Author Topic: 5 day B/S backpackin in Sgt York's backyard!  (Read 11412 times)

Offline ridge rover

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5 day B/S backpackin in Sgt York's backyard!
« on: March 08, 2013, 04:50:29 AM »
This trip was October 2012. By posting it now, might whet yer whistle for spring!

I once dated a girl who wanted to live in a log cabin.
So on her birthday, I said” Your wish of living in a log cabin,
Is about to come true!”
So I gave her an axe,
Wrapped in paper and tied with a bow.
Said here is your cabin,
All you have to do,
Is make it so!

I wrote that, just so now ya know this post ain’t right! Speaking of ain’t right, here is “Stupid” about to pack for the trip.

Gotta give credit where credit is due. Here are my 2 primary sources of inspiration and information for the following trip, including past and future adventures.

Stupid is as Stupid does!

Survival Camping is many things to different people. Nessmuk said, “We go camping not to rough it, but to smooth it!” Survival camping is the opposite. Each person, for each trip, must choose options for which to “rough it,” meaning how challenging a trip do you wish to experience?

Survival camping, or what I call BS {Bushcraft/Survival}, is all about doing stupid stuff on purpose, for the reason of developing skills and building confidence. And boy was I stupid on this trip!

Survival camping can be a blend of different skill-sets from many strategies, or as I like to call it, “Camping from the Caveman to the Present.”

One skill-set, is called Bushcraft. Each strategy/skill-set has its own notable figures thru-out history. There’s Nessmuk thru Kephart to Korchanski, Wescott, Dan Beard, etc,or.r_gc.r_pw.&fp=a1a74987b0ef3170&bpcl=35466521&biw=1280&bih=665,or.r_gc.r_pw.&fp=a1a74987b0ef3170&bpcl=35466521&biw=1280&bih=665



Another skill-set is Backpacking with its many options. To put labels on the different skills used in each strategy, demonstrates how each compliments the other. Notables of modern day backpacking are as follows. For old school lightweight backpacking, there is Nessmuk. One discipline is always relative to the others. I haven’t even mentioned Primitive Technology, oh my! Here’s some modern backpacking folks.

Ray Jardine.

Colin Fletcher, the father of modern day backpacking

That book that sealed my fate! Too bad it was just before the current lightweight backpacking revolution, but…… I did it anyway!

Check out all you can by this guy also.

Sometimes a little solitude is good for the soul, so I left the radio at home. Solitude did come at the wrong times and the people I met on the trail were unexpected, but a welcome addition to my trip. I saved someone’s ass with info, and he saved my ass later with info he previously gave me. Then there was the guy I met at the trailhead parking lot at the end of my trip, when I told him I think my car has been stolen!

I left my radio at home and was without a barometer, well that was just stupid! In an effort to neutralize my stupidity, I did check the 10 day weather forecast beforehand, so when it rained unexpectedly…….

Stupid, stupid, stupid! I took a sawblade. I “had” to make a saw frame in camp. Next time I may carry a pocket chainsaw for a back-up as it was way past dark-thirty when I had to make the saw frame and I expected rain soon. Maybe not…….

Left my Pal Light at home.

I would have taken it, but I lost the lens. You can reverse the lens for a wider beam. These things have changed since the first one I bought years ago. There are many new models now. Choose at least one! I like it cause you don’t have to worry about the battery going dead when you need it! Think read all night!

Now, I know the folks at candlepowerforums may say there are better choices for 3 oz of light, like the many 1xAAA led lights, but they will not stay on nearly forever!  And I miss my bedroom nity-nite light! Just leave me be with one 1xAAA lite in my PSK.

I learned the value of waterproof lights on this trip. Poor, poor, pitiful, stupid
me………But the Pal light is an exception!

I don’t get out much, so trip planning is one way to make every precious trail minute count. That’s one excuse I use for always packing too heavy. Guess I’m just a “Big Bloody Sack” kind of guy.  I’m starting to see some daylight and common sense in light weight packing, but it’s been difficult. My pack weight was 41 lbs for a possible 10 days. This included every drop of water, kits, ammo, gun, everything! I swear that 40 felt more like 60! Must be old age setting in! LOL

Planning was in many stages. One stage involved the kitchen at home. For the last couple years I have been pursuing a gluten free diet for general health reasons. This means no wheat or wheat containing products. In order to make bread, cakes and stuff, you must use alternative flours. This is really not as hard as it seems.

For the trail, I wanted simplicity. This meant yeast free. There are powdered eggs and milk available if these things are needed. There are store bought premixed flours on the market like G-Free Bisquick, but many of these products contain aluminum. Who wants to eat aluminum? Mixing seems complicated too, as in yeast or no yeast. I’m no Betty Crocker!

YouTube to the rescue! I found 3 vids that gave me some good direction. I’ll start with the most relevant, a simple milk, egg, and yeast free pan bread. I need more work on this one, as he doesn’t provide an accurate recipe. He does use aluminum free ingredients as he explains in his other bread videos. I can’t believe how fast my pan breads cooked!

I will add this. Stay away from soy products (some egg replacements, etc) because soy will mess with your hormones.  I liked the lemon juice more than the Apple Cider Vinegar in the recipes. Another G-free trail food is dumplins. Need testing here, but it may be a long winter! If you are not G-free, just use regular flour for the above recipes.

I fired up my dehydrator. I dried apples, beef jerky, sprouted almonds and ground beef. Found out dried ground beef is light as a feather compared to beef jerky! Heavy and chewy vs lite and crunchy. Lets see the presidential candidates debate that one!

My gun, 3 lbs of death and destruction! Scope is a heavy 1.5x4 Burris for magnums. I know, “what was “Stupid” thinking!” I promised myself to remove the scope for this trip but…. I took it to the range and dialed it in, With that accuracy, I just couldn’t leave the scope at home.

I took it to the range, a new one that just opened up. The targets were actually still as they hung downrange! Lighting was OK, but 20 yds was the most lighted range and the distance I shot from. I did an informal test on the Paco Kelly stuff again. I won’t say testing is over, but I’m convinced! I saw consistency I can rely on. I did get a fantastic group with stock Mini Mag solid points, but…..I’ll use the ACCU’RZR all I can now.
These groups were with solid point Mini Mags, but next testing will be with hollow points and for better consistency I will use the center bullseye only.

5&11 o”clock were Paco

Right is Paco but left is stock Mini Mags! All shooting was 5 shot groups. I couldn’t believe the 5 shot 2 hole group from stock Mini-Mags!


Another stage in planning, was a trip to the park to work on shelter options. So I loaded up and headed to the park. I took my 2 tarp bibles. Only one is available now. If interested in buying any kind of tarp, do it before the season gets here. The good ones will be sold out, back ordered forever, or some tarps are made by order only. Or you can do like I did in my trip to the park. Cut a 9x9’ piece of plastic painter’s tarp in 2 mil (15 oz).  (3 mil is stronger, but 2 mil is OK, also lighter)

At the last minute, I got a wild hair you know where, and ordered a poncho tarp from Campmor. Twas going to take an untested piece of primary shelter gear camping into the deep woods. Stupid! More stupid was I ordered the wrong poncho/tarp! And I purposely left my big piece of painter’s plastic, tarp at home!

The Poncho Shelter arrived. I wasn’t expecting it to have tarp tie outs, but it did. The one I should have ordered was 14” longer. I ordered the short poncho by mistake.  The right one may have kept me from nearly drowning in a net bivy. If you want a Poncho Tarp and not the smaller Poncho Shelter, get this one in the link. The Poncho Shelter, you don’t want that one. Get the Poncho Tarp. It’s the more expensive one. Check the dimensions also. Don’t forget silicone seam sealer


The question for the future, is whether I should order the versatile Campmor Poncho Tarp or get this bad boy!

On second thought, the Campmor poncho is half the price of the above and a Heatsheet or couple garbage bags can make up the difference in functionality…..

The revered cloth of the wilderness.  Favored by the Longhunters of days gone by. Reborn by need, when doing the dirty deed!

Now where was I? Oh yeah, the beginning!
After taking a couple stupid wrong turns, I finally arrived at the trailhead, so I thought. There were three trailheads! All within close proximity to each other. There was one for horses, another for hikers and another for Charit Creek lodge. That one was within a few steps of the trail. There were no cars there and it was behind an open park gate, so I parked at the hiker’s trailhead up the road, around the bend, and did some short road walking.

My truck is on life support, so I’m limited to car travel and car trailheads. With my truck, I could go deeper into the woods to a secluded trailhead, closer to the “target” trail.

And it’s off to the trail! That’s my car in the background.

Offline ridge rover

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Re: 5 day B/S backpackin in Sgt York's backyard!
« Reply #1 on: March 08, 2013, 04:54:23 AM »

It was .8 mile to the lodge, so said the sign. I didn’t pay much attention to the sign though, just a stupid National Geographic map which didn’t make much sense either.

Charit Creek lodge is run by the same folks as the Mt. LeConte lodge in the Smokies. They have bunks and stables for horses. They are reservation only lodging. At one time they were a hostel. Here’s some pics. The map was so screwy, I never expected to see the lodge!

This is the backside of the lodge. I forgot to take a pic of the front porch!

Horse trails for sure! Sometimes walking and horse trails were the same, other times they were different or split, being 2 trails as one. Confusing!

Here’s some random trail pics:

Offline ridge rover

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Re: 5 day B/S backpackin in Sgt York's backyard!
« Reply #2 on: March 08, 2013, 05:00:13 AM »

The sign had said snakes. Didn’t see any, too bad cause I’ve never eaten a snake. Creek crossings. That’s what the trail guidebook said. It would be a wet journey. I’ve crossed many a creek in goretex boots. They never dry, once they are wet. The goretex may keep some water out, but they they keep water in also. Twas a tough decision if I should wear boots or shoes. I put each on my digital scales at home. Guess which won by a pound!

A few times, I really missed the lateral stability of boots, almost twisting an ankle. More than a few times, I was able to nearly dry out my shoes.  With boots, I needed a lighter moccasin, etc in camp. With shoes, that was my lightweight camp footwear………….

My boots are good lightweight Danners. My shoes are very good Patagonia footwear. They both are very highly rated by Backpacker magazine. The decision on which to wear was a tough one. There was no wrong choice.

I was in Alvin C. York’s backyard, a few miles east of  Jimtown. Big South Fork is what its called now. A few miles north, just across the Tn/Ky border, was the first commercial oil well in the United States. They were looking for salt and struck oil instead! There were also oil wells near me in Tn during this period.

The map and trail signs were difficult to figure out. The signs never said which trail I was on, just said how far to a particular destination.


Short and stocky, with long and lean.
Together they make one hell of a team!

Here’s a simple mod I made to my Hoodlum. All I did was paracord wrap the naked handle and put the handles back on. It gives a  beefy, fuller grip. My original idea was to keep the handles off and have a paracord wrapped handle, but……My modded grip just completed the feel of the knife!

The Hoodlum knife! That’s from the second batch of 50 that were made. It the Tops version, not the current Buck version whom took over production, just before Ron Hood died of Agent Orange complications.

Many want a chopper blade/axe for the wilderness. To begin with, a blade and an axe are two different animals! Many expect a blade to do an axe’s job. If ya want an axe, then git yerself a da gum axe! But many who want a chopping blade, actually need a whacking blade with chopping attributes! That’s the Hoodlum!

I tell ya, I was one whacking fool in dem woods! Here a whack, there a whack, everywhere a whack, whack. Yep, if you were there with me, you would say” Sully, quit whacking off!” As I stated, the best blade for the wilderness, is the one you use the most. Ron Hood says, he’s studied survival skills all over the world and one thing has been consistent. “You can get a big knife to do a little knife’s job, but ya can’t get a little knife to do a big knife’s job!”

I remember when I first heard about batoning. I was in junior high school. Batoning was something pre teen girls did for the school band. So, as an adult, when someone asked what I thought about batoning, I told them I wasn’t *** and twirling a baton wasn’t for me. Little did this country boy know…… Well, me and the Hoodlum blade were batoning partners! I did my job and the Hoodlum easily did its job……..enough said.

Skookum Bush Tool. Hearsay says they’re on a 2 year waiting list. Get on it if you can! Its that good. At least get a quality copy, with the scandi grind, same blade thickness and same or a little longer length blade. The SBT is a heavy one, and will be left home on longer overnight, multiday, trips. I will take a SAK instead, due to weight issues.

It’s a great carver and makes fuzz sticks like there’s no tomorrow! But……There’s how often did I use it, compared to my Hoodlum? My Hoodlum was used 100 to 1 times more often than the SBT! So, I will replace the SBT with my SAK for most backpacking trips. But as a general Bushcrafting blade, nothing comes close in my book!

Offline ridge rover

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Re: 5 day B/S backpackin in Sgt York's backyard!
« Reply #3 on: March 08, 2013, 05:08:11 AM »

I had two. One was a folding pocket saw and the other was one I made in camp. Here is what I brought.
Several places carry this saw. Other people carry a shorter version for kits.

This is the saw blade I had.

I have several ideas for saw frames. Perhaps, that will be my winter home project. I went with a simple design I’ve used before. Its simple if ya find the right limb! As you can see, it’s a limb in the shape of a wishbone. Its drawback is it needs a brace, however…..It cut all the wood I needed as pictured. I did need to use both hands as it was flimsy, but once started, I could use only one hand.

This looks like a New World Order symbol! Actually the circle in a triangle is what those grey folks with the funny eyes had on their uniforms LOL. That’s another post……

My first wilderness saw used the blade from my Sawvivor. But I thought, what if I just bent a single, long stick to make a quick bow? Wouldn’t a longer saw blade make the saw easier to make? Anyway, I left my SAK at home to deeper explore the concept of “stupid.”  So I didn’t have an awl to make holes in the wood, for the pins to secure the blade. What I did, worked way better than I thought. I just tied the blade in! It did come untied once or twice, but it worked!


Why doesn’t anybody make anything right to begin with? Here’s my bug bivy, no longer in production.

The newer NF version has more head area, but check out the Marmot bug bivy before you buy.  It’s possible, I may get it someday or modify what I have or even buy a net tent. A bivy sack is not for everyone. Some may think they are buried alive! Me thinks different. Me likes the snug comfy feeling. Like a worm in a cocoon!{keyword}

Net tent vs bug bivy? Things to look out for. How strong is the floor?  A bug bivy can be hot. Hot is when the bugs are out and you need it the most! My Northface bivy is a little warm for hot weather, score one for the bigger Marmot bivy. But a net tent can allow you to sit up! Wish them bivy makers would make a top entry model, another reason to buy a sewing machine! 

About them regular bivys, My research says too many condensation problems for me. They cost enough to buy a real house too! Gimme a bug tent/bivy and tarp anyday!

This is my first camp. I only had 2 campsites for 5 days out. Basecamps are cool!

I got a late start out and it was nearing dark-thirty, and there was another creek in front of me, I didn’t want to get wet again. So I just hit the trailside and camped. I would cross the creek tomorrow. As luck would have it, there was a beautiful horsecamp with lots of sawcut wood on the other side of the creek! “If it weren’t for bad luck, I’d have no luck at all,” so said the part time stupid camper………..

So, I hit the trail again. My goal was to go to the river and possibly a little north of there, and make a loop of the trip. I also wanted to visit a trail I did not complete in a previous hike. Hurricane Isadore had swept thru Tn with monsoon rains for days! I blessed my 10x12 silnylon tarp on that trip!

 Twas maybe after the second creek crossing, on the second day.  I stopped to look at the old wagon trail to the left. And there stood this sweaty looking fool holding a drybag! I asked him the usual questions about……. “And I thought I was stupid!” I offered him food and he asked if he needed to cross the creek or take the false jeep trail to the right?

 He was headed to the lodge to call for help and wondered if there even was a lodge on the trail. Guess I saved his life, keeping him on the correct trail, as later he would save mine with some info also. I told him to cross the creek and the lodge was a mile or so farther. He said  him and his buddy were out canoe camping and dragged their canoe  up on shore, and didn’t do a good tying job. The river rose during the night and swept away their canoe, leaving them stranded like Gilligan and the Skipper. Now there’s stupid and there’s learning experiences. Fortunately, they are not always the same. Self-rescue is “determination in action!”

Wouldn’t ya know it, I met up with that fast walking fool a few hundred yards before I made it to the river! The trail he was on, converged with the trail I was on (don’t know how we got on different trails!). He told me where they were camped by the river and I went to meet his friend. Steve was 55 and Butch was 62. I asked them if we will ever learn to grow old and keep our asses home. We all had a good laugh and said “Hell no!”
Steve had called a friend while at the lodge, and told him to bring a canoe to reach them from the other side of the river. The river-point was the first of two major horse crossings and there was a road on the other side.

Well, their friend showed up and they found their canoe close to where they camped, on the end of a nearby island. I waved them goodbye and camped in the same place as them, on a big embankment above the river. There was a spring within a few yards and plenty of wood to be sawed.

I wanted to get some day-hiking in before the rain moved thru. North of where I was camped, was an old long hunter homestead. The cabin burned down in the 1990s, when someone started a fire in the fireplace. Only the chimney remained, and the foundation of the small cabin.

I entered the homestead area, and found a beautiful field, with a mountain backdrop. It was also quite a bit cooler there also.

Offline ridge rover

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Re: 5 day B/S backpackin in Sgt York's backyard!
« Reply #4 on: March 08, 2013, 05:13:38 AM »
There were a couple hitching posts in the area, perfect for bad back trail yoga! Just bend backwards over the railing, and listen to your back snap, crackle and pop!

Here’s what’s left of the cabin.

I got the urge “to go.” I left my ass rag in camp, so I had to improvise.

I found this old out house with an old pile of moss stacked in the corner.


Can’t you imagine a drunk going to this shit shack back in the day. He would swear that it wasn’t leaning!

I didn’t realize, the “reality of stupid,” was about to visit me again. If you go in one way, go out the same way, unless you’re with stupid! I got back on the trail and kept walking. I didn’t seem to be on the same trail. Musta got on the horse trail I thought. I didn’t look at my compass, as that would not do any good. Just hoped I was headed south, back to camp. The way trails twist and bend, a compass may say south when you are actually going north, so ya gotta have a landmark. So, I kept walking.

Saw this sign I didn’t see coming in, but I kept walking.

I saw the river, and began to think about what Butch had told me earlier.

I asked Butch which way they were floating. He told me, but I told him it didn’t make sense to be going up-river! He told me the river flowed north, not south! This was my payback for helping them. Instant Karma? Anyway………….I turned my happy ass around and headed back in a definite southerly direction, hoping I would make it back to camp before dark. I needed to stormproof my shelter, make a saw frame and cut some wood. The 10-day forecast said rain Thursday, I just didn’t know how much or when…………..

I made it back to camp and set priorites. Didn’t seem to do much relaxing on this trip. There always seemed to be something I needed to do or somewhere I wanted to go. There wasn’t a cloud in the sky…….. was it really going to rain within 24 hours? I tried to remember weather movements. Does it get cold or hot after a rain? Why does the rain come from the south one time and the west or north other times? Most importantly, which temps follow a southern rain or a northern rain? Without a barometer or the benefit of a radio weatherman, I was on the same terms of Daniel Boone, as he walked near where I was. He may have been the first white man to walk the trail, I was now walking!

It might not rain at all or rain late in the day Thursday. My priority was wood. I expected a warm front following the southern rain, but……..I needed dry wood anyway. In the scouts we learned the rhyme, “wet wood on the outside, dry on the inside!” I would test my big knife at getting to the dry wood inside, by batoning.

I began to experiment with stormproofing shelter options. Just playing really, as I expected a rainless night, notttttttttttttttt! I had this piece of plastic. I draped it over my poncho to gauge its slightly bigger size. Its actually a lightweight ground cloth that might help in building a “Super Shelter.”

Offline ridge rover

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Re: 5 day B/S backpackin in Sgt York's backyard!
« Reply #5 on: March 08, 2013, 05:21:59 AM »
My camp was needing refinement! It worked for me and that’s all I cared about! Not sure, but I think this is just after the rain.

Scatology 101 Which animal did this turd come from?

This is my washing machine. Ass rag gotta be washed sometime!

The spring.

That’s a shit eating grin if I ever saw one! It’s because I ate that turd!  Wasn’t a real turd, but an attempt at making camp pemmican. Might have worked if I used jerky bits instead of crunchy dried ground beef. The bottle is virgin coconut oil.

It was late at night and the stars were still out. I thought I would wake up early and put the finishing touches to my camp before the rain. It rained hard for almost 3 hours that night! Twas still drizzeling in the morning.

Later, I was able to find some bark to stash in my Maxpedition Rolypoly. It burns lke gasoline when dry and still pretty good when damp.

The rain puddled in the floor/head area of my bivy. It came thru the front screen. I was wearing a sleeping cap, like Snoopy wears and only felt a few drops of rain.  My head lamp shorted out and would not work till it dried out. My next headlamp will be waterproof!

Misc. Notes

Learned more about  survival kit systems and how to fine tune my system. Fancy Nuts {Nut N Fancy} on YouTube talks about systems, I couldn’t agree more. Some speak words like levels, layering, etc. It’s all about a system of working parts. Pick what works for you, and do it!

I took my pack off at the canoe camp. I walked over to the spring and almost freaked! I didn’t have a knife with me! Not even a mini-kit! Long story, but its all about what’s in your pockets, at all times. My backpack hip-belt kept me away from my belt gear like a gear retractor with knife, lighter, etc. and my Maxpedition bottle holder PSK. I’m redoing my pocket mini-kit for easier carry and vow to always have an SAK in my pocket at all times! I won’t leave home without it again!

Just when I thought I had this one figured out with my Steripen and Frontier Pro filter. REI had this 30% off sale and I just happened to be in the store a couple days before my trip. I’ve had my eye on this filter for a while, but I’m a fan of “using what ya got!” I didn’t really want to spend any more money on this trip, however……….

If I bought this filter, would Dave Ramsey ever forgive me? What da hey, when I get home, I’ll hide my Dave Ramsey book under a stack of Backwoodsman magazines!

I bought the Sawyer Squeeze filter. Ya gotta realize the limitations of a filter. If you let it freeze, the filter will die! Then if you drink the water, you might feel like you’re gonna die!

For a backup, I put Aqua Mira in some little bottles. I found them in two places on the web of different sizes, here is where I got mine.

My Sawyer can use different water bags but, these are the lightest, smallest packing bags. They are different from Platypus bags and will fit inside a Maxped pouch easier like the Sawyer bags do. My Sawyer filter and water bag fit in a Cocoon pouch.

That Sawyer is a drip filter also, if ya gots the time, the way to go for filtering a lot of water. At night, before bed, I filled all my bags up and used Aqua Mira. That way, I would have plenty of drinking water when I woke up. I really didn’t use the Sawyer much, unless I was on the trail.

Tinder Quick.
There it is, in the wind with some petroleum jelly mixed in.

Didn’t impress me. Not long enough burn time to start a fire without some PJ mixed in. I’ll mix in some PJ and put them in a pill ziplock like the drug store sells. I forget the burn time with the PJ, but it was close to 3 minutes. Those pill bags are good to put Esbit cubes in too.

Emberlit stove.
 This was the first time to use this little jewel. I use a small pot, so I did some quick mods, like bending the tabs out so the pot would fit inside. Next time I will bring a lightweight grill to put the pot on inside the stove tabs. Tent pegs work but a grill is better. Not sure why I didn’t bend the tabs in, cept the pot seemed more secure, behind the tabs.

If ya have a fire, why do you even need a stove? When its raining and you are sitting hungrily beneath your tarp! A stove lights faster and uses less wood too, fool! Why is Stupid sounding like Mr T?  Anyway, I expected some awesome flow dynamics with this stove, but all I got was a nice, more than effective, cooking fire, that was plenty enough for me!

My fire hose.
Not much to say, but use stretchy tubing like surgical tubing or water filter hose. Surgical tubing will wear out, so replace as needed.

I didn’t realize it, but “Stupid” kinda looks like the great comedic hunchback, Marty Feldman! That cap, is a sleeping cap I bought at a military surplus store. If I would have found a hidden moonshine still……….my eyes would be bugging out too!,or.r_gc.r_pw.&fp=9d393c56f1294876&bpcl=37189454&biw=1280&bih=642

Gear Retractor. Stupid finally does something smart!

I got the medium Maxpedition one, but a search says there are other options. I’ll order a large in the future and use the medium for work. The medium worked great, but the large has a longer reach and would take a bigger knife.

I’ve long thought about neck knives, but hate weight around my neck. Twas just a few days before my trip, when the idea of a gear retractor entered what was left of my demented mind. I already had visions of a functional camp neck knife kit, but something was missing. The gear retractor solved everything! I would just have to move it from my belt to my backpack when ‘packing.

Cutting and burning paracord ends with a lighter, is one reason for a lighter on a neck knife kit. By moving everything to a belt gear retractor, I could add more stuff like scissors, bigger knife, flashlight, etc.

I never did get that trail bread recipe right, but I brought some of my “special” flour mix along anyway. At home, it was just barely OK but not enough flavor for me. I did discover if you take a little rectangular baking tin and cover it with a big rectangular baking tin, and put a coal on top, ya gots a spiffy oven! I forgot my big tin and had to make do with two small tins. I lost my metal spork in camp. I wanted to leave it at home anyway, and just cut chopstick mini-shovels, but I discovered a metal spork was very good with cleaning my Snow Peak titanium pan, I use to bake in. I ended up making chopsticks anyway………….

Pee bottle.
 A while back, I read somewhere, someone, used a Nalgene Canteen for a pee bottle. I eventually spent the money for one and am glad I did!.

I did the research and field testing. Spilled more pee than I care to think about. I used ziplock freezer bags, water container ziplock bags, etc. Nothing would equal the Nalgene Canteen in lightweight, performance and packability! For campground tent camping, the Gator Aid bottle rocks, but for peeing in a cramped bivy, tent, canoe or kayak, gotta be Nalgene Canteen!

Here’s the kayak rig for “my canteen.” This rig is untested, but seems like it should work well. However, I may need a bigger hose! You know how it is………..

Offline ridge rover

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Re: 5 day B/S backpackin in Sgt York's backyard!
« Reply #6 on: March 08, 2013, 05:36:30 AM »

I used a Doobie. First I folded it like a sleeping bag, next night I tied a foot space in one end and used the rest of the blanket as a quilt. This worked the best for me. I used a long Thermarest for ground insulation. Temp got down to 41 degrees

This is my discontinued pack. My scales said 6 lbs empty with the lid. I was so stupid! In order not to lose the 10 oz top lid, I stashed it in a hidden pocket inside my pack. I found those 10 oz when I arrived at first camp! I like the additional organization space, but 10oz is a lot of rice! A bunch of bullets, etc.  My pack would be nearly 5 lbs 6 oz  without the lid. Lidless is how I try to go.

Not the drawers where you stash yer undies. I mean Drawers! The ones you wear. I’ve worn several different hiking drawers in my time, but these are the most confortable, non-restrictive ones I’ve come across. They are not hot either.

My Maxpedition bottle holder kit is going thru a lightweight revision. In the future, I may go to the larger 12x5 with 10cm Zebra pot, but for now, I’m still using and updating my 10x4. The Guyot/Nalgene 38oz stainless steel bottle is out. I’ve replaced it with a Soft Platypus 1 liter water bag. This has worked well. Other mods to come.

Speed hooks
I gave em a good try. They have their time and place, but not with me. A pre rigged hook, line and sinker is better due to simplicity of deployment. Just another contraption I can be without.

Pen rod and reel. Good with 4 lb test line. Get the longer Goliath rod for heavier line.

Seems like vacation is never about what you want to do, but a compromise with what you need to do. My possible 10 day solo was amended to 5 days………….

More to write,
More to say,
Just have to save it,
For another day!

Parting shots:

Can't wait to get back home again!

Offline inconel710

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Re: 5 day B/S backpackin in Sgt York's backyard!
« Reply #7 on: March 12, 2013, 02:59:11 PM »
Very cool trip.  Thanks for the links to your gear - gave me some ideas.  I'd love more details on what food you packed.

Emberlit offers pot adapters.  I got some when I ordered mine and they work very well for little weight.

I did not understand the purpose of the pee bottle - are you going to pull a Bear Grylls, or save yourself from having to get out of the bivy in the middle of the night?

Offline ridge rover

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Re: 5 day B/S backpackin in Sgt York's backyard!
« Reply #8 on: March 14, 2013, 06:32:25 AM »
I've since bought the pot adapters for the Emberlit. I still like a small grill on the stove for small pots. This way, the pot is more inside the stove while allowing good airflow. Its more stable also.

Different strokes for different folks on the pee bottle. I've even used a shit lock zip lock for defacation purposes.

A pee bottle is invaluable! For car camping, I like a Gatoraid bottle. Its just bulky to take backpacking, but a very cheap and doable option!

A pee bottle must have a sturdy cap! It must be able to securely sit upside down or on its side. I've spelled my share of pee in pursuit of the perfect pee bottle!

I've crapped in a paper bag while on a deer stand in my younger years. I once crapped in a ziplock, while stuck under my tarp when the monsoon rains of hurricane Isadore, blew thru Tennessee.

A pee bottle is simply a convience item  for camping. At times, it may seem like a necessity, like when the rains are heavy or its cold enough outside to turn your pee into sleet, before it hits the ground!

In a canoe or kayak, a pee bottle can be a lifesaver! Like the time in my canoe, when I stood up to pee and fell into the water before I could reach for my zipper! I call that trip my Should Have Died Experience!

Offline ridge rover

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Re: 5 day B/S backpackin in Sgt York's backyard!
« Reply #9 on: March 14, 2013, 06:56:55 AM »
My food was very simple. I took some Lara bars, Dried ground beef, jerky, brown rice, and a little of my GF flour mix to test. I was plesantly supprised the brown rice was so easy to fix!

I still need more work on finding a quick and easy gluten free bread recipe, just haven't had the time to experiment. :(

My combination of quick no cook foods and foods that needed cooking, worked very well.

Offline inconel710

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Re: 5 day B/S backpackin in Sgt York's backyard!
« Reply #10 on: March 14, 2013, 10:38:14 PM »
Thanks.  You're the first person that's ever brought up the need for a pee bottle (at least in public!).  I've been stuck on watch in the engine room before and had to consider dumping in a bag, but... :-X
It's probably due to the fact that I've never camped more than one night - something I need to change.