posted on Oct, 7 2009 @ 03:21 AM
In one of my reply post, a ATS member kind of hammered me for being critical of some other posts related to survivalism. He wrote that I should write
something about Cold Weather Survival, and I did.
I spent the better part of today putting this all together, if nothing other, than for your personal amusement and ever-critical critique.
Anticipating both; I present the finished results herein.
(When I am better at posting pictures, I will include a variety of pictures along with other posts. It always makes the reading more enjoyable, for me
Lastly; I would like to offer my heartfelt thanks for the positive comment on my previous post, and my sincere "who cares" for that that didn’t
like it. (HEH HE).
I've attempted to approach this post with ideas summoned from real life experiences, not just book reading and suppositions. Everything posted herein
is based on experiences that I’ve encountered throughout my life thus far.
To put things into perspective:
My “Dear Ol’ Dad” told me when I was eleven years old informed me -“That if I couldn’t live by his rules, under his roof, that I should
get my own roof—“ I took him at his word, and was promptly out the bathroom window that night after he was fast asleep. I never went back home
until I was 20 years old.
Being a city bred kid, with no practical experience or adequate skill set, but having somehow, through a voracious and vicarious reading propensity,
come to understand that being a genuine American “Mountain Man” was to be my dream fulfilled. The opportunity of being homeless at eleven years
old, provided me with impetus to seek my fortunes in the nether regions of the wilds.
The Blue Ridge Mountains of Kentucky, Tennessee, and West Virginia were my proving grounds. For the better part of two years, I lived in the Daniel
Boone National Forest. Particularly, in the Koomer Ridge area adjacent to the Natural Arch that draws many tourists, even today.
I was a scared, dirty-unkempt runaway child. I weighed less than one hundred pounds, and had never spent the night alone in the woods before. My total
sum of gear included the old’ man’s web belt, a GI canteen and cover, two ammo pouches, and a rusty old bread knife. Band-Aids, three packs of
Kool-Aid, and some crackers rounded out my meager supplies.
The area was crawling with picnickers, camper’s and tourists. What I couldn’t steal, or manufacture, I did without. There were many things that I
did without, mainly food. Hunger was always gnawing at me, and at times, I could eat three acres of wild berries, and still be hungry afterwards.
On a cold rainy night, I happened across a broke down old dilapidated pickup truck sitting beside the road leading into town. I think it was
Winchester Kentucky, but can’t remember for sure after all these years.. After watching it for about an hour, I crept closer to it with the intent
of seeing what was useful inside of it. My mind was playing tricks on me, as I envisioned bags of groceries, and three-musketeer chocolaty bars, my
favorite at the time. To my absolute horror, I found an old German issue Grey Coat, the kind made out 100% wool, a rusty old roofing hatchet, some
bailing wire, and a very old Ithaca Model #49 single-shot lever action rifle, with two boxes of shells. One of the boxes has about ten rounds missing.
It was to be my very first rifles. (I gave a similar one to my daughter when she was five years old. After her passing in 2003, her brother inherited
it,) The other most memorable find was a pack of Lucky strike cigarettes and a beat up old Zippo lighter. I’ll always regret taking those damned
smokes, as even now at 52, I still can’t kick that terrible habit.
The Park Rangers and Game Wardens were always present, as were various poachers, moonshiners, doper growers, fishermen, and hunters. I always thought
to myself that these people were out trying to find me. Little did I know, that my folks had placed a nationwide APB on me, and every cop in the
country was hoping to catch me. I’m not sure how many cops actually went looking for me, but I suppose that some attempt was made, but, as it seems,
without much success. At least for awhile.
I was caught twice around Louisville, and once in Cincinnati Ohio by the police who saw me during school hours. Somehow, not sure exactly, lucky I
guess; I managed to break out of these “juvenile delinquent finishing schools for would-be criminals, and made my way back to the woods.
I stayed away from anybody, and everybody. To me they represented failure, and eventual return to face a serious A$$ whupping by the old man, for
putting my mother through so much grief. I was determined to avoid that at all costs. All costs.
I guess enough complaints poured into the Park headquarters about some skinny filthy dirty kid streaking from the tree line, like some mad deranged
Yogi Bear, swiping picnic baskets and KFC chicken dinners from under their noses . They had to do something about it. I soon found myself being
hunted by Park Rangers on horseback, in jeeps, and many just walking around trying to find me.
It was time to exit the AO-rather quickly.
A couple of years later, a couple of gangs later, and thousands of miles across the country hiding in empty railcars, I found myself in the Teton
Mountains outside of Yellowstone National Park. My first “Real Winter” was to be in this area. But having spent a considerable amount of time
reading various survival manuals, and getting cold hard advice from travelling hobo’s, I was a little better prepared for “real life survival”.
That and having amassed the necessary gear and supplies, gave me the head start that I needed to learn how to take care of myself in the woods.
The first winter the temperature dropped to seventy below zero with the wind-chill factored in at -35 below zero. Needless to say, that was freaking
cold. The coldest that I had ever experienced. I lived in what is now called area 98, just south of Jackson Hole Wyoming, near Hobback Junction. An
area comprised of Bridger-Teton National Forest. It was there, and later in other areas, as well as the US Army, that my survival skills were well
Alaska had always been calling me from the first time I heard it’s swoon. I Now live here in the Last Frontier State, as part of my early childhood
dreams, chasing that elusive call of nature. Perhaps one day I will actually shed this post-modernistic-consumerism, and find myself a fat little hair
squaw to tend the fires and chew my leathers. (HEH HEH)
I’ll end this personal odyssey into my retrospective youth on that note, and get to the “meat & taters” of my posts. Do enjoy, and please
comments where appropriate, as I am always willing to listen to opposing views, and new strategies…