Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Survival/Camping trip plans-Summer 2010

Yesterday I took my uncle to the local gun show just to get us both out of the house. Of course, I am in no situation to buy much of anything, but it was something to do, and my uncle has been talking about it since I mentioned it to him 2 months ago. much as it killed me to go practically broke, I picked him up and we went. I haven't been to this particular one in 10-12 years, but for him it was more like 25 years. WOW were we both in for a shock!
The place was absolutely packed, even though we didn't get there till after 1pm. We were at the very first booth when my uncle spotted a rifle he has wanted for years, a genuine COLT civil war era musket. For me, the $3k price tag is far out of reach, but for him it isn't. He took the guys card so he could think about it for a few days, but called me today to say he wants to make the call and go get it if I drive him to this mans house, lol. Good for him. We were talking on the way back, and the conversation somehow went to a great uncle of mine who had passed away several years ago. After he died, the family found over $250k in savings and cash that no one knew about, and my uncle was telling me how sad it was that he saved it for all those years for nothing. I told him it was the perfect example of why he should go ahead and get the rifle. He saw the we'll be making that trip later this week to go get it. I'm happy for him.
Anyhoo....back to the show. Both of us were absolutely floored by the prices of everything. It's been some time since I've had to buy any ammo since I have so much here, at the folks, and ready to reload. Prices are nearly double what they were the last time I had to buy any 45acp or 9mm, I was honestly in shock. Gun prices were insane, of course making me sick to my stomach about what I sold when I divorced 13 years ago, and what I sold them for...not to mention remembering what the prices were in the early 80's when I worked at that Woolworth store. Those chinese AK47's I had bought there, (and sold later) for $195 were selling for over $600. Everything I had owned at one time was 2-3x what I had paid for it back then. I spent most of the day walking around and looking, all the while wanting to kick myself in the ass for selling everything I used to own. That stickershock is still with me.
My uncle got 2 boxes of ammo, a few small things, and some beef jerky that he loves. I ended up finding a large ALICE pack for $20 on my way out. It's a complete military surplus backpack with the metal frame, shoulder straps, and waist belt...a GREAT deal for the price. I wanted an XL pack, but I can make a large do for what I need. I had a fully set and rigged XL, stuffed full of gear, but it was one of many things I left at the house when I left my ex wife, and of course, she made no effort to make sure I got it back. Ah well,lesson learned. I have this one now, and spent some time last night and a little tonight packing it with some essentials that I want/need in it.
Years ago when I was in my teens, I used to "escape" to the woods behind mom and dads place all the time. Sometimes it would just be for a few hours, sometimes for a day, and other times for a few days. I had a cheap nylon backpack that I would fill with gear I thought I would need, grab a .22 rifle, and dissappear. Sure, it wasn't like walking into the Amazon jungle, but still I used only what I had on my person and on my back with roughly 1000 acres around ms. I ate wild berries, wild greens, drank from a stream, and ate squirrel and rabbit. Not many people knew what I did, simply because most would have thought I was insane, and my dad would have flipped at me shooting game out of season. I never took anyone with me, and no one ever knew when I was going. Usually I made something up about spending the night at someones house, or later spending a few days with the current girlfriend at the time. It was a bit different later in my 20's when I had to ditch my car somewhere that no one knew about, but I always managed to find a spot. With my car well hidden, and no one knowing where I was, it was all too easy to disappear without a trace.
I loved those times. I had a small one man tent that I would pitch and cover with limbs and brush somewhere it wouldn't be found. I used a sleeping bag inside, though most nights I didn't need it. Body heat and the thick cover kept the inside of the tent very warm. I'd spend the mornings enjoying the surroundings and watching nature. Sometimes I took a book to read, other times I took a notebook to write my thoughts, and sometimes I had both. I always managed to find berries for breakfast, and had TANG to drink with spring water, though later that of course turned to coffee, lol. I'd set off mid afternoon to find greens and game, and sometimes snatch an ear of sweet corn from one of the nearby cornfields. I always ate well. I had an abundance of grapes, blackberries, raspberries, greens, apples, and many other wild edibles to choose from. I never took anything but salt and pepper to spice my game with, but I knew early on to toss some apple or other leaves on the fire for a wonderful smoked flavor. Back then I used matches or a lighter for starting fires, though once or twice I used a magnifying glass. I always came back from these little outings feeling totally refreshed, and almost always regretting having to come back. I quit those trips when I was married the first time, somewhere around 1994. I missed those trips and still do. So that brings me back around to getting that ALICE pack.
I'm going to do one of these trips again later this spring. I have a little bit more extensive of a supply list than I did back then, which is pretty funny considering the minimal amount that I got by with before. Now with reading so many articles, websites, forums and books on survival, I tend to lean toward a more extensive list, and a few fancy little gadgets, which make me laugh considering I normally "shun" modern gadgets. More than likely, I'll take a gadget and and old alternative and test one versus the other, like a magnesium firestarter vs a magnifying glass or flint & steel. When I first started thinking about getting back into these little treks away from the world, I had no consideration of using the experience for anything other than for myself, but I plan to take plenty of notes and possibly pictures to use here and on the facebook group I started as a sister site to this blog.
I have most of the gear I want or need for this trip, but there are a few small things I will need to get. I don't have any date set yet of course, but it could be next weekend or it could be in August...who knows. Thinking about it has gotten me pretty excited, even more on the way home yesterday with the new pack. Sitting here putting gear in the pack at the same time I write this post gets me even more giddy to plan it out and set a date. I'll figure it out sooner or later as always.
I know that I have a majority of readers that will not understand at all why I would want to do this, afterall, most of you are gardeners or homestead types. Thats me too, but as I said in a post a while back, I am much more. I miss those little getaways I had years ago. I miss the serenity. I miss the peace. I miss nature. Spending a weekend or a week alone in the woods is so much more rewarding than an afternoon stroll, or even a weekend at a campground. It's heavenly to me. I want to see and experience that again, and of course, I want to be able to make sure I still have what it takes to survive with just the basics. If I could do it 16 years ago, why not now??????? I guess we'll all find out.
Since I'm writing this over the course of 3 days, I can say that the pack is nearly complete. I made a list a few months ago when I first planned on doing this little trip, and listed everything I thought I would need. It contains: a tarp, sleeping bag,flashlight with spare batteries, 2 good hunting knives, hatchet, compass, water filter and purification tablets, first aid kit, book, notebook & pen, raingear, spare wool socks, toiletry kit, folding shovel, simple cook & eating set, 2 canteens, 2 firestarters, pack of matches, tinder, rope, paracord, Gerber multi-tool, insect repellant, folding camp saw, handwarmers, trash bag, superglue, spare boot laces, jacket, binoculars, and a few small odds & ends that I can't think of. I need to get a smaller tent somewhere since my smallest one is a 4 man dome, and I need to get the sling installed on my Marlin 25 .22 rifle. I have a small list of non-necessities that I may or may not grab also: MRE's, small campstove, small perculator, a lantern, and a radio. I doubt I will grab any of those, but I listed them just in case. More than likely I won't take a radio, but I will have my cell phone for emergencies and just so anyone can reach me if need be. (with my parents and uncle being older, I don't want to lose that option) I'll probably take the HI Point .45 with me, just on the very very off chance I get coyotes wandering around camp at night. The .22 would work just fine, but the .45 would be easier in case I was inside the tent. Yea I know, coyotes aren't vicious lol but I'm taking it anyway.Maybe there's an Ohio Yetti that I have never seen before...hey ya never know, hahaha.
I'm considering bringing a friend along since he's taken an interest in the idea, but I'm not sure. On one hand I would like the company, but on the other it would be a great opportunity for me to head out and clear my head in nature for a few days by myself. I'm still kicking that around. Enough for now, this is far longer than I intended.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Holy! That sounds like you had a great time back then. And your list sounds like survival gear for sure, everything you need to survive if something happens. I don't have half that stuff.

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