kids are kids, even yours.

  • The neighborhood has eyes. You won’t realize it, but a nosy neighbor has peered through the blinds and have seen you unloading enough groceries to feed an army. What could you do with so much food and only 4 people to feed? Ah … stockpiling it for bad times. How clever. I’ll make a mental note of that.

  • In today’s information age your life is an open book. I assure you people with the proper authority, or proper hacking skills, can review every purchase you’ve ever made in the last 5 years and possibly beyond. You think they won’t be able to figure out you’ve been stockpiling?

Bottom line is keeping your food stockpile stash may be the hardest thing to do. You may arm yourself and fend off attacks by looters, but eventually enough people with enough firepower will break your defenses and take the food. If not looters, soldiers under Marshal law will confiscate the supplies.

These scenarios make it sound like it’s useless to try and store a stockpile of survival food because it’ll just be taken from you. However, there are always options and there’s a very real option that offers the chance for you to keep your food or at least severely limit the amount lost. Hide Your Food.

Let’s look at a few examples of how to hide your food. This method coupled with brute force may be just enough to make assaulting you just not worth the price. It’s a cost benefit equation that wild animals utilize. Even the king of beast, although possibly capable of achieving success, will mess with a cobra. The meal is too small to risk the life threatening venom.


Inside Walls

Building Hidden Compartments:

This is an excellent method of hiding food, but unless you have a rather large home, difficult to do. Any hidden room must flow naturally with the structure. Any newer construction or obvious out of place huge piece of furniture will draw immediate suspicion.

Perhaps the best place to build a secret storage area for an average house is under the steps, especially stairs leading to a second floor level. Looters will definitely look there, but if you build a fake wall about half way to the end, there’s a good chance they’ll overlook it. Store a few things, bats & balls, tennis rackets, whatever, for the appearance you use the area for storage, but there’s nothing of value there.

How to Hide Food Your Utilizing the Insides of Walls and Ceilings:

Common building codes call for 2” x 4” studded walls, interior and exterior, and you may even be lucky enough to have 2” x 6” walls. Remove the drywall sheeting on any wall and you will expose a 3 ½” deep by 16” wide vacant void between the studs. There will most likely be electrical wires and possibly water lines running through these walls, but they occupy very little space and are not dangerous. (You still don’t want to yank around on them and create a leak or a short circuit.)

Install shelves inside this void, fill it with non-perishable food (can goods) and replace the drywall. It’s important the replaced drywall be taped and painted to match the existing wall. If you are not skilled enough to do this, consider building an attached bookcase or placing a heavy piece of furniture in front of it to hide it.

ceiling tile

Suspended Ceiling Tiles

If you have a finished basement with a suspended ceiling you can turn the space between the floor joist into storage. Simply remove the ceiling tile, carefully as to not break it, and install shelves between the floor joists. You’ll experience the same issues as inside the wall but probably more congested as sewer and other drain pipes, heating/cooling duct-work and water lines all run inside these joists. If you remove ceiling tiles and encounter a lot of obstructions, put it back and go to another spot.

*** Floor joists will offer more room than walls because they are normally 2” x 8” or 2” x 10” and on 24” centers.***

A normal bedroom or hall closet can be used for food storage. Place a few boxes (containers) in the closet and have them clearly miss – marked. A bottom box of canned goods can be marked Xmas stuff while supporting real boxes of Xmas stuff. Or fill the box half way with food and finish topping it off with clothes.

An additional spot is above the door in the interior of the closet. Who looks there? Remove the drywall as in other examples, and store food in the vacant spaces. You won’t have to replace the drywall because chances of being seen are all but zero.


Fake Duct Work

Outsmart Them by Faking Them Out:

Maybe 1 in 100 people have the expertise to know a home’s systems well enough to know what is real and what’s not. And that 1 person will be focused on stealing food, not analyzing your sewer system. This offers you a golden opportunity to hide a vast quantity of food.

Your ventilation duct-work will be located either in the basement or the attic. You can construct a duct branch, however long you want, made from the same material and same appearance of the real ducts and store food inside it. You can store a lot of food in such a fake storage spot. Be sure to adequately support the fake as canned food is quite heavy.

You can do the same thing with your plumbing system. Drain pipes in the house will either be 3” or 4” wide. Even if they are 3” into the main sewer drain you can use 4” fake pipe and nobody will notice. Simply fill the 4” void of the pipe with canned goods, and place it onto the floor and secure it to the floor joist. Make sure it appears to go through the floor, concrete and wood, is plumb, and isn’t obviously out of place. They’ll never spot it if you do it right.

Do You Garden?

Another good place for how to hide your food is the back yard. If you have a garden this is an excellent hiding spot because the ground is already disturbed. Don’t shake your head. Burying food is one of the oldest ways of storing food. Early American history clearly describes casks and barrels of food being buried underground as a means to preserve it and/or hiding it from hostile Indians.


PVC Pipe

Dig a hole at a corner of the garden where a steel post can be inserted to appear as a fence post, or in the center of the garden where a scarecrow can be placed, in order to disguise the spot. Use food grade five gallon buckets filled with food and bury it. The container is leak proof and insects can not get in.

Another method is to take a 4” piece of PVC, fill it with food, glue caps on either end and insert into the ground. This pipe will fit nicely inside a hole you make with a post hole digger.

How to Hide Your Food in Plain Sight:

The soffit above your kitchen cabinets is a totally void spot. Remove the drywall, re-enforce the framework and install a bottom flooring. This can offer a tremendous amount of storage space. Either replace the drywall, finish and paint to match the rest of the kitchen or maybe wallpaper it, eliminating taping and painting.

Remove the toe plate from underneath the kitchen cabinets and you’ll discover an empty space for some storage. This space can be utilized for a diversion. Place food inside the void, but don’t reinstall the toe plate correctly. If looters spot this and find the food, they very well may think that’s all you have and will leave. Just a thought.

If you never use your dishwasher, or you haven’t replaced the broken one, use it for storage. Just be sure to disconnect the electric to prevent a well meaning in-law from turning the dishwasher on attempting to help with holiday dishes.

The washer and dryer can also offer space. Remove the backing, place food inside and re-secure the backing. Be sure that no food interferes with any mechanical movement of the appliance or you may have bought yourself a big repair bill.

Other Options:

If you absolutely don’t have enough space to hide food supplies, or live in an apartment, you can rent a storage unit at one of those self contained storage facilities. A 5’ X 5’ storage unit would hold a huge amount of non-perishable food.


Rented Storage Unit

Don’t overlook disgusting and diversion tactics:

  • Keep a weapon (pistol) in a water tight container and store it in the toilet water tank.

  • Build a cat litter box with a hidden shelf underneath it big enough to store a pistol.

  • Put a shelf large enough to place a pistol in the bottom of the pet food storage container and fill with pet food.

Don’t forget looters will be in a hurry. They want as much stuff as they can quickly find without too much problem and a fast get away.

  • Raise your bed onto blocks and store food under your bed. It’s not exactly inspector gadget hidden, but if they locate it, they’ll probably stop at that point, saving the rest of your cache.

Preparing for a crisis by knowing how to hide your food should be rather high on your priority list. However it’s only one element of a crisis management plan.


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2 thoughts on “How to Hide Your Food”

  1. This is pretty good advice – I would add though that temperature really matters when it comes to food storage, so bear that in mind!

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