Entries for the ‘Hiking and Camping’ Category

Drawback to Remote Primitive Camping Sites

One of the major drawbacks to remote primitive camping sites, you never know what idiot you are going to end up next to.

November 24, 2012 a buddy of mine and I headed out to the Angelina river close to Jasper Texas to do some camping. These are primitive camping sites that are only available by boat.

We arrived at the camping site, set the tents up, then headed out to the river to do some fishing. Just before the juglines were set out, I got a call on my phone saying my son-in-law and his hunting buddies caught a hog in the river bottom. The dogs had chased the hog a long way from the boat, and they needed some help. But that is another story.

After helping my son-in-law and his hunting party pack the hog back to the boat, my buddy and I headed back to our camping site.

By the time we got back to the camping site we only had about one hour of light left. We broke out the camp stoves, cooked a quick meal of Mountain House freeze dried foods, then started the camp fire.

Shooting – The whole time my buddy and I were cooking dinner, and starting the camp fire, the group in the next camping site over were shooting their guns. After the sun went down and the last glimpses of light faded away, the people kept shooting their rifles.

Gun safety – trigger disciple, muzzle disciple, target disciple.

How the hell are you supposed to have target disciple when you are shooting into pitch black darkness?

[Read the rest of this entry…]

My Drinking Problem

Middle age sucks. I can look back over my teenage years, my 20, 30s and now I am halfway through my 40s. In January of 2013 I will turn 45 years old.

Besides going into welding, my other major regret is when I started drinking.

Unlike a lot of people I did not drink in my teenage years. I tried a beer when I was around 15 or 16 years old, and the taste was disagreeable.

When I was around 23 years old I went by a corner store in Bridge City Texas, picked up a couple of bottles of Boone’s Farm wine, then went home to have a drink.

Why did I buy a bottle of Boone’s Farm wine? I do not know. Maybe I was bored and looking for something to do?

What I do know, drinking is one of the worst mistakes I have ever made. Drinking has had a negative affect on my health, its not cheap, and its addictive.

At this point in my life I am probably somewhere about 30 – 40 pounds overweight. Lets say I drink 3 or 4 beers, at 100 – 150 calories each, you are talking an easy 300 – 500 extra calories a day. Then when you start adding mixed drinks, the calories really pile on.

When I started drinking around the time I was 23 years old, that is the same time I started having issues with my weight. I put on weight easier then I did before I started drinking.

I wonder how much money I have spent on beer, wine and whiskey over the past 22 – 23 years. I wish I would have never spent a single penny on booze. That money would have been better spent on my kids, or a vacation for the family.

There are so much better things to spend money on besides alcohol. For the price of a 12 pack, I could buy 2 boxes of American Eagle 223 Remington, or 2 boxes of Tula 7.62×39, and have some change left over.

Every time I buy something to drink, I am taking money away from my family and from my prepping resources. And I am ashamed because of that.

Why don’t I just stop drinking? Because I like it too much.

Lets be honest, I have a problem with drinking. I can go a month without having a drink, but when I do drink, I drink until the last drop is gone.

Admitting that there is the problem is the first step to recovery.

This post is my first step to being alcohol free.

My mom and dad read my blog from time to time. I hope this confession does not make them think they failed as a parent, or think less of me.

Life is full of ups and downs, good and bad. Just as we have good things in life, so we must deal with the bad things.

Its not the alcohol that is bad, it is my weakness that is bad.

I wish I could have led a perfect life. Maybe I should have joined the military, went to college, went into something like engineering, waited to have kids,,,,.

Does having an easy life make you strong, or does the struggle make you stronger?

Did mankind conquer the world through living an easy lifestyle? Or did we conquer the world through hard-work?

As long as I beat this drinking problem, I will be a better person in the long run. Its the struggle that makes us stronger. Taking the easy route makes us weaker.

Israel bombed RT office in Gaza

Russia Today is probably one of the truly unbiased news sources in the world, and the Israel military bombed the RT office in Gaza.

There is only one reason to bomb a news office, and that is to keep the truth from getting out.

This is not a war, this is genocide. Israel is trying to drive Muslims out of the Gaza strip.

Keeping a wild boar hog in a pen

Wild boar hog in penIts post SHTF, you and your family need something to eat, so the yall head out to a local river.  The dogs are let loose, a few minutes later the dogs corner up a 200 pound boar hog.

The boar hog is loaded in the boat and brought back home.

A pen is hastily assembled out of whatever materials you can find.

The boar hog is put in the hen, and the leg ties taken off.  Since the pen is made out of fence, the boar hog rams the fence, breaks the wire loose, then the hog runs off.

Sounds unlikely?  Well, that is what happened when my son-in-law bought a boar hog home.

In this case the dogs were waiting outside the pen in case the hog got out.

Keep in mind this is not a friendly domesticated hog, this is a wild boar hog that will use its tusk to tear flesh off the bone.

The dogs caught the hog, and the hog was put into a stronger pen.

Lessons learned, wild hogs are less likely to run into the side of the pen if there is something blocking the hogs view. In other words, if the hog can not see what is on the other side, chances are the hog will not ram the side of the pen.

Hogs are stronger then they look. All it took was one hit to the fence for the wire to tear loose.

So what happens next

The wild boar hog will have its nuts removed. This will improve the taste of the meat. Commercial pork processors remove the nuts from male piglets. Most people who eat pork do not know it.

[Read the rest of this entry…]

Random Thoughts November 16 2012

Time for another random thoughts post.

The Amazing Spider-man

Bought The Amazing Spider-man for the grandkids to watch. The grandkids are between the ages of 3 and 5 and were not interested in Spider-man. But they can watch The Avengers all day long.

Why did Sony have to go back to Spider-man having an artificial web?

I thought The Amazing Spider-man was a rather bland.  I like how they got away from the Green Goblin and introduced The Lizard.  The original Spider-man movies seem to stuck on the Green Goblin.

Wages Today

A few days ago I was thinking about how much money I was making in the welding shops. In 1987 the top pay of the welding shop I was working at was $11.13 an hour. Minimum wage was $3.35 an hour.

11.13 divided by 3.35 = 3.3223.

In other words, top pay in the welding shop was 3.3223 times minimum wage in 1987.

In 2004 I checked back at that same welding shop, top pay was only around $14 an hour, which was less then 3X minimum wage at the time of $5.15. In other words, wages have not kept up with inflation or minimum wage.

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Victorinox Swiss Army Climber II Pocket Knife

I have been carrying a Victorinox Swiss Army knife on and off for close to 20 years. What can you say about a quality product that preforms just as it should? Besides my Gerber multi-tool, my Swiss Army knife is my go-to knife for hiking, camping or backpacking.

A couple of years ago I bought two Swiss Army Climber II knives – 1 for my 14 year old daughter and 1 for my 16 year old son. We go camping, hiking, fishing, backpacking and hunting, and I wanted my kids to have a reliable pocket knife to take with them.

During the spring and summer we go out on the river fishing and camping, during the winter we are hunting. Regardless of what we were doing, or where we were at, I wanted my kids to have a reliable knife that they could use.

The knife had to be compact, good quality and from a reputable brand name. The Climber II fits that bill perfectly. Its small enough to fit in a pants pocket, and the blades are long enough for everyday use.

The Climber II is just what you might expect from Victorinox, you get a quality product and at a price that will not break the bank.

Do you own a Victorinox Swiss Army knife? If so, what do you think about it?

Would you recommend a Victorinox to your friends and family?

How to milk a goat

Step by step instructions on how to milk a goat

http://7thundersranch.blogspot.com/2011/05/milking-goats-101.html

7thundersranch posted a nice picture tutorial on how to milk a goat.

Did you read the tutorial, if so, what did you think about it?

During a long term SHTF situation goats could be an excellent source of meat, butter and cheese.

We Are a Nation Divided

The shooting in Aurora Colorado and the following anti-gun feeding frenzy, has made it clear we are a divided nation. We are not only divided on gun ownership, we are also divided racially, demographically, financially, and through ideology.

When the blacks were freed, instead of treating them as people with rights, the whites continued to look for ways to oppress blacks. Even though slavery was abolished in the 1860s, their rights were not affirmed until the 1960s with the civil rights movement.

“Why” were we, and still are, divided on race? Why cant we as humans and as Americans put racial tensions aside and just get along?

Then we have the illegal immigrant population.

Then we have groups who refuse to incorporate into society.

Then we have the inner city gangs, poverty and drug users.

What would someone from inner city New York know about a coyote raiding a farmers chicken coop in a rural area?

We are divided demographically, financially, racially, and through ideology.

98.6 Degrees: The Art of Keeping Your Ass Alive

Cody Lundin, director of the Aboriginal Living Skills School in Prescott, Arizona, shares his own brand of wilderness wisdom in this highly anticipated new book on commonsense, modern survival skills for the backcountry, the backyard, or the highway. This is the ultimate book on how to stay alive-based on the principal of keeping the body’s core temperature at a lively 98.6 degrees.

In his entertaining and informative style, Cody stresses that a human can live without food for weeks and without water for about three days or so. But if the body’s core temperature dips much below or above the 98.6 degree mark, a person can literally die within hours. It is a concept that many don’t take seriously or even consider, but knowing what to do to maintain a safe core temperature when lost in a blizzard or in the desert could save your life. Lundin delivers the message with wit, rebellious humor, and plenty of backcountry expertise.

Publication Date: June 23, 2003

Product Details

Paperback: 240 pages
Publisher: Gibbs Smith; Reprint edition (June 23, 2003)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1586852345
ISBN-13: 978-1586852344
Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.5 x 9 inches

Loadout for river camping trip

As the river trip inches closer, its time to start thinking about the loadout I want to bring. There are going to be 4 people spread out over 2 boats. Due to the distance we are traveling, over 10 miles, weight is going to be a factor. The heavier the boats are loaded down, the worse the gas mileage.

This is going to be a warm weather trip, so the heavy sleeping bag can be left at home. There will be no need for coats, gloves, cold weather head gear, cold weather boots,,, nothing like that.

For this river camping trip I am going to try to keep the gear down to a minimum. Not a “bare” minimum, just not carry a lot of excess gear.

Medium or Large Alice Pack – if you want to limit the amount of gear you can carry, start with the pack. The larger the pack, the more likely you are to take stuff you may not need.

For the past couple of river camping trips I have brought my large Molle pack. For this river trip I am going to go back to basics with the Alice pack.

When packing my gear I am going to start out with the Medium Alice pack.  If I run out of room I will grab the Large Alice pack.

[Read the rest of this entry…]

Maxpedition Condor-II Backpack

Product Features

Dramatically improved second generation of our military-style daypack
Y-shaped top compression strap and 4 lateral compression straps
Upper front pocket approx. 9 x 5.5 x 2
Lower front pocket approx. 9 x 8 x 2 with pen organizer
Breathable ergonomic shoulder straps

From my review at Amazon

As with all Maxpedition packs, the Condor II offers top notch quality, expandability and quality workmanship.

The pack is a top loader, so you can cram in your gear until its full, stomp on the top, then cram some more.

The bottom of the pack has lash points so you can attach a bed roll or sleeping bag. I used a couple of nylon straps and attached a 32 degree sleeping bag to the bottom.

The pack is covered with PALS (ladder system) to attach MOLLE or ALICE equipment all over it. I have the Maxpedition map and GPS case attached to the small outside pouch. While on a hiking trip, I can lay the pack on the ground, open the map case, get the GPS out, drink from the water bladder and never have to open the main compartments of the pack.

The compression straps work well for keeping the pack slim, and for lashing a tri-pod stool to the side of the pack.

I see no reason why this pack can not be used for an over night pack or even a 2 day pack. The main compartment is big enough to carry extra clothing, one man tent, MREs, hammock, rain poncho, poncho liner, tent stakes. While the other compartments are big enough to carry a first aid kit, flashlights, GPS, topo maps, map compass, water filter,, and other odds and ends.

The water bladder compartment is big enough to fit a 2 quart bladder and have plenty of room left over.

The shoulder straps have plenty of padding.

Overall, this is a well built, well designed pack that I highly recommend.

Do you own a Maxpedition Condor-II?

If so, please share your opinions on this product.

FR-1 Survival Pouch Review

Thank you sootch00 for posting this video review of the Maxpedition FR-1 Survival Pouch.

Product Features

  • Main: 7″ x 5″ x 3″ with full zipper opening
  • Carry handle: Yes
  • Modular webbing (front): 2 rows, 2 x 2.5″ wide channels
  • Modular webbing (sides): 2 rows, 1 channel
  • Shoulder strap (Optional accessory): Equipped with D-rings for a #9501 1.5″Â or a #9502 2″ shoulder strap, depending on your preference

When I saw this video the very first thing I though about was putting on of these FR-1 survival pouch on the outside of my Maxpedition Vulture II.   The FR-1 survival pouch looks like its large enough for topo map, GPS, compass, flashlight, cel phone and a few other odds and ends

Rain in June

Kevin Felts, blogger and survivalistEvery time we get rain in June I think about a 3 day camping trip some of my buddies and I went on back in June of 1985.  We were a bunch of kids who loaded in a boat, traveled the backwaters of a bayou close to Bridge City Texas, picked out a camping spot, and spent 3 days in the woods.  The only day we did not get rained on was the last day, the day we went home.

There were five of us – Allen, David, Jim, Kevin and Kevin.  Between the 5 of us, we had 2 – 2 man tents.  Which meant that one tents was going to be rather packed.

The three day camping trip is one of those times that you look back and wish you had kept a journal.  Or at the very least brought a camera and taken some pics.  I am not sure what day did we left on or what day did we got back.  I think the trip was in June 1985, but can not prove it.  School was out, and it was summer time, so the trip was sometime in June, July or August.

My gear included – some cans of food, sleeping bag, Montgomery Ward Western Field Model 550AL 12 gauge pump shotgun and some birdshot ammunition.  Sometime around the camping trip I bought one of those hollow handled survival knives.  I do not remember if I bought my survival knife before or after the camping trip.  It has been over 25 years since my buddies and I went on the camping trip.  Fading memories is just one of those things that happens.

Everyone knew we were in for a wet weekend.  I had a small green backpack with a couple of cans of food, and my sleeping bag that was inside a plastic trash bag.  The camping trip was supposed to be a true “roughing it” experience.  We brought as little gear as possible – each person brought some kind of sleeping bag, a few cans of food, shotgun or 22 rifle, change of clothes, knife, flashlight, canteen with water purification tablets and that was about it.

[Read the rest of this entry…]

Firearm for a river camping trip

AK-47 AR-15 Survival RiflesA buddy of mine and I are planning a 100+ mile 3 – 4 day river camping trip. On this trip we will be going into some pretty remote areas. After we put our boats in the river, there are no boat launches for probably 50+ miles. The location is East Texas on the Sabine river.

I would like to bring either a rifle or shotgun for personal protection. Black bears are known to be in the area where we are going, as well as everything from coyotes to wild hogs.

I am more concerned about running into a rabid raccoon, then having problems with a black bear, but you never know.

The options are:

AR15
AK47
Mossberg 590
Ruger 10/22

My first choice is the Ruger 10/22. Its lightweight, ammo is easy to carry and the 22 has a low report.

My second choice is either the Mossberg 590 or AK-47.

The mossberg loaded with slugs or buckshot is capable to taking down anything in this part of Texas.  I mounted a Surefire light on the Mossberg 590 last night.  In a marshy area, having a weapon with a light on it sure could come in handy.

The thing with the AK, its reliable. I dont think I have to worry about the AK getting muddy and not working.  At this time I do not have a light mounted on the AK, but I am working on it.

My third choice is the AR-15. The 223 is loud, and I am not sure how the 223 would work on black bear if one where to enter our camp site.  I have some parts ordered to mount a light on the AR.  It should be ready in plenty of time for the trip.

I am not “that” concerned about black bears, but I think they should be taken into consideration.

If I wanted a weapon with a light, the choices would be either the Mossberg 590 or the AR15.

Pistols:

I thought about bringing a pistol, but some law enforcement people get pissy when you have a pistol.

Post your comments in this forum thread about taking a firearm on a river camping trip.  There is a poll in that forum thread.  If you do not want to post any comments, at the very least log-in and place your vote.

 

River trip part 4

This update was supposed to be in 2 parts. The first part was supposed to be doing some maintenance to the boat, such as fixing some broken rivets. The second part was supposed to be taking the boat out on the river to make sure is running ok, and to to use a GPS to see how fast the boat can travel down the river.

Well, the boat never made it to the river.

Broken boat rivetThe front of the boat has a deck that is held in place with rivets. Over the years of walking on the deck the rivets have slowly pulled lose or broken.

Replacing the rivets

Use a drill bit the size of the rivet, drill through the middle of the rivet, the head should come loose.

Use a punch or drift pen to drive out the middle of the rivet.

If the rivet does not want to drive out, use the drill to drill it out.

Insert new rivet into the hole.

Use a rivet gun to secure the rivet.

Fixing boat rivetsIn all, 25 rivets were replaced, which took about an hour.

If you are wondering what that stuff is on the deck of the boat, that is boat carpet that has rotted and fallen off. I need to take a scarper to remove the last bit of the carpet. My son suggested taking the boat to a car wash, then using the high pressure setting to wash the rest of the carpet off.

I thought about getting a stainless steel wire wheel for my grinder to buff the last parts of the carpet off.  But then again, a paint scraper might work just as good.

Why the boat did not make it to the river

The lower unit is leaking oil.

Evinrude leaking oil from lower unitBefore the boat was taken on the upcoming 100+ mile river camping trip, I wanted to put in the shop for some preventive maintenance.  The water pump impeller had never been changed, the spark plugs needed to be replaced and I wanted the oil in the lower unit replaced.

While the boat was in the shop, the mechanic discovered the power pack was going bad.  This might have explained why the motor had been difficult to start.  After talking with the mechanic on the phone, I gave the go ahead to replace whatever needed to be replaced.

When I got the boat back, the motor would not even idle.  I also noticed there was some oil on the ground below the motor.  I did not think anything about the oil, I thought it was residue from the mechanic cleaning the motor.

After a closer look, it appears the oil is leaking from a water vent hole.

Edit

At first I thought something was wrong with the motor, but after talking with my dad and several internet searches it seems that its just un-burned oil in the gas.  My dad suggested that I take the fill screw out of the skeg, check the oil for water, and go from there.

My wife and I are planning on taking the boat out on the river today. While we are out I plan on getting a fresh can of gas, mix in some oil and go from there.

Forum thread on Evinrude 30 horsepower leaking oil.

Other sections to this article:

River trip part 1
River trip part 2
River trip part 3

This series of articles is in preps of a 100+ mile river / camping trip down the Sabine river.  My buddies and I are planning on launching the boats around Bon Weir Texas, and ending up in Bridge City.