What makes the whole affair tolerable is the Pack. They come in many sizes, shapes and styles.
I've used them all from military LBE (Load Bering Equipment AKA ill designed back breakers) to high tech alpine climbing rucks.

The A.L.I.C.E. pack was my first serious backpack.
All purpose, Lite weight,Individual,Carrying, Equipment.
Who thinks these names up anyway?
ALICE how sweet.........why not BOB the back pack?

It left me feeling beat up, tired and sore. It rolled on my back like an over sized beach ball with straps. No sense of balance or "feel" for the load (which shifted like a listing ship) It had little adjustments and cut off circulation. The only good thing I can say about them was.....................
Well okay, I can't think of anything right now but I'm sure they were good-alright-hmm Green
They sucked!

Packs should be chosen against their intended use and like Golf clubs, a selection should be available to the Common Outdoors Person to suit the job.

The most "common" pack for weekend use is of course the DAY PACK.
Every school kid carries a Day pack these days. Choose wisely, look for good suspension and stitching, Padded shoulder straps and stay away from anything with "Barnie" printed on it.

The Panel back Day pack is handy for semi light loads.The panel may give if over stuffed so keep your load proportioned.
It's a "DAY PACK"

The "TOP LOADER" is tough but one must dig for stuff, they are MUCH stronger and better suited for multi day trips. This pack can access the main load compartment from top OR bottom.

The "Fanny Pack" (should always be worn up front not rear)
is the lightest of the carrying systems. Just enough for a camera or survival kit and when used as you see here in conjunction with other systems like a binocular harness and a Hydration pack, you are light and fast moving.

Sam sports 30 Lbs plus of kit for a weekend trip but his pack's superior design allows him to "ware" the load rather then carry it. It is stable and comfy. I carried about 45 Lbs on this trip but the load was no great burden at all.

Don't feel sorry for him and don't think he's not enjoying every minute of it, he's having a blast!

Safe Travels



One can only consider ones self part of the environment if he need not go back to the car for a Snickers!
As we move through the environment we are ever aware of the life that surrounds us. Plants and Roots as well as Fungi and Grasses are abundant most times of the year for a snack or as sustenance. That's all well and good but as I noted earlier Charley reminds us most taste like Crap.
MEAT! That's what I need. It's safer, tastier and not as easily confused with a poisonous mushroom. A Rabbit always looks like a Rabbit, so does a Squirrel and Raccoon. They are easy to find and identify. The three major ways of collecting "game" are hunting, trapping or road kill (carrion) seeing how I'm no crow, I'll skip the last method.
The Porcupine is a sacred animal to the wilderness traveler. The Gods in their wisdom have given us this tasty (but Quilly) morsel of forest fare. The "Lost Man's Supper" often refers to our prickly friend. Easily stalked due to their poor eye sight and equally easy to kill with a simple sharp rap on the old noggin. The trick comes with learning how to skin the spike infested little buggers.
Cutting along the rear legs and vent (anus) you need only pull the tail bone out of the skin and use it as a "handle" to pull the hide off like a sweater. Cut off legs, head and field dress the critter. Boil-roast-fry-bake heck almost any way you prepare em tastes pretty good to me (Bring Tabasco)

Hunting will be covered on other pages within this blog later but for now lets touch on trapping. I'm not in the habit of carrying "Leg hold" or "Conibear" traps on my adventures into the bush but I always have a knife and some cord/wire in my kit. Useful for a load of things from fixing a backpack, boot or belt to setting up snares as a way to collect dinner.

One of the first snares I ever made was the cross anchor "Twitch up" snare. It kills most of the time and has supplied many a meal over the years. Placed in Rabbit runs or baited to attract Raccoon it seldom fails. It's not the easiest snare to produce and I think that's why I respect it so much, once mastered all others are a walk in the woods (no pun intended) it's still the snare I teach most often.

One of Sam's first Twitch up snares.

I like to add a tin can and pebbles wired to the top of my snare tree, this acts like an alarm when the snare goes off. I recall a night on the Boreas river in the Adirondacks when I had to spring from my hammock at the sound of the alarm to dispatch a Coon caught in a Twitch up not far from our trash site. I knew he would come for a sniff and a taste so I set the rig with a few pulls of burnt chicken meat.

Tuesday night we had Chicken, Wednesday we all ate Raccoon...............yum!
Friday it was Fish.

No Rabbit today but he'll get it.

Remember snaring of game for other then "SURVIVAL" is illegal and unnecessarily wasteful.
Keep in mind that in the wilderness you can eat some animals and be eaten by others!
Welcome to the food chain!

Safe Travels