Sunday, February 8, 2009

Snow Storm

Well the weatherman was calling for 2 inches of snow. I thought it would be a good time to get out in the mountains and have a look around and maybe call up a coyote or cat.
I love being in the Sawtooths this time of year. But as I found out, forecasting weather is kind of a guess. A 2 inch forecast can turn into 18 inches of snow real quick....
After all this is Idaho.
Around noon I decided to eat some lunch and boil some water for coffee. As much as I like a camp fire, sometimes its nice to not have to mess with gathering wood and tending the dang thing. That's why when I am hunting I usually use a small Coleman backpack stove. It's a single burner and brings water to a boil in 3.5 minutes. I love this thing. I boil the water in my old canteen cup I was issued many years ago while in the Army. I have bottled water in my vehicle but I just scooped up a big cup full of snow to use for my coffee. It takes longer to boil this way, but it's fun. This is the stove I use.

I was under the biggest Juniper tree I've ever seen, I was out of the wind and snow for the most part, and quit cosey with some hot coffee in me now. It was than I realized the snow was getting pretty deep, almost a foot already. And I was 10 miles off of the hard road.
The mild winter we've been having lulled me into a false sense of security. I suddenly had visions of my vehicle being stuck up there untill spring snow melt and me having to hike out of there.
I wasn't too worried, but I didn't waste any time either. It was a white knuckle drive out of there in some places, the road isn't the greatest even in the summer, but I made it home OK.

The biggest mistake I made was I never told anyone where I was going. I usually try to let my family know where I will be, but I just forgot this time. If something would of happened, I could count on receiving no help from anyone. I was on my own. Lonesome.

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Teaching the Boy

Along with hunting/trapping skills, I try to teach my son as many survival skills as possible.

While we were out in this snow storm, a balmy 4 degrees with 10 to 20 mph winds, I try to point out natural areas that are protected from the wind and would be easier to make a fire.

He is a smart kid but his mind tends to wander some times, which is why I make him program our vehicle location into his GPS everytime we head out " just in case".
He also carries the basic gear: knife, food, water, flashlite, lighters and an extra fleece top.
I hope he never has to go get help in the event that I may be hurt, but if he does, he should perform OK...... I hope.

The North Desert

Spent some time in the North Desert a few weeks ago. That would be a tough place to survive by yourself.
It's really beautiful country, but I dont go there unprepared. I ussually keep enough gear in my vehicle that I could use it as a camp for a week or so if I had to. I dont want to be one of those people on the news that S&R Teams have to go find.
Here are some pics..
I did a little coyote hunting, but the fur market isn't too good this year so I probably wont shoot too many more this season.
I also saw the biggest herd of Elk that I have ever seen, at least 100 of them. Unfortunately they werent in camera range...maybe next time.

It snowed the second day I was there, while I was walking to my next stand I noticed a little hole in the snow. It didnt look like the normal varmint dens that cover this area so I investigated it. While poking around the snow caved in to reveal a hole in the roof of a lava tube. If I would of been walking a few feet to the side I would of fallen in to this thing. It would of been an 8 to 10 foot drop with no way to get out. It made me paranoid to walk for a while, that could of been a deadly mistake, but I am going back there this spring with a ladder and some help.
I'll make sure I bring the camera too....
Thanks for reading. This was my first post (of many hopefully), on my first blog.