I have begun the topic of survival with a few friends that voiced some concern with what I am doing up here, or at least what they envision me doing here. Before I made the move to Alaska, I had a long talk with myself about the realities of survival in the Alaskan Bush. There were pros and cons; The pros included a life time of working outdoors, vast experience camping, hunting, trapping and fishing. I tend to react well under pressure, have a high tolerance for discomfort (except a toothache- then I cry like a school girl), and I am able to problem solve. On the Con side: I am here alone with no support structure. No one knows where I am or if I made it home. So I have to be prepared to care for myself. When alone I need to work more slowly, do everything with intent and deliberately, to minimize accidents. Survival is taken for granted in the southern states where the is almost no possibilities of a moose stomping you, a bear mauling you, or wolves attacking you. Not to forget the weather itself is probably the greatest danger, whether it is 40 degrees and raining, minus 50, or a fast flowing river; Alaska will kill you if she gets a chance, no mercy given. And out in the bush, there is no 911 to come with in a few minutes to save you. In the case of serious injury you can be flown out, but first you have to be found.
I have made few rules with myself:
1) Anytime I leave the house I carry a gun.
2) Go out at night, even for a minute, take a flashlight and gun
3) Take the ATV or Sno Machine carry my survival bag
4) Think before I do
5) Try not to get into something I can’t out of
6) Remember, in the end, this is something I wanted.
My Survival bag will always be on the ATV, snow-machine, or in the truck. The contents include:
50 feet of rope, toilet paper vacumm packed, fire starting material, matches vacuum packed, Extra shells for the pistol, GPS, Flashlight, extra batteries for both, knife, 3 mountain house meals contain about 1000 calories each, a poncho, compass, my 454 Casull pistol (on my person), a snow scoop, 2 6×8 tarps for shelter, 100′ paracord, emergency sleeping bag, survival candle, water bottle, water filter, hatchet, and wool blanket. Not shown are extra hat, socks, and gloves, bug spray and headnet (seasonal) If i was carrying a rifle i would also have shells for it. This all fits in a sealine dry bag very neatly. I may buy a spot, which a locator beacon for emergencies, but haven’t decided.
This list is still being worked on, as i encounter new situations, or hear of others I will try to prepare to insure my chances at survival.
All I can do is try to be prepared. I will be hunting dangerous game, trapping, fishing, logging, and travelling through tough back country, and living in general among bear and moose. Life is a risk, to remove the risk diminishes the satisfaction of life. Besides I am like a weeble, I get knocked down but i always get back up!