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Old 12-09-2014, 03:39 PM
ppine ppine is offline
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Buck,
Congratulations for living the dream.Thanks for the journal. How many months a year do you think the Island would be feasible for making a living? You were there at the prime time, what about other months?
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Old 12-09-2014, 03:46 PM
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Wow I loved reading this. Very detailed, I felt like I was there. Way to go.
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Old 12-09-2014, 03:57 PM
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U da man!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
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Old 12-09-2014, 03:58 PM
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Nice job, I haven't read it all yet, but I hope to.
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Old 12-09-2014, 04:01 PM
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Very cool! What an adventure.
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Old 12-09-2014, 05:09 PM
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ppine, I was thinking about that, how many months a year a person could live out there. One big factor, of course, would be the law. But if civilization had melted down that would change things of course. With what I had I could probably have survived for quite a while but it would have been really uncomfortable in the winter months when it got cold and much, much wetter. If I were stuck there I'd start working on a cabin right away and stocking up firewood.

AKSurveyor, the char vs dolly vs trout thing is confusing. That's why there's scientific names. Dolly Varden are, scientifically, char. Sort of like brook trout. I grew up fishing them. Didn't know what a char was, but they are actually char.

13ella, I almost was going to say that I didn't have any problem using a rocket stove for a heat source, but that's not quite accurate. There was a learning curve. When I got it dialed, it worked very well. Those stoves burn wood very efficiently, and put the heat right where you want it, and also are the stand for your canner, of course. I've got a gear list, here. It shows what I had for canner, stove, tent, and so on. I gathered firewood on nice days and stored it under a tarp. I found that moderate amounts of wood, of a moderate size, worked the best, allowing sufficient fuel and good air flow keeping the fire hot. There is of course a "sweet spot" for the correct amount of heat, but the stove had no trouble keeping pressure up when used properly. I'd try to keep just a little excess heat, to make sure I maintained pressure. Excess heat just vented.

kochevnik, the carbs issue was real. I realized I was on an extremely strict Paleo Diet. I lost about 20 pounds, but I think I had leveled off on weight loss. Actually I didn't have a whole lot of problem in craving foods, but when I did it tended to be things like fresh bread, aka carbs. I was hoping to get more carbs in the form of berries. I definitely ate many quarts of berries, but they were much harder to come by than I'd anticipated.

I was definitely aware of the importance of not getting hurt. I was especially careful about not having a boating/water accident. People first think of bears, but I think the cold water was much, much more dangerous. One example of how my risk analysis changed my behavior is I didn't climb the nearby mountains to hunt blacktail like I would have otherwise. My thinking: if something happened to incapacitate me, it might be weeks before anyone came looking for me. There were some bucks near the coast that time of year, so I was just patient and eventually got my buck.
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Old 12-09-2014, 05:10 PM
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I knew it !!!! I knew those pix were taken with a Leica lens !!!! I have 4 ZS3's , a ZS7 and a FZ35......U know what ur doin.....wink.
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Old 12-09-2014, 05:16 PM
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Just finished your blog postings, wow, is all i can say...Thoroughly impressed....Thank you for the vicarious trip to Alaska and your adventure....
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Old 12-09-2014, 05:21 PM
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Amazing. You gave me chicken-skin (in a good way). Men like you give me hope for the future.

I didn't see you mention any children. Boy howdy I hope you are procreatin'. We need more like you.
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Old 12-09-2014, 06:49 PM
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Woohoo! I already have an All American canner. Now I just need a rocket stove.

Thanks, Buck! Now I have another internet crush.
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Old 12-09-2014, 07:29 PM
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Buck, I am unbelievably jealous of your stay on Admiralty Island. That was a GREAT read! Thank you!
Let me add that the gear you took along was extremely well thought out.

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Originally Posted by AKSurveyor View Post
....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?
Dollies (Dolly Varden), Arctic Char, Lake Trout, Bull Trout and Brook Trout are all technically "Char".
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Old 12-09-2014, 10:50 PM
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Lucky dog. I've thought about doing this myself a few times.

Tag for when I can hunker down and give it all a good read!
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Old 12-09-2014, 11:16 PM
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Is there any tool you wished you would have had with you?
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Old 12-10-2014, 12:41 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by buck3m View Post
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!
I have questions:

1. How much did this whole thing cost you? Did you calculate? You probably had alot of the gear already I assume of course.

2. What do you do that would allow you to take off work for that long and are they hiring lol?

3. Will you ever do a trip in Dec through Feb weather?
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Old 12-10-2014, 02:06 AM
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Im interested in the cost as well..im sure it took many days of planning. Great read!
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Old 12-10-2014, 02:42 AM
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Buck > 5 star journal. Well planned, thought out & executed trip.
Thanks for posting in such specific detail.

Was born in Alaska & reminds me of the times I spent in my younger years on Montague & Hinchinbrook Islands.

Surprised you did not have herring jigs along with you.
Edible & great halibut bait.
No red snapper?

For Carbs, we used Bisquick for pancakes & biscuits.
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Old 12-10-2014, 08:08 AM
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Thanks everyone!

jeremyv, that's a good question, "is there a tool I wish I would have had?" Actually a satellite phone would have been extremely nice to have. Not to call people up to chat, but so people wouldn't worry when I was out of contact for so long. Some type of good glue like Aquaseal or Shoe Goo would have been really nice to have. That needs to go on my list for remote trips. Seems like waders or boots or something will start to leak eventually.

Two people asked about cost. I didn't tally it up. The major expense was paying for the flights to, and from, the area. My other biggest cost was new gear for the trip. I bought a pressure canner, and rocket stove for example. Once I was out there there was no way to spend money. That cut my spending considerably! If I did the trip next summer, and happened to live in the area, it would cost hardly anything now that I'm geared up for it.

I didn't have to get permission to take time off work because I'm self employed. I was a career smokejumper before.

Personally, I wouldn't purposely do a trip to that (rain forest) area in the December to February time period without a cabin. Too cold, dark and WET.

bunkerbuster, nope, I didn't have herring jigs. I would next time. Being an inlander there were some things I just didn't know. Salt water fishing was something I was trying to learn as I went.
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Old 12-10-2014, 09:43 AM
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Buck,
You are a smokejumper. That explains a lot. One of my closest friends jumped out of Redmond, Or and later became a slurry bomber pilot.

Could you spend a little more time talking about the difficulty in foraging for plants as a food source? August is a great time to be looking for berries in Southeast. I worked on the Mainland east of Ketchikan and remember finding berries once in awhile. It takes a lot of work to really add calories to your diet from plants. The longer you are out there, the more important they become in providing nutrients. Even so they seem like an opportunistic way to add calories to the diet.
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Old 12-10-2014, 09:46 AM
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Really nice done! Enjoyed viewing the pictures and a bit of text!
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Old 12-10-2014, 11:31 AM
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In actuality, they dropped you off in the wilderness with food all around you.
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