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A stash is a repository of items that a player leaves behind in the dungeon. Players can carry only a limited weight, and without a container only a maximum of 52 items plus gold and a loadstone.

Using containers

Monsters are quite capable of picking up and using any items they come across. To prevent this, stash items in a container.

A simple sack is sufficient to stop monsters looting your items.

A heavier container such as a large box is more likely to stop a troll picking it up. On the other hand, the extra weight makes it less convenient if you decide to move your stash around.

A chest is heavier still, and also waterproof.

An ice box is the only container that gelatinous cubes will not engulf, destroying the container (but not its contents) immediately. Any item can be stored safely inside an ice box—corpses will not rot, potions will not freeze, etc. Ice boxes are extremely rare, comprising 0.5% of all tools, and may need to be polypiled or wished for.



The following information pertains to an upcoming version (NetHack 3.7.0). If this version is now released, please verify that it is still accurate, then update the page to incorporate this information.

Monsters can access the contents of unlocked, untrapped containers (other than a cursed bag of holding). (Intelligent monsters with unlocking tools may be able to unlock containers in the future.) This can make securing a stash harder.

Since monsters cannot access the contents of a container, securing your stash really only involves three things:

  • Storing your items in a container instead of on the floor.
  • Using some method of preventing monsters from picking up the container itself.
  • Keeping it safe from gelatinous cubes.

The most direct way of preventing monsters from picking up your stash container is to simply make sure it is too heavy to carry. Dragons have the greatest carrying capacity of any monster and can carry 3103 weight units. Therefore, placing 311 or more rocks into a stash container will ensure that no monster in the game can pick it up.

Locked doors

Placing your stash in a room with locked doors will prevent most monsters from ever finding it. Some monsters can get through doors though, or dig through walls; and monsters can always spawn inside the room when you're elsewhere on the level. Putting your stash in an isolated closet will minimize the chances of this happening.

Scrolls of scare monster

The following information pertains to an upcoming version (NetHack 3.7.0). If this version is now released, please verify that it is still accurate, then update the page to incorporate this information.

Scare monster no longer works on uniques or @ monsters.

Most monsters can be kept away from a square by placing a scroll of scare monster on it.

Pets can additionally be deterred by placing a cursed item on the square.

Prior to NetHack 3.6.0, it was also possible to protect any square with an Elbereth engraving by placing an item on top.


The other way to restrict monster movement is with boulders. You can surround your stash square with boulders (a scroll of earth is handy for this purpose) and then either push the boulders aside to gain access or get inside with a controlled teleport. However, the same effect can be achieved much more easily by pushing a single boulder on top of your stash. This does not damage any items, and the number of items on that may be hidden this way is unlimited.

Boulders will protect the stash from most monsters, including gelatinous cubes, but giants and titans can pick up boulders and move them. Boulders can also be shattered by ranged attacks like force bolt or a wand of striking.

Paranoid security

Basic security protects your items from nearly all threats, but paranoid players can go several steps further.

A heavy chest with a boulder on top of it can only lose items if a giant picks up the boulder, then a gelatinous cube engulfs the chest, and then that the items are lost somehow after the cube is killed. If the stash is also next to the stairs on a level you visit only to use the stash, such as Sokoban level 1, this is practically impossible.

A chest with any sessile monster on it is incredibly secure, but inaccessible without killing or moving the monster. A tame blue jelly might work very well.

An oilskin sack underwater is also perfectly secure, provided that there are no swimmers on the level who could pick it up and that you can get to dry land immediately after looting it.

You can store items in a pit and push a boulder on top of them. This makes the items totally inaccessible, except for you and monsters which are trying to flee by digging a hole in the floor. You will need a new boulder each time you want to cover your items after digging them up for retrieval. Organic items underground will rot, and will need to be placed in a container. All containers apart from ice boxes are themselves organic and will rot when underground.


Sokoban is a particularly good location for a Wizard's stash.

A stash of useful items or spares is best located in a convenient place that you can return to later to retrieve your items without having to traverse too many difficult dungeon levels. If you have controlled level teleport, almost anywhere that is not deep in a branch is convenient.

In the early game, before you can perform basic stash security, the Minetown light shop might be a reasonable location. Even if a monster does dig down the walls, they are repaired quickly. Plus, you will be returning past this location on your way back up from Mines' End. Alternatively, when first exploring the dungeon, consider leaving items next to stairs before descending. Monsters do not act while you are off the level, so the items will still be there when you return.

The Castle or the Valley of the Dead are popular stash levels, as they both generate immense amounts of loot and have abundant chests. The Valley also has a temple, but it is unaligned.

Another popular stash is the first level of Sokoban, as it can be branchported to directly with the Eye of the Aethiopica, spawns relatively weak monsters, and is close to both the Dungeons of Doom and the Gnomish Mines where there are many shops and altars. Additionally, once you have completed Sokoban, you have no reason to spend any turns there out of sight of your stash; this makes it extremely unlikely that the monsters that can interfere with your stash have any opportunity to do so.

Some players prefer to keep their stashes on levels which can leave bones files, so that if they die, their next attempts have a chance of encountering those items.

Some players prefer a greater degree of organization during long games, and so use several stashes, or even separate stashes for each object type (such as potions, rings, and wands).

Additional uses


If your stash contains only junk, then perhaps it does not need security. That pile of cursed weapons and armor would not help monsters much anyway. Such a stash might be useful next to an altar, to dispose of the items dropped by numerous monsters killed for sacrifices.

Some junk, such as discarded weapons, may still need some basic security to prevent monsters using the items against you.


If you have a wand of polymorph, polypiling is a great way to make use of a stash of otherwise useless magical junk.

This page may need to be updated for the current version of NetHack.

It may contain text specific to NetHack 3.6.0. Information on this page may be out of date.

Editors: After reviewing this page and making necessary edits, please change the {{nethack-360}} tag to the current version's tag or {{noversion}} as appropriate.