Saturday, October 25, 2014

Leave No Trace for the Survivalist-Warning, Rant!

Leave No Trace is an important concept no matter where you travel. This link will take you to the Grand Canyon's website where erroneous modes of foot travel can disrupt centuries of growth and lead to erosion.

As a survivalist, Leave No Trace takes on new meaning. Being able to traverse land without leaving a sign of passage can mean life or death if being pursued by enemies.

By respecting the land, we leave plants and animals in their wildest states, allowing harvest as needed and building materials for the future.

Just recently, while working as an outdoor educator in Maine's Hundred Mile Wilderness, a small group of Appalachian Trail hikers decided they needed campfires.
Believe it or not, several fires were build right below pine trees, so close the exposed root systems actually formed the fire ring. The perpetrators walk away from their fires, not even taking time to douse them. I know. I put one out, excavating a 6 foot diameter hole, beneath a tree, checking it days later, verifying it was indeed out.

I know. Unbelievable. I would have bet my teeth no one was that stupid, but then I'd have lost and would be gumming my sweet roll to death instead of chomping away as I write this.

Amazingly, few know that duff can go several feet deep in such pine forests, and even if half of Maine seems to be a bog, these pine forests can erupt in flames weeks after the embers finally burst from their nest of fuel. The resulting wildfire can do untold damage to pristine forests and drive wildlife from their homes.
Campfires in Maine are illegal unless at a designated site. Don't argue. That's the law.

According to reliable resources, three hikers have been charged with setting such a fire near Rainbow Lake. I hope they throw the book at them and hard, setting an example for all who follow. Its time to stand up to the masses of unskilled navigating the woods.
And I don't even want to hear that's how your grandaddy did it back in his day.

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Which is The Best Handgun? is an online auction website complete with photos and stats on a wide assortment of weapons.

Recently I started contemplating my beliefs concerning the Second Amendment, both specifically and in a larger sense, as a small part of the great vision of our founding fathers. Yesterday, I started answering that question.

The Glock I'd like to own is lot 193b. It has a clip for 13 rounds and night sights. The ease of loading and multiple rounds, plus weather resistance makes this a great piece for me. Often I am alone in the wilderness, so the night sight is attractive as well.

The current bid is $210, the retail suggested price is 850.

However, because I travel a great deal, even driving into Canada, at present I only carry pepper spray (meant for grizzly bears) and various knives, an ice ax and hatchet. Heading to Idaho, I plan to join the Search and Rescue team there, at which time, a firearm is in order.

Text of the 2nd Amendment

A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.

A key word in the Second Amendment is free.

Free can be defined as without cost. We all know that freedom is not free. There is a cost involved, sometimes a very heavy cost.

Free is also defined as without bondage, unfenced, unfettered.

Now, some say, a regulated Militia is already in force, therefore there is no need for individuals to own firearms. Perhaps some day freedom loving citizens will have to fight an over zealous regulated Militia. If Martial Law was declared for whatever reason, and not lifted, we could find ourselves battling an out of control government. But that is beside the point and is a non issue.

The second part of this amendment,  the people's right to own and bear arms, is how our forefathers envisioned a free state being maintained. They knew what they were talking about, after fighting the Revolutionary war against the English Empire.

This right, which shall not be infringed, along with the other rights detailed in the Bill of Rights should not be revised because criminals have gotten out of control. Instead, honest, peace loving citizens must be prepared to defend themselves and not be sheep ready for the shearing.

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Governmental Absorption of Freedom

Words of Warning is an essay written by Jim Sheperd for Outdoor Wire dealing with our government's insidious absorption of our personal freedoms. In this case, specifically, the freedom to travel.
This is just another example of why I believe in the Second Amendmentwhich reads:

Text of the 2nd Amendment

A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.

I'll admit, being raised without firearm exposure, I didn't understand the need for citizens to possess their own weapons for self defense. And now, after 9-11, and the dramatic change in our status as American citizens who constantly need to prove who we are in order to get a job, open a bank account, get insurance, and travel to Canada and Mexico, I begin to wonder how we can survive without them.
In End of Daysthe first book of the River Survival Series,we learn how the survivors of a post grid collapse were violently stripped of the weapons. As the series progresses, we see how the government, having instated Martial Law can move against their citizens with impunity. Of course, this fictional work has its heroes, and the ARM, or American Resistance Movement is born. It's not an easy road putting one's passionate beliefs into a fictional format, where the imagination couples with hard reality. I've been on this road awhile.
 As part of the on going journey, I've re-edited the The River Survival Series to remove the typos my first reviewer complained about and I'm still striving to create memorable book covers.
Bottom line, I'm passionate about our rights, both as American citizens and human beings. I'm passionate about learning all the skills necessary to survive any catastrophe, in spite of, and due to, governmental interference.

A Navy Vet...VT town reviewed the fourth book No Storm Like This :

The Federal troops are mobilizing while the American Resistance Movement declares war. Jimmy needs help from Apache when he goes off the deep end. The journey that Apache takes is 250 miles up the river and an arduous trip.

The inhabitants of Rivertown decide they must make a "safe haven" miles away. They are anticipating the day the Feds will try to take their town over. The Patrols in their town continue on even in the dead cold of winter.

Carla and Apache also go to war near St. Paul and discover a traitor in their midst. As a team, Carla and Apache are quite the experts in demolition. Carla still has her uncanny communication with the wolves - especially Jesus..

This is a poignant story of the power of love, the tragedy of war and the fragile nature of the human spirit.

Highly recommended

Saturday, October 18, 2014

On Grid Gluttony

Today we packed out of the Gulf Hagas. The water was up, the photos were taken, the last video of folks braving the chill filmed.

Holy cow! Is this it? Daily internet, unlimited electricity, music, old new, and mediocre?
I don't think I'll even be able to sleep tonight. Clothes are washed. Hiking gear de-mudded and packed. I might soon be facing post-parting depression!

But hold on. One more  day of work, yes, work we call it cause there's a set time to go and share our seasonal experiences and recommendations with my co-workers, Grace and Ian and all others who show up. Only time will tell what new faces might await. Our host is even going to feed us lunch.

Heading back to Idaho, and whatever lies beyond, I want to thank everyone for their comments and kind e-mails. I've met so many fantastic people, and I love their accent.

Maine is a wonderful state full of happy people. Everyone I've met in this great mystical North Woods has been very kind and helpful.

Thursday, October 9, 2014

Seasonal Lessons

The Gulf Hagas is about closed down. Plenty of bunch berry to eat, moose wanderings, people scarce. That's my report. The few I see out here are thru hikers pressing to the Mountain. Several did mega miles after reporting running, or nearly running out of food. It a good catalyst to get er done.

If you thought the river was cold, or the rock hop impossible, it sure is now. Heavy rains washed a bunch of rocks off kilter. Just wade now, knee deep, if you have to.

One really disturbing note. Three different fires, built in the crotch of pine tree roots, high up in the duff (not on wet leaves, like these) have had to be extinguished. Somebody out there, who even wrote on a rock 2100 miles!, thinks this is a viable way to build campfires. Not only are unauthorized camp fires illegal, they can get under the duff and smoulder for weeks, eventually popping up when the wind hits it right.
Some think Maine is so wet. But, dig down into that duff, as I did to excavate one such fire, and find out how dry that duff is. The fire had burnt the roots and up under the tree. Passing thru hikers poured all their water on it, alerted me of the site just south of the Katahdin Iron Works road. I hiked up quickly with 2 quarts of water and spent the next two hours extinguishing and digging it out.

The fine for an illegal fire is $1,000 bucks. I hope they catch some and make a lasting impression.

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

The Knee High Rubber Boot Review

I'm sold on tall rubber boots. For Twenty bucks and a pair of warm socks, I can now cross the West Pleasant in total comfort. The color here in Maine is outstanding, too. A lady saw my boots and said, "With two pair of wool socks, they make the best winter boots." I'm sure going to give it a shot.

Crossing the River in Rubber Boots


Thursday, September 25, 2014

Bears Like Beer, Too

I found this beer can while hiking the Gulf Hagas loop. Now that the old leaves are shrinking back, more items are surfacing.

Check out the ragged teeth marks. A good friend, a Mainer, told me baiting bears, right before and leading up to hunting season is legal. There are so many bears here, its a population control thing.
Upon reflection, makes sense. Bears will associate human food with death. Mother bears will warn their youngins, "Do Not eat that, you're goin' die!"

Here in camp, the laptop lunch break. Powering up on battery, its a touchy situation. There's only a couple hours to type the journal. So, once the page is loaded, its all systems go, no wandering around, thinking up things to say. Of course, there is no wifi or cell service, but the laptop keeps me sane as the darkness and cold progress.

Crossing the river becomes an entertaining event. Check out my youtube channel or 
Brawnyview to see the footage of this dude making light.
Tuesday, a woman fell in the early stages, and lay, turtle fashion, her pack in the water, until her husband lifted her up.
I left them figure it out. My job is education. No search and rescue needed here. The man had it.