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Thread: Survival stories

  1. #1

    Default Survival stories

    Hello all. Was asked to share some stories of some oh-boy moments. Will give it a whorl.
    Headed out to the cabin with beautiful wife one glorious winter day. Every time I get to go to the cabin is a glorious moment for me.
    We were on snogos.
    Thinking back, the first issue we faced was that the 75 foot wide creek we had to cross was only frozen half way across. I remember stopping before before we crossed and discussing with beautiful wife. Good thing was that it was frozen on our side. This can be an issue because if the ice ledge is on the other side your snogo skis can go under the ice edge. This has the effect of a sudden stop in the river. Especially since we always have a load , pulling freight sleds that often weigh a whole lot.
    No problem. We were heading in for a week so hopefully the creek will be frozen when we come home. The portage went well. Had a great time for a week and we were going to head home. Then it got 25 below.
    No problem, the kids were at the house and we had time. Perfect, more cabin time. Another week goes by of minus heat. Hey the creek should be frozen.
    Well it warms up with a snow storm. We woke up to nearly 3 feet of fresh snow. And no end or much long distance vision in sight. It was coming down hard. The big flakes. I knew that this could last a while. And get real deep. So we get geared up.
    We knew that this could be an adventure , and it was. As head out there is now no trail. Or any ability to try to see one most of the time. When the snow is deep like this you have to keep your snogo pegged. Wide open. Iím breaking trail so Iím in a tunnel of snow. With the snow coming over the top . And trying to see any trail cut into the woods was covered with snow on snow. I was going on instinct. Just a couple degrees off in direction could be very bad. If we got turned around there are no roads.
    Got a few miles out when beautiful wifeís machine dies. It is loading up and fouling the spark plug because it cannot exhaust out the pipe because the snow is sooooo deep. Cleaned plugs and got is going but it was a continuing problem. Then my sled starts to have the same problems. Limped along till my snogo would run no more.
    Had to leave beautiful wife with my broke down snogo. In snow almost up to her up to her chests. While I broke trail to the truck. I get stuck a few times but make it to the main trail to the truck. On the other side of the now frozen creek where I hit a trail that someone else had broken to the trail head.
    I turn around to go get my beautiful wife. Broke down miles from the road, alone. About a mile from the main trail I get stuck, again. Really bad. Usually not a big deal because I carry a chainsaw to cut windfalls and brush. But I am on my wifeís snogo. So cutting poles that I can use to leverage out the stuck snogo ainít happening. Chainsaw is still a mile away on my sled with my beautiful wife. I started to hike back to beautiful wife when I met her on the trail. She was walking out. Gave her a big hug. I had to get to my machine to get saw n rifle with plan to retrieve them n get her stuck but still running sled going so we could get out. I would have to leave my sled there and go retrieve it when I could later.
    I get to my broke down snogo n get saw n rifle. Head back to stuck sled n beautiful wife. Well her luck was a bit better than mine. Another group of 4 were heading out to their cabin and came across my beautiful wife n stuck sled. There were 2 strong fellas that got the machine unstuck n turned towards the truck. Yes!
    Then the unthinkable happened. As I was trudging through the snow carrying my rifle n chainsaw. I heard some snogos coming and thought we or me could get a hand. I hear the lead fellow say. Just keep going. I watched as they drove past me. NEVER leave someone in trouble out there! What a jerk! Made it to beautiful wife and was relieved to see her snogo unstuck. We made it out to the truck and home.
    I had to go retrieve my snogo the next day. That was quite a trip. But I have a partner who knows how to keep her head straight and think issues through and doesnít panic. In fact i have had to leave her standing out in the middle of nowhere Ak a few times. But those are another story.
    I guess the belief that we can take care of ourselves have allowed us to enjoy some parts of Alaska that few see . And even enjoy .
    I trust myself and my partner. Hopefully you have the opportunity to check out and challenge your wilderness survival skills. Have a great day.


  2. #2

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    JohnLeePettimome asked for some wilderness stories. As I’m pretty blessed to have lived in Alaska for 40 plus years. And just am finishing a remote log cabin that took years to haul in. So a few.
    Probably one of the most dangerous was right on our back porch. We woke up to our chessy Oby barking nonstop. He was chained up that night so he must have goofed up somewhere that day. Something bad was in the yard.
    I rushed upstairs opened the back door, on the second floor, opened the door and hollerd a the dog to be quite slammed door shut. The door has a window in it. I look up and in the just enough light to see probably around 3:30-4 am and there is a brown bear sitting on our deck. Like 6 feet from the door.
    My beautiful wife worked at the local grocery store. Their freezer went down and they were going to throw out all their ice cream. Well we loaded up on all the best. We had just bought a 500 pound hog to slaughter and needed freezer space. So I bagged up all the now just taking up space ice cream out of the freezer in black plastic bags. Set them on the back porch to thaw so I could dump the ice cream and burn the cartons. Not expecting a brown bear for desert.
    So picture a huge brown bear sitting on his butt sliding down pint size Ben n Jerry and Dryers ice cream on your back porch 5 or 6 feet away. Didn’t even have to chew some of his favorite flavors. Or maybe the other way around.
    My beautiful wife followed me upstairs and so I sent her for my 300 win. She woke the kids up to come see the bear. They reminisce about the night they spent in the neighbors tent and heard some noises. Found out that the neighbor had 2 dogs killed by a black bear that night. They were about 5 and 6 years old.
    I was still rebuilding after we lost our house in a forest fire and had not gotten around to putting the deadbolt in the door. Just had the door handle. Unfinished is kind of an Alaskan moteef. Is that a word ? Anyhow to make it a little more exciting we always used door handles that are like levers so the kids can open them in the winter with snowy gloves on. I look at the window and see bear nose prints on the window. Big nose prints where he pushed his nose on the door with no lock. If he would have touched that lever handle we would have had a bear in our house.
    For nearly 45 minutes this bear has no concerns. Sitting eating ice cream watching the sun come up. The dog is still barking and I notice the bear roll off his butt intent on our chained up chessy. Apparently annoyed by the barking. The bear gets down to the last step and me being me . Tell wife to watch real close as I step out and defend our dogs life. I didn’t have much time to think, obviously . I step out of the door and close it behind me. I thought I was quite but the bear thought otherwise. As soon as that door latch clicked he spun and up the steps he came. Nothing was going to cut in on his ice cream.
    I still remember seeing his beady black eye in my scope. And thinking that I can’t shoot until he clears my beautiful wife’s new to us beautiful car. Always know where your shooting instinct I figure. That and self preservation. Don’t shoot the beautiful wife’s car or else. Ended up with a brain shot from 3 feet away. The bear rolled down the steps.
    I brought it to wildlife biologists as a protection of life and property. He estimated the age at 5 years and weight at 4 to 5 hundred pounds. He took tooth and other samples but I never did check back.
    That’s a start. What you think? I love living in Alaska.
    Last edited by Aklogcabin; 09-02-2019 at 11:50 AM.

  3. #3
    Administrator Rick's Avatar
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    You definitely need a chain mail helmet!

  4. #4

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    Hello Rick. No chain links here. Some chain link fence out back but the dog already claimed dibbs. I carry a 6’x6’ piece of visqueen, I mean plastic . How come it seems that only me knows what visqueen is? For when I get lost and have to sleep out. Then again I have forgotten that too. And just crawled up under a big pine tree. If you can catch and train a furry little critter to act as your pillow it helps. I heard that gophers work well in the winter when they are hibernating.
    Really never figured out why sleeping in the woods at night is worse than sleeping in the woods during the day. Do folks really think that wild animals are out there to eat them ? Or like believe that if they are in a tent an old , injured bear with lots of toothaches because of rotting teeth and arthritis. If that bear or critters are desperate, you may be invited to the dinner party .
    Disclaimer: this post is in reference to another great, or not so much great other thread. You can guess which one. Winner may get a new chain link helmet.
    Hey JLP another outdoor true survival story. I have slept. Very well by the way. Out in the woods without a tent or log cabin. Still had to figure out how to get back to camp the next day though. Expect when I was a forest fire fighter. Hey just realized that there are forest fire fighters that sleep out under the stars n floating embers all the time. Anyone hear of a forest fire fighter getting eaten by a bobcat?
    Last edited by Aklogcabin; 09-03-2019 at 09:35 AM.

  5. #5

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    As I wrote somewhere. Being able to live where I do and do what I do is great.
    I enjoy being outdoors. And to be able to do that as I get older, I knew I would need some help. Since Iím the kind of guy who has no problem doing my own thing. I had always wanted a log cabin in the woods. Who wouldnít. I was able to accomplish that goal with a lot of hard work, although it didnít seem like it. With the support of a few good friends and my family. Mostly my beautiful wife though.
    Along the way I have been able to do things that many donít. Kind of never realized this. I just go do what I do. But so do some others. Really nothing unusual around here. But when you get there and off the trail a bit you can be pretty much on your own. I have good gear , such as snowgos, that I am confident will break down sometime. They are machines. But hauling 50 thousand pounds of logs and other freight takes machines. The many nights when I remember just how wonderful life can be, at least for me. Where there can be times when it is just dark. And others where the northern lights are out. Dancing across the ski in ribbons of green n plnk n others. It took 5 years to haul out enough to build a cabin to stay in. And more money than my beautiful wife thought was possible. But she always makes it work.
    But the thought of being able to leave my family a place where they will always have. And continue to make dreams with my family was also a driver.
    Along the way wilderness survival, in the arctic anyhow for me just happens .
    My beautiful wife has had a few oh boy moments. Mostly when a machine breaks down. Could be snogos or wheelers. Or maybe should say has been. When I look at her and say, well baby youíre going to have to sit here while I go get. Kind of a fill in the blank moment here. I have mentioned that I have no problems hanging out with kazillions of bugs trying to eat you. Or bears of both colors and wolves out trying to fin*d an easy meal. And moose that can kick really really hard. Our jack Russell has been stomped 3 times that I know of. Heís a JR ! And that was around our house. Winter can come with its own little issues like cold.
    Ok back to beautiful wife story. She has always trusted me to be there.

  6. #6
    Super Moderator crashdive123's Avatar
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    Sounds great. Thanks for sharing your stories.
    Can't Means Won't

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  7. #7

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    Not quite survival but you never know. Yesterday while processing a blueberry black bear I cut my hand. Canning and sausages. For the bear meat not me . Thought I should add that with this crowd. Is that a story. I hope it doesnít get there. I trust the cleanliness of the meat of this bear to be better than store bought meat.

  8. #8

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    A few years back. It was the start of moose hunting season and my beautiful wife and I were heading out to our cabin. This was our first time that we flew out to the cabin. It took 4 years of hauling freight to get this cabin started. All done by snogos in the winter.
    I arranged for a pick up with a Cessna 185 on floats. The pilot asked for coordinates so I went to google maps n copied down the numbers. First mistake. Should have done what I thought of doing and went through the paperwork I did when I staked our property with the state, but went the easy route. The coordinates were 8 miles or so off.
    Wouldnít be too bad normally but there were scattered rain squalls all around. Pilots like to avoid these. We searched a bit but since we didnít get picked up until 2-1/2 hrs before dark. Pilot canít just fly around in rain and low clouds forever so we land on another lake to figure things out. Pilot says we have one last chance to find the correct drop off point. Then he has to turn back because of darkness. I instruct him to head northwest. We take off and fortunately fly right to the lake. Get unloaded and watch as the plane leaves. I always enjoy this feeling. Now there is no one else but us and God and lots of wild Alaska .
    The plan was for me to walk the two miles to the cabin n get the 4 wheeler. Then drive back and get my beautiful wife who had just had foot surgery. Making walking for her difficult and painful. I make to where the new trail head to the cabin starts from the tioga. Just another quarter mile through the woods to the cabin. The wheeler fires up and I head to lake to pick up beautiful wife. Meet up with her and get us n some gear such as guns loaded up. All is great we are doing it. Our first trip out via float plane slash wheeler to cabin. We get to the trail from swamp to cabin through the woods.
    The woods have a way . We drive through the thick brush that grows between these two different habitats. Thick thick alters, Willowís, black spruce, devils clubs 4-7 feet tall, and more. It was thick. We break out into an opening. My beautiful wife says go to the left a bit. I say go straight. Through another thicket. There really is no visible trail to guide us . The woods have a way.

    Since I often joke that if you want to get lost in the woods. Follow me. I carry 2 compasses because I have convinced myself that they have been wrong and have to double check. I now have a gps that I donít know how to use. We go to the left. We do our best to cruise around looking for our cabin. 2 adults and as much gear as we could carry driving around. No trail. It gets dark. Real dark . Raining, low thick fog about 50 degrees out. In the middle of nowhere. We get the wheeler hung up. We set off on foot . Fumbling through devils clubs and other undergrowth. Not being able to see more than just a couple feet ahead of us. The only light we had was the light on her phone. .
    My beautiful wife is a real champion and I trust her with my life. She stops me and says that she can not take another step. The pain in her foot is too extreme. She tells me we need to stop. There was a large spruce tree next to us . She suggested we curl up under the tree and rest a bit. I tell her that, that would probably mean spending the night. Cold n wet . This is nothing new to me. I have had to spend a few nights out under a spruce tree. She finds a spot up close to the tree and snuggles in and I snuggle in close to her. I can still remember thinking to myself. Wow this is not bad at all . Thinking that I was as comfortable as being on our couch at home. As I stated earlier. I trust my beautiful wife for good reason. She woke me as I started to snore. The woods have a way.
    I remember waking up groggy. I had fallen into the grip of hypothermia. She had recognized the off behavior. Here I am . Mr always prepared, stumbling through the woods . No light fire starter. Pocket ponchos nuttin. I had emptied my pockets when I first got to the cabin. Thinking that all I had to do was just go get beautiful wife and drive back to the cabin and enjoy the good life. With my beautiful wife. Livin the dream. When in actuality I was checking out.
    We were down to 10% on her phone battery and fading fast. Now , thinking a lot more clearly. I noticed a slight breese from the north. This is a prevailing wind. We head north with a slight almost non noticeable, breese in our face. We go a bit. Then I see the bent grasses from the wheeler. The trail to the cabin. We head west. We made it to the cabin at near midnight. Almost 3 hours after dark dark. Fired up the wood stove . Pulled the sofa up close in front of the fire and watched another great episode of dancing flames. While I warned up and snuggled a little more with my best friend. My most trusted companion. My beautiful wife. This is the most comfortable feeling in the world . The woods have a way.
    Who without being the great lady that she is . There would be no cabin. I guess I owe her for years of beautiful dreams . And for all the dreams that we can continue to make together as a family. Grandkids and all. I love her !

  9. #9

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    Buy the way. The bear processing went good. 25 lbs of link n 10 lbs bulk of sweet Italian sausage. 25 lbs of brats. And 32 pints of canned. Processing 7 lbs of cleaning out the freezer moose roasts into jerky today with beautiful wife n grandson. Livin the dream . Thank You Lord.

  10. #10

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    After requesting more stories, I finally got to read the first one. It sounds like you have a fantastic wife.

    Thanks for sharing. I'm looking forward to reading the rest. Keep'em comin'!
    "The more complex the mind, the greater the need for the simplicity of play." Capt. James T. Kirk

  11. #11

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    Not survival but could have been real fast . We staked our land in a state lottery. It was hovering average near 25 below. Cold . After 4-5 days of searching many miles I knew instantly when we got to the piece we staked was the one. 20 acres. In the middle of nowhere. 2 cabin on a lake 2 miles north are nearest neighbors. I meet them on the trail occasionally hauling freight. Took 9 years of planning and another 4 years to haul out all the materials to build our cabin.
    Spending many hours, many nights and days on a snogo. Bundled up warm in good gear . Always watching for wildlife or tracks or enjoying the views of some of the tallest mountains in the world. It is usually dark. Ranging from really dark to nights when the northern lights seem to never end. Stopping in the middle of an open area so I can stop and watch the world go by. Sometimes by myself but always nice to have help to share those moments with.
    I am confident in my skills and I know my equipment. Inside and out . But that doesn’t mean that machines don’t break . And Alaska can offer up some really oh boy moments.
    Going back and recalling these moments is inspirational to me.
    Whether there was breakdowns, getting lost. The Good Lord has blessed me. Will add some more later. Hope you’re day is well.
    Last edited by Aklogcabin; 09-11-2019 at 12:27 PM.

  12. #12

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    Quote Originally Posted by Rick View Post
    You definitely need a chain mail helmet!
    Sometime trolls are a good source, eh?
    "The more complex the mind, the greater the need for the simplicity of play." Capt. James T. Kirk

  13. #13

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    Just read second story. No bearskin rug? I guess if it's a nuisance kill, they don't let you have anything, right?
    "The more complex the mind, the greater the need for the simplicity of play." Capt. James T. Kirk

  14. #14

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    Quote Originally Posted by Aklogcabin View Post
    How come it seems that only me knows what visqueen is?
    I never heard the term "visqueen" until I moved to Arkansas. I still call it "plastic sheet". Just one more syllable.
    "The more complex the mind, the greater the need for the simplicity of play." Capt. James T. Kirk

  15. #15

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    No rug. There were a lot of rubbed bald spots and a thin coat. Protection of life or property kills of wildlife belong to the state. I brought it to the fish n game office and was told that it was my responsibility to skin it. Let them know that if I had to drive home with the bear in the back of my truck, I wasn’t coming back. Drove around back and slid it off on to a picnic table. With the help of a biologist.
    Was also told that they had been receiving calls from folks about a problem bear for a couple weeks. This was a habituated bear. The biologist estimated weight around 400 pounds and 4-5 years old. They do age and collect other dna samples from these bears. Location ,diet. Overall condition.
    I do have a black bear hide in the freezer and a skull somewhere that hopefully will make it on the wall. The hide from the bear sausage. After harvesting and looking over this bear it was easy to see this bear was in great shape. There were absolutely no odors or even one cockelburr in the hide. As clean as any house cat. And had 2”-3” of pure white fat. With no odors. What around here we refer to as blueberry bears. Because they have not been into the salmon. At least for a while and are basically berry fed bears. And are targeted as table fare.
    I’ve never fully processed a hide and want to learn so this is a good hide. My beautiful wife scraped the hide and helped clean the skull. Love that lady! I did give her first dibs on shooting the bear. Went something like this. “ Hey baby, do you want to shoot a bear? “ she responds “ I haven’t even had my first cup of coffee “ me “ no problem. Blueberry bear for the year.
    One of the best parts of being blessed, harvesting game, is sharing. We lost a best friend a couple years ago. And enjoy keeping his widow, a wonderful lady herself, supplied with , halibut, moose, now bear, salmon. Yesterday she calls. “ There’s a bull moose in my yard. Beautiful wife scrambles and gets rifle from the gun safe while I put my shoes on. Walking over I am greeted by 2 of this years calves. Imagine 2 moose calves 10 feet from you. Casually feeding. I looked back at my beautiful wife who was overseeing the action. Do you see this I ask. Tooooooooo cool! They have been hanging around for a couple weeks now. Suspect mama go killed . Most likely by a vehicle. Near 400 moose vehicle accidents a year in our area.
    I look over to my right. The instant recognition of being busted by a bull moose looking right at me. 40-50 yards away. Ears straight up n forward with eyes that are staring right back at you. That lasted about a minute. He went right. I went right after him. I caught up to him standing next to my neighbors woodshed. I get to about 25-30 feet away. We have antler restrictions here and he was just a bit too large. A 1-1/2 year old which is targeted but had too many points. Can only be a spike or fork on at least one side. He had 5-6 on one side n a fork with a little bump in the middle. I felt that the little bump was larger than the one inch high point allows. But only by maybe an inch. Or have 3 brow tines on one side or be over 50 inches wide. Was a cool experience though. And would not have been the first moose that I harvested that was standing right next to someone’s house. If not for less than an inch of antler.
    Last edited by Aklogcabin; 09-12-2019 at 12:35 PM.

  16. #16

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    Yah visqueen to most of the folks around here. At least the old school group. My spell check highlights it. Guess Iím older than whoever spell checks their spell check. Iím cool with that.

  17. #17

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    I did want to highlight the hypothermia incident. As I said I am confident in my skills. Which leads me to be over confident. That is a mistake that could have cost me my life. I could have probably camped out and build a cabin with what I have on my wheeler. But left it all behind. Including my rifle. So much not me. I am always thinking about this stuff.
    I have played around for 40 some years and developed my own style. Lots of this education came from going out there and doing it. Even beautiful wife says how much she enjoys it after she gets out. It’s that first step sometimes. Hope you’re getting the hint.
    Last edited by Aklogcabin; 09-14-2019 at 12:53 PM.

  18. #18
    Super Moderator crashdive123's Avatar
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    I've installed thousands of sq ft of visqueen under homes as a moisture barrier. Yep, know it well.
    Can't Means Won't

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  19. #19

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    I carry a 6íx6í piece by visqueen in my emergency pack. It was what we used as a forest fire fighter. Crawl into a military surplus sleeping mummy bag. Wrap up like a taco. After sitting around a camp fire going over the days events. Eating old military C rats. Thats what we called em anyhow. And usually some one who would throw a sealed can into the fire. Dumb ***. My mom would have a saying if we kids screwed up. ď You sure pulled a boner that time. ď always cracked me up while i was getting a butt remodel. She was even more old school . Guess it made me the man I am today. Been wondering if the word cops were old school. Thus this wonderful story. I always try to find a big spruce toclimb under.

  20. #20

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    Hey made it. Always pushing the boundaries of excitement!

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