A while ago I did a complete strip down of my Mossberg 590 shotgun and noticed there was a hollow in the rear of the stock behind the recoil pad. I didn't give it much thought at the time but a friend of mine recently asked if I could come up with a way he could carry a basic survival kit that didn't involve putting things in his pockets or carrying any more than his multi-tool, pocket knife, and shotgun (he has a 590 as well).
After trying to figure out how to incorporate a survival kit into his bandolier sling without a lot of success I got to thinking about that little hollow in the stock and came up with a very basic kit that includes fire starting, basic first aid, water purification, cordage, repair, navigation, and food gathering.
After you remove the recoil pad you will see the little hollow in the stock. I put everything inside a quart size Zip-Lock bag, arranged everything so it would be as small as possible, sealed the bag and placed it in the stock. It will take some trial and error to get everything in just the right place but once it is in it is just a matter of attaching the recoil pad tightly and you'll have a fairly water resistant basic survival kit with you where ever you take your shotgun.
Step 1: Cordage
I was able to fit just under 20' of Type III Mil-Spec 550 cord into the kit. I could have added more but by wrapping the stock but the idea was to have everything contained inside the stock.
Step 2: Fire Starting
I added a Mil-Spec, Military Issue Fire Steel and 3 Tinder Quik Tinder tabs in as well for a small fire starting kit.
Normally I have 3 means of starting a fire (lighter, matches, and firesteel) but since space was very limited I opted for a fire starting method that is easy to use and long lasting.
Step 3: First Aid
A very basic first aid kit is included that is comprised of, you guessed it, Band-Aids.
I am a big fan of fairly comprehensive First Aid kits but with such a small space I just couldn't fit anymore in.
Step 4: Water Purification
I included an 18”x24” piece of Heavy Duty Aluminum Foil for boiling water and 3 Clorfloc Water Purification Tablets.
Step 5: Repair
I was able to fit about 5’ of 100mph tape (duct tape) tightly wrapped around a small piece of bass wood, a small needle, button, and a couple of safety pins into the kit.
Step 6: Navigation
A small glow-in-the-dark button compass is included for emergency navigation.
Step 7: Food Gathering
I wound 150’ of 50# test braided nylon line (it has the same diameter as 4# test monofilament line) around another small piece of bass wood and added a couple of small hooks and split shot sinkers.
The line can also be used for repairs to gear or clothing using the sewing needle or for emergency sutures (again using the sewing needle).
I also included a pre-made snare wire for small game.
Step 8: Conclusion
Everything in the Zip-Lock bag and ready to go into the stock, bag first with the Type III 550 cord on top.
As you can see it is a very basic survival kit but something is better than nothing and if you want something that is going to be with you whenever you grab your shotgun and go out in the woods then this little kit might be for you.
I look forward to seeing your comments and as always, Train to Survive!
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