Chests: Safely Stash Your Stuff
Whenever you head away from your secure shelter, there is always a reasonably high risk of death. Creepers, lava pits, long falls—they can all do you in. Respawning is only a moment away, but the real danger here is that any items you’ve collected and carry in your character’s inventory drop, floating in the air at the location of your untimely death. But they won’t wait there forever. About five minutes real time remains before they vanish forever. If the site of your death proves impossible to return to in that time, your hard-earned tools and supplies may be lost.
Chests act as an insurance policy. Put everything you don’t need in a chest before you embark on a mission, and those things will be there when you get back or after you respawn.
The natural place to leave chests is in your shelter, but you can also leave them elsewhere, perhaps as a staging point as you work away in a mine, or even outside. Mobs will leave them alone, and the only real risk you face is leaving them out in the open on a multiplayer server or getting blown up from behind by a creeper in Singleplayer mode while you’re rummaging around inside.
Chests come in two sizes: single and double. A single chest can store 27 stacks of items. Create a double chest by placing two single chests side by side. The double chest stores up to 54 stacks of items. Given that a stack can be up to 64 items high, that’s an astonishing potential total of 3,510 blocks in a crate that takes just 2×1 blocks of floor space. If you’ve ever followed the Doctor Who TV series, consider chests the TARDIS of storage! Or in Dungeons & Dragons terms, it’s a Bag of Holding. I show you a chest in one of my personal “hidey holes” in Figure 3.4.
FIGURE 3.4 A furnace at left and a storage chest at right.
Create a chest at your crafting table with eight blocks of wooden planks arranged around the outside, leaving a space in the middle.
Place and then right-click the chest to open. You can then move items back and forth between your inventory and the chest. In Figure 3.5, I’ve transferred all the items I don’t need for the next expedition.
FIGURE 3.5 Chests act as an insurance policy for your items so that they aren’t lost if you die. Use the inventory shortcuts you learned earlier to quickly move items between your active inventory and the chest’s storage slots.
Before you head out, you should know two other things: how to avoid monsters, and how to deal with hunger. Read on.