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Thread: Off the beaten trail....a real outdoorsman

  1. #1

    Default Off the beaten trail....a real outdoorsman

    I was told a story one time by a man who had recently moved to Alaska, this was some years back. He had a goal in mind to become an outdoorsman a “Real Woodsman”. So one day he decided he would snow-machine upriver on his Ski-doo Tundra like all the other men in town to gather some dry wood, for his wood stove. He told me he made it up to the foothills, near the bluffs which are about 20 miles upriver from the community. Along the way he spotted a few dry trees off of the main trail, so he stopped and prepared to go in after them. He got his axe from the back of his homemade plywood sled, which he towed behind his machine and started walking through the snow toward the dry trees. As he walked further and further away from the trail the snow go deeper and deeper, before he even made it to the dry trees he was in snow up to his waist and as he got close to the trees he said the snow was up to his chest, almost to his armpits. He realized that it was going to be impossible for him to cut the trees down, so he turned around and started walking back to the trail. He was having a very difficult time walking since he taken a more direct route back to the trail which wasn’t the one he had originally used. He said the snow was so deep in some places that it was almost up to his neck, so he decided to lay down in the snow and ˝ crawl ˝ swim back to the main trail. Since the situation was becoming so desperate, he ended up dropping his axe along the way and didn’t even bother to pick it up. While he was crawling through the snow he heard a snow-machine coming up the trail, so he started hollering for help, the driver didn’t even hear him because he was too far away. He realized then and there that it was going to be up to him and only him alone to make it back to the trail if he wanted to live. So he tried even harder, he said that he was swimming through the snow as hard as he could and with a lot of effort he eventually made it back on to the hard packed trail. He said after he rested up he almost went back to look for his lost axe, but had second thoughts about it. He ending up turning his Ski-doo around and going home, he never tried getting dry wood on his own ever again. "I don't think he ever got off of the main snowmachine trail ever again either". “True story”

  2. #2
    Moderator AKmud's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2005
    Wasilla, Alaska, United States


    Funny thing is, he probably could have ridden his Tundra right to the tree!!

    Good story.

    The porcupine is a peacful animal yet God still thought it necessary to give him quills....

  3. #3

    Default "Wilderness Savvy"

    When he was up to his waist in snow maybe he should have asked himself if he really needed those dry trees or was he just wanting to live the dream of being an outdoorsman, but not really having the " wilderness savvy" he needed to make good decisions out in wilderness.

  4. #4
    Member MARV1's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2006


    That's the problem with those moving to Alaska, they think it is an easy life here, especially in the bush. There is a whole new learning curve to life out here, some have learned the proper way, others still have not and won't.
    The emphasis is on accuracy, not power!

  5. #5

    Default Real woodsman

    A real woodsman would know that cutting a live tree for firewood is producing wet unseasoned wood. (I guess it will still burn ok if it has pitch, but...) He should have been looking for dead downed wood. Sounds like he needed some help.
    Hike faster. I hear banjo music.


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