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Living in the woods, forever.


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#1 EstimatedProphet

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Posted 27 June 2012 - 07:59 AM

I am curious what would you bring if you were going into the woods for a long time. I have been considering this for 4 years, please serious answers only.

Getting food would be my biggest issue, I have several fishing reels I could take and make a cane pole or just use the line from the reel. Winter would be the hardest I think, although it doesn't get to cold here in SE, USA. Any ideas on the best types of traps for small game would be the best?

Boiling water works, staying near a water source is key for trapping game, fishing, and having drinking water.
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#2 TVCasualty

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Posted 27 June 2012 - 08:59 AM

I'd bring refrigeration, hot showers, bug repellent, a sting extractor kit, fine-point tweezers, and antibiotics (all of which you will definitely need, probably the first day). You especially need all those things (and more) if you're going to try it in the Southeast where I myself lived in the woods (SE Tennessee) with no electricity or indoor plumbing for about 6 years, so I'm speaking from experience and I didn't even live directly "in" the woods after the first year. Bring lots of sturdy tarps and several spools of poly bailing twine (the cheapest, most useful item we brought with us BY FAR, allowing us to build structures from lashed saplings and lashes did not rot plus 5000 feet of it was only $10 back when I was doing this and we went through 4 spools in 3 years). At the very least, be sure you can tie a bowline, sheet bend, trucker's hitch, taut-line hitch, clove hitch, and know basic pole-lashing techniques. Don't forget to pack a Woodman's Pal (a multi-tool machete) and a nice hand-axe is useful too.

Rods and reels are the least efficient means of gathering fish; for long-term survival you need weirs and other live-catch traps or spears/arrows (using a hook and line is for killing time, not subsistence fishing).

A rabbit stick is also handy to know how to make and use; some shapes fly better and more silently than others and if you de-bark them you can make them as quiet as an owl flying through the air (rabbits and other critters can 'jump the stick' if they hear it coming just like deer sometimes jump the string when shooting arrows at them). Atl-atl's are awesome, and fun to practice with.

Boiling water does NOT always work because bacterial contamination is not the only concern in the modern world. Chemical contamination is also rather common and very hard to detect, though Basic Survival 101 dictates never assuming a spring is really a spring until you've explored the area and verified it isn't just a creek that went underground for a few hundred yards after passing through a pasture or by an old farm's pesticide storage shed.

In other words, without specialized knowledge what you're proposing (especially in the SE) is not possible. It's possible with that knowledge, but that takes time to get and learn though people do offer classes that teach you the basics (like the Tracker School in New Jersey, which is where I went and I can tell you from personal experience that Tom Brown jr. knows his shit). Either take baby steps and gently ease into wilderness living as you ease out of modern tech or go to a school and learn the skills from the experts first.

It's among the hardest things you can try to do, but that's mainly because of the massive mental shift of perspective required. It's not so much the physical challenges themselves as it is the completely different minute-by-minute and day-by-day flow and pace of life and if you're not used to Wilderness Time you risk going batshit crazy for a while until you either adjust to it or flee screaming from the woods back to a city. I adjusted, then a few years later moved back closer to a city. And be warned, if you break away from society for too long it might be very hard to come 'back' as you won't be making money in the woods and it takes more than most of us think to restart life from scratch in this society.

If I had to only leave you with one piece of advice from my own experiences along these lines, it would be to take a couple of wilderness survival classes before making any big moves in this direction.
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#3 riseabovethought

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Posted 27 June 2012 - 12:07 PM

This is a great topic! Thanks for bringing it up. I've been dreaming about doing some sort of hybrid style move in this direction. Things like electricity and internet would still be semi -available but for short bursts of time (along with running water & toilet) between living in tree houses connected to each other by zip -lines with the primary goal being gardening ~40 acres of meadow with the most useful plants and fungi, and turning the other ~40-60 acres of forest into a zip- line canopy tour experience over kick ass trails through some fantastic mountain side scenery.

We have a beautiful creek that could be filtered for drinking (I need to get a good filter and maybe even bottle and sell it). There's no fish really except minnows, but a lot of craw daddies are in there, which Ive been told are a sign of clean-ish water. We also have abundant maple trees to tap and a small apple tree orchard, wild blackberries, raspberries, and more! As you can see, Im excited about it.

Edited by riseabovethought, 28 June 2012 - 10:22 AM.


#4 tokmour

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Posted 27 June 2012 - 01:09 PM

rifle/shotgun/pistol/bow and lots of ammo. really good boots.. really good clothes. smoke racks for making jerkey. salt... mountain climbing/spelunking gear

i dont like traps.... indiscriminate killing machines... might catch younglings... or yourself by accident...

fullsized axe and saw

buckets /pots/kettle/etc

#5 TVCasualty

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Posted 28 June 2012 - 08:26 AM

rifle/shotgun/pistol/bow and lots of ammo. really good boots.. really good clothes. smoke racks for making jerkey. salt... mountain climbing/spelunking gear

i dont like traps.... indiscriminate killing machines... might catch younglings... or yourself by accident...

fullsized axe and saw

buckets /pots/kettle/etc


If you take the Tracker classes firearms will be superfluous and frankly are dead weight that can get you killed by slowing you down. You can only shoot what you can see or what your dog detects and barks at and you won't see me and your dog won't catch my scent as I know how to move invisibly and silently and how to eliminate my scent (and everyone falls asleep at SOME point; I can sit in one spot for four days and four nights if I have to and know this because I've done it and you can too, if you learn how and train). Without all the heavy useless gear you could've made it many more miles up into inhospitable (meaning safer!) terrain where rednecks and asssorted nutjobs are unwilling to go and can't handle the conditions.

Regardless of one's opinion of trapping, traps are essential to wilderness survival and another way to describe what we do in a full-survival situation is "conservation of energy." Traps are by far the most efficient means of getting protein but if you don't know what you're doing it creates rather cruel and inhumane conditions though if you DO know then it's a faster kill than most hunters achieve with a rifle. Snare one deer and you and your band of scruffy survivalists can eat for weeks (and yup, you can 'snare' deer though deer snares don't kill them, they just lasso 'em and keep them there for when you get back). It only sounds harsh and cruel and rough until you're sitting in the woods starving and our long-dormant hunting instincts reawaken. Then it all makes perfect sense and things like indiscriminate killing machines sound like good ideas because if you can kill it, you can eat it. :amazed: And if one wishes to live the full-survival lifestyle then vegetarians need not apply as we cannot survive directly off the land year-round in the vast majority of North America without consuming animal protein for a large part of the year.

Granted, the advice I'm giving is based on my interpretation of the expressed desire; to live IN the woods (forever!). The only way to do that is to learn to live without any manufactured gear as eventually whatever you bring with you will break, rust, wear out, or run out of whatever it requires to operate and at that point all you'll have is your knowledge, though it's really all you need so long as it's the right kind.


Oh, and I think everyone should explore this stuff even if you have no desire to do it because life has a way of thrusting us into situations we didn't want to be in and the less reliance we have on this failing techno-industrial paradigm the better off we'll be when it fails us. It might only fail for a few days or weeks, like in New Orleans after it was flooded, but finding yourself trapped in an apocalyptic Mad Max-type wilderness of wandering, hungry, and increasingly crazy people is no time to start thinking "gee, I really should've done more to prepare for the unexpected!" And if you know nothing about water purification or food gathering or making shelters then you will be forced to either lay down and die, run off screaming and die, turn into a predatory animal who preys on other humans, or follow the rest of the lumbering herd to the Superdome (and we all saw how THAT turned out; consider what the conditions in all the various Superdomes will be like when there is no longer anyone coming to deliver supplies and provide security anymore...). A long time ago I vowed I'd never end up dying or trapped in some fucked up refugee camp or Red Cross shelter in a high school gym after some disaster thanks to not knowing how to do anything except clock in and push buttons or consume prepackaged food-like items. I suggest others do the same, and time is not our friend.

#6 EstimatedProphet

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Posted 28 June 2012 - 09:45 PM

very nice TV, thanks for your input.

#7 Spliff

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Posted 29 June 2012 - 12:31 AM

I had a thought, not to take this thread off topic, but there seems to be a heap of interest for living off grid, and why not right. My idea was at first a Mycotopia commune. Then I thought that If I had to live with you guys I would get really edgy, plus there would be nothing to talk about in ViP chat. Next I thought, so If a commune is not the most feasible, what about a travel/host/couch surfing kinda idea for Topians to visit other topians off grid homes for a short while. If any of you have used couch surfing, surfers place their destination, couch providers offer their couches for so long. Surfer comes along (bringing peace offerings and nibbles), we all drink lemonade, and then depart n our merry ways. THe surfer then reports back to a Topia host board or something to write a review of sorts on their time being hosted at such and such a place.

Now, security is an issue, and trust, but I am giving the benefit of the doubt because well, Mycotopia rules like that. I would love to travel, go on international hunts, meet some of you guys. I doubt LEO would impact this in anyway, its the minds in transport, nothing else. (except the nibbles).

Getting back to the thread, great input already, sting removal kit/splinters for sure and all those products designed to make living in the woods forever more comfortable an experience. Maybe talk to people already doing it, I think it is an industry taking off as more and more people are attracted to the better lifestyle it brings, so there will definitely be advisers and contractors.

Another point, apart from living and getting things in working order, beware of boredom. It may not sound like a possibility now, but for the very reason I suspect you are going out there for, is to be alone. So, Guitar and musical instruments, maybe some carpentry tools, for those projects/repair and also to make a sick rocking chair for the porch.

Books, lots and lots of books. Bird watching, plant identification, how to DIY off grid living and other such texts.

a Hammock, to read in.

Also, just in case, know your gps co - ords and have a way of contacting civilisation, in case of a dreaded snake bite or bear mauling.

#8 TVCasualty

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Posted 29 June 2012 - 07:37 AM

Winter would be the hardest I think, although it doesn't get to cold here in SE, USA.


For a little itty-bitty taste of what life is like if you answer the Call of the Wild, spend the next 4-5 days outside and I mean all 24 hours of each of the next 4 or 5 days.

There's a reason why people who didn't have to chose to live in relatively cold climates; besides the issues of insects and disease and food spoilage, there are only so many clothes you can take off and only so long you can lay in a creek cooling off as it gets hotter and hotter but you can always add another log to the fire or put on another layer of clothing if it starts getting colder and colder.

#9 Mrs.Hippie3

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Posted 29 June 2012 - 08:06 AM

i will be inheriting 40 acres of family property at the edge of the Ozarks that is nothing but trees and rocks. i will eventually be moving up there when i get it livable again. couldnt live in those woods without running water and electricity though. this place is literally located on top of a very big, steep hill and our place is the only one up there. if you come up there you had best be family or friends or you just might get shot and theres only one way in and out. there is no way out in the winter if it snows...well you can slide down the hill but you aint gonna get back up it!
i think i have a few pics of the land...
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#10 EstimatedProphet

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Posted 29 June 2012 - 08:34 AM

For a little itty-bitty taste of what life is like if you answer the Call of the Wild, spend the next 4-5 days outside and I mean all 24 hours of each of the next 4 or 5 days.


Its not a question of "if you answer the call of the wild" its when will it happen for me.

I have spent 5 days outside before, all 24hrs of each day.

#11 cheetolay

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Posted 29 June 2012 - 08:55 AM

Today, this doesn't sound like such a bad idea.
Definately would have to bring cannabis seed.
A flint
Rope
Small first aid kit
Swiss army knife
Machete/hatchet
Backpack
Canteen
Shish kabob skewers, metal ones
Roll of gorilla glue duct tape
A couple caribeaners
And maybe a very small tent/tarp
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#12 sinful

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Posted 29 June 2012 - 08:59 AM

Getting food would be my biggest issue, I have several fishing reels I could take and make a cane pole or just use the line from the reel. Winter would be the hardest I think, although it doesn't get to cold here in SE, USA. Any ideas on the best types of traps for small game would be the best?
Boiling water works, staying near a water source is key for trapping game, fishing, and having drinking water.


The one thing i carry every time i go deeper(already live in the woods) to make sure i eat at least some meat are the yoyo reels i have 10 of em and usually bring 3-6 of em at a time. Ive caught trout, salmon, to pearch, and hornpout. Wire snares and a frog gig come in handy too.

#13 EstimatedProphet

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Posted 29 June 2012 - 09:05 AM

tarp


I think a tarp is the easiest thing.

#14 warriorsoul

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Posted 29 June 2012 - 09:19 AM

I would bring some emergency MRE's.

#15 Alder Logs

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Posted 29 June 2012 - 10:47 AM

The Empire gets harder to avoid all the time. Its days are numbered, but so are mine. I, of all people, was well suited to going native. But now I'm pretty old and beat up, and survival would be more complicated than when I was in my twenties or thirties. The destruction wrought by Empire is closing in on me from the six directions.

While I see the earth as sacred, the Empire does not. We have been divided, and conquered, and there is little in the way of a safe haven anywhere. I think about where else I might place myself, but see that what I am dealing with here, seems to be the rule. The very rich can buy enough of a buffer zone to feel a false sense of security, but they lie to themselves.

There is no high ground as Empire thrashes around and denies what it has created for itself, and all the creatures in its way. They think the answer is to cash out the whole planet and the cash will protect them. The cash will buy them armed protectors for the lands for which they hold titles. We will make our stands somewhere and most likely find ourselves outgunned. There will be a corporation or agency there on the job.

Divine intervention looks like the only alternative.

#16 iatebadshrooms

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Posted 29 June 2012 - 11:16 AM

EP, here is my suggestions for you. Plan this out carefully and every detail, over and over. go camping a couple times and your gonna realize what you need or what your missing.

I would find fresh water lake or river. Build a TEE-PEE out of small tree's and branches for the structure, and use Plastic tarps as the outside, keep it water proof.
You dont need a camp fire inside. You build your camp fire out side tee pee and put large rocks in the fire all day while your busy hunting and gathering you food and water, then at night you bring the hot rocks in and set them under your hammock you have set up inside your tee-pee, that way you stay warm all night and you dont have to worry about fire.

Insulate the tee-pee with pine tree limbs and needles and also any grass or hay, Put in on the inside of tee pee, and bundle it tightly then tie it to structure with your string you brought out to the woods.

That is your basic shelter, water proof, your off the ground for sleeping, and you have a source of safe heat. You will also need to build a shelter for your camp fire, in case its snowing or a rainy day you want your fire to still burn, so just make type of igloo out of sticks, rocks, branches, and cover with extra plastic, your only going to be able to keep small fires in this type of set up, but it will be enough to cook food in and heat your bed time rocks up.

Tools. Axe, rifle, bow, knife, Flint to spark a fire with u know the kind that can get wet and is used for survival. Canteen for holding drinking water. Warm furs to wear, rubber boots, regular boots, antibiotics, gloves and shit like that.

So thats it buddy, your going to be only as comfortable as you have made your shelter, if you take time and really build a nice tee-pee(large) and put a nice hammock in there, get creative with it, insulate it well, water proof it, and live by fresh water that it, you got a rifle, knife , bow and arrows your set, oh yes fishing poles for sure!!! all summer and spring and fall your only goal is to grow enough food and kill and store enough food for the winter, in the winter you may not be venturing out to much, only to wash up and shit!!! thats it. So you have to get your shelter extremely stable and well built. Totally water proof and tough enough to handle hard rains and wind. Tee-pee are great because the water will run right off of them and the snow will not pile up on your roof, Hey the indians did it forever for a reason...... So thats what I would do, I would start scouting an area out close to a lake, find a spot of high ground that wont flood and that is well sheltered with lots of pine trees around, good luck

#17 riseabovethought

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Posted 29 June 2012 - 01:45 PM

I like the Topia couch surfing idea, but anonymity would be an issue and a cop could hitch a ride anytime they felt like it, just to see whats up. Sounds good on its surface but unless we blindfold you upon arrival at the airport for the ride out to the woods, then call each other Mr. White and Mr. Black, and never slipping up on location or names or anything else compromising, which would take a real professional -style effort, I dunno.

You could just go out and live in the woods forever, but that sounds kinda like reducing and simplifying which can be done without going all the way. 'Simplify, simplify, simplify,' Thereau advised us, and it applies so much today. Being part of the solution, instead of contributing to the problem, is attractive. I feel what you're after, and you are not alone. There must be a way to do some sort of cool hybrid with many of the same benefits, but maybe with a little extra in the way of occassional comforts whenevers clever. But it seems as though we're still missing something, hmmm.

Edited by riseabovethought, 29 June 2012 - 02:08 PM.


#18 anne halonium

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Posted 29 June 2012 - 02:04 PM

the idea sounds cool,
but would be unacceptable,
for a variety of security concerns.


#19 Alder Logs

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Posted 29 June 2012 - 06:47 PM

...like a GPS bug up the ass. Full body cavity searches would suck, wouldn't they?

#20 blueprince

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Posted 29 June 2012 - 06:57 PM

A compact pot still + fermenters. Alcohol is also a disinfectant, pain killer, cleaning agent, ect, ect... Not just for killing time. IMO A well made, small distillation setup is a gift that keeps on giving.




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