Monday, June 22, 2015

Hunting for Caves

I found this awesome cave at Mount Rainier National Park while on a solo hike. I won't divulge its exact location in case I ever need to totally escape. Water, wild edibles and complete shelter are its perks. I created a second video detailing my 'bug out' kit, which is a grab and go pack weighing under five pounds. Stay tuned for that post. Please comment.

Monday, June 8, 2015

Surviving the Motor Home

So its onward to Pull-you-up today. At least that's the way I pronounce this 'big' town near Mt. Rainier. Last week my family delivered my  to me....cause I was too scared to pull it with my obscenely long motor home through the mountains.
Obviously that's gonna change. I'm dolly shopping on craigslist as we speak.
So the shopping list:
Caulking of every known property...must be pliable, must be durable, must withstand mini earthquakes such as driving a motorhome entails. Obviously, outdoor quality.
A caulk gun. Duh. Left mine somewhere in Georgia, three years ago.
A back-up electric heater. Long as I'm on their shore power, might as well not kill my only heater.
Peculator: hot water. And no, my water heater is not propane and electric. Already checked that out. Propane only, but boy, is it hot.
Food. Healthy food. Can't be eating chips and junk cookies on my days off just because they're the only things remotely reasonably (and I actually choke to say that) in Ashford at either 'grocery store'.
A big, big tarp. You'd be surprised what a great and common solution that is to the stubborn roof leak. Just spread that baby over the problem area, make sure it slopes away from the low spots, and wait for sunshine to get up on that roof and fix it.
Duct Tape. I'm out. Who lives without the master of all fixer uppers?

I love my home on wheels. My yard is perfect. My walk to the shuttle is perfect. I cross a bridge and hear the river crashing down the perfect mountain. The shuttle is interesting, filled with  coworkers heading up to Paradise. That's the name of my work location. An oxy-moron. Work and Paradise.

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Good Stuff for the Boondocking

Every once in awhile, something awesome turns up on Facebook. Take for instance the   Free Camping Face book page . Hopefully, I'll get to scope this out soon.

Now that I have an awesome motorhome (which is providing lots of learning opportunities for caulking, bypassing water heaters,  and using electricty to dry stuff out) I can base camp in random places. I mean, after living in a tent for months on end, even if the home doesn't have water or sewer hook ups, its way better than a tent.

Solid roofs, or semi solid, go a  long way. This week I've been testing a lot of nearby vegetation for flavor. Lots of greenery here on the mountain, most still tender in May.
I've got my awning part way out cause the tree is in the way. Below, the tomatoes, are setting fruit. I eat lettuce and mustard leaves from the pots regularly.

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Sorry so Lame

My only excuse for not posting in ages is not having internet.
I moved to Longmire campground on Friday and after that, its been busy, hooking up, filming short adventures and learning my new job.
Looks like its going to be a fun season. Seasonal workers are arriving, moving in, some quitting after finding out its not what they had in mind.

Like I told my newest friend Cathy, moving into the campground quadrupled my happiness quotient. Trails and wildlife right outside my door. In fact, all over my door. I've caught 4 mice overnight. Hey, no one's giving birth in my motor home. Just saying.

Photos to follow soon. In all this rain, I don't take too many chances with this "smart phone". So smart, I had to reload the server here cause it lost it when I moved.
Life is good. People are interesting. Stay fit, they all say. That's how you stay young.

I finished reading the Land and Sea survival manual. Had to laugh. Under survival technique is you find yourself alone, it said, "Cuss outloud to hear your own voice." Yeah, I get that.

Scoping out edible plants here. Lots of good moss for fire starters. Haven't seen a bear yet, just deer.

Sunday, May 3, 2015

Land and Sea-Survival Continues

Now that I'm back at a real job, punching a clock as a cook at Mount Rainier, I have to fit my passion for studying survival skills into  precious few hours.

Every morning, I practice tying knots, particularly the running bowline, which is handy for setting all sorts of snare and traps. Every night I read a few more pages in How to Survive on Land and Sea, and think about those concepts on the long commute to work.

Heads up. If you want to work at Mount Rainier, try to get housing at the same location. From my current location to my job location, its an hour shuttle ride. One way. I know. Yuck. At least everyone is nice and fun to talk to.

So, back to my topic. Survival lessons. One thing that seems obvious, but I never really thought about. If you set good snares in really random places, they're useless. find a game trail, or at least tracks first.
Also, I learned about making bird lime from pine sap and sticky natural substances. By putting that lime on the right tripod trap, with the proper bait beneath, your chances of getting fowl for supper are greatly increased.
Of course, the pages that deal with fire making are crucial. I had never heard the thong method discussed before, but it makes more sense than the bow and drill, if you have a long enough cord and a dry log to build embers.

As true survivalists know, a book can only plant seeds of knowledge. True knowledge is gained in the field. While walking to town, I tried making cordage from various plants along the ditch. Some were too brittle while others seemed viable. One thing is quite obvious. Patience is required and practice makes your efforts useable.

I'm finding this survival volume straightforward and useful. Often the author talks about using something from a parachute because this manual was originally written for downed pilots. Still, much information can be gleaned for the lay person.

Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Survival Guide Review

I'm up to page 31, Chapter Two, of How to Survive on Land and Sea, and have concluded this volume is directed on a very complete and basic level towards the inexperienced downed pilot.

There are complete instructions how to paddle a canoe or dugout one may come upon. The survivor is instructed to just take the craft, without the native's permission. Of course, we are surviving here, and striving to get back to base.
Having some experience with manning a craft solo, I know the stroke is very important. To avoid constantly switching sides while paddling forward, the survivor is given details tips on how to stroke straight, with a final upward slant.
Good information. Also included is how to navigate by using landmarks, lining up three items, instead of two as many novices do. By maintaining a constant three point line of view, one eliminates the death circle.
Several black and white photos come with the text. There's good info on dealing with marshes, swamps, traversing ice and quicksand. Bottom line, spread your body out, think swimming instead of plodding.

The first chapter dealt with moral and testing food, all common knowledge among true advocates of wilderness survivalists. However, the doomsday prepper could probably learn some serious stuff in those pages.

As always, head knowledge can't replace in the field testing. Both are essential for building skills. Be open to learning, testing and innovation and you're way ahead of the rest of the herd.

Friday, April 24, 2015

How To Survive on Land and Sea

I found How to Survive on Land and Sea  at a book sale. I paid twenty-five cents for this  United States Naval Institute publication which was first written in 1943. It has 365 glossy pages and a table of contents to make any survivalist drool.
Check it out
1. Survival Hints-subtopics include Think before acting and testing food.
2. Orientation and Traveling- among many other enthralling subjects, Keeping a course, detours, base lines, concealment, quagmires, mountain snowfields...
5. Wild Animal food-details ten different ways to catch fish, a ton of traps and dead fall configurations.
10. Nuclear, Biological and Chemical Warfare-the latest revision on this work was in 1968 and I realize much of our weapon sophistication occurred post Vietnam. However, I look forward to reading a survival manual written from a Nation-at-War point of view. We had sailors surviving 84 days on a raft. This is not just theory, or camera friendly stuff.

Complete with scores of diagrams, real life photos of high sea survivors, lesson plans and lecture themes, this volume seems to have it all.

One of my favorite excepts after initial perusal is found on page 144:
High moral will bring you through. Without it you may fail. Living without equipment in an open boat on the high seas is the severest test of morale. Don't' let your thoughts and imagination become your greatest enemy. Keep fishing and experimenting to the limit, for activity is the best cure for depression.
Remember: "Life's battles do not always go
To the stronger or faster man,
But sooner of later the man who wins, 
Is the man who thinks he can.

If you decide to hunt this publication down, the Library of Congress Catalog number is  57-21769. Prepared by Frank C. Craighead, JR. PhD. and John J. Craighead, PhD, Wildlife Biologists, United States Fish and Wildlife Service.

Stay tuned for juicy info I glean from this fascinating work.