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Old 12-09-2014, 11:42 AM
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I always wanted to try something like this, so this summer I had a bush plane drop me off in late June in the Kootznoowoo Wilderness of southeast Alaska, with a scheduled pickup for early September. I brought survival gear, but NO FOOD at all, only salt and pepper.

It was a challenging experience but extremely satisfying. I fished, hunted and foraged for wild plants and berries.

I have posted the journal of my trip, including many photos, here. I hope you'll check it out. I'd be happy to answer questions about the experience here as well. Thanks!
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Old 12-09-2014, 11:50 AM
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Amazing...looking forward to reading your journal. Beautiful pictures. I would like to be able to do that someday.
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Old 12-09-2014, 12:01 PM
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Fascinating and what an accomplishment.

I think you should win the SB toughest son of a gun of the year award.



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Last edited by txflyer; 12-09-2014 at 01:07 PM..
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Old 12-09-2014, 12:03 PM
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I'd like to read it but I flat out cant with such a "busy background"
With the words superimposed over the pix...
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Old 12-09-2014, 12:15 PM
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Thanks Bigfoot, txflyer.

Nomad, 2nd, what do you mean "superimposed over the photos." The text is next to the photos on any device I've used. Are you seeing it as the words actually on the photos?
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Old 12-09-2014, 12:20 PM
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Looks like fun. Nice pic's, I'll read it later.
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Old 12-09-2014, 12:46 PM
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Awesome. Seems like you bagged more food in one hour than Les Stroud has bagged on his entire TV show from episode one through the last episode.
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Old 12-09-2014, 12:49 PM
uphillbothways uphillbothways is offline
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No food ; didn't take long to take care of that problem. All that crab , halibut and venison could make anyone a rock star even when not in the wilderness.

Awesome that you were to able to have the time to experience such a thing. Very Cool !
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Old 12-09-2014, 12:58 PM
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I did find a whole lot of food, but it took a few hungry days to get "ahead of the curve" and it of course took considerable work as well to harvest all that food. It took me weeks to catch my first halibut, for example. And I'd expected salmon to be running at the get-go and there weren't any at first.

There was a considerable learning curve for me. Southeast Alaska is a different world than the ecosystems I'm familiar with. I'd never hunted blacktail. Didn't know how to fish the ocean. Didn't know most of the local edible plants.

Deer season didn't open until I'd been out there a month, and then it was bucks only. As luck would have it I could have shot any number of deer but it took a week to get the first good chance at an antlered buck. You can imagine how good that first deer meat tasted after five weeks!

That said, it was good country for "living off the land."
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Old 12-09-2014, 01:07 PM
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Very impressive!
Lived in Alaska for about five years, son was born there. Lots good times.
I go back every year to visit good friends, camp, fish and consume some good adult beverage.
You have done well, not many can or will do what you have accomplished.
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Old 12-09-2014, 01:17 PM
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Hey buck, next time you get a wild hair, check out a Hobie Cat pro angler. I think it would have been perfect for your mission.

My son bought one with the mirage drive and he's crazy about it.

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Old 12-09-2014, 01:29 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nomad, 2nd View Post
I'd like to read it but I flat out cant with such a "busy background"
With the words superimposed over the pix...
You're having a formatting problem of some sort. The page is very neat and tidy.
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Old 12-09-2014, 01:42 PM
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Very envious of you Buck3m! Looking forward to reading your journal.
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Old 12-09-2014, 02:00 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by buck3m View Post
Thanks Bigfoot, txflyer.

Nomad, 2nd, what do you mean "superimposed over the photos." The text is next to the photos on any device I've used. Are you seeing it as the words actually on the photos?
3rd times the charm.

Tried it 2x before I posted.
Just did again and it works.

Scuse me, I have some reading to do....
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Old 12-09-2014, 02:26 PM
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I am deeply entranced by reading your saga. It's awesome so far!

Early on you referenced canning food. You may go into more detail later in the blog, but did you can stuff over a camp fire? That's pretty wild to think of bringing your pressure canner, jars, rings and lids out into the wilderness and it is something I am very interested in learning more about. Please share all of the details? Pretty please?
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Old 12-09-2014, 02:46 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 13ella View Post
I am deeply entranced by reading your saga. It's awesome so far!

Early on you referenced canning food. You may go into more detail later in the blog, but did you can stuff over a camp fire? That's pretty wild to think of bringing your pressure canner, jars, rings and lids out into the wilderness and it is something I am very interested in learning more about. Please share all of the details? Pretty please?
Preserving food was going to be a big deal. For example, I really wanted to bag a deer and to have the option to keep a big halibut or to keep a bunch of fish while they were running. I needed to keep all the meat without spoiling, both for practical reasons and to avoid "wanton waste," which is illegal in Alaska and many other places. Drying and smoking was a possible option, but I needed the option of leaving camp. There weren't going to be other people to guard the operation (that island has the highest concentration of brown bears on the continent!) like there would have been in a village in old times. The canner seemed like the best option for one-person preservation.

I did all my cooking over a wood fire. Lots of grilling I did over an open wood fire, but all my pressure canning I did over a rocket stove.

With the canner, and rocket stove, it was similar to any other pressure canning operation. One blunder I experienced is breaking a few jars in one batch due to tightening the bands too much, I believe, and handling the jars over and over and over, resulting in hairline cracks.
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Old 12-09-2014, 02:52 PM
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Beyond impressive - especially as you are clearly no spring chicken. We lived for 3 years on Douglas Island - across the channel from Juneau and about 40 miles form you were - that whole place is pretty much infested with bears. We must have had brown bears at our place 4 or 5 times - had a nice encounter walking to work one day too.

I was wondering how worried you were about accidents ? It seems to me that being alone all you would have to do is make one serious mistake and you'd be in pretty deep trouble.

I'm also impressed with how well you seem to have done on the diet you had - I think I would have had a much tougher time without the carbs. I'm happy it ll worked out for you and very very impressed with what you accomplished.
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Old 12-09-2014, 03:15 PM
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Hi Buck, I just read your 70 day journal and have book marked your site for further reading. A truly amazing summer you had. Thanks for sharing.
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Old 12-09-2014, 03:18 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by buck3m View Post
Preserving food was going to be a big deal. For example, I really wanted to bag a deer and to have the option to keep a big halibut or to keep a bunch of fish while they were running. I needed to keep all the meat without spoiling, both for practical reasons and to avoid "wanton waste," which is illegal in Alaska and many other places. Drying and smoking was a possible option, but I needed the option of leaving camp. There weren't going to be other people to guard the operation (that island has the highest concentration of brown bears on the continent!) like there would have been in a village in old times. The canner seemed like the best option for one-person preservation.

I did all my cooking over a wood fire. Lots of grilling I did over an open wood fire, but all my pressure canning I did over a rocket stove.

With the canner, and rocket stove, it was similar to any other pressure canning operation. One blunder I experienced is breaking a few jars in one batch due to tightening the bands too much, I believe, and handling the jars over and over and over, resulting in hairline cracks.
If you don't mind, how exactly did you manage this? Can you adjust the temperature on a rocket stove and if not, how did you maintain the correct pressure for the appropriate amount of time? What brand of pressure canner did you use?

I'm asking because some of the videos I have watched on pressure canning using non-traditional heating sources have been failures, yet clearly it can be done. I would like to learn to do it myself.
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Old 12-09-2014, 03:28 PM
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Still reading, interesting journey! I grew up on Kodiak Island and would disappear for a week at a time when I was young. Folks knew where I was, so they didn't worry, getting a little too stove up to do that much anymore!

One thing that confused me, and I haven't finished reading this yet, but you have a couple of photos labeled Dolly Varden char. I couldn't really make out details but they all looked like Dolly's. Seeing as char is an arctic fish, I am assuming a typo?
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