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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I am writing this hastily so please forgive the rambling tone:

Over the past few 5+ years I have toyed with the idea of making the travel to my family's property in Colorado and make a go of living out there, you could say it is my life dream as I don't see myself ever being truly happy in society and not being surrounded by untouched wilderness and peace.

I am no outdoors expert by any means but I am a quick learner and I am going prepared with enough calories to fully feed myself through winter (I plan on setting aside money to restock right before winter, hopefully I can get a kill when hunting season comes around), and then supplementing via gardening/preserving/trapping/hunting/fishing in the spring and from then on.

(I'm settings aside 500,000+ calories just for 6-7 months of snowed in, rice, beans, pasta, some canned foods/veggies, flour, cornmeal, oats. That's about 2,300 calories a day, which should be sufficient as I will not be very active and will likely spend most days well insulated and writing. If I kill anything that is just a bonus and I will dry/salt it and make everything last a lot longer, into spring. I am a small guy, hoping to pack on 20 pounds of muscle/body weight before winter to come in at 150/160 at least. I will likely need 3000+ calories/day when active.

I will leave aside another cache of money for resupplying in spring, and hopefully I can make some small cash selling firewood/handyman/ranching for family. I would love to raise rabbits/chickens but I'm unsure if I could find a market for the rabbits (sell them live, as live sales are unregulated, butcher for free after sale) and how I could keep chickens alive in winter, if it was possible. It drops to around 10 degrees in the winter at times.

I have family close by and they are offering me use of their cabin till I get settled (Through winter I am going to hope I can use it, obviously I wont have time to erect a shelter able to withstand snow levels at 7000 ft. The cabin has a natural gas line with stove/heating and a well. The well requires a generator but I am hoping to some way establish a manual option or a very large water tank. In winter I suppose I could just boil/filter snow. There is water rights so in fall/spring/summer I could fill drinking water there and hike it back) My cousin has expressed interest in assisting me, coming up from his home to the cabin, and he could teach me the land, hunting/skinning larger game(I've hunted and skinned small game pretty well, rabbits, squirrels), game trails for traps, etc. I don't expect to get much accomplished except getting up there and settled before winter blows in, and i'll pretty much hunker down and pump out the novels (I love to write novels and hope to sell some in the future. I believe that is a pure settings for a clear head and I believe I could churn out some great stuff out there.)

I follow some practices of Buddhisim, including meditation, and I believe that could help me get through a likely very rough first winter. I have a very strong resolve as well, I have been through many life events in the past year (moves, breakups) and I feel stronger for them, not downtrodden or overwhelmed. I faced each issue head on and came out on top every time, and I believe with enough planning and all the damn advice I can get, I can get through the winter and prosper come spring.

I have amassed a small library on health to gardening, survival manuals, hunting/skinning books and a numerous literary and science texts. I hope to keep my mind active and sharp, and my body. I still worry about the isolation but believe I will be okay, as I do expect to be checked out/visited by family, hopefully during winter. I am planning on getting a radio but don't have a lot of expendable money but I at least hope to maintain a link with family, as they are only a few miles away, in case of injury, sickness, onset of madness, food issues.

I am not bringing a firearm, only a bow and arrow, not by choice but expense. My family is armed and I am hoping we can kill a elk for me using my tag, for winter.

I cannot be talked out of it, as I'm already committed, but any advice is welcome and that is why I posted this whole story. I'm hoping with guidance from family and others I can succeed.
 

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"This is my Boomstick!"
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Welcome!

Sounds like you have the right mindset. If at all possible I would like to recommend that you shop around for a used .22 Rifle for hunting small game. I am sure you could find one for under $175.00 and would be well worth every penny spent in the long run.

Come spring that will help put more food on the table for sure.

Wool blankets and clothing come to mind when roughing it through the winter.
 

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i assume there is some rivers or streams near your location.. i would sugest fishing lines and gear....maybe some lines you can set out and check if the weather is good..it would get you out of the house and some excercise..also a shot gun would be good for birds and small game also load some slugs for bigger game . also look into a smoke house for smoking meats instead of salting .cause salted food is not the best tasting. and look into traping also. ..but great idea
 

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I love reading these types of posts. It really makes me think of the things I would do to plan and practice in an endeavor like this.

I am no expert and expect some of the well versed/experienced to chime in the next 48 hours or so.

Here are some of my thoughts off the tomp of my head:

-THink of every possibe scenerio that you may encounter, good and bad, and think your way through how you would overcome each one. You can think these issues out over the course of the next several months so you go in as prepared as possible.

-You mentioned that you have a cabin to stay in the first year/winter. What about after that? I think it would be very difficult to live long term as you are the following year in anything other than a well thoughtout cabin of some sort.

-No firearms. You need to at least get your self several firearms. I would suggest a 6' revolver in .357 mag and a .22 cal bolt action rifle. You can pick these up for dirt cheap and still have some reliable small game hunting and self protection means. Go to your local pawn shops and scoure them for good deals. People will disagree with me but I wouldn't risk possible hunger and self defense on an archry setup. Get instruction and be proficient with said firearms and make sure to get the appropriate amount of ammo to last at least a year. 200+ rounds of .357 and 2000+ rounds of .22 cal.

-I would be sure to have a good quality set of tools (hand, construction type; gardening, manual wood working, some basic mechanic tools, wood cutting, etc.) Basically anything that you think could be used to repair a cabin, water supply system, some small engine maintenence, etc. You don't want to be stuck repairing things like you were in the 1800's. THese tools can be found at garage sales and pawn shops too.

-This may fall outside of your budget and needs but I would lood at getting a small used generator of some sort as a backup to any need that arises. If you currently have power tools, take them with you. I could make life much easier in the even of a major repair. Most guys aoready have corded or cordless tools and there is no reason to not take them. There may not be a continual need for them but when you do need them it will be very handy.

-Start looking at garage sales and second hand stores for winter and summer clothing. You never know how much you will need and the following year you can pare down what you don't think you will need. THese places are good to find second hand blankets, comforters, etc for the days that are extra cold. Cutting back on stoking the fire in the middle of the night during the winter and sleeping with heavy blankets will strectch your firewood much longer and save a lot of energy and time.

-Definately get some sort of radio. whether it is the crank up type or solar rechargable you will want to hear the weather reports and news. Not to mention give you some sort of entertainment when times are slow.

-I dont have a lot of experience with well water but make sure it is not going to freeze up in the winter as far as any pumps or water lines go. Banking on melting snow for water may be a little risky and time consuming. A homemade rain catch for water would be a good idea and a way to make it potable.

I have more but my brain is cramping now. You should have a wealth of knowledge by this time tomorrow with others chimming in. Wish you the best of luck.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Thanks for the support, I will invest in a .22 and a mag eventually, if possible. Big Blzn thank you for all the tips/advice.

I can't say I'm not apprehensive. I worry that I will not do well, even as much as I believe I can do it. I think the dream of being a successful writer and a love of it in general will keep me grounded, get me up with a purpose every day. I'm out there doing what I love, day in and day out. I may disappear into my characters/story and live through them, in a sense, in times of isolation, and in a way they will be my companions when I need them.

I expected to be shot down when I posted, mainly by my lack of experience, but I have to get it somehow. I've always done best by full immersion, throwing myself into a situation full on (preparing the best I can, of course). And really, my first 10 months will just be rationing my food supplies and learning. My basic survival needs (food, water, shelter, heating) will be generally taken care of (as much as possible). And the other option? Spending years working for and renting from the landlords while getting only minimal nature exposure/experience due to lack of time (work takes most, and I can't take off 3-5 days to backpack more than a few times a year...) -- life just gets in the way. I want to stop working to pay for food and shelter, I want to get to the source. Why pay for food when I can spend the time I would be working hunting, trapping, gardening and supporting myself directly with my efforts instead of this roundabout and unfulfilling way we've developed in modern society... That is just my philosophy but I have felt it strongly for years and cannot ignore it any longer. I don't feel right living this way.
 

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i am no expert in archery but since i assume thats your primary hunting for big game look into stuff to repair something on that bow ..like string or maybe even for the arrows
 

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Go to the DIY forum and check out a post by a guy Albert Johnson he made a small one room cabin with minimal tools spent less then 500 and only 18 hours.+1 to the .22 check with the family see what animals are around.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Thank you all for you input. I have come to a few realizations:

1. I should return home to my parents ranch for awhile where I can save (already have work back home) for a good hunting rifle and shotgun (bear defense/bird hunting), also I have a .22 a friend is giving me, and my grandpa, who owns the land and wants be up there to clear dead pinion trees/repair fence/remove squatters might also have guns/gear for me to use.

2. My parents, as said, have a ranch which would allow me to get more gardening experience/rabbit farming/chicken flock and wait out hard winter in Colorado, arriving there at the end of winter, March/April and settling down to start fresh as spring arrives. I plan on staying outside (when at the ranch) in a camp or in the tack room during harsh rains to practice general outdoor living. There is a overflowing amount of inedible ground squirrels (ranchers poison squirrels around there) who's number need thinning and would be a great trap opportunity/.22 practice. There is also a large population of edible jack/bunny rabbits which would be great practice in jerky/skinning.

3. I want/need a dog. The companionship of an animal is priceless in a environment such as that, and I want to save more money to support a dog until after a few seasons I can grow and hunt all I need to support us both. (Guts/brains of fish/animals, foraging that a dog would pick up in the wilds, extra vegetables/grain products or rice)

All in all, I have had some days of reflection and don't want to go there and fail. I will wait out winter and prepare myself fully and then make the plunge with the promise of spring and months of preparation.

I intend to keep everyone posted, perhaps with a blog detailing my steps to prepare and continuing once taking the plunge.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
I saw a documentary about **** Proenneke, it was one of my inspirations. He did have friends flying in fresh eggs, butter and other perishables but with some livestock that could be avoided. I don't know the logistics of keeping goats/chickens/rabbits alive in ~10*F weather, if it is possible without heavy natural gas usage or large scale investments I would try to keep them through winter.
 

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Well, I've had my chickens (hens) outside in their coop in 15 degree weather.
They don't need much if you insulate their sleeping quarters well they keep each other warm at night. I had a 60 watt bulb on at night to help keep them warm, but they would have done well without it. They never suffered any 'frost bite' on their combs, etc.
idk about the other livestock.
 

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I would agree , you might want to find a used Ruger Black Hawk in .44 magnum , great for bears , stock up on ammo , at the least , now heres a great one , Kel-tec makes 5.56 rifle that folds in half , for under $400 bucks well worth having it around , also invest in a Katadyn water filtration kit , its will save you alot time with drinking water! Defitnetly have tools around , even if they arent the best (chinese) make sure you have some , you'll need an axe, pick , shovel , if you want to light just buy the hand held or e-tools , get a decent pack , make it a large ALICE pack there cheap at surplus shops , go to a good surplus shop and there will be plenty of tools and stuff you will need , dont forget a compass either, theres so much stuff you can get! Good luck!
 

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Always have a plan B. Sadly plans like yours rarely work out like the dream. You do seem to have a lot more going for you Family wise. You will learn a lot about yourself through the winter. If things don't work out like you hope, realize its not the end of the world or your dreams. Learn from your mistakes and insights and continue with your dreams. Best of luck
 

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That is good news regarding the .22 firearm. Take good care of it and it will do the same for you.

Do you have any of the Foxfire books? They have great information and are also a very good read. I was fortunate to recieve many from my Grandmother when she was passing out books to the family years ago. She said she thought I would be the only family member that would appreciate them. Smart woman my grandmother. It is one of the best things in life to have family members that love and support you in what you believe in.

Good luck! Be safe.
 

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I cannot be talked out of it, as I'm already committed, but any advice is welcome and that is why I posted this whole story. I'm hoping with guidance from family and others I can succeed.
Awesome post. Not a know it all. Which means you are open to actually learning something. You are definitely on the right track and have good mind set. Stay in touch with this forum there are many here who can assist you down the path you have chosen for your self. We use Verizon's USB module for satellite internet with good results. Here are some general thoughts. May be able to provide some more info if I knew your time line and budget is.

Your study and reading will assist you but expect to fail. That is the number one lesson we learned when we moved out here. Nothing replaces hands on experience. You will fail as you learn, at least we did. Our failures is how we learned. Expect that your crops will not come in, plan for it. That your efforts to hunt and fish will fall short of your needs, plan for it. Get a propane generator or two and parts to keep them in good repair running out of water is not something you want to deal with especially in an isolated environment. You do not want to spend your days boiling snow either.

If you are going to build I strongly suggest you look at other options than just a log cabin. Quaint as it may sound it is neither the least expensive most cost effective nor efficient way to go. You have other options that will give you a better more secure home. It's worthy of another thread. There are folks here who have built some very efficient secure homes. Tap them for their knowledge and experience. Knowing what your price point is will help with ideas and suggestions. Sounds like that is at least a year off so you have time to do your research. Take a look at Von Helmans My above Ground Bunker thread. A lot more affordable than you may imagine.

As others have said get a rifle. Good on you for getting the .22 buy tons of ammo and practice with it. Please do not use it on large game. You will regret it. Guaranteed. Based on your own post you have neither the experience nor skill to make the perfect shot. It takes a perfect shot to take large game with a .22 anything less is inhumane, messy and ugly. There are decent used rifles lever action Marlins or bolt actions in 30-30, 30-06 and .308 for under $300. If you can not put that together you will far short of what you need to become self sustaining.

Good luck will follow this thread and post any other thoughts as they come up
 

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If you have no experience, don't wait for winter to learn the skills. Try camping out there now. Try winter camping for a night, a weekend, and then a week before you get really committed. At least you'll have family close by to support you if things go bad.
 

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the only advice i can give is if your heating by wood , stock till you have enough then double it. food have enough for you stay plus one month. if you are alone. set certain dates and times to contact the folks on the outside. if you fall to make contact, they will come check on you.

if you are alone in the wild move slow and careful, take NO chances that put you in harms way.......911 isnt an option.

good idea on the pet.

good luck :thumb:

dirk21
 

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Great post and best of luck with it all.
I'm pretty new to this myself but I can give a high recommendation when it comes to the dog, train. Spend lots of time with the dog and train all the time, especially the first few months. Also teach it usefull 'tricks', not things like shake or that such. The last thing you want is a K9 that runs wildly around while you're trying to snatch up some small game.
Best of luck!
 
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