What is it Really Like? My Recent “Survival” Story

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posted on Apr, 4 2012 @ 12:17 AM
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Originally posted by dainoyfb
Originally posted by intrptr
 

Yah wilderness survival is one thing. Try living under bridges and behind buildings for 7 years. That builds character too.

No doubt!


I was thinking about your story and some things you can do in the future to improve upon your chances for survival. Why o why do they drop you alone and expect you to then navigate to a different spot by yourself?

First rule of scouts... buddy system.

I noticed your kit lacked any kind of signal device like a penguin flare set or strobe. Maybe pull smoke generator? They are quite small these days and provide you with a certain back up if you hear the chopper and you are down with a sprained broken sumptin in dense forest and a dead radio...

Just observing. Otherwise good story. Sorry about the callus remark.




posted on Apr, 4 2012 @ 12:25 AM
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Originally posted by AussieAmandaC
You sound like a very calm person


That's a great compliment, thanks!

Admittedly I had to check myself a little bit a couple of times while I was tracking after dark. When you move your headlamp sometimes it creates a shadow at the edge of your vision that looks like movement or sometimes your movement through the bush makes a sound that seems like it came from something else. When that happens it gets you thinking about how little you can see in the dark and how slow you move compared to everything else out there. But before that starts to build up you really have to remind yourself that there really is nothing dangerous out there. I remind myself about all of the old trappers and other people that have spent there entire life alone in the bush without coming across the "boogie man".

Anything can cause a panic out there, losing your whereabouts is a big one, thinking no one will come for you is another. One of the biggest components to successful survival in my opinion is having the mental tools to keep panic at bay.



posted on Apr, 4 2012 @ 12:31 AM
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You may get a kick out of this considering you recent brush with the void. Highly underrated and filled with the type of life you live and one mans wherewithal to deal with it. I am jealous. This is one of my favorite movies and you live it.

Never Cry Wolf



posted on Apr, 4 2012 @ 12:40 AM
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Originally posted by EarthCitizen23
Yunnan capsules
Wow,, what a wonder item for my pack.
Thanks,,
Any info you might think important to this Item would be nice to hear.


If you've looked it up then you probably know as much or more now than I do about it. I've been fortunate to see it's effects on many wildlife aninals that were treated after devastating internal injuries. I then researched it and learned about how effective it was when the Chinese originaly used it to treat battle field injuries. I've kept a tray of capsules in my SEK ever since.



posted on Apr, 4 2012 @ 12:51 AM
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reply to post by intrptr
 


I had a few signal devices with me. I had a Spot emergency transmitter. Actually I had two because I own one and the company issued one to me. There is a mirror on the Silva Ranger Compass. I had a whistle. There is a strobe function on my headlamp and it is a serious retina welder. I had a two way radio and the Sat phone. I had lots of fire starting gear and lots of things to burn. I also had a foot of bicycle inner tube, which among other uses lights instantly a creates gobs of smoke.



posted on Apr, 4 2012 @ 12:54 AM
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Originally posted by intrptr
You may get a kick out of this considering you recent brush with the void. Highly underrated and filled with the type of life you live and one mans wherewithal to deal with it. I am jealous. This is one of my favorite movies and you live it.

Never Cry Wolf


Thanks, I look forward to watching it.



posted on Apr, 4 2012 @ 01:19 AM
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reply to post by dainoyfb
 


What an incredible story OP!

The detail you include makes it easy to imagine just how cold and remote it is in that part of the country but I suspect it would be impossible to fully grasp without being there.

A few years ago I got a little lost (in my car) on a logging road about four hours north of the Greater Toronto Area.

There was nothing but evergreen trees all around, it was just beginning to snow and there was no cell phone signal for miles. It was scary!

The area you describe is much, much, much farther north.

You are tremendously brave.



posted on Apr, 4 2012 @ 03:22 AM
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wow, cool story. S&F

That must be crazy to be in an area where there is no one around your for 100 miles!

nuts


Let me bring out the ATS in me..... any Big Foot prints up there that you might have ran into?
edit on 4-4-2012 by camaro68ss because: (no reason given)



posted on Apr, 4 2012 @ 10:43 AM
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Wow great read, OP! I love camping and backpacking and even though I'm not really one who would look forward to a survival situation like this, I learned a lot from your experience.
I think the thing that impressed me the most and the greatest tool for one in a situation like that is attitude. When you mentioned the wolves I initially thought of it as a potential problem, but you were actually looking forward to hearing them as it would bring some dinner entertainment! Haha very inspiring.
Thanks again.



posted on Apr, 4 2012 @ 11:10 AM
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Originally posted by camaro68ss
Let me bring out the ATS in me..... any Big Foot prints up there that you might have ran into?


Ha, no. No Big Foot prints and trust me we looked at a lot of tracks. I haven't added it up exactly yet but I've hiked something like 100km in different areas up there. Together my team did nearly 100 of these 5km lines and you always end up having to hike more than just the 5km each day. Whenever we came across tracks that we were not sure about, or were even tracks of the rarer species, we photographed, measured and documented them thoroughly. In the evening we would get together and figure out what they were. We never came across anything that looked like Big Foot or even Human for that matter.

I've been an ATS junky for a long time. Its just nature for me now to keep my eyes open for unusual stuff. Of particular interest in that regard is the Caribou Mountains. It is this vast, sudden, nearly circular uplift of land inside of Wood Buffalo Park. I hiked lines in it and flew over it many times this year. It would be the perfect place to hide some secret base and the fact that you can't enter Wood Buffalo Park without special permits makes it all the more intriguing. Unfortunately a secret base needs traffic and after days in and around the area, I didn't see or hear a single aircraft except our own.
edit on 4-4-2012 by dainoyfb because: I typo'd



posted on Apr, 4 2012 @ 11:32 AM
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Good post, and very interesting pictures, made a nice read. S&F.

However ..

I hardly call that survival. I mean equipped and prepared for all odds, having certainty about your EZ and ETA of the helo.

Waiting for the bus at a bus stop in south-central L.A. is more of a survival trip than that



posted on Apr, 4 2012 @ 11:56 AM
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reply to post by H1ght3chHippie
 


That is why the title of my thread has survival in quotes and I use the word "minor" in the opening post. Fortunately I was prepared. I think any situation like that where the unexpected happens has to be treated like a survival situation because there are so many things that can go deadly wrong in an environment like that. Survival is mitigating dangers. Out there even the simple act of sweating too much without support or finding a way to mitigate the threat of hypothermia is deadly. When the helicopter left me standing there and it became dead quite for 100km around in an environment that I didn't want to be in, trust me, I went into survival mode.



posted on Apr, 4 2012 @ 12:04 PM
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reply to post by dainoyfb
 


I agree with you 100%

Sure, you were highly prepared, and had the luxury of knowing rescue was imminent, but it was still an unexpected development, with real dangers such as the cold, and wildlife, and there was a possibility of an extended stay depending on weather.

You learned some things, such as modifying your carry of the missing hatchet.

You also felt the same aloneness and apprehension that anyone would feel, so if you felt it in ideal conditions, imagine how someone ill-prepared, and without the promise of rescue would feel! It is easy to take your experience and extrapolate it to an inexperienced, ill-prepared person, with no promise of rescue, and imagine the danger and fear they would feel!

And, I guarantee the vast majority of readers have never camped outside, in the wilderness, alone without what you were carrying and much more! Most people that camp bring truck loads of stuff, or set up their camp weeks or months in advance! You camped in extremely harsh conditions with only what you were carrying on your person. It is a unique experience and an accomplishment worth sharing, and worth reflecting upon!



posted on Apr, 4 2012 @ 12:20 PM
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cool story, nicely written, sounds like it was acctually pretty enjoyable. Survival is definately easier when you're prepared and know what you're doing!



posted on Apr, 4 2012 @ 05:26 PM
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reply to post by dainoyfb
 


Whenever we came across tracks that we were not sure about, or were even tracks of the rarer species, we photographed, measured and documented them thoroughly. In the evening we would get together and figure out what they were.

I was wondering if you could run down the list of critter tracks you have encountered in your treks. Adding up all the variety would you say there is a healthy population? Or scant few? Are there active packs like wolves or wolverines? How about Caribou? Bear? Do you only trek in the winter or all year around? What kind of vegetation do any herbavor's eat? How do you track the birds, if any? Do you find kills with tracks leading away from that?

Sorry for all the questions, just you got my inquizattenna up.



posted on Apr, 4 2012 @ 06:19 PM
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I love stories like this, a lot of people like to think of themselves as "mountain men" but most people dont know what to do when it comes to surviving in the wild. I feel bad that you lost your hatchet, my weapons and camping gear are like my babies and I make sure I strap them on really tight and Im constantly checking them when walking. Thanks for teaching me a few new things as well, the arrow trick with collecting firewood is perfect, although you cant really use it if your not in the snow.



posted on Apr, 4 2012 @ 06:40 PM
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Originally posted by dainoyfb

Originally posted by AussieAmandaC
You sound like a very calm person


That's a great compliment, thanks!

Admittedly I had to check myself a little bit a couple of times while I was tracking after dark. When you move your headlamp sometimes it creates a shadow at the edge of your vision that looks like movement or sometimes your movement through the bush makes a sound that seems like it came from something else. When that happens it gets you thinking about how little you can see in the dark and how slow you move compared to everything else out there. But before that starts to build up you really have to remind yourself that there really is nothing dangerous out there. I remind myself about all of the old trappers and other people that have spent there entire life alone in the bush without coming across the "boogie man".

Anything can cause a panic out there, losing your whereabouts is a big one, thinking no one will come for you is another. One of the biggest components to successful survival in my opinion is having the mental tools to keep panic at bay.


You're welcome

Absolutely, yes I agree completely, fear has a way of making people come unstuck and manifesting from your imagination enough to give you the willies/panic, which can be more dangerous that your actual situation,
a mantra for you next time you are out and about in the middle of no where.....there is nothing mother made or man made that can hurt me if I respect and love it. That goes for your equipment too. Fear = victim
I reckon the silence would have been wonderful.

May all your trips be as lovely
x



posted on Apr, 4 2012 @ 07:28 PM
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Originally posted by intrptr
reply to post by dainoyfb
 


Whenever we came across tracks that we were not sure about, or were even tracks of the rarer species, we photographed, measured and documented them thoroughly. In the evening we would get together and figure out what they were.

I was wondering if you could run down the list of critter tracks you have encountered in your treks. Adding up all the variety would you say there is a healthy population? Or scant few? Are there active packs like wolves or wolverines? How about Caribou? Bear? Do you only trek in the winter or all year around? What kind of vegetation do any herbavor's eat? How do you track the birds, if any? Do you find kills with tracks leading away from that?

Sorry for all the questions, just you got my inquizattenna up.


Mouse
Hare
Weasel
Squirrel
Moose
Marten
Fisher
Lynx
Fox
River Otter
Elk
Beaver
Wolf
Bison
Caribou
Cougar
Wolverine
Grouse
Chickedee
Grey Jay
Great Grey
Raven

These are the ones we came across during this winter season anyway.

Its difficult from our perspective to say if the certain numbers are healthy or not. In fact its difficult based on our surveys to tell what the numbers are. For instance Wolf direct register. This means that the rest of the Wolves step in the tracks of the lead Wolf so exactly that it is impossible to know how many were there. Also the snow up North is very cold and dry so it is powdery and doesn't hold the form of a print. One of the reasons the image of the Lynx print in the OP is signifigant is that we rarely find a print that has held its form so well. We do a very specialized form of tracking up North where instead of identifing the track by the shape of the print we go by the track pattern and the size of the print. for instance does the animal hop two by two or walk, if it hops two by two are the prints side by side like a Squirrel or are they offset like a Weasel, does it wander or does it go in mostly a strait line, is it heavy or light, does it direct register with it's hind feet or do the hind feet make their own tracks, what is the length of the step and the distance between right and left steps, does the animal move slow and deliberate like a Cat or does it move quickly, tossing snow from the foot like a
Wolf, what does it's scat look like, what habitat is it in etc?

Also I don't really know if certain animals are supposed to be in a particular area or not. For instance I can look at the areas and I get the impresion that they are healthy, working environments. I've found no evidence that there is a shortage of Deer and Coyote in Alberta and in fact I see them in droves while we are in town and around town from the helicopter. However you will notice that they are absent from my list even though we documented other ungulates and Wolves on a regular basis.

Our study deals with wether or not a species exists in an area and we watch that area over many years to see what changes. So I have no way to say if things are healthy or not. I can say that except for a disturbing number of large oil survey cutlines and some logging clear cuts in certain areas there is little visible human disturbance.

As for Wolverine Caribou and Bear, we documented Wolverine but only a couple times. We documented Caribou in some areas and saw herds many times from the helicopter in Wood Buffalo Park. Bear has only been documented once in the last 12 years because they are generally asleep in the winter.

Most mammal surveys are done in the winter because of how well the tracks show up in snow. Plant surveys are done in the warm seasons and bird surveys are mostly spring to fall but more specifically when their migration brings them to a particular survey area. Birds are surveyed by catch and release banding, audio surveys, nest counts, visual surveys and probably some other methods.

Yes, I came across many kill sites this year. One of the memorable ones was this poor Grouse that just happened to land right at a weasel hole. Weasels, despite being barely larger than a mouse are known as vicious hunters and this one took out a grouse perhaps ten times it's size.

I'm not sure I could list here all of the herbivore winter diets but of interest Grouse apparently eat mostly Spruce needles, yuck.
edit on 4-4-2012 by dainoyfb because: Because I fixed some typos. Sorry about that.



posted on Apr, 4 2012 @ 07:48 PM
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Originally posted by Shagga
my weapons and camping gear are like my babies and I make sure I strap them on really tight and Im constantly checking them when walking.


Yeah, me too and I'm very surprised at myself for loosing the hatchet. It's stainless steel so who knows, in ten thousand years maybe an archeologist will find it. On the bright side I had just sharpened it so well that it actually passed the shaving test so at least it won't look like it was lost by a complete looser.



posted on Apr, 4 2012 @ 08:50 PM
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reply to post by dainoyfb
 

Wow thanks for that detailed reply. I can see that you are a skilled tracker and woodsman. When I think about you in the silence of winter up there alone working your "line", I get a clear picture of what it means to be you. I am very enthralled by that scenario you paint of being dropped by the helo and the silence that settles as it departs. Then you are the only warm blooded human for miles. That has to be really humbling. Something city dwellers see little and need more of.

I live in USA on west coast. When I was younger in the scouts and camping we got to see wilderness somewhat like you describe. I spent a winter in Yosemite once when it was closed to the public, that was awesome. But nowadays "camping" is a civilized thing, every where is off limits and people are everywhere.

What you do is Golden.


For instance Wolf direct translat. This means that the rest of the Wolves step in the tracks of the lead Wolf so exactly that it is impossible to know how many were there.

Do they do that to purposely hide their numbers or because the track is compacted and easier? Hope they find little oil. The pristine, undisturbed wilderness areas are shrinking. The greatest thing I think about what you do is that your survey's are passive and little disturb the wildlife you are observing. It must be awesome at times to come upon fresh tracks and the temptation to follow and come upon wildlife must be overpowering.

To suddenly spy a lynx, wolverine or even cougar would blow my mind. Not that they would ever let you get that close... just saying. Something about being alone with nature is balming to the soul. Don't ever take that for granted?

I been in the city tooooo long. Thanks for taking the time to enlighten ATS.





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