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A few pics from my BOL in East Texas. setxfireman Wilderness Survival, Hiking and Camping Forum 35 01-16-2017 11:27 AM

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Old 01-07-2019, 09:46 PM
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I don't understand what could possibly motivate you to do this but I hope it goes well for you.
Same opinion here. East Texas Piney Woods are not benign and pastoral.

It is wet, hot, vermin infested, and aggressive.

I have my BOL there. With strong skills and a sturdy structure over you it can be a survival paradise, but mainly because it is so fecund and it resists interlopers. But you are trying to be an interloper.

A pack of feral hogs being agitated could end up with multiple dogs and people in the ER. Many local people are poor and that makes some aggressive, so when they see a group vulnerable they will act. They are also very territorial, including on what they don't really own. Past usage in their youth makes them see you as an invader using what they got to use. Harassment, intimidation, and vandalism aren't uncommon until you get their face with a land deed, gun, and local law enforcement. Your vehicles are going to suffer even if no animal or person messes with them. Over a year the chance of no humans or animal goes to nil. The bugs are brutal there and the wildlife are all savvy opportunists. The flora isn't always benign either. Locust trees with dagger like thorns, fire weed, brambles, hogweed, thistles, and a host of plants can put you in the ER. Muddy ground, burrows, sink holes, and animal dens means even the ground itself is out to get you. Summer is hot as hell. Winter is windy and biting. And you will always seem to be wet. So will your gear and tools that will suffer from it.

I know what I'm doing there and the thought of a year outdoors there makes me cringe. I'd rather try a year outdoors in the desert.
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Old 01-07-2019, 10:05 PM
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Originally Posted by IamZeke View Post
Same opinion here. East Texas Piney Woods are not benign and pastoral.

It is wet, hot, vermin infested, and aggressive.

I have my BOL there. With strong skills and a sturdy structure over you it can be a survival paradise, but mainly because it is so fecund and it resists interlopers. But you are trying to be an interloper.

I know what I'm doing there and the thought of a year outdoors there makes me cringe. I'd rather try a year outdoors in the desert.
Me, too. My BOL is in Wood County which is mild compared to some places in the woods.
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Old 01-07-2019, 11:16 PM
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Originally Posted by PoorRichard05 View Post
Me, too. My BOL is in Wood County which is mild compared to some places in the woods.
Mine's over in Sabine. Wetter and warmer. Plus the locals have basically a half barter economy. Full time paying regular jobs are rare outside of a .gov or utility gig. Tourists and government checks are the biggest source of actual cash. Stores are small and expensive. So everyone is trading, wheeling, and dealing favors, services, and local goods. It's both cool for the fact they won't crash the economy in a disaster, but it also has everyone looking for an angle to exploit. Everyone needs a bit of lowlife hustle attitude to get by. The actual lowlifes there are pushy and aggressive because they are on comfortable ground. It took time, attitude, and the odd threats to be accepted by the good folks and put the scum back on their heels. No way I would want to try my first year of that in a tent around a campfire.
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Old 01-07-2019, 11:19 PM
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I have a great deal of experience in the woods as well in NC and VA. Hunting season finds me in them for weeks at the time. Yes I could live deep in the woods for a year - do I want to - NO. Just make sure you know realistically what you are capable of, both physically and mentally. Maybe watch the flick “Into The Wild” before doing so, and get lots of extended hands on experience. Personally I have about 35 years of experience, very friendly with the locals, and have a pretty nice though primitive hunting cabin at that particular location. No indoor plumbing, but a good water source, bunk beds, gas heat and 2 unit range top. Even with that, a year would be a bit much without having to be there for reasons out of the norm. Once again, go into it slowly gaining knowledge and experience - not just relying on books as you go.

Also do you own this piece of wilderness or have the permission of the owner? Just another consideration.
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Old 01-08-2019, 01:15 AM
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I am now starting year 4 of living in rural eastern Oklahoma. The property had no buildings when I bought it, so I lived the first 2 months in a tent.
Then I had to spend time and money to improve my access drive, before I could drive a 4wd pickup all the way.

My advise is to spend some money building a pole barn with a metal roof and bug netting right away. Yes, I understand this is not your land and the building will belong to the land owner. It will be money well spent anyway. Build a cheap pole barn, install a wood stove, and bring in several water storage drums.

After spending two winters living in a pole barn, we finally have a nice house built, with line power, a well, wood heat, and a propane stove.

Ps, don't worry about the wild hogs with your dogs around, but the pack rats will build a nest on your car engine, and chew up the electrical wires.
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Old 01-08-2019, 02:21 AM
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OP: first a sketch of my experience so I'm not just "some guy on the internet"

8 years combat arms Marine (Iraq etc)
I've lived out a seabag, out a car, motorcycle, airstream (included several 6 month+ periods boondocking offgrid) and currently have lived in my off grid house for over 3 years. I've slept outside several years of my life between Boy Scouting, Corps, motorcycle trips, camping, kayaking, etc

Right now I'm sitting in my $500 teardrop trailer in West Texas watching netflix. Stopped by a military base (retiree) to use the gym shower.... Know a little about making due and balancing cost and comfort. (I 'm parked next to a $100k van camper... Just need to get my shower system done and I'm golden.)


Why do you want to do this?
Write a book? If your buying things monthly, and no talk of a job....It's not to save money.

If you get a tent you'll get a $2k+ canvas one and put in a wooden floor.
Like all hunters etc. I've done that.

Might as well build a shack for a couple grand... Leave it for the landowner.
Bout the same cost, MUCH better lifestyle.

Rainwater collection from the roof will reduce what you have to haul.
Get a sheet metal wood stove (can move it inside in winter)
And a simple 2 burner propane stove.... 1-2 of the 20 pound cylinders will give you a years worth of cooking if you also use wood.

Paint a 55 gal barrel black, put it up on a stand you make that the roofs downspout goes to..... SHower.

Sawyer bucket filter will do you for water. No need to get the million gal ome. The $20 100k gal one you can get a bucket kit for.

BEans, rice and fish will SUCK.

sprouts, garden, etc

Way your describing g your going to end up wasting LOTS of money on these "monthly trips"

You want the propane so you can easily pressure can
With no fridge\freezer.... Don't cook, can
When you get a hog, lots of fish etc can pints or quarts. Preservation will make things much easier.

REALLY bad idea to do this while having so little knowledge your asking such basic questions.
I could do this, but would be "unfun" would

And with no end game\goals.... I predict expensive failure.
(Again, why?)

I moved to the Ozarks because I'm from so far back in the La swamps that when I was 10 I didn't know how to ride a bike, but I had my own canoe..... But it SUCKS in summer.
As has been said.... Is not so it there. I have an AD I haven't run in 3 years.

Wanta bet you'll bail by August?
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Old 01-08-2019, 02:23 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by East Coast Woods View Post
I have a great deal of experience in the woods as well in NC and VA. Hunting season finds me in them for weeks at the time. Yes I could live deep in the woods for a year - do I want to - NO. Just make sure you know realistically what you are capable of, both physically and mentally. Maybe watch the flick “Into The Wild” before doing so, and get lots of extended hands on experience. Personally I have about 35 years of experience, very friendly with the locals, and have a pretty nice though primitive hunting cabin at that particular location. No indoor plumbing, but a good water source, bunk beds, gas heat and 2 unit range top. Even with that, a year would be a bit much without having to be there for reasons out of the norm. Once again, go into it slowly gaining knowledge and experience - not just relying on books as you go.

Also do you own this piece of wilderness or have the permission of the owner? Just another consideration.
Below is what she told me in a previous post when I asked if her family owns the land. Very difficult if it was public land to camp and live in one place for a month or more much less a year. Most areas people would be told to move or some places even get arrested.

And I have driven thru NC and VA in the early 1980's when I got out of college. Very interesting and almost the opposite of most western states. I mean never have seen so many trees all over a state and the Smokey Mtns were great although I did not take the time to camp etc. in them.

I also have wondered about real wilderness in many states. In the Rocky Mtns there are vast areas of National Forest and some areas large pure wilderness with no towns, no roads and barely a trail.
They are congress designated pure wilderness areas. One begins one mile south of my mtn land. Not sure if any pure congress designated wilderness in Texas?

Edit: I just found a very long list of wilderness areas in the USA. Looks like 5 in Texas. > https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_o...lderness_Areas

And this link tells details of the 5 in Texas.
Pretty small wilderness areas compared to some of the big western states though. > https://tshaonline.org/handbook/online/articles/gkw04

Thinking more about this it seems like it is not legal to camp and live for a year in a designated protected wilderness? So more likely it is in a National Forest? Possibly the fairly large Sam Houston National Forest?

I hope the OP will tell why they wish to do this for a year. Could be several reasons.
Some of my reasons I must finally move to my mountain retreat / cabin / camp BOL site, hope to permanently, are I am very tired of society, too expensive, I have owned my land since 1987 and I must move there before I get too old to work and Live up there. I know of no better place to camp and live in a wilderness like area.
I also know most of the neighbors up there within 3 miles although they are only up there sometimes during the summer, mainly on weekends.

And here is the quote which the OP / Jroos, told me about who owns the land >

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Originally Posted by Jroos View Post
It's private property with 250+ acres. It's a friend of a friend, and they were kind enough to offer. I will add solar showers and shower tents to the list. Thank you! Especially for those links, I will use them all.
I've seen a lot of people say they have propane stoves, is that really a necessity? My hope was to not have to deal with propane/gas. I also really like the idea of only using a campfire for cooking, but I haven't even thought about if it rains.
We would have a solar battery charger or something for walkie talkies and flashlights. I think walkie talkies might be nice so everyone can have their own camps and some privacy.
My husband and I dream of a mtn place one day, we just can't afford the land currently. Eventually we want to have a sustainable home (earthship) and lots of land to live off of.
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Old 01-08-2019, 03:09 AM
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OP:

You can find land here in the Ozarks for ~$1k\acre.

My home cost <$50k (including cistern, and solar)

Or:
https://www.survivalistboards.com/sh...d.php?t=818394


You can certainly find more productive ways to spend a year.
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Old 01-08-2019, 05:05 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mtnman Mike View Post
Looks like 5 in Texas. > https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_o...lderness_Areas

And this link tells details of the 5 in Texas.
Pretty small wilderness areas compared to some of the big western states though. > https://tshaonline.org/handbook/online/articles/gkw04
While Texas was still a nation every bit of the land was deeded out. There are public land because of a few reasons. Land not utilized for too long and went into state trust, including a lot of mineral rights. Later the state formed its university education trust and one trust feeds the other. That trust land isn't for camping and recreation. It's for mineral exploitation leases by private contractors. So at that point there still was no open land for public use unless a municipality made a park. Finally the Feds said you have to offer something for the campers and nature lovers. So between some state funds, some donations, and some sweetheart deals we set aside a few small areas.

There are no huge national forests and monuments you can play in. Heck, we barely have any Indian land at all either. Feds and the state have a few middling sized areas put aside for fragile ecosystem conservation that you stay out of unless you are LE and conservationists. The state also has a lot more tiny areas to further the conservation cause. We actually have a very robust conservation and wilderness protection system that is well funded and well administered. But almost all of that is patchwork and covers a lot of private land.

Private land is almost all you can find here. The camping and outdoor sport industry almost always has a private owner and vendor involved. There is enough out there that outdoor sports types find plenty to do. But we don't have big hunks of space where where people can demand they get to hang out on public land owned by the body politic. You pay up or strike a deal with a private owner or they throw you out on your ear, typically with a sheriff deputy or game warden behind them.

Hunting for a public park in my state to camp for a year? That's what New Mexico is for. It's a great place to enjoy the outdoors, unless you are a squatter. Going to school to be a park ranger? Better plan on moving out of state when you graduate. Our park rangers have a different name....land owner.

When you deed all the land out before the Feds get to muck with it, like they did out west, then there isn't a lot leftover.
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Old 01-08-2019, 06:35 AM
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Idont know if I missed it above, what is your sleep arrangement ? In a tent, with sleeping bag on ground ? Just Curious, sounds like a year is a long time first time out . You did mention, you have your vehicles ,with in an hour
of your camp site.

That sound like a plus , would it be possible ,to get one of the vehicles to the camp site ? Just thinking, if one of you has a medical emergency .
If one of the vehicles is a 4x4 , I imagine that would be the way to go.
Or possibly the property owner, has an ATV you could rent or buy it from them.
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Old 01-08-2019, 12:46 PM
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Originally Posted by IamZeke View Post
Mine's over in Sabine. Wetter and warmer. Plus the locals have basically a half barter economy. Full time paying regular jobs are rare outside of a .gov or utility gig. Tourists and government checks are the biggest source of actual cash. Stores are small and expensive. So everyone is trading, wheeling, and dealing favors, services, and local goods. It's both cool for the fact they won't crash the economy in a disaster, but it also has everyone looking for an angle to exploit. Everyone needs a bit of lowlife hustle attitude to get by. The actual lowlifes there are pushy and aggressive because they are on comfortable ground. It took time, attitude, and the odd threats to be accepted by the good folks and put the scum back on their heels. No way I would want to try my first year of that in a tent around a campfire.
That's true where I am, too. Almost everyone has some type of a side gig. Out of necessity. Good jobs are very hard to come by.

Didn't mean to come across as so negative but I am certainly wondering about the motivation of the OP.

If it were me I would do that in Colorado which has a better climate and private camping sites with showers that are relatively cheap.

I have some walnut and white oak growing on my land which is why I own it in the first place. Wouldn't want to camp there for even one night.
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Old 01-08-2019, 03:51 PM
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Our motivation for doing this.. Hm. Well, it's a long list of things. My husband and I aren't "peppers" yet, but we want to be prepared when/if something detrimental happens. I am interested in sustainability and it seems like there's no better way to become "one with nature" than living in it. My friend likes to call the idea "Jesus boot camp". This is one way of becoming closer to God and nature all at once. That's all I really care to share with everyone.
I know this is going to be hard, we are just starting the planning process. We have plenty of time to save money and prepare for it. We aren't planning on just up and leaving society for the wild life, this is a process. We don't expect this to be easy or fun, but I think knowing how to live off the grid- survival style- is very unique and useful knowledge.
I'm not a big fan of bugs, but that's just something I will have to get over. Like I said, we eventually want to live off of our own land one day as we build a house. I can deal with bugs and snakes and the such.
I will get vests for my dogs, and I will work on hardcore training them as we get ready.
I'll add a gas stove to the list, it will be a wise investment.
I still need to look at our budget to decide what guns we will have, but I will look at shotguns, rifles, and handguns. I dont have much knowledge of firearms currently, but I plan on educating myself.
As for housing, there is a house on the land nearby but it's for other people. Maybe some sort of airbnb, I don't really know. That's where we would park our cars and hike from. Our cars wouldn't make it all the way to the camp site, sadly. They'd probably be about an hour away.
I plan on buying a canvas tent- or something like it. Any suggestions on brands? I need to dog nail-proof the floor so we don't have to keep fixing holes in our floor, maybe I'll do wood. I don't think he'll allow us to build anything on the land other than maybe a small wood shed to keep our supplies in.

Thank you to everyone giving actual advice. You are much appreciated.
I have no problem answering questions about specifics, but if your whole response is about why I shouldn't do this- don't bother. Some random dude on the internet isn't going to dissuade me or anyone else.
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Old 01-08-2019, 03:56 PM
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You will be miserable in tents in any sort of serious weather. Why not build a real shelter? Even if you just use that shelter as a shell for your tents, you will be better off.
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Old 01-08-2019, 06:12 PM
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One thing you might consider which could potentially save you a lot of trouble is to go down there for a short visit to see for yourself what you are actually getting into.

It could be alright but it could also be a swamp. You didn't mention how far south you will be but there are also gators closer to the coast. Go see for yourself before making a huge commitment.

Best of luck.
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Old 01-08-2019, 06:42 PM
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I built a 24ft x 24ft pole barn to shelter my livestock last year. It took me three days to complete working alone.

The poles, rafters, and roof metal cost me $800, and I recycled metal from an earlier building damaged by wind for the walls.

A good budget for building this from all new material is $1200. I used a tractor with a pto anger to drill the post holes, cordless saw, drill, and a ladder.

If I were planning to live in a similar structure for a year, I would leave one entire side open, and add a couple screened windows openings to allow cross ventilation.
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Old 01-08-2019, 06:57 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jroos View Post
I know this is going to be hard, we are just starting the planning process.
Planning simply isn't enough for a place like this.

This place requires experience. You have to build up local skill and acclimatize.

Plus you have stated limitations that you can't overcome. You can't be an hour away from your ride out. Between the snakes, bugs, spiders, critters, and plants you might need an ER in 20-30 minutes. And your vehicle to get there absolutely must be in a high state of readiness, not left fallow over yonder. I actually expect that a year's trip might need several ER visits before you are done.

Rent a massive camper? Have a structure built with 4 wheel powered vehicle access? Lease an ambulance helicopter and pilot?

Those would be the kind of plans you need if you refuse to acclimatize first.

Try a week first. Then a summer month. Then a rainy winter month. By then I'm sure that you will abandon the idea, but at least you'll have an inkling of what you will face.

I respect you not wanting to elaborate on your full motives, but no reason is good enough for slow suicide. Not even Nature Jesus.
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Old 01-08-2019, 07:06 PM
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You may wish to look at sleeping in hammocks, at least during the summer. That way you are off the ground and away from the critters. Most of my camping friends use hammocks for that reason. I have one, but have not had opportunity to try it yet.

I don't know where you are coming from, but I can tell you that I came from Hampton Roads, Va and thought I knew what humidity was. I am probably closer to the Gulf than you will be but summers here (June through August) are 98-102F with 90% or greater humidity. I call it living in a sauna. Drinking lots and lots of water is a must. I learned that too late and now have kidney disease.

Learning to be a "survivalist" is not quick and easy. I have been trying to learn and stock my pantry here at the homestead for many years, and I still don't have a clue. Growing up in the 60s & 70s, I wanted to go out and be Grizzly Adams. Seemed easy enough. I know how to garden, fish & how to shoot. But that is TV, and reality bites.

Speaking of, plant a garden where you are to learn & practice. Get a good book, purchase some jars and a pressure canner and learn the art now, before it is vital to your survival.

On thing else, I would suggest that you get your firearms education and make your purchases soon, while you still can. The is a wave of laws flowing that will begin to make that harder and more expensive as time goes on. The left coast and the Northeast folks are feeling it already......


I hope you do it and I hope you are successful. Keep us updated.
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Old 01-08-2019, 07:11 PM
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Been my experience fabric tent floors don't hold up. I have spent several summer's and weeks at a time during the winter in tents.

Cross draft ventilation and bug screens are nice features. An extra tarp/plastic over the rainfly. Paraffin the zippers. Seam seal/lock all the stitching after the new tent has been pitched for a few weeks. Stake/screw it to the ground really good in at least one place - more is better.

A tent you could live in for a year will be heavy - game cart is the hauling answer.

Find the local food and help it flourish. Transplant, cutting, seeds what ever you can do to help make more of the good things you or critters like small game eat.
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Old 01-08-2019, 07:19 PM
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Would you be able to get to the camp with a 4x4 ?
If you could, I would sell the cars and get a Jeep or small 4x4 truck.

If there was an accident in camp could you carry the victim a mile to the car ?
I'd suggest a Deer cart or similar to haul a hurt person or supplies if you can't get a vehicle to your camp.
Do you have any training in First Aid? If not, contact your local Red Cross to check out some classes.

Anyhow, Best of luck as it will be tough.
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Old 01-08-2019, 07:50 PM
randolphrowzeebragg randolphrowzeebragg is offline
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The whole thing depends on the kind of people you are. I've lived for several months in a tent at a pseudo-NATO base in Norway where food was alpo and powdered eggs, water came in courtesy of a buffalo, and bathing was done out of a steel pot standing naked in freezing weather. Most guys hated it, but those of us who were kind of workout fanatics looked at it as a challenging experience that we'd remember forever. We figured if we could take that and smile we could take anything, but one thing's for sure, the more times we did it the easier it got.
Spending two months backpacking on the AT with it raining every day and your toenails peeling off while living off of oatmeal, pop tarts and noodles isn't fun, but it's a fantastic experience that makes me smile whenever I think about it.
If you're the kind of person who likes challenges and thinks discomfort will make you stronger, you'll enjoy about anything you do. That doesn't mean that you go into something like you plan to without as much preparation as possible.
If I were you, I'd start hitting the weights hard and doing some serious aerobic training, because as a famous philosopher once said, "fatigue will make you a coward." As another one said "pain is good, and extreme pain is extremely good."
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