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Alaska Survivial Trip: 2+ months, "living off the land"

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  • #16
    I was kinda wondering what the plan was.....will you just kayak around the island? Will you go overland for a day or more or pretty much be back at camp every night?
    Sheep hunting...... the pain goes away, but the stupidity remains...!!!

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    • #17
      Plans

      I'm bringing three dozen jars with a full set of extra lids. I'm thinking having a dozen for the deer, a dozen for berries and a dozen for fish/crabs. The only thing left is to actually get all that stuff.

      AZINAK that tree tent is pretty cool. Be hard to use a wood stove to dry out though. I'm going to keep a gun handy and camp in a good spot and sleep soundly anyway.


      jakeg1999 and AK Troutbum, (nice sheep!) thanks.

      4merguide (also a nice ram!) I usually like to cover a lot of country but I'm going heavy this time and will be traveling primarily for the day and operating out of a series of base camps. It's Forest Service land so I'll have to move every couple of weeks. I am bringing a tiny backpack tent for a probable foray into the high country for deer, or to neighboring bays for exploration.

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      • #18
        I ran into a few years back on the PCT, glad to see you are heading out on another adventure. I will be following your journal.

        Good luck Buck and be safe man!

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        • #19
          Originally posted by whodat78 View Post
          I ran into a few years back on the PCT, glad to see you are heading out on another adventure. I will be following your journal.

          Good luck Buck and be safe man!
          Good luck to you! I was just talking with my wife about how few people historically truly "lived off the land." From early explorers, mountain men, trappers, long hunters, etc, all brought supplies with them, and supplemented those supplies with local edibles. The indigenous peoples who truly lived off the land grew up in the lore, learning how to eat everything that was remotely edible. Southeast is a good place to do it, if you must, as it has great salmon runs, local trout, kelp, seaweed, mussels and urchins on the beaches, saltwater fish, and plenty of deer during season. Also check out snowshoe hare and grouse; might be an extra protein source. Better eat the innards, too, though, as they have very little fat, and its the fat that sustains life!

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          • #20
            God bless and good luck to you. I hope all goes well for you.

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            • #21
              Originally posted by willphish4food View Post
              Good luck to you! I was just talking with my wife about how few people historically truly "lived off the land." From early explorers, mountain men, trappers, long hunters, etc, all brought supplies with them, and supplemented those supplies with local edibles. The indigenous peoples who truly lived off the land grew up in the lore, learning how to eat everything that was remotely edible. Southeast is a good place to do it, if you must, as it has great salmon runs, local trout, kelp, seaweed, mussels and urchins on the beaches, saltwater fish, and plenty of deer during season. Also check out snowshoe hare and grouse; might be an extra protein source. Better eat the innards, too, though, as they have very little fat, and its the fat that sustains life!
              I think you are right in almost every respect. Apparently there are no hares on Admiralty. That surprised me. Animals found elsewhere in Southeast but not on Admiralty include mountain goats, moose, wolverine, foxes, wolves, coyotes, black bears, porcupines, muskrats and hares. (gorp.com)

              One aspect I was largely unaware of when I first started research is shellfish poisoning, which has killed far more people in Alaska than bears. Less fortunate were over 100 Russians and Aleuts who died in Alaska's worst PSP outbreak in Peril Straights in 1799. PSP deaths along with Pacific coast continue to occur on a regular basis, the most recent reported last year from Washington.

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              • #22
                Did I read of a kit they have out that lets you test for PSP...??? That would be VERY handy I'm sure....

                A friend of mine used to care take a lodge on one of the coastal British Columbia islands above the US/CAN border. He caught it once and told me it was the one and only time he hurt so bad that he actually wished he would die...!!!

                Be safe Buck...!!!
                Sheep hunting...... the pain goes away, but the stupidity remains...!!!

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                • #23
                  Salmonberries are starting to bust out here but not big time yet! Good luck!

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                  • #24
                    Alaska Survivial Trip: 2+ months, "living off the land"

                    Struck up a conversation on the ferry in ketchikan with a uaf researcher who studied shellfish for the school of fisheries, and he explained emphatically to me that it was very easy to perform a common sense field test for psp yourself.

                    When cleaning a clam or mussel or crab, you have to remove the guts. He said that the toxin was highly concentrated in the guts, and that dabbing your finger in and then rubbing it lightly on your gums would quickly tell you whether the shellfish were poison or not, as the toxin is instantly absorbed into your bloodstream if present and your gums will rapidly tingle and you'll know to pick more wild greens and salmon berries for dinner instead.

                    . He did not think it would be possible to severely poison yourself via this test and claimed to have performed it many times in remote places in Alaska. I've not heard anyone else corroborate this as a good method but maybe someone out there can?

                    Seems logical and a good way to be cautious, though nothing is foolproof and the consequences are obviously severe. There have been at least one or two psp deaths in southeast in recent years I believe, from crab.

                    Sounds like a phenomenal undertaking and I admire you for it buck! Fate favors the bold!


                    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

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                    • #25
                      Originally posted by andweav View Post
                      When cleaning a clam or mussel or crab, you have to remove the guts. He said that the toxin was highly concentrated in the guts, and that dabbing your finger in and then rubbing it lightly on your gums would quickly tell you whether the shellfish were poison or not, as the toxin is instantly absorbed into your bloodstream if present and your gums will rapidly tingle and you'll know to pick more wild greens and salmon berries for dinner instead.

                      . He did not think it would be possible to severely poison yourself via this test and claimed to have performed it many times in remote places in Alaska. I've not heard anyone else corroborate this as a good method but maybe someone out there can?
                      Now that you mention that I do recall hearing about doing that test as well. Good info for sure. I just thought I heard there was some simple kit sold on the market now that a fellow can buy....
                      Sheep hunting...... the pain goes away, but the stupidity remains...!!!

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                      • #26
                        Originally posted by rntim View Post
                        Salmonberries are starting to bust out here but not big time yet! Good luck!
                        When would you say they peak rntim? What would you say is the span of blueberry season?

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                        • #27
                          Originally posted by andweav View Post
                          Struck up a conversation on the ferry in ketchikan with a uaf researcher who studied shellfish for the school of fisheries, and he explained emphatically to me that it was very easy to perform a common sense field test for psp yourself.

                          When cleaning a clam or mussel or crab, you have to remove the guts. He said that the toxin was highly concentrated in the guts, and that dabbing your finger in and then rubbing it lightly on your gums would quickly tell you whether the shellfish were poison or not, as the toxin is instantly absorbed into your bloodstream if present and your gums will rapidly tingle and you'll know to pick more wild greens and salmon berries for dinner instead.

                          . He did not think it would be possible to severely poison yourself via this test and claimed to have performed it many times in remote places in Alaska. I've not heard anyone else corroborate this as a good method but maybe someone out there can?

                          Seems logical and a good way to be cautious, though nothing is foolproof and the consequences are obviously severe. There have been at least one or two psp deaths in southeast in recent years I believe, from crab.

                          Sounds like a phenomenal undertaking and I admire you for it buck! Fate favors the bold!


                          Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
                          Thanks andweav! That test might work, but one of the ways I'm going to minimize risk in this case is not eating bivalves at all. I read that there can be PSP in crab guts, and if so that might have killed someone, but there's never enough found in crab meat to be a problem. I hope to polish my crab trapping and cleaning skills!

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                          • #28
                            Elevation and berries

                            Buck,

                            One thing about the SE berry crop to consider is the elevation dependant ripening sequence. Your valley floor crop is first and then the upper reaches get great abundance as much as two months later. So I've picked great Salmon Berries in July while fishing and also in September when wandering the upper reaches of the mountain. Also the Blueberries/Huckleberries have a few strains. September produces a delicious low brush variety in the muskegs and alpine that is delicious and also is elevation sensitive.

                            One more thought on Berries. A heavy sustained rain will swell em rapidly and blow out the crop.

                            Your undertaking an amazing challenge. I'll look forward to reading of your experience.

                            Grouse will be hard to come by as they get quiet.

                            Your deer will also be on the upper reaches of the mountain as a rule.

                            Having a midmountain shelter/camp and a beach camp may be a good longterm strategy. Moving from Saltwater to alpine frequently isn't a good strategy.

                            Check into having at longline, circle hook style fishing setup. Then you can set it and forget it.

                            Best wishes Buck!

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                            • #29
                              Originally posted by Bighorse View Post
                              Buck,

                              One thing about the SE berry crop to consider is the elevation dependant ripening sequence. Your valley floor crop is first and then the upper reaches get great abundance as much as two months later. So I've picked great Salmon Berries in July while fishing and also in September when wandering the upper reaches of the mountain. Also the Blueberries/Huckleberries have a few strains. September produces a delicious low brush variety in the muskegs and alpine that is delicious and also is elevation sensitive.

                              One more thought on Berries. A heavy sustained rain will swell em rapidly and blow out the crop.

                              Your undertaking an amazing challenge. I'll look forward to reading of your experience.

                              Grouse will be hard to come by as they get quiet.

                              Your deer will also be on the upper reaches of the mountain as a rule.

                              Having a midmountain shelter/camp and a beach camp may be a good longterm strategy. Moving from Saltwater to alpine frequently isn't a good strategy.

                              Check into having at longline, circle hook style fishing setup. Then you can set it and forget it.

                              Best wishes Buck!
                              Good stuff Bighorse, I appreciate it. It's always good to have local knowledge. It's a different world there from Fairbanks and you had several facts I didn't know.

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                              • #30
                                Hey Buck--good stuff from other folks posting. I have salmonberries around my place turning plump everyday but not the way they should be in about two weeks. I have two strains--the pinkish yellow ones and red ones. The red ones I've been picking for about the last week in small quantities. The huckleberries don't bust out till like August here. That PSP is some nasty stuff--had two folks in the hospital here last year that were pretty darn sick for a while. Oh, haven't seen any blueberries yet, maybe a couple more weeks?! The "sea salad" is plentiful around my place now.

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