This is a pretty long-winded topic to be honest; there are so many ideas that spawn out of each and so many pitfalls.
Let’s start off by talking about player stashes because they existed previously in DayZ thus are the easiest to discuss and don’t have as many possible issues. What do I mean by stashes? Well a stash is somewhere that you hide items within the game world that you can come back to later. That is unless somebody finds it.
My idea of stashes within DayZ would be the ability to use a shovel (already in the game) to dig up part of the earth and place items into the hole then cover it up. These items could be anything, including things like mountain backpacks. The mound of dirt would be visible if you were looking for it and would be size appropriate, so if you buried a Mosin it would be the shape of a long barrel while a mountain backpack would have more volume to it. The more spaces the item takes in your inventory the longer it should take to bury. Not entirely different to the small stashes in DayZ, just more intuitive and easier to use.
Buried items should get damaged over time, there are two reasons for this: First is they would be hard to spot due to grass coverage and so many possible locations, they could never be found. Second is this isn’t meant to be a permanent hiding spot, oh and it makes sense buried items degrade over time.
Alternatively if you don’t want your items to degrade you could stash them in buildings, such as up a chimney, in a cupboard (closed), in bins, etc. Since these locations are among areas players would be looting it is probably best they are not visible and must be searched for. So these stashes would be easier to relocate, not require a shovel and not cause damage to items.
Now for the fun part, booby-traps. If only you had a remote camera to watch that greedy loot goblin raiding your stash’s face as they get blown back to Bambi town. Obviously this would be an abused feature, so in order to be balanced players should have the option to sweep possible stash locations for traps, which would either take a substantially longer period of time or some sort of item such as a bomb/metal detector.
Just like stashes, the safer storage locations should have risks too. To make things a lot more interesting I’m going to harp back to my article about settlements and suggest that storage locations are let out to players (in exchange for either a currency or barter) by settlement owners, offering both the space and protection.
The twist here is that settlements are prone to being captured by another clan/group and they might just decide to commandeer your precious loot, or worse still the settlement could be destroyed by a zombie horde. The more well protected and trustworthy the settlement is the more expensive their services might be, since they have higher upkeeps.
All of that is well and good but remember those pitfalls I mentioned? Yea… well, here’s the thing. As much as I love the thought of all the above, and how much better it is than vehicles full of loot hidden in the far-reaches of the map. I really hate global storage and I doubt I am alone in that, being able to re-gear instantly practically destroys the whole ideal of DayZ.
There is a way around it though. If the storage locations are far in-land, impossible to get across without some decent gear, at least a few hours’ work, then the downsides of global storage aren’t so bad. In-fact, I’d argue in said world the far north practically becomes a catalyst for all-out war, since it becomes an area full of well geared and stocked players. This is the perfect environment for settlements to be high risk/reward and highly desirable.
All of this isn’t far from a fantasy, to see these kinds of features in DayZ would require at least three more years of development and possibly even heavy modding.
Despite everything I’ve said, I still prefer a DayZ without global storage.