Constructing a Cache

“‘A proper place being selected, which is usually near the border of some stream, where the bank is high enough to be in no danger of inundation, a round hole two feet in diameter is carried down to a depth of three feet, when it is gradually enlarged, and deepened until it becomes sufficiently capacious to contain whatever is destined to be stored in it.’ They covered the bottom and sides ‘with sticks to prevent the bales from touching the ground, as otherwise they would soon contract moisture, become mouldy, and rot.’ When everything was ‘snugly deposited and stowed in,’ the trappers sealed the cache with ‘valueless skins.’ They covered the surface with beaten earth to prevent the ground from settling or sinking. The displaced soil was ‘carefully gathered up and thrown into the stream, and the cache finally completed, by replacing stones and tufts of grass, so as to present the same uniform appearance.’ Goods stowed in such a cache in a hard clay bluff would ‘keep [for] years without damage’—provided the cache was truly waterproof.”