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Check with your local building inspection department for code requirements. Frost line depth is an important measurement for all construction sites.

Our little Mutual Assistance Group has been conducting some experiments with this situation for a few years. Here are some of the things we have tried and the results. Our primary goal was to determine the best method of burying firearms. Since firearms are expensive (and sometimes precious) we used steel reinforcing rods and steel pipes as our firearms. We thoroughly cleaned the steel items with wire brushes in angle grinders. We then applied gun oil exactly as we would with a real gun after a typical cleaning.

Luckily we have a Ditch Witch with several different width shovels and the digging part was a breeze. For all of our experiments a 6" wide trench was perfect. We also tried different depths.

We checked our experiments on two week intervals. We purposely left the soil loose so that digging up our stash was not too difficult. This may have some effect on our results but we could not cover all the possibilities with our un-official tests.

1. Wrapped inside heavy duty garbage bags and sealed with duct tape. We squeezed as much air out of the bags as possible.
Results: Failure - moisture (condensation) formed after only 6 weeks and the Remington gun oil did not protect the steel at all. Rust started between weeks 4 and 6.

2. Steel rod sealed in vacuum seal bag.
Results: Very good protection. No rust after 1 year. Vacuum bag seemed to start to get brittle after one year and although we had no failures we think that the freeze/thaw cycle could break the bag after a year in the ground. Burial below the frost line would reduce this situation. Or possible double bag thickness??? There was some slight condensation evidence on the interior of the pipe samples and at the tips of the rod samples. This is where the vacuum bag left a small air pocket.

3. Same as #2 above but with 2 changes . . . desiccant vials inserted inside the vacuum bag with the sample steel piece and heavy coating of 90W gear oil.
Results: Excellent. No rust, no moisture in voids, no corrosion or rust after 16 months. We think we could use a light gun oil instead of the heavy stuff.

We tried several other methods but the vacuum bags were without a doubt the best. We also have a few actual long guns in vacuum seal bags with desiccant inside the bags.

We have a few 8" x 8" square vinyl tubes that we went dumpster diving for at a recycle center. We struck it rich after last spring's tornado ripped through a town not far from here. They have had long 20 cu. yd. dumpsters sitting out for contractors to throw their vinyl siding into for recycling. One day when my neighbor was there he loaded his pickup full of these vinyl tubes. They are 10 ft' long and we have learned how to do vinyl welding to weld ends in the tubes to make them water-tight. We also made a bunch of slip-on caps for removal when needed.

Our final design on our underground stash is this . . .
1. Thoroughly clean the rifle or shotgun.
2. Apply a little extra oil on all surfaces.
3. Slide gun into a looooooong vacuum seal bag along w/desiccant pouches and suck the snot out of the bag before sealing. Yup, we used a ton of bag material.
4. Bury the 8" x 8" vinyl tube vertically in the ground and deep enough that the top of the tube is 24" below surrounding soil elevation.
5. Carefully slide the bagged gun down into the tube.
6. Carefully slide a vacuum seal bag of ammunition into the tube.
7. Apply silicone caulk to the slip-on cap and slip it on.
8. Fill hole with soil.
9. Drive a stainless steel rod into the ground on the north side of the tube. We made 18" long stainless steel rods with a 90° bend on top to drive into the ground. We can quickly find the stash with metal detectors. We could use metal detectors to detect the actual guns but by burying the guns vertically we reduce the magnetic "footprint" of the gun and it takes a little longer to find our stash that way. The SS rods work much better.

Remember to bury your stash in a location where flooding will NEVER be a problem. Also, if you are very stealthy and worry about "the man" using metal detectors to locate your stash, gather lots of old rusty, broken, and useless farm implement pieces of steel, cast iron, or any other metal parts. Bury them in a scattered pattern around your stash, but not too near. The military uses metal detection technology better than anyone else on earth and they can find the proverbial "needle in a haystack" better than we can find our own mouth. Sometimes decoys can work to discourage them from taking a closer look. I know I would get tired of digging up old tractor parts.

One more thing. Sometimes the best hiding spot is under your nose. But stay away from roads and driveways as they will most assuredly scan for IEDs along the sides and all over the surface of roadways. Hmmmm, IEDs, that a whole other topic. But not here.

Good luck - I hope this helps.
 
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