aluminized mylar bag for shipping. This provedto be the perfect material for my purpose. Idiscovered that with a warm iron I could fusethe edges of this material into a custom-fittedairtight bag for the rifle. I placed each individualcomponent of the partially disassembled rifle inits own custom-made mylar bag with a smallbag of silica gel desiccant to absorb anymoisture present. Using my shop vac and aniron I managed to produce a professional-looking vacuum-packing job. The barreledaction, stock, trigger assembly, hand guard,magazines, scope, and mounts all went intoindividual bags.Since the rifle was so heavily preserved I knew I would need something to degrease it withwhen I finally retrieved it so I included two small cans of 1-1-1 Trichlorethane in the package.Also, since a rifle is of little use without ammunition, several thousand rounds of .223 wereincluded. Because every well-maintained rifle needs to be cleaned and oiled occasionally, Iadded a cleaning rod, patches, Hoppe’s #9 solvent, gun oil, grease, and owner’s manual. Aset of reloading dies was included as well. If dire circumstances required me to retrieve myrifle I wanted to be sure that I would have everything at hand necessary to put it into service.All of the individually wrapped components were sealed together into a larger mylar bagcustom-made for the purpose along with a couple more medium-sized bags of desiccant. Afew bags of ammo were taped to the side of this bag and the entire thing was wrapped in ducttape. Additional ammo was packed into zip lock freezer bags.With everything prepared I was ready to loadthe pipe. I first put in a large bag of desiccantfollowed by several bags of ammo, followed bythe bag containing the rifle and supplies. Sincethere was some empty space surrounding therifle, I dumped in some loose ammo just to fillthe voids. More bags of ammo were thenadded to fill the pipe. Since I had a tank ofnitrogen available, I also purged the air fromthe tube with the nitrogen before sealing it. Thiswas undoubtedly overkill but I had it availableso I used it. I took extreme care while using thePVC solvent to insure that the caps wereperfectly sealed and watertight. Finally, Ipainted the pipe black, and at this point, 15years later, I’m not sure why.I loaded the sealed pipe in the back of my truck and drove up into the woods to the downedhemlock tree previously selected. With a post hole digger I dug a hole about six feet deep anda foot in diameter in the center of the crater left by the root ball of the tree. After gently placingthe pipe in the hole, I carefully pulled the tree upright using a chain attached to my truck. Bythis time the tree had died and most of the needles had fallen off. Once returned to vertical itwas pretty stable and a little dirt and debris shoveled around the edges did the trick. In anyhealthy, well-managed forest there are always a few standing dead trees, so this one wouldnot arouse the curiosity of anyone who hunted or hiked there.
Here is the top of the pipe uncovered with the nooseand winch attached.The pipewas carefully sawn open to reveal that itremained watertight after 15 years underground.