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Old 01-08-2008, 09:36 PM
RageKing RageKing is offline
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Default Living off the land in the mountains



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Hello. I have recently had the grand idea that I am just going to leave society and "live off the land", maybe somewhere in the Tennessee or Carolina mountains. I was just wondering if there is anyone who lives maybe in those particular areas, and lives like this, without holding a "regular" job and is more or less self-sufficient. And I was wondering how feasible a proposition it is, especially since i know little about hunting or trapping. If there is anyone who could give me any pointers, I would appreciate it. And I shall continue to comb the forums for info. Thank you.I do have enough money saved up to invest in a small piece of land and a small cabin.

Last edited by bogdan; 01-16-2008 at 02:56 PM.. Reason: Complete posts and remove duplicate
Old 01-08-2008, 09:59 PM
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I've known guys who hunt year round. They use 22's to shoot deer in the eye's, on cloudy nights. Clouds help muffle the sound. They live year round on canned deer meat.
Eventually you would probably take odd jobs or become a entrepreneur.
It would be a positive experience.

Eric Rudolph:
Rudolph was first identified as a suspect in the Alabama bombing by the Department of Justice on February 14, 1998. He was named as a suspect in the three Atlanta incidents on October 14, 1998.

On May 5, 1998, he became the 454th Fugitive listed by the FBI on the Ten Most Wanted list. The FBI considered him to be armed and extremely dangerous, and offered a $1,000,000 reward for information leading directly to his arrest. He spent more than five years in the Appalachian wilderness as a fugitive, during which federal and amateur search teams scoured the area without success.

It is thought that Rudolph had the assistance of sympathizers while evading capture. Some in the area were vocal in support of him. ...

...According to Rudolph's own writings, he survived during his years as a fugitive by camping in the woods, gathering acorns and salamanders, pilfering vegetable gardens, stealing grain from a grain silo, and raiding dumpsters in a nearby town.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eric_Robert_Rudolph

acorns and salamanders = Bear Grylls
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Old 01-08-2008, 11:39 PM
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I think it would be better to do it a little at a time, get yourself used to it. Consider how far you really want to go with it. It's not as easy as it sounds.
There are many things that you simply HAVE to do, no matter how hard things get. Just a few;
Find or grow food.
Maintain a safe water supply.
Find something to keep yourself warm (most likely firewood).
Maintain your equipment and home.
Keep yourself sane. It can easily get lonely and boring.

It is very rewarding to know that you are partly independent of modern society or partly "living off the land", whatever you prefer to call it. I would imagine it would be even more rewarding to be completely self sustaining.
By getting into it a little at a time you'll experience less shock from loosing the things that you have been dependent on all of your life.

I don't know if that will help you any or not. Hope so. Lots of things to consider.
Wish you the best of luck with it.
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Old 01-08-2008, 11:43 PM
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That definitely does help. Thank you. And you're probably right, gradually would be a better way to do it. There's definitely a lot that depends on chance, too. Like weather conditions, finding animals to hunt, etc.
Old 01-08-2008, 11:54 PM
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Move to Eastern KY and try to find a job, you will learn to do something.
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Old 01-09-2008, 01:31 AM
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i used to live in northeast tennessee/southwest kentucky, and its nice land and definately possible to do what youre thinking. i recommend you become experienced in hunting and trapping, and take a wilderness survival course if youre going hardcore out there.

also, you already posted this thread in another section. im sure youll only need one.

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Old 01-09-2008, 05:12 AM
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I believe mountains will don't give you a proper place for long term self sufficient. In mountains you will deppend of hunting and fishing (if available). Try to find some hills (better a valley), under 3000 feets hight, with a LOT of wood and maybe a lake. I believe that will provide you game, foraging options and a good chance for agriculture. And if a lake is available, fish and other water food (birds, clams, crayfish, water plants).
Will be perfect if you will find something with a hot water pond (will provide a good climate and free heat during winter), even the risk of vulcanic activity is bigger.
My 0.02$,

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Old 01-09-2008, 08:27 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by survivalman2012 View Post
choose an unpopulated area where you can be at least 50 miles or so from anyone if you can.
That's one of the biggest challenges, IMHO. Long ago, civilization claimed all the best climates. The land that is unpopulated now is only unpopulated for one of two reasons:

1. It is too harsh to live comfortably in.

or

2. Preservation laws have been established forbiding anyone from living there.

I would love to just pick up my gear and go live in Yosemite, but how long do you think it would be before the park service arrests me? And heaven forbid if someone saw me walking around with a hunting rifle!
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Old 01-09-2008, 08:50 AM
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Definitely ease into it and learn as you go. I lived in Alaska for 14 years until my work brought me back to Texas again. I saw a lot of people that had the same idea as you come up there and figure they would just play Grizzly Adams. Most had little to no skills or experience. After one winter they headed back to where they came from. The idea of a cozy cabin in the middle of the woods is definitely romantic. But the realitiy of the situation is that I cut and split 13 cords of wood a year to keep it cozy. That beautiful snow you see outside has to be shoveled away after each snowfall so you can get to your outbuildings. It takes a lot of work to gather and put up enough food to keep you going all winter. Also while you are working on your survival skills, you need to start working on a skill or two that can bring in some cash for the things you cannot gather or make yourself. In addition to your skills, start putting together the tools and equipment you need. It is much easier to do this when you have some cash coming in and have the time to find deals. Much harder when you need the item immediately and have to pay top dollar to get it. Dont get me wrong, your idea is right on the money in my opinion. Easing into it by following a step by step plan will increase your chances of success. Good luck.
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Old 01-09-2008, 09:13 AM
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reetired and went back home to La. have family land with runnin water(spring) and lots of game.used chainsaw instead of axe to biuld cabin and still damn near killed me.think long and hard study up on area and skills needed,ease into it ,and------keep your day job
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Old 01-09-2008, 10:22 AM
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This too is my dream... but I too plan on easing into it! After we get our land, that gives us a planned 5 years to pay it off, and learn, learn, learn. Also preparing to "retire" from my 9 to 5 after that. I hope we can do it. And I hope you can too! (I'm in TN, in the mountains btw, above 2800ft, soil is good and fertile, and productive!)
Old 01-09-2008, 10:48 AM
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I am currently dividing my time between an apartment in town where I do tech work and spending a majority of my time working on a ranch and rebuilding my cabin on 44 acres in the mountains. It is very possible, but it is NOT easy. It is not the easy life.

I would suggest you do this if you are running TO the mountains and not away from society. Unless you have a legitimate, passionate love for the wilds, you will become discouraged and probably back out. I am very fortunate to get along VERY well with my neighbors, and they are frequently calling me up and asking me to do the same three things: Fix electronics, install heaters and gas lines and repair solar system components. The only one I had done before was electronics repair. You'll find your place if you have enough skills and enough confidence to apply them.

However, if you are trying to leave the city more than you are trying to get to the mountains, you will probably break eventually at the constant hardships; blocked roads, threats of fire, wild animals killing your stock, bad hunting times.

I would strongly suggest you go the route I did. While still living in the city and making tons of money doing freelance work, I was able to work two days in the city and then spand five in the wilderness, camping, playing and learning.

By the end of about two years of doing this, I could head out with no pack and only my leatherman, a lighter and a water bottle and have a grand ol' time. Because I had spent those two years doing two things. First and foremost, I had learned almost everything I could eat out there. Secondly, I had advanced my knowledge of two essential bushcraft skills: Making cordage and making fire. Once you learn cordage, beds and shelter are easy. And once you know how to make fire, shelter is sometimes completely irrelevant.

Seriously, a gradual approach to this is not only easier, it is nearly essential if you hope to make it. But I cannot emphasize enough that you must be doing this because you are drawn to the wilds, not because you are driven away from the cities.
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Old 01-09-2008, 10:52 AM
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Agreed... I love the area where I plan to get this land. I could just go and sit there for hours upon hours enjoying the peace of it all. But I know I've got to learn how to live there. That's a lot different than visiting.
Old 01-16-2008, 12:00 PM
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im from tennessee and these mountains are very rugged and game is scarce right now but this is an ideal place. there are places here you don't need to buy land and a cabin if you truly want to be self sufficent there are plenty of bluff and rockhouses to make shelter and save your money and trade supplies and salt with farmers and small stores as needed. when i finish with college in about 2 years i aim to take off and live in the backwilderness for a few months or longer if i see possible. the best thing about here is that there is plenty of water sources.
Brent
Old 01-17-2008, 02:24 AM
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its all well and good doing that when your young but as you get older it really gets alot harder to do. i would think the best place to be is 1/2 way on the grid and 1/2 off the grid but capable of going totally off the grid when you need to. 100% liveing off the land is a VERY hard life and it only gets harder with age. and to be in the mountains OMG have you seen those mountains i would hate to go hunting there and have to track a deer 1 mile(my luck it would run down hill and i would have to drag it back up hill) you might want to take a 4 day weekend go camping there and and hike out into the mountains about 20 miles and come back see how you like it. i know the mountains is not where i would want to be. the foothills yes but not the mountains
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Old 01-17-2008, 09:28 AM
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Yall have heard me repeatedly talk about the ranch I work at and my bosses? They moved up here a few decades ago, and while they are far from living a spartan existance in the wilderness, they are 100% off the grid. It is VERY difficult. Strong winds wreak havoc with the solar panels. Pipes burst in the cold, cars stop running, roads deteriorate, branches fly through screen doors. Every spring and fall the insulation under the enclosed decks needs to be put up or taken down.

As they prepared to retire, they kept looking for someone capable of keeping up with it all. Then I walked through. So my job is to make sure they can continue to keep doing their thing as they get older. Heck, just the tri-monthly adjustment of solar panels would be impossible once real old age sets in.
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Old 01-17-2008, 12:54 PM
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In a post event world it would be impossable to live of the land as what little there was to begin with would b e decimated by the hords migrating out of the cities. Competing now will not be like having an extra 200,000 or more in the same area even if they do not have good skills they and the cats and dogs they let go turning feral will strip out any game or food around. At best the entire continental United States could substain 10 million if the current wild life and wild lands were not wiped out.
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Old 01-17-2008, 06:54 PM
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If you can cut it,more power to you.It might be nice if the area you were in had gold deposits,where you might be able to pan for extra money.
Old 01-17-2008, 08:42 PM
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Get some land/acreage outside of town. Keep your day job. Put a house in the middle of it. You'll have the best of both worlds. Try that first.
Old 02-04-2008, 04:38 PM
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It's a good dream to have and I hope you can succeed, I myself have the same type of dream... I want to build a log cabin on a mountain lake and be mostly self-sufficient on energy, water and food but I don't think we can ever stray away from the need for money simply because you need it to get supplies and get you all setup... You just can't make solar panels or ammo from material in the wilderness...
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