An ACTUAL Survival Tale...

Discussion in 'Survival & Sustenance Living Forum' started by AR Hammer, Aug 19, 2008.

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  1. AR Hammer

    AR Hammer New Member

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    Spring trip to Alaska. Been saving for this for about 3 years!
    Always wanted to go up there and have a look around!

    Chartered a plane which dropped us off in the WRONG location!
    (boat or plane is the ONLY way to get around most places)
    Had enough supplies for 4 days and 3 nights, and a good map.
    GPS alerted us to the fact we were more than 200 miles from where we were supposed to be...
    And we were at least 10 days from nearest civilization on the map! I had a general map of the area (thank heavens!) but my detailed maps were of our intended camping/hiking area! (The word 'SCREWED!' comes to mind!)

    Just in case you haven't been in any really RUGGED terrain, 10 miles might take two days or longer to cover, so you don't plan for 'Miles', you plan for 'Days' to your destination.
    Nothing rougher than glassier boulder fields and broken Gannet rock hills! This is going to be a 'Challenge' to put it mildly!

    Second day...
    Girl Friend drops pack with tent/1 sleeping bag and half the food down rock face, we spend all day, about 10 hours climbing down, trying to retrieve it, just in time to find out something beat us to it...
    Everything is pretty much trashed, and now we know there are bears about...
    And we are down to less than half the food we set out with, and we are a day behind...

    I've still got the 12 ga./extra ammo, fishing gear, cooking gear, navigation stuff (map, compass, GPS, ect.) one sleeping bag, some food and oddly enough, I get stick with ALL the water bottles!
    (you NEVER go anywhere without a 'Bear Gun' in the area we were in!)

    The bad part was our bug spray, particularly the mosquito repellent was in her pack, and the bear seemed to have a taste for it...
    That means only face nets and little bottles of DEET from belt packs both of us carry...

    Day 3. Debbie KICKS a rather large, odd looking salmon out of the water!
    Hadn't seen a fish all day, and it would have taken quite some time to get the fishing gear out...
    I had the bright idea to stick it with my knife, but she KICKS it out of the water and I kicked it farther up the bank...
    This thing is pretty big, which make it even more odd she could KICK it out of the water,
    But it makes for food for at least two days!
    I really LOVE fresh fish grilled!

    Day 4. Trees!
    Where we were was mostly rocks and water.
    Then we got into where the river had trees!
    Both of us trying to sleep under one bag with no tent was beginning to suck! You know women, she wanted on top because the ground was cold and hard, and she wanted to ball up in the bag...
    Bug spray running out and the mosquitos are trying to carry me off!
    Ran out of camp stove fuel and it rained like crazy just after midnight...

    Trees mean we can make a shelter pretty easily and I don't have to be the 'heat pump' and 'Shelter' for her all the time!

    The thought crosses my mind that I can cut the travel time in half and have ALL the blanket if I ditch the woman! :rolleyes:

    Day 5. Saw a BIG FRIGGIN' BROWN BEAR in the morning!
    Within 60 yards of it before either of us saw it!

    Don't know a Grizzly when I see one, only seen them in pictures and TV...
    But this thing sure looked like one and it was HUGE!
    Had a head as long as a HORSE and twice as wide!

    Much more interested in digging for something than messing with us, and I'm GLAD about that!

    Trying to take on a Grizzly with a buck shot slinger isn't my idea of fun...
    I loaded up the Slugs and looked for the 'Bear Spray'...
    It's gone too! Hope the first bear liked it!...

    Saw what we think was a Moose later in the day.
    People tell us that Moose are pretty reclusive, but can be aggressive during mating season...
    He gets close enough, you can call him 'Lunch'!
    But with a 12 Ga. he's going to have to practically commit suicide for use to have 'Moose burgers'...

    Day 6. Saw what I'm sure was a Moose this morning. WAY far away, but plenty odd looking and moved like a moose.

    Shot two rabbits. Got both with one shot! Never even seen the second one until we went to pick up the one I saw/shot! BONUS!
    Salmon and 'Cheesie Mac' are getting old so the rabbit and rice soup and roasted rabbit over a hardwood fire was pretty darn good and is going to make more than one meal...
    Saw a plane and a helicopter today heading up the next valley from us... It's quite a ways off, but there must be something going on over there, and according to the map I have, our valley and that one come together in a few miles.

    Saw the strangest thing today... I'm not sure it was real...
    A woman that actually admits some of the blame for the predicament she's in!
    I think it was a hallucination or mirage or something!
    If my video camera hadn't gone over a cliff, I would have liked to get that on tape!

    Day 7. Found fresh trash about noon today.
    Food wrappers, water & beverage bottles with paper labels still on them, look new. Can't be more than a day or two old. Found half a bottle of Gatorade, wanted a drink so bad I couldn't stand it until I saw the cigarette in it! (Jerks!)

    Too bad we don't need some water bottles since this stuff would be perfect if we didn't have any...

    Odd stuff in the trash too, lot's of duct tape that has been cut off something, and no fire pit like you would expect a from a fishing camp...
    Almost EVERYBODY builds fires, for warmth, to help keep bugs and bears away, to cook fresh fish over, ect...
    About 50 yards away from the trash pile, there was what looked like a 'lean to' shelter someone had built, and the leaves weren't even wilted on the branches they had used.

    Shot a squirrel for dinner, but he was so small it barely made soup...
    Any meat is good meat!

    Day 8... Late...
    We had already started looking for straight branches or saplings to make shelter out of when a helicopter landed about 400 yards away!
    Couldn't believe it!
    Ran over there to try and catch the pilot so he could radio our position in...
    Turns out they are filming a nature show and have been in the general area all week.
    Some boob trying to show how 'Survival' is possible with nothing but a marble and a shoe lace...
    they said it was going to air on the 'Green' channel, something I hadn't heard of at that point,
    and I though it was pretty funny they were making a documentary for the 'Green' channel when they were leaving piles of trash everywhere!

    Anyway, we had 'Starbucks Frappachinos' and a really nice catered oriental dish with shrimp and something I didn't recognize with the star of the show that was supposedly living on bugs, rats and bear pee...
    And the crew.
    The pilots and guides ROCK! those guys spent most of their time avoiding the production crew and so did we...

    The pilots said if we had kept to our path in that valley, we would have run across a mine tomorow, so we were 'Found' no matter what!

    Day 9, BIG BREAKFAST!
    Really nice guided helicopter tour of some GREAT looking land and water...
    It was only about 40 minutes from a 'City', but we took 2-1/2 hours getting there!

    The pilot/guide seemed to know EVERYTHING about the country side and was amazed we were marching up river, (the correct way to find help in this situation),
    weren't starving, hadn't deserted all our gear, and weren't totally freaked out about being 'Lost'...

    He also said our 'Charter' service had done stuff like this before... Some people weren't so lucky...
    IF you don't want to go to someplace they get commissions from, they drop you in the middle of nowhere WAY far away from your destination...
    What pricks!...
    -------------------------------

    A couple of days later (and some McDonalds food and Benadril for the mosquito bites!), after we had seen the state troopers about being dropped in the middle of no where... Which they had heard that complain before and our pilot couldn't be located...
    (so few police you have to wait to be arrested up there, and some people don't wait around!)

    The pilot took us to a place where his dad owns a fishing camp...
    GREAT PEOPLE! Good fishing, Stupid yellow dog that followed Debbie around like she was god all mighty!

    Stupid yellow dog not withstanding, Alaskans are a smart, practical bunch and GREAT people...
    Tourists, however, are stupid, wasteful, and inconsiderate...
    ....................................

    You would think at least one bear would be easy to spot...
    He's wearing my favorite boonie hat, sleeping in my $440 tent under my Girl Friends sleeping bag, is taping on my $1,800 digital camcorder, and he has 'Mac & Cheese' on his breath, and he smells like industrial strength mosquito repellent!
    Might also be carrying a bear sized can of 'Pepper Spray' just in case he gets mugged by a criminally minded moose or something...

    And BY The Way,
    Every time I smell smoked salmon, I start looking around for bears!
    Even in my own living room...
     
  2. bkt

    bkt New Member

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    That's a heck of an adventure! Good thing neither of you got hurt or encountered a bear in the mood to have you over for dinner.

    Keeping your wits about you is probably the best asset in a situation like that.
     

  3. Dillinger

    Dillinger New Member

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    Great story man - Good for a chuckle this morning. Sorry about the experience, but it would appear you were able to keep your powder dry and make the best of the situation without putting yourself in worse peril.

    How'd that first night, with a real shower, and sleeping in a real bed feel? :D

    JD
     
  4. BigO01

    BigO01 New Member

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    You know if you watch the documentaries you'll see bears just swat Salmon out of rivers and streams with their paws .

    You say she kicked one out huh ?

    Might want to keep an eye on that one when the moon is full , she might be a WereBear and decide to eat you for dinner one of these nights :eek: LMAO !!!

    Interesting adventure , especially the part where the cops tell you the charter service pulls this all the time , surprised someone hasn't hiked out of the woods and shot some of those pilots working for those outfits .
     
  5. bgeddes

    bgeddes New Member

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    Congrats on using your head and staying alive. Sounds like your preparation had a lot to do with your successful survival mission. Thanks for sharing.
     
  6. dirtysouth

    dirtysouth New Member

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    Glad you came out ok and the women to. Should of fed her to the bear and kept the gear :D.

    To bad those people were leaving all that trash around should of been eaten by a bear just for that.

    And seen Yogi the other day had a nice hat and i swore i seen a camra.
     
  7. AR Hammer

    AR Hammer New Member

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    I am a first class, grade A, mud rolling grunt.
    16 years of complaining about sleeping in the 'Field' in the military, and can't wait to do it in civilian life!
    What's wrong with me?

    I'm a junky, my 'Fix' is air conditioning, hot showers, and soft beds.
    16 Years of military and a lifetime of hunting, fishing, camping, hiking prepared me so I don't have to eat bugs and freeze in 50° weather, even when it rains...

    Although there is a certain little woman that I would like to cut her air off for a little while sometimes :eek: (just to make her a quite for a short period of time...)

    You know, when so goes to take a pee and comes back without the custom made tomahawk, and can't find where she peed again... and I have to spend 2 hours looking for biodegradable camo toilet paper because she thinks that camo paper is more 'Campy'...

    When she drops the fish cleaning knife in a swiftly moving river... After being told 3 TIMES to use the wrist lanyard in the previous 15 minutes!
     
    Last edited: Aug 20, 2008
  8. G21.45

    G21.45 New Member

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    :) A R Hammer, That was such an interesting (and cool) story! Thank you. I've heard other tales about Bear Grylls staying in hotels when he should have been out there roughing it. Anyway, I was always suspicious of his show; now, I simply don't believe it anymore.

    I'm curious about one thing: Whatever happened to Debbie? Pretty neat how the both of you kept your nerve. I got lost in 60 below temperatures for two days once. Can't honestly say that I always kept mine. There were moments when I was as scared as I was cold! Sounds like the two of you did pretty good together. ;)
     
  9. AR Hammer

    AR Hammer New Member

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    Wasn't 'Bear' or 'Baer' or how ever he spells it....
    Was some short, white guy that was over fed.

    Can't say I'm any better, the first thing I did was make a dash for fast food and cable TV!

    We stayed almost 2 months, cruise ship, poking around during fishing/hunting season, stuff like that...

    None of that 'Ice Road' or 'Tougher In Alaska' stuff though, when it gets cold, I go south!

    Been together for 20 odd years, and I still have her hanging around...
    After 20 years, they kind of think they belong here...
    (Of all the nerve! ;) )
     
  10. user4

    user4 New Member

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    What a great read. Bear Grylls says that the key to successful survival is keeping a decent sense of humor. Sounds like you did just that. I appreciate the story.
     
  11. G21.45

    G21.45 New Member

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    :eek: Oh, well then, no wonder she doesn't listen worth a damn, and tries to grab all the covers for herself every night! (I've got one of those, here, at home too.) :D

    BEAR GRYLLS
     
  12. AR Hammer

    AR Hammer New Member

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    Not everyone has a woman that will clean and can salmon, cleans about any kind of fish without complaint... But she is HARD on knives!
    THEY MUST FLOAT around her! She won't use a wrist lanyard no matter what...

    She's a 'Sawer' when it comes to knives.
    She doesn't 'Slice' anything letting the blade do the work,
    She pushes straight down and then 'Wiggles' the edge on something HARD to cut anything...

    On the flip side, She makes the best sausage/milk gravy I've ever eaten, Shes not 'FAT!', doesn't smoke and lets me spend every loose penny on Jeeps, Guns, Hot Rods, Tools, and other 'Toys'...
    And she's up for about anything but sky diving and scuba diving, but doesn't mind if I blow great wads of money doing that stuff...
    She remembers all my families' birth days, anniversaries, keeps me informed about my schedule, works a full time job and makes sure my socks match most of the time!

    Can you ask for more!? :)
    Just gotta love those country girls!
     
    Last edited: Aug 21, 2008
  13. mikewalker

    mikewalker New Member

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    good job Hammer

    showed a lot of patience there as well. Informs me as well (invaluable information for AK trekkers), I just came back from AK 3 weeks tent camping and familiarize myself to the State. Next summer we go for a 3 week bush trek. Great instructions for us, will certianly verify locations of drop off if we use transporters. (wow that's big stuff). I think we'll have survival essentials in a fanny pack of sone type strapped to the body at all time in case we get seperated from gear. I don't think I would go light on the air service if I were you.
    m
     
  14. RL357Mag

    RL357Mag New Member

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    Sounds like you need to teach her about APPLICATION, APPLICATION, APPLICATION!
     
  15. wrench

    wrench New Member

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    cool heads prevailed

    Praise the Lord your safe!!!

    Thank you for the heads up on the charter service, i would never think it possible anyone would do something like that, little tidbits like this can save alot of grief.

    If i were lost like that i would be scared, i also would not want to be the man and maybe blame the woman for dropping supplies.

    The pilot should lose his liscense for those types of shenannigans, and serve time for attempted manslaughter or something. He did wrong all the way!

    grateful to be home after reading this thread
    wrench

    Striving to enter at the narrow gate.
     
  16. dango

    dango Well-Known Member Lifetime Supporter

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    She`s 0k !

    That she did`nt scream and cry is good in it`self. GOOD WOMAN, can we trade ?;)
     
  17. AR Hammer

    AR Hammer New Member

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    Check the GPS BEFORE you wave good bye at the aircraft!

    Take along two or three bright flairs that start easily,
    And keep them in the outermost, easily accessible pouch on your gear!
    I prefer the pull cord to start type for signaling use, they are bright enough to see for miles incase you need them for signaling a search team... and they start fires just fine!

    Flairs don't weigh much, and are the ULTIMATE way to get a fire started in an emergency situation!
    Especially when you are cold enough your hands don't work to dig for them in your gear or light a regular fire!

    If you make reservations with a lodge, find out who they recommend for transportation to the lodge.
    (It will most likely be by boat or small, private aircraft.)

    If you are going to hunt, take nothing smaller than a .300 Mag. or you will get laughed out of camp.
    .338 Mag. will take anything in Alaska.

    Guides don't like muzzle compensators.
    Compensators re-direct the muzzle blast back at them, and they just don't like having their brains rattled.
    Some guides won't even take you out if you have a compensator that directs backwards and not 'Up'...

    Have Iron Sights or a back up optic with your rifle!
    Make up a 'Save A Hunt' kit with extra screws, firing pin & spring, extractor/ejector, things like that.
    You don't want a bum scope or broken $10 spring to ruin a VERY expensive hunting trip!

    Bear Spray is better than a handgun.
    Wounded bears are unpredictable,
    Pepper sprayed bears are going to leave, and leave you alone. Helps teach them 'Humans Hurt' so you may be helping the next guy also...

    Consider an 'Emergency Locater' beacon.
    They are expensive, but you can rent them in some places, and they are satellite pinpointed, so if you get lost, hurt, ect.
    You just push the button and wait for the rescue crew to arrive.
    --------------------

    I never take enough film or tapes along, I just want to photograph everything while I'm there!
     
  18. biff44

    biff44 New Member

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    If you had gotten some muck from the creek and rubbed it all over your exposed body parts, the mosquitos would leave you alone. The local "smell" confuses them.
     
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