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living outside
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adam
hobbyist tinkerer


Joined: 16 Apr 2007
Posts: 2625
Location: Phoenix, AZ

PostPosted: Tue Nov 17, 2009 9:31 am    Post subject: living outside Reply with quote

I'm sort of directing this question for Steve (or Dave) but if you have the experience, please pipe in.

I'm slowly outfitting myself to do some overnighting in the woods. My gear is centered on minimalism, lightweight but what I need. I've slept deep in the jungle on a rack of bamboo, I've slept under the stars in a mountain near the snow in Hawaii, I've also lived on the top of a mountain in Arizona but I've never did these things, alone.

I'm planning to do my backpacking alone to challenge myself.

Have you ever overnighted alone in the woods?

What do I need to know in order to do this?

In one area, I'll be sleeping in a wolf reintroduction area and there are bears, mountain lions, elk and deer. In this area, I can't carry a gun nor do I want to carry a gun. Elk bugling is scary, sounds like bigfoot but I can manage by myself. I know I will be scared but I've never read about anyone dying from being scared from an elk. A bear I am concerned with. I'll be careful with my food and hang it high and far away from my camp.

Wolves, I have no idea about.

Mountain lions, the same.

There have been times where I was far from my car, a couple of miles into the woods and I got the "hair on the back of my neck" standing up feeling like I was being watched but didn't see anything.

I will carry a solo tent and a down bag, a stove and some eats. I like a fire, I'm not against having a fire in my little camp.

Should I worry?

I'm going to do this but I want to make sure I am armed with knowledge at a minimum.

Anything you guys want to suggest that I carry or know about?

I will be starting out in my home state, Arizona and then branching out.

My plan here is to walk streams with an overnight or two, point A to B type stuff, fairly remote but known and I will file a plan with my wife complete with maps and such, I'll be doing my homework but I'm just a little concerned and a tad scared to do this, thats why I want to do it.

I want to challenge myself.
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stevekiley
Maker: Steve Kiley


Joined: 07 Jun 2008
Posts: 832
Location: west linn or.

PostPosted: Tue Nov 17, 2009 10:46 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

hi adam,your biggest enemy is your own head,it can get to you when you are by your self,but you still have to be aware,but calm,if you are not calm you miss stuff,and yes if you had that feeling of being watched you probably were,when you get that feeling acnolage it and talk to it even if you cant see it and make piece,but i always have a wepon with me,you never know and you are on your own hook,no one to help,i have never had to use it but then some of the shady characters i have met in the bush have always bin verey polite when they see a 44 on my hip,these are the ones i worry about,as for your head ,i take a small native american drum with me and use it at nite,primal and good for my soul,but any musical instument helps,hamonica ect.thats it for now ,let me think on it some more,steve
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roycestearns



Joined: 22 Apr 2009
Posts: 246
Location: OC Oregon

PostPosted: Tue Nov 17, 2009 10:47 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Adam, this is cool stuff.
I've not approached your dedication to doing the solo trips, however my experiences with bears in the woods in the Sierras would say you have nothing to worry about with the Bears in AZ. Keeping control of the adrenaline and not giving into the flee reaction "triggering the chase instinct" is probably good advice.
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Carlin
Maker: Far North Rodsmiths


Joined: 12 Mar 2008
Posts: 442
Location: Alaska

PostPosted: Tue Nov 17, 2009 12:03 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I guarantee you that everything out there is more afraid of you than you are of it - except the dirtbags. That is what you'll need a gun for if anything.

If you are spooked at all just be sure you have a fire going and if there is a real chance of bear or cougar, make sure you keep you camp clean, wash your hands and everything else well after you eat and store any food related item (food, utensils, pots) in a bag hanging from a tree a little ways away from camp.
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Carlin
Maker: Far North Rodsmiths


Joined: 12 Mar 2008
Posts: 442
Location: Alaska

PostPosted: Tue Nov 17, 2009 12:13 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Oh, and as far as what to carry:

Rope (p-cord or whatever). A good, large size multi-tool. A suture kit. Iodine tablets. Waterproof matches. Space blanket.
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adam
hobbyist tinkerer


Joined: 16 Apr 2007
Posts: 2625
Location: Phoenix, AZ

PostPosted: Tue Nov 17, 2009 12:38 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

There is a unique store, not too far away from my home, "Drumbeat" and it serves the Native American craftsman. It's where I get my sage. Anyway, they probably have a little drum, I think that would be really cool. I used to play a Kalimba, they are small, a Jew's Harp is kinda neat in a twisted way. Twang twong, tweeng twang twong. But maybe use a little rhythm to soothe the soul, or harvest a bit of Peyote and play that kind of music, a vision quest?

No.

I'll leave the whiskey, spirits, my Valium and Ativan at home.


I'm going to need a sharp edge to keep a cool head.


But I like the idea of a bit of music around the fire and a little drum would be cool...


I've seen them small, easily packable.


Chris, I'm putting together a ultra-light kit, the list of which, I need to add in a bit of cord. The survival kit covers many things although I'm not planning to use it, I'll have a few of those items in case I am forced that way.


Ten feet of petite wire for a snare.


Truly, I think you guys have it right. It's going to be a mental thing. I remember laying in my bag a few weeks ago listening to elk in the distance, their crys sounding like what I would think a freakin bigfoot would sound like. Owls, little critters, I get what it is going to be at night in the woods but you step into a different realm when you are on your own, no one around, far from the road.

I want that.

I want to face it down on my own.
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stevekiley
Maker: Steve Kiley


Joined: 07 Jun 2008
Posts: 832
Location: west linn or.

PostPosted: Tue Nov 17, 2009 12:45 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

multie strand picture hanging wire makes great snare wire and parachute cord works well for deer,steve
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Carlin
Maker: Far North Rodsmiths


Joined: 12 Mar 2008
Posts: 442
Location: Alaska

PostPosted: Tue Nov 17, 2009 12:55 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Good Lord! I almost forgot:

Duct tape.

I always keep a good supply wound around my hiking staff/pole, the bottom of a couple of my tent poles and around my water bottle. Pretty much anything roundish gets a couple turns of duct tape for future use.
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adam
hobbyist tinkerer


Joined: 16 Apr 2007
Posts: 2625
Location: Phoenix, AZ

PostPosted: Tue Nov 17, 2009 1:02 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Nice, thanks Chris.

I have everything you have mentioned except the p-cord already on the list in the survival kit. I know I'm doing well.

I just want to do this, I'm really excited about it and when push comes to shove, I'm pretty sure I'll sleep like a baby out there.

Curious, what kind of multi-tool do you recomend? I like the Leatherman "Skeletool"
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Carlin
Maker: Far North Rodsmiths


Joined: 12 Mar 2008
Posts: 442
Location: Alaska

PostPosted: Tue Nov 17, 2009 1:15 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I have an old Leatherman Blast (?) that I love. Reasonably long, strong blade with plenty of extra tools - scissors, screwdriver, can opener - without being ridiculous. I'd lament the loss of some of that with the skeletool (like the clip idea though! I have one on a Gerber tool and its damn handy). Better too much than too little when it comes to tools and first aid kits.
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