Chests: Safely Stashing 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. While your new life when you respawn is only a moment away, the real danger is that any items you’ve collected will drop from your character’s inventory at the place of death. You’ll have about five minutes of real time before they vanish forever. If the site of your death proves impossible to return to, your hard-earned tools and supplies will be lost.
You can think of a chest 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 at a staging point as you work deep in a mine, or far afield outside. Mobs will leave them alone, and the only real risk you face is leaving them out in the open on a multiplayer server where they can be ransacked by other players, or that you could get blown up by a creeper while you’re rummaging around inside.
Chests come in two sizes: single and double. A single chest can store 27 stacks of items. A double chest, which you create by placing two single chests side by side, 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. Figure 3.4 shows a chest in one of my personal hidey holes.
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 the chest and then right-click it to open it. You can then move items back and forth between your inventory and the chest. In Figure 3.5, I’ve transferred to the chest 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.