Technically, a stash is any item which has been left on the Dungeon floor. In more common usage, however, a stash is a location in which a player dumps any items they do not wish to carry around at all times, but which may be useful later. Although there are arguments both for and against creating a massive, centralized stash for all your loot, all players will at some point or other need to drop items to open inventory space.
It's very easy to forget where you left a particular item as you explore. Fortunately, pressing "CTRL+f" brings up a search prompt which allows you to pinpoint where you left your things quickly and easily. This can be used to search for individual items (e.g. bread ration, +1 helmet), item categories (body armour, Maces & Flails, wand), and even particular resistances or intrinsics.
In earlier versions of the game, it was beneficial to create centralized stashes on certain levels, such as Lair:2, to prevent wandering monsters from picking up items or even destroying them. In modern versions of Crawl, this is no longer necessary.
Creating small stashes of surplus loot at central locations in the dungeon can still be useful before descending deeper into some branches. It's also a good idea to drop some of your stuff before entering a timed portal to prevent problems with a full inventory.
- In 0.22, spellbooks will be treated in the same way as gold, no longer requiring you to have them in your inventory or standing on them in order to memorize spells. This further reduces the need for stashing.
- Prior to 0.17, jellies could eat any item left on the floor, putting your stash in grave danger.
- Prior to 0.15, items could be destroyed through item destruction, forcing the player to risk losing items in the inventory or leave them behind. Also, items had weight and would eventually be too much of a burden for your character to carry. These facts greatly influenced how players chose what to stash and what to carry. Also, all teleport traps were permanent, and characters with stasis could use them as untouchable stash sites.